PoolRoom

Mosconi Cup Teams Announced

Promoters Matchroom Sport have announced the teams for this year’s Mosconi Cup. Johnny Archer captains the American team; he is joined by Rodney Morris, Gabe Owen, Tony Robles, Earl Strickland and Charlie Williams. Germany’s Oliver Ortmann heads up the European team, which also includes Marcus Chamat, Steve Davis, Thomas Engert, Niels Feijen and Mika Immonen.

The Mosconi Cup takes place December 16-19 at the Hotel Zuiderduin in Egmond aan Zee, Holland.

Team USA Captures Sixth Sraight Mosconi Cup

85aAfter Team Europe drew first blood in the 2001 Mosconi Cup, Team USA won the next 12 matches to claim its sixth straight Mosconi Cup title at York Hall in Bethnal Green, England, Dec. 20-23. The 12-1 victory for Team USA is the most decisive win in the eight-year history of the annual Ryder Cup-style event, which Team USA has now won seven times.

Only the pairing of Niels Feijen and Mika Immonen was able to scratch the scoreboard with a 5-3 triumph over veteran U.S. duo Johnny Archer and Nick Varner. But from then on, Team USA dominated play. The young American pair of Charlie Williams and Cory Deuel built Team USA’s lead with two convincing victories over Steve Knight and Marcus Chamat by a combined score of 10-3. Archer and Varner then closed out the event by redeeming themselves from the Day 1 loss with a 5-1 win over Immonen and Team Europe captain Ralf Souquet.

Reyes Pockets Pool’s Biggest Payout

60aEfren “The Magician” Reyes pulled out the largest tournament payday in the history of the game by topping Dutch phenom Niels Feijen, 15-7, in the final of theTokyo-9-Ball ¥100,000,000 International Billiard Tournament in Tokyo, Japan, on Nov. 14, to collect approximately US$160,000. Reyes emerged from a mammoth field that topped 700 players to register the victory.

Feijen, who added to his breakout 2001 season by finishing in second, took home approximately $64,000 after knocking out 2000 World Pool-Billiard Association World Champion Fong-Pang Chao and Australian Johl Younger to reach the final match. Earlier in the year, Feijen notched back-to-back fifth-place finishes in the WPA World 9-Ball Championships and the U.S. Open.

Mosconi Cup Lineup Set

57aMatchroom Sport released its Team USA and Team Europe rosters for the popular Mosconi Cup, held at York Hall in Bethnal Green, England, Dec. 20-23. The two six-man rosters were respectively selected in consultation with the Billiard Congress of America and European Pocket Billiard Federation.

Five-time Player of the Year Earl Strickland will return as captain of the American squad, which is rounded out by Corey Deuel, Johnny Archer, Jeremy Jones, Nick Varner and Charlie Williams. All but Varner and Williams were members of last year’s Cup-winning team.

Team Europe is comprised of captain Ralf Souquet (Germany), Marcus Chamat (Sweden), Steve Davis (England), Niels Feijen (Holland), Mika Immonen (Finland) and Steve Knight (England).

World Pool Chmpionship Final Set

For the first time since 1996, a European player will take home the top prize in pool. The final of the 2001 Admiral World Pool Championship comes down to two Europeans – Finland’s Mika Immonen and Germany’s Ralf Souquet. The winner of today’s final tilt will take home $65,000, while the loser will pocket $30,000.

Souquet, who won the World Pool Championship in 1996, coasted into the final match with wins over Marcus Chamat in the quarterfinals, and later Chia-hsiung Lai in Saturday evening’s semifinal on the main table. During his two matches, Souquet outscored both of his opponents by a total margin of 22-3.

“It’s not easy to be out there in the arena and play your best all the time but I think over the years, I’ve mastered playing on the TV tables,” said Souquet, who beat Lai 11-2.

Immonen, meanwhile, had a more difficult time with his opponents on Saturday. He beat Niels Feijen, 11-7, in the quarterfinal, then rallied from a 5-2 deficit for another 11-7 win over Alain Martel in the semifinal.

“Me and Ralf have got a lot of respect for each other and he is a real gentleman,” said Immonen. “We’ll both be concentrating on our respective games and not worry about each other.”

The final match is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. EST.

Immonen, Souquet Advance in Friday Morning Session

With only two American players remaining in the 2001 Admiral World Pool Championship, several European players are staking their claim at the richest payday in pool. Finland’s Mika Immonen and Germany’s Ralf Souquet were the first on Friday, breezing into the quarterfinals with convincing victories.

After taking a 5-0 lead in the race-to-11 match, Immonen took advantage of Anthony Ginn’s numerous mishaps to finish with an 11-2 win. Soon afterward, Souquet calmly crafted an 11-3 victory to advance into Saturday’s quarterfinal matches.

Niels Feijen and Chia-hsiung Lai also advanced in Friday morning’s matches.

Efren’s Revenge!

After losing to countryman Francisco Bustamante in the Challenge of Champions, and to Charlie Williams in the final of the Big Apple 9-Ball Challenge, Efren Reyes nabbed his second U.S. title of the year at the Gabriel’s Las Vegas 9-Ball Open in Las Vegas. Reyes, who exacted revenge by beating Williams, 10-5, in the winner’s bracket semi-final of the 64-player field, defeated Dutchman Neils Feijen, 10-7, in the title match to earn the $10,000 top prize. Reyes also won the Mid-Atlantic Open in January.

Johnny Archer finished third at the Riviera Hotel, followed by Williams in fourth place. Feijen, the 26-year-old current European 14.1 champion, reached his spot in the final by surviving loser’s bracket shoot-outs with Alex Lely, Danny Harriman, Max Eberle, Williams and Archer. He earned $5,000 as runner-up.

Reyes Declared Champion of Champions

Reyes holds the winning check.

Reyes holds the winning check.

Efren Reyes triumphed at the 2002 International Challenge of Champions, held Aug. 14-15 at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Conn. Reyes defeated Finland’s Mika Immonen in a sudden-death winner-takes-all tiebreaker to be crowned this year’s “champion of champions.”

Eight “international champions” took part in the made-for-TV event: Netherlands National Champion Neils Feijen; 2001 IBC tour winner Reyes, Taiwan’s Hsiao-Lang Fang, Great Britain’s Steve Knight, Australia’s Johl Younger, American Cory Deuel, Japan’s Satoshi Kawabata, and Immonen.

Reyes first defeated Feijen in the single-elimination race-to-7 first round, 7-5; he then defeated Fang two sets in a row in the semi final, 5-2 and 5-3. Reyes lost his first set to Immonen in the final, 5-3, and won the next, 5-4, to force the single-game tiebreaker which he clinched to win the $50,000 purse. The crowd gave Reyes’ win a standing ovation.

The two semifinals and the Championship match were taped by ESPN for broadcast beginning August 25th. Check BD’s online schedule and your local listings for exact times.