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5 Events – 5 Undefeated Winners at Big Tyme Classic

The 4th Annual Big Tyme Classic $8,000 added, held March 24-27 in Spring, Texas, just North of Houston, paid out over $86,000!
The five- event Extravaganza started Thursday with 32 players in a single elimination One Pocket Event.  Danny Smith battled it out for a victory over Joey Gray in the finals.  With a full field of star studded players there were numerous upsets along the way! Smith started his run with wins over Jon Demet, Chase Rudder, Justin Hall, and Jeremy Jones to get to the finals.  Gray made his way through the top of the bracket with wins over Shane Winters, Chip Compton, Jeff Chauncey, and Robb Saez.  
1st Danny Smith $2,000
2nd Joey Gray $1,100
3rd /4th  Robb Saez and Jeremy Jones $600 ea
5th / 8th Scott Proud, Jeff Chauncey, Arron Goodwin, and Justin Hall $300 ea
9 Ball Banks kicked off the second day, Friday, with 26 players, in a single elimination format.  Tony Chohan prevailed over Chip Compton for the big win.  
1st Tony Chohan $1,700
2nd Chip Compton $900
3rd / 4th Shane Winters and Alex Olinger $500 ea.
5th / 8th Justin Hall, Alex Calderone, J.C. Torres, and Robb Saez $250 ea
The Main Event 9 Ball Open, presented by OB Cues, commenced Friday evening.  The Diamond® bar table event, streamed live by Ray “Big Truck” Hansen and his crew at, drew 128 players.  Shane Winters would go undefeated to win the event and big payday, archiving wins over Josh Hughes, 7-3, Jamie Farrell, 7-4, Chase Rudder, 7-4, Jeremy Jones, 7-5, Ricky Hughes, 7-1, Evan Lunda, 7-5, and Jason Klatt, 7-4, which secured his spot in the finals.  Jason Klatt had a phenomenal run with wins over Jeff Sullivan, Tim Baron,7-1, Hani Alhouri, 7-5, Blaine Barcus, 7-4, Dennis Orcollo, 7-2, and Justin Hall, 7-2, before meeting Winters for the hot seat match.  With the loss, Klatt found himself on the receiving end losing to Orcollo, 7-3.  In true double elimination format, Orcollo would have to beat Winters two sets.  Winters narrowly escaped Orcollo in the first set, 7-6.
1st Shane Winters $4000/$24,500
2nd Dennis Orcollo $2,000/$12,000
3rd Jason Klatt $1,400/$8,900
4th Justin Hall $1,00/$6,100
5th / 6th Mike Davis Jr and Evan Lunda $700/$3,000 each
7th / 8th Josh Roberts and Danny Smith $400/$2,000 each
9th / 12th Ernesto Bayaua, James Davis Jr, Ricky Hughes, and Alex Calderone $200/$1,000 each
Sunday kicked off with the Seniors Division.  Barry Strickland fought his way through an elite field of 27 players.  Strickland took the hot seat with a 7-4 win against Ronnie Wiseman.  The loss forced Wiseman to the “B” side to face Buddy Hall.  Ronnie ousted Hall to get back to the finals against Strickland but fell short 7-2, leaving Barry the undefeated winner.
1st Barry Strickland $550
2nd Ronnie Wiseman $350
3rd Buddy Hall $240
4th James Christopher $160
5th / 6th Pete Charles and Sam Daita $80 ea
7th /8th Sonny Bosshammer and Mark Avery $60 ea
The 5th and final event of the Big Tyme Classic, was the Ladies Division,  27 awesome ladies vying for the title.  Natalie Rocha secured the hot seat with a 7-6 win over Kim Pierce.  Pierce would face Ricki Casper for a chance in the finals but Casper took the match 7-2.  Ricki lost her first match of the day to Robyn Petrosino, 7-3, and made an impressive run to meet Rocha in the finals.  Casper came up short to Rocha, 7-6, leaving Rocha undefeated for the win.
1st Natalie Rocha $550
2nd Ricki Casper $350
3rd Kim Pierce $240
4th Amanda Lampart $160
5th / 6th Teresa Garland and Karol Hughes $80 ea
7th /8th Michelle Yim and Robyn Petrosino $60 ea
Big Tyme Billiards, Teresa Garland and Marshal Ward, Tournament Directors, would like to thank the players, spectators, fans, and staff for a successful event.  A very special thanks to our sponsors, OB Cues, APA of North Harris County (Roger Schuett), Star City Amusement (Roddy Lucio), and the vendors.  We look forward to next year’s Big Tyme Classic!

