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Deuel Delighted To Take On Snooker Challenge
filed on Monday, May 20, 2013.   06:06 PT/USA

The former U.S. Open 9-Ball Pool Champion, Corey Deuel, is all set to make a cross over to snooker as he will compete alongside the defending champion, Sargon Isaac, in this year's United States National Snooker Championship at Snooker 147 Bar & Grill in Houston, Texas, from May 24-27.

Not since Mike Massey back in 1993 has such a notable and highly regarded figure in U.S. pool tried their hand in the National Snooker Championship, but the 35-year-old from Florida is determined to learn and have fun competing even if he does not pick up the title.

Speaking to the SnookerUSA.com website, Deuel, who tasted recent success in pool by capturing this year's Derby City Classic One-Pocket Division title, said: "Although I don't get the chance to play much, whenever I see a snooker table I always try to play... in my eyes snooker is the best of all pool games combined!"

Pool star Corey Deuel (pictured) is determined to learn and have fun playing in his first United States National Snooker Championship - Photo courtesy of Matchroom Sport
Pool star Corey Deuel (pictured) is determined to learn and have fun playing in his first United States National Snooker Championship
Photo courtesy of Matchroom Sport

When asked, as a top pool player, what he believes are the biggest differences he will have to overcome in playing competitive snooker, he commented: "It starts with the safety play... long shot making and tricky positional play."

He added however that play around the cluster of reds is much like as in the pool game 14.1, but playing snooker is like he has just started to play but he finds it fun trying to learn.

California's Isaac as defending champion will start out as the favorite to claim back the title, given the fantastic style in which he won the event last year at his first attempt. However he will face some stern opposition from the large contingent of New York players which include the three-time champion Ahmed Aly Elsayed, who will be desperate to win back the title he had in his possession from 2009-11, also Raymond Fung and Jian Qiang Wang who are both former Championship runners-up.

The defending champion Sargon Isaac pictured after winning last year's Championship - Photo  SnookerUSA.com
The defending champion Sargon Isaac pictured after winning last year's Championship
Photo SnookerUSA.com

California's former champion, Ajeya Prabhakar, who Isaac defeated in last year's final at the Embassy Billiards Club in San Gabriel, California, will also be in the running to try and pocket a second title, as he endeavors to turn around a record of having lost in three of the last four Championship finals.

Chicago's Tom Kollins completes the line-up of former champions participating, as the record five-time winner embarks on another remarkable title attempt at the age of 77.

With players entered from all the four corners of the United States, naturally there is a very healthy local representation with a record fourteen entries from the state of Texas, many of whom play and practice at the host venue in Houston.

The Host proprietors, Mr. Syed Hassan and Mr. Aurangzeb Mahmud, have insured that all players will receive the warmest of welcomes and will enjoy their visit to this brand new snooker facility.

The Championship will be played on all of the eight snooker tables available at Snooker 147 Bar & Grill, which are a combination of the top snooker brands Riley and BCE all imported from England — including two Championship standard Riley Aristocrat Tournament tables.

The entrance facade to Snooker 147 Bar & Grill - Photo courtesy of Snooker 147 Bar & Grill
The entrance facade to Snooker 147 Bar & Grill
Photo courtesy of Snooker 147 Bar & Grill

Mr. Hassan commented that he will provide free practice time for all the players, so for those who are available, May 24 has been designated as a practice day with the Players' Meeting commencing at 7pm, after which the Championship draw will take place.

The participants will be divided into eight groups of players, one seeded player per group with the defending champion seeded number one, and all the other remaining players will be drawn at random. The qualifying placed players will advance into the knockout stage of the Championship.

The Group matches will all be contested over the best-of-three frames, with the knockout round matches up to and including the quarterfinals played over the best-of-five frames, the semifinals will be played over the best-of-seven frames and the final over the best-of-nine frames.

The USSA is pleased to have partnered with the Harris County Houston Sports Authority who will assist with the promotion of the Championship through their media contacts.

Alan Morris, the Executive Director of the USSA, said: "The USSA Board is happy to have the support of the Houston Sports Authority who are very pleased to have the most prestigious snooker event in the United States played in their city.

"Their cooperation with the publicity of the Championship is vitally important to the event in order to help spread the awareness of the sport in their city.

"We are looking forward to what promises to be an amazing Championship played in a terrific new snooker establishment thanks to Mr. Hassan and Mr. Mahmud, and I would like to thank all of the players who are supporting the event through their participation and wish them all the very best."

The winner and runner-up of this year's Championship will have the opportunity to represent the United States at this year's International Billiards & Snooker Federation (IBSF) World Snooker Championships in the Latvian capital of Riga from November 18-30.

Even though space around the tables maybe limited, interested spectators are welcomed to come and watch and experience the unique atmosphere of a prestigious snooker championship free of charge. Snooker 147 Bar & Grill is located at 14144 Westheimer Rd, Suite I, Houston, TX 77077.

Full coverage of the Championship will be here on SnookerUSA.com.

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