If you are looking for the home of 3-cushion in America, the place to go is the Carom Café in Flushing, New York. From 23 to 29 July, this wonderful room will once again host the Verhoeven Open and welcome many of the world’s best players. 

Under three different names (the Sang Lee International, the Sang Lee Memorial and the Verhoeven Open), this event has been on the calendar almost every year since the early nineties. Last year, Jae Ho Cho was the winner. In earlier editions, Blomdahl and Caudron were often the strongest, but quite a few other players have won in New York as well: Forthomme, Jaspers, Bury, Nelin, Avila, Piedrabuena, Zanetti, Teran, to name just a few.

What sets the New York tournament apart is the format: round robin in groups, followed by another round robin, sometimes a third. A World Cup can be won in five matches; in New York you need to play twenty or more. Not everybody has the stamina for it; it’s a true test of 3-cushion fortitude and willpower.

Unfortunately, there are not as many Asian players of high rank as last year. Visa problems for several Vietnamese, The Vietnamese federation and its national Olympic committee must take urgent measures to solve this severe problem of their athletes and also by the absence of some of the Koreans.

Still, the field is impressively strong. Jae Ho Cho (title holder), Caudron, Sánchez, Merckx, Blomdahl and Sayginer are all seeded. Leppens (last year’s runner-up), Forthomme (the winner in 2008), Horn, Sidhom, Patino, Teran, Campino, Morales, Q.C. Tran, N.Q. Nguyen, Catano and Torres are all capable of going far.  

The best player in the USA, Pedro Piedrabuena, is not on the list this year. Like Dick Jaspers, he prefers another way of preparing for the McCreery tournament of Champions, two weeks later.

As always, the event is in the capable hands of tournament director Charles Brown, and room owner Mike Kang is the host. All matches can be seen on Kozoom. 



(c) 2019 Union Mondiale de Billard