El Nino strikes in Italy

64 top European Players gathered in the "City of Ferrari", Modena Italy, to play the Best Cup 9-ball 2004 on 8 February.

Favorites were Ralf Souquet, Oliver Ortmann, Fabio Petroni, Nick van den Berg, Michael Schmidt and Stephan Cohen.It was no surprise that they qualified for the second day in this double elimination tournament. However, the first upset of this second day was the elimination of Ralf Souquet, who lost to Italian Cipriani.
Der Kaiser: "I wasn't playing well, I missed a lot of fairly easy shots."

He can now focus on the big tournament in Taiwan... Oliver Ortmann walzed through the brackets like a doberman. The scores: 11-2, 11-3, 13-5. It looked like nobody could stop the in-form German.

But his Mosconi Cup teammate, 23 year old Nick van den Berg, had no intention to let his captain get away with the first prize. After beating Ivicia Putnik in the Semi-finals, he faced Ortmann in the finals. The score: 15-10 for El Nino.

Ortmann: "My break stopped working"
Van den Berg: "I played very, very well in the fnals. Oliver didn't have a chance really. I broke and ran the table almost every time I got something on the break. A great feeling."

1. Nick van den Berg: 5,000 dollars
2. Oliver Ortmann: 2,500 dollars
3. Marco Bakarcic and Ivica Putnik: 1250 dollars
5. Millauro/Cohen/Osterloh/Mladenovic: 700 dollars