Jayson Shaw goes undefeated to claim his second Ginky Memorial Pro title
Skip Maloney - AzB Staff
Jun. 2, 2017
Jun. 2, 2017
Jeremy Sossei, Mike Dechaine, Jayson Shaw and Frankie Hernandez
With Jayson Shaw and Mike Dechaine in the house, there's always going to be a little buzz about a potential matchup between the two. It's something about their fiery personalities, and a sense of determination that they bring to the table when they play that makes their matches electrifying to watch. So when it happened, early at the 7th Annual George "Ginky" Sansouci Memorial Tournament's $2,000-added Pro event on Memorial Day weekend, hosted by Steinway Billiards in Queens, NY, and Dechaine went down 8-5, a little air went out of that balloon.
When the 44 players had been whittled down to the final 12, and the event moved into its first money round, air was getting pumped back into that balloon, because there was Dechaine, five matches away from a potential re-match in the finals. In all, Dechaine, already a two-time winner at this event (Shaw won it two years ago), would chalk up six on the loss side before running into Frankie Hernandez in the semifinals, where the streak would end, and the air went back out.
In its place was a balloon that inflated over two matches between Shaw and Frankie Hernandez; hot seat and finals. Shaw had sent The Iceman, Mika Immonen to the loss side 8-3 in one winners' side semifinal. In last year's Pro event, Immonen had battled twice against the eventual winner, Zion Zvi, and been beaten twice. Tony Robles, in the meantime, who, for the second year in a row, found himself in a winners' side semifinal, was beaten back by Hernandez 8-2. In their first of two, Shaw gave up only a single rack to Hernandez, claiming the hot seat 8-1 and adding a little air to the loss-side balloon that saw Dechaine move into the semifinals against Hernandez.
Over on the loss side, Dechaine moved into the first money round and downed Reymart Lim 8-6. He followed that with a double hill win over Tim Murray, which led to a match against Immonen, coming over from his loss to Shaw. Robles drew Jeremy Sossei, who'd gotten by Mike Miller 8-1 and Jorge Rodriguez 8-3. It made sense, though probably not to Immonen, that "Fireball" Mike Dechaine eliminated "The Iceman" Mika Immonen 8-5. Dechaine was joined in the quarterfinals by Sossei, who'd defeated Robles (for his second straight 5th/6th finish) 8-3.
Dechaine took the quarterfinal match 8-2 over Sossei, and turned to the last obstacle in his potential path back to a re-match against Shaw - Frankie Hernandez, in the semifinals. Being in New York, a lot of support rallied behind Hernandez, although it was doubtful that anyone watching it live at Steinway, or on the AZBTv stream (sponsored by Blatt Billiards) would have been disappointed had a finals matchup between Shaw and Dechaine materialized.
To Hernandez' credit, it didn't. He defeated the two-time Ginky Memorial champion, Dechaine, 8-3 and got his own second shot against Shaw. Shaw completed his undefeated run with an 11-3 victory over Hernandez in the finals.
Event director Tony Robles, as he is every year at this time, was demonstrably appreciative of the effort put forth by representatives from the Tri-State and Mezz Tours, as well as the ownership and staff at Steinway Billiards. In addition to thanks offered to Blatt Billiards (BlattBilliards.com) for their sponsorship of the live stream, Robles also thanked sponsors Predator Cues, Ozone Billiards, PlayNAPL.com, PoolOnTheNet.com, Cappelle (BilliardsPress.com), and the DeVito team.