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Longoni 9-Ball League Semi-Final Line-Ups Set For Slovenia

The Longoni 9 Ball League reconvenes at the end of this month in Lasko in Slovenia and is now down to the semi-finals which both take place on 30th September. The event got underway in February at the same Slovenian venue and the event has featured 12 nations playing in four groups of three teams. The format is scotch doubles and the two representatives of each country have been the two highest ranked players on the Euro Tour prior to each round of matches.

With group play complete, there are four teams remaining and they compete in two semi-finals with the prize of a spot in the title match which takes place in Italy prior to the final Euro Tour event of the year. The opening match will see Spain take on Bosnia & Herzegovina in the first Longoni 9 Ball League semi-final which gets underway at 20:00 local time.

With the EuroTour rankings determining the players in each team during the course of season, the ever-reliable Spanish duo of Francisco Sanchez-Ruiz and David Alcaide have stayed at the top throughout. Ranked No.1 and No.8 respectively, they are, understandably, hot favourites for the title.

Standing in their way are Bosnia’s young talented team of Sanjin Pehlivanovic and Ajdin Piknjac who are currently ranked at No.25 and No.45. The pair have played all matches together and, in the process, have defeated two strong teams already in Greece and Norway. That means the Spaniards will need to come with their best to negotiate the tie.

With its scotch doubles format, the Longoni 9 Ball League now becomes a race to 9 for the semi-finals with alternate break and alternate breaker. The second semi-final, scheduled at 21:30 local time, features Poland against Germany.

Germany’s top ranked player, with a host of titles to his name this year including gold at the World Games, is Joshua Filler (ET ranked No.3) and he will be partnered by the improving Tobias Bongers (ET No.20) as they attempt to overcome the strong Polish pairing of Wiktor Zielinski and Wojciech Szewczyk.

Zielinski (ET No.2) and Szewczyk (No.10) have gelled perfectly over the two matches they’ve played, beating Austria and Italy in the group stage. Germany, however, have seen a change of personnel, as Filler and Thorsten Hohmann started the campaign but Bongers produced the better results on the EuroTour to take the spot and has not looked back.

Each team, having won their respective group, will now play for a place in November’s final and a shot at the first prize of 3900 Euro. Add that to the group earnings and the eventual champions will collect a cool 4500 Euro for playing four matches. The runners-up receive 2500 Euro plus group earnings and as with all the teams, the total prize money will be divided into match shares with one share for each team appearance.

Following the semi-finals, the final will take place on Friday 25th November in Treviso, Italy.
Matches can be viewed live on the free Kozoom platform, TV.kozoom as well as on the Longoni 9 Ball League & EPBF Facebook pages.

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Longoni 9 Ball League – With Semi-Finals Set, Players Jostling For Position

With the semi-final line-up now determined in this year’s Longoni 9 Ball League, it’s now down to the players to perform well in Petrich this weekend on the Euro Tour in order to retain their places in their respective teams for the semis which take place in Lasko, Slovenia on the 30th September.

Spain will take on Bosnia & Herzegovina while Poland face Germany and it’s these last pairings where the two-man teams can really change. The players are chosen via their current rankings on the Euro Tour prior to the League matches and Poland’s Radoslaw Babica is hot on the heels of ever-present Wojciech Szewczyk.

Wojciech, currently ranked No.7, has partnered Wiktor Zielinski (No.2) in the group stages but Babica can gate-crash the party with a better result at this week’s Euro Tour stop in Petrich, Bulgaria. Currently ranked No.12, the veteran Pole needs a good result, and additionally needs Szewczyk to come a cropper in order to overturn a 130- point deficit.

Players earn an equal share of the prize money when they participate in the team so the results on the EuroTour are important. Commented Babica, “I never want my fellow countrymen to fail or have a bad time, I’ve just got to perform better than Wojciech here in Petrich and earn my place in the team. It will be difficult but I’m always ready for a challenge. I wish him well but I’m determined to do my best and partner Wiktor in the semi-finals in Lasko”.

