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Fung Finally Achieves His American Snooker Dream

Raymond Fung

Sixteen years after he first competed in the United States National Snooker Championship, Raymond Fung has at last achieved his snooker ambition by capturing the title with an epic and exciting battle with Ahmed Aly Elsayed at the New York Athletic Club (NYAC) in the heart of Manhattan.

In what was the greatest Championship ever played with the best overall standard throughout, the player from Brooklyn, who lost the first frame of his first group match against Saif Ibrahim though went onto win 2-1, grew into the event and became by far the most consistent performer.
The disappointment of two Championship runner-up positions in 2004 and 2014 have been so evident in Fung, as he frequently talked so much about that his main goal in snooker was to win this prestigious title especially after losing in the semifinals of both the 2015 and 2016 Championships.
When Fung, who entered this Championship as the number four seeded player, went 3-1 behind to Ajeya Prabhakar in the semifinals with the two-times champion from California just seeking one frame for victory, it seemed his dream of a first national title was so far away.
However you can see on Fung's face when he competes at snooker, just how much focus and intensity he puts into each shot as he lives and breathes the frame.
It was with this mindset in the final against Aly, that he raced into a rapid and decisive 3-0 advantage, which included a run of 48 in frame two.
Playing in his home club and in front of a NYAC audience, Aly, who came into this Championship as the number two seeded player, had to step up to the plate and try to make an impact on the final as it was slipping away from him. He duly picked up his game to win the fourth frame on the final colored balls, and he came back after the mid-session interval to win an excellent frame five to reduce his deficit to 3-2.
The pressure had now swung back to Fung to maintain his lead in the final, and in the sixth frame he crucially endeavored to pinch it on the final black by one point to go 4-2 ahead and requiring just one more for victory.
On the brink of his greatest ever snooker achievement, the tension on Fung was evident as Aly forged through the next two frames with ease, constructing a fine break of 69 to clear the table to win frame seven and comfortably securing the eight frame.
As the players shook hands for a final frame shootout, the audience settled down in complete silence feeling as nervous and tense as the competitors on the table.
It was Fung who pocketed the first red but missed the subsequent blue ball attempt, and from then Aly took initial control of the frame. However, while on a run of 21 and 36-12 ahead in points, with the frame and Championship seemingly slipping away from Fung, Aly missed a routine black off its spot and that proved pivotal in the changes of fortune.
Aly never seemed to recover from that missed black, as Fung was then presented with a golden opportunity to get right back into the frame of which he took to go 40-36 points in the lead and take control of the frame. He laid a terrific snooker and assisted with some favorable rolls of the balls and a loose safety shot from Aly, Fung got over the winning line by pocketing the final blue and eventually making the final pink much to his huge relief.
Defeat will come as a huge disappointment for Aly, not just because he narrowly missed out in taking a fourth title at his home club where there was much expectation of him, but he has now lost three finals in succession — not having won this Championship since 2011.
The record title winning five-times champion and Vice-President of the United States Snooker Association (USSA), 81-year-old Tom Kollins, who during the NYAC cocktail party the evening before the commencement of the Championship received a USSA Lifetime Achievement Award, was given the honor of making the trophy presentation to Fung, who had earlier been fighting away the tears such was the emotion of his victory.
Alan Morris, the Executive Director of the USSA who was also the Tournament Director, was full of praise for the NYAC as the host for the Championship.
"The NYAC has really set the bar incredibly high as a Championship host," he said. "This has to be the most beautiful billiard room in the whole of the United States, with the most amazing views looking over Central Park.
"The hospitality shown toward the players during the Championship was fantastic, and I would personally like to offer my gratitude to the NYAC billiard room committee members Kristin Barbato and Vincent Ji for everything they did to make this such a special Championship.
"My gratefulness also goes out to the players of whom none of this would be possible, whether they came from the New York City area or across the nation to support this wonderful event. The USSA truly appreciates each and every one of you, and we look forward to seeing you all again."
Morris concluded: "My congratulations go to my good friend Ray, who achieved his ambition by winning the most highest-quality Championship ever staged."
Fung and Aly have now gained automatic selection to represent the United States at this year's International Billiards & Snooker Federation (IBSF) World Snooker Championships which will take place in fall in Malta. Should any of the players be unavailable, the USSA will have discretion on who it selects subject to performances, in addition to any further available entries into the Championships.
As the 2016-17 snooker season concludes in the United States, the USSA would also like to thank its sponsors, Saluc, who manufacture the Aramith Tournament Champion snooker balls, Sterling Gaming and the Tweeten Fibre Co., who have all supported the association this season.


