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Imran Majid Player Interview

Imran Majid with a couple fans

With the lack of events to report on at the moment, we are teaming with the Supr Charged Agency to feature interviews with various European and American players. Hopefully this will give all of the readers a chance to get to know these players better. 
This time, we have The Maharaja, Imran Majid.
Name (and nickname): Imran Majid (The Maharaja)
The Maharaja means Indian king. A lot of people say I am the best Indian player in the world!!
Age: 47
City: London, UK
When did you get your start playing pool?
I started playing snooker first at the age of 13. I have five 147 breaks and I have beaten Stephen Hendry and Mark Williams in tournament play.
Who was your inspiration/idol when you were young?
Stephen Hendry was my idol when I was young.
Why Stephen Hendry?
Hendry took the game to the next level and invented 'one visit' snooker. He used to kill off a frame in one visit more regularly than anyone else! He also had a great temperament and his technique was outstanding!
Who do you admire amongst today's players?
I admire Alex Pagulayan because he is an all rounder, very good at all games.
Who is the next big thing in pool today?
In pool today, I think the next big thing is Joshua Filler. Well, he is already big.
What are your greatest accomplishments?
My greatest accomplishments are firstly making the Mosconi cup team,  and then winning the World Team Championships and then winning a couple of Eurotour stops.
How big was it to get picked for the Mosconi Cup team?
It was massive for me to be selected for the Mosconi cup. I was ranked number 2 in Europe at the time. That's why I was selected. It's the biggest stage in the world of pool so I was over the moon to be selected.
Tell us about the experience of playing it.
The experience was to be honest quite unexplainable. I was playing for my continent and also my self dignity and pride. I wanted to test myself on the big stage and I passed the test with flying colours. I was under pressure a lot and was shaking but I handled the pressure very well. I beat Johnny Archer 7-2 in my singles and beat Earl Strickland and Rodney Morris in the doubles with my partner Nik Van den Berg. Strickland and Morris were undefeated in 6 Mosconi doubles matches previous to this, so it was extra sweet! 
How often did you practice at an early age and how often now?
When I was younger I used  to practice nearly everyday for 5 to 6 hours. These days I don't practice as much because I simply don't have the same energy as before. I practice maybe 4 times a week these days but I do a lot of coaching which keeps me in touch with the game. My memory gets refreshed a lot when I'm teaching so it's a good thing!
Do you use drills when you practice?
I don't do too many drills. I prefer playing people or playing the ghost. I have beaten all the ghosts from 9-ball up to 15-ball. It took me 7 months to beat the 15-ball ghost so I was very happy to beat it. I play snooker once a week as well, which keeps me in good stroke! Before a big tournament though, I will do some standard drills and practice the break a lot.
What should newcomers practice most?
Newcomers need to play a lot more big tournaments…throw themselves in the deep end. That's how they will improve and gain experience quickly. 
 What are newcomers doing wrong?
Some very good players lose matches because their break is weak!
What should advanced players practice most?
Advanced players should practice the break shot more as it is the most important shot in the game! 
What is the strongest part of your game?
I don’t really have too many strengths or weaknesses. I am pretty good all round.
What is the weakest part of your game?
Maybe I could improve my kicking skills a little.
Is fitness important for pool players?
Yes, I think fitness is very important in all sports. I have been to the latter end of many big tournaments, for example the US Open and World Championships, but I think my fitness level hurt me because I seemed to lose energy! I think it's unfortunate for my pool career that my wife is a great cook and makes an awesome chicken curry…lol!
What is your favorite game?
My favourite game is 10-ball and I also love one pocket but it's unfortunate not too many people play it in Europe. 
What are the 3 most important factors in a players game?
I believe that the 3 most important factors in pool are:
Self control first. Self control is 10 times more important than cue ball control!
Discipline – If you are playing pool at a high level you should treat it as a profession and do the right things on and off the table!
Self belief- You won't get anywhere if you don’t believe in yourself!
 Who has the best stroke in pool today?
I think Joshua Filler has the best stroke in pool today. He can generate a lot of power effortlessly. He is a total natural talent and I believe he will dominate for many years to come!
How is your mental strength?
My mental fitness is quite good. Darren Appleton once told me I have very good composure, maybe one of the best in the world! I do work a lot on my mental game and also teach it a lot. I'm not scared to play anyone and don't get phased in pressure situations!
Do you have any advice/tricks for players?
Advice/tricks I can give is to follow your dreams and goals … don’t let anything get in the way!
Before a big match or tournament dont think about pool. Do something different like listen to music, watch a film or simply hang out with friends. Save your mental energy for the pool match ahead!
How important is the equipment?
I don't think equipment is that important. A good player can play with anything to a certain extent. For example, I saw Joshua filler win the China Open with a carbon fibre shaft, then after the tournament literally threw it in the bin. He then changed back to wood and won a couple of more major events!
Do you use TAOM because they are a sponsor, or because you like their products?
I use Taom products because they are extremely good. I especially like the new Fusion tips and the pyro chalk is a good combination with it.
What in your opinion is required to be a good ambassador/sponsored player?
A good ambassador for any company should promote the brand to their full potential. Advertising logos for any brand is massive so a sponsored player should always make sure the logos are intact when playing. Feedback about equipment is very important to any company, so keep them up to date with feedback…but truthful feedback. If you don’t like a product for some reason, you should tell the sponsors and maybe they can engineer the product to improve it.
What should the billiard industry do to get more recognition outside the industry? 
I think the billiard industry should raise the profile of the game to attract external sponsors. Things like players wearing waistcoats and bow ties…also WWF style introductions to matches can all make pool more appealing to companies outside the industry. Maybe have a speed gun on the break as well, it all adds to great viewing for audiences!
Thoughts on Matchroom and their efforts to make pool great?
Matchroom are a blessing for the pool industry. They have put some second tier sports such as darts and poker on the map! They are the best sports promotion company in the business and we should work with them to make pool great! They are increasing prize money so it can only help players and the industry.
You do a lot of commentary, do you enjoy it?
Yes I do a lot of commentary, mainly for the Eurotour and some World Championships.
I enjoy it a lot and people give me good reviews about my commentary because I have the technical knowledge and can spice it up as well!
It also helps me to read the tv table to see how it is breaking, etc.
I can also promote my sponsors while commentating which goes out to a massive audience reach. That is good for my sponsors!
Recently, I have taken on a new commentating venture which is in the Oslo billiard centre in Norway. I commentate on the one and only Bragging Rights Challenge…lol!!
So yes, it’s a lot of fun and I enjoy it…I may be working with Kozoom in the near future.
Tell us about your 2019 goals and results
My 2019 season wasn't that great…had some personal problems. My only real notable result was 9th place at the US Open where I beat some great players en route. 
My goal is to win a major event, which I am still trying for. Perseverance is the key and I will continue to pursue my goals,  and I will succeed!!!
Was getting picked for 2019 Mosconi Cup a goal?
Yes, being selected for the Mosconi Cup was one of my goals! Not just a goal, but the ultimate goal!
Your thoughts on the outcome of Mosconi Cup 2019?
I feel that Team EUROPE missed a trick in 2019 with their team selection, especially for the doubles. There was a loophole with the fans choice and Johan spotted it and took full advantage. I think Alex Lely will do a great job now for team Europe and I predict they will win this time in 2020
You play lots of events in Europe these days.
What's the main differences between events in Europe and the US?
I feel that events in Europe have more strength in depth. For example, there are probably about 75/100 players that could win a Eurotour event, but a similar tournament in the USA could only have 10 possible winners. Players in Europe are willing to travel abroad a lot more to play tournaments so they will gain experience quicker…i think this is the underlying factor!
Goals for 2020
My goal for this year will remain the same to try and win a major, but with the current virus situation it looks like a lot of events will be postponed!
This is a bit heart breaking, because I have put in a lot of practice recently!
Who will win these majors this year? 
– World Cup of Pool
I think Austria will win the Cup again…they are built for this particular tournament!
– US Open
I will win the US Open this year!….gotta be positive right?
– 9-ball WC
The WC is open to maybe 100 players to win. If I had to guess, maybe it's Svb's time!

