Snooker players prepare for national battle in Brooklyn
filed on Thursday, May 21, 2015. 8:11am PT/USA
Snooker players from across the United States are gathering in Brooklyn, New York, as they prepare to do battle at the 2015 United States National Snooker Championship, which breaks-off tomorrow at the Prince Snooker Club.
This year's Championship is a special 25th Anniversary staging, so it is very fitting that the first Champion from back in 1991, Tom Kollins, who went onto win this prestigious event a record five times, will also be present and competing.
Last year's Championship was also in Brooklyn at the nearby Top 147 Snooker Club, though this will be the third hosting of the event at the Prince Snooker Club, and on both previous occasions, in 2009 & 2011, the event has been exceptionally supported by the proprietor, Mr. Tommy Chen, and his wife Anita.
The reigning champion, Ajeya Prabhakar, who recorded a magnificent feat in winning the title fourteen years after his first victory, will be there to defend his crown and will be the number one seeded player.
The defending United States National Snooker Champion, Ajeya Prabhakar
Photo © SnookerUSA.com
Prabhakar, who is also the current serving president of the United States Snooker Association (USSA), played in both of the two previous Championship finals at the Prince Snooker Club, but on both occasions he was defeated by the local player Ahmed Aly Elsayed, the current manager of the billiard room in the New York Athletic Club, who will also be competing and hoping to take a fourth title.
The 2012 Champion, Sargon Isaac, along with Prabhakar will also be making the journey from California, and their other main rivals are expected to be last year's runner-up from Brooklyn, Raymond Fung, and the runner-up from the 2006 Championship, Romil Azemat from Arizona, who is also expected to put up a good showing.
A Players' Meeting will be held this evening at 8pm ET, and afterward the Championship draw will be conducted. The Championship will initially be contested using a round robin group format, with each group containing one seeded player and all other players drawn at random, which will played over the first two days of competition, with the qualifying placed players from each group advancing into the single elimination phase, and the final scheduled to conclude on the Memorial Day afternoon followed by an After Party for all players and guests.
Amongst all the celebrations for the 25th Anniversary however, there will be a moment of remembrance before the commencement of the first day's play of the Championship for the Scottish professional snooker referee Hugh Brown, who acted as the USSA's Head Referee and Official Refereeing Coach & Examiner and was present at several Championships, who sadly passed away in August of last year.
Alan Morris, the Executive Director of the USSA, said: "The USSA is very happy to be back at the Prince Snooker Club for this year's special anniversary Championship, and both Tommy and Anita have always proved to be such wonderful, generous and gracious hosts.
"We look forward to welcoming all of the players to what I feel sure will be a Championship to remember."
The Prince Snooker Club is located at 6322 20th Avenue (2nd floor) in Brooklyn, and although it is a private members' club, Mr. Chen will kindly allow all non-members who wish to come and witness this great event the opportunity to do so for the duration of the Championship. The closest station on the New York City Subway is 20th Avenue on the 'N' Broadway service.
The winner and the runner-up will gain automatic selection to represent the United States in this year's IBSF World Snooker Championships, which are to be held in Cape Town, South Africa, from November 2-14 (TBC).
Full coverage of the Championship will be here on SnookerUSA.com.