The road to the USBA National Three-Cushion Championship at the SuperBilliard Expo in New Jersey next April is underway as players from around the country begin play in qualifying tournaments seeking to earn one of the coveted spots in the nationals. The current format for the national tournament will accommodate 48 players, but the top four place winners from 2012 have already earned a spot, leaving just 44 vacancies. Competition for those positions will be spirited. The USBA is exploring the option of expanding the field to 56 if needed.
The first qualifier was held on December 7-9 at the Medford Elks in Medford, Oregon. The next scheduled qualifier will be at World Class Billiards in Peabody, Massachusetts, on January 5-6, 2013, followed by one at Edgies in Milpitas, California from January 12-13. A third qualifying tournament will be held at the Pendennis Club in Louisville, Kentucky, from February 7 to 10. An announcement from the USBA about additional qualifiers in January, February or March is expected shortly. The road to the nationals will end at the SuperBilliard Expo at the New Jersey Convention and Expo Center in New Jersey. Player registration and the preliminary rounds begin on April 3. The finals will be played on April 7.
Current national Champion Pedro Piedrabuena will seek to defend his crown (his 5th overall title). Hot on his heels will be former national champions Mazin Shooni, Hugo Patiño and Sonny Cho, who placed second, third and fourth in the 2012 nationals. Miguel Torres and Jae Cho, two other former national champions, are expected to vie for the top prize as well. The tournament will be played on 8 heated Elements tables supplied by Gabriels, the Official Partner of the USBA. Lighting will be provided by Diamond.
For more information about the scheduled qualifiers, go to the Tournament Button on the top menu and select Upcoming Tournaments. For more information about the SuperBillard Expo, go to http://www.superbillardsexpo.com. For information about the New Jersey Convention and Expo Center, go to http://www.njexpocenter.com.