Chen becomes fifth player to win Ginky Memorial Amateur event

Rhys Chen, Tony Robles and Open event winner Jayson Shaw
Jamaica's Rhys Chen went undefeated, and became the fifth different player in five years to claim the Amateur title at the George "Ginky" Sansouci Memorial Tournament. The $2,000-added, 5th Annual Ginky Memorial Tournament's Amateur event, held Memorial Day weekend, drew a record 176 entrants. Added to the 64 entrants on-hand for the Open/Pro event (won by Jayson Shaw, separate story), this year's Ginky Memorial became the first event to accomplish a goal of Predator Tour Director Tony Robles, set when he launched his tour in 2008; to host a tournament that drew more than 200 entrants. Organized by a cooperative collaboration of the Predator Tour, the Tri-State Tour and the Mezz Tour,  the Ginky Memorial was hosted, once again, by Steinway Billiards in Astoria (Queens), NY.
Among the reasons that the Amateur event at the Ginky Memorial has yet to crown a repeat champion is the fact that a victory will often move the winner into the Open/Pro category. Michael Yednak, who won the Amateur event in 2013, as an example, competed in the Open/Pro event this year. Meanwhile, Kapriel Delimelkonoglu, 2014's winner, was once again, competing in the Amateur event. Both finished out of the money at this year's event. Given the field size and the general level of competition, it's a tough event to win twice (Mike Dechaine has done it on the Open/Pro side).
In the early stages of the event, there were two brackets, divided by tour rankings - an A++, A+, A, and B+ bracket, and a B through D bracket. The brackets merged toward the end, with the two finalists in the B-D bracket (Joe Torres and Mike Farley) facing each other in the overall event's  winners' side semifinal. Facing each other as the last two left standing in the A++ - B+ bracket were Chen and Tim Fitzsimmons. Chen downed Fitzsimmons 7-4, and in the hot seat match, faced Farley, who'd sent Torres to the loss side 7-2. Chen claimed the hot seat 7-2 over Farley, and waited on what turned out to be the return of Paul Wilkens
Wilkens was in the midst of a loss-side run that went through Glenn Ramsey, double hill, and Lukas Francasso, almost-double hill (7-5), before coming up against the recently-arrived-from the winners'-side Torres. Fitzsimmons drew Carlos Luna, who'd just survived two straight double hill matches, against Dave Shlemperis and Matthew Harricharan. Wilkens and Luna handEd Torres and Fitzsimmons their second straight loss; Wilkens 7-4 over Torres, Luna 7-5 over Fitzsimmons.
Wilkens took the quarterfinal match versus Luna, and the semifinal match against Farley by the same 7-5 score, earning him a shot against Chen in the hot seat. Chen, though, stopped Wilkens' loss-side run with a 7-4 victory to claim the 5th Ginky Memorial title.