Team Europe Caputres World Cup of Trick Shots

Team Europe Caputres World Cup of Trick Shots
The World Cup of Trick Shots was held November 1 at Mohegan Sun in Connecticut. Team Europe claimed the title over Team U.S.A. in the second annual international billiards team competition in the sport of Trick Shots. The prize purse was $50,000 for the event, with $40,000 and Gold Medals to the winning team.
Captain Stefano Pelinga, the 2007 trick shot Magic Champion, led Team Europe to victory and the Gold Medal. Other Team Europe members who were awarded the Gold Medal were Ewa Laurance, 2005 trick shot Challenge Champion, Nick Nikolaidis, 2006 Masters Artistic Pool Champion, and Luke Szywala, 2004 WPA World Artisitc Pool Champion. Silver Medalists from Team U.S.A. included Captain Mike Massey, 2006 World Artistic Pool Champion, Jeanette Lee, 2004 trick shot Challenge Champion, Tom Rossman, 2007 World Artisitic Pool Champion, and Bruce Barthelette, 2006 Masters Artistic Pool Runnerup. Their team also won $10,000.
The format for World Cup consisted of 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. The Championship Finals match pitted all eight members of Team U.S.A. 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 U.S.A. by a score of 7-4 to take the Gold Medals and $40,000. Team U.S.A., whose members were somewhat off their game, claimed Silver Medals and $10,000 second prize. In the first semifinal, Team Europe players Laurance and Nikolaidis prevailed over Team U.S.A. members Lee and Barthelette. The other semifinal saw Team Europe artists Pelinga and Szywala slip past Team U.S.A. players Massey and Rossman in a tight match. Team Europe dominated from the start, winning both semifinals by scores of 9-6 and 9-7. The team winning a semifinal carried one point forward to the finals, and thus Team Europe came into the finals with two point lead. The championship was theirs to win and they never looked back.
By contrast, Team U.S.A. began the finals with a two point deficit and never fully got their act together. The pivotal moment came on shot nine, when Mike Massey attempted an extremely difficult long shot in which a ball is made in one corner pocket and the cue ball is drawn around a blocker ball on the end rail and makes a ball in the opposite corner pocket. Massey missed on both tries and Ewa Laurance then executed the shot with cool perfection. Even though Team U.S.A. came back from a 7-2 hammering to score two additional points, victory eluded them in the end. Team Europe won the championship by a resounding score of 7-4.
The standing-room-only crowd gave Team Europe a rousing ovation at the conclusion of the Championship match. The Gold Medals and the team check were presented by Mohegan Sun and Olhausen Billiards, with “World Cup Champions” custom cues presented by Cuetec Cues. 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 Olhausen Billiards, Cuetec Cues, Aramith Super Pro Balls, Simonis Cloth, L.E.A.N.I. Italian Slate, Ozone Billiards, AcAue Shot Training Device and Silver Cup Chalk. The WPA sanctioned event was produced by Billiards International, Ltd.

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