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.”