New York Athletic Club ready to run National Snooker Championship
filed on Wednesday, May 24, 2017. 10:35pm PT/USA
The world renowned and prestigious New York Athletic Club (NYAC) is all-set to host this year's United States National Snooker Championship in its beautiful and ornate billiard room from May 26-29.
The NYAC was founded in 1868 and has evolved to become an athletic powerhouse in sports such as wrestling, fencing, judo, water polo, rowing and track & field. It has also become a part of the cultural fabric of New York City, hosting banquets, receptions and weddings, and welcoming leaders in the world of business, politics and the arts.
This will be the first time that the NYAC has solely hosted the entire Championship, as it previously staged the playoff finals back in 2004 when there were initial East and West qualifying rounds which were divided between the NYAC and the Embassy Billiards Club in California.
The NYAC initially bid to host the 2016 Championship, though as the previous two Championships had been held in New York City, it was decided by the Board of the United States Snooker Association (USSA) to stage it in Houston, and then accept the NYAC bid for 2017.
In preparation for this Championship, to insure the highest possible playing conditions, the NYAC employed the expertise of GTA Billiard Services table mechanic, Pat McCarthy, who along with colleague Robbie Gray drove eight hours from Toronto to re-cloth all of the four tables, and install brand new cushion rubbers.
The billiard room of the New York Athletic Club, with the four re-clothed snooker tables all set to host the 2017 United States National Snooker Championship
Photo © SnookerUSA.com
The manager of the NYAC billiard room is Ahmed Aly Elsayed, himself a former three-times Champion, and he will be hoping to recapture the title that he last won six years ago.
Aly, who is a former Egyptian national player, first came to the NYAC in 2007 and then started to represent the NYAC in the International Snooker League (ISL) whereon he was eventually offered the position of billiard room manager.
In an interview for SnookerUSA.com about the forthcoming Championship, Aly said: "It's a very big deal! It's my home turf. I am going to try to win - I very much hope so!"
When asked how popular snooker was at the NYAC, he commented: "Since I took over I wish everyone to play my game since I love snooker so much. I'm trying to push it so much, and we have many regular players whom I work with on their game and they are getting better."
Free players' practice time will start at midday Thursday, and then from 6pm until 8pm the NYAC will host a cocktail party where the Players' Meeting and Championship draw will also be conducted.
The Championship will be played using an initial Group phase, with the qualifying placed players from each Group then advancing into the single elimination Knockout phase.
The winner of the Championship will be crowned the 2017 United States National Snooker Champion, and alongside the runner-up will gain automatic selection to represent the United States at this year's International Billiards & Snooker Federation (IBSF) World Snooker Championships which will take place in fall in Malta.
Full coverage of the 2017 United States National Snooker Championship will be here on SnookerUSA.com.