Champion: Trinh Do – –Runner Up: Mercedes Gonzalez
Written by Tom “Dr. Cue” Rossman
One of the largest USBA 3 Cushion events ever – the 2018 National “B” Championship – took place from January 8th – 13th at the magnificent Casino Del Sol in Tucson, AZ. Fifty-six carom players from across the US were placed (by random draw) into 8 round robin brackets of 7 players each. The top 2 players from each bracket based on several factors of performance (match wins, points scored, etc.) would move on to a final single elimination shootout, which would ultimately determine the 2018 USBA National “B” Champion.
Anyone with an average of .850 or less was eligible to play in the tournament, so each match revealed exciting match play competition in a friendly and fair format structure. Every bracket had its share of tense finishes as each player tried to score 20 points before their opponent. Many matches finished at 20 – 19, creating a fan friendly, edge-of-your-seat venue environment.
After the preliminary brackets were finished 16 players emerged to start the shootout challenge, where the games would be played to 25 points each. In the 1st round of 8 matches, results revealed rising carom star Craig Powers over Ta Nguyen, Ertan Tarhan besting talented Danny Kolacz, veteran player Raye Raskin defeating Hector Ocampo, Mercedes Gonzalez (solo lady entrant in the event) over Tres Kane, Trinh Do catching fire with an event high single game average of 1.471 in a dominating win against BCA Hall Of Famer Tom “Dr. Cue” Rossman, ever consistent Fred Lamers beating Pete Folsom, determined competitor Jim Hendrickson edging out Casino Del Sol favorite Paul Feltman, Jr., and highly skilled Ramses Verlinden taking victory honors against Tung Nguyen.
With 8 players moving to the second round of matches, the stage was set for more exciting 3 Cushion billiard play. The special “shootout” format revealed match winners: Tarhan, Gonzales, Do, and Hendrickson. To determine 5th through 8th places of finish, Powers took victory honors with a “run of 10 points” against Lamers and Verlinden won over Raskin in a close fought battle.
In an amazing display of carom artistry, the 4 final players showcased the fine points of each carom cue movement, as Gonzalez continued her winning ways with a victory over Tarhan and ever consistent Do putting one more notch in his billiard belt with a free-flowing win over Hendrickson. An additional match was played between Hendrickson and Tarhan to determine 3rd and 4th place. Both players played brilliantly with Hendrickson crossing the finish line first.
Everyone present in the arena was poised for the final match between 2 tried and true players of the carom art. When the final shot was executed, Trinh Do remained undefeated for the entire event (10 matches “total”) as he steadily captured the National “B” Championship title over a gracious and determined Mercedes Gonzalez.
A special awards ceremony was conducted after the final match with monetary payouts to the top 16 players, beautiful “custom” awards to the top 8 finishers, and unique “contribution” awards to Mickey Campbell, and George Hart. Sponsor raffles were won by Bobby Page (McDermott Cue), Paul Feltman, Jr (McDermott Cue), Geraldine (Tiger Cue), Pete Folsom (Casino Del Sol Hotel room – 2 nights), and Joe D’Amato (Casino Del Sol food vouchers – 2 buffets). A special thanks to these sponsors, plus the USBA, Professor-Q-Ball Promotions, Gabriel Tables, POV Pool, Aramith, and Simonis Cloth!
The resounding success of this event was evident by all players and fans in attendance. Stay tuned for more USBA 3 Cushion action in 2018 and beyond!!
USBA “B” CHAMPIONSHIP PRIZE FUND
1st Place $2,200
2nd Place $1,800
3rd Place $1,200
4th Place $1,000
5th Place $900
6th Place $800
7th Place $700
8th Place $600
9th – 16th Place $350
10 – High Run Craig Powers $100
FINAL 8 PLAYERS
Left to Right-Jim Hendrickson, Mercedes Gonzalez, Craig Powers, Raye Raskin, Ramses Verlinden, Fred Lamers, Ertan Tarhan, Trinh Do
FINAL 16 PLAYERS
CLICK ON RESULT CHARTS TO ENLARGE
Preliminary charts are below