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Palm Beach Illustrated and Grand Champions Play Saturday In Final Of $100,000 World Cup

April 13, 2018
April 13, 2018
With three new players, defending champion Palm Beach Illustrated will return to the championship final of the $100,000 World Cup Saturday at 4pm at Grand Champions Polo Club. They knocked off tournament favorite GSA 9-7 in the opening semifinal on Thursday at Grand Champions. Palm Beach Illustrated will meet Grand Champions, 22-20 winners over Deeridge in the other semifinal at Santa Rita Polo Farm.

With three games under its belt, Palm Beach Illustrated has developed chemistry. Collingwood is the only returning player off last year's champion. The horses also played a huge role in the outcome.

Grand Champions, rated at 24 goals, is expected to be just as tough with 10-goaler Juan Martin Nero and 8-goaler Alejandro Novillo Astrada. For nearly five chukkers, Deeridge, a 7-goal rated team, was living the dream leading a 24-goal rated team.

The club's Saturday Polo featured game will feature amenities including valet parking for the convenience of spectators. Fans will also be entertained by a troupe of dancers, provided by Palm Springs-based Doug Verga Entertainment performing salsa dancing. The much-anticipated World Cup is showcasing the sport and its players at every level competing for the winner-take-all richest prize purse in the nation.

The tournament attracted 12 teams from 0-to-26 goal rating. The inaugural champion was Palm Beach Illustrated, a 21-goal underdog with players Jared Zenni, Santi Torres, Agustin Obregon and Collingwood, all young, talented rising stars. In last year's final, Palm Beach Illustrated won the eight-day tournament with an impressive 13-7 victory over Valiente I.

What makes the tournament so unique is the fact it's open to teams 0-26 goal on handicap, similar to the Copa Republica in Argentina where teams of any handicap from 0-to-40 can compete. Last year the lowest rated team was Equuleus at four goals and highest ranked teams were Orchard Hill, Audi, Valiente and Flexjet at 26 goals. The tournament also featured 10-goaler Adolfo Cambiaso playing with his son Poroto in a U.S. tournament for the first time.

The teams:
Palm Beach Illustrated: Peco Polledo 6, Carlitos Gracida 4, Tommy Collingwood 5, Juan Monteverde 5. Total: 20. 
Grand Champions: Grant Ganzi 2, Juancito Bollini 4, Alejandro Novillo Astrada 8, Juan Martin Nero 10. Total: 24.