Archive Page

A little Mosconi Cup History

This year, the Mosconi Cup will be held at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas December 8th-11th 2011. The very first Mosconi Cup took place at the “Rollerbowl” in Romford, near London in 1994, with a team of eight format, comprised of six men and two women. The European team being made up of mainly famous snooker players, and the now world famous Allison Fisher was one of the ladies on that first Mosconi side – and was still two years away from becoming a star on the US Nine Ball scene.
To date, the score line on this prestigious event is USA 11 and the Euro side 5 with one draw (12-12 in 2006). Following the tied match in 2006, the European side won the next two years running – 11-8 in 2007 and 11-5 in 2008 – and went into the 2009 Mosconi at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas as clear favorites. Things did not go their way in 2009 and the US side came out the victors with a score line of 11-7 in their favor. But in 2010 the Euro side yet again came out the victors when they met in The York Hall in London with a score of 11-8
This year Team USA will be out to avenge that loss, and will definitely have the home crowd advantage. The arena at the MGM Grand will have an even bigger seating capacity (500) than previous years with 100 seats being added at the last minute to accommodate the rush for tickets at this exciting event.
Last years event was held at The York Hall, in Bethnal Green, London. A venue that is noted for showcasing World Championship Boxing matches and is famous for its partisan crowds. Last years event was no exception and the home crowd definitely had a bearing on the outcome. Even the mighty Dennis Hatch had trouble rousing his troops and was out shouted at every quarter.
This year, Team USA has a new non playing Captain in Charlie Williams who has played 6 times on the Mosconi Cup, and I am sure will bring a breath of fresh air to Team USA. Charlie has a great record of getting the best results out of his pupils, and I know that the US Team are very much behind their new Captain.
On paper this years event is a close call because of the extent of the talent that is abundant on both sides. This is clearly two of the most star studded sides that have met to fight out a Mosconi Cup. In my opinion, the home venue advantage for the US Team is huge, and even though the talent looks pretty even, it will be interesting to see how the Euro boys react to the partisan US crowd.
My guess is that the Euro side will try to show the US Team – and the crowd – that they do not need fans and will do their talking with their sticks, and will silence the crowd every chance they can.
|5563|I do know that both teams have a true leader on their team, with Johnny Archer playing his 15th consecutive appearance and Ralf Souquet (who is a machine of late) making his 15th appearance (although not consecutive). Their team mates will be looking for inspiration from them and you can be assured that they will get it.
Last year I said that who ever got out of the gate first would probably be the winner. Well, I was wrong last year as the Team USA started strong and went into the lead for the first two days, yet floundered down the stretch and came out the losers. This year I will only say that I think the sides are pretty evenly matched, yet I think the majority US crowd will play a big part in the proceedings. (OK, I am hedging my bets !!)
Chris Melling, the rookie on the Euro side this year, will be out to show the crowd and the cable viewers that he has a game that they will remember. This kid did not get to be the European point leader for nothing, and loves to strut his stuff in front of the cameras. I predict that every one will be talking about Master Melling after the week is over. He is a phenomenal potter of the ball from his snooker background, and has improved his knowledge of the 9 ball game over the last two years tremendously.
The USA’s rookie is Mike Dechaine, who is also an aggressive player and does not know there is a word in the dictionary called safety. If it goes in a pocket he will attempt the shot. I am expecting a lot from Mike and I know that Mike is expecting a lot from Mike. I guarantee we will see some fireworks if the two rookies meet one on one, and personally I can’t wait!
The other four players on both teams have an arsenal of experience, with Johnny and Ralf having appeared 15 times each in this competition. It will come down to the old adage that the trophy will go to the guys that want it the most.
The event is being played on a DIAMOND TABLE this year, for the first time in eighteen years. The table that is designed for the players by the players. I guess we will have to see how this goes down with the players. (I already know what the losers are going to say, Lol.)
|5537|This year is also a first on the refereeing front with USA’s Ken Schuman coming on board to share the stage with Michaela Tabb. Ken will be the first to admit that he is not as pretty as Michaela, but he has every other credential needed and is a great addition to the proceedings. Ken is an accomplished referee and tournament director with many years of experience to draw on.
Finally, I must mention that we all know that the Mosconi Cup is probably the biggest and best event in the world, and I would like to pay tribute to two people that have been on board at Matchroom Sports from the conception of this event back in 1994. Who knew then that it would grow to what it is today? They are Luke Riches and Sharron Tokley, who have lovingly nurtured this Barry Hearn idea into a reality.
It started with two 8 person teams, six men and two women, and endured a few face lifts along the way, until it changed to five men per team in 2007. Comprising of the best players from Europe and the USA. An event that has every player worth his salt frantically trying to get on the team. They play their hearts out throughout the year to earn Mosconi Cup points, until they hopefully get the nod in early November, that lets them know that they have made the dream team.
I know from talking to the players that every one of them is proud to represent their country, and the two rookies still do not really know how they will react when they finally step into the arena, or should I say “The Lions Den”.
Good luck and may the best team win!
|5555|Shane van Boening – 5th consecutive appearance 2007 to 2011
Shawn Putnam – 2005 & 2011
Mike Dechane – making his first appearance 2011
Johnny Archer – 15 consecutive appearance in the Mosconi cup 1997 to 2011
Rodney Morris – 8th appearance on team, 03, 04,05, 06, 07, 08, 10, & 11
Chris Melling (ENGLAND) – making his first appearance 2011
Darren Appleton (ENGLAND) – 3rd consecutive appearance 2009, 2010, & 2011
Ralf Souquet (Ger) – 15th appearance on team, and did not play in 1995, 2004, 2005
Nick van den Berg (NED) – 5th appearance on team, 02, 03, 06, 10 & 11
Niels Feijen – (NED) – 8th appearance 01, 04, 05, 07, 08, 09, 11
The Mosconi Cup was first played in 1994 at the “Rollerball” in Romford, near London. The first year it was an eight person team, comprised of six men and two ladies.
|5866|Ralf Souquet (GER) – Steve Davis (UK) – Lee Tucker (UK) – Oliver Ortmann (GER) Tom Storm (SWE) – Jimmy White (UK) – Franziska Stark (GER) & Allison Fisher (UK)
Lou ButeraPaul GerniBobby HunterDallas WestMark Wilson – Mike Gulyassi – Jeanette Lee & Vivian Villarreal
Johnny Archer (USA) with 15 straight from 1997 to 2011
Earl “The Pearl” Strickland (USA) with 13 straight from 1996 to 2008
Steve Davis (UK) 11 straight from 1994 to 2004
Ralf Souquet (GER) 15 appearances played from 1994 to 2011 missing 95, 04, & 05
Mika Immonen (FIN) 14 appearance 1996 through to 2006 (missed 2007) then 2008 to 2010
Oliver Ortmann (GER) 8 times 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2002, 2004
Niels Feijen (NED) 7 appearances 2001, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 11
Rodney Morris (USA) 8 times 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 11
Corey Deuel (USA) 7 times 2000, 2001, 2002, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010
Jeremy Jones (USA) 6 times 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2008
First year 1994 the format was eight players per team, comprising 6 men and two women
For the second and third year 1995 and 1996 it changed seven men per team
In 1997 it changed to six men per team up until 2006
In 2007 it changed to the present format of five per team