Woodward and Bryant chalk up 29th Annual Music City titles

Skyler Woodward and Shane McMinn (Photo courtesy of Pool Action TV)

Skyler Woodward took the loss-side route to meet and defeat Shane McMinn in the finals of the 29th Annual Music City Open, held on the weekend of January 13-17. Brittany Bryant picked the undefeated option in capturing the Ladies title, defeating Liz Lovely in the finals. The $6,000-added Open drew 128 entrants, while the $1,000-added Ladies event drew 64 to JOB Billiard Club in Madison, TN. Selected matches were streamed throughout the weekend via the services of PoolActionTV and its host, Ray Hansen. The booth saw Buddy Hall take a turn at the microphone.
Shane McMinn, who, in a field that included competitors like Woodward, Justin Bergman, Johnny Archer, Robb Saez, and Jeremy Jones (among others), might have been perceived as something of a dark horse at the beginning of the Open event. He was raising a few eyebrows as he moved into his winners' side semifinal match against Woodward. Jeremy Jones, in the meantime, squared off against Richie Richeson. Jones sent Richeson to the loss side 11-2, as McMinn raised a few more eyebrows with an 11-5 victory over Mosconi Cup competitor, Woodward. McMinn went on to claim the hot seat 11-7 over Jones.
On the loss side, the casualty list was growing, and it included Archer, Bergman, Josh Roberts, Alex Olinger, and Jason Klatt (again, among others). By the time Woodward and Richeson showed up, the loss-side list was down to Shane Winters, and geographically appropriate Jonathan "Hennessee from Tennessee" Pinegar. Winters drew Richeson and defeated him 11-1. Woodward got Pinegar and took him out 11-4.
Woodward ended Winters' weekend with an 11-9 victory in the quarterfinals and then eliminated Jones 11-7 in the semifinals. Early in the re-match, double elimination finals, it looked as though it was going to be a grind. Woodward and McMinn fought back and forth to a 7-7 tie in the opening set, before Woodward caught a gear and closed it out with four straight. McMinn had dropped his last 9-ball. Woodward shut him out 11-0 in the second set to claim the title.
In the Ladies' tournament, it was the eventual winner, Brittany Bryant and Stacie Bourbeau in the hot seat match. Bryant had sent Stephanie Goins to the loss side 7-1, as Bourbeau was defeating Liz Lovely 7-5. Bryant claimed the hot seat 7-2 and waited on the return of Lovely.
On the loss side, Goins and Lovely picked up Samantha Patton and Julie Cone, respectively. Lovely and Patton prevailed to face each other in the quarterfinals, won by Lovely. Lovely took advantage of her re-match versus Bourbeau in the semifinals, winning for a shot at Bryant in the hot seat.  Bryant closed it out in the finals to take the Music City Ladies title.
In two brackets (A & B) of a Midnight Madness tournament, Justin Bergman went home with the top prize in the A bracket, with Danny Smith in the runner-up slot. Shane Winters took home the top prize in the B bracket, with Josh Roberts in second place.

Nick Conner Captures Second Omega Billiard

Denny Sneed, Nick Conner, and Tony Sulsar

On the weekend of September 6-7, Nick Conner dominated the field of 81 players and won first place again on the Omega Billiards Tour!  Clicks Billiards in Arlington, TX was the awesome host for the event and everyone had a great time watching and playing good pool all weekend.  This was the 6th stop of the Omega Billiards Tour this year and $1,500 was added again to the prize fund.
Nick Conner placed 2nd at the previous stop in August and 1st at the June event.  So, with September’s win, Nick has pretty much sealed his first place in the Predator Player Points Tracker for the end of the year Rankings!  
After a first round bye, Nick defeated David Franklin 7-1, David Josephson 7-1, Juan Parra 7-2, Tony Sulsar 7-5 and then Keith Aikens 7-1 to seal his spot to play in the hotseat against Denny Sneed, whom he defeated 7-2.
Denny Sneed from Midland, Odessa was the farthest traveler and he had his best tournament yet!  He had wins over David Cowell 7-3, hill-hill over Daniel Herring, Cody Wright 7-5, and then stomped local favorite Dylan Weinheimer 7-0.
Last year’s Tour Champion, Tony Sulsar, after his loss to Nick, went on a tear on the one-loss side with wins over Cody Wright 8-5, Jesse Hernandez 8-0, and Dylan Weinheimer 8-1.  Daniel Herring got close to stopping Tony but at hill-hill, Tony prevailed over another match to keep going.  
Tony then defeated Denny Sneed 8-1, giving Denny his highest finish yet at 3rd place!  
This lead to Tony and Nick battling it out in the finals.  It was close all the way with GREAT play as usual from these two fantastic players but Nick prevailed 7-4 to capture his second First Place win on the Omega Tour!  Nick earned $925 for first place, Tony earned $530 and Denny nabbed $400.
Big shout out to Keith Aikens for a great 5th place finish and Casey Calame for an awesome 7th place – their highest finishes yet on the Omega Tour.
The whole tournament was a great display of talent!   Congratulations to ALL of the players for their fine play and great finishes!
This stop was especially sweet as Hall-of-Famer Buddy Hall was in attendance!  Buddy gladly posed with fans and gave autographs all day long.  It was a huge treat for the Omega Tour players to have Buddy Hall around all day Saturday.
The Predator Player Tracker is in full force and the top three players at the end of the year will win a plethora of awesome Predator Prizes!  Only 1 more stop to see who gets all the Predator products:   Currently Nick Conner is now in the top ranked spot, Crispian Ng is in second, and Tony Sulsar is in the third place ranking.  Further, fourth through eighth places at the end of the year rankings will each receive a free entry into the 2015 BCAPL Nationals!  
A HUGE thank you goes out to Predator Cues, Poison Break Cues, BCAPL/CSI, and Lucasi and Players Cues.  We would also like to give a big thanks to our additional sponsors, Wallace Custom Cues, OB Cues, Irving Ink and Thread, Pro Billiard Service,, and
Tour Director Melinda Bailey would like to thank Clicks owners and staff for their awesome hospitality all weekend!  A big thank you also goes out to Michael Hoang, main sponsor of the Tour and owner of Omega Billiards Supply in Hurst, TX.  Michael and Omega Billiards Supply are well known for the huge booths at many of the large tournaments across the country. 
The seventh stop of the Omega Billiards Tour will be held at Speeds Billiards in Arlington, Texas October 4-5, 2014.  Each stop is limited to 80 players (an increase from 64) and the monies guaranteed added has increased to $1,500 for each stop.  Pool is alive and thriving in Texas!!
Thank you to all the players, fans, sponsors and 

