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Las Vegas World Cup Groups Drawn

Hugo Patino and Pedro Piedrabuena from the 2021 Silver Cup

The UMB has drawn the groups for the March 27 to April 2 World Cup in Las Vegas.  The groups, player list, and timetable can be found on the UMB website ( under the Active Events tab.  Twenty-two (22) USBA players will participate in the World Cup.

The Las Vegas World Cup, sponsored by Predator, will be held at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino. Per the UMB rules, Predator has selected Pedro Piedrabuena and Hugo Patiño as its wildcard entries into the 1/16 main tournament round at the World Cup. Piedrabuena won his 10th national championship crown in December 2021, and Patiño is a four-time USA title holder.
Joining Piedrabuena and Patiño in the World Cup are twenty (20) other USBA enthusiasts. Ten (10) USBA players have been placed into the groups per the UMB rules. Tae Kyu Lee and Miguel Torres, based on their world rankings, were placed into the PQ round. Lee won the 2020 US national tournament and finished second in the 2021 nationals. Torres has won the US national tournament twice. Five (5) USBA players, based on their finish in the 2021 US National tournament, have been placed into the PPQ round: Young Kyu Lee, Edward Gomez, John Park, Kang Lee, and Eric Kwon. Raymond Groot, who was selected by the USBA, has also been placed in the PPQ round. Mazin Shooni and Frank Torres, each a former national champion chosen by the USBA to participate in the World Cup, have been placed in the PPPQ round.
Ten (10) spots remain to be chosen for USBA entries into the World Cup. Eight (8) will be chosen on March 25 in a qualifier, and the other two (2) will be determined on March 26 in a second qualifier. The following USBA players are entered into the March 25 qualifier.


Mario Garcia
Quoc Vo
Seungkwon Hong
Raye Raskin
Ricardo Carranco
Jesus Corona
Ertan Tarhan
Carlos Villegas
Jorge Hernan John Patarroyo
Andres Fernandez
Jose Pelayo
Andres Mora
Vicke Pineda
Jairo Lenis
Zoel A Kehrt Matta
Camilo Medina
Chang Pyun
Jose Cruz
Julian Banol Molina
Ahmet Ozan
Jay Karahan
Ricky Carranco Sr.
Young Gul Lee
Henry Ugartechea
Guillermo Alejandro Sosa
Jovanny Caballos
Elmer Meza
Jose Delatorre
Ho Ahn
Bilal Khalifa
Olegario Gonzalez
Trinidad Espinosa


These thirty-two (32) players will be drawn into 8 groups of 4, with the winner of each group qualifying. On March 26, there will be a single elimination bracket to determine the final two (2) qualifiers. The players will play in a single-elimination bracket, with the two (2) finalists earning spots in the World Cup. SOME SPOTS ARE STILL AVAILABLE FOR THE MARCH 26 QUALIFIER. REGISTER ON THE USBA WEBSITE.

For any questions about the USBA qualifiers for the World Cup, or for the World Cup, call 410 599 8177.

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Ten Spots Remain for USBA World Cup

Mazin Shooni (Rick Schmitz – Rixx Images)

The USBA field for the Las Vegas World Cup is rounding out. The USBA has selected Mazin Shooni, Frank Torres and Raymon Groot to participate in the tournament. With their selection, ten spots remain for USBA players. These will be determined on March 25 and 26 at two qualifying tournaments to be held in Las Vegas prior to the start of the World Cup.

Three players selected by USBA

Shooni and Torres are past USBA national champions. Groot finished second in the 2020 USBA national tournament. All three have extensive international playing experience, with Torres’ second place finish in the 1987 World Championship being the most-notable highlight. They join nine other USBA players who have been selected to play in the tournament.

Two players have been selected by Predator, the host organizer for the World Cup, as its wildcards: Pedro Piedrabuena and Hugo Patiño. Piedrabuena finished first in the 2021 USBA national tournament. Patiño is a four-time USBA national champion. The USBA had previously selected the following players based on their top-eight placement in the 2021 National tournament: Tae Kyu Lee, Young Kyu Lee, Edward Gomez, John Park, Miguel Torres, Kang Lee, and Eric Kwon.

