Rosario comes from the loss side to win Tri-State stop at Steinway
Skip Maloney
Apr. 2, 2018
(l to r): Abel Rosario & Pashk Gjini
(l to r): Abel Rosario & Pashk Gjini
On Saturday, March 31, for the second time in a little over a month, Abel Rosario advanced to a winners’ side quarterfinal before being sent to the loss side, and then, returned to challenge the hot seat occupant.  On February 3, he and Dimos Markopoulos opted out of a final match, and split the top two prizes, with Markopoulos, in the hot seat, going into the books as the official winner. This past weekend, Rosario was sent to the loss side by the eventual hot seat occupant and runner-up, Pashk Gjini. This time, though, Rosario came back from that initial loss to face Gjini in a re-match in the finals and was able to claim the event title. The $1,000-added event drew 50 entrants to Steinway Billiards in Astoria (Queens), NY.
 
Rosario, who competes in both the Tri-State and Predator Pro Am Tours, had his best recorded earnings year to date last year. He cashed in eight stops on the Predator Tour and one on the Tri-State, and though he failed to chalk up a win on either tour, he did finish among the top 10 in eight of the nine events in which he cashed, including seven in which he finished among an event’s top five. A ‘B’ player on the Tri-State Tour, Rosario was under pressure a lot in this past weekend’s event. Six of his 10 total matches went double hill.
 
He opened the day’s proceedings with a double hill win over Ambi Estevez, downed Ada Lio 7-4, and then, in his second double hill battle, downed Amy Yu. It was at that point, in a winners’ side quarterfinal, that Rosario ran into Pashk Gjini, who sent him to the loss side 7-4. Gjini advanced to meet Lidio Ramirez in one of the winners’ side semifinals, as Suzzie Wong (currently third among the Tri-State’s best female players) faced Kevin Shin in the other one.
 
Gjini and Ramirez battled to double hill, before Gjini punched his ticket into the hot seat match. He was joined by Wong, who’d sent Shin to the loss side 8-4. Gjini claimed the hot seat 6-4 over Wong and waited on his re-match against Rosario.
 
Rosario, in the meantime, had added two double hill wins on the loss side to his credit (7-6 over Mac Jankov and Amir Rashad Uddin), to draw Ramirez. Shin picked up Allison LaFleur (currently the Tri-State’s best female player), who’d won two straight double hill matches over Bianca Martinez and Ray Feliciano to reach him.
 
The struggle for advancement to the quarterfinals entailed two matches that came within a game of going double hill. Rosario downed Ramirez 8-6, while Shin eliminated LaFleur 7-5.
 
In what surely must have seemed like a break for him, Rosario downed Shin 7-4 in those quarterfinals and then, got right back into tension territory with a double hill fight against Wong in the semifinals. Rosario won it to earn his re-match against Gjini. He took full advantage, winning the final match by the widest margin of his entire tournament run 9-4.
 
Tour representatives thanked Manny Stamatakis and his Steinway Billiards’ staff, as well as sponsors Ozone Billiards, Sterling-Gaming, Kamui Tips, Phil Capelle, BlueBook Publishing, Human Kinetics, Pool & Billiards, Professor Q Ball, Bender Cues, and DIGICUE OB. The next stop on the Tri-State Tour, scheduled for Sunday, April 8, will be an 8-Ball event, hosted by Shooters Family Billiards in Wayne, NJ.