Bryant and Villareal bring home wins at Texas Open

On the hill at 8-7 in the opening set of a true double elimination final at the 41st Annual Texas Open over Labor day weekend, Robb Saez took aim at a 9-ball that was to have forced a second set against hot seat occupant, Charlie Bryant. The 9-ball dropped and the second set was . . . wait a minute . . . the cue ball is still traveling, and it drops, too, producing an audible gasp from a roomful of spectators, stunned commentary from the PoolActionTV commentators and a flurry of comments from the on-line chat room, watching the live stream. Bryant followed this most dramatic moment with a less dramatic, though decisive break-and-run rack, which earned him his second Texas Open title, and denied Saez his second. Bryant had won in 2010, Saez in 2011. Chip Compton took the title in 2012 and last year's champion (defeating Bryant in the finals) was Warren Kiamco.
One of the oldest, if not the oldest, pool tournaments in the country, the annual Texas Open has had its share of top name winners, including Shane Van Boening (2008), Buddy Hall (1998), Gabe Owen ('99), three-time winners Gilbert Martinez, Jr. ('90, '92 and '93) and Jeremy Jones ('94, '02, '03), and two-time champions CJ Wiley ('96, '97), and now, Bryant, of course. The Texas Open Trophy was named after Bob Vanover, who won the event a total of eight times, including six straight from 1981 to 1986.
The $3,000-added Open event drew the full field of 128 entrants to Skinny Bob's Billiards in Round Rock, TX. The $1,000-added Ladies event, in which Vivian Villareal successfully defended the title she'd won last year, drew 32 entrants.
In the Open event, the Hillbilly and Robb Saez met first in the hot seat match. Bryant had worked his way through five opponents to meet and defeat James Davis, Jr. 9-5 in a winners' side semifinal. Saez, whose five-match march to the winners' side semifinals had included wins over two former Texas Open champions (Jeremy Jones and David Henson), met and defeated Sean King 9-7. In their first of two, Bryant took the hot seat match 9-6.
The loss side still had some lurking former champions (Al Mason, Chip Compton, Henson and Jones, for example), but by the time James Davis, Jr. arrived from the winners' side final four, there was only the one – Jones – left. Davis drew Manny Chau, who'd defeated Barry Emerson and Junior Jueco to reach him. King drew Jones, who'd gotten by Tuan Tran and survived an epic, double hill battle against Shane Manaole.
Davis eliminated Chau 9-5 and in the quarterfinals, faced King who'd finished Jones' bid 9-3. King defeated Davis 9-7 and got a second chance against Saez in the semifinals. In another epic, live-streamed, double hill battle, Saez took down King a second time, and got his second chance at Bryant.
Neither player in what proved to be the only set of the finals ever had more than a two-game lead, and just when observers were beginning to feel a shift in momentum, the player down by two (Bryant or Saez, at different times) took command to tie things up. Saez took the lead at 8-7, and was hoping that the next game would not only re-establish a two-game lead, but win the opening set. The stunning drop of the cue ball as he shot at the 9-ball effectively ended the match, as Bryant followed up with a flawless rack to claim his second Texas Open title.
Texas Tornado repeats as Texas Open Ladies Champion
The ladies' event almost came to a Vivian Villareal versus Belinda Calhoun final. The Texas Tornado worked her way through five opponents to be in the hot seat for those finals. Belinda Calhoun dropped her opening match and won seven on the loss side before being eliminated in the semifinals by Julie Comitini.
Villareal had sent Nicole McDaniel to the losers' bracket 7-2 in a winners' side semifinal and in the hot seat match, faced Comitini, who'd defeated Emma Stewart-Davis 7-5 (No confirmation of this, but Stewart-Davis and James Davis, Jr. may have been the Texas Open's premier newlyweds). Villareal took the first of two against Comitini 7-2, and was a single match away from reclaiming the Texas Open Ladies title.
The newlywed bride was the one who ran into Calhoun, who'd just eliminated loss-side opponents # 3 (Cindy Cole) and #4 (Kim Pierce). McDaniel picked up Michelle Cortez, who'd defeated Kim Sanders and Ricki Casper. Calhoun and McDaniel advanced to the quarterfinals, where Calhoun chalked up her final loss-side win 7-3.
Calhoun's run came to an end against Comitini in the semifinals, but not without a double hill fight. The Texas Tornado descended on the finals table, and swept Comitini out of contention, giving up only a single rack to defend her title.

