Eighteen players came ready to play in the USBA Tour Open Tournament held at Carom Cafe in Flushing NY this weekend. And when one of them is the great Tobjorn Blomdahl you know we are in for some great billiards. With the orgainizers hoping for 28 players the challenges for many in the aftermath of Super Storm Sandy proved to be too great. In fact, even the famed 24-hour live stream at Carom Cafe took a hit and could not be made ready for the event.
So the eighteen who made it were divided into two groups of 9, with Pedro Piedrabuena our 2012 US National Champion and winner of two recent Open tournaments seeded in one group, while number one in the world Torbjorn Blomdahl seeded in the opposing group. The remaining players were divided in a blind draw. The Red group with Pedro by sheer luck had a concentration of strong A and B players, while the Black group with Blomdahl only had Miguel Torres to give him some tough competition in the prelims.
The format is round robin, with the top four moving on to the final round. But at that point the players will only face opponents from the opposite group. At the end of the tournament all twelve matches will count and the best record takes the prize.
After ond day of play Pedro enjoys a record of 4-0 and shares the lead with Hugo Patino also at 4-0. Others still in the hunt for the coveted top four spots include Brian Yi at 3-2, Michael Kang at 2-3 and Sang Jin Lee also at 2-3.
In Blomdahls's group, Torbjorn and Miguel are tops at 4-0, while several players are locked at 2-2 making for some exciting matches to come tomorrow.
Best of all, if high runs are any indicator of what we can expect, Blomdahl's 16 and Pedro's 14 are a signal that the final match could be a rematch of the excitng game the two played in the Verhoeven Open on these very same tables.
Stay tuned for more complete updates and pictures as we receive them.