Tag Archives: Miami Beach Polo World Cup

Day Three of the La Martina Miami Beach Polo World Cup Comes Down to the Wire

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The Raleigh vs James Royal Palm-Jet Blue. (Photo: The Polo Life/Mitchell Zachs)

The ninth annual La Martina Miami Beach Polo World Cup, the world’s largest and most prestigious Beach Polo competition, ended its second day of play with a capacity crowd on the edge of their seats and a penalty goal shoot-out to look forward to on the final day.

There was no lack of effort on the part of any of the competing teams in Saturday afternoon’s matches, with each of the three victories coming by one goal margins.

The Raleigh team, consisting of Bash Kazi, Juan Monteverde, John Gobin and David Tafuri, scored the first win of the day in a hard fought 14-13 victory over a game James Royal Palm Hotel/Jet Blue team (Neku Atawadi, Oscar Mancini and Sebastian Dawnay).

The Raleigh bounced back from a 7-6 first half deficit, behind six second half goals from Juan Monteverde (the team’s high scorer with nine goals). James Royal Palm Hotel/Jet Blue team’s Oscar Mancini scored a game high of 12 goals in a losing effort.

The team from La Martina, consisting of Guillermo Steta, Santi Torres and Carlos Gracida, battled Merchant Hub (Tommy Kato, Jamie Morrison and Luis Escobar) to a 5-5 halftime score and trailed 8-7 with just one chukker to play. Dominic State replaced an injured Tommy Kato (who suffered a pulled groin muscle) as Merchant Hub took an 8-7 one goal lead after the chukker.

Santi Torres and Carlos Gracida scored two goals apiece in the final period for the 11-10 win despite a frantic rush by the Merchant Hub trio. Torres and Gracida scored four goals apiece in the victory while Merchant Hub’s Luis Escobar led all scoring with eight goals.

The final game of the day was another nail biter. The team from Grey Goose (Tom Ravenal, Lance Vetter, Vincent Mesker and Guille Usandizaga) and the team from Small Luxury Hotels of the World™ (MZ Kazi, Carlitos Gracida, Kris Kampsen and Claudio Ochoa) tied it up at 3-3 after the first chukker and 6-6 after the second.

Grey Goose took a 10-8 lead in the third chukker, outscoring SLH 4-2, but SLH wasn’t ready to roll over yet. Trailing 13-10, Grey Goose watched Kris Kampsen convert a 2-point goal from midfield and tied it up at 13-13 with time running out.

A foul by SLH sent Grey Goose’s Vincent Mesker to the penalty line with 16 seconds on the clock. Mesker converted the shot for the winning goal sending the tournament finals in to confusion.

With three teams – La Martina, The Raleigh and Grey Goose – all tied at 2-0, a shoot-out is scheduled to be played at 2:00pm, following Sunday’s 1:00pm match between Merchant Hub and the James Royal Palm Hotel/Jet Blue team.

The top two shoot-out winners will face one another in the 3:00pm finals. The loser will play SLH immediately following the shoot-out.

Day three of the La Martina Miami Beach Polo World Cup comes down to the wire. 2013, April 18. By Ales Webbe. Retrieved from http://livingpolo.com/news/335530-day-three-of-the-la-martina-miami-beach-polo-world-cup-comes-down-to-the-wire/.

Three-way Shootout awaits Polo Finalists in Miami Beach Event

Merchant Hub blog 1

Beachgoers making their way to Miami Beach certainly got their fair share of sun and surf on Saturday, but they also had a chance to catch a glimpse of something a little different.

The La Martina Miami Beach Polo World Cup IX, in its second day, drew a diverse crowd that included curious onlookers and featured three exhilarating matches that were each decided by a single goal.

Raleigh/Comcast, La Martina and Grey Goose emerged as winners of their respective matches and will face each other in a three-way shootout to determine who will play in Sunday’s championship match.

After intermingling with spectators at the conclusion of the afternoon matches, players from the teams were impressed by the event’s festive feel, seeing the event as a step in the right direction for a sport looking to extend its reach in South Florida and beyond.

