Cintron returns to claim ‘official’ win on the Tri-State Tour

As the finals of the Tri-State Tour stop on the weekend of January 15-16 approached, the man in the hot seat – Basdeo Sookhai – had a problem. His American Poolplayers Association (APA) team was in a playoff situation that demanded his presence at about the same time that he was preparing to face Danny Cintron in the finals of the Tri-State stop. Faced with the prospect of either letting his APA team down or forfeiting the Tri-State match, Sookhai, and Cintron, came to a decision that split the prize, and awarded Cintron the official victory. The two-day, $1,260-added, A-D handicapped event drew 35 players to Gotham Billiards in Brooklyn, NY.

Cintron, who'd been away from the tour for a while, due to circumstances related to gainful employment, re-established himself early in this two-day event that brought together all components of the tour's handicap system. On Saturday, after being awarded a bye in the event's opening round, Cintron went on to defeat Ed Culhane 8-7 and Tim Cahill 7-2 to finish the single day undefeated. Sunday, however, was a different story. He was sent to the one-loss side by Sookhai, whose 8-5 win put him into the hot seat match versus Ken DeCuire. DeCuire, who'd just sent Frank Barreca west 6-1, followed him over when Sookhai got into the hot seat with a 7-3 win.

Cintron picked up Mark “Gypsy” Pantovic, who'd gotten by Tim Cahill with a ‘forfeit' win, and David Deserio 7-4 to reach him. Barreca drew Mike Ettl, who'd defeated Mike Harrington 6-4 and Tony Ignomirello 6-5. Cintron got into the quarterfinals with a 7-2 win over Pantovic, and was joined by Barreca, who'd ended Ettl's tournament bid 6-3. Cintron won the quarterfinal battle over Barreca that followed 9-7 and moved into what proved to be the final match of the two-day event.

Ken DeCuire, from Lafayette, LA, who, at “68 years young,” and after what has been described as a 45-year layoff from the game of pool, entered the semifinal against Cintron, having cemented a growing reputation as an increasingly strong player.  It propelled him to the semifinals in this Tri-State event, but thanks to Cintron, cementing his own reputation as a strong player, no further. Cintron defeated DeCuire 9-6 and earned himself a second chance against Sookhai; a chance that did not occur when the two chose to split the prize money, and leave Cintron on the record books as the event's official winner.

Tournament officials were effusive in their thanks and regard for Gotham City Billiard owners, Kevin and Isabel Buckley, who “continually outdo themselves supporting the players, by not only providing quality equipment, but by generously giving more money than the required “added-money.” Thanks, as well, were extended to Sterling-Gaming, Ozone Billiards,Viking Cues, Ron Tarr Cues, Phil Capelle, BlueBook Publishing, and Dr. Dave Billiards Instructional Products.