Team Europe Downs Team USA at World Cup of Trick Shots

A proud European team around Michael Libera, from the Event Production team at the Mohegan Sun
The WORLD CUP OF TRICK SHOTS was held October 25 at Mohegan Sun in Connecticut. Team Europe claimed the title over Team USA in the only international team competition in the sport of Trick Shots. The prize purse was $30,000 for the event and Gold Medals to the winning team. The two semifinals and the Championship match will be broadcast by ESPN on January 6.
Captain Nick Nikolaidis led Team Europe to victory and the Gold Medal. Other Team Europe members who were awarded the Gold Medal were Luke Szywala, Gabriel Visiou, and Florian Kohler. Silver Medalists from Team USA included Captain Andy Segal, Bruce Barthelette, Jamey Gray, and Mike Dechaine.
The format for World Cup consisted of two skill shots and eight artistic show shots by both teams in a match. Team members executed a challenge shot of their choice, and their opponents were required to duplicate the shot or lose a point. In the semifinals, with two members from each team, the players alternated shots in four player head-to-head matches, performing intricate trick shots meant to stymie their opponents. A sudden death tiebreaker to decide a match required an eight rail bank shot onto the face of a $100 bill. The Championship Finals match pitted all eight members of Team USA and Team Europe in the wildest shootout of the year.
The players on Team Europe displayed their brilliance to emerge as the top trick shot artists in the world. The Championship match was poetry on green felt, with Team Europe defeating Team USA by a hairline score of 21-20 to take the Gold Medals. Team USA, whose members were otherwise on their game, claimed Silver Medals and second prize. In the first semifinal, Team Europe players Visiou and Kohler prevailed over Team USA members Segal and Gray. The other semifinal saw Team USA artists Barthelette and Dechaine slip past Team Europe players Nikolaidis and Szywala in a tight match. The winning team in each semifinal carried a 1 point bonus forward into the final match. The Championship match went down to the wire, with Team Europe claiming the Gold Medals by the narrow margin of one point.
The standing-room-only crowd gave Team Europe a rousing ovation at the conclusion of the Championship match. The victory was particularly rewarding for Team Europe as the teams were tied 3-3 in the history of the event, and Team Europe has now won Gold Medals four times in seven years. The Gold Medals and the team checks were presented by Mohegan Sun and Diamond Billiard Tables. The presentations brought another round of cheers from the audience.
In addition to the fine tournament site at Mohegan Sun, the event was sponsored by Diamond Billiard Tables, Aramith Tournament Balls, Simonis Cloth, Mueller Recreational Products, Executive Billiards Delta-13 Rack, OB Cues, BCA Pool League and Silver Cup Chalk. The event was produced by Billiards International.