The Las Vegas World Cup, scheduled from March 27 to April 2, 2022 at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino, is one of eight similar tournaments on the UMB calendar for 2022. Each tournament is limited to 149 players.

Ten to be determined at qualifying tournament

Pedro Piedabuena Wins 10th USBA National Championship

Tae Kyu Lee, Pedro Piedrabuena and Young Kyu Lee

Banished from the USBA nationals for the last two years because of a UMB suspension for agreeing to play in the PBA, Pedro Piedrabuena from San Diego took out his revenge on the field of US championship aspirants two months after his suspension was lifted. When the chalk dust had settled, he had secured his 10th national championship trophy. (Photo credit to Erwin Dionisio.)

Over the four days of play, Piedrabuena posted a 10-1 record, his only hiccup being a 25-14 loss to Kang Lee of New York in group play. In the knock-out phase, the southern California cue wizard bested local player Sang Jin Lee 40 to 9 in 14 innings (2.857) and three-time champion Miguel Torres 40 to 14 in 15 (2.667). In the semi-finals, the play was slower and more conservative, with Piedrabuena defeating Edward Gomez 40 to 17 in 36 (1.111). Catching a second wind, Piedrabuena put on a dazzling display of shots and position play in a decisive victory over Tae Kyu Lee, the 2020 National Champion. The game was tight at 25-24 in 10 innings, but Lee’s hope at defending his crown ended when his opponent calmly ran 11 and 4 in consecutive innings. The San Diegan closed out the game in 15 innings (2.667 to 1.667).

Tae Kyu Lee’s route to the finals was rockier. He advanced from group play with a 4 and 3 record, finishing third behind John Park of Houston and Jong Min Lee from New Jersey. His grand average was but 0.798, much below his usual standard. His struggles with the tables continued in the round of 16 with a 40 to 21 victory in 40 innings (1.000) over Hernan Patarroyo of Miami and in the quarter finals with a 40 to 18 victory over Eric Kwon of New York in 42 innings (0.952). For his semi-final opponent, Tae Kyu Lee faced his older brother, Young Kyu Lee. His older brother proved a tough opponent, but the younger of the siblings survived the defensive struggle, 40 to 37 in 44 innings (0.909) and Tae moved on. In the ultimate match, the defending title holder finally found his form. Not willing to let his crown be taken without a fight, the New Yorker was able to match Piedrabuena for 10 innings, but ultimately could not keep up the pace of billiards.

For his efforts, Piedrabuena received a $4,000 prize and an invitation to the World Games in Birmingham, Alabama next July. Piedrabuena also won prizes for longest run (18) and best game (2.857) in the knock-out phase. Tae Kyu pocketed $3,000 in a losing effort. Young Kyu Lee finished third, besting Gomez 30 to 26 in 30 (1.000) and earning $2,000. John Park from Houston secured fifth place with a 30 to 22 victory in 25 over Torres, now living in South Carolina (1.200). Seventh place went to Kang Lee, who topped Eric Kwon 30 to 18 in 42 innings (0.714).

Prizes were also awarded for the best game and high run in the preliminary rounds. Hugo Patino, who made the round of 16, had the best game in the preliminary rounds, 25 to 3 over Raymond Groot in 8 trips to the table (3.125). Three players, Patino, Carlos Mario Villegas, and Sun Shin tied for high run, each tallying 12.

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Patino & Chaparro Win Doubles Event, Lee over Patino again in Singles 3-Cushion Event

Hugo Patino, Ira Lee and Young Kyu Lee

The top 3 cushion players in the country were back in action April 29th – May 2 at Carom Cafe in Flushing New York for another weekend of Scotch Doubles and Singles Carom action. 

The scotch doubles event was played on Thursday and Friday, with a field of sixteen two player teams playing in groups of four teams each. 

Group A saw the finalists from last month’s event, Hugo Patino and event winner Young Kyu Lee playing with their doubles teammates. Lee, along with teammate Joseph Hwang were winless in the group, with no chance to advance to the single elimination bracket. Patino and his partner Leo Chapparo posted a 2-1 record in group play (dropping their match against Mark Ahn & David Sohn) to earn them their spot in the final stage of the event. 

