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2020 Mosconi Cup
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MattPoland
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2020 Mosconi Cup - 09-17-2020, 09:23 AM

Great summary.

I was excited to see Emily acknowledge the lack of a formal US tour and her desire to see Matchroom play a role in that. It doesnít sound like they are waving a magic wand anytime soon but it appears they are taking steps that can potentially build in that direction. Even if for right now that means helping our athletes professionalize their personal branding so they can be poster children to attract outside sponsorship.


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09-17-2020, 11:11 AM

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Originally Posted by MattPoland View Post
What do you guys think about the last picks?


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Looks like team Europe is serious this year about not dropping the ball on their player selections. In 2018 they failed to include Filler and last year failed to include Ouschan - both proved to be costly mistakes.

The first 4 picks for each team appear to be no-brainers, but the final pick for each team will be a bit harder to make. Will Styer, who has been a part of the past two US winning teams despite having a losing record be picked again, or could it possibly be someone else?

The Euro team's final selection will be even tougher to make. One could make an argument for a number of players being deserving of that pick, and I don't follow their results close enough to make a guess. Will it be a proven veteran player like Feijen or might they choose another younger player such as Kaci, Chinakhov or Sanchez-Ruiz?

At any rate, with fans or not, I hope they go through with holding the event. Without fans, it will obviously be up to the team members to provide far more vocal encouragement to the currently played match participants.
  
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09-17-2020, 02:49 PM

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I'm guessing that's where it's headed.

It's quite possible they can make financial ends meet (and I suspect they'd be satisfied to break even just to maintain continuity) with stream revenue alone, and cancellation would complicate matters as far as alternating the event annually between Europe and America.

On the bright side, the European travel ban imposed on Americans doesn't apply to England, but there is the matter of mandatory quarantine. Team USA members would have to quarantine for fourteen days upon arrival, so if they'll need a few days to practice, they'll have to arrive several weeks in advance of the event date.

In the event of cancellation, will the 2021 event be in London? Is Alexandra Palace already booked solid for next December? There are major logistical issues that arise in the event of cancellation that I'm sure Matchroom can do without.

All that said, without a crowd, the event would be no more than an ad hoc exhibition, as a) the teams will not consist of players who have excelled in the period leading up to the event, b) the raucous, flag waving, patriotism will be absent, and c) the event won't have the usual buzz surrounding it.

To me, calling it the Mosconi Cup doesn't make it the Mosconi Cup. Anecdotally, US President Abraham Lincoln once offered this riddle to his party guest: "if a dog's tail were called a leg, how many legs would a dog have?" When his guest answered "five," he explained "no, it's four, because calling a tail a leg doesn't make it a leg." Calling this the Mosconi might be equally inaccurate.

... that doesn't mean the event wouldn't be somewhat intriguing, and I'd be glad to see the top players getting a good payday in a year that has offered them such poor earnings prospects.
A dog would still have four legs and the MC would still be the MC with or without an audience present! I watched the recent U.S. Open Tennis Championships on TV the last two weeks and the level of competition was the highest you'll ever see on a tennis court. I saw many great matches and Dominic Thiem and Naomi Osaka are very deserving champions. There may not have been more than a handful of people present during the matches, but the television ratings were among the highest ever for a tennis tournament, with millions watching every day in all corners of the globe and at all hours of the day and night. To imply there was no audience would be absolutely false.

I suspect the same would be true for a MC with no audience in house. The TV audience (on SkySports) would probably be bigger than ever, with the streaming just a bonus. The numbers who would watch this event could well produce all time highs for a Pool event.

As far as practice time goes, I'm certain that the players could have a practice facility available wherever they are quarantined. In fact they could be quarantined in the same location, or next door to where the MC will be held, similar to what we saw at the U.S. Open tennis and currently see with the NBA basketball playoffs.

It has been argued in the past that the MC is merely a glorified exhibition, but I also disagree with that assessment both then and now. Of all the Pool events that I've been associated with, the MC is by far the most exciting one there is in our sport, and the level of competition equally exceptional. To call it an exhibition is to do injustice to a great pool competition. Only the very best players from the USA and Europe are qualified to participate in the MC. So to imply that we will not be seeing the best players is another misnomer. With almost zero events to chose from, who is to say that the same team that has successfully defended the Cup the last two years is not made up of our best players. Once again, Europe will have a wealth of talent to chose from and so far their team looks awfully strong to me. I only wish I was going to witness this great event. I'd brush the table and clean the balls if it got me there!


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09-17-2020, 03:03 PM

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Originally Posted by ChrisinNC View Post
Looks like team Europe is serious this year about not dropping the ball on their player selections. In 2018 they failed to include Filler and last year failed to include Ouschan - both proved to be costly mistakes.

The first 4 picks for each team appear to be no-brainers, but the final pick for each team will be a bit harder to make. Will Styer, who has been a part of the past two US winning teams despite having a losing record be picked again, or could it possibly be someone else?