Matchroom Pool Launches World Rankings

Matchroom Pool has today launched its own World Rankings as well as Team EUROPE and Team USA rankings for the partypoker Mosconi Cup.
The Matchroom Pool World Rankings consist of major events from around the globe, while the separate European and USA Team rankings include all World Ranking events as well as additional events from across Europe and USA respectively.
For Team Europe, the top three players on the European Ranking will automatically qualify for Alex Lely’s team. On the American Ranking, the top two players will join Jeremy Jones’ roster for their title defence in London this December.
World Rankings
The Matchroom Pool World Rankings are split into six tiers based on a number of factors including total prize money, added money and tournament format. The Matchroom Pool World Rankings will be used as guidance when inviting players for World Cup of Pool and World Pool Masters, and as one of the rankings to determine seedings for the US Open 9-Ball from 2021.
A full list of events and the rankings so far can be found here:
A points breakdown of points awarded per event can be downloaded here:
Team Europe Rankings
Unlike previous years, there will only be one European ranking list. This is a combination of the World Ranking events and smaller events played in Europe, including all Euro Tour events. The rankings have been restricted to include six tiers, however no event receives fewer points than previously.
A full list of events and the rankings so far can be found here:
Team USA Rankings
As with the European Ranking, this is a combination of the World Ranking events and smaller events played across America. A list of American events will be published in due course.
Emily Frazer, Matchroom Multi Sport COO, said: “Global expansion of professional pool is our aim at Matchroom Pool and launching our own World Rankings is a key part of us achieving our vision. Owning five of the majors within the sport allows us to push pool to boundaries it has never seen before. Standard of play is strengthening, and younger, motivated players are travelling and now on the scene, however there is not many a player out there earning a real decent wage from the amount of events on the current circuit.
“Introducing rankings firstly gives players the opportunity to rightly earn their place in our own events on merit, encouraging more players to travel to various events. Secondly, we are focused on our tiered system ensuring that organisers and promoters are adding the maximum prize money, as well as motivating others to get involved and introduce new tournaments. Points have not always been rewarded appropriately according to added money or level of organisation and or production.
“This is a work-in-progress but we are confident we have a firm base structure to start with. It is time for us all to improve the level of our pool events and give our professional athletes a realistic chance to earn a career and for us in turn to build this fantastic sport.”
Any promoter wishing their event to be considered as a Matchroom Pool ranking event should contact

