Whenever the United States and a team from Europe meet, the first thing that people tend to think of is the Ryder Cup in Golf.

However, the countdown to Christmas for many sports fans tends to start when two teams representing the United States and Europe clash not on the manicured golf greens and fairways, but on the baize in the shape of the Mosconi Cup.

The tournament features the best players from the US and Europe battling it out across 21 matches of nine-ball pool.

The games are a combination of Singles, Doubles and Team games, with one point to be won in each match and the first team to reach 11 points being declared the winner.

In more recent times (as we shall see) Europe have dominated the event and they start this tournament as the 4/9 favourites, with the home team United States ranked as the 13/8 outsiders for the tournament, those prices are available right now at bet365 Sports.

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Let’s now learn a little more about the tournament.

Mosconi Cup – History

The first Mosconi Cup was competed for in 1994 and was the brainchild of Matchroom boss Barry Hearn, who wanted a way to popularise nine-ball pool in the United Kingdom.

The first tournament was an exhibition event and in that first year, each team comprised of six men and two women.

The tournament was named after American Pool Hall of Famer Willie Mosconi, who died in 1993.

In its early years, the teams were loosely selected by the Team Captains and Team Europe often picked professional snooker players on its team with the likes of Ronnie O’Sullivan, Alex Higgins, Jimmy White and Steve Davis competing for the European team.

However, after a while, the competition began to grow increasingly intense and soon, players had to earn a spot on their respective teams through their performances on the professional tour throughout the season.

Originally, the tournament was held each year in London, but from 2003, it has been played one year in Europe (ostensibly in London but the Netherlands held the event in 2004 and 2006 and Malta hosted the tournament in 2008) and the other year in North America, in Las Vegas to be exact.

The tournament is now known as the ‘Ryder Cup of Pool’ and it is now a far more professional and lucrative tournament than it was in its early years and winning it offers the victors a high level of prestige within the poker community.

Mosconi Cup Winners

The full results of every Mosconi Cup contest from 1994 are shown below:

Please note that the MVP selections were not awarded until the 2003 tournament.

Skyler Woodward
  • 1994 – London – USA 16-12 Europe
  • 1995 – London – Europe 16-15 USA
  • 1996 – London – USA 15-13 Europe
  • 1997 – London – USA 13-8 Europe
  • 1998 – London – USA 13-9 Europe
  • 1999 – London – USA 12-7 Europe
  • 2000 – London – USA 12-9 Europe
  • 2001 – London – USA 12-1 Europe
  • 2002 – London – Europe 12-9 USA
  • 2003 – Las Vegas – USA 11-9 Europe (MVP – Mika Immonen)
  • 2004 – Netherlands – USA 12-9 Europe (MVP – Rodney Morris)
  • 2005 – Las Vegas – USA 11-6 Europe (MVP – Earl Strickland)
  • 2006 – Netherlands – USA 12-12 Europe (MVP – Corey Deuel)
  • 2007 – Las Vegas – Europe 11-8 USA (MVP – Tony Drago)
  • 2008 – Malta – Europa 11-5 USA (MVP – Mika Immonen)
  • 2009 – Las Vegas – USA 11-7 Europe (MVP – Dennis Hatch)
  • 2010 – London – Europe 11-8 USA (MVP – Darren Appleton)
  • 2011 – Las Vegas – Europe 11-7 USA (MVP – Niels Feijen)
  • 2012 – London – Europe 11-9 USA (MVP – Chris Melling)
  • 2013 – Las Vegas – Europe 11-2 USA (MVP – Niels Feijen)
  • 2014 – London – Europe 11-5 USA (MVP – Niels Feijen)
  • 2015 – Las Vegas – Europe 11-7 USA (MVP – Niels Feijen)
  • 2016 – London – Europe 11-3 USA (MVP – Albin Ouschan)
  • 2017 – Las Vegas – Europe 11-4 USA (MVP – Joshua Filler)
  • 2018 – London – USA 11-9 Europe (MVP – Skyler Woodward)
  • 2019 – Las Vegas – USA 11-8 Europe (MVP – Skyler Woodward)
  • 2020 – Coventry – Europe 11-3 USA (MVP – Jayson Shaw)
  • 2021 – London – Europe 11-6 USA (MVP – Jayson Shaw)