“It was a crazy atmosphere, and I think the crowd just loves it,” John Gobin of Raleigh/Comcast said. “It’s perfect for polo, and the crowd this year seems bigger. It’s just a lot more fun.”

Kris Kampsen of Small Luxury Hotels (SLH) added: “It’s amazing. This event being here on the beach opens the game to a whole new audience that never normally consider going to a polo game, and it broadens the horizon of the sport.”

In the opening match of the day, Raleigh/Comcast, with a four-goal lead in the final chukker against James Hotel/JetBlue, appeared to be headed for a comfortable win, but a late push by James Hotel/JetBlue tied the score with just over a minute to go.

But Juan Monteverde, who led Raleigh/Comcast with nine goals, scored moments later to give it the lead and a 14-13 victory.

“Our game was rough, tough fast … it was back-and-forth the whole time,” said Gobin, who added five goals in the winning effort. “At the end of the day we pulled it off.”

La Martina’s team jumped out to an early three-goal lead in the first chukker of its match with Merchant Hub. That would be the largest lead of the match, however, as Merchant Hub went on the attack and tied the score at 5 just before the end of the second chukker.

But a balanced offensive effort for La Martina, led by four goals each from Santi Torres and Carlos Gracida, was enough to outlast Merchant Hub in an 11-10 win.

Grey Goose and SLH, in the afternoon’s last match, ended the tournament’s second day in thrilling fashion.

Trailing by three goals with time winding down in the fourth and final chukker, Kampsen came up big for SLH with an impressive two-point shot through the uprights followed by a converted penalty shot to tie the score at 12.

Unfortunately for SLH, it was enough as Grey Goose’s Vincent Mesker converted his seventh penalty shot of the game with 16 seconds remaining to lift his team to a 13-12 win. Mesker finished with a team-high eight goals.

“There was a lot of pressure and it was very hectic in that moment,” Mesker said. “A shot like that messes with your mind.”

Three-way shootout awaits polo finalists in Miami Beach event. 2013, April 28. By Joel Delgado. Retrieved from http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/04/27/3368998/three-way-shootout-awaits-polo.html.

Sand Polo On Miami Beach – NBC ‘Six In The Mix’

 

Six years ago Tommy Kato watched the Miami Beach Polo World Cup, mesmerized by the athletes and horses.

Following the final match, Kato approached one of the top U.S. players — Luis Escobar — about learning how to play the sport. He had no previous experience riding a horse.

Kato hired Escobar as an instructor and bought a couple of thoroughbred horses, practicing four to five days a week for two years at Santa Clara Polo Club in Wellington. The following year, he began participating in tournaments before entering the world cup as a player in 2012. Continue reading

Merchant Hub CEO, Thomas Kato Takes on The Sport of Kings

Thomas Kato at the 2012 Maserati Miami Beach World Polo Cup

For it’s 8th year in a row, the 2012 Maserati Miami Beach Polo World Cup brought the “sport of kings” to the shores of South Beach this past weekend.  First held in 2005, the Miami Beach Polo World Cup features an international lineup of competition, with polo teams coming from as far away as Argentina, Brazil, and Germany to compete for the La Martina Trophy.  All Miami Beach Polo World Cup polo matches are held on the beach — making the South Florida polo tournament “the world’s largest and most prestigious Polo Tournament on the Beach.” drawing celebrities and top-notch, famous polo players including, Nacho Figueras, Jamie Morrison, Luis Escobar, and Nic Roldan to name a few.

Polo Player Kris Kampsen with Directors from Gascon Wines, Polo Player Nic Roldan, and Polo Player Thomas Kato at the opening for the 2012 Maserati Miami Beach Polo World Cup

Thomas Kato, Merchant Hub CEO, first developed an interest and passion for polo 5 years ago when he attended the Miami Beach Polo World Cup in 2007 and told himself, “I have to learn how to play polo and ride so I can play in this tournament.”  Merchant Hub has been involved in the sport of polo all over the world sponsoring competitions in London, China, Palm Beach, and Miami.  This year though marked the entry for Kato into the professional world of polo as a player for Team Lufthansa in the Miami Beach Polo World Cup.  Kato also served as the team patron and hired legendary polo players Luis Escobar and Jamie Morrison to play alongside him.

