Coach Samson Dubina US National Team Coach 4x USATT Coach of the Year

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USATT Article

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The Newgy Akron Open set the record for the largest tournament in NE Ohio during the last 10 years.  Leading the pack of 96 players was Wang Zhen (rated 2822) who just return from training in China and Germany.  The 2-day event began on Friday with warm-up events and concluded Saturday with the Giant Round Robin events.
      The handicap event began first – one game to 31 points with the lower player receiving a “handicap” by starting with a lead in points.  Cheng Li (rated 2598) spotted nearly everyone 25 points and still took home the first place cash!  Finishing second was Daniel Waugaman and the semifinalist were Ron Martin and Gary Hobrath.  Next up were the junior recreational and adult recreational.  Andrew Heiser beat Noah Sussman in the junior final for the first place prize and Stephen Faulstich beat Lee Szwast in the adult final for the first place prize.  In the Open doubles, Samson Dubina and Shreyans Bafna (Samson’s student) surprised the spectators with 2 major upsets – first over Zhiquiao Xie/Keith Pech in the semis 3-2 then over Cheng Li/Yi Chi Zhang 3-1 in the final.
     The Saturday events were all giant round robins of 8 players with the top 4 players from each group advancing to the next round.  In the open round robin groups, lobber Don Hamilton (2155) nearly caused the upset of the tournament losing a nail-bitter to Yi Chi Zhang (2584) 16-14 in the 5th game.  After the top 4 finishers advanced from the 4 groups, they played a final 16 single elimination.  In the semifinals, Yi Chi Zhang played a very high-risk game against Wang Zhen and managed to squeak out one game.  In the end Wang was too consistent and was able to counter all of Zhang’s power shots.  In the other semi, Samson started off well against Cheng Li by winning the first and up 6-2 in the second.  After a few tactical changes, Cheng Li was able to adjust and win 4-1.  In the start of the Open final, Wang Zhen was so steady from both sides – able to be consistent and still rip winners.  Cheng Li was left shaking his head in shock that Wang could play at such a high level.  The 150 spectators were delighted to see Cheng win the 4th game and thought they might see a comeback.  Wang stepped up his level and won the 5th, 11-7 and took home the $1000 check.
     The other giant round robin events featured the same format.  In the u2100 final Cincinnati’s Burak Cevik looped and smashed his way to a $200 victory over lobbing and fishing Aleksandr Itunin.  The semifinalist Roger Liu and James Hamilton with also awarded with cash winnings for their valiant efforts.  In the under 1700 final, the top seed Mario Letic got his revenge against Ed Zadrozny.  Ed had beaten him in the group, but Mario had the last word winning 3-0 in the final.  The semifinalist were Mike Wilke and Raymond Johnston.  The last event was the u1300.  Two young players fought against the older crowd to come out on top – Mike Burchfield beat Anwen Harris in the final with Richard Beer and Daniel Waugaman losing in the semis.  Congrats to all the players for their fighting efforts throughout the tournament!
     Our next Akron tournament will be September 26-27 featuring the giant round robin format, excellent playing conditions, great prize money, and free food for all the players.  The entry form is now available at  I would like to send out a special THANK YOU to all 96 players who attended our tournament.  I would also like to send a THANK YOU to our tournament sponsors who made this event possible.  See you in September!
Our Sponsors!
Newgy, Wil-Cut, Clear Choice, Simplex Creative, Paddle Palace, and CLJ Studios
Our Staff!
Greg Thompson, Perry Wilson, Pierce Scott, Sam Dubina, Nancy Dubina, Cathy Steele, Raymond Johnston, Orlando McEwan, Karen Pon, David Bussey, and Ron Arcaro
Our Photographer!
Chris Jordan from CLJ Studios
Our Host!
Pastor Jimmy Taylor
Our Chefs
Heather Dubina, Rachel Detwiler, Cathy Steele, and Calvin Detwiler
Open Giant Round Robin
1st Wang Zhen  (rated 2822)
2nd Cheng Li (rated 2598)
3rd Yi Chi Zhang (rated 2584)
4th Samson Dubina (rated 2497)
5th-6th Nachiket Joshi and Junyu Xiao
7th-8th Seyed Hesam Hamrahian and Keith Pech
Under 2100 Giant Round Robin
1st Burak Cevik
2nd Aleksandr Itunin
3rd-4th Roger Liu and James Hamilton
5th-8th Rick Akers, Bob New, Shreyans Bafna, and Harsh Khandelwal
Under 1700 Giant Round Robin
1st Mario Letic
2nd Ed Zadrozny
3rd Raymond Johnston
4th Mike Wilke
5th-8th Ashwin Turakhia, David Sommers, Joe Ciarrochi, and Richard Beer
Under 1300 Giant Round Robin
1st Mike Burchfield
2nd Anwen Harris
3rd Daniel Waugaman
4th Richard Beer
5th-8th Dick Bennett, Jeff Shiff, David Sommers, Ron Martin
Open Doubles
1st Samson Dubina/Shreyans Bafna
2nd Cheng Li/Yi Chi Zhang
3rd-4th Zhiqiao Xie/Keith Pech and Hesam Hamrahian/Ali Khatami
1st Cheng Li
2nd Daniel Waugaman
3rd-4th Ron Martin and Gary Hobrath
Junior Recreational
1st Andrew Heiser
2nd Noah Sussman
3rd-4th Annie Liu and  Sarah Sommers
Adult Recreational
1st Stephen Faulstich
2nd Lee Szwast