JOHN KIM is the 2008 USBA TOUR “B” Champion

John Kim

Thirty-Six players came to Flushing, NY for the chance to be crowned the USBA Tour "B" Champion. The average for a “B” player ranges anywhere between .501 and .800. The total prize fund came to $ 11,100.00 which included the entry fees, $ 3,005.00 in added money, $ 1,175.00 from auctions and $ 800.00 from a lottery.

The format was as follows: Six flights of 6 players each, round robin, 25 point matches. In all, there were 16 players who advanced to the next round. That included the top 2 finishers from each group, the best 3rd place finisher, two auctions and one lottery. Those positions were earned and the players were seeded into the next round based on wins/losses, total points, head-to-head and points-against.

Four players finished their brackets undefeated and were the top-seeded players: Jim Shovak, Jose Restrepo, Robert Raiford and Jose Costa. The next-seeded players (5-8) were John Kim, Ernesto Davila, Christian Portilla and Edwar Gomez, all finishing 4-1. The next-seeded players (9-12) were Jake Zymeck, Mercedes Gonzales, Joe DeAmato and Francisco Loaiza, all with 3-2 records. Rudy Legler was seeded # 13, who was the best 3rd place finisher in the preliminaries (3-2 record). Ira Lee won an auction bid and was seeded # 14. Nayiv Ramirez won the lottery and was seeded # 15. Dan Kolacz won the other auction bid and was seeded # 16.

In the first round of the Single Elimination format, 3 of the top 4 players were defeated, ending their chances of winning the tournament. Dan Kolacz took down # 1 seed Jim Shovak, 30-28. Nayiv Ramirez defeated # 2 seed Jose Restrepo 30-27. Rudy Legler defeated # 4 seed Jose Costa, 30-27. Robert Raiford, # 3 seed, just barely got by Ira Lee, 30-28. Apparently, Ira Lee scored what would have been his 29th point of the game and may have won the match, but he fouled the shot. Nobody except Ira Lee even had a clue that it was a foul. I have to commend Ira for his sportsmanship and honor. It is a tribute to the spirit of the game: a GENTLEMAN'S game. You have my respect, Ira.

In the other matches, Edwar Gomez (2007 USBA Junior Champion) defeated Jake Zymeck, 30-18. John Kim defeated Francisco Loaiza, 30-22. Ernesto Davila defeated Joe DeAmato, 30-18. Christian Portilla defeated Mercedes Gonzalez, 30-28.

In the Quarter-Finals, Edwar Gomez defeated Dan Kolacz, 30-15. John Kim defeated Rudy Legler, 30-27. Robert Raiford defeated Ernesto Davila, 30-28. Christian Portilla defeated Nayiv Ramirez 30-20.

In the Semi-Finals, John Kim easily defeated Edwar Gomez, 30-19, averaging 1.250. Robert Raiford narrowly beat Christian Portilla, 30-27, in a very tense match.

In the Finals, it was John Kim against Robert Raiford. One game. 35 points. Winner-take-all. Jim Shovak was the referee for the match. John Kim took an early lead running a 5 and then a 7. Raiford fought back, closing the gap and playing strong defense. Both players played very carefully, trying to score, but trying not to leave the other player an opening. The score at one point was John Kim 30, Robert Raiford 28. Then, it was Kim 32, Raiford 30. Kim scored # 33 and then missed. Raiford missed. Then Kim ran 2 and out, to win the match and the Championship, 35-30.

Edwar Gomez defeated Christian Portilla, 25-22, to earn the 3rd place position.

To see charts of all matches, CLICK HERE to view a PDF file (15 pages altogether).

Congratulations to John Kim, who is officially the 2008 USBA Tour “B” Champion!!!

We would like to thank the following:

-Carom Café owner, Mike Kang for holding the event and adding money.
-Charles Brown and Min Jae Pak for running the event flawlessly, as usual.
-Billy Kim for helping to run things when necessary.
-Schuler Cues for donating the cue for the raffle.
-Financial Sponsors: Bob Jewett, Jim Shovak, David Levine, Paul Frankel, Robert Byrne and Andrew Janquitto.

The USBA Tour “C” Championship is this coming weekend, also at Carom Café. We will soon have a first-time “C” Champion!