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Legends Of The Mosconi Cup -- 1994-2021 By Patrick Sampey

Updated: Dec 26, 2021

Friday, December 17th, 2021 -- The Mosconi Cup is all but over, except the crying for team USA this year, however, we at SPM would like to review the Cup from the beginning, 1994. Before we delve into the diversity of players that have graced the grand stage on the Mosconi Cup, let's highlight a few of the most prolific pool addicts, professional billiards cue artists, these great 'Legends Of The Fall' we all love to watch -- billiards aficionados such as myself. For team Europe, the "Kaiser," Ralf Souquet has appeared a record 17 times, tied with Johnny Archer for team USA, with 17 appearances himself. Souquet represents Germany (16 different European countries have been represented to face off against USA since the inception of the Mosconi Cup.) After Souquet and Archer as the two most picked players for team Europe and USA respectively -- then, we have Mika Immonen, representing Finland, at 15 appearances. Also, Neils Feijen of the Netherlands stands at 13 Cups played, the third highest number played, representing Europe. Then, the fourth most selected player for Europe is snooker star Steve Davis at 11 Cups played. As for the top four player appearances for team USA, with Archer at the top (17), we then have Shane Van Boening (SVB) with 15 -- after that, there's Earl Strickland at 14 -- then we have the fourth slot filled by Corey Deuel at 11. Meanwhile, Earl Strickland stands as the most winning Mosconi Cup American player percentage wise, for eight or more Cup appearances. He has 9 wins for 14 appearances, a 64.3 percentage win record against some of the toughest players Europe has ever assembled. Then, we have Archer tied with Strickland at 9 wins himself, but with 17 appearances, and a 52.9 percent win ratio, a decent run in his own right. For team Europe, Darren Appleton stands as the most winning player for either team Europe or team USA for the number of appearances, having 7 wins for 8 appearances at a whopping 87.5 percentage winnings at the event. An amazing run, and top performing player the cup has ever seen for the number of Cup appearances. Incredible. Shane Van Boening (SVB) has had 15 Mosconi Cup appearances, but has been on only 3 winning teams, and unfortunately, although he has remained arguably the world's best player since 2007 when he broke out on to the pool scene, winning the US Open and other top events, and has been atop the billiards world worldwide ever since, always in the top 5 world players throughout -- dominating with a monster break, and run-outs of the highest caliber, arguably that the game has ever seen. However, SVB has the worst winning record at the Cup for the number of appearances, at a dismal twenty percent win record. Does the raucous Mosconi Cup crowd rattle SVB's constitutional fortitude? For team Europe, Steve Davis has been their "Shane Van Boening," logging 11 Cup performances, but only 2 Cup wins -- a disappointing 18.2% win record, and one of the worst, if not the worst, showings the cup has ever seen -- perhaps highlighting the conversion from snooker to pool early on, and the growing pains inherent to learning professional level pool. At this juncture in time, the Cup stands with 12 wins for team Europe, and 11 for team USA, with one tie overall. What will next year hold for the event? Will Earl Strickland be invited back for one more go? Will SVB break his curse and win one for "The Gipper"? We will have to wait and see. What an amazing event! Great for the fans and game, the Mosconi Cup stands as pool's most bombastic tournament of world champions. This reporter can't wait to see what happens in 2022! Vegas here we come.

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