Mika Ices Iceman Open
By Sylvia Lee & Joonas Ohtonen
Jyväskylä (Finland) – Newest BCA Hall of Famer Mika „Iceman“ Immonen went to his home country of Finland for the Taom Tips 3rd Annual Iceman Open, and naturally took down the event. This was a great warm-up for his upcoming World Cup of Pool competition and the US Open 9-Ball, which he has been a winner in both events. The Iceman Open drew 54 of the finest Finns. Mika started the event with an exhibition match with Joonas Ohtonen which he put on a „clinic“ as he ran 11 racks during the match in a 15-1 domination. This was a prelude to things to come.
But to show that the level of play has gone up in Finland, unknown Marko Rautiainen beat Mika in the early stages in a 8-7 surprise. After that matc, the Iceman showed no mercy for anybody and came back from the losers side and beat everybody. In the finals, the Iceman beat one the top-players in Finland, Kim Laaksonen by a dominant score of 8-3.
Pool & Billiard Mag had a chance to do chat with the Two-time World Champion for a Q & A :
Tell us more about the ICEMAN OPEN
Mika: „3rd year running. I won the inaugural, following year I lost quarterfinal to my WCOP teammate Petri Makkonen. And now won it again“
We heard some good well known pros have played in it before and lost, a testament that the Finnish players are getting strong.
Mika: „Earl Strickland and the current European #1 Dennis Grabe played in Jyväskylä earlier this year but neither made it to the quarterfinals.“
How well would the top 8 Finland pros do against the top 8 American pros in contention of the Mosconi Cup?
Mika: „There is still far to go to compare Mosconi- level of play. There is talent but they need seasoning. They need to get of of Finland. Out of their comfort zone.“
How does it feel to play in an event honoring your name in your home country and then to win it ?
Mika: „I thought it was such an honor when they first decided to do it…It is awesome to still be able to win it and show the guys I still got it!“