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Mosconi Moments … Segundo Dia.
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Mosconi Moments … Segundo Dia. - 12-03-2014, 06:59 AM

Dear Gentle Readers,

> SVB finally made a shot. It took him until the last game of the last match Tuesday, but it was a corker! Described as ‘the shot of the tourney.’

> Both SVB and Corey continued to be a bit edgy, a bit off their game.

> SVB’s troubles remind me of the Freezer’s in tournament play. My theory - - not original - - is that short races don’t allow their talents to shine through.

> Justin B. made a careless three-rail scratch that seemed to turn the tide against him in his match. It reminded me of a self-snooker by Hatch a while back.

> Justin B. is an interesting combatant. Coach Wilson described him as the second best player on the team (see SVB), one who thrives on pressure. (He did miss his first lag attempt by a couple of diamonds.) He and Justin H. - - both rookies - - won the day’s opening match against the vets. Justin B. later lauded the boisterous Circus Arena crowd and lamented that in America there would be only 50 or so spectators watching the finals. One commentator said Justin B. was breaking better than everyone else. Intriguing dude.

> The British / Canadian commentators have certain charming and quirky turns of phrases: ‘order of play’ / ‘cueing’ / ‘on offer’ / ‘a tricky little ask’ / ‘did not threaten the jaws.’ There was even a Samuel Clements quote: “The game of billiards has destroyed my naturally sweet disposition.”

> The commentators - - and this is not uncommon - - must not have a very good line of sight … they misnamed the numbered balls, didn’t see balls pocketed on the break, got the players mixed up, etc. Not their fault, yet a challenge that seems correctable.

> American commentators seem to be less willing to declare ‘it’s over.’ But more willing to share anecdotes, tell funny stories, dish the dirt. Speculate on upcoming shots. I vote USA.

> Is it just me or are individual match-ups more thrilling? Well, Wednesday will be 3-2 individual v. partners.

> The Euro coach has a ‘win the day, every day’ mantra. I wonder does that - - psychologically - - extend to the handshake ritual? As visitors, the Americans take the floor first and sit on the lefthand side (from our camera angle). The Euros then enter and assume an ‘in charge’ attitude. They are the first to shake hands with the ref and then they continue into the American space. Our players, somewhat awkwardly, stand up and then fist-bump the proffered … well, fists. We seem perpetually surprised and then reactive. Off guard.

> At least the Americans were first introduced with ‘Born in the U.S.A.’ And then escorted down into the arena by the babe. I’m sure all of us were relieved by the wardrobe adjustments. Much classier shirts. Corey looked particularly smart with his snow-white long-sleeved undergarment.

> What’s interesting … Mr. Gray shoots with a snooker cue. Smaller tip, smaller shaft, more stroke-force required. (I didn’t actually know this, just heard it.)

> The Great Britain 9-Ball Tour was mentioned a few times as a positive force in grooming their Mosconi Cup participants. Hmm … why don’t we try something like that in America?

> On the streams I watched I was surprised to see so many British ads on gambling, mobile casinos, etc. (I don’t have a TV, nor a cable package, so I wasn’t eligible for the ESPN coverage.)

> Did anyone else find it charming that the very professional ref, Ken S., once mistakingly racked the 9 ball at the bottom instead of in the middle? Then, during the correction phase, ostensibly put on his glasses.

Being Ms. Obvious is my life,

Sunny

P. S. I was definitely cheering for Team USA, but how do you root against someone who looks like Niels? Is that what they call an ethical dilemma in B-School? Oh well, he is married. You can see the ring. Plus children.

P. P. S. Marriage isn’t everything. Is it?


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12-03-2014, 07:49 AM

Neils is a good looking guy, my gf said the same thing verbatim. Lol.

One of my favorite moments was Nick Varner emphatically booing Jim for predicting 3-2 Europe on day two. Tell em, Nick!


