When it comes to naming an AzBilliards Player of the Year, the race usually comes down to 2-3 players and then various things like tournament performances, total earnings and head to head records for the year come into play. Once in a while though, one player’s year is just so far above and beyond his peers that naming him as the Player of the Year is like a hanging 1-9 combo with ball in hand.
Albin Ouschan’s 2021 kicked off with an emotionally draining win at the inaugural Championship League Pool Event in March. After eight days of pool, Ouschan stood victorious over a field of top talent.
After lackluster finishes at the World Cup of Pool and World Pool Masters, Ouschan brought his “A-Game” to the Marshall Arena in Milton Keynes England where he won his second World Championship at the WPA World Pool Championship. ‘
If two major titles weren’t enough to cement his spot as Player of the Year, Ouschan then went on to go undefeated through a brutal field of talent at the 2021 International 9-Ball Open in October. Then for “icing on the cake”, Ouschan went ahead and helped Team Europe retain the Mosconi Cup.
When asked about his year in review, Ouschan admitted that something about the major titles helps to bring out his best game. “I feel different at major tournaments. I have a different mindset sometimes. I know it’s totally wrong but it gives me that final push at events like the World Championships or the International 9-Ball Open. On that stage, it was by far my best performance“.
Ouschan looked back on that first event and what he took from the experience. “I definitely learned something. It was a roller-coaster tournament. I went through every stage of performance and emotions throughout the eight days. I learned a lot from that and I learned a lot about myself during that tournament”.
Ouschan is excited about all of the events on the calendar for 2022 and says he has plans to compete in every major event that he can.
Ouschan was presented his Player of the Year award at the Arcadia Arizona Open in Tucson Arizona earlier this month.
Unfortunately, the lack of women’s events during 2021 made it impossible to name a Women’s Player of the Year.
As always, AzBilliards thanks Aramith and Simonis for their invaluable support with this award and for creating this unique award.