Klein comes back from hot seat loss to win his first Tri-State Tour stop
Skip Maloney
Jun. 12, 2018
(l to r): Matt Klein & Pascal Dufresne
(l to r): Matt Klein & Pascal Dufresne
He hasn’t been around that long. We here at AZBilliards have (now) got 11 payout entries in the database for Matt Klein; nine of them for events on the Tri-State Tour and two on the Predator Pro Am, dating back only as far as a little less than a year ago in August of 2017. In that time frame, he has climbed to the #3 spot on the Tri-State Tour’s C-class Player of the Year standings for the 2017-2018 season. He’s got 24 appearances to his credit in the Tri-State’s current season, including two runner-up finishes in January. In his most recent appearance on the tour, on Sunday, June 10, he came back from a loss in the hot seat match to down Pascal Dufresne in the finals and claim his first title on either local tour. The $1,000-added event drew 47 entrants to Cue Bar in Bayside (Queens), NY.
 
And it’s not like he’s getting lucky draws. In this most recent event, following victories over Jason Goberdhan and Steven Molital, he got by Amy Yu, a C+ player and one of the top 10 women on the tour, and then, in one of the winners’ side semifinals, he drew Dave Shlemperis, the #2 B+ player on the tour. Pascal Dufresne, in the meantime, squared off against Joe Romeo in the other winners’ side semifinal.
 
Klein got into the hot seat match with a 7-5 win over Shlemperis, and met Dufresne, who’d sent Romeo west in a double hill battle. It was Dufresne who claimed the hot seat with a 7-5 win over Klein.
 
On the loss side, Shlemperis picked up Amy Yu, who, following her defeat at the hands of Klein had defeated Ambi Estevez 6-3 and Alex Osipov 9-5. Romeo drew Nathaniel Raimondo, who’d gotten by Ron Chau 7-4 and Jim Gutierrez 8-4 to reach him.
 
Yu and Romeo moved on to the quarterfinals; Yu, with a 7-3 win over Shlemperis and Romeo, double hill over Raimondo. Yu took the quarterfinal match over Romeo 7-2 to earn a re-match against Klein in the semifinals.
 
Klein had allowed Yu only one rack in their first meeting. Yu chalked up five in the semifinals to force a deciding game. Klein won it for a second shot at Dufresne in the hot seat. He took full advantage of the opportunity, downing Dufresne 9-7 to claim his first Tri-State title.
 
Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Cue Bar for their hospitality, 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 will be the season finale, the Annual Tri-State Invitational Tournament, open exclusively to the top 16 players in each of six ranking categories. In addition to prizes for each winner in the six separate tournaments, awards will also be handed out for Player of the Year, Sportsman of the Year, and what has been described by tour representatives as the “most prestigious award” – Improved Player of the Year. The event is scheduled for June 30-July 1 at Steinway Billiards in Astoria (Queens), NY.