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12-03-2014, 07:50 AM

Dear gentle sunnyone;

you are a great observer and an even greater writer.

however...

may I be so bold as to disagree with you on one point. and then it may end up with me re-agreeing with you when I learn differently. Is re-agree acceptable?

when young Mr. Bergman was asked how he felt about the boisterous pooligans at the arena and he responded that he preferred this large mob compared to say 50, I took that to mean he liked that there was so much interest to draw so many even if they were decidedly EUROS,. I didn't take it as necessarily being a comparison to attendance back home.

did I get it wrong?

respectfully,
brian kc

p.s. I did like Justin adding that he "don't care what people think; we're just here to play pool and have fun."


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12-03-2014, 07:56 AM

One correction....JB'S scratch in the side was NOT careless. It was a unique combination of spin and speed on this VERY unusual table surface. Very, very fast, slippery cloth.....the spin does not "take" very well and those things do not happen on almost any table you will ever play. Having said that; the players know this and are trying their best to adapt. ...but you just don't know how the table will react til you try it. If he did it again exactly, THAT would be careless.

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12-03-2014, 08:09 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Williebetmore View Post
One correction....JB'S scratch in the side was NOT careless. It was a unique combination of spin and speed on this VERY unusual table surface. Very, very fast, slippery cloth.....the spin does not "take" very well and those things do not happen on almost any table you will ever play. Having said that; the players know this and are trying their best to adapt. ...but you just don't know how the table will react til you try it. If he did it again exactly, THAT would be careless.

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Don;

Looks like you are having a blast and I'm rooting hard for Team USA to catch a much needed gear today. We are lucky, imo, to be down just the 2 matches. Hopefully the team and Shane will show up strong today.

With regard to Justin B's scratch into the side, it would not have been difficult to keep that side pocket completely out of play. It was an error in judgement and without being unduly harsh, this one I must lean more towards sunnyone's position on, that it seemed careless.

We've all done it. Just not on such a big stage.

best,
brian kc


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12-03-2014, 08:18 AM

Another exquisite post from Sunnyone.
  
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12-03-2014, 08:21 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kickin' Chicken View Post
Don;

Looks like you are having a blast and I'm rooting hard for Team USA to catch a much needed gear today. We are lucky, imo, to be down just the 2 matches. Hopefully the team and Shane will show up strong today.

With regard to Justin B's scratch into the side, it would not have been difficult to keep that side pocket completely out of play. It was an error in judgement and without being unduly harsh, this one I must lean more towards sunnyone's position on, that it seemed careless.

We've all done it. Just not on such a big stage.

best,
brian kc
I was very suprised by that scratch. Scratching in the side on a shot like that on a normal table is pretty tough to do even when you are trying to do it. I wouldn't have even thought that shot was possible on a table with new cloth.

I kind of agree with Mr. Betmore on that one.

***edit***
After thinking about this for another second I think I need to see the shot again. It's been so long since I've played on brand new cloth that I can't even remember what it's like. I just always think everything runs longer but this particular shot show's that's not necessarily the case.

Last edited by BasementDweller; 12-03-2014 at 08:27 AM.
  
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12-03-2014, 08:27 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by BasementDweller View Post
I was very suprised by that scratch. Scratching in the side on a shot like that on a normal table is pretty tough to do even when you are trying to do it. I wouldn't have even thought that shot was possible on a table with new cloth.

I kind of agree with Mr. Betmore on that one.
here's the shot we can have a better look or two and decide:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?list=U...ailpage#t=1299

I think he got a little fancy going forward without needing to and it likely cost him the match. he would have been on the hill, 4-2.

imo

best,
brian kc


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team usa - 12-03-2014, 08:34 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by BasementDweller View Post
I was very suprised by that scratch. Scratching in the side on a shot like that on a normal table is pretty tough to do even when you are trying to do it. I wouldn't have even thought that shot was possible on a table with new cloth.

I kind of agree with Mr. Betmore on that one.

***edit***
After thinking about this for another second I think I need to see the shot again. It's been so long since I've played on brand new cloth that I can't even remember what it's like. I just always think everything runs longer but this particular shot show's that's not necessarily the case.
don't forget mrs Wilson.that lady is chearring her heart for team USA.go USA .
  
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12-03-2014, 08:34 AM

Excellent observations..., especially the one about the awkwardness during the handshake/fist pumps...

I hope that our team's leadership also noticed this and does something to change that dynamic. It does give the impression of starting off on lesser footing.

