Bonilla defends Sandcastle Gauntlet Crown

Week two of The Gauntlet, January 24th yielded a few more new faces as word is beginning to spread around to the area's top players. While many of the area's best were down in Indiana at The Derby City Classic, there were still a great number at home seeking some tough competition. Mike Miller and Carl Khan took the ride out from Pennsylvania to participate, as Pat Ferragine came up from Red Bank, and many other more locally based players came from all over the state to compete in New Jersey's strongest players' room, Sandcastle Billiards.

The right side of the bracket was led by Mike Miller with wins over Pat Ferragine, Raj Vannala, and Steve Ulanski of Last week's winner, Oscar Bonilla also led the winner's side by defeating Noel Bensurto, Antonio G.errero and Soner Bulut.

On the one-loss side of the bracket, Noel Bensurto made it to 5th/6th with wins over his good friend, Antonio Guerrero, Mustafa Dikilitas and Carl Kahn. At the same time, Pat Ferragine was victorious over Raj Vannala, Roger Hanos and Kevin Freeman on his way to 5th/6th.  Soner Bulut stopped Noel Bensurto's run as Steve Ulanski put a stop to Pat Ferragine's run. Bulut and Ulanski would then engage in a seesaw hill-hill battle for guaranteed 3rd place. It was Soner Bulut that wound up victorious to wait for the loser of the hot seat match.

Mike Miller battled Oscar Bonilla for the hot seat but was sent to the one-loss side to face off with Soner for 3rd place. Before you knew it, Mike was right back over to settle the score with Oscar. Miller was in top form in the finals against Bonilla as he dominated the first set with a commanding 5-1 victory. This brought the finals to a second set and a race to four in this true double-elimination format. Just as Mike Miller dominated the first set, Oscar Bonilla returned the same gesture by taking advantage of every opportunity as Mike Miller struggled against some really tough rolls.  Oscar won the second set of the finals 4-2 over Mike Miller crowning him as two-time back to back winner and champion of “The Gauntlet”.

Sandcastle Billiards thanks all who came out to participate and support the weekly event.

Top Finishers:

1st Place - $520.00 – Oscar Bonilla
2nd Place - $310.00 – Mike Miller
3rd Place - $120.00 – Soner Bulut

Tournament Participants; Roger Hanos, Kevin Freeman, Jim Conn, Pat Ferragine, Antonio Guerrero, Soner Bulut, Mustafa Dikilitas, Carl Khan, Mike Miller, Noel Bensurto, Oscar Bonilla, Mark Koellhoffer, Ron Lubas, Raj Vannala, Paul Wortman, Antonio Navarro and Steve Ulanski (17 participants)

Thank you for your participation and good luck next week!