Earl “The Pearl” gets by Sossei twice to take Open event on Predator Tour

Earl Strickland (File photo courtesy of Justin Collett)
Earl "The Pearl" Strickland paid a rare visit to the Northeast on the weekend of May 5-6 and joined a short field of 15 entrants, on hand for the Open portion of a stop on the Predator Tour. Strickland spent most of his time on the loss side in this event, but came back to face the man who'd sent him there - Jeremy Sossei - and defeat him in the finals. The $500-added event was hosted by Gotham City Billiards in Brooklyn, NY.

While Strickland was embarking on his five-match, loss-side winning streak, Sossei was advancing to the winners' side semifinals to face Phil Burford. Rob Pole, in the meantime, squared off against Jennifer Baretta. Sossei sent Burford west 7-4, as Pole sent Baretta over 7-5. Sossei got into the hot seat with a 7-4 victory over Pole, and waited on "The Pearl."

First up for Strickland, on the loss side, was Greg McAndrews. A 7-2 win over McAndrews was followed by a 7-4 victory over tour director Tony Robles, which set Strickland up to face Baretta. Burford drew Justin Daniels, who'd shut out Thomas Rice and downed Jorge Rodriguez 7-4. Strickland and Daniels handed Baretta and Burford their second straight loss; 7-1, Strickland over Baretta and 7-2, Daniels over Burford.

Strickland shut Daniels out in the quarterfinals that followed and then downed Pole in the semifinals 7-3 for a second crack at Sossei. The two battled back and forth in the single, race-to-11 finals, until Strickland pulled away at the end to win it 11-8.

Tour director Tony Robles thanked the ownership and staff at Gotham City Billiards, as well as Predator Cues, The National Amateur Pool League, Delta-13 racks, Poison Cues, PoolOnTheNet.com, and NYCGrind.