Dominating Mei Captures 2009 USSA National Snooker Tour
Stop #4 Title at The Embassy Billiards Club

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Runner-up Paul Kimura (L) and Champion Yi Fei Mei (R)
The United States Snooker Association (USSA) continues to rejuvenate snooker in the United States in 2009 with its inaugural USSA National Snooker Tour, and the fourth stop on the Tour at Embassy Billiards Club – directed by USSA director Richard Ham – in San Gabriel, CA, February 17-19, enjoyed a full 12-player field. With a handicap system applied for this particular event, four round-robin preliminary flights determined the eight players for the final rounds. Each player received or gave a “start”, based on his handicap (example: a player with a “-26” gave a six point start to a player with a “-20” each frame of their match). Ye Fei Mei of San Gabriel, CA was the highest-handicapped player (-38) and thus considered the strongest player in the field based on past history. The preliminary round featured 2-frame matches among each opponent, for a total of four frames played per player within each flight:

[Numbers indicate win/loss record in frames in prelims]
Numbers indicate win/loss record in frames in prelims]
Group A:
1st    Paul Kimura (Hacienda Heights, CA): 1-0-1    (handicap -26)
2nd    Sim Lim (San Gabriel, CA): 1-1-0    (handicap -22)
3rd    Peter Kwan (San Gabriel, CA): 0-1-1    (handicap -10)

Group B:
1st    Jack Kung (Los Angeles, CA): 1-0-1    (handicap -26)
2nd    Yi Fei Mei (San Gabriel, CA): 0-0-2    (handicap -38)
3rd    Harry Kon (Arcadia, CA): 0-1-1    (handicap -4)

Group C:
1st    Steven Wong (South El Monte, CA): 1-0-1    (handicap -20)
2nd    Truman Wu (San Gabriel, CA): 0-0-2    (handicap -26)
3rd    Zhao Feng (Torrance, CA): 0-1-1    (handicap -8)

Group D:
1st    Ke Ning (West Covina, CA): 1-0-1    (handicap +3)
2nd    Jeff Szafransky (Mountain View, CA): 0-0-2    (handicap -20)
3rd    Richard Ham (San Marino, CA): 0-1-1    (handicap -6)

The top two in each flight moved forward to the single-elimination quarterfinals. Paul Kimura edged Tour stop #1 winner Jeff Szafransky 2-1 after Jeff sent the final black off the corner pocket while attempting a safety shot [37-61(28),71-59(22),59-50]; Jack Kung out stroked Truman Wu 2-1 [22-56,54-20,55-29]; Yi Fei Mei eliminated 2006 US Snooker Team player Steven Wong 2-0 [81-45,66-64]; and Ke Ning eclipsed Sim Lim 2-1 [83-39,44-66,58-51].

The semifinals saw Yi Fei Mei continue his momentum with a 3 straight frames victory over Ke Ning 3-0 [74-64, 87-84, 84(31)-57]. Jack Kung put up a good fight after losing the first 2 frames versus Paul Kimura for a 2-2 tie. But in the deciding frame Jack fouled by hitting the wrong ball in attempting to snooker Paul with only one red left on the table. Paul dominated the rest of the frame for a 3-2 victory [60(37,23)-40, 54-17, 38-58, 33-57,75-30]

Paul Kimura put up a good fight in the finals, but Yi Fei Mei was too strong to handle with runs of 33 and 39, and Mei captured the Stop #4 title over Kimura by a 4-0 margin [60-72(33),30-64,47-54,20-75(39)].

Final Results:
1st    Yi Fei Mei (San Gabriel, CA)    $400
2nd    Paul Kimura (Hacienda Heights, CA)    $200
3rd    Jack Kung (Los Angeles, CA)    $50
4th    Ke Ning (West Covina, CA)    $50
High Run [39]    Yi Fei Mei (San Gabriel)    $50
The USAA National Snooker Tour is sanctioned and produced by the United States Snooker Association (USSA) [established in 1991], which is recognized as the USA governing body for snooker by the world-governing body – the International Billiard & Snooker Federation (IBSF) – and which produces the annual USA National Snooker Championships to determine the representatives from the USA to the annual IBSF World Snooker Championships. The 2009 USSA National Championships will be conducted at the Prince Snooker Club in New York City, NY, May 21-24, and is open to the first 32 entries who are permanent residents or citizens of the USA. Info and entry details are available on the USSA website – www.snookerusa.com

The USSA National Snooker Tour is sponsored by Aramith Billiard Balls and Strachan West Of England snooker cloth, and the 2009 Tour will feature its fifth stop (of the six-stop Tour) at Shoreline Billiards in Mountain View, CA during the dates of April 11-12 (contact Ajeya Prabhakar at tel. 408-203-6721 or ajeyap@yahoo.com).

Remaining 2009 USSA National Snooker Tour Schedule

California Billiard Club (Mountain View, CA) – RESULTS: Jeff Szafransky (Mountain View, CA)/ Runner-up Ajeya Prabhakar (San Jose, CA)
On Cue Billiards (Grayslake, IL) – RESULTS: Champion Tom Kollins (Grayslake, IL)/ Runner-up Paul Flemming (Waterloo, ON)
Prince Snooker Club (Brooklyn, NY) – RESULTS: Champion Raymond Fung (Brooklyn, NY)/ Runner-up Henry Wong (Brooklyn, NY)
San Gabriel, CA – Embassy Club – RESULTS: Champion Yi Fei Mei (San Gabriel, CA) / Runner-up Paul Kimura (Hacienda Heights, CA)
Mountain View, CA – Shoreline Billiards – Ajeya Prabhakar (USSA rep. – Tel. 408-203-6721) April 11-12, 2009
Grayslake, IL – On Cue Billiards – Tom Kollins (USSA rep. – Tel. 847-548-1736) April 24-26, 2009