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24 American snooker players went to the Embassy Billiards Club, in San Gabriel, California, in May, for the 2008 United States National Snooker Championship.
The tournament was held over three days, with the 24 players split into 4 groups of 6. The top 4 in each group advanced to the knockout stage. Most professional tournaments are best of 9 early on, extending to 17 frames in the Final. However, here, the group stage featured 5 best of 3 frame matches, with dead frames played out. The last 16 and Quarter Finals were best of 5, extending to 7 in the Semi Finals, and 9 in the Final. The two finalists will also win spots in the World Amateur Championship later in the year.
There were four seeded players, one in each group. The #1 seed was Jack Kung, who won the title in 2007. George Lai, twice champion was the #2 seed, and Raymond Fung was 3 and Paul Kimura 4, both former champions.
Group A featured Kung, who had a tough draw in Ajeya Prabhakar and 5-time champion, the veteran Tom Kollins. All three qualified for the knockout phase, with Kung winning the group. The deciding match was Kung beating Prabhakar in the final round of the group, 2-1.
Group B featured Lai, and he had a fairly easy draw, with few others who could mount a challenge to beat him. Lai only lost 1 frame in the whole group, winning 2-1 against Henry Wong, who also qualified, along with Henry Nogiec and Sridhar Shrinivasan.
Group C featured Fung, who had a fairly comfortable draw too. However, he lost his opening game to Jeff Szafransky 2-1. He won his other four matches comfortably however, sending him into the knockout stage with Szafransky, Cheang Ciing Yo and Michael Chan.
Group D featured Kimura, along with newcomer Jian Qiang Wang and Christopher Szarek. Kimura lost his opening match, 2-1 to Jian. Kimura won his other four games, but he was still only second in the group, behind Jian, despite Jian losing 2-1 to Szarek. All three went through, along with Ruan Zhi Ming.
The Last 16 went up to best of 5. Kung beat Ruan 3-1, Lai beat Szafransky 3-1 and Fung beat Shrinivasan 3-0. However, Paul Kimura lost 3-0 to Tom Kollins, the sprightly veteran, sending the #4 seed out of the tournament.
The Quarter Finals saw Kung go through 3-0 against Cheang. Tom Kollins couldn't beat the #3 seed, as he lost 3-2 to Fung. Lai also made his way into the Semi Finals, as he overcame a tough game in former champion Prabhakar 3-2.
The Semi Finals are extended to best of 7. The #1 seed Kung succombed 4-1 to Jian Qiang Wang, sending the newcomer into the Final. His opponent would be George Lai, who beat Fung 4-1 in the other Semi Final.
So, both Lai and Jian would go to the World Amateur Championship to represent the United States. However, Lai and Jian first met in the Final of the US Championship. Lai led 3-1 at the mid-session interval with three 30 breaks along the way, and it went back to 3-2 after a 32 break from Jian. Lai then scored breaks of 39 and 54 to win the match and Championship 5-2. It is Lai's third US Championship title.
|1||Template:Flagicon Jack Kung||5||5||0||13||2||+11||Q|
|2||Template:Flagicon Ajeya Prabhakar||5||4||1||11||4||+7||Q|
|3||Template:Flagicon Tom Kollins||5||3||2||7||8||-1||Q|
|4||Template:Flagicon Chris Sheerin||5||2||3||7||8||-1||Q|
|5||Template:Flagicon Charles Looney||5||1||4||3||12||-9|
|6||Template:Flagicon Tommy Chen||5||0||5||4||11||-7|
|1||Template:Flagicon George Lai||5||5||0||14||1||+13||Q|
|2||Template:Flagicon Henry Nogiec||5||4||1||10||5||+5||Q|
|3||Template:Flagicon Henry Wong||5||3||2||10||5||+5||Q|
|4||Template:Flagicon Sridhar Shrinivasan||5||2||3||6||9||-3||Q|
|5||Template:Flagicon Martin Li||5||1||4||4||11||-7|
|6||Template:Flagicon Patrick Gui Gui||5||0||5||1||14||-13|
|1||Template:Flagicon Raymond Fung||5||4||1||11||4||+7||Q|
|2||Template:Flagicon Michael Chan||5||3||2||10||5||+5||Q|
|3||Template:Flagicon Cheang Ciiang Yoo||5||3||2||9||6||+3||Q|
|4||Template:Flagicon Jeff Szafransky||5||3||2||9||6||+3||Q|
|5||Template:Flagicon Privan Patel||5||2||3||4||11||-7|
|6||Template:Flagicon Wayne Tang||5||0||5||2||13||-11|
|1||Template:Flagicon Jian Qiang Wang||5||4||1||12||3||+9||Q|
|2||Template:Flagicon Paul Kimura||5||4||1||11||4||+7||Q|
|3||Template:Flagicon Christopher Szarek||5||4||1||11||4||+7||Q|
|4||Template:Flagicon Ruan Zhi Ming||5||2||3||6||9||-3||Q|
|5||Template:Flagicon Nick Tong||5||1||4||4||11||-7|
|6||Template:Flagicon Jo Ong||5||0||5||1||14||-13|
Roll of Honour