Mosconi Cup ends in historic tie


Team USA accepts the Mosconi Cup

The 2006 PartyPoker.com Mosconi Cup ended in a tied result for the first time in its history as Americans Corey Deuel and Mike Davis dashed European hopes when a home victory seemed a realistic proposition.

The match was all tied up at 9-9 as it entered the final Sunday night session and with a packed crowd at the Cruise Terminal in Rotterdam, it was Thomas Engert who redeemed himself following a string of indifferent performances through the week.

He looked a different player as he ran through US Open Champion John Schmidt 5-1 to put Team Europe into a 10-9 lead.

The Mosconi Cup was played to a best of 24 match format with the first team to reach 13 points winning the trophy. In the event of a 12-12 draw, the Americans would retain the trophy as defending champions.

American lynchpin Rodney Morris made light work of England's Imran Majid – his 5-2 win restored parity for Team USA as the tension heightened.

There was more drama in the next as Ralf Souquet, who looked Europe's strongest player over the tournament, came back from 4-2 down to defeat American captain Johnny Archer 5-4 and restore his sides lead.

Nick van den Berg got the crowd going as he put the Europeans on the hill with another marvelous comeback victory, this time over Earl Strickland.

The Dutchman was also 4-2 down but clawed his way back into contention as he took the overall score to 12-10.

2001 World Champion Mika Immonen of Finland strode into the arena knowing that a Mosconi victory rested squarely on his shoulders. His opponent, Mike Davis looked a picture of nerves and at 4-1 down looked dead and buried.

With Europe just one rack away from Mosconi Cup victory, Davis dug deep and in an impressive performance under severe pressure, he took the match to hill hill.

Immonen broke for the match, and needed just the 8 and 9 for victory but he made a terrible mistake as he potted the 8 but tied the cue ball up with the 9.

He was forced to play safe but made a mess of it and in the end it was Davis who downed the final 9 and the moment was gone.

The final match of the tournament was between Spain's debutant David Alcaide and Corey Deuel. A win for Europe would see them win the Mosconi Cup for the first time since 2002, a defeat would mean the USA retained the trophy as holders.

At 2-2 it looked anyone's match but Alcaide faded down the home straight as Deuel won three successive racks to seal the win and leave the Mosconi Cup in American hands.

Sunday Night Results

Thomas Engert 5 – 1 John Schmidt
Imran Majid 2 - 5 Rodney Morris
Ralf Souquet 5-4 Johnny Archer
Nick van den Berg 5 - 4 Earl Strickland
Mika Immonen 4-5 Mike Davis
David Alcaide 2-5 Corey Deuel

For quotes and match reports go to www.mosconicup.com