2010 USSA National Snooker Championships

Aly Retains Title After Epic Final Battle

Winner’s photo (L-R):Champion Ahmed Aly El Sayed,

Finals referee Tom Kollins and Runner-up Yi Fei Mei

Ahmed Aly El Sayed has successfully defended his United States National Snooker Championship title, with a sensational 5-4 defeat of Yi Fei Mei in the final at the Embassy Billiards Club in San Gabriel, California.
Aly, who has become the first player to win back-to-back Championships since Tom Kollins in 1999, was for the second year running involved in a tense final frame shoot-out after a tremendous tussle where he forged ahead then lost the advantage. Yi, who won the United States Snooker Association Tour event at the Embassy Billiards Club last year but was making his debut in the National Championship, got off to a solid start as a run of 42 helped him secure the first frame of the finals to settle his nerves.

The second frame went down to the final colored balls but it was Aly’s 35 break that assisted him in getting his first frame on the scoreboard, but Yi edged ahead after sealing the third frame with a run of 64. A fourth frame break of 49 got Aly back on level terms at 2-2, and after the mid-session interval the 30-year-old from Brooklyn, NY, took the lead for the first time after claiming the fifth frame on the final colored balls. Yi, from nearby Monterey Park in California, hit back in frame six and then regained the lead by taking the seventh frame and was now on the hill and ready to claim his first National Championship title.

One frame behind with two to play, Aly had already found himself in this position during his quarterfinal against Romil Azement, and on that occasion he was up to the task in coming from behind and needed to find that same mental strength to do it again. He won the eighth frame fairly convincingly and then he could call on his experience from last year’s final when he held his nerve to defeat Ajeya Prabhakar in the final frame. Aly always had the upper hand in the final frame and he duly took it for a terrific second National Championship final.

Aly, who has now firmly established himself at the top of the new United States Snooker Association (USSA) rankings, is now eligible to represent the United States at the International Billiards & Snooker Federation (IBSF) World Snooker Championships in Syria later this year.

The USSA wishes to thank the Tweeten Fibre Company for being an official supplier to this year’s Championship, and the Embassy Billiards Club for hosting this year’s Championship. President Ajeya Prabhakar added, “I would like to thank Bob Jewett who did a wonderful job as the tournament director, Tom Kollins who was the head referee and conducted the finals extremely well, focusing on the game which was almost a 4 1/2hr affair at age 75!!, and Alan Morris who did a great job reporting the results on snookerusa.com.” Information on the USSA and further match scores from the Nationals may be viewed at www.snookerusa.com.

Final Standings:

Champion:

Ahmed Aly El Sayed (New York)

Runner-up:

Yi Fei Mei (California)

Losing Semifinalists:

Raymond Fung (New York)

Jian Qiang Wang (New York)

Losing Quarterfinalists:

Tony Annigoni (California)

Henry Wong (New Jersey)

Tim Lee (New York)

Romil Azemat (Arizona)

Ousted in Round of 16:

Michael Chan (California)

Cheang Ciing Yoo (Washington)

Zhen Yan Y. (California)

Ajeya Prabhakar (California)

Chen Yan Jun (New York)

Ernst Bezemer (Texas)

Tom Kollins (Illinois)

Tommy Chen (New York)

Ousted in Preliminaries:

Alex Kopel (California)

Paul Chao (California)

Sridhar Shrinivasan (Pennsylvania)

Wayne Tang (Arizona)

Steve Lucas (California)

Laszlo Kovacs (New York)

Sim Lim (California)

Ng Guo Ning (New York)

Marlin Li (New York)

Pravin Patel (Texas)