Ackerman goes undefeated as far as the hot seat to claim Tri-State title


The battle for the hot seat (and a final match that did not occur) on the most recent March 9 Tri-State stop featured two players in transition from one handicap level to another. As a result of his victory in the hot seat match, the eventual declared winner, Greg Ackerman, was advanced to a B-Class. His opponent in that hot seat match, Yomaylin Feliz, is a recent convert to that B-Class and still, according to tour director John Leyman, "finding her footing" in that class. The $1,000-added A/B-C/D handicapped event drew 64 entrants to Castle Billiards in East Rutherford, NJ.

Among the winners' side final four, Ackerman, still playing as a C+, met up with fellow C+ player, Ben Castaneros. Feliz, playing as a B, met B+ player, Bryan Jeziorski. Feliz chalked up her final victory 7-3 over Jeziorski and moved into the hot seat match versus Ackerman, who'd sent Castaneros west 6-3. In what proved to be the final match of the event, Ackerman gained the hot seat 7-4.

Meanwhile, on the loss side, Ambi Estevez (C), who'd been sent over at the conclusion of his opening match, was in the midst of a seven-match, loss-side streak that would take him as far as the tie for fifth place. In his final two, loss-side wins, he defeated Kyle Bubet 6-2 (Estevez sunk the 9-ball on the break, four times in this match), and Eddie Perez 6-1, which set him up to face Castaneros. Jeziorski drew John Trobiano, who'd gotten by Geoffrey Bauer 7-5 and Ricardo Mejia 7-2.

Castaneros ended Estevez' impressive loss-side streak 6-4 and moved on to the quarterfinals against Trobiano, who'd ended Jeziorski's day 7-2. Trobiano prevailed 7-2 over Castaneros, and challenged Feliz in a double hill semifinal. Feliz, though, prevailed for a second chance against Ackerman.

At this point, it was 4:30 a.m., which, given the onset of Daylight Savings Time, made it actually 5:30 a.m. and the two final opponents opted out of a final match. With Ackerman in the hot seat, having defeated Feliz earlier, he was declared the event winner.