Europe Retain The Atlantic Challenge Cup

T. Brikmanis, D. Siranchuk, M. Nguyen, W. Zielinski, S. Pehlivanovic, C. Froehlich and J. van Lierop

Team EUROPE retained the Atlantic Challenge cup for the fifth year running, beating Team USA 11-4 here in Treviso Italy. The best youth players from either side of the Atlantic met up for the fifth edition of this prestigious event, and they did not disappoint the fans with their performance. The score line flatters Europe a little because there were some very close matches that could have gone the other way with a bit of luck from the pool gods, but it wasn’t to be.
After the first day’s play left the Americans with a mountain to climb and trailing 6-1, day two was a different story. April Larson started the morning session for team USA with a great win over the strong My Nguyen 6-1. This win lifted team spirits and showed a glimmer of hope, but Europe were never going to surrender their strong lead and took the next match to lead overall 7-2. Aryana Lynch picked up another point for team USA in the afternoon session, but it was sandwiched between two wins for team Europe which put the score at 9-3 for Europe.
The Evening session loomed, and team USA needed to win two of the three scheduled matches to keep day three alive, and any hopes they had of taking the cup back home as well. It was a partnership of April Larson and Ricky Evans who took the first point of the evening and the crowd were hoping for one more point to see us into day three. Europe had other plans and made sure there is a free day to enjoy their victory and closed out the last two matches to retain the cup for a fifth successive year.
Launched by the European Pocket Billiard Federation and the Billiard Congress of America in 2015, the Atlantic Challenge Cup pits the best of youth from Europe and America in a Mosconi Cup style event in a race to 11 with a possible 21 matches in total. Six players on each team, four boys and two girls, will battle it out to see who will have the bragging rights across the Atlantic. 
More information can be found at or visit the official Atlantic Challenge Cup Facebook page.
Press release issued by the EPBF Press office, contact

USA Are Partypoker Mosconi Cup Champions

Team USA (JP Parmentier – Matchroom Multi Sport)

Team USA 11-8 Team EUROPE
Billy Thorpe 5–3 Jayson Shaw
Tyler Styer 1-5 Eklent Kaci
Shane Van Boening 5-3 Alex Kazakis
Skyler Woodward 5-3 Joshua Filler
Team USA retained the partypoker Mosconi Cup with an 11-8 success over Team Europe on Thanksgiving at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino Convention Center, Las Vegas, live on Sky Sports and DAZN.
The American side, aiming to repeat their win in London last year, began the final day with an 8-7 lead and made an early statement of intent as Billy Thorpe beat Jayson Shaw, the decisive moment coming in the seventh as Shaw punched the 3-ball to the top pocket but saw it rattle the draw, allowing Thorpe to take the rack and run out for victory in the next.
Eklent Kaci hit back in style for Europe, defeating Tyler Styer 5-1. Momentum swung back to the home side when Shane van Boening defeated Alexander Kazakis 5-3, taking America to the partypoker Mosconi Cup hill at 10-8.
Next up was Joshua Filler for Europe, with many expecting him to narrow the deficit. But Skyler Woodward relished the occasion and was celebrating with the crowd on their feet before he had even played the 5/9 combination for a 5-3 victory which sealed the cup and his own second successive Most Valuable Player title.
“Today I came out focussed, ready to play and I had a feeling I would be playing Filler,” said Woodward, who earns an invite to March’s World Pool Masters as MVP. “From the beginning I said I wanted to play Filler.
“I wouldn’t rather have a different team. We lost eight in a row but we won two in a row. This is the best team we could have and we are all good friends. I wouldn’t rather have anybody else backing me up than these guys.”
Thorpe added: “I knew I was going up against one of their best players, Jayson like Josh has so much firepower. I knew I had to come out, stay swinging and not let up on my stroke. We will be ready next year to defend the trophy. We will all be ready to go overseas and make it three years in a row.”
Justin Bergman, who would have faced Niels Feijen had Europe won another point, said: “I was ready to play but I told the guys to finish them off. I didn’t think I was going to play because I believed in them but I was ready if I was needed. This is the best team I have ever been on so I had a good feeling all week.”
van Boening said: “It was 2009 the last time we won a Mosconi Cup at home, and without all the fans’ supporting we wouldn’t be here. This group is probably the best team I have ever played with. We have a great friendship, great chemistry and it is an unbelievable team.
Styer said: “This team has such a good balance, we all get along and there is no better group to do it than this. Johan has been getting us up early, doing everything together, and we are brothers now.
Coach Johan Ruijsink commented: “We had great support. Happy Thanksgiving! This was by far the hardest one to win. They had a great side, it is hard to be in America with all the pressure of winning last time. Last year was 9-6 on the last day but this time was 8-7 but we had a good line-up, came out strong and it was a good win.
“Last year was a bit of a surprise to Europe and we caught them off guard. This year they were prepared and we had extra pressure. This year was about handling the pressure, being in Vegas with all of its distractions and we came through. Every year will be a great fight every single year.
“I couldn’t have done this without Jeremy Jones. We are a great team. He is the perfect connection between me and the players and he has been in this arena as a player, which I haven’t.”
European captain Marcus Chamat said: “We came here to USA ten days ago. We have stuck together for the whole ten days, we came here as a team and we will leave here as a team. We stood beside each other the whole time and I am really proud of this team. Things weren’t going our way and Joshua put up some great performances. Without him it wouldn’t be 11-8.
“I want to thank all the fans, American and European fans, who have helped make this amazing event. The American players put in an amazing performance.”
The 2020 partypoker Mosconi Cup will take place at Alexandra Palace, London from Tuesday, December 1st until Friday, December 4th next year, with tickets on sale to Matchroom Pool Club members from midday next Monday, December 2nd and will go on general sale at midday on Tuesday, December 3rd 2019.
The 2019 partypoker Mosconi Cup is partnered by Rasson Billiards who supplies the Official Table; the cloth is supplied by Iwan Simonis and Saluc is the Official Ball Provider. Predator is the Official Cue of the event, Kamui the Official Chalk and Tip and Ultimate Team Gear provide all partypoker Mosconi Cup apparel. CSI is the official sponsor of Team USA and Just Eat sponsor Team Europe.
Follow the partypoker Mosconi Cup on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram. For all the latest event news please visit

European Youth Team Wins Two Out Of Three Titles

Tomas Brikmanis, Moritz Neuhausen, Valeriia Trushevskaia, Sanjin Pehlivanovic, Jonas Souto, Gabi Ham