The Euro team's final selection will be even tougher to make. One could make an argument for a number of players being deserving of that pick, and I don't follow their results close enough to make a guess. Will it be a proven veteran player like Feijen or might they choose another younger player such as Kaci, Chinakhov or Sanchez-Ruiz?

At any rate, with fans or not, I hope they go through with holding the event. Without fans, it will obviously be up to the team members to provide far more vocal encouragement to the currently played match participants.

I think this years format benefits Europe. They have some talent capable of racking up points but less capable of shining under the pressure of the lights and shot clock. But they donít have to be forced on the team. Kaci is a good idea to keep building him up but he seems to struggle under the lights. Lechner would be a fun try. But I think someone like Alcaide would be a winning pick.

For US, I think we have a solid 4 players. I donít love my options after that. I havenít kept up with who JJ has been working with. Styer is not a safe bet to me. The players Iíd feel better with (Corey, Oscar, etc) are getting dusty. I just wish there was one more stand-out player. As I look at FatgoRate, it doesnít seem indicative of who Iíd want there.


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09-17-2020, 04:10 PM

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Originally Posted by jay helfert View Post
A dog would still have four legs and the MC would still be the MC with or without an audience present! I watched the recent U.S. Open Tennis Championships on TV the last two weeks and the level of competition was the highest you'll ever see on a tennis court. I saw many great matches and Dominic Thiem and Naomi Osaka are very deserving champions. There may not have been more than a handful of people present during the matches, but the television ratings were among the highest ever for a tennis tournament, with millions watching every day in all corners of the globe and at all hours of the day and night. To imply there was no audience would be absolutely false.

I suspect the same would be true for a MC with no audience in house. The TV audience (on SkySports) would probably be bigger than ever, with the streaming just a bonus. The numbers who would watch this event could well produce all time highs for a Pool event.

As far as practice time goes, I'm certain that the players could have a practice facility available wherever they are quarantined. In fact they could be quarantined in the same location, or next door to where the MC will be held, similar to what we saw at the U.S. Open tennis and currently see with the NBA basketball playoffs.

It has been argued in the past that the MC is merely a glorified exhibition, but I also disagree with that assessment both then and now. Of all the Pool events that I've been associated with, the MC is by far the most exciting one there is in our sport, and the level of competition equally exceptional. To call it an exhibition is to do injustice to a great pool competition. Only the very best players from the USA and Europe are qualified to participate in the MC. So to imply that we will not be seeing the best players is another misnomer. With almost zero events to chose from, who is to say that the same team that has successfully defended the Cup the last two years is not made up of our best players. Once again, Europe will have a wealth of talent to chose from and so far their team looks awfully strong to me. I only wish I was going to witness this great event. I'd brush the table and clean the balls if it got me there!
We'll have to agree to disagree.

The Mosconi Cup is a meritocracy, until now. The only way you make your team is through playing excellence in the months leading up to the event, until now. This ensures in-form players, which thereby ensures strong play in the event, until now. The Mosconi Cup is a raucous expression of pool nationalism and patriotism, until now. The absence of a crowd compromises this.

I didn't say it won't be worth watching, but it's not the event we know and love. It is, instead, an impromptu exhibition of arbitrarily selected players that have barely played pool this year and, it can be argued, haven't earned their places on the team.
  
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09-17-2020, 05:58 PM

I think one challenge about a meritocracy for US selection is making sure we have a solid point structure supported by an accessible event schedule.

You want to make sure youíre grooming your upcoming talent and bringing forward your best talent. You donít want a player making the team because they focused on playing a quantity of events with mediocre finishes because our pool industry is in a state where superior players can give quality showings but canít justify getting to as many events. Thatís a concerning because the current active US hall of famers could be in that position to limp onto the team but Iím not convinced that would put our best foot forward.

In Europe, the have a strong enough tour and crop of emerging talent that they donít have that risk. Their risk is more that they could get hampered with world champions not ready for the MC lights and pressure. But each time someone like Kaci fumbles with the shot clock, heíll be that much more tempered the next time we see him.


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09-17-2020, 06:21 PM

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Originally Posted by MattPoland View Post
I think one challenge about a meritocracy for US selection is making sure we have a solid point structure supported by an accessible event schedule.

You want to make sure youíre grooming your upcoming talent and bringing forward your best talent. You donít want a player making the team because they focused on playing a quantity of events with mediocre finishes because our pool industry is in a state where superior players can give quality showings but canít justify getting to as many events. Thatís a concerning because the current active US hall of famers could be in that position to limp onto the team but Iím not convinced that would put our best foot forward.

In Europe, the have a strong enough tour and crop of emerging talent that they donít have that risk. Their risk is more that they could get hampered with world champions not ready for the MC lights and pressure. But each time someone like Kaci fumbles with the shot clock, heíll be that much more tempered the next time we see him.


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Well said. Thanks for an extremely well-considered post.
  
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