The Mosconi Cup is Not About ...

BasementDweller

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
The Mosconi Cup is NOT about how well you can play but instead it's about how poorly you can. In other words, the Cup is more a measure of a player's B game than their A. This is why year after year after year we end up short of the finish line. When it comes to measuring how poorly a player is capable of performing it is all about their fundamentals.

Up and down the line, year after year, the European team consists of players whose fundamentals prevent them from falling apart. Meanwhile, the U.S. team is consistently plagued with top players who have simple but yet major fundamental issues. It's hard to argue against Shane Van Boening's label as the best U.S. player. It's also hard to argue against him having significant mechanical issues that finally get the best of him every year during the Mosconi Cup. His long and hitchy stroke always seems to let him down at the worst time. He has too much stroke for the lightening fast conditions that are always present during the Mosconi Cup. This coupled with his poor transition from his backstroke to his forward one, causes him to consistently overrun position on these lightening fast tables.

I realize Shane's in a unique position because his A game is as good if not better than anybody in the world and it's helped him win many major titles, so simplifying his stroke mechanics is probably not an idea that he would even entertain but if he doesn't do something -- he will continue to get the results at the Mosconi Cup that he does each and every year.

Mike Dechaine is in a similar position. This past year he's won his share of events and he has solidified his position as the 2nd best player in the U.S. BUT the guy has NEVER been still while shooting. He rises up on nearly each and every shot and he always has. He gets away with this when everything is going his way and he's feeling nice and comfortable at the table, but when things get tense this movement gets the best of him and all of a sudden his B game isn't good enough to get across the finish line.

If Dechaine really is the 2nd best player in the U.S. it will not be for long because Justin Bergman doesn't have any glaring fundamental issues like these two players have. I wouldn't be surprised at all to see Justin rise up to become the U.S.'s top player in the near future.

There's another player out there that has a very formidable B game and that's Johnny Archer. I will readily admit that both Shane and Dechaine are favorites against Johnny in a comfortable setting such as a long race tournament match or a gambling session but that's not what the Mosconi Cup is. Johnny has a game that holds up under pressure and his Mosconi Cup results prove it. For this reason alone I think he should have found his way onto this team but I realize I'm in the minority on this one.

The Mosconi Cup is not an A game showcase. It's all about the B game and we are flat out at a disadvantage because our top two players do not have world class B games and all the European players on the Mosconi Cup do.
 
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BRussell

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
That's an interesting way to look at it. I completely agree with you about the fundamentals, but here's another way to look at it, that's based on your A-game vs. B-game distinction:

I've been thinking about the difference between short and long races, and why there should be a difference - after all, a long race is made up of many short races, so why should there be a difference?

But I think the difference is that in a long race players like Shane can fire at some shots that might be considered poor choices, but even if he loses that game he gets into stroke and will run a couple of 5-6 packs later. He's willing to sacrifice some points in the short run in order to get into his A game in the long run, in which case he'll almost always win.

In this short-race format you can't sacrifice some games with the goal of getting into your A game. You have to play like every shot is going to win or lose the match, because it could.
 

jaetee

rack master ;)
Silver Member
Very interesting and poignant points. He who sticks to fundamentals the best does tend to win.

IMHO, Mosconi Cup is all making pool viewable to the widest possible audience. Alternate break, short race format and brand new playing cloth all contribute to keeping players from getting "too" comfortable. There's not a lot of time to catch a gear and get into a groove, so to speak. Tough to string racks when you're giving up the break every other game.
 

BeiberLvr

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
That's an interesting way to look at it. I completely agree with you about the fundamentals, but here's another way to look at it, that's based on your A-game vs. B-game distinction:

I've been thinking about the difference between short and long races, and why there should be a difference - after all, a long race is made up of many short races, so why should there be a difference?

But I think the difference is that in a long race players like Shane can fire at some shots that might be considered poor choices, but even if he loses that game he gets into stroke and will run a couple of 5-6 packs later. He's willing to sacrifice some points in the short run in order to get into his A game in the long run, in which case he'll almost always win.

In this short-race format you can't sacrifice some games with the goal of getting into your A game. You have to play like every shot is going to win or lose the match, because it could.



Spot on. Shanes fundamentals are fine. It's his shot selection that needs improvement (in short races)
 

SFC9ball

JimBaker PBIA Instructor
Silver Member
I this same observation too, especially with Mike D. his stroke in not straight at all, his tip seems to go his left when he shoots. I was thinking that it would catch up to him in this type format on those tight tables.