The European Youth squad won two out of three titles during the recent WPA World 9-Ball Championships. Moritz Neuhausen (GER) took the title in the Under 17 division while Jonas Souto (ESP) defeated Sanjin Pehlivanovic (BIH) in the final of the Under 19 division. Valeriia Trushevskaia (RUS) won the bronze medal in the girls division.
The WPA Youth World 9-Ball Championships 2019 were held in Nicosia, Cyprus. Team EUROPE consisted of 7 local players plus 13 players from the EPBF nomination system. The team was accompanied by the Youth Sports Director of the EPBF, Tomas Brikmanis from Estonia and Germany’s Gabi Hammer. The nominated players through the EPBF were:
My Nguyen (SWE), Aleksandra Guleikova (RUS), Valeriia Trushevskaia (RUS), Nina Torvund (NOR) and Bojana Sarac (SRB)
Emil-Andre Gangfløt (NOR), Dominik Jastrzab (POL), Szymon Kural (POL) and Moritz Neuhausen (GER)
Christoffer Lentz (DEN), Froehlich (GER), Sanjin Pehlivanovic (BIH) and Jonas Souto (ESP)
The draw was generally not in favour of the Europeans since they played each other pretty early during the event. However, the result is more than successful for team Europe. The nomination of the players took place after this year’s European Youth Championships in Veldhoven, The Netherlands. The EPBF covered all costs for players and both coaches such as travel, transfer and daily allowances. Hotel costs were covered by the organiser so all participants were able to have all costs being taken care of.
In the Under 17s, there was no real favourite before the event. Neuhausen, who took the title in the end was among the stranger players together with Joey Tate (USA) and Khalid Alghamdi (KSA). The field however was pretty levelled and saw many close results. To his horror, Neuhausen lost his first round match to Alghamdi with 6:7. He had to go to the loser’s side straight away. There, he eliminated teammate Szymon Kural 7:2 and whitewashed Haydar Capo (CAN) 7:0. In the loser’s qualification round, Neuhausen once more had a close encounter. He barely stayed alive against Dominik Jastrzab and won 7:6 to advance to the single elimination stage. There, he took down Yushi Muramatsu (JPN) 9:0. He went on and took revenge from Alghamdi, winning 9:6 in the semi-final. The final match was won by Neuhausen with 9:5 over Huan Fu (CHN).
In the Under 19s, Jonas Souto funnily enough also lost his opening match. He fell to the sharp blade of Shamir Tremus (CURACAO) with 5:9. Then he took down Stylianos Loukaides (CYP) 9:1 to then eliminate last year’s Champion Makheal Parris (USA) 9:5. The victory in his next match with 9:8 over Lukas Fracasso-Verner (USA) booked Souto a seat in the single elimination stage. He continued his quest to take down Kaiden Hunkins (USA) 11:8 and Robbie Capito (HKG) 11:9 to enter the final match against teammate Sanjin Pehlivanovic. Some favourites like Christian Froehlich and Robbie Capito started their tournament out very well but their performance went down towards the end of the eevnt. Pehlivanovic and Souto were the last two athletes standing in the Under 19 division. The final match turned into a thriller one more time with Souto having the better ending on his side. 11:9 was the final result that brought the title for the Spaniard.
The girls division saw a deserved victory of Yi-Hsuan Lu (CHN). The Chinese dominated the field together with last year’s runner-up Seoa Seo (KOR). Lu finally defeated Sea in the semi-final with 9:7. Valeriia Trushevskaia lost her semi-final match also 7:9 to Tamami Okuda (JPN). In the final match, Lu defeated Okuda 9:5.
Stated EPBF Youth Sports Director Tomas Brikmanis after the event: „The end result for team Europe was very good. 2 golds out of three is a fantastic result. Unfortunately, some players were not able to get medals, but this is sports. Maybe high hopes did not help Emil Andre Gangflot, My Nguen and Christoffer Lentz. There is a good potential with Alexandra Guleikova and Bojana Sarac and both polish athletes. If they get some experience, then I am sure they will win something in the future.“
The President of the EPBF, Gre Leenders, congratulated also all participants for a great job representing Europe: „Looking at the results of the EPBF delegation I can only congratulate all athletes with their achievements. 2 Gold medals (U17) & (U19), 1 silver medal (U19) and one bronze medal (Girls), is a proof of the high playing level these young athletes already have. The competition is not easy with high quality athletes from continents like Asia and North America. Also the “younger” continental bodies like Latin America and Africa presented already a good level of athletes. These results also mark that the structures, build in the 40 years history of the EPBF, are working. The work done in the national federations is very important and the seamless cooperation between the National EPBF Federations and the EPBF itself does help these young athletes to develop in the best environment. Therefore, we must also express our appreciation towards these National bodies who are responsible for this tremendous job. Congratulations also to all our EPBF members.“

USA Lead Dramatic Partypoker Mosconi Cup By One

Skyler Woodward (JP Parmentier – Matchroom Multi Sport)

