- Published on Sunday, 31 August 2014 12:40
Seventeen players assembled in Houston Texas at US Bida for the USBA Tour Open tournament held August 22-24. Current US Champion Pedro Piedrabuena topped the group of A players which included former US Champion Hugo Patino, Sang Jin Lee from New York, and local Houston players Cong Nguyen and Thanh Vu. USBA President Jim Shovak entered in the A group as well. The eleven B players included Ellis Lawrence and Jim Bishop who traveled to Houston to play, as well as nine local players including room owners Tim Nguyen, Patrick Tran and Quang Tran along with Dung Ngo, Minh Lam, Nacho Galindo, Kiet Nguyen, Lan Vo and Doug Deitel.
Pedro and Hugo were seeded into separate flights along with the other A players which led to some excitement and surprises in the preliminary rounds. The field was divided into the A flight of 9 and B flight of 8 for round robin play. No surprise in flight A was Piedrabuena toppping the flight with a perfect 8-0 record. The remainder of the field battled fiercely with Galindo beating Vu and Shovak, as did Dung Ngo. At 5-3 both Patrick Tran and Dung Ngo moved on to the finals. Vu with 178 total points was awarded the fourth spot ahead of Galindo. Unfortunately Ngo was unable to continue play, so Galindo ended up moving on as the fourth finalist from the group.
The B flight had some real drama as all three A players felt the sting of loss to the hungry group of B challengers. Patino dropped three games as did Cong Nguyen. Lee only lost one to Ellis Lawrence to win the flight at 6-1. With that win against Lee, Lawrence clinched clear second with only losses to Patino and Cong Nguyen. The third and fourth spot were awarded to Cong Nguyen and Hugo Patino respectively. Despite a great win against Patino, Lan Vo just missed out having suffered a crushing loss to Lee early on. His total points were not enough and the final eight were decided.
The finals were set up with 8 players in round robin, and had five of the A players and three from the B entries. That is where Patino found his rhythm after his rocky preliminary round, and with strong consistent play came out on top round after round. Going in to the final two rounds Piedrabuena and Patino were both undefeated. That is where lightning struck and Lee, playing hard, beat Pedro to deliver his first loss of the tournament. It would prove to be a costly one. Patino continued his winning ways to set up the final match. Pedro and Hugo together again. A familiar sight to many who follow US Billiards. And like so many games in the past it was hard fought. But this time Hugo would prevail, making great shots, playing strong defense, and winning to go undefeated and clear first in the finals.
Houston is one of the premier Billiard cities in the country. There are dozens of rooms in town with carom tables and overall more than forty top of the line ten foot heated tables from Verhoeven, Chevillotte and Gabriels. US Bida is one of the premier spots in the city to play, with eight Verhoeven tables, a warm friendly atmosphere, and great food as well. Tim Nguyen was a gracious host ensuring the players had the best playing conditions and enjoyed every moment. We look forward to many more tournaments at US Bida and in the city of Houston.
- Published on Sunday, 10 August 2014 14:06
Here are two images... which one do you want to see?
Thanks to Merrill Hughes, our Treasurer and Board Member we have a glimpse into what we all hope is the next generation of three-cushion players and the future of the game.
Meet Luca Tomassetti an 11 year old 6th grader who loves to have a cue in his hand. Luca hails from Pittsburgh PA and even at his young age has shown great enthusiasm and skill in the sport of three-cushion billiards. Luca started playing three cushion billiards not too long ago and has generated interest from older players wherever he goes. He was recently given a chance to demonstrate his skills having been sponsored by master mechanic Yura K Ra to play in the 2014 Verhoeven Open Tournament at the Carom Cafe in Flushing New York. That’s right, the USBA’s premier International event - the Verhoeven Open - where some of the top 3 cushion players in the world assemble each year.
When arriving at Carom Café in New York, Luca was an immediate topic of conversation. As many of the players began to notice this young man at the tables, they readily welcomed him into the mix. Luca was usually the first one in the room and was constantly practicing every chance he had. He even received some tips from top players as they gravitated to this fearless and engaging young man. He is definitely a welcome addition to our game.
Luca has already proven himself to be an outstanding young player who displays poise, respect and a good understanding of the game. His week at Carom Café was capped with him on the receiving end of a very generous gift from Ira Lee, who presented Luca with a brand new Molinari Cue. Luca put his old cue away and started using his new gift and stayed with it until the end. We know Luca will treasure both the memories and that wonderful cue forever.
As a retired school teacher, Merrill Hughes has had years of first hand experience with youth and sports. It is Merrill's opinion that Luca Tomassetti displays all the best attributes of a fine young man with a very bright future in both sports and his life. We should all be thankful young Luca has shown such great interest in three cushion billiards. Let us hope and work toward seeing more of him and more like him as the years go by.
The USBA is proud to have Luca as a member and we believe he is a great role model for others. The game needs to see more youth involved and we hope Luca is the start of a campaign that recruits more young players of both sexes to billiards. Luca, we thank you for carrying yourself like a seasoned veteran at the Verhoeven Open and we look forward to observing the influence you might have in encouraging other youth of America to learn the game. As Luca shines, the future certainly looks bright for billiards.
- Published on Wednesday, 16 July 2014 18:53
Torbjorn Blomdahl Takes Top Honors
The 2014 New York tournament is over and Torbjorn Blomdahl of Sweden is the winner. Blomdahl defeated Eddie Merckx of Belgium in the last game of the 8-man round robin finals to cement the victory. Blomdahl was the most consistent in the finals winning all seven of his games to go undefeated and averaging more than two in all games but one. His grand average of 2.188 was also tops. Frederic Caudron who came in third had the best game of 3.636 and high run of 17, but was eliminated with three losses to Blomdahl. Merckx and Ly The Vinh of Vietnam. Dick Jaspers was fourth ahead of Vinh in a disappointing effort for his fans.The remainder of the final 8 are Huberney Catano, Sameh Sidholm and Alexander Salazar.
The complete result charts for the qualification rounds, the semifinal rounds and the final rounds are posted in the gallery. You will also find the official final rankings based on tie-breaker rules in the gallery. For all the results check out the Gallery here: 2014 Verhoeven Open Charts and Pictures
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