The German team has already changed in the group stages with Thorsten Hohmann partnering Joshua Filler in the first group match. Then Tobias Bongers, who is currently ranked No.18, overtook Hohmann to play the second group match, and he now looks safe to continue that into the semis barring a disaster here in Petrich.

Hohmann is not competing this week, so it’s down to Ralf Souquet to give chase. Sitting in 29th spot, Souquet is 210 points adrift of Bongers and realistically needs to finish in the top four here, and rely on Bongers to leave the field early.

The semi-final line-up is:

Bosnia & Herzegovina v Spain
Poland v Germany

Following the semi-finals, the final will take place on Friday 25th November in Treviso, Italy.

Matches can be viewed live on the free Kozoom platform, TV.kozoom as well as on the Longoni 9 Ball League & EPBF Facebook pages.

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Predator Germany Open Reaches Single Elimination

Petri Makkonen

The Predator Germany Open has reached the single elimination stage after players battled through the last double elimination rounds of the Pro Billiard Series event on Thursday.

Austria’s Jasmin Ouschan had to win through three rounds and will now face two-time Pro Billiard Series champion Kelly Fisher in the quarter-finals of the Women’s Division.

The Open division moves to single elimination for the last 32 and Germany’s World Junior Champion Moritz Neuhausen won 4-3, 4-1 against Hong Kong’s Ip Tung Pong to make it five players from the home country to reach the second stage. Ralf Souquet had won through the winners’ side of the bracket and will now face Mahmut Sami Koylu of Turkey. Can Salim also came from the winners’ side and will face German countryman Tobias Bongers, who scored a win against Vincent Gomez to reach the single elimination phase. Yuma Dorner is the fifth German into the last 32 and will play Mateusz Sniegocki.

Both divisions of the Predator Germany Open have added money of €45,400 and both champions will earn €20,000, along with a spot at the 2023 World 10-Ball Championship for the Open winner and a spot in the 2022 World Women’s 10-Ball Championship for the Women’s Division winner.

In the Women’s Division, Ouschan won a shootout against Kim Witzel and then defeated Angeline Magdalena Ticoalu to meet Amalia Matas for a place in the quarter-finals. Matas already has a Women’s EuroTour title this year but her run in Germany was ended with a straight-sets defeat to Ouschan. Germany’s Veronika Ivanovskaia is drawn against Bojana Sarac.

Among the players to reach the final 32 of the Open division is Finland’s Petri Makkonen, a winner on the EuroTour in 2015. He had been defeated on the first day of play by Saudi Arabia’s Khalid Alghamdi and the Finn then had to battle through three rounds on the losers’ side, which culminated in a shootout against Alex Montpellier of France.

Makkonen won the first set 4-2 but France’s Montpellier, who came to the losers’ qualification round after a shootout defeat against Pijus Labutis, took advantage of Makkonen’s struggles in the second set to win 4-1. That was the end of the tournament for Montpellier, as Makkonen regrouped and didn’t miss in the shootout while his French opponent missed on each of his last two innings.

Play resumes at 9am local time in Bremen, Germany, and Friday’s play on the TV table will commence with Nick van den Berg facing Mickey Krause.

Follow @probilliardseries on Facebook, @probilliardseries on Instagram or @PBilliardSeries on Twitter to follow the next events.

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Longoni 9 Ball League – Round Three Preview

The Longoni 9 Ball League, a brand-new scotch doubles tournament, continues in Sankt Johann Im Pongau, Austria with the final group matches. Playing out on the 23rd June at 20:30h, the evening will feature matches between Norway & Bosnia Herzegovina and Poland v Italy, followed at 21:30h by Spain v Albania and finally Serbia v Germany.

The top-ranked athletes from the current EPBF EuroTour standings compete in a team scotch doubles format. 12 teams compete in four groups of three teams, with the group winners progressing to the final stage and the team finishing bottom, relegated from next year’s competition.