Total Wins

  • 28 Tournaments Played
  • United States Victories – 13
  • Europe Victories – 14
  • Draws – 1
  • Most MVP Awards (US) – Skyler Woodward – 2 (2018, 2019)
  • Most MVP Awards (Eur) – Niels Feijen (Netherlands) – 4 (2011, 2013, 2014, 2015)
  • Biggest Wins – USA 12-1 Europe (2001), Europe 11-2 USA (2013)
Team Europe Celebrate A Mosconi Cup Win

Most Mosconi Cup Appearances

  • 17 – Ralf Souquet (Eur), Johnny Archer (USA)
  • 15 – Mika Immonen (Eur), Shane Van Boening (USA)
  • 14 – Niels Feijen (Eur), Earl Strickland (USA)
  • 11 – Steve Davis (Eur), Corey Deuel (USA)
  • 10 – Rodney Morris (USA)
  • 8 – Oliver Ortmann, Darren Appleton, Nick Van den Berg (all Eur), Jeremy Jones (USA)
  • 7 – Skyler Woodward (USA)
  • 6 – Jayson Shaw, Marcus Chamat (Eur)

Most Mosconi Cup Wins

  • 9 – Jonny Archer, Earl Strickland (USA)
  • 8 – Niels Feijen (Eur)
  • 7 – Darren Appleton, Ralf Souquet (Eur)
  • 6 – Nick van den Berg (Eur)
  • 5 – Jeremy Jones (USA)
  • 4 – Karl Boyes, Albin Ouschan, Jayson Shaw, Mika Immonen (All Eur), Corey Deuel, Charlie Williams (both USA)

Now that we have learned a little about the history of the tournament and who its most successful teams and individuals have been, let’s now turn our attention to the 2022 tournament in more detail.

Mosconi Cup 2022 Preview

The 2022 Mosconi Cup takes place at Bally’s Casino in Las Vegas starting on the 30th November (Wednesday) and progressing through until December 3rd (assuming of course no team secures a win earlier than that).

A total of 21 matches are scheduled to be played, with each a race to five racks. It is alternate break format, with a lag to decide who gets the advantage of breaking first.

Sessions will run each day of the tournament from 11am to 3.30pm, Las Vegas time, which is in the evening in Europe.

The total Prize Fund for the tournament is $225,000, with the winning team players each earning $30,000, while the runner’s up will earn $15,000 per player for the tournament.

Team Europe

  • Non-Playing Captain – Alex Lely (Netherlands)

Players – World Ranking Shown In Brackets

Jayson Shaw
  • David Alcaide (Spain) – 3 apps, 18 matches played, 11 wins (WR – 2)
  • Jayson Shaw (Scotland) – 6 apps, 37 matches played, 24 wins (WR – 37)
  • Albin Ouschan (Austria) – 5 apps, 28 matches played, 17 wins (WR – 1)
  • Joshua Filler (Germany) – 4 apps, 23 matches played, 16 wins (WR – 9)
  • Francisco Sanchez Ruiz (Spain) – Debut in the tournament (WR – 15)

Team Europe retain the incredibly strong quartet of Alcaide, Shaw, Ouschan and Filler who have been the mainstays of the team in recent years, with Sanchez Ruiz making his debut in the tournament.

Team USA

  • Non-Playing Captain – Jeremy Jones
Earl Strickland

Players – World Ranking Shown In Brackets

  • Earl Strickland – 14 apps, 69 matches played, 43 wins (WR – unranked)
  • Tyler Styer – 3 apps, 16 matches played, 9 wins (WR – 67)
  • Oscar Dominguez – 2 apps, 11 matches played, 4 wins (WR – 67)
  • Skyler Woodward – 7 apps, 42 matches played, 20 wins (WR – 6)
  • Shane Van Boening – 15 apps, 96 matches played, 40 wins (WR – 4)

Earl Strickland will get to make his 15th appearance for Team USA after missing out last year due to Covid. He joins a team that is led by Shane Van Boening and Skyler Woodward but which lack star quality beyond those top ten ranked players.

Tournament Organisation

The tournament begins with a Team match in which all five players will play alternate shots for each team.

After that the tournament will progress with a variety of doubles and singles matches, some of which are picked by fan votes and others by the captain of each team.

The first team to win 11 matches of all types is the winner of the trophy. Five matches are scheduled to take place each night, with up to six on the final night of action should the match be level at 10-10.