Mika Immonen and Jose Parica Earn Recognition in Billiard Congress of America Hall of Fame

The Billiard Congress of America Hall of Fame proudly celebrates and welcomes two of pool’s most dominate players in 2014. The United States Billiard Media Association today announced that two-time world pool champion Mika Immonen and Jose Parica, the leader of pool’s “Philippine Invasion” in the 1980s, have earned induction into the Billiard Congress of America Hall of Fame in the Greatest Players category. 
Immonen, 42, and Parica, 65, will become the 63rd and 64th members of the Billiard Congress of America Hall of Fame. The pair will be inducted during ceremonies on Oct. 17, at the Chesapeake Convention Center in Chesapeake, Va.
Immonen, born in London, but raised in Finland, was the European 9-Ball Tour’s No. 1 player at 20. Four years after capturing his first major international title — the 1996 Peace Cup in Taiwan —Immonen settled in New York City. A year later, he won the World Pool Championship in Cardiff, Wales, topping a star-studded 128-player international field and grabbing what was then pool’s richest top prize — $65,000. Immonen was a dominant player throughout the 2000s, winning 10 pro titles in the U.S., including back-to-back U.S. Open 9-Ball Championships crowns (2008, 2009). He added his second world title when he won the 2009 World 10-Ball Championship. Billiards Digest named Immonen “Player of the Decade” in 2010. Immonen has added a handful of major titles since 2010, including the World Cup of Pool doubles crown in 2012. He has also played as a member of Team EUROPE in the Mosconi Cup 14 times, and was named MVP in 2008.
“This is really amazing,” Immonen said, when the Billiard Congress of America Hall of Fame call interrupted a practice session at Amsterdam Billiard Club in Manhattan. “I’m a little beside myself right now, with goose bumps. After last year (in which Immonen lost to Jeanette Lee in a special Hall of Fame run-off]), I knew I had a chance. But you never really believe it until it’s real.”
“When I was younger, I had dreams and goals,” he added. “It’s a timeline, and the Billiard Congress of America Hall of Fame was on that list. Obviously, that goal takes time. I wasn’t in a big rush to be recognized as an old geezer, but it’s nice to be in the Hall of Fame at 41.”
Parica becomes the second player elected to the Greatest Player wing of the Billiard Congress of America Hall of Fame through recommendation of the Veterans Committee. (The Veterans Committee considers players who failed to be elected through general voting prior to turning 60. Players recommended by the Veterans Committee are put on the final ballot. Election is confirmed with a 50 percent approval from the Voting Members of the Hall of Fame.) Following a distinguished career in the Philippines, where he gained a reputation as the pool-crazy island’s money-game king, Parica arrived in the U.S. He won his first pro tour title in 1986, at the Clyde Childress Open.
After a sabbatical from the game (1992-1996), Parica returned to the Camel Pro Billiard Series with a vengeance, winning a pair of tour titles. His consistent play throughout the year also earned him the $50,000 Player of the Year (POY) bonus award to the tour’s top points earner.  The points title came down to the semifinals of the year’s final event, when Parica battled Buddy Hall in a match that determined which player would claim the POY award. Parica topped Hall, 9-7. Parica continued to rank among the game’s top players well into the 2000s, winning Derby City Classic titles in 2001, 2002 and 2003, including Master of the Table in 2002.
“It has been a long time to wait,” said Parica, when told of his election. “For many years, I didn’t think the people from the BCA knew who I was. I was always asked about my record. I won many major tournaments in the U.S. They commented about my gambling, but what pool player doesn’t gamble? But it is a great honor,” he added. “I’m very happy.”
Voting for the 2014 BCA Hall of Fame was conducted by the USBMA Hall of Fame Board, which consists of USBMA members, elected At-Large members and living members of the Billiard Congress of America Hall of Fame. Induction in the Greatest Players category is awarded to the player named on the most ballots. A second player is elected if both players are named on more than 70 percent of the ballots. To be eligible for consideration in the Greatest Players category, a player a) must be 40 years old by Jan. 1 of the year of their induction; b) must have a professional playing career of at least 10 years; and c) must have recorded significant achievements in U.S.-based events.
Immonen, in his second year of eligibility, was named on 75 precent of the ballots. Germany’s Oliver Ortmann was named on 33 percent of the ballots, and Gerda Hofstatter was named on 27 percent. Belinda Calhoun, Kim Davenport, Mary Kenniston, Jeremy Jones, Rodney Morris and Vivian Villarreal each received votes on less than 25 percent of the ballots.

