ENGLAND’S DARREN APPLETON has a unique perspective with which to size up the American forces gathered to contest the 22nd annual PartyPoker Mosconi Cup which breaks off at the Tropicana in Las Vegas on Monday 7th December. The five-time MC winner lives in Allentown, Pennsylvania and plies his trade across the USA as well as around the world in major events.
‘Dynamite’ feels he has the inside track, a position which he is making the maximum use of; “They’re a good balanced team; a combination of youth and experience. Luckily for me I live in States so I know all their games really well and that really helps me give information to captain Marcus Chamat and the rest of European team.”
Appleton took time out from his Mosconi Cup preparation to give us the low down on the five men lining up in the opposite corner for the 22nd annual transatlantic showdown.
Shane Van Boening: “What can you say? Really it’s amazing what he has achieved in America and I’ve really got to know him really well these past 6-12months. He’s a good guy and he’s really come out of his shell over the last couple of years.
“He doesn’t have a great Mosconi Cup record but I will give a lot of credit to myself for that because he seems to play me all the time in the Mosconi! Luckily for me I’ve always performed my best and beat him many times; he just brings out the best in me. I seem to knock the wind out of his sails a little and that probably affects rest of team.
I know how good he is though and if he gets the rolls and plays his best and gets wins then rest of the team will be inspired by him. He really needs to lead from the front and I think with a new look team and the old guys gone, he will enjoy the role and enjoy the team atmosphere a lot more than previous years.”
Corey Deuel – “Corey is a very interesting character and I can imagine that it’s not easy to play doubles with him because he plays goofy shots sometimes and is different to everyone else. It’ll be interesting to see if the captain and Shane can tame him so no crazy shots at the wrong time.
“But he’s got great imagination and a good touch but his weakness is his break and probably long shots; everything else is very good. He’s one of those guys that seem to find results without playing good, but he has lots of experience and it will be interesting to see if he can handle the pressure of a huge home crowd.”
Mike Dechaine – “Mike is a very good shot maker and very confident and very vocal. Sometimes he lets the pressure get to him too much which was evident to see big time in 2012 where he had a famous meltdown in London. It got that bad that I actually felt sorry for him; it’s never nice to see your fellow professionals struggle. That really set him back a year or two and mentally scarred him, which is understandable when millions are watching across the world live on TV.
“It’s his first Mosconi since that disaster so he’s got a massive point to prove to himself, the team and the fans so it will be interesting to see if the scars have gone once he is out there on the biggest stage of all. He’s had a good solid year and breaks great and but let’s see if he can keep his emotions in check. Mike is a top player but he will need to perform for his team.”
Justin Bergman – “For me he is their second best player after Shane. He’s really impressed me this year with his play and attitude and now he feels he can beat anyone and belongs out there. Last year’s experience will be massive for Justin this year. He is definitely one of the guys to watch out for on the American team.
“Blackpool wasn’t the best debut for him so this year at home he will be under a lot of pressure to perform and the Mosconi Cup can sometimes be a bridge too far for some players. It’s a huge test for him because the team needs him to play his best.”
Skyler Woodward – “Skyler is very confident player and a very quiet guy in general but he’s a mature player for his age and he plays all the games good. My only concern is that besides the US Open he hasn’t played in any major events and this will be his first real time on proper TV. Playing on TV for first time is very hard because the table will play completely different to what he’s used to plus the added pressure of millions watching world-wide.
“He will need to settle in quick or he may collapse like many before him have done. The Mosconi Cup creates real nerves and pressure like nothing else, but we all start somewhere and I know it will be great experience for him.”
Mark Wilson – “Mark is a great coach and a great guy and he pays attention to detail. He’s worked very hard for the USA and his players and he should be applauded for what he’s doing. He’s got a good team around him and the players really like him and want to play for him and this makes them even more dangerous. We will go out there and give them 110% respect because they are a hungry young team and have a great captain to lead them.”
Tickets for the PartyPoker Mosconi Cup are available exclusively through The New Tropicana Las Vegas. Visit http://trop.lv/MosconiCup2015 , call 800.829.9034 or purchase in person at the Show Tickets desk.
There is a single session on each day’s play and tickets are priced at $43.45 per session plus commission. The popular season tickets covering all four sessions are available for $154 plus commission. All prices include LET.
Follow the PartyPoker Mosconi Cup on Facebook, Twitter @mosconicup and Instagram @matchroompool
2015 PARTYPOKER Mosconi Cup is sponsored by PartyPoker, the world’s leading online poker site. The Official Table of the Mosconi Cup is supplied by Diamond Billiards, the cloth is supplied by Iwan Simonis, Predator supply the Official Cue, Chalk and Bridge and the Official Balls are Super Aramith by Saluc. Ultimate Team Gear is the Official Clothing Supplier.