Also worth noting here......, what the heck do we have to do to win a lag in this competition? Has the team practiced that at all? C'mon, coach!!!!!!

In a race to 5, when every single one of the participants is capable of stepping to the table and running out, winning the lag becomes one (if not THE single) most important shots of the game.

We are sucking the proverbial hind-tit in that department, which IMHO starts the USA off in each match as an immediate underdog.
  
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12-03-2014, 08:35 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kickin' Chicken View Post
here's the shot we can have a better look or two and decide:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?list=U...ailpage#t=1299

I think he got a little fancy going forward without needing to and it likely cost him the match. he would have been on the hill, 4-2.

imo

best,
brian kc
Yeah I guess you're right. That shot was just not a wise choice based on the table conditions. That spin just will not grab enough on that first rail due to the slick cloth. That pretty much sealed his fate.

On a broken in table that's the correct shot choice or at least the way 9 out of 10 pros would shoot it because it eliminates the scratch in the pocket that got him.

Oh well....I'm still very impressed with his play thus far.
  
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12-03-2014, 08:51 AM

I don't think the out of sync fist bump/handshake shit matters at all, and is not a reflection of play in any way shape or form. I have been in the bump-to-shake situation many times, always due to nerves and not really caring since I've just won a game. Lol. Might not look good on tv, but come on, you can't really believe it matters.


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12-03-2014, 09:16 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by jaetee View Post
Excellent observations..., especially the one about the awkwardness during the handshake/fist pumps...

I hope that our team's leadership also noticed this and does something to change that dynamic. It does give the impression of starting off on lesser footing.

Also worth noting here......, what the heck do we have to do to win a lag in this competition? Has the team practiced that at all? C'mon, coach!!!!!!

In a race to 5, when every single one of the participants is capable of stepping to the table and running out, winning the lag becomes one (if not THE single) most important shots of the game.

We are sucking the proverbial hind-tit in that department, which IMHO starts the USA off in each match as an immediate underdog.
great observation and it has certainly made the difference on more than one match. I would also like to point out, that imho, at times, our players are playing a little too aggressive, as in not playing a safety when that would be the more prudent choice given the circumstances. I remember the 1st day when john went for the 2 ball from corner to corner and missed....what an opportunity to play one heck of a "put 'em in jail" safety. there have been other instances and I hope the coach points out that to the boys.
  
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Thumbs up I'm not mad, bro! - 12-03-2014, 09:22 AM

Sunnyone,

As usual, you covered a great many interesting observations. I would like to address two of them, and maybe a third.

First, I would like to congratulate JUSTIN BERGMAN for having a FANTASTIC ATTITUDE toward pool in general. He has come a long way in the past year and the sky is the limit for this talented pool player.

Justin Bergman has changed my mind about the European fans who sweat the Mosconi Cup. Maybe it's because I am so competitive or maybe it is just my own bias. In the past, I have always viewed the European fans as an adversary, worthy of being admonished and punished when given the chance. Maybe it is my emotional attachment to competition or maybe it's just my nature that has caused this myopic perspective.

Justin with his youthful insight and stellar attitude toward pool in general has opened my eyes and mind to another perspective that I have had closed for a long time. The European pool fans are patriotic and passionate about their European Mosconi Cup team but they are not predisposed to hating on every American player and they have shown that in this 2014 Mosconi Cup. It took Justin's comments on Facebook about the crowd for me to change my perspective, along with his interview by Matchroom Sport. Below is a copy of what Justin said about the crowd and the Mosconi Cup:
"Going into tomorrow down 6-4 is not what we hoped for. The crowd was so intense like nothing I've ever experienced like a NBA game! They chanted "JUSTIN GIVE US A WAVE!" but I thought they said Justin gives it away haha when I finally realized I waved and they went crazy. Were only going to get better from here. We have so much heart and determination, plus were having a blast. Go USA!!! Were looking for that cup!"

If this doesn't get you excited and interested in supporting pool, then maybe this isn't the sport for you. I have always admired Justin's talent but his insightful thoughts and candor has put him in the world's spotlight and quite possibly one of Europe's favorite American pool players. As for me, Justin has moved to the top of the charts and not just for his stellar play.