Group B came down to the “total points” tiebreaker, with three teams tied with 2-1 records. Taking the top spot was Song Lim & Johnny Kim with a total of 69 out of a possible 75 points. In a round about way, Lim & Kim were also involved in which team would join them in the single elimination bracket, as their 25-9 win over Rufino Perez & Nestor Acha was just too lopsided for Perez & Acha to hope to qualify. Their 59 total points came out short, sending Sang Jin Lee & John Bak into the single elimination stage with 64 total points. 

Eric Kwon & David Kim cruised through Group C with a 3-0 record and the remaining three teams all ended up tied with 1-2 records. The team to advance would be Sonny Cho & Hi-Suk Chung with a total of 64 points. 

Group D was a little easier to figure out, with two teams tied at 2-1. With identical records, the teams of Carlos Mario Villegas & Luis Mejia and Kaya Bayramoglu & John Gudali knew they would be advancing to the next stage of the event. They would just have to go to the tie-breaker to determine team seeding. The “total points” tiebreaker didn’t determine anything, as both teams had 74 total points. The second tie-breaker was then used, based on head to head records, and Villegas & Mejia Were awarded the top seed.

To the surprise of the fans in attendance, the single elimination bracket saw all four of the #1 seeds being eliminated by their #2 opponents. The biggest victory saw #8 ranked Sonny Cho & Hi-Suk Chung defeating overall #1 seed Eric Kwon & David Kim 25-10. Cho & Chung kept up that level of play and eliminated Bayramoglu & Gudali 25-16 in the semi-finals. They would be joined in the finals by Patino & Chapparo, who defeated Sang Jin Lee & John Bak 25-21. 

Cho & Chung’s dominance would come to an end in the finals, as Patino & Chapparo teamed up for a 25-16 win and first place. 

The thirty two player singles event kicked off on Saturday with eight groups playing a compressed round robin format that would cut the field in half before moving to a single elimination bracket. While Group B saw Patino and Lee in the same group, they would not face each other because of the compressed format. Not only did Patino advance from that group with a 2-0 record, he would advance into the single elimination bracket as the overall #1 seed. Lee would also advance with a 1-1 record, by virtue of winning the “total points” tie-breaker over Eric Kwon, who he actually lost to in group play.

The first round of single elimination play wasn’t nearly as surprising as the first round of scotch doubles play had been. The top six seeds all advanced to the next round, with the biggest upset of the round being #7 S.K. Hong dropping a 30-13 match against #10 Lee. On opposite sides of the board, Lee and Patino both won their quarterfinal matches and were joined by Carlos Mario Villegas and Kang Lee in the final four. 

The finals came down to a repeat of March’s event with Patino defeated Villegas 30-15 and Lee getting by Kang Lee 30-16. The final match and the trail leading up to it can best be described by tournament director Ira Lee with the following text. 

Young Kyu Lee, the repeat champion at the last PredatorCRM 3-Cushion pro-event at Carom Cafe, clearly struggling with his game, took an upset loss (27-30) from Eric Kwon in the preliminary round, and then found himself down 27-21 (30 point game) and on the brink of being eliminated by John Gudali, an avid local Turkish player who was having a terrific game. From the depths of despair, we all watched Young Kyu dig down deep, crawl back from out of nowhere, win that match 30-29, proceed to avenge his earlier loss against Kwon, and seize a spot in the top 16-player knockout stage on Sunday. He then systematically knocked out all challengers including heavyweights, Sonny Cho, Harry Pena, and Kang Lee in the semifinal, to take his seat in the main arena (again) with Hugo Patino in a repeat, all-PredatorCRM Revo, bout for the title. When he was behind 10-13 against the 4x US National Champion, Young Kyu made 14 points in 3 innings, with consecutive runs of 6 and 7, to take a commanding lead that would lead to his victory. Here is his impressive “out-shot” and humble interview from the deserving champion, who successfully defended his title in this exciting 3-cushion event.


