Cintron returns to winning ways on Tri-State tour

Danny Cintron was the only player on a list of over two dozen winners on the Tri-State tour last season to win the event more than twice. His last victory on that tour was his fifth overall and came in April, earlier this year. He returned to his winning ways on the Tri-State tour's new season with an undefeated day on Saturday, August 23. Cintron worked his way through a field of 36 players who'd signed on for the $500-added, A-D handicapped event, hosted by Sandcastle Billiards in Edison, NJ.

Working under the auspices of a new tour format, players were initially separated into upper (A-B) and lower (C-D) brackets, which, according to tour director Todd Fleitman, allows the lower handicapped players to begin the tournament facing similarly skilled opponents before moving into the event's final matches where they face off against the A-B players. Cintron (A+) opened his campaign among the A-B players and after three victories, was joined among the winners' side final four by Johnny Ortiz (A). Rounding out that final four were C+ players Mike Harrington and Raul Reyes, Jr. Cintron moved into the hot seat match with a 7-5 win over Ortiz. Reyes joined him with a 6-4 win over Harrington. In the A+ (Cintron) versus C+ (Reyes) hot seat match that followed, Reyes started with four games in hand. He was only able to win three more, as Cintron gained the hot seat 9-7.

Waiting on the one-loss side for Ortiz was Scott Simonetti, who'd defeated Chris Luethi 7-5 to get into the money rounds and Gary Murgia 7-3 to meet him. Harrington faced Steve Thomas, who'd defeated Ron Tarr 7-3 and Diana ‘Snooky' Rojas 6-5. It was Ortiz (A) and Thomas (C) who advanced to the quarterfinals; Ortiz with a 7-3 win over Simonetti and Thomas with a 6-4 win over Harrington. In the A/C quarterfinal match that followed, Thomas got no further than the four games he had in hand at the start, and Ortiz faced Reyes in the semifinals.

With three games in hand, Reyes battled to hill-hill versus Ortiz before giving way 8-7 and sending Ortiz back for a re-match versus Cintron in the finals. With a single game in hand, Ortiz opened the finals with two wins that had him up 3-0. Cintron battled back to win the next five. Ortiz fought back to tie it at 5 and reach the hill first 6-5. Cintron settled down and took the next two to capture the first place prize.