Snooker Stars Going For Gold

Leading snooker players including Joe Perry, Nigel Bond and Dechawat Poomjaeng will be heading for Columbia later this month to compete in the World Games.
The event runs from July 25 to August 4 in Cali, Columbia, and it will feature snooker as a major sport, giving 16 players the chance to battle for a gold medal in a straight knock-out event.
The World Games is an international multi-sport event for sports that are not contested in the Olympic Games. It is organised and governed by the International World Games Association, under the patronage of the International Olympic Committee.
WPBSA Chairman Jason Ferguson said: "We are working very closely alongside the IBSF on developing snooker around the globe, and both bodies are delighted to send a total of 16 professional and amateur players from 13 countries to compete in this prestigious event.
"As we strive to strengthen our position as a World Sport it is vital that we earn our participation in such high calibre sporting events.
"Several sports previously in the World Games, such as triathlon, subsequently made it into the Olympics as participation in the World Games is used as a stepping stone towards the Olympic dream.
"Involvement in multi sports events like this is also vital to many National Governing Bodies around the globe who receive significant funding for their sports development.
"I would like to thank all of our athletes who are competing for medals in Cali as they carry our Billiard Sports flag in to another major sporting arena."
The players competing are:
Dechawat Poomjaeng (Thailand)
Hossein Vafaei Ayouri (Iran)
Nigel Bond (GB)
Joe Perry (GB)
Pankaj Advani (India)
Aditya Mehta (India)
Liang Wenbo (China)
Igor Figueiredo (Brazil)
Saleh Mohammed (Afghanistan)
Noppon Saengkham (Thailand)
Alex Borg (Malta)
Lyu Haotian (China)
Manuel Francisco (South Africa)
Brendan O'Donoghue (Ireland)
Ajeya Prabhakar (USA)
Omar Al Kojah (Syria)

Deuel Delighted To Take On Snooker Challenge

Corey Deuel

The former U.S. Open 9-Ball Pool Champion, Corey Deuel, is all set to cross over to snooker as he will compete alongside the defending champion, Sargon Isaac, in this year's United States National Snooker Championship at Snooker 147 Bar & Grill in Houston, Texas, from May 24-27.

Not since Mike Massey back in 1993 has such a notable and highly regarded figure in U.S. pool tried their hand in the National Snooker Championship, but the 35-year-old from Florida is determined to learn and have fun competing even if he does not pick up the title. 
Speaking to the website, Deuel, who tasted recent success in pool by capturing this year's Derby City Classic One-Pocket Division title, said: "Although I don't get the chance to play much, whenever I see a snooker table I always try to play… in my eyes snooker is the best of all pool games combined!" 

When asked, as a top pool player, what he believes are the biggest differences he will have to overcome in playing competitive snooker, he commented: "It starts with the safety play… long shot making and tricky Positional play." 

He added however that play around the cluster of reds is much like as in the pool game 14.1, but playing snooker is like he has just started to play but he finds it fun trying to learn. 
California's Isaac as defending champion will start out as the favorite to claim back the title, given the fantastic style in which he won the event last year at his first attempt. However he will face some stern opposition from the large contingent of New York players which include the three-time champion Ahmed Aly, who will be desperate to win back the title he had in his possession from 2009-11, also Raymond Fung and Jian Qiang Wang who are both former Championship runners-up. 