Shane Wins Derby 9-Ball; Orcollo Master of the Table

Shane Van Boening

The Derby City Classic 9-Ball Championship.
Horseshoe Southern Indiana
Elizabeth, Indiana.
Sponsored by Diamond SMART TABLE, True Blue Simonis 860 Cloth, and Cyclop Pool Balls.
The Derby City Classic 9-Ball Championships
Sponsored by Lucasi Cues.
From 263 entrants there can only be one winner and how that unfolded was, arguably, the most exiting finals we have experienced in recent years at The Derby.
Young John Morra advanced to a 4-1 lead over Shane Van Boening. Why? Because Morra was the one making balls on the break, and capitalizing on them.
it wasn't long before Shane found the sweet spot and balls were breaking into pockets.
They were soon tied at 5 with Shane breaking. To add insult to injury, he snapped the nine: 6-5. Stalled again, he broke dry and John was at the table.
There was no player, this week, who compared with John's ability to spear in balls, the length of the table, under pressure. Driven by that heart, compounded with his stoic composure, John had negotiated himself to 8-7… and breaking.
Shane was sunk low in his chair. His body language showed signs of defeat. He, like everyone else, after 9 days of torture, was visibly exhausted.
John hadn't broken dry the whole match and he'd gotten, at least, a sighting on the one…until now!
Shane came alive. Was this going to be a repeat of the their BIG Foot 10-Ball match? He, barely, escaped that one after John fought from a 6-1 deficit to hill-hill.
Perhaps, that was the motivation as he, now energized, managed to close out the rack and we were on the hill. I say we, as the room was so still you could hear the proverbial pin drop. Who would prevail? 
Safeties ensued until John kicked off the short rail at the two to leave the cue ball, closely, tucked under a ball snookering Shane. As if jinxed, the two fell in the side pocket and John was now kicking out of his own snooker at the three.
He hit it well only to leave Shane knocking on opportunity's door.
How often have you seen Van Boening, on the hill, not take advantage of an open table? Tonight was no exception. With the adrenalin pumping, he summoned the will to remain calm, ran the rack, and secured his 2nd DCC 9-ball title. And, another $16,000.
John would have to settle for another second yet, he'd definitely added many to his growing fan base. There were heads shaking and murmurs heard throughout the Horseshoe, "What a roll, what a roll:" Pool buffs felt his pain. John responded, "The worst roll was breaking on the hill not getting an open shot on the one."
Not to take anything way from Shane's incredibly consistent performance this week, but, it was close. A couple of millimeters, either on John's break or, that kicked in 2-ball, and there might have been a new DCC 9-Ball Champion.
In the words of the great Buddy Hall, who always put it in perspective when he lost a close one, "Today, it just wasn't my turn."
You can be assured of one thing, both these competitors will be back next year.  I wonder who's turn it will be then?
Congratulations to the worthy Dennis Orcollo who reaped his first Master of the Table title. And, $20,000. He'll be back, too.
And, if that wasn't enough, Dennis also garnered his first 14.1 title by handily beating Russian Konstantin Stepanov, 125-36, in the first George Fels Memorial Straight Pool Challenge.
Diamond thanks Dennis Walsh, ably assisted by Bill Maropulos and Richard Klein, for their contribution to this annual event.
See you next year.

Bad Rolls & Bad Play Dominates Team USA Day One Play

Team USA

Day one of the 2013 Mosconi Cup was a day that Team USA would like to forget. It was a day of bad rolls, and worse than that, bad play for Team USA.

