Estevez goes undefeated to capture his first Tri-State title
Skip Maloney
Aug. 14, 2018
(l to r): Ambi Estevez & Joe Cicoria
(l to r): Ambi Estevez & Joe Cicoria

 

Ambi Estevez has been playing on the Tri-State and Predator Tours for about six years now; perhaps more, if he played in events prior to 2012 in which he failed to earn a payout. The winless streak came to an end on Sunday, August 12, when he went undefeated through a field of 23 entrants to chalk up (acording to our records) his first event title. So, too, with Andrew Cicoria, who faced him in the finals. Cicoria hasn’t been playing as long (records for him go back only two years), but his runner-up finish in the event was (again, as best as we can determine with existing records) his best finish, to date. The $1,000-added event drew its 23 entrants to Cue Bar in Bayside (Queens), NY.
 
Estevez’ path to his first appearance in the winners’ circle went through Sung Lee, Stewart Warnock, Sr. (a double hill win), and Suzzie Wong, to arrive at a winners’ side semifinal matchup against Joe Romeo (who’d just sent Cicoria to the loss side, double hill). Bob Toomey, in the meantime, squared off against one of the tour’s top female competitors, Allison LaFleur, in the other winners’ side semifinal.
 
Estevez advanced to the hot seat match with a 6-3 win over Romeo. Toomey and LaFleur battled to a single deciding game that eventually sent Toomey to battle Estevez. Estevez then downed Toomey 5-3 to claim the hot seat.
 
On the loss side, LaFleur picked up Cicoria, who, following his defeat by Romeo, had eliminated Arthur Trzeciak 5-1 and Wong 5-3. Romeo drew Ryan Dayrit, who’d gotten by Shweta Zaveri and Marisol Palacios, both 6-4.
 
Cicoria downed LaFleur 5-2, and was denied a re-match against Romeo, when Dayrit shut him out to advance to the quarterfinals. Cicoria defeated Dayrit 5-3 in those quarterfinals, and completed his loss-side run back to the finals with a 5-1 victory over Toomey in the semifinals.
 
It’s hard to know in a final match in which both players are looking for their first tour win whether the victory is a matter of superior skills or the simple fact that one player wanted it more than the other. In either case, Estevez won 5-3 to claim his first Tri-State title.
 
Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Cue Bar, as well as sponsors Ozone Billiards, Sterling Gaming, Kamui Tips, Phil Cappelle, BlueBook Publishing, Human Kinetics, Pool & Billiards, Professor Q-Ball, Bender Cues and DIGICUE OB. The next stop on the Tri-State Tour, scheduled for August 19, will be hosted by Steinway Billiards in Astoria (Queens), NY.