Appleton tops the rankings but final spot still up for grabs
AFTER NINE EVENTS stretching across three continents and eight countries, Darren Appleton once again has topped the European PartyPoker.com Mosconi Cup rankings and will make his fourth appearance when the two teams collide at the York Hall from Monday 10th to Thursday 13th December.
“Dynamite” made his debut in a losing team in 2009 but bounced back to garner MVP honours the following year in London, and was solid throughout last year’s event in Las Vegas when Team Europe retained the trophy.
“At the start of the year, the Mosconi Cup was my goal. The York Hall is the best venue in world for pool so after 2010 I was determined to make the team,” said Appleton.
“I’m very happy and excited and it’s going to be amazing to play in front of our own crowd. It’s a special atmosphere and anybody that enjoys pool must experience it in their lifetime,
“We have good balance this year between experience and youth so I feel good about us winning and continue our domination in the Mosconi Cup,” he added.
The second of the two automatic spots went to Nick Van Den Berg who will be making his sixth appearance in the event. Van den Berg debuted in the winning side of 2002 at the York Hall.
“It’s good to see the Americans have a strong team this year, but we have seven on our team including the audience and Johan, and that will be very hard to beat,” commented Van den Berg.
The first wild card spot has gone to CHRIS MELLING, who looked so strong on his debut at the MGM Las Vegas last year. Melling finished third in the rankings and is excited about returning to the side.
“It’s a dream come true to be playing in the Mosconi Cup in England and hopefully we can go out there and get the result. The Americans aren’t going to be a pushover and I know we will have to fight for every point,” said Melling.
Holland’s Niels Feijen takes the second wild card spot after finishing 9th in the rankings and brings a wealth of experience to the team having made his debut in the ill-fated 2001 match, and brought home the Most Valuable Player award last year.
“I’m very pleased that we have almost the same team as last year; we are all mellow friendly guys who get along well and that’s a big strength in our team,” said Feijen.
“I’m very happy to be picked again; eight appearances in the last 12 years is a great percentage and it will be great to play at the York hall again. I played there when I was the rookie of the team and now I’m the veteran!” added the Dutchman.
There are three players tied for fourth spot in the rankings and next Wednesday 7th November they will contest a play-off in Treviso, Italy for the final berth on the team.
They are eight times Mosconi Cup player and winning captain in 1995 and 2002, Germany’s Oliver Ortmann; Austria$B!G(Js potential debutant ALBIN OUSCHAN and from Greece, NIKOS EKONOMOPOULOS who has enjoyed an excellent break through season.
Each player will play the others over a best of three sets, race to five, alternate break format. The player winning two matches will claim the place in the team, and should they all win one each, they will be separated by sets won, and then most racks won, then least racks conceded, then the result of the match between the two players should they still be tied.
The Final Ranking
1. ( – ) Darren Appleton (GBR) 79
2. ( – ) Nick Van Den Berg (NED) 71
3. ( – ) Chris Melling (GBR) 62
T4. Albin Ouschan (AUT) 54
T4. ( – ) Nikos Ekonomopoulos (GRE) 54
T4. ( – ) Oliver Ortmann (GER) 54
T7. David Alcaide (ESP) 51
T7. Dominic Jentsch (GER) 51
T9. Niels Feijen (NED) 46
T9. ( – ) Mark Gray (GBR) 46
11. Bruno Muratore (ITA) 45
12. ( – ) Daryl Peach (GBR) 42
13. Dimitri Jungo (SUI) 40
14. Ralf Souquet (GER) 38
15. Artem Koshovyi (UKR) 36
The 2012Mosconi Cup is sponsored by PartyPoker.com. Cloth is supplied by Iwan Simonis, Super Aramith balls by Saluc, tables by Diamond Billiards and the Official Cue and Chalk is Predator.