With the EuroTour rankings determining the teams, Germany’s Tobias Bongers moves ahead of Thorsten Hohmann, after his 5th place finish in Italy, and will partner Joshua Filler in their match with Serbia. Having beaten Estonia in the first round, the German duo will seal a semi-final berth with a victory over Serbia’s Aleksa Pecelj and Andreas Klasovic.

Francesco Candela remains the top Italian on the EuroTour rankings and he will again be partnered by Fabio Petroni who just bettered Daniele Corrieri with a 33rd place finish in Italy. Petroni sits just one place and 15 points above Corriere in 37th place on the overall ranking. The Italians have a tough match they need to win against Poland’s hot properties, Wiktor Zielinski and Wojciech Szewczyk, who eased past Austria in the opening round 7-3.

With the group winners advancing to the semi-finals, it’s all to play for and a few groups could end with a tiebreak if the results go that way. For this to happen in their respective groups, Albania would need to beat Spain, Serbia beat Germany and Italy conquer Poland. This scenario would force a tiebreak in their respective groups.

That would see all three teams in the group go head-to-head at the next EuroTour stop in Bulgaria in August in a race to 7 racks with both advancement and relegation determined.

Greece are the only team already relegated from next year’s Longoni 9 Ball League having lost their opening two matches. This leaves Bosnia & Herzegovina and Norway in a straight shoot-out for a place in the semi-finals which take place on Friday 30th September in Slovenia.

The Longoni 9 Ball League, promoted by the Longoni Group is a team event consisting of the two highest EuroTour ranked athletes from 12 nations competing in a scotch doubles group format. Matches can be viewed live on the free Kozoom platform, TV.kozoom as well as on the Longoni 9 Ball League & EPBF Facebook pages.

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Gorst Fights Back To Get World Pool Championship Defense Off To Winning Start

Fedor Gorst

Fedor Gorst survived a huge scare in the opening match of his World Pool Championship defence as he fought back from 5-1 and 6-2 down to defeat Estonia’s Mark Magi 9-7 at Marshall Arena, Milton Keynes.

Jayson Shaw found himself 6-0 down against World Under-17 champion Moritz Neuhausen of Germany. But the former US Open champion and current Mosconi Cup MVP, being watched by European captain Alex Lely, wasn’t going to lie down and began a confident fightback, winning eight racks without reply. The German youngster cut the deficit to 8-7 with Shaw on the hill but the Scot wrapped up the match 9-7.

There were also opening session wins for Predator Championship League Pool winner Albin Ouschan, who beat Fabio Petroni 9-5, and Finland’s Mika Immonen who beat Kristina Tkach 9-4 having been 3-1 down early on.

The World Pool Championship opens with a double elimination group stage, so those who have already won one match are one away from reaching the last 64. Those who lost their opening fixtures play again on Monday, against another player who has suffered defeat and the loser will be eliminated.

Former World Champion Thorsten Hohmann came through a hill-hill finish against German compatriot Tobias Bongers, and World Under-19 Champion Jonas Souto Comino of Spain inflicted a 9-3 defeat on Karol Skowerski.

Alex Kazakis, who was recently crowned World Pool Masters champion, was up against his mixed-doubles partner Kelly Fisher, the Women’s World Champion, and the Greek star was a 9-1 winner.

Gorst had twice been four racks down on the TV table at the start of the session, but took five in succession to lead Magi 7-6. The defending champion missed a 9 to reach the hill, but having levelled at 7-7 Magi didn’t take another rack and Gorst won 9-7. He’ll face Mark Gray for a place in the last 64.

The World Pool Championship continues at 6pm (UK) time on Sunday, June 6 and is broadcast live on Sky Sports, DAZN and Matchroom.Live. Live scoring as well as complete tournament results and match schedule can be found at www.matchroompool.com.

Gray Overcomes Maciol In Tough Thriller

Daniel Maciol (left) and Mark Gray

In a tight match, Mark Gray (GBR) overcame Daniel Maciol (POL) in winner’s round 2 of the Dynamic Billard Veldhoven Open 2019 with 9:7.
 