GO TEAM USA! GET-R-DONE
 

Rico

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Fundamentalist

Mark needs to just look on here to find next years team. AZ has become like an old Rusty Warren record (Knockers Up) Keith,s stroke was a little different try teaching Efrens or Daz,s stroke. You KNOCKERS need to study Dan Gables mindset on competition .Sorry your like a bigmouth in a bar that when someone is holding them they want to kick your ass .When let go they look like a deer in the headlights.Go team U.S.A.
 

trob

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Lol nothing like another ass beating in the mosconi cup to bring out the silly post by people who don't know enough to know they don't know anything lol calling svb and Johnny archer a b player lol that's a good one
 

Drop The Rock

1652nd on AZ Money List
Silver Member
This is a very interesting take on things. I have a tendency to agree for the most part.

I think the other aspect of the shot selection of USA comes from a style of pool that says "runout" first rather than or here is an easy 3 foul or lets lock him up. Skylar, and Shane all made notably 'aggressive decisions" Shane's 2 9 Carom yesterday that he over cut, was rushed. He took nowhere near the time he usually would and didn't really even line it up. Skylar doesn't miss much so he airs on that side of his game because his kicking game isn't as strong as some of the Europeans, which he has said. His safety play is solid because it has to be from bar table pool, but those kicking battles are another story.

Justin and Corey both play a lot of one pocket so really the two of them have the best chance in a tactical battle. To Corey's credit, in the safety/kicking battles he had with NVB, he faired better than I'd expect Mike, Skylar, and maybe even Shane to.

What I'm getting at is a lot like the concept behind one pocket, especially amongst the pros. If shooting and running out is your strength, then 8 and out is a good strategy. If moving is your strength you squeeze em till they sell out. The same goes for how to play your opponent. Europe knows that they have a better safety and kicking game than USA does. USA knows that their best strength is offense. That doesn't mean that everybody is a better offensive player on USA, but its the best that they have.

Its like asking your best offensive players to focus on defense. Its against their nature and they know its not their strength.
 

garczar

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Races to 5 are a joke. Imagine the RyderCup only playing 9-hole matches. If this is supposed to be a "big deal" two things need to happen: 1. Play it every two years instead of yearly and 2. Play races to 7 or better yet, races to 9. As it is now it's like watching some sort demonstration. Why bother.
 

BasementDweller

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Rico - Some of us actually enjoy discussing the ends and outs of the game.

I see that's not your thing and you have nothing productive to add to the conversation so you might as well stay out of it.
 

ChicagoRJ

EEEEEXCELLENT ;)
Silver Member
Lol nothing like another ass beating in the mosconi cup to bring out the silly post by people who don't know enough to know they don't know anything lol calling svb and Johnny archer a b player lol that's a good one

You might want to read the OP post again, because he clearly never called them "b" players and even believed archer should be on the team this year
 

Shawn Armstrong

Abooboo No Neck
Silver Member
Races to 5 are a joke. Imagine the RyderCup only playing 9-hole matches. If this is supposed to be a "big deal" two things need to happen: 1. Play it every two years instead of yearly and 2. Play races to 7 or better yet, races to 9. As it is now it's like watching some sort demonstration. Why bother.

Funny that these points were never a complaint by most until the Euros started BEATING the US. Hmmm.....
 

Drop The Rock

1652nd on AZ Money List
Silver Member
Lol nothing like another ass beating in the mosconi cup to bring out the silly post by people who don't know enough to know they don't know anything lol calling svb and Johnny archer a b player lol that's a good one

Thats not what he said. He said that Johnny's game under pressure like the Mosconi is better than Shane's... I have a tendency to agree for just this event. Johnny plays better with a shot clock than he does without one lol. He also said that the Mosconi brings out everbody's B game. Everyone has Top Speed, Average, and Piss poor lol. Whoever has the better average has the tendency to succeed under pressure. That's pure and simple sports psychology. The reason Efren and Earl were so great in their prime was that their high gear was above everybody elses and that their "B game" was still about on par with everybody else's A game.

Everybody on their high horse about how the pros know best and are pros for a reason. No **** but its not that they know best its that they are best at what they know. Shane shoots more aggressively because that is his strength. Corey will do a safety tango because he is comfortable with it from playing one pocket.