California's former champion, Ajeya Prabhakar, who Isaac defeated in last year's final at the Embassy Billiards Club in San Gabriel, California, will also be in the running to try and pocket a second title, as he endeavors to turn around a record of having lost in three of the last four Championship finals. 
Chicago's Tom Kollins completes the line-up of former champions participating, as the record five-time winner embarks on another remarkable title attempt at the age of 77. 
With players entered from all the four corners of the United States, nauturally there is a very healthy local representation with a record fourteen entries from the state of Texas, many of whom play and practice at the host venue in Houston. 
The Host proprietors, Mr. Mani Hassan and Mr. Aurangzeb Mahmud, have insured that all players will receive the warmest of welcomes and will enjoy their visit to this brand new snooker facility. 
The Championship will be played on all of the eight snooker tables available at Snooker 147 Bar & Grill, which are a combination of the top snooker brands Riley and BCE all imported from England — including two Championship standard Riley Aristocrat Tournament tables. 
Mr. Hassan commented that he will provide free practice time for all the players, so for those who are available, so May 24 has been designated as a practice day with the Players' Meeting commencing at 7pm, after which the Championship draw will take place. 
The participants will be divided into eight groups of players, one seeded player per group with the defending champion seeded number one, and all the other remaining players will be drawn at random. The top three finishing players from each group will advance into the knockout stage of the Championship, with the winner of each group automatically through to the Round of 16, and the 2nd & 3rd place players going through to play a Preliminary Round. 
The Group matches will all be contested over the best-of-three frames, with the knockout round matches up to and including the quarterfinals played over the best-of-five frames, the semifinals will be played over the best-of-seven frames and the final over the best-of-nine frames. 
The USSA is pleased to have partnered with the Harris County Houston Sports Authority who will assist with the promotion of the Championship through their media contacts. 
Alan Morris, the Executive Director of the USSA, said: "The USSA Board is very pleased to have the support of the Houston Sports Authority who are very pleased to have the most prestigious snooker event in the United States played in their city. 
"Their cooperation with the publicity of the Championship is vitally important to the event in order to help spread the awareness of the sport in their city. 
"We are looking forward to what promises to be an amazing Championship played in a terrific new snooker establishment thanks to Mr. Hasan and Mr. Mahmud, and I would like to thank all of the players who are supporting the event through their participation and wish them all the very best." 
Even though space around the tables maybe limited, interested spectators are welcomed to come and watch and experience the unique atmosphere of a prestigious snooker championship. Snooker 147 Bar & Grill is located at 14144 Westheimer Rd, Suite I, Houston, TX 77077. 
Full coverage of the Championship will be on


Sargon Isaac is the 2012 US Snooker Champion

Sargon Isaac (Photo courtesy of Daniel Busch)

Picking up speed as the best-of-9 finals advanced to its later stages on Sunday night, May 27, California’s Sargon Isaac defeated Ajeya Prabhakar 5-2 to become the US Snooker Association’s 2012 champion. He and Prabhakar are now eligible to represent the US in the ISBF World Snooker Championships, scheduled for November 4-16 in Egypt. The 2012 Snooker Championships drew a total of 30 entrants to the Embassy Club in San Gabriel, CA.

Earlier in the day, Isaac had defeated Kwan Wai Kon 3-0 in one of the four quarterfinal matches and moved into a semifinal match versus Jack Kung, who had defeated Ernst Bezemer 3-2. Prabhakar had defeated Jeff Szafransky 3-0 for a chance in the semifinals against Aly, who’d defeated Romil Azemat 3-2.

Isaac earned his shot at the finals by defeating Jack Kung 4-1 in the semifinals. In a re-match of the 2009 finals that gave Aly his first US title, Prabhakar downed Aly 4-3.

The best-of-9 finals began on a back and forth note, with Isaac winning the first two frames (69-40, 48-32) and Prabhakar tying things up by winning the next two (79-15, and a tight 46-44). From that point on, it was all Isaac, as he went on to win the fifth frame 89-32, and allowed Prabhakar only two points in the sixth frame, 59-2. At the 58-11 mark of the seventh frame, Prabhakar conceded, and Isaac was crowned champion.

As is always the case in the US Snooker Championships, a cash prize was awarded to the player with the highest ‘break;’ a point total derived from a given player’s highest point total during one time at the table. That award went to Jack Kung, who scored 68 points in an early round match against Aurangzeb Mahmud; a match he won 2-0.

Defending US Snooker champion Aly wins first-ever, live-streamed snooker match

As with most billiard games, it’s often the long-table shots that can frustrate players. Short shots fall with the application of practiced skills, but on a 12-foot long snooker table, the distance between cue and target ball alone can be further than the length of most bar tables. Add to this, the further distance between target ball and intended pocket, and it tends to dictate the necessity for careful aim, and a healthy respect for the physics of speeding balls. In the shorter-distance sports of 8-ball, 9-ball and straight pool, you’re taught, generally, to apply just enough speed to a shot to allow the target ball to reach its intended pocket, because excessive speed has a way of altering the path of that target ball. And the harder you hit the cue ball, the more likely it is that at point of contact, you’ll have miscalculated.