Young Kyu Lee Upsets Patino, Daniel Jeong & Harry Pena Win 3 Cushion Scotch Event At Carom Cafe

Carom Cafe in Flushing, New York was the place to be on the weekend of March 18 – 21 for back to back United States Billiard Association (USBA) 3-Cushion Pro events. 

First up, was a sixteen team scotch doubles event with teams separated into four groups of four team in round robin play with the top two teams from each group advancing into a single elimination bracket. While Carom Cafe has historically kept with traditional 3-cushion competition formats, this event was their first foray in Scotch Doubles. With the overwhelming positive response by the players, look for more events like this at Carom Cafe in the future. 

The top team in the group stages was Sonny Cho & Mike Chen, who won all three matches (90 total points) and allowed 55 points against. Two other teams turned in undefeated group records, Daniel Jeong & Harry Pena and Mark Ahn & Young Kyu Lee. The final group winner was Eric Kwon & Sang Jin Lee, who won two matches and lost a nail biter to Carlos Mario & John Guldali 30-28. 

Kwon & Lee got the opportunity to avenge that close loss in the first round of the single elimination bracket, as they faced Mario & Guldali right out of the gate. It was an even closer match this time, with Kwon & Lee scoring a 30-29 win. All three of the other group winners pairs won their first round matches in single elimination play. 

The semifinals were both close matches, with Kwon & Lee defeating Cho & Chen 30-28, and Jeong & Pena over Ahn & Lee 30-25. 

The finals were expected to be another close match, but it turned out to be the biggest blowout of the event, with Jeong & Pena running over Kwon & Lee 30-16 for first place. 

Jeong & Pena collected $2200 for first place, with Kwon & Lee settling for $1800. Cho & Chen and Lee & Ahn finished tied for third and earned $1000 for each team.

After crowning the scotch doubles winners, a thirty two player singles event got underway, with eight groups of four players each. To no one’s surprise, the top players from the scotch doubles event also flexed their 3-cushion muscles in the single event. Five of the final eight scotch doubles players qualified for the single elimination singles board with Young Kyu Lee leading the way. 

Lee continued his strong play from the group stages and defeated John Park 30-22 and then Harry Pena 30-25, to make his way to the semifinals. He went on to win his semifinal match against Carlos Mario 30-20, to earn his spot in the finals against Hugo Patino. 

On paper, the final match did not look attractive for Lee. The former US Nationals runner up was facing a 4 time USBA Nationals Champion in Patino. Patino came out on fire and quickly led the match 7-1. While Lee tried to stay with him, Patino pushed that lead to 11-3. Patino looked to be in complete control as he led 14-6, but that was when Lee started his comeback. Lee fought back to tie the score at 19-19. Lee held a small 21-19 lead, but Patino hadn’t won six Pan American Games titles by giving up when an opponent shoots back at him. Patino regained the lead at 22-21, but that would be his final lead of the day. Lee scored the next two points and then extended his lead to 28-23. Patino fought back to 28-26, but Lee then took the match 30-26. 

Lee earned $2400 in first place prize money, with Patino taking home $1500 for second place. Carlos Mario and Kang Lee finished in a tie for third and won $1000 each.

Fans who are interested in the matches from these two events can watch over fourteen hours of top level 3 cushion with full commentary on YouTube. Singles Matches (YouTube) / Doubles Matches (YouTube).

The tournament director, Charles Brown, co-operated the event remotely with Michael Kang, the owner of Carom Cafe, who ensured a safe environment to hold this 3-cushion competition. HighRock produced the livestream.

Event organizers Michael Kang and Ira Lee would like to thank Predator CRM carom cues, Predator Arena Billiard Light,, and the USBA for making this event possible.

Predator launched the Revo CRM 3-cushion carbon fiber shafts in March 2020, at the beginning of the pandemic. Perhaps, not coincidentally, the two players that have switched from wood to the Predator Revo CRM shafts, both made it to the final table in this first Carom Cafe event since the start of the pandemic. When asked about the new Predator carbon technology, Champion Young Kyu Lee said “It’s only been a month since I was practicing with the new Revo cue – I think it’s great… I think it helps me a lot with my game.”