Van Boening/Woodward 5-1 Filler/Kaci
Skyler Woodward 5-3 Niels Feijen
Woodward/Styer 5-4 Kaci/Kazakis
Shane Van Boening 0-5 Joshua Filler
Bergman/Thorpe 4-5 Shaw/Feijen
Team USA lead the partypoker Mosconi Cup 8-7, setting it up for a dramatic Thanksgiving finale at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino Convention Center, live on Sky Sports and DAZN.
The day began with the scores at 5-5 and USA extended that to 8-5, with Skyler Woodward involved in all three wins. A Joshua Filler inspired Europe fought back though as the German beat Shane van Boening 5-0 before Jayson Shaw and Niels Feijen won a hill-hill thriller against Justin Bergman and Billy Thorpe that had it all and sparked wild European celebrations.
USA Coach Johan Ruijsink had scheduled Woodward to play in each of the day’s opening three matches, starting with a doubles pairing alongside Van Boening, with Filler and Eklent Kaci in opposition.
The Albanian carried the adrenaline of the walk-on into his break and scratched to the middle pocket, handing early initiative to USA. Europe’s next shot was their break at 2-0 down, but they couldn’t capitalise, and the rack went to USA. Kaci and Feijen took the fourth but a poor Filler push out gave America control of the fifth and they duly moved to the hill.
Breaking for the match, Woodward had the 8 down but Van Boening was left unsighted on the 1. No problem, though, for the South Dakota Kid, who jumped the 3 to cut the 1 to the top corner and America were perfect from there to move 6-5 ahead.
Woodward remained at the table to face Feijen, who was yet to find his stroke this week. The Dutchman looked to be staring down a 3-0 deficit when Woodward missed an uncharacteristic 9-ball and Feijen was able to put a three-pack together for the lead. But if any confidence was being built by the four-time MVP, it wasn’t able to grow any further. Woodward ran the sixth rack and a dry break by Feijen in the seventh was his last shot of the match as the Kentucky Kid, who is fast becoming ‘Mr Mosconi’ for Team USA, cleared the table twice for a 5-3 win and a 7-5 US lead.
That heaped pressure onto European pair Kaci and Kazakis, who were out next in doubles against Woodward and Styer. The Euro duo were both losing debutants last year and Kazakis had struggled so far this week too.
An American break and run in the first rack served to increase the decibel level from the US audience, but Europe took the next two for the lead. A fluked 3-ball – an attempted Kaci jump to the bottom corner which clipped the draw and screwed diagonally to the top corner – set Europe on their way to 3-1.
They reached the hill with a three-rack advantage, but a dry Kaci break handed an opportunity to USA, and Styer and Woodward took two racks to close to 4-3. Another European dry break brought the US duo straight back to the table and they gave the crowd the second hill-hill match of the week.
When Styer missed a tough cut on the 1, things looked promising for Europe. Kaci left Kazakis a 3-ball which was straight, but with the cue ball against the side rail on the jaw of the middle pocket. It was the kind of shot you need to make to win Mosconi Cup’s, but what followed was a Kazakis miss which was symptomatic of his struggles at this competition over the last two years, and it meant Europe were 8-5 down. Woodward had the final 9 and before shooting it urged the Mandalay Bay crowd to its feet. To a man, they obeyed, and gave perhaps the week’s loudest raw as the new yellow and black Aramith 9 hit the bottom of the pocket.
“I said to Tyler, anything can happen – they won four in a row, so can we,” said Woodward, who was involved in all three US wins. “MVP would be nice but I don’t care about that as long as we win. I don’t care who is MVP, let’s just get the cash! It is a huge point. We will win the session before and it’s a big confidence booster for Shane coming in now.”
Both captains went strong with their next singles picks, giving the fans what they’d voted for on day two. The Fans’ Choice saw Filler win 5-1 on Tuesday and Europe were desperate for the repeat. In this match, it was America looking for revenge.
Filler, though, was in no mood for a US party. He won the lag and first rack and as he gained position on the 9 in the second, he turned to the home crowd and put his finger to his lips.
It was his performance, though, that would silence the American fans. The German lost control in the next rack but when Van Boening’s 3-ball cut missed the top corner, Filler was straight out of his seat, ran around the table and completed the rack in no time at all.
Van Boening’s next break was dry but Filler missed a 4-ball jump. The South Dakota Kid, though, left an easy 6 in trying to play safe. He’d intended to tie it up with the 9 on the bottom rail, but it didn’t hold and was left invitingly over the pocket. The rack was Filler’s and he was on the hill.
The fifth rack turned out to be the last one of the match and though it wasn’t without drama, it was what happened after the handshake that had America infuriated.
Van Boening left the arena, and Filler turned to his fans. At that moment he spotted his picture, complete with a crown on his head, on the big screen and turned back to the American side of the auditorium, asking ‘Who is the King, who is the King?’ USA Coach Johan Ruijsink urged him back to the European side, where captain Marcus Chamat lifted Filler into his chair to receive the adulation of the travelling support.
“The fans make this event so specially but when I am in the arena there is no time for respect,” said Filler. “I respect Shane as a player and everybody said he is the king but I had to show everybody that I am the King now.
“We were three points behind but now just two, and we are getting closer. The last match is so important for us if we can go to just one point behind. Tomorrow is all singles matches and I see us as having a big advantage in the singles.”
The final match of the night dished up one of the most dramatic finishes to a day’s play the partypoker Mosconi Cup has seen. From 3-0 and
4-2 down, Feijen and Shaw drew level with Thorpe and Bergman and the final rack was huge; 9-6 or 8-7 going into day 3. The break was USA’s and, hooked on the 6, Thorpe played a superb bank to the bottom corner. It was a great shot under pressure, but it left Bergman a tricky 7, which the Illinois man missed. With the 8 already down, Shaw and Feijen just had one ball each remaining and as the Dutchman sealed the point, European celebrations began.
“There was a tonne of pressure,” said Feijen. “I was struggling the first two days and every little thing that goes wrong you get punished severely. We didn’t do a lot wrong but we were down 3-0 so the heat was on right away but we stuck with it, played some really nice shots, quick wins and the crowd were unbelievable.
“This was a monster win. When Billy got hooked at 4-4, he made a tremendous bank but the shape was tough on the 7 and Justin had a lot of pressure on him.”
“It is a big win and we are only one point down now with all singles to play tomorrow. It’s game on,” added Shaw. “Last year we were three down going into the last day and we came back strong. One match changes everything and there is a lot of pressure out there now, so tomorrow the singles will be massive.”
The 2019 partypoker Mosconi Cup concludes on Thursday with a maximum of six singles matches. The first team to 11 will take home the trophy.
The 2019 partypoker Mosconi Cup is partnered by Rasson Billiards who supplies the Official Table; the cloth is supplied by Iwan Simonis and Saluc is the Official Ball Provider. Predator is the Official Cue of the event, Kamui the Official Chalk and Tip and Ultimate Team Gear provide all partypoker Mosconi Cup apparel. CSI is the official sponsor of Team USA and Just Eat sponsor Team EUROPE.