The first three of the five matches of the day saw Team USA get out to an early lead, only to allow Team Europe to grab control of the match and score easy wins for the most part.
A combination of great European shots, poor US play and the pool gods cost Team USA the first match, after leading 2-1 early. 
The second match of the day saw Earl Strickland & Rodney Morris lead Darren Appleton and a less than stellar Karl Boyes 2-0, only to lose the match 6-3 after Team Europe rallied. Any jitters shown by Boyes early were quickly ironed out as he regained his usual form, and Team Europe once again took full advantage of their chances at the table.
Match three might have been the worst loss for Team USA as Shane Van Boening – a shoo-in for player of the year – took on Mika Immonen, who has not shown his usual standard of play outside of Tunica this year. A 2-2 tie was broken by Shane taking advantage of an unforced error by Immonen in rack five and then a break and run by Van Boening in rack six to give Team USA a 4-2 lead. Van Boening had the opportunity to get to the hill at 5-3, but jarred a 9-ball that he would have made routinely any other day and instead, the score was 4-4. That rack would prove to be a difference maker as the match went hill-hill before the pool gods gifted it to Team Europe with an Immonen 9-ball break.
The fourth match followed a noticeable pattern as Johnny Archer & Dennis Hatch stayed close to Ralf Souquet & Niels Feijen early, but faded away later in the match. A 2-2 tie score was broken when Team USA scratched on the break in rack 5 – a mistake that inevitably leads to a table run for the opposition – and then missed a touchy seven ball in rack six. The 4-2 lead proved to be insurmountable for Team USA and Team Europe earned another match win.
Team Europe's Darren Appleton, fueled by the confidence of the overall scoreline, took a quick 3-0 lead over Rodney Morris in match five after early errors by Morris in racks one and three.  Morris then appeared to take control of the match and Appleton was the one making unforced errors as Morris clawed back to within one at 4-3. Morris was unable to capitalize on an error by Appleton in rack eight and Team Europe was on the hill at 5-3. That lead would be too much for Morris to fade and Team Europe completed the 5-0 whitewash to earn them the largest day one lead in Mosconi Cup history.
While Team USA can certainly point to a handful of bad rolls that happened in each match, they also have to look at their inability to capitalize on the errors that Europe has made. Team Europe has looked, for the most part, the more confident team so far. Team Europe may have received some help from the pool gods, but Team USA has given them just as much help with misses at crucial times. Without those misses, Team USA could easily be leading by at least one match going into day two. 
Possibly even worse than the overall score, Team USA looks defeated already. Their demeanor is not that of a team that looks ready to pounce on Team Europe. Undoubtedly every player on Team USA has won many matches where they trailed early and they have all won matches where their opponents got more than their fair share of the rolls. The question now is whether the Americans can do that as a team today. Team USA held a players meeting after the BCA Hall of Fame dinner Monday night, and hopefully team captains Johnny Archer & Buddy Hall found some motivational words to revive the American's confidence. If not, this could be a very short Mosconi Cup event. 