Watch his play if you get a chance, but listen to what he has to say, become a fan. We can all learn something from Justin Bergman. I'm a bigger fan today than I was yesterday.
----------------------------

The second point is again, just my personal opinion. It is something that I seldom address. It is the commentators. I am reluctant to write about this but feel I have to just so I can get some rest at night. It was a fitful sleep last night. Again, maybe it's just my emotional involvement in the Mosconi Cup and I can't help myself. If I injure anyone with my criticism, I apologize in advance but I'm not going to bite my tongue this time.

First off, as most of you know, I do some pool commentary when my other life doesn't make other demands and that I have great respect for anyone who sits in the booth. I know that each commentator has something that they can bring to the table and the variety of commentators are like the spices that go in a Cajun gourmet meal.

With commentators, each of us will have our own preferences and that is as it should be.

I have gone all in on watching the Mosconi Cup this year, missing the first day, due to work but watching some of the replays. The second day, I seldom missed even one shot and I just can't take it anymore. I also watch some of the Mosconi Cup at my home pool room at Buffalo Billiards in Metairie, LA whether it be live or replay.

In this event, ALL of the commentators have shown a MAJOR bias toward the European players and the ill treatment of the American players is something that I just can't stomach.

Even the AMERICAN commentators, sit there and make condescending comments about the American players, while condoning the imperfections of the European players. No one is perfect. But when Niels scratches we have commentators saying things like, "Well, Niels is sitting in his chair getting re-focused and ready for his next opportunity at the table." or something similar to that. And when Corey scratches, they whine, "Corey's arm was shaking like a leaf and just look at him sitting there with his folded arms." (or something to that effect) They suggest that Corey isn't as resolute in making up for his mistake.

It goes ON & ON over and over. If you listen to the commentary, even the American commentators rake all of the American players over the coals. I'm afraid that the American commentators have sold their soul to Matchroom Sport, at least in this event.

I know that doing commentary for Matchroom Sport is a highly prized job and I respect Matchroom Sport for bringing such a fine group of commentators together to cover this event but BY GOD, go talk to these "AMERICAN" commentators and tell them that they aren't going to lose their jobs if they show a bias toward the AMERICAN PLAYERS. Jim Wyche doesn't have a problem with showing that he is pro Europe and that's fine.

It finally looks like America has some fans that care about the Mosconi Cup, thanks to the last couple of years with ESPN showing the Livestream here in the U.S.A. (Thank you Matchroom Sport)

I'm not going to go into every single instance where the European players mistakes are handled with kid gloves and the American players mistakes are put under a microscope. But for crying out loud, MATCHROOM SPORT, go tell these commentators that they aren't going to lose their damn job just because they show a bias toward American players EVERY NOW AND THEN. (Sure, I understand that this is a British/European production and it is THOSE FANS who support this event and they want to hear good stuff about their players but let's have some balance. )

I remember one time when Shane played shape on a 7 ball, purposefully coming close to the side pocket to get the good shape and the AMERICAN commentator was so quick to respond about how close Shane came to scratching rather than what a fantastic shot Shane made to get on the correct side of the 7 ball. I'm not criticizing what the commentators say as much as I am saying that I feel that they are intimidated and are not giving the American players their just due.

The European players are playing GREAT and I don't look at the world in rose-coloured glasses or the Mosconi Cup but for crying out loud, I want to hear some fair commentary.

The European crowd are some of the best fans in the pool world. I hope we can learn from them. I don't believe they have any animosity toward any of the American players and that they are there to support their players and to have a good time. I want our fans to have a good time too.

The American players need to realize the things that Justin Bergman has realized and they if you show some skills with a modicum of class, the European fans will even applaud you. Our American players need to get used to cheering fans and booing fans alike. They need to smile a lot more. We can learn from the European players; they're grinning like Cheshire Cats the whole event and having a blast. Loosen up Americans, and I will try to do the same, even if I have to toss back a pint or two while listening to the one-way, biased commentary.
--------------------

And Sunnyone, don't sweat Niels being married. Most American genes come from European stock so you might just have to search a little harder and put out some feelers on Facebook to snare one of those American guys with those type looks. (Try the Marine Corps FB groups first. )

JoeyA (gentle reader)


Quote:
Originally Posted by sunnyone View Post
Dear Gentle Readers,

> SVB finally made a shot. It took him until the last game of the last match Tuesday, but it was a corker! Described as ‘the shot of the tourney.’