Partypoker Mosconi Cup All-Square After Day Two

Team USA’s Skyler Woodward and Billy Thorpe

Team USA 5–5 Team EUROPE
Shane Van Boening 1–5 Joshua Filler
Van Boening/Bergman 5-1 Shaw/Filler
Tyler Styer 1-5 Eklent Kaci
Thorpe/Woodward 5-1 Feijen/Kazakis
Shane Van Boening 5-1 Alexander Kazakis
The 26th partypoker Mosconi Cup is all-square at 5-5 between Team USA and Team Europe after the second day of play at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino Convention Center, Las Vegas, live on Sky Sports and DAZN.
USA won the day 3-2 to tie the tournament, with the first team to reach 11 points to take home the trophy. Despite how close the overall score is, many of the matches haven’t followed suit. Only one went hill-hill on the opening day and all five ended 5-1 on day two.
Shane van Boening was scheduled to play two singles and a doubles on Tuesday, but lost his first match to Germany’s Joshua Filler. The South Dakota Kid then paired with Justin Bergman to beat Filler and Jayson Shaw in doubles before Tyler Styer fell to Albania’s Eklent Kaci.
USA took the final two points of the day as Billy Thorpe and Skyler Woodward teamed up to defeat Niels Feijen and Alexander Kazakis before Van Boening, who had opened the day, returned to face Kazakis in the afternoon’s closing match. The home crowd were full of hope that their star man would level the tournament at 5-5 and they weren’t disappointed.
“We wanted to make sure we got it as close as we could and I am glad we got it to 5-5,” said Van Boening as the American half of the crowd chanted ‘S-V-B’.
“I have been playing the Mosconi Cup for 13 years and it is really tough to play in this atmosphere, but these guys are doing a great job for us. They depend on us but we are depending on them too.”
The day opened with the Fans’ Choice match. Over 10,000 votes were cast online and the result pitted Van Boening against Filler; a blockbuster.
Van Boening won the lag but scratched on the break and didn’t return to the table until his next break. By that point he was 2-0 down to the World Champion, who still hadn’t missed a ball in the tournament.
The South Dakota Kid didn’t have a shot on the 1 from his next break so pushed out. Filler invited Van Boening to play and his subsequent shot left the 1 visible for the German, who executed a fine safety shot. From that, Van Boening left Filler a straight-forward cut and from there it was a roadmap to 3-0. 
Van Boening looked set to get on the board when Filler broke dry on the fourth. It wasn’t an easy clearance for the American but he shrugged off the pressure and was left with a simple 9 from almost on it’s spot to the corner, but it rattled the jaw and a gasping home crowd had to watch on as Filler made it 4-0. The fifth rack did belong to Van Boening but it wasn’t enough as Filler soon completed his assertive 5-1 win.
USA fired back in style in the day’s second match. Van Boening held his nerve early as he made a tricky 9 to banish the ghosts of the previous match to give him and Bergman a 2-1 lead over Filler and Shaw. They ran the next rack and moved to the hill at 4-1 before closing out the point in the sixth as Van Boening urged on the loud US crowd.
“That is a great match to win,” said Van Boening. “They had Filler back-to-back and we had to stop him.”
Bergman added: “That’s a huge point. We could have been down 5-2 so we had to win that. We have Shane out three times today and nobody wants to play against him, nobody.”
Europe’s two-point advantage was soon restored though as Kaci put in one of the performances of the tournament so far to beat Styer 5-1, continuing his side’s perfect singles record. It was a poignant victory for the Albanian after a deadly earthquake hit his home nation in the early hours of Tuesday.
“Every match is important but this was a good win because it could have been 4-4 but instead we lead 5-3,” said Kaci. “I have all of my family in Albania and in the last 24 hours there has been a big earthquake and a lot of aftershocks, some of them big ones. Many buildings have been destroyed, many people have died, many people are injured and many have not yet been found. I am grateful to be here but I am praying for all of Albania and especially my family, I am glad they are ok.”
Kazakis won the lag in the day’s final match and took out the first rack. It should have been two after a Van Boening scratch on the break, but the Greek missed a straight down-table 6 and the match was level. From there, Van Boening didn’t look back and dominated the match for a 5-1 victory to tie the partypoker Mosconi Cup at 5-5, setting up the final two days for what could become one of the best Cups in its 26-year history. Play continues at 11am PT on Wednesday with five more matches.
The 2019 partypoker Mosconi Cup is partnered by Rasson Billiards who supplies the Official Table; the cloth is supplied by Iwan Simonis and Saluc is the Official Ball Provider. Predator is the Official Cue of the event, Kamui the Official Chalk and Tip and Ultimate Team Gear provide all partypoker Mosconi Cup apparel. CSI is the official sponsor of Team USA and Just Eat sponsor Team Europe.

