Monday, December 13

Big Day

Dear all,

I know you are probably expecting a picture with the trophies and all the hoopla from the 
York Hall right after the victory was secured, but I decided to start with something that
gives you an idea of our morning of the final day. This, like all the other mornings that week
was a casual gathering of a group of individuals with a lot of heart -- getting ready for battle. 

I am amazed yet again how Johan was able to bring us together in this precious event that
has become a career-must for any serious pool player. He is practical, sensible, a good listener.
But he also has strong conviction in the things that he believes in. It is easy to follow
him. Everybody has tremendous respect for him for his charismatic leadership. Again, thank
you so much for bringing down the house!

In the spirit of the knights we started the Journey as a team in our beloved Italian restaurant, 
La Forchetta, by the Bethnal Green road just a few steps away from York Hall. Fittingly,  it was
a round table gathering. 
I had just arrived slightly late because the highway M4 had decided to become a parking lot for 2 1/2
hours. Good thing I had a great book with me that I was able to finish while waiting. Johan made us all
commit to an agreement which we all signed. He had a European flag made for us which also carried 
our country flags. A version of Code of Arms, if you will. Our first goal was to win the first game, the 
team play 5 on 5. Europe had never won it since the intro of the format 4 or 5 years ago. Done. 

Another goal in our search for the Holy Grail was pursuit of perfection. To get better every day. Done

To stay committed and united in the ups and downs of it all. Done

We all played strong as a team. Even the matches we lost we pretty much went hill-hill most of the time. 
We had to make sure they had to work hard for the points. Done

To win the damn thing. Done

Nick showed all of us the spirit of a real team player. He came with some amazing shots all week. Karl showed the Americans he was ready in spite of being a rookie. Darren played amazing, deserved the MVP, no doubt about it. He got us on the hill by sheer heart and will in the face of so many tough shots. Then Ralf did his usual thing: Sealed the deal.

I am so proud to have been working with you guys on this endeavor, what an honour.

I couldn't have asked for a better way to go on a holiday. Seasons Greetings to all and may all your dreams
come true. Don't stop believing!

Sincerely Yours,



Kimmo said...

Nice story! I can only vouch for Johan's commitment as having followed it from the side some years back!
I am so proud of you guys and even more so proud for the way you achieved it. Showing respect to the opponents even asking the audience to calm down so they can shoot.
The way you, and the others in your (our) team have since talked about each other shows true team-spirit. How you complemented each other and basically could not have achieved it just on your own!
To win a competition is one thing, to win it with dignity and pride is another! You did us proud!!
Enjoy your deserved title and looking forwards to you guys bringing many more!


Culda said...

Mika i`m very thrilled that I can send messages to you, cause I am watching you on the net for a long time and I admire you.I admire your humillity and your desire to be the best.I know maybe you`ll can`t respond me because you are very busy but i need help perfecting my pool game.I am a rookie but i learn fast watching players like you,but I have problems with my focus, I can`t focus all the time, and when I`m focused in 20-30 minutes I loose it.Please I need help for you, for me pool is my life and I want to compete with great players like you.please send me an e-mail at I don`t know what to do.