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Michael Kang, the Carom Cafe and the memory of Sang Lee

Posted by on July 21, 2011

Michael Kang, the Carom Cafe and the memory of Sang Lee

© Archieve
Michael Kang is the organizer of the international Sang Lee tournaments in New York.

NEW YORK - Michael Kang, just back from the World championship he played in Lima, is one of the organizers of the two international tournaments, that will be played in the Carom Cafe billiards in New York next week and the week after. The ladies will open the tournament from July 24 to 26, thereafter is the Open tournament with 49 players.

The organization can be proud of the quality of participants in the man and women event, including the ladies Ori Hada (world champion) and Therese Klompenhouwer (European champion) and in the big tournament Roberto Rojas, Glenn Hoffman (European champion Juniors), Pedro Piedrabuena, Javier Teran and Luis Aveiga.

Michael Kang as a player, organizer, founder of the Carom Cafe in 2000 with Sang Lee and since that year the owner of billiards cafe is well known in the billiards world. He is 51 years old and born in Korea. ,,My father worked for the Korean government'', he tells. ,,We came to America on August 28, 1973. I have a brother and a sister, who live in other states. I've always stayed in New York.''

,,I played already billiards in Korea when I was eleven or twelve on the small table. When we'd moved to America, I have been able to develop. I have participated in approximately fifty international tournaments: including four times the World championship, four times the Pan American championship, fifteen World Cup tournaments, twelve times the Sang Lee tournament and ten international tournaments in the Carom Cafe.''

He won two important tournaments in his career. Most recently the 2007 Doral Open in Miami and the B-final of the Sang Lee tournament in 1994. One of his best performances was the eighth place in the Sang Lee international in 2008. Michael made in practice a highest run of nineteen, in an official tournament a run of fifteen. His best average he played in a World Cup in Las Vegas: 2.727.

Michael Kang's been married to Jung-Rim for 24 years. ,,We have three children. Andrew is 22 years old and he just graduated from Dartmouth college. Edward is 20 years and is going to be a junior in Cornell University in the fall. Crystal is going to be 11 years old in october, the same age as Carom Cafe Billiards!''

His favorite player has always been Sang Lee, the player who was with his typical style one of the best in the world in the years of Raymond Ceulemans, Ludo Dielis, Torbjörn Blomdahl and later Dick Jaspers. Sang Lee was in his glory years ten times champion of South Korean, eleven times American champion, won five tournaments for the BWA professional league and in 1993 the overall championship of BWA. Michael Kang: ,,The players in the current generation who are my favorites are the young players Filipos Kasidokostas and Jae Ho Cho.''

About Sang Lee he says: ,,He came to New York in 1988 and we became very good friends. Our big dream was to open a billiard room. We realized it in 2000 when the Carom Cafe Billiards was opened. I've always been a great admirer of Sang Lee, I can talk hours about him, not only as a great man, but also as a fantastic billiard player.''
The best known players in the tournaments in the next few weeks are:
Women, 24 to 26 July: Bora Jung (Korea), Therese Klompenhouwer (Netherlands) and Orie Hida (Japan).
Mens Tournament, July 28 to 31 (live broadcasted on Javier Teran, Glenn Hoffman, Roberto Rojas, Luis Avila, Luis Aveiga, Pedro Piedrabuena, Sonny Cho, Miguel Torres, Hugo Patino, Mazin Shooni, Bert van Manen, Barry van Beers, Allan Lys Jensen.

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