> Both SVB and Corey continued to be a bit edgy, a bit off their game.

> SVB’s troubles remind me of the Freezer’s in tournament play. My theory - - not original - - is that short races don’t allow their talents to shine through.

> Justin B. made a careless three-rail scratch that seemed to turn the tide against him in his match. It reminded me of a self-snooker by Hatch a while back.

> Justin B. is an interesting combatant. Coach Wilson described him as the second best player on the team (see SVB), one who thrives on pressure. (He did miss his first lag attempt by a couple of diamonds.) He and Justin H. - - both rookies - - won the day’s opening match against the vets. Justin B. later lauded the boisterous Circus Arena crowd and lamented that in America there would be only 50 or so spectators watching the finals. One commentator said Justin B. was breaking better than everyone else. Intriguing dude.

> The British / Canadian commentators have certain charming and quirky turns of phrases: ‘order of play’ / ‘cueing’ / ‘on offer’ / ‘a tricky little ask’ / ‘did not threaten the jaws.’ There was even a Samuel Clements quote: “The game of billiards has destroyed my naturally sweet disposition.”

> The commentators - - and this is not uncommon - - must not have a very good line of sight … they misnamed the numbered balls, didn’t see balls pocketed on the break, got the players mixed up, etc. Not their fault, yet a challenge that seems correctable.

> American commentators seem to be less willing to declare ‘it’s over.’ But more willing to share anecdotes, tell funny stories, dish the dirt. Speculate on upcoming shots. I vote USA.

> Is it just me or are individual match-ups more thrilling? Well, Wednesday will be 3-2 individual v. partners.

> The Euro coach has a ‘win the day, every day’ mantra. I wonder does that - - psychologically - - extend to the handshake ritual? As visitors, the Americans take the floor first and sit on the lefthand side (from our camera angle). The Euros then enter and assume an ‘in charge’ attitude. They are the first to shake hands with the ref and then they continue into the American space. Our players, somewhat awkwardly, stand up and then fist-bump the proffered … well, fists. We seem perpetually surprised and then reactive. Off guard.

> At least the Americans were first introduced with ‘Born in the U.S.A.’ And then escorted down into the arena by the babe. I’m sure all of us were relieved by the wardrobe adjustments. Much classier shirts. Corey looked particularly smart with his snow-white long-sleeved undergarment.

> What’s interesting … Mr. Gray shoots with a snooker cue. Smaller tip, smaller shaft, more stroke-force required. (I didn’t actually know this, just heard it.)

> The Great Britain 9-Ball Tour was mentioned a few times as a positive force in grooming their Mosconi Cup participants. Hmm … why don’t we try something like that in America?

> On the streams I watched I was surprised to see so many British ads on gambling, mobile casinos, etc. (I don’t have a TV, nor a cable package, so I wasn’t eligible for the ESPN coverage.)

> Did anyone else find it charming that the very professional ref, Ken S., once mistakingly racked the 9 ball at the bottom instead of in the middle? Then, during the correction phase, ostensibly put on his glasses.

Being Ms. Obvious is my life,

Sunny

P. S. I was definitely cheering for Team USA, but how do you root against someone who looks like Niels? Is that what they call an ethical dilemma in B-School? Oh well, he is married. You can see the ring. Plus children.

P. P. S. Marriage isn’t everything. Is it?


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12-03-2014, 09:42 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kickin' Chicken View Post
here's the shot we can have a better look or two and decide:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?list=U...ailpage#t=1299

I think he got a little fancy going forward without needing to and it likely cost him the match. he would have been on the hill, 4-2.

imo

best,
brian kc
He quick-stroked it like a snooker player....needed more spin, and less speed.
If Efren shot this on new cloth, whitey would still be spinning off the
third rail....hitting the fourth rail or a pocket should not be in the equation.


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