The match started out much better for Maciol than it did for Gray. After three racks, the Polish was leading 3:0 with Gray not having much to say in the match. But then he seemed to find his rhythm and pulled back some racks from Maciol, tying the match at 3:3 after 6 racks. Then the match went along with both players winning their respective racks until the scoreboard displayed 6:6. At that time, Maciol went fir his time out. Maybe he should not have done that because he seemed to struggle with his break shot afterwards. Gray made use of that and capitalised from Maciol’s weakness and went on the hill with 8:6. Maciol managed to pull another rack from Gray before the Brit was able to finish the match with 9:7 over Maciol. That puts Gray into the winner’s qualification round while Maciol needs to go over the loser’s side now.
 
Another remarkable match was the encounter between Mario He (AUT) and Tobias Bongers (GER). The Austrian was the definite favourite in the match though the German did have some promising appearances in the past. However, He performed totally flawless while Bongers struggled with his break shot. Therefore, Mario He was able to gain an early advantage in the match which he was bale to keep and secure it to the end of the match. 9:4 was the final result which put Mario He through to winner’s round 2 while Bongers went to the loser’s side.
 
Some female contestants started their day quite strong this morning. Jasmin Ouschan (AUT) defeated Mats Schjetne (NOR) 9:3 while Valeriia Trushevskaia (RUS) took down Krystian Cwikla (POL) 9:6. Elise Qiu (NED) won 9:6 over her opponent Remy Penmellen (FRA). Kristina Tkach (RUS) was a bit unlucky in her match when she scratched with only the 8-ball and the 9-ball left on the table at a score of 8:8. She attempted to play the 8-ball over one rail with the cue ball remaining safe in case the ball would not go in. but she drew in straight into the corner pocket. So she suffered a narrow 8:9 loss against Johannes Gehe (GER).
 
Every day, up to two matches will be streamed LIVE over the EPBF Facebook page. Check for updates and announcements.
 
The Dynamic Billard Veldhoven Open are played in the NH Conference Centre Koningshof in Veldhoven, The Netherlands, on up to 24 tables which are all streamed LIVE throughout the whole event. In order to be able to follow all the action LIVE, premium membership can be obtained at www.kozoom.com. Once a premium membership is held, all events for the respective period of time can be viewed LIVE. Additionally, a huge video gallery is contained in the website.
 
The event is hosted by the European Governing Body for Pool, the European Pocket Billiard Federation (EPBF) and organized by International Billiard Promotion (IBP). For further information and reference please go to the federation website www.eurotouronline.com or visit us on Facebook for regular news clips or contact our press office press@epbf.com.

“Business as usual” for most favourites in Treviso

Left to right: Mario He, Wiktor Zielinski, Eklent Kaci, Denis Grabe and Albin Ouschan

The first day of the Dynamic Billard Treviso Open 2018 did not provide too many surprises.
 
#1 of the Euro-Tour rankings Eklent Kaci (ALB) had a walk in the park today. Smooth and easy victories over Finish young talent Micke Strom (FIN) with 9:0 and Wilhelm Georg (GER) 9:3 did not take too much of an effort from Kaci. The Albanian will meet Mariusz Skoneczny (POL) tomorrow at 14:00 in the winner’s qualification round.
 
Just like Kaci, Mario He (AUT) was not really challenged today. He played Germany’s Thomas Lindloff and delivered almost perfect pool. „I’ve barely seen such perfect pool“, stated Lindloff on his facebook page after the match. „Mario has not missed any shot until he was 7:0 ahead of me, including 4 jump shots.“ „What a performance from Mario!“ He will play Daniele Corrieri (ITA) tomorrow morning at 09:00 local time in winner’s round 2.
 
Albin Ouschan (AUT), Mario He’s teammate and friend, also did not undergo too much pressure today. He wasted no time against Eric Geppert (ITA) 9:1 and Michele Bianchi (ITA) 9:3 and will now join Kaci in the winner’s qualification round. His opponent there will be Radoslaw Babica (POL).
 
