Dechaine goes undefeated to win inaugural Gotham City Billiard Club 9-Ball Pro Classic
Skip Maloney - AzB Staff
Oct. 20, 2015
Photo courtesy of Eli Ceballos
Photo courtesy of Eli Ceballos
Mike Dechaine stopped a loss-side bid by Warren Kiamco and went undefeated, to win the inaugural Gotham City Billiard Club's 9-Ball Pro Classic on the weekend of October 17-19. The $11,000-added event, held under the auspices of the Predator Pro-Am Tour, was dedicated to the memory of Gotham City Billiard Club owner Kevin Buckley's sister, Sharon "Sam" Fagnoni, who passed away in May. It drew a star-studded, full field of 64 entrants that, in addition to Dechaine and Kiamco, included Gotham City Billiard Club's house pro, Jorge Rodriguez,  Earl Strickland, Thorsten Hohmann, Jayson Shaw, Darren Appleton, Karl Boyes, Mika Immonen, Dennis Orcollo, Jason Klatt, Mike Davis, Jundel Mazon and Carlo Biado.
 
Four of those 14 advanced to the winners' side semifinals, which pitted Rodriguez against Dechaine, as Kiamco faced Klatt. Dechaine downed Rodriguez 10-4 and in the battle for the hot seat, faced Klatt, who'd sent Kiamco to the loss side 10-7. Dechaine claimed the hot seat 10-4 over Klatt.
 
By the time Kiamco and Rodriguez came to the loss side, nine of the 14 mentioned had been eliminated. Kiamco drew Orcollo, who'd just defeated Davis 10-4, and Mazon 10-7; Mazon having previously ended Shaw's weekend 10-4. Rodriguez picked up Francisco Sanchez Ruiz who'd ousted Immonen 10-8 and Biado, double hill; Biado having previously stopped Appleton's bid 10-7. Gone before all of this were Strickland, Hohmann and Boyes, who, along with Alex Kazakis, finished in the last money round, tied for 13th place.
 
Ruiz defeated Rodriguez 10-6, as Kiamco was busy dropping Orcollo 10-8. Kiamco then took the quarterfinal match versus Ruiz 10-5 to earn himself a re-match versus Klatt in the semifinals. Kiamco successfully wreaked his vengeance on Klatt 10-6 and turned his attention to Dechaine in the hot seat.
 
In the modified race to 13, Kiamco, coming from the loss side, needed to reach that figure first, to extend the match to 15 games. Though he kept it relatively close, and got to 10, Dechaine got out in front to reach 13 first and claim the event title.
 
Predator Tour director Tony Robles thanked Gotham City Billiard Club owners, Kevin and Isabel Buckley, for their hospitality and the money added to the tournament. Thanks were also extended to sponsors Predator Cues, The National Amateur Pool League (PlayNAPL.com), Ozone Billiards, Delta-13 racks, Gothamcitytechnologies.com, PoolontheNet.com, Phil Cappelle of Billiards Press, and TheDevitoTeam.com. Special thanks went out to event photographers Eli Ceballos, Laye Kaba, Karl Kantrowitz and to Robles' tour staff - William Finnegan, Mandy Wu, Ron Mason, Rob Omen, Irene Kim, Upstate AL of AZBTV (which streamed the event throughout the weekend), Brad McDuffie, Joe Wilson Torres, and (his) "amazing wife, Gail Robles." 
 
Next on tap, moving from one Classic to the next, will be the $7,000-added, 4th Annual Steinway Classic, set for November 1-3 at Steinway Billiards in Astoria (Queens), NY. Coming on the heels of the US Open 9-Ball Championships, the Steinway Classic has already signed up many of the players who competed in the Gotham City Billiards Pro 9-Ball Classic, including the Steinway Classic's defending champion, Warren Kiamco. The event's 2013 champion, Shane Van Boening, will be competing as well, along with (among others) Ralf Souquet, Alex Pagulayan, Johnny Archer, Rodney Morris,  Justin Bergman, Dennis Hatch, Jeremy Sossei, and Brandon Shuff. According to contributing AZBilliards writer, Geoff Conway, the field will be the largest turnout for this event in the four years that it has been held.