Mark Gray: ‘It’s one of my biggest achievements.’

ENGLAND’S MARK GRAY gets a chance to win his second PartyPoker Mosconi Cup as he took the first of the automatic qualifying spots at the weekend. Gray, 41, completed a superb run at the Dutch Open in Leende, beating Nik Ekonomopoulus in the final to top the five event Euro Tour series.
Gray, who was on the winning side in Malta in 2008, lost early in the event to Karl Boyes and had to battle his way through the losers side of the bracket to reach the straight knock-out last 32.
“It’s amazing really that it goes all the way to the final to decide who gets the spot!” he said.
“I'm over the moon to be playing in the Mosconi again as it's only my second time on the team. Playing in 2008 in Malta was a great experience but I'm sure playing in Blackpool will be an even greater experience.
“For me it's one of my biggest achievements to get in the team this year as I have finished 3rd, 9th, 5th, 5th and now 1st in the last five Euro Tour events to cement my place in the team.
“Also, I’m currently ranked No.1 on GB9 Tour and I’m now ranked No.2 in Europe so I’m really looking forward to taking this form on to the big stage,” he added.
With several players vying for the coveted spot as the tournament entered the last 32 stage, in the end it came down to Gray and Ekonomopoulus. With both having played in one Mosconi Cup previously, the winner would add to that tally while the runner-up would have one final chance at the US Open later this month.
It was Gray, though who prevailed, winning 9-6 to book the first spot on Team Europe from December’s 21st annual PartyPoker Mosconi Cup.
There are three automatic spots available on Team Europe drawn from three separate rankings; the Euro Tour rankings made up of five events, a World event list made up of the China Open, World 9-ball Championship and October’s US Open, and a list combining all eight events. The remaining two players will be wildcard picks.
The final event to be played for World Ranking points is the US Open, which concludes on 18th October.
Euro Tour Ranking (complete)
1. Mark Gray (ENG)                       56
2. Nick Ekonomopoulos (GRE)      50
3. Nick van den Berg (HOL)           44
4. Dennis Grabe (EST)                   40
5. Niels Feijen (HOL)                      36
6. Karl Boyes (ENG)                       30
7. Mario He (AUT)                          31
8. Ralf Souquet (GER)                   29
9. Karol Skowerski (POL)               28
10. Mateusz Sniegocki (POL)        27
World Ranking (after two of three events)
1. Niels Feijen (NED)                    40
2. Albin Ouschan (AUT)                 25
T3.Mika Immonen (FIN)                 15
T3.Thorsten Hohmann (GER)        15
T3.Radoslaw Babica (POL)           15
T6.Ralf Souquet (GER)                  10
T6.Darren Appleton (ENG)             10
T6.Mario He (AUT)                         10
T6.Nick Van den Berg (NED)         10
T10. Chris Melling (ENG)                 5
Combined Ranking (after seven of eight events)
1. Niels Feijen (HOL)                    76
2. Mark Gray (ENG)                       56
3. Nick Ekonomopoulos (GRE)      55
4. Nick van den Berg (HOL)           54
5. Albin Ouschan Jr. (AUT)            49
T6. Mario He (AUT)                       40
T6. Denis Grabe (EST)                  40
8. Ralf Souquet (GER)                   39
9. Radoslaw Babica (POL)             36
10. Karol Skowerski (POL)             33
The 2014 PARTYPOKER Mosconi Cup is sponsored by, the world's leading online poker site. The Official Table of the Mosconi Cup is supplied by Diamond Billiards, the cloth is supplied by Iwan Simonis and the Official Balls are Super Aramith by Saluc. Predator is the Official Cue and Mosconi Cup clothing is supplied by Universe.