Asking these guys to do differently is against their nature but that doesn't mean they are right in their ways in this case. If every pro was, coaches wouldn't exist now would they? That's why golf pros have swing coaches and caddies.

The reality is unless USA is completely and totally confident and can stay out of safety battles, they can't beat Europe. Darren and Neils are both world champions with nerves of steel. Their A game is a good as anybodys and is close behind Shane but if they are only playing a ball below their capabilities and Shane is playing 2-3 balls under his, what do you think is going to happen.

This isn't a character assassination against our players, its reality. Otherwise it'd be a coin toss between USA and Europe wouldn't it? If the Europeans can bring close to the same offensive game that they do in every other tournament and play better defense and kick better. Then how will they fair against USA who doesn't play defense as well but can't bring their A game on offense?
 

bicki

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I can agree with BasementDweller to the point that overall the fundamentals of the Europeans are better. I find especially nick vdb and ouchan to be showing textbook strokes. They surely cannot match the cue power of dechaine/shane, but how many times do you really need that to win matches? Consistent fundamentals beat cue power! I am still not totally convinced that this is the reason for the Americans not to win...

In my view, the MC is about nerves and luck. The Americans are under high pressure to show the "world" that they are equally good as the Euros. And it is additionally hard to do that in front of the home crowd. The home field advantage only pays when players see the home crowd as a support rather than a burden. Generally, both teams are struggling but the Euros hold up a little better. I was not impressed by the quality of pool I have seen so far, but it was exciting and tense. In these very short races it mainly comes down to luck after the break and the leave when pots are missed.

btw, I am on the same page with you BasementDweller re Johny Archer! I always liked his presence at the MC.
 

mikeyfrost

Socially Aware
Silver Member
The Mosconi Cup is NOT about how well you can play but instead it's about how poorly you can. In other words, the Cup is more a measure of a player's B game than their A. This is why year after year after year we end up short of the finish line. When it comes to measuring how poorly a player is capable of performing it is all about their fundamentals.

Up and down the line, year after year, the European team consists of players whose fundamentals prevent them from falling apart. Meanwhile, the U.S. team is consistently plagued with top players who have simple but yet major fundamental issues. It's hard to argue against Shane Van Boening's label as the best U.S. player. It's also hard to argue against him having significant mechanical issues that finally get the best of him every year during the Mosconi Cup. His long and hitchy stroke always seems to let him down at the worst time. He has too much stroke for the lightening fast conditions that are always present during the Mosconi Cup. This coupled with his poor transition from his backstroke to his forward one, causes him to consistently overrun position on these lightening fast tables.

I realize Shane's in a unique position because his A game is as good if not better than anybody in the world and it's helped him win many major titles, so simplifying his stroke mechanics is probably not an idea that he would even entertain but if he doesn't do something -- he will continue to get the results at the Mosconi Cup that does each and every year.

Mike Dechaine is in a similar position. This past year he's won his share of events and he has solidified his position as the 2nd best player in the U.S. BUT the guy has NEVER been still while shooting. He rises up on nearly each and every shot and he always has. He gets away with this when everything is going his way and he's feeling nice and comfortable at the table, but when things get tense this movement gets the best of him and all of a sudden his B game isn't good enough to get across the finish line.

If Dechaine really is the 2nd best player in the U.S. it will not be for long because Justin Bergman doesn't have any glaring fundamental issues like these two players have. I wouldn't be surprised at all to see Justin rise up to become the U.S.'s top player in the near future.

There's another player out there that has a very formidable B game and that's Johnny Archer. I will readily admit that both Shane and Dechaine are favorites against Johnny in a comfortable setting such as a long race tournament match or a gambling session but that's not what the Mosconi Cup is. Johnny has a game that holds up under pressure and his Mosconi Cup results prove it. For this reason alone I think he should have found his way onto this team but I realize I'm in the minority on this one.

The Mosconi Cup is not an A game showcase. It's all about the B game and we are flat out at a disadvantage because our top two players do not have world class B games and all the European players on the Mosconi Cup do.

This is the case for not only Johnny but also Oscar as well. The nature of their game holds up under the heat even though there top gear isn't as high as these guys on the team.

I do have to ask though based on this premise...why is Sky having such success? He may be the exception to this rule.
 

randallt6

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
This is the case for not only Johnny but also Oscar as well. The nature of their game holds up under the heat even though there top gear isn't as high as these guys on the team.

