Conn goes undefeated, splits top two prizes with Chang on Predator Tri-State Tour

Tae Chang and James Conn

In their first (Conn) and second (Chang) appearances on the 2021-2022 Predator Tri-State Tour, James Conn and Tae Chang played a single match, battling for the hot seat. Won by Conn, the result was left to stand as the defining match in the event. They opted out of a final match and split the top two prizes on the $500-added, A-D 10-ball event that drew 32 entrants to Shooter’s Family Billiards in Wayne, NJ.

The two advanced through the field to their respective, winners’ side semifinal matches. Conn faced Brandonne Alli, as Chang squared off against Juan Melendez. Conn moved into the hot seat match on the heels of his 9-5 victory over Alli. Chang joined him after eking out a double hill win over Melendez. 

The A+ (Conn) meets B (Chang) hot seat battle, was, as it turned out, for all the proverbial ‘marbles.’ Conn won it 8-5 in what proved to be ‘the’ and his last match.

On the loss side, Alli drew a rematch versus Ron Oulette, whom he’d defeated in a winners’ side quarterfinal match. Oulette’s two-match, loss-side trip to the rematch had eliminated Erwin Jao 8-4 and Levie Lampaan 8-2. Melendez picked up Rick Rodriguez, who was working on a five-match, loss-side winning streak that had recently included victories over Arthur Trzeciak 7-5 and a double hill win over Roberto Rodriguez (no relation).

Oulette successfully wreaked his vengeance versus Alli 6-4, as Melendez sent Rodriguez home 6-3. Oulette advanced one more step and defeated Melendez 6-2 in the quarterfinals.

Oulette’s loss-side streak was stopped at four. Chang won the semifinal 7-5. He and Conn opted out of the final and split the top two prizes.

Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Shooter’s Billiards, as well as title sponsor Predator Cues, Ozone Billiards, Sterling Gaming, Kamui Tips, Phil Cappelle, Blue Book Publishing, Human Kinetics, Pool & Billiards, Romer Trophies and Professor Q Ball. The next stop on the Predator Tri-State Tour, scheduled for this weekend (Aug. 28-29), will be hosted by Cue Bar in Bayside (Queens), NY.