Wiktor Zielinski (POL), currently ranked #4 in the Euro-Tour rankings, was the exception to the rule today. The young Polish lost his opening match surprisingly clear against Germany’s Tobias Bongers with 4:9. On the loser’s side, Zielinski took down Jere Virtaranta (FIIN) 9:3 and is now up against Giovanni Di Martino (ITA). Zielinski will need to win many more matches to make his way to the round of the last 32 players single elimination. However, last year in November he demonstrated almost perfect pool here in Treviso so everyone knows that Zielinski is capable of coming back and far from being eliminated yet.
 
Denis Grabe (EST), who is currently on 5th place in the rankings, had two tough opponents today. In his first match, he had to deal with Henrique Correia (POR) who is always good for a surprise. Today, Grabe remained the upper hand and took the match 9:7 against the Portuguese senior player. Then Grabe went up against Imran Majid (GBR) in winner’s round 2. He quickly gained the lead in that match and achieved a 7:3 advantage over „The Maharaja“. Majid tried to come back but his attempt failed. After 13 racks, the match was over with a clear 9:4 victory for Grabe. The Estonian will now be up against Mieszko Fortunski (POL).
 
Friday through Sunday, EPBF will show two feature matches LIVE on the EPBF Facebook page. The complete tournament is shown on kozoom.com for premium pass holders.
 
The event is hosted by the European Governing Body for Pool, the European Pocket Billiard Federation (EPBF) and organised by International Billiard Promotion (IBP).  Play starts Thursday at 09:30 local time, for further information and reference please go to the federation website eurotouronline under the Eurotour tab. You can also visit us on our Facebook page or check out the EPBF YouTube channel for regular news clips or contact our press office press@epbf.com.

Malai Ends Peeters’ Hopes at the Dutch Open

Malai

Nick Malai (GRE) ended all hopes of Rene Peeters (NED) at the Dynamic Billard Dutch Open by winning 9:5 in the loser’s round, eliminating Peeters from the event.

 

Malai has just recently changed his nationality from Albanian to Greek. This tournament is the first occasion where he plays for as Greek and he is still a hot candidate for surprises at anytime and any event. Today, Dutch senior player Rene Peeters was his victim. However, after ten racks the match was still square with a score of 5:5. Then Malai went for a toilet break. When he came back, he managed to get a small advantage over Peeters. The match suddenly slid to Malai’s side and Peeters couldn't do anything against it. He was only able to watch Malai snatch rack after rack from him, winning the match with 9:5.

 

Other remarkable results from tonight’s losers round matches include Can Salim-Giasar (GER) winning with 9:3 over Juan Carlos Exposito (ESP). „The Terminator“ Niels Feijen (NED) ousted Pierfrancesco Garzia (ITA) with 9:4 and will now face „The Lion“ Alex Pagulayan (CAN) in the loser’s round 3 at 10:30 CET. Mark Gray (GBR) is still fighting his way through the loser’s round. Today, he won over Dave Sel (BEL) and Kevin Becker (GER), both matches 9:1. He will meet German junior player Tobias Bongers tomorrow morning at09:00 CET. Euro-Tour’s Nr. 1 player Nick Van Den Berg (NED) also still has a word to say in the tournament. His first loser’s side match went 9:6 in his favor over Sweden’s Daniel Tangudd.

 

The tournament will continue tomorrow morning at 09:00 CET.

 

Three out of 11 tables can be watched LIVE throughout the event on www.kozoom.com. The event will be hosted by the European Pocket Billiard Federation EPBF and organized by International Billiard Promotion, IBP. For further information, please check the event website at www.eurotouronline.com or contact the EPBF press office at press@epbf.com

Germany’s Lackner & Scharbach Book Tickets to New York for ANDY CLOTH World Tournament of 14.1

The owners of brand-new Berlin-based pool hall Bata Bar & Billards didn’t think about it too long when they got the chance to host the only European qualifier for the prestigious ANDY CLOTH 74th World Tournament of 14.1. And so it came that 18 of the top european players met last weekend to fight for two spots for New York and 800 Euro each for travel expenses. The qualifier was played with a double elimination format, races to 125.
 
