December 23, 2009
John Schmidt has been released as a Player Representative of OB Cues
Royce Bunnell, Owner and President of OB Cues, had this to say, “John is a true champion as a player and a great friend. I have enjoyed the time I worked with John, and hope to continue our friendship. I wish John all the best in his career.”
OB Cues, located in Plano, TX is the manufacturer of the OB line of low cue ball deflection cue shafts and cues. For more information about OB Cues visit HYPERLINK “http://www.obcues.com” www.obcues.com or contact the office directly at 972-578-9100.
Vote for Mika! Finland’s Mika Immonen #1 in the World Two Years in a Row
Vote for Mika Immonen in order to help Mika win ‘the most favorite Finnish sportsman title’ in 2009. Your vote is of great value!
At the moment Roman Eremenko (soccer) is just in a slight lead, Mika Immonen is second just a few points behind him. The other sportsmen and women are far behind.
We ask the pool world to support Mika to win the poll (voting) organized by the largest Finnish daily, Helsingin Sanomat since 2007. The voting ends by next Monday the 21st of December!
Click the following link > http://www.hs.fi/aanestys/1135251406420, scroll down to the heading below and vote for Mika Immonen online at http://www.hs.fi/aanestys/1135251406420.
Helsinki,Finland- Finland’s Mika “Iceman” Immonen has maintained his position in #1 for the second straight year as the world’s greatest pocket billiards player. Mika had a career year in 2008 winning the prestigious US Open, All Japan Championships, and Most Valuable Player in the Europe vs USA Mosconi Cup. But in 2009, he utterly dominated the billiards scene with wins littered from the beginning of the year till the end. Since the time Europeans have entered professional pool internationally 20 years ago, no European has had as dominating year as Immonen in 2009.
Immonen made a tournament finals a stunning 12 times in 2009, with a streak of 9 tournament finals in a row. Some of his highlight wins were the Qatar Open in the Middle East, Galveston World Classic in Texas-USA, and The Mezz Classic in Orlando-Florida. Mika nearly won three World Championships as he fell short in the finals of the World Straight Pool Championship, but more than made up for it with his numerous wins in 2009.
Mika’s most memorable highlight of the year came at the 34th US Open 9-Ball Championship, the hardest tournament in the world to win with over 200 players worldwide over a 6 day event. Only one player had ever successfully defended their title in this event over 20 years ago and that was when the field were less than 60 players. Immonen lost his 2nd match in this double elimination format, and made a US Open record of 14 consecutive match wins to capture the title. Immonen became the first European and foreigner to ever win back to back.
“To win that many matches is nearly an impossible feat at the US Open. The physical and mental conditioning to do so is so extreme. But if there is one player who qualifies, it would be Mika Immonen,” said Raj Hundal, the #1 player in India.
The following week Mika continued his streak with a victory at the ESPN International Challenge of Champions, an event he finished second in five years ago.
Immonen graced the cover of more magazines than any three billiard players combined in the past 2 years. In 2008 all major magazines unanimously voted Immonen Player of the Year honors, and in 2009 there will be even less doubt. Mika garnered over hundred hours of TV time worldwide on network giants such as ESPN,ESPN Asia, and Sky Sports,making him a premuim marquee athlete in sports. In countries such as Philippines and Taiwan Immonen is a household name.
Mika’s list of sponsors are truly diverse internationally with Mezz Cues (Japan), Cafe Puro (Philippines), Brunswick Billiards (USA), and management group Dragon Promotions (USA,Korea).
Though established as one of the most famous players in America and Asia, Immonen always writes FINLAND next to his signature and “Iceman” , a nickname given to him years ago by fans describing the temperature of the cold country he is from that also represents his steely,cool demeanor on the pool table.
“I love my friends and fans in New York, Manila, where I spend much of my time. But I’m Finnish and I love representing my country around the world. I take pride in promoting my country and Finland will always be home” explained Mika. Mika is one of the few stars in the game who personally updates his life on his personal blog www.icemanmika.blogspot.com
Immonen ended the year with another major win in an already huge year for his career. Mika captured his second World Championship in the Philippines, this time in 10-Ball. Playing live on ESPN Star Sports Asia to millions of viewers, the Finnish Champion overwhelmed the crowd favorite Lee Van Corteza in his home country to win the crown. Immonen now holds a World Championship gold medal in two disciplines, 9-Ball and 10-Ball.
American superstar Johnny Archer, a 2x World Champion and US Open Champion, was inducted to the Billiards Congress Hall of Fame, which Immonen was an attendee. Notably Archer in his induction speech pointed out to Immonen whom he said “was one of the greatest talents and players he has ever seen in the sport, and will no doubt be in the Hall of Fame one day.” A player must reach age of 40 to be considered, so the 36 year old Finn will have to wait. The Hall of Fame is the biggest honor a player can achieve in billiards.
2009 Top Highlights in Championship Finals
Immonen (FINLAND) defeats Ralf Souquet (GERMANY) - US Open
Immonen (FINLAND) defeats Rodney Morris (USA) – Mezz Classic
Immonen (FINLAND) defeats Lee Van Corteza (PHILIPPINES) – World 10-Ball
Immonen (FINLAND) defeats Warren Kiamco (PHILIPPINES) – Galveston World Classic
Immonen (FINLAND) defeats Darren Appleton (ENGLAND) – ESPN Challenge of Champions
Immonen (FINLAND) defeats Pin Yi Ko (TAIWAN) – Qatar Open