You wouldn’t know this from watching three-time defending US Snooker champion Ahmed Aly Al-Sayed. Aly snaps off long shots as though the laws of physics don’t apply to him. He used this skill to great effect in defeating Raymond Fung 3-1 in a Round of 16 match at the US Snooker Championships, currently underway at the Embassy Billiards Club in San Gabriel, CA. Their match on Saturday afternoon became the first-ever snooker match streamed live on the Internet, thanks to the services of P.O.V. Pool.

Five of the remaining eight players in the tournament hail from California. Aly is from New York, Ernst Bezemer is from Texas and Romil Azemat (who’ll face Aly in the best-of-5-frame quarterfinals) is from Arizona. The remaining field of eight includes three former champions – Aly, Ajeya Prabhakar (current president of the US Snooker Association, who won in 2000) and Jack Kung (2007). Azemat was the runner-up in 2006.

The remaining three quarterfinal matches will pit Kung against Bezemer, Kwan Wai Kon against Sargon Isaac, and Prabhakar versus Jeff Szafransky. Play and the live stream were scheduled to commence at noon, PST (3 p.m., EDT) today (Sunday) and will continue through the crowning of a champion, sometime in the wee morning hours of Memorial Day (EDT).

The live stream at is accompanied by commentary that caters, in part, to folks who understand the game well, but thus far, has included a ‘chat room’ filled with knowledgeable people willing to answer questions that arise about the game and a variety of its more intricate rules (fouls, penalties, etc.). 

The winner and runner-up of the 2012 US Snooker Championships will represent the United States in the IBSF World Snooker Championships, scheduled for November 4-16 in Sharm El Sheik, Egypt. Sponsors of this year’s US event include Tweeten Fibre, Inc. (snooker cue tips and chalk brands), and Saluc, manufacturer of Aramith Tournament Champion Snooker Balls.

The 2012 United States National Snooker Championships The 1st Ever Live Stream Of Snooker From The U.S.

History is going to be made this year as the United States Snooker Association (USSA), the governing body of the sport of snooker in the United States, will be contracting the services of Point Of View Pool Media (POV Pool) for the very first time to live stream the United States National Snooker Championship, which will take place at the Embassy Billiards Club in San Gabriel, California, from May 25-­‐27.

The live stream will be accessible on the POV Pool Website for free by all on May 26 & 27 from 12:00pm PDT in the United States (3:00pm EDT / 7:00pm GMT), and is expected to feature action from the round of 16 onwards.

The Championship is open to all citizens and legal permanent residents of the United States, and has attracted entries from all over the country which will include the three-­‐time successive champion Ahmed Aly from New York who will be there to defend his title, in addition to Illinois’ five-­‐time champion Tom Kollins, and California’s former champions Ajeya Prabhakar and Jack Kung.

Winner’s on the 2011-­‐12 USSA Tour who will also prove to be serious title contenders are New York’s Raymond Fung and Arizona’s Romil Azemat, who are both former Championship runners-­‐up, plus California’s Sargon Isaac who will be taking part in his first Championship.

To further promote the sport of snooker in the United States the USSA hopes to attract both national and international viewers through the service of the POV Pool Media ‘Live Stream’ of the final two days of the Championship. Embassy Billiard Club owner’s Paul and Benny Yiu are also to be congratulated for going to great lengths to prepare for this event. Not only have they insured that all 12 of their exquisite, full-­‐size Riley’s Snooker tables are newly covered and tuned, they have also gone a step further to upgrade the Internet bandwidth to insure an uninterrupted stream and higher quality picture.

Alan Morris, the Executive Director of the USSA is delighted to be working with POV Pool, and he said: “This is truly a huge step forward for snooker in the United States as we invite all snooker fans in the United States and around the world to watch our National Championship live for the first time, which we hope will raise more awareness about the sport in the United States.

“I would like to thank both Daniel Busch, the owner of POV Pool Media, and the Embassy Billiards Club for all their time and cooperation in making this all possible.”

In an additional effort put forth to cover the Championship, Daniel Busch has made a commitment to arrive on the first day’s play in order to create a ‘live feed’ of information which can be accessed on the website and POV Pool Facebook pages.

