Local Chicago Players Aim for Titles at 2015 Butterfly Aurora Cup
With 9.5 million residents, the Chicago metropolitan area is the third most populous city in the US, and the largest in the American Midwest. A few hundred of those 9.5 million residents will be competing and spectating at this weekend’s 2015 Butterfly Aurora Cup tournament. Although the 4-star USATT sanctioned event includes players from across the US, Canada and Jamaica, local Chicago players are hoping to use their hometown advantage to win as many titles as possible.
New Chicago area resident Emad Barsoum (2485) is sixth seed in the Open event behind 3 Chinese player-coaches, Jimmy Butler and Dan Seemiller Sr. Emad is an anesthesiologist who used to play in Egypt before moving first to NYC, then Milwaukee and now to Chicago. Wojcieh Wolski (2297) from the Schaumburg Table Tennis Club outside of Chicago is first seed in the U2300 event. Wojcieh often plays long rallies, which turned many heads at the 2014 Badger Open where he finished in the quarter-finals of the Open event after upsetting Lindenwood freshman Alex Legaria (2395).
Many players are also hoping to improve upon their finishes from last year’s competition. Top in the women’s event is Chicago’s leading female chopper Maria Kretschmer (2232) who is looking to take the title after finishing 3rd last year. Spenser Minh Lam (2231) second seed in the Over-40 event is undoubtedly ready to take home the championship after succumbing to Don Hamilton in the final in 2014. Many other Chicago area residents fill the events from the U800 to the Open, and will challenge all visiting players to fight for the $8000+ in prize money and trophies.
Continual coverage of the 2015 Butterfly Aurora Cup and stories about the athletes will be available at ButterflyOnline.com, or via Butterfly North America’s twitter and facebook pages.