Mosconi Cup XXVIII Preview & Trivia

Often compared to the Ryder Cup in golf or the Weber Cup in bowling, the Mosconi Cup is the annual nine-ball pool tournament, featuring teams from Europe and the United States. Getting to represent one of those teams brings great prestige for participants, initially gained via invitation, although mostly earned through participation at other major tournament events.

2021 Mosconi Cup

Thanks to their triumph in 2020, according to early online sports betting odds for the Mosconi Cup, the European nine-ball team is already tipped as -350 favorites to repeat their success. Meanwhile, although +250 odds would suggest the USA team will be underdogs, the overall balance of power is evenly matched since the first tournament was held in 1994. 

The next edition of the Mosconi Cup between Europe and the United States will be held between December 6-9. As part of the customary rotation between continents, the upcoming event will be hosted in Las Vegas, Nevada, having been held last year in Coventry, England. As the reigning champions, Europe will be seeking another victory at the 28th Mosconi Cup edition, after ending a two-year winning streak by the USA Team.

Since that inaugural 1994 competition and with 27 annual Mosconi Cup events played, the winning record currently stands at 13 tournament titles apiece. During one unique tournament in 2006, held in Rotterdam, Netherlands, the European and the United States teams ended up tied with a 12-12 score. This meant the honors and Mosconi Cup title were shared for the first and only time in competition history.

Mosconi Cup Trivia

The Mosconi Cup is named after William Joseph Mosconi, a legendary American pool player from Philadelphia, who passed away in 1993. Known as “Mr. Pocket Billiards” amongst friends and fellow players, Mosconi once set a record of 526 straight balls in exhibition play, during an event in Springfield, Illinois, back in 1954.

The original idea behind the Mosconi Cup was formed by Sky Sports and Matchroom Sport, principally as an exhibition tournament to promote pool playing in the United Kingdom. At the first 1994 edition, several leading female players from the WPBA took part, alongside their male counterparts.

Along with attracting the participation of American pool icons, such as Earl “The Pearl” Strickland and Johnny “The Scorpion” Archer, the European contingent has featured many famed world snooker champions. Undoubtedly the most famous, snooker superstar Steve Davis made 11 Mosconi Cup appearances, while Tony Drago and Ronnie O’Sullivan have each competed twice, along with Alex Higgins once.

Turning the Tables

The USA team was the dominant force at early tournaments, winning 10 of the first 12 Mosconi Cup events. After the tie of 2006, Europe has turned the tide to claim 11 of the subsequent 14 events, including a spectacular run of 8 consecutive victories. However, the United States have rediscovered their strength in recent years, winning back-to-back 2018 and 2019 tournaments. They will undoubtedly seek to rediscover that success again this year.