Mosconi Cup 20th Anniversary – Team Europe

The Mosconi Cup is on us again and 2013 is its 20th Anniversary. Who would have ever thought that from its humble beginning back in 1994, that it would be looked at today as arguably one of,  if not THE number one Pool Tournament in the World.
Over the first few years it changed its format several times until it settled on a five man team format, which has become firmly established over the years.
As Team USA has not won the Cup since 2009, this year is being looked upon as the year that the USA Team of Johnny ArcherDennis HatchShane Van BoeningEarl Strickland and Rodney Morris will regain the trophy!!!
Johnny is not only the Captain of Team USA, but is also the joint Team Coach with Veteran Buddy Hall, and it is expected that this vast wealth of knowledge will pull the team to their first win in four years.
However, Team Europe will have something to say to those aspirations I am sure. As the very strong team of Ralf Souquet (GER) – Darren Appleton (ENG) –  Niels Feijen (NED) Mika Immonen (FIN) and Karl Boyes (ENG) will be going forward full steam ahead to win their fourth year in a row!!!
Captain and Coach once again for Europe is Johan Ruysink (NED) looking for his fourth consecutive win!!
“Well, I guess it is a terrible feeling to be picked again after all those years, just kidding!!! 
No, for real, it’s an honor to be invited to represent Europe in this years 20th Anniversary Mosconi Cup. I played in the very first one and this will be my 16th appearance since the start in 1994.
Will it be any different than the ones before? Actually, every Mosconi Cup is somehow different from the others, because you never know what's coming. But, playing in the best event in the World of Billiards makes it always very special.” 
“This will be my 5th straight Mosconi Cup, winning the last 3 years and picking up MVP on the way. I am the only European to play in the last 5 years and am so very proud of that. It feels even more important this year to make the team than any other year, simply because it’s their 20th Anniversary and it’s going to be very special with bigger and better TV coverage and more fans. 
We are playing at a new venue this year and obviously the Americans want the Cup back more than ever, with it being the 20th Anniversary and because Europe has dominated the Mosconi Cup since 2006. Subsequently, they have pulled out all the stops and with it comes all the legends and Champions the USA can muster this year.
It is certainly a great honor to be in that class in European pool with the likes of Ralf and Mika. The Americans have got a very good team, but we are a GREAT TEAM and we work as a unit. Plus there will be no egos in our team and I believe our fundamentals and the break will be just too much for team USA!!
It's going to be very exciting this year, and I will be there at my best!!!!”
1. “The Mosconi Cup is the most prestigious event of the year to qualify for. Everybody wants to make the team and the competition gets harder every year! Since this year is the Legend Edition, I'm even more honored to make the team! This will be my 9th Mosconi Cup and this it’s 20th Year Anniversary makes it something very special! If you start out as a pro, which for me was around 14 years ago, you dream to make the team one day, so No 9 is the bomb!!
2. I think the best moment for me was winning the MVP in Vegas, but also to win the Mosconi Cup for the first time after 3 losses!! My worst memory was the 1-12 defeat in 2001. It was like we didn't even show up! Mika and I won the first match, and then we lost 12 in a row; it was a bad dream 3 days in a row!!
3. Our chances are great again this year. I'm joining 4 tremendous players Darren, Karl, Mika and Ralf and we know how to win! The 5 of us will be a tough cookie group! Then we have the best man to bring it all together, our undefeated Coach Johan Ruysink, who does amazing work with creating spirit, focus and sharpness. You could not ask for a better Mosconi Cup coach!! 
The break this year will be something we have to train hard before the event. The timing of the hit will be crucial to create the right action or have a bum result. Earl Strickland being back for Team USA will be great for the fans and atmosphere! 
Our team spirit and consistency are our strongest point!!!”
“Of course, it's an absolute honor to be on the team, especially as its their 20th Anniversary. Barry Hearn also celebrates his induction to the Hall of Fame, which will be nice to witness. I believe I've been to the Mosconi Cup 14 times before, so this will be my 15th appearance, which gives me a 75%  attendance. 
The Europeans have been very dominating the last few years and I'm determined to play hard to continue on that path. We have a great team again this year. Of course, Johan, the skipper is amazing, too. I am really looking forward to it!!”
“To be picked for the 20th Anniversary Mosconi Cup is such an honor and a privilege. After playing in my first Mosconi Cup in 2010, I realized it's where I wanted to be. To be a part of the European Mosconi Cup Team, and everything that came with it, was an amazing experience and something I will never forget. 
In April 2011 our little girl Georgie J was born and I decided it was time to be a dad, as everyone kept telling me just how precious they are at that age, and how time goes by so quickly. Because of that decision I missed ranking events, and even the events that I attended I was not prepared for, and my rankings dropped!! 
Georgie is 2 years old now and I have seen her grow up on a daily basis, but  had I stayed on the road I would of missed all of this. Now, I am juggling my pool around Georgie.  It's all coming together nicely; I will only play the major tournaments and the ones I like from now on and judging by my results from this limited schedule its been a pretty good year (hence my Mosconi Cup call up)!!!
This years Mosconi Cup will be a very special one, because Matchroom Sports have made sure team USA are bringing there best team. Earl’s back on the team, which will be great for the Mosconi Cup and the fans. He is either loved or hated, but you can't deny he is a genius on a pool table !!
One thing you can be sure of is that this full time papa and part time pool player will be ready!!!!
Imagine if I just traveled playing pool all year round, I’d be dangerous!!!!” 

Dyno Darren joins Euro Squad for Vegas

‘DYNAMITE’ Darren Appleton  becomes the second member of the Mosconi Cup European team as he crowns another successful 12 months with a place among the games’ elite at the Mirage Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas from 2ndto 5th December.

Appleton, 35, will join Ralf Souquet in the line-up for what will be his fifth Mosconi Cup appearance in a row following his debut in 2009.

“I expected it this year to be honest as I’d done well in the Mosconi in the last two years but I wasn’t expecting to get picked so early so I’m very excited about it,” said Appleton.

“I don’t take anything for granted but knew I had a great chance of making the team and joining Ralf.

“It’s my fifth straight Mosconi Cup and I’m the only European to have played in all of the last five so I’m pretty proud of that achievement. I told myself after in 2008 when I didn’t get picked after winning the World 10 Ball, that I’m never going to miss the Mosconi Cup again so I’m really proud of myself.”

Appleton was fairly anonymous on this debut, a losing effort at the MGM Grand in 2009, but bounced back the following year with a storming display in Bethnal Green that saw him snatch MVP honours.

“I didn’t want to be one of those players who maybe plays in it once or twice and then doesn’t play for two or three years. It’s the pinnacle of all players’ careers and at the beginning of the year we have two main goals – to win a major title and get in the Mosconi Cup team at the end of the year.

“I’ve managed to win a major title in winning the World Games gold medal and now I’m in the team for the 20th Mosconi Cup which will be a special occasion so I’m very excited.”