I do have to ask though based on this premise...why is Sky having such success? He may be the exception to this rule.

sky has perfect fundamentals, never any movement from his body and his stroke is straight and smooth. mike d tends to get a big jerky with his stroke which is easier to **** up under the heat.
 

TomInFaribo

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Many of the UK players Albine O being one have mentors/coaches that travel with them. Constantly tweaking their play.
Justin B has Mark Wilson sort of.
What does that tell ya. SVB I think is at that point where he needs a mentor/coach.
Corey Duel states in the Aiming section here on AZ something to the effect you don't need an aiming system or he doesn't use one. I saw him miss the easiest 9 ball in his match with SVB. This does happen with the best of them,
But
My belief:
You can do the 10,000 ball practice and have nothing to fall back on when you game goes bad. How often do we hear shot lights out last week. Can't hit a thing today.

A good aiming system also gives you a GOOD pre-shot routine.
A good aiming system aligns the body to the natural stance to pocket the ball.
A good aiming system gives you something to fall back on and a go back to and practice the fundamentals with, when you lose your game.
A good aiming system teaches you how important the eyes are and your eye dominance.
A good aiming system allows you the additional needed confidence that you are going to make the ball. There is nothing sweeter than coming down on a hill-hill 9 ball and its already lined up. All I have to do is stroke the cue now. (This is what Corey needed)
Day in and Day out an aiming system gives you the consistencies that are needed to stay at the top.

Often considered the worlds greatest Efren Reyes has an aiming system. SVB, Dax use an aiming system. Even though it is a part of their routine and don't have to think about it, know that they are still using one.
I'm not trying to create any controversies here just stating my opinion.
 

OLD NO 9

AzB Gold Member
Silver Member
The Mosconi Cup is NOT about how well you can play but instead it's about how poorly you can. In other words, the Cup is more a measure of a player's B game than their A. This is why year after year after year we end up short of the finish line. When it comes to measuring how poorly a player is capable of performing it is all about their fundamentals.

Up and down the line, year after year, the European team consists of players whose fundamentals prevent them from falling apart. Meanwhile, the U.S. team is consistently plagued with top players who have simple but yet major fundamental issues. It's hard to argue against Shane Van Boening's label as the best U.S. player. It's also hard to argue against him having significant mechanical issues that finally get the best of him every year during the Mosconi Cup. His long and hitchy stroke always seems to let him down at the worst time. He has too much stroke for the lightening fast conditions that are always present during the Mosconi Cup. This coupled with his poor transition from his backstroke to his forward one, causes him to consistently overrun position on these lightening fast tables.

I realize Shane's in a unique position because his A game is as good if not better than anybody in the world and it's helped him win many major titles, so simplifying his stroke mechanics is probably not an idea that he would even entertain but if he doesn't do something -- he will continue to get the results at the Mosconi Cup that does each and every year.

Mike Dechaine is in a similar position. This past year he's won his share of events and he has solidified his position as the 2nd best player in the U.S. BUT the guy has NEVER been still while shooting. He rises up on nearly each and every shot and he always has. He gets away with this when everything is going his way and he's feeling nice and comfortable at the table, but when things get tense this movement gets the best of him and all of a sudden his B game isn't good enough to get across the finish line.

If Dechaine really is the 2nd best player in the U.S. it will not be for long because Justin Bergman doesn't have any glaring fundamental issues like these two players have. I wouldn't be surprised at all to see Justin rise up to become the U.S.'s top player in the near future.

There's another player out there that has a very formidable B game and that's Johnny Archer. I will readily admit that both Shane and Dechaine are favorites against Johnny in a comfortable setting such as a long race tournament match or a gambling session but that's not what the Mosconi Cup is. Johnny has a game that holds up under pressure and his Mosconi Cup results prove it. For this reason alone I think he should have found his way onto this team but I realize I'm in the minority on this one.

The Mosconi Cup is not an A game showcase. It's all about the B game and we are flat out at a disadvantage because our top two players do not have world class B games and all the European players on the Mosconi Cup do.

I thought maybe you were opening up a can of worms, but I agree with you for the most part.

I feel Justin is already ahead of Mike and it's Skyler that he sees closing in fast in the rear view mirror.

Another player, that I've seen a couple times this year, that looked real good was Josh Roberts. Although he looks to be older (early 30's?) his stroke looked real smooth. He is the only pool player that uses the old true slip stroke that was common years ago. Anyone that wants to know what a slip stroke looks like should watch him if they have a chance.
 
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