Fans and players can attend the once a year special event August 4th-9th, 2014 at Steinway Billiards Cafe or watch online at www.worldstraightpool.com . It will be a star studded gala with billiard super stars such as Mika Immonen, Shane Van Boening, John Schmidt, Stephan Cohen, Johnny Archer, Darren Appleton & many more with Charlie Williams as the event MC. The ANDY CLOTH World Tournament of 14.1 is  sponsored by ANDY CLOTH, Kamui Brands, OB Cues, Amsterdam Billiard Club, Realrealcool.com, Pool & Billiard Magazine , Aramith Balls, and George Beckman Kinetic Sculptures. Official patron 14.1 aficionados are Stu Mattana, Tom Gleich, Harold Siegel, and Dr. Greg Diehl Plastic Surgery.  Dragon Promotions and Dr. Michael Fedak are pleased to also bring the 4th Annual Straight Pool Hall of Fame inducting "King" James Rempe and Frank "Sailor" Stellman. Since 1912, this will be the 74th production of the oldest billiard event in the world.
 
On the first day, Andre Lackner and Frank Scharbach fought their way through the winner’s bracket and should clash on sunday to play for the first spot in New York. Scharbach won two very close matches, one against Tobias Bongers with 125:120 and the next one 125:119 against Sebastian Ludwig, where he trailed 60:119 and sealed the deal with a very nice 65 and out. Lackner crushed the competition on day one, none of his opponents got more than 50 points, some of them names like Dieter Johns and Jörn Kaplan. In the loser’s bracket, Manuel Ederer, Marco Spitzky, Tobias Bongers, Jörn Kaplan, Thomas Damm and Sebastian Ludwig survived day 1.
 
Spectators also saw some well-known players drop out early: Dieter Johns, Tobias Hoiß and Stefan Nölle had to pack their stuff after day 1.
 
Sunday was decision day for the remaining eight players. Andre Lackner and Frank Scharbach clashed in a race to 150 for the first spot in New York. The winner would be qualified, the loser would get another chance later in the tournament. One could tell that both players were aware of what they were playing for. Gone was the relaxed and confident play both showed on saturday. Both were struggeling to get a feel for the table, with Lackner getting a better start and leading somewhat like 100:50. But Frank Scharbach never gave up and almost tied the match. But finally, he made one or two mistakes to much while Berlin local Andre Lackner made some crucial high-pressure shots and won the match with 150:107.
 
In the loser’s bracket, Marco Spitzky dominated Ederer, Ludwig and Kaplan and deserved his shot for the ticket to NY. In the match for the second spot, he faced Frank Scharbach again. In a race to 150, we saw a fight between traditional and modern 14.1. Scharbach used his meticulous planning skills, carefully splitting clusters and superb pattern play, while Spitzky favored the powerfull smash-and-runout style of modern straight pool players. Unfortunately, he was a little too dynamic, ran out of position a couple of times and made more mistakes than he could afford against Scharbach. Scharbach played the tournament high-run of 73 on these tight Diamond tables and sealed the deal with a clear 150:101 win. So finally, Andre Lackner and Frank Scharbach will be taking part in the 74th World Tournament of 14.1 in New York and joining the legends!
 
Pool fans are invited to have dinner with the world's greatest players at the 4th Annual 14.1 Straight Pool Hall of Fame Banquet by clicking here . The Straight Pool Hall of Fame Induction videos will be produced by Jerry Tarantola of www.NYCGrind.com and Ron Mason of  www.GothamCityTechnologies.com .  The Hall of Fame ceremonies will be streamed online for free on Ustream by Upstate Al of AZBtv. 
People who can't make the dinner can watch the complete ceremony for free online at www.ustream.tv/channel/AZBtv 
Live stream Pay Per View of the matches from Day 1 – Day 6 of the World 14.1 can be bought at www.worldstraightpool.com 
 
"Every year the Straight Pool Hall of Fame sells out with over a hundred people attending. It's a classy, entertaining, and emotional celebration of the greats of the sport", says Cindy Lee, CEO of Dragon Promotions. 
 