Europe Fight Back For Partypoker Mosconi Cup Lead

Team Europe’s Alex Kazakis and Jayson Shaw

Team USA 5-1 Team EUROPE
Van Boening/Styer 5-4 Feijen/Kaci
Billy Thorpe 0–5 Joshua Filler
Woodward/Bergman 1-5 Kazakis/Shaw
Justin Bergman 3–5 Jayson Shaw
Team Europe overturned a 2-0 deficit with a string of dominant performances to lead Team USA 3-2 after the opening day of play in the partypoker Mosconi Cup at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino Convention Center, live on Sky Sports and DAZN.
USA had won the team match and the first doubles as Shane Van Boening and Tyler Styer beat Eklent Kaci and Niels Feijen. Joshua Filler fired back emphatically for Europe, beating Billy Thorpe 5-0 before Alex Kazakis and Jayson Shaw were 5-1 victors over Skyler Woodward and Justin Bergman. Shaw and Bergman remained at the table for a singles clash, in which the Scot ran out a 5-3 winner to give his side the lead.
Europe won the opening rack of the first match, but USA then took the next five for the point. Shaw, however, was unhappy in the fourth when he was convinced that Bergman had fouled the 9-ball when trying to escape a safety. The decision went to the video reply but no foul was called and 32-year-old Bergman, making his first partypoker Mosconi Cup appearance since 2016, took the rack for a 3-1 US lead. His Scottish opponent was left reeling at the call which meant he didn’t have the opportunity to level at 2-2.
The home lead was extended to 2-0 after Van Boening and Styer teamed up to defeated Feijen and Kaci 5-4. The first four racks went with the break until Styer missed a routine 4 in the fifth, allowing Europe to steal. Feijen, however, errored himself in the next and parity was restored when the US pair pounced after the Dutchman had hit the 1-ball thick, leaving it hanging over the pocket.
Both teams then took advantage of their next break for the first hill-hill match of the tournament. USA had won the lag but couldn’t make the 1. Feijen had a down table pot but missed, allowing Styer and Van Boening to clear and double USA’s advantage.
“I am happy to get the win there,” said Styer. “I missed a ball which isn’t acceptable at this level so they will be pretty hurt that we could still win a match like that. We want to win every match if possible. We have to make up for the years where we have lost.”
Europe may have been two down, but they had their trump card to play next. Since missing out on last year’s Mosconi Cup, 2017 MVP Joshua Filler has become World Champion, US Open Champion and the undisputed World No.1.
He was walking next, to face Thorpe, who won the lag but scratched on the break. That allowed the German to lead, an advantage which he doubled off his own break. Rack three saw Thorpe lose the cue ball on the break again and Filler wasted no time in making it 3-0.
It was soon 4-0 as Filler ran out his next rack. Breaking to stay in it, Thorpe avoided the scratch but his lack of table time was evident as he missed the 3. The European crowd finally found its voice, singing Filler’s name as he completed a 5-0 whitewash to get the visitors on the board.
The away side dominated the next match, too, as Shaw and Alexander Kazakis took a 5-1 win over Bergman and Woodward, setting it up for what was anticipated to be an epic closer between Bergman and Shaw.
The Scot took the lead after a Bergman scratch handed control to the European, and off his own break Shaw made it 2-0. The lead was extended further after a poorly executed jump by Bergman, and Shaw took advantage of his own break for a second time to make it 4-0.
Bergman was on the board when he broke and ran the fifth and he had the home support on their feat as he took the sixth to cut Shaw’s lead to 4-2. The Illinois man was breaking next and ran out to crank up the pressure on his opponent. But pressure wasn’t a factor for Shaw, who ran his rack to give Europe the overnight lead.
“I have felt good all day but the butterflies have been there so I had to try and keep myself calm and composed,” said Shaw. “We didn’t start off great and they played well in the first match and in the doubles.
“Going 2-0 down, Josh had to go out and perform and I knew I had to go out and perform in those last two matches. There was a lot of pressure there but we play all year for this. Even though we are nervous we still get down and knock the balls in. It is great in here. The fans are going crazy. It is good to have USA on one side and the European support on the other.”
Play continues at 11am PT on Tuesday with five more matches including the ‘Fans’ Choice’ match to open the day.
The 2019 partypoker Mosconi Cup is partnered by Rasson Billiards who supplies the Official Table; the cloth is supplied by Iwan Simonis and Saluc is the Official Ball Provider. Predator is the Official Cue of the event, Kamui the Official Chalk and Tip and Ultimate Team Gear provide all partypoker Mosconi Cup apparel. CSI is the official sponsor of Team USA and Just Eat sponsor Team Europe.

Teams Clash at Partypoker Mosconi Cup Press Conference

Play beings 11am PT
Team USA vs Team EUROPE
Van Boening/Styer vs Kaci/Feijen
Billy Thorpe vs Joshua Filler
Woodward/Bergman vs Kazakis/Shaw
Justin Bergman vs Jayson Shaw
Players from both teams cranked up the war of words ahead of Sunday’s partypoker Mosconi Cup press conference, less than 24 hours before play begins at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino Convention Center, Las Vegas, live on Sky Sports and DAZN.
The two team captains revealed their line-ups for day one at the press conference, before players from both sides stoked up the heat. It came two days after a fiery ‘Face Off’ between the two captains, in which USA Coach Johan Ruijsink challenged European Captain Marcus Chamat’s wildcard selections.
Chamat, however, responded at Sunday’s press conference and highlighted his record as European Captain since taking the reins in 2015.
“The Face Off was something different,” said Chamat. “I didn’t expect him to speak like this. This is my fifth year as a captain. In the first three years, it was 12 sessions to me, none to USA. Now it is 13 to me, three to USA. That speaks for something. You compare the teams? You cannot compare humans to lions.”
The tournament begins on Monday with five matches. The traditional team match will raise the curtain on the 26th annual partypoker Mosconi Cup. That will be followed by a doubles match which sees Shane Van Boening and Tyler Styer take on Eklent Kaci and Niels Feijen. Styer defeated Feijen in what many believe was a crucial singles win on day one of last year’s Cup, but the Dutchman isn’t reading too much into that.
“Everybody who thinks the win was over-hyped needs to watch the match again,” said Styer.
“He knows who his daddy is,” replied Feijen. “Over the years, the quality and shot making I have seen with this European team is frightening. The shots they go for and they make is intimidating as hell, it is pure quality. With my experience we have a great team.”
Monday’s third match will see Billy Thorpe take on World and US Open Champion Joshua Filler, before Skyler Woodward and Justin Bergman face Alex Kazakis and Jayson Shaw.
The day’s play will conclude with Bergman against Shaw. That means US No.1 Van Boening will only play one doubles and the team match on day one, with Coach Ruijsink perhaps saving him for a big day two.
“Winning last year was probably the best feeling ever,” said Van Boening. “You are trying to win for the team and everybody is depending on me to make that shot. It was the most pressure I have ever felt. We are trying to move forward from last year’s event and bring that into this year’s event.
“Who is their weakest player? I think all of them in my opinion. If we played race to 100, none of them would have a chance. They don’t mean anything to me at all.”
The 2019 partypoker Mosconi Cup will take place at Mandalay Bay Resort, Las Vegas this November 25-28, live on Sky Sports, DAZN and networks around the world. Tickets now sold out.
The 2019 partypoker Mosconi Cup is partnered by Rasson Billiards who supplies the Official Table; the cloth is supplied by Iwan Simonis and Saluc is the Official Ball Provider. Predator is the Official Cue of the event, Kamui the Official Chalk and Tip and Ultimate Team Gear provide all partypoker Mosconi Cup apparel. CSI is the official sponsor of Team USA and Just Eat sponsor Team Europe.