Appleton also played well in ’11 and then last year when he helped Europe to two more victories. It’s been a meteoric rise for the Yorkshireman who made the decision to give up English 8 Ball and try and make his name on the world stage just a few years ago.

“It’s hard to believe five years ago that I would be considered one of the best players in Europe or even the world but I don’t take anything for granted and keep working hard, and keep trying to improve. A lot of people think it all comes naturally but in some ways you have to work harder after success as they’re all after you.

“The Mosconi Cup is a unique event and we’d play even if there wasn’t any money as it’s all about pride and passion, and to be amongst the best players in Europe is a good feeling.

2009 was a great memory even though it was my first year and we lost but I’d watched it on TV for so many years so it was a great to finally be there.

“The following year in London I got the MVP award and that has to be one of my biggest achievements. It was just the way I played as I couldn’t have played any better than I did that week and my best personal moment was when I beat Dennis Hatch on the Saturday night, the atmosphere was crazy, absolutely amazing!”

Despite a solid run of wins for the Europeans, Appleton is taking nothing for granted when the two sides meet once again in December.

“I know I’ll bring a lot of heart because that’s what gets me through a lot of matches. I always bring a lot of passion and let my emotions out in the arena. I’ll be in tip top shape as the Americans will have a great team this year.

“They’ve brought Johnny Archer in as playing captain which is a good idea and Buddy Hall is one of the most well respected people ever with American fans and that will encourage their team. This year, they’re playing good and I think this could be the most exciting yet!”

The Mosconi Cup takes place at the Mirage Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas from Monday 2nd to Thursday 5th December and features two five-man teams representing the USA and Europe.

The Europeans are the defending champions, having won 11-9 in London last December, their fifth win in six years.

 Tickets are available from (Search ‘Mosconi Cup’) or directly from the Mirage on (+1) 702 792 7777 or 1-800-963-9634.

*This is the sixth of 11 announcements naming the two 2013 PartyPoker.netMosconi Cup teams.

The 2013 Mosconi Cup is delighted to work with our valued suppliers –Diamond Billiards: Tables; Iwan Simonis: Official Cloth; Aramith: Official Balls and Predator: Official Cue.

Archer set for record-breaking 17th appearance

Johnny Archer

AMERICAN pool legend Johnny Archer will be making a record-breaking 17th consecutive Mosconi Cup appearance when the 20th anniversary event takes place in Las Vegas in December – with the added pressure of captaining the American side.

The 44 year-old from Georgia, who went undefeated at last year’s event, winning five out of five matches, has a huge job ahead of him as he attempts to lead the US to victory for the first time in four years.

“I am so excited and I feel like I’m playing better now than I ever have in my career,” said a delighted Archer. 

“It is very important for the US to win this time because we haven’t won since 2009 and we need to establish ourselves again as the dominant team, just like back in the 90's.”

Archer has been on the winning side on nine occasions and sports a playing record of 44 wins from 79 matches, one win behind Ralf Souquet’s all-time record of 45.

With the European crowds having played such a big part in previous years, Archer is determined that the American fans will play a similar role at the Mirage.

“Hopefully, the American crowd will be our sixth man because they can put a lot of pressure on the European team, the way they do to us every time we’re in Europe. I have many plans and we are going to be doing some things a whole lot different than in previous years,” he added.

The Mosconi Cup takes place at the Mirage Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas from Monday 2nd to Thursday 5th December and features two five-man teams representing the USA and Europe.

The Europeans are the defending champions, having won 11-9 in London last December, their fifth win in six years.

Due to the added workload of being a playing captain, Archer has opted to include American pool legend Buddy Hall as his assistant captain. The Rifleman has never competed in the Mosconi Cup but the Hall of Famer has had a glittering career at the top level and will know the American team as well as anyone.

"It is an honour and a privilege to be chosen to be a part of such a wonderful event and I am so excited to be Vice Captain of the USA team. We will do whatever it takes to bring the Mosconi Cup back to USA where it belongs,” said Hall.

"It will be my pleasure to team up with Johnny Archer to take back what is ours and that is the Mosconi Cup. I know we are going to have a lot of fun but we are there to do just one thing and that is to win!” concluded Hall.

Archer added, "Buddy Hall is the greatest player that I have ever played. I still get really nervous even today when I am around him. He is my hero but as great a player that he is, he is a much better person.

“It is an honour for me to call him my friend and he will bring knowledge, experience, laughter, and confidence to the USA team which is what we really need this year.”

Tickets are available from (Search ‘Mosconi Cup’) or directly from the Mirage on (+1) 702 792 7777 or 1-800-963-9634.

*This is the second of 11 announcements naming the two 2013 Mosconi Cup teams.

The 2013 Mosconi Cup is delighted to work with our valued suppliers –Iwan Simonis: Official Cloth; Aramith: Official Balls and Predator: Official Cue.