Ellahi goes undefeated to chalk up his first win on the Tri-State Tour
Skip Maloney
Jul. 31, 2017
(l to r) Jim Gutierrez & Zouraiz Ellahi
(l to r) Jim Gutierrez & Zouraiz Ellahi
Until Sunday, July 30, Zouraiz Ellahi had cashed in only two events on the Tri-State Tour, finishing fourth at a stop in early May and 17th at the 7th Annual Ginky Memorial on Memorial Day weekend; both stops in the Tri-State's 2016-2017 season. On Sunday, early in the Tri-State's 2017-2018 season, Ellahi went undefeated to take his first title. Arguably as significant was Jim Gutierrez' seven-match, loss-side winning streak that put him into the finals against Ellahi. The $625-added, Double Points event drew 30 entrants to Cue Bar Lounge and Billiards in Bayside (Queens), NY.
 
Following victories over Carmine Andujar, Jonathan Castillo and Tony Ignomirello, Ellahi moved into a winners' side semifinal against Mac Jankob, who'd been responsible for sending Gutierrez to the loss side, double hill, in the second round. Jonathan Gavrielof, in the meantime, squared off against Pashk Gjini. Ellahi got locked up in a double hill fight that eventually sent Jankob to the loss side. Gavrielof downed Gjini 6-2 to join Ellahi in the hot seat match, won by Ellahi 6-4.
 
Jankob's move to the loss side put him in an immediate re-match against Gutierrez, who, by that time, had downed four of his seven loss-side opponents, including, most recently, Allison LaFleur 5-1, and Juan Melendez 5-3. Gjini drew Tony "Iggie," who, following his defeat at the hands of Ellahi, had downed Esteban Morrell, Jr., double hill, and Kevin Chong 6-3.
 
Identical 6-3 results sent Gutierrez and Ignomirello to the quarterfinals over Jankob and Gjini. As befitted their respective rankings on the tour, last season's top D/D+ player (Gutierrez) and top C+ player (Ignomirello) battled to double hill in those quarterfinals, with the D/D+ player advancing to the semifinals against Gavrielof.
 
The D/D+ competitor (Gutierrez) downed the "C" player (Gavrielof) 6-3 in those semifinals for a shot at the "C+" player (Ellahi) in the hot seat. Gutierrez came up just a little short in his quest for the title, chalking up seven racks to nine against Ellahi, who claimed that title.
 
Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Cue Bar for their hospitality. The next stop on the Tri-State Tour, scheduled for Sunday, August 6, will be hosted by Clifton Billiards in Clifton, NJ.