3 Cushion National Championships

Three cushion billiards national championships was held at Bogart¹s Billiard Cafe in Livonia, MI from January 28th thru February 2nd. 32 players from around the country converge with aspiration of being the national champion. The matches were played on four Verhoeven tables with newly Simonis cloth covered by In Soo Park. The preliminary rounds had 4 flights of 8 playing to 30 points. The two top in each flight , plus two wild cards would advanced to the final rounds. Pedro Piedrabuena, the defending National Champion was the only player to emerge undefeated from the prelims. Miguel Torres from N.Y and Salvador Diaz from LA. were the two wild cards.The last seven all finish at 6-1 except Sonny Cho also from N.Y who went 5-2 to advance.

The final round of the championships had more twist and turns than any national for many years. In the last round of play four players stood at 5 & 3 while Miguel Torres who had finish at 6 & 3 waited in the wings hoping he will have a chance at the eventual tie break game. Of the three players who would finish at 6 & 3 the two top would playoff for the national title.

Hugo Patino won his final round match over Moon Bum Heo 40 to 36 to put himself in the playoff for the title. The other match pitted Pedro Piedrabuena against Youg Chan Kim and a win by Pedro would put him in the final match. A win by Kim places Miguel Torres in the championship game. This game was a classic. A Battle that went to 39 to 39 had both players taking several shots to win the game. Kim prevail and spoiled Pedro chances at a 2nd consecutive national title. Hugo Patino versus Miguel Torres for the 2003 National Championship. After a grueling week Hugo Patino won the 40-24 and was crowned the new National Champion. The 2003 nationals was truly a tournament of high drama, competitiveness and elegant sportsmanship.

Many thanks are in order and go.... to Mrs. & Mr. Larry Wathen for providing the venue, Mazin Shooni, the hardworking tournament director, Charles Brown and Bob Jewett, past President and Secretary for all their hard work in making this tournament a reality and a great success. Thanks to Mike Baronts for his work as referee, to Steve Hegg & David Thompson in producing the best tournament program ever and to everyone else who helped with this tournament. We would like to thank our special sponsor¹s, Greektown Casino, Baymont Inn & Suites, Dieckman Cues, Schuler Cues , Simonis cloth and USBA.

Hugo Patino Profile:

Age: 37

Years playing 3c: 12

Practice Room: Empire Billiards, Jackson Heights, New York

3-Cushion Tournament Accomplishments:
Champion, 2002 USBA Carom Corner Tour, Peabody, MA 2-Time Colombian National Champion Colombian Team, 2001 Hoppe Cup

Most Memorable 3-Cushion Experience:
"Defeating Raymond Ceulemans, 2 sets to 0, in 2001 Hoppe Cup, scoring 30 points in 12 innings."

Article courtesy of Professor Q-Ball