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Billiard Monthly November 1912

 

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A Journal of Interest and Value to Amateur Billiard Players
No. 25, November, 1912 Price 1/6 per annum to any part of the world. Single Copies 1d

THE BILLIARD MONTHLY PORTRAIT GALLERY

XXV.—A. F. PEALL

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A. F. PEALL: Winner of the Preliminary tournament.

Stevenson’s Thousand Break

Stevenson has made his second “thousand” record. His
previous one was that thousand centuries in the wonderful
season in which nothing went wrong with him; in which
he paralyzed all competition; and at the end of which
Inman, badly beaten by Stevenson in his last heat in the
tournament, grimly remarked that he could hold his own
against a man, but not against a machine.

There was a compliment involved in this remark, coming,
from the source whence it did, but it was an inadequate
remark all the same. For, whatever Stevenson may be in
his play, he is very far indeed from being a machine. He
is an artist to the finger tips, and an extremely human player.

Now he has made his second “thousand” record in the
shape of a perfect 1,016 off the balls under exacting modern
conditions, and this extraordinary performance will find its
place in billiard history alongside of his thousand centuries.

For let it be considered what this latest thousand break
really means. There have been previous thousand breaks,
but they have been made either with the push or jamb
stroke permitted, or by means of the unlimited winning or
losing hazards. John Roberts made a spot-barred break of
1,392 on May 3 and 4, 1894, before the push stroke was
abolished, and although he may have made but little use of
the push, it may, nevertheless, have come to his aid at a
critical moment before the 1,000 was reached. Tom Taylor
had previously made even more, with his 1,467 on April 24,
1891, but this included 729 cannons when the balls were
jambed in a top corner pocket, just as 2,539 (including 1,267
anchor cannons) were made by Frank Ives on June 1 and 2,
1893; 42,746 by the cradle cannon stroke between May 29.
and June 4, 1907, and 249,552 by T. Reece between June 3
and 6, 1907. By means of the spot stroke, the elder Peall
made 3,304 on November 5 and 6, 1890; C. Dawson, 1,848,
on September 20, 1890; F. White, 1,745, on March 13, 1889;
J. G. Sala, 1,012 (including 186 consecutive screw-backs)
on March 20, 1888; and J. Watson, 1,075, on April 3, 1890.

There is also a 1,237 unfinished standing to the credit of
C. Memmott on August 20, 1892, under the conditions then
prevailing, and the 2,196, mostly off the red, by George
Gray is still quite recent history.

But other times other methods, other rules, and other
men; and H. W. Stevenson stands forth as the only player
in the world who, in the game of billiards, as it is controlled
to-day, has made a break exceeding 1,000 points. It was
made, moreover, without any adventitious happening to
mar its completeness, and by a varied and delightful use of
“the game, the whole game, and nothing but the game.”

To those billiard enthusiasts or students who had the good
fortune to be present, a delightful and most profitable lesson
was afforded, a lesson ever-changing yet ever-progressing.

Sometimes the great player was in the calm and tranquil
sea of the losing hazard from hand; sometimes in the more
uncertain and treacherous waters of the top-of-the-table
area; and once or twice actual breakers were ahead where
risk had to be taken, but where disaster was triumphantly
averted, albeit by the narrowest shave. These things, taken
together, made up the enthralling mosaic of the break, in the
course of which the spectators were alternately held in tension
and suspense and comfortably reassured.

It was a great performance and a memorable entertainment,
and by its means the ex-champion has altogether
blotted out that unwelcome phrase about “the Stevenson of
other days” and strongly re-asserted himself as “the
Stevenson that still and now is.” Everyone will wish him
a prosperous and brilliant tour through India or where else
he may now, in association with Gray, be intending to pitch
his moving tent, and everyone will even more cordially bid
him welcome home again, when, the bonzoline phase suspended,
and normal all-round conditions restored, he chooses
once more to contest for the temporarily laid-down position
of champion of English billiards.