Culhane comes from the one-loss side to take snowbound Tri-State stop

Brian Capps, Ed Culhane and Mike Strassberg

Given a record 31 inches of snow, a declared state of emergency in what was defined as the ‘epicenter' of the storm, and the fact that Sandcastle Billiards in Edison, NJ was directly off Interstate Route 95, which defined the northeastern path of the weekend blizzard, it was a bit of a surprise that the Tri-State Tour stop took place at all. But it did, and Ed Culhane won five straight on the one-loss side to meet and defeat hot seat occupant Brian Cap to take home the snowbound title.

The $260-added amateur event drew 16 intrepid entrants, who, after managing to complete the single day event by around 10 p.m., braved worsening road conditions to get home. Room owner Ed Liddawi closed his doors at around 10:30, and drove to his home, approximately three miles away. It took him over two hours.

Culhane's day began with a 7-3 victory over Rajesh Vannala (who'd won the previous stop, Dec. 18), but was followed by an 8-4 defeat at the hands of Rick Shellhouse; a defeat he would avenge in the quarterfinals.  Shellhouse, in the meantime, moved among the winners' side final four and was sent west by Brian Capps 8-6. Capps was joined in the hot seat match by Mike Strassberg, who'd defeated George Osipovitch 6-4. Cap got into the hot seat with a 9-5 victory over Strassberg and watched as Culhane's one-loss side victories and the snow mounted.

Shellhouse picked up Richard Ng, who'd defeated Ralph Panuzzo 6-3 and Teddy Lubis 7-6 to reach him. Osipovitch drew Culhane, who, by this time, had notched two of the five he'd need to get back to the finals; a 7-2 victory over Mike Davie, and a 7-4 win over Christian Smith. Culhane survived a double hill battle over Osipovitch, as Shellhouse was busy with his own double hill victory over Ng.  The quarterfinal re-match was set, and Culhane won it 7-2.

Culhane defeated Strassberg 9-7 in the semifinals that followed.  After trading the opening two racks of the single-race-to-9 finals, Culhane got out in front with a series of two-games-to-one that kept widening his lead. At 5-3, Culhane won four out of the next five to clinch it.

Tour representatives extended thanks to the ‘pool Gods' for their subsequent safe arrival at home, and Sterling-Gaming, Ozone Billiards, Viking Cues, Ron Tarr Cues, Phil Capelle, BlueBook Publishing, and Dr. Dave Billiards Instructional Products, for their sponsorship of the event.