Bergman Completes Team USA

Justin Bergman (JP Parmentier – Matchroom Multisport)

Justin Bergman has been named as the fifth player to join Team USA as they defend the partypoker Mosconi Cup at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, Las Vegas, this November 25-28, live on Sky Sports and DAZN.
Bergman put in a stellar performance at last week’s International 9-Ball Open, beating big name players on his way to a fourth-place finish; the best placed American player in the field.
The 32-year-old made his partypoker Mosconi Cup debut in 2014 and will be making his fourth appearance at the annual USA vs Europe showdown later this month. He joins Shane Van Boening, Skyler Woodward, Tyler Styer and Billy Thorpe on the team.
Explaining the decision to select Bergman, coach Johan Ruijsink said: “When I started with my campaign to win the Mosconi Cup with Team USA in 2017 I knew it would be hard to accomplish that win. I told the players and Jeremy that there were a lot of worst-case scenarios and just a couple of best-case scenarios.
“Last year we found a best-case scenario – which was absolutely amazing – but I also realised that it was not achieved solely on our own merit. We took advantage of some of the bad shots of Team EUROPE and in order to repeat the win I thought we would have to show more dominance in some of our matches.
“So we started this selection process with Team USA, under the guidance of Jeremy, in order to see if we could find a challenger for the 2018 winning team. Supported by the BCA, Predator and CSI we started that process, which saw Max Eberle as a surprise winner over Justin Bergman, Chris Robinson and Mahkeal Parris.
“We announced four players after the international trip (mainly in Russia) and the last spot would be decided after the International Open.
“During the international Open two things occurred; one, The Europeans showed that they are in great shape, conquering the first three places, and two, only one American was able to rise to the occasion, which was a player from the original challenger group: Justin Bergman. Beating John Schmidt, Hunter Lombardo, Liu Re Teng, Albin Ouschan, Alex Pagulayan, Thorsten Hohmann, Shane van Boening and Ko Pin Cheung and coming in 4th, was a run that was hard to ignore. Not only the place he finished, but also the list of absolutely world-class players made us decide that he would be a real added value to this year’s team.
“It is incredibly hard to make a decision like this. On paper it might look like the obvious choice, but I had to eliminate two great players, who fought hard and travelled the world in order to make the team. I know it hurts and doesn’t do just to Corey Deuel and Max Eberle. I am very grateful for their efforts and their input. But in the end I am not in the business of keeping everybody happy, It is my task to create the best possible team in order to have a chance to repeat our win, which will be hard enough in any case.
“So we picked Justin Bergman and welcome him to the team.
“‘One of the best players after the break’ is a remark I have heard a lot. So we will work on that break in this last stage. He already played in a couple of Mosconi Cups and has shown he can handle the pressure that comes along with the event. He is very motivated and with his humble attitude he will fit perfectly in this year’s team. In the last year we had a couple of conversations, in which he was very open and respectful to me. That showed me he trusts me to work together. Also, the other players on the team are happy with him being on the team, so I am confident we can build up towards a great performance at the Mosconi Cup.
“His talent and the quality of his game is undoubtedly up there with the best, he just didn’t always give himself the opportunity to shine. I believe this year he wants that to change. He wants to shine and he is very motivated to support the team and help us to do create another "best case scenario". I have high hopes that this year and this experience will bring out the best of him for now and for the future. He deserves that, America deserves that.
“We are counting on huge support for him and team USA, we need the crowd to go wild and silence the European fans.
“We can’t wait to get started. Let’s bring it on! Go USA!”
The 2019 partypoker Mosconi Cup will take place at Mandalay Bay Resort, Las Vegas this November 25-28, live on Sky Sports and DAZN. Tickets are available now at Prices start at $48 per day with silver season tickets at $161. Additional gold seating has now been released with day tickets at $70 and a season ticket available for $239.
VIP Platinum packages are available priced $225 per day or $950 for all four days and include a breakfast buffet, unlimited drinks, VIP seating in the front three rows and much more.
The 2019 partypoker Mosconi Cup is partnered by Rasson Billiards who supplies the Official Table; the cloth is supplied by Iwan Simonis and Saluc is the Official Ball Provider. Predator is the Official Cue of the event, Kamui the Official Chalk and Tip and Ultimate Team Gear provide all partypoker Mosconi Cup apparel.