When asked about the details of the ‘live feed’, POV Pool’s Daniel Busch stated: “By creating video brackets and by taking short interviews with players and organizers, which I will upload to my YouTube Channel in ‘real time’, I intend to keep the viewers and fans informed of as many statistics that I can gather so that on Day 2 of the event when the knockout rounds begin, viewers will already know who is left and will hopefully have a sense of who the players are.

“I invite anyone interested in this event to make a friend request on Facebook to the USSA or to Daniel Busch ( in order to gain access to this live feed of information.”

In regard to streaming the event, Busch also commented: “I am proud and honored to be a part of this venture with the USSA and to have the opportunity to promote Snooker in the United States. I have been a long-­‐time ‘American’ pool-­‐player here, but the truth is, I am British born and cannot neglect my roots. Snooker is a sport, which deserves more recognition in the USA. Also, I would like to thank Benny Yiu of the Embassy Billiard Club, an exceptional man who has paid great attention to this endeavor.

Sponsors of the event will include Tweeten Fibre Inc., manufacturers of some of the best known cue tips and chalk brands in snooker, and Saluc, manufacturer of Aramith Tournament Champion Snooker Balls, who have been a long-­‐term supporter of snooker in the United States.

Payouts for the Championship will be awarded to the final four finishers. The 1st and 2nd Place payouts for this event will consist of a cash award of $1,000 and free entry to represent the United States in this year’s IBSF World Snooker Championships, which are to be held in Sharm El Sheik, Egypt, in November. 3rd and 4th Place awards are based on how much is left in the prize fund.

For entry details, rules and sponsor inquiries, please visit

USSA on Facebook: USSA Website:
POV Pool on Facebook:

Prabhakar Pockets First Season USSA Tour Title

Winner Ajeya Prabhakar is congratulated by runner-up Graham Perry

The former United States National Snooker Champion, Ajeya Prabhakar, has won his first United States Snooker Association (USSA) Tour title of the 2011-12 season, sponsored by Aramith Billiard Balls, with victory in Event 9 at Ace Snooker Club in San Mateo, California.

Prabhakar was the defending champion for this Tour event played a year ago, and it was also good to see a number of new players to the Tour in the full-field of entrants this past weekend. 

Also competing was the welcome return of Jeff Szafransky, a former San Francisco Snooker Champion and quarterfinalist in the United States National Snooker Championship, who won the first ever USSA Tour event played back in 2009 but has not competed for three years. 

Prabhakar, who also serves as the President of the USSA, was in fine form over the weekend as he won Group C without dropping a single frame, to set up a quarterfinal meeting with one of the co-owners of the Ace Snooker Club, Eric Ng, who finished up runner-up in Group D. 

The winner of Group D was newcomer to the Tour Graham Perry, originally from England where he learned his snooker, as he went undefeated to take his place in the quarterfinals where he would face Lai Ho Ng, the runner-up of Group A. 

The winner of Group A was Zhi Ming after winning all of his matches to secure his quarterfinal spot, where he would come up against Szafransky who sealed the runner’s-up place in Group B. 

The remaining quarterfinal was to be contested between Andrew Lam, who won Group B, and the runner-up of of group C, Chris Zhou. 

In the quarterfinals Prabhakar defeated Ng and Zhi overcame Szafransky both by 3-0 scorelines, and they would play each other in the semifnals. Zhou got past Lam 3-0 while Perry beat Lai 3-1 to set up the other semifinal. 

Prabhakar had few problems in booking his place in the final with a comprehensive 3-0 victory over Zhi, and although the first two frames of the other semifinal between Perry and Zhou were shared, the Englishman then ran away to a 3-1 success. 

Prabhakar took the first frame of the race-to-four frames final, but Perry showed he would put up a challenge to the favorite for the title as he took the second frame on the final colored balls. 

Last year’s runner-up in the United States National Snooker Championship then managed to pick off the following three closely fought frames to claim a 4-1 victory. 

Prabhakar was happy with what was his fourth USSA Tour event victory, but commented afterwards that he was more pleased about the great weekend of competition they had and to meet the new players to the Tour. 

The USSA would like to offer its thanks to Alan Kam and Eric Ng, the co-owners of the ACE Snooker Club, for hosting their second event on the 2011-12 USSA Tour and for their invaluable continued support. 

The 2011-12 USSA Tour next moves onto the 4 Kaz Snooker Club & Bar in Las Vegas for Event 10 over the weekend of March 31 & April 1.