Thomas Kato with Merchant Hub sponsored Argentine team at the HPA Gaucho International in London led by Team Captain, Nacho Figueras.

Thomas Kato and Adolfo Cambiaso, World Renowned Polo Player taking in a charity polo match.

On Friday, Kato’s team – Lufthansa Private Jet was matched against The Raleigh and were defeated with a score of 9-6.  As play continued Saturday against Yellow Cab, although Lufthansa was not able to cinch the win, Kato did score his first goal for the team.  Well done!

“I feel really good about how we played this weekend.  I’m excited and motivated to work even harder training to become a better polo player and looking forward to competing in my next professional polo match.” said Kato.

Thomas Kato at the Santa Clara Polo Club in Wellington, FL.

Congratulations Thomas on such an incredible achievement and we too look forward to following your aspiring career in the esteemed sport of polo.

Great Job Team Lufthansa & Merchant Hub at the 2012 Maserati Miami Beach Polo World Cup

2012 Maserati Miami Beach Polo World Cup, Lufthansa Team
Thomas Kato-Merchant Hub CEO & Team Patron, Jamie Morrison-Top UK Player, & Luis Escobar-Top US Polo Player pose with Lufthansa Directors

Ponies, Players Return to Miami Beach for Polo

After its appearance in Chicago, and on the way to a debut in China next year, beach polo returns to Miami Beach this weekend.

By Hannah Sampson, hsampson@MiamiHerald.com

Thomas Kato first came across beach polo as a spectator five years ago on Miami Beach.

He was hooked.

“I thought it was the most amazing thing I’d ever seen,” said the businessman, who lives in Miami and New York. “I said, ‘I need to play in this game.’ And I said, ‘I don’t even know how to ride horses.’”

Over the past few years, he’s bought horses, found a polo pro and learned how to play the “sport of kings.” And the credit card processing company that he founded and oversees as CEO, Merchant Hub, has become a sponsor over the last few years.

That’s the kind of devotion that a network of polo aficionados, led by promoter Bruce Orosz, is hoping to create around the world.

Miami Beach Polo World Cup, which started with women’s matches on Thursday, marks its eighth year in Miami Beach with a new title sponsor (Maserati) and an expansion last fall to Chicago under its belt.

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/04/26/2769909/ponies-players-return-to-miami.html#storylink=cpy

Merchant Hub Announces Team Sponsorship for 2012 Maserati Miami Beach Polo World Cup

Merchant Hub returns as a supporting team sponsor for the 8th annual 2012 Maserati Miami Beach Polo World Cup, the world’s largest and most prestigious Beach Polo competition, taking place from April 26th to April 29th between 20th and 22nd streets on the sands of South Beach, Florida.  Merchant Hub CEO, Thomas Kato – Patron of the team, has acquired 2 of the top professional players and polo favorites, Jamie Morrison and Luis Escobar.

"The Sport of Kings"

“This year’s Maserati Miami Beach Polo World Cup is expected to be our most distinguished tournament to-date,” said Bruce Orosz, President and Co-Founder of The Polo Life, LLC.  “Merchant Hub is thrilled to be apart of such an esteemed event that attracts the top polo players from all over the world,” said Thomas Kato, CEO of Merchant Hub & Merchant Hub Polo Team Patron.  Kato will also be making his debut into the polo world as a player in his first professional polo match.

General admission to competitions and adjacent Retail Village is free, and concessions will be available to purchase. A limited number of VIP tickets are available for purchase. VIP tickets allow entrance to the shaded Grand stand, where free food and drinks are served.  A percentage of all ticket sales will go to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Miami, the tournament’s official charity partner.

For more information on the tournament and the events or to purchase VIP tickets, visit http://www.miamipolo.com or call 305-538-3809.

About Merchant Hub

Merchant Hub, a multinational credit and debit card processing company, provides service to the world’s largest financial services providers, to the merchant around the corner, and to businesses and governments of all sizes in between. Our services ensure that your money moves accurately and securely anytime, anywhere.  Merchant Hub has established offices throughout the USA, Latin America, the United Kingdom and Europe.

For more information, please visit www.MerchantHub.com.