Andoni becomes first female to win on current Tri-State Tour

Borana Andoni

For the first time on the Tri-State tour this year, a female player took home the top prize. On Saturday, June 20, Borana Andoni hoisted a winning female flag over a Tri-State Tour field of 32 entrants, on hand for the $500-added, C-D handicapped event, hosted by Sandcastle Billiards in Edison, NJ.  It took six matches to pull it off; half of them fought to double hill, including two versus her eventual opponent in the finals, Nicholas Chan, but when it was over, there was a new pronoun in use – she'd won them all.

After an 8-4, opening round victory versus Jonathan Laino, a second round 6-2 win over P.J. Smithers and a first hill-hill win over Burt Madaio, Andoni was among the winners' side final four.  She defeated Chan 6-5 the first time and in the hot seat match, faced George Osipovich, who'd sent Michael Aro west 6-4.  Andoni  sent Osipovich over 6-3 to join him and awaited Chan's return.

On the one-loss side, Alex Berszinn and Allen Wong were waiting for Aro and Chan. Berszinn had advanced past Laino 8-4 and Madaio 6-4, as Wong defeated Peter Brennan 6-5 and P.J. Smithers 6-3. It was Aro and Chan who advanced to the quarterfinals with duplicate hill-hill wins over Berszinn and Wong, respectively. Chan got into the semifinals with a 6-4 win over Aro and then handed Osipovich his second straight 6-3 defeat for a second chance at Andoni.

Chan entered the ‘extended format' finals with a game in hand, and had he reached six games first, would have been able to push the match to eight games. He got out to a slim 3-1 lead, before Andoni fought back to tie it and then, go ahead by one.  Chan tied things at 4-4 and they traded racks to the extension ‘hill' for Chan at 5-5. Safety play dominated what proved to be the final game, but when a ball stopped just short of dropping in for Chan, Andoni took advantage and closed it out 6-5.

The Tri State Tour will conclude its season next weekend, June 20-21, at Amsterdam Billiards and Bar in Union Square in Manhattan. The tour will hold its annual Invitational tournament on July 11-12 at Comet Billiards in Parsippany, NJ, for which confirmations of intent to play are expected by July 1st. Eligible players who intend to play have been asked to confirm with the tour office (201-804-4990) prior to that date.