Past inductees include live inductions of Ray Martin, Jerome Keough, Jack Colavita, Danny Diliberto, Oliver Ortmann, Gene Nagy. Group inductions by decades include 14.1 Hall of Famer legends Ralph Greenleaf, Frank Taberski, Erwin Rudolph, Jimmy Caras, Andrew Ponzi, Thomas Hueston, Alfredo de Oro. 
 

 

Mosconi Cup USA Team Captain’s Report #1

The Team with Amir Pishdad

May/June 2014
 
In preparation for the PartyPoker Mosconi Cup XXI to be held December 1st through 4th in Blackpool, England, we assembled Team USA in San Diego, California for our very first team get-together. 
 
In our first team meeting we covered the tentative schedule for the year, and discussed what is expected of the team.  Honor, integrity, professionalism, and dedication to training were discussed as the goals for the team. 
 
We introduced Lieutenant Commander (retired) Amir Pishdad, a legendary Navy SEAL, who was our host for the weekend.  Amir is an extremely inspirational and motivational speaker, and he is expert in the principles of intense training, and the true meaning of honor, integrity, and teamwork. 
 
His assistance, inspiration, and motivation were such that by the end of the weekend, the team made him an honorary member of Team USA; and we hope to have him present to advise us during the Cup competition in Blackpool.
 
On May 23rd we were allowed the rare privilege of visiting the Navy SEAL training center in Coronado.  The team was able to see first-hand the extreme dedication and work ethic of our nation’s most elite warriors.  We exposed the team firsthand to the SEAL principles of “no excuses,” work harder today than yesterday, work harder than you thought you could, work harder than your opponent, be relentlessly positive, and honor above all else. 
 
We also gave them a powerful example of the real meaning of teamwork – as the SEALs know, it is not just cheering during a match, it is relentless and grueling training during the year so you do not let the team down. 
 
On May 24th we held a clinic for local players at On Cue Billiards in La Mesa with all proceeds donated to the CalDiego Paralyzed Veterans Association.  We wanted to assist the players in developing the expertise to give a polished, entertaining, and professional clinic – something that will help them in the future make a better living in the sport. 
 
There was a big community turnout and media coverage; and the participants were thrilled with the experience.

That evening, we held a Mosconi Cup style match against the best San Diego players the room could find.  We won 11-4 (Oscar’s father Ernesto Dominguez played for San Diego, and was responsible for two of their four victories). 
 
We had an excellent turnout of spectators; and a much younger audience than is usual for a pool competition.  Though the level of play was stellar; the behavior and sportsmanship of our players was exemplary – something everyone now realizes is essential if our team is to change the face of the sport and become a serious threat to regain the Mosconi Cup.
 
On Sunday May 25th we had four hours of “Challenge the Pro”, again at On Cue Billiards.  We called it the “I Should Have Been Chosen for the Mosconi Cup Challenge”.
 
For a donation, local players could challenge a team member to a game of 9 ball.  If they won, they received a nice Team USA T-shirt.  The turnout was huge and we raised $1800 for the designated charity.  There was tremendous goodwill in the local community for our charitable efforts.  The players behaved well, and were positive and engaged.
 
We believe that as a result of this visit, our players have a whole new appreciation for what it takes to be an elite player.  The Navy SEAL’s by their example, have given us a lesson in the real meaning of hard work and team work; and taught that proficiency in itself does not excuse bad behavior. 
 
We want our team to strive to be new and improved role models for the sport, and to strive to train harder than ever.  They are more unified in this goal, which bodes very well for a good performance in December.
 
Our thanks go out to, Amir Pishdad, all the officers and enlisted men at Phil Bucklew Naval Training Center, Matchroom Sport, the ownership and employees at On Cue Billiards, and all the members of the local pool community who so enthusiastically supported the events of this very memorable weekend. 
 
Mark Wilson – Captain
 
Don Wardell – Vice-Captain