Eastside Billiards Crowns Zion Zvi as it’s First Predator Tour Champion

Marc Vidal, Owner Jerry Shipman, Zion Zvi

On Saturday June 13 the Predator 9-Ball Tour kicked off its 8th stop of the season at Eastside Billiards, one of the newest rooms added to the tour's roster this season.  Eastside is the premier location in upper Manhattan to play pool and relax with friends, and the staff and regulars... made it a great host room for the Predator Tour.

The Predator Tour brought some of the toughest players in the area out to compete at Eastside, including Jeremy Sossei, Marc Vidal, Bobby Blackmore, Joey Kong, Oscar Bonilla, "Ginky" George San Souci, Jonathan Smith, Zion Zvi, George Rodriguez, and Sean Morgan, with a total of 44 players in attendance.

WPBA Pro Liz Ford also came out to this event, along with regional ladies players Borana Andoni, Alison Fischer, and Gail Glazebrook, who had a breakout performance in this event, placing 9-12th.

This was a particularly interesting event because two newcomers to the tour had standout performances.  Qi Liu, a player from North Carolina, came out to the Predator for the first time, and had a solid run through the winner's bracket until he hit the tour's other newbie, Zion Zvi in the quarterfinals of the winner's bracket, in a 9-6 loss for Liu.

In a breakout performance, Zion Zvi makes a statement in NYC through a remarkable percise weekend of stellar pool.

Although Zion Zvi may be a new name to some, this player from Tel Aviv, Israel made a mark at the Predator this weekend.  He pulled off wins over Trevor Heal, Jonathan Smith, Tony Robles (7-5), Jason Hunt (7-5) Qi Liu (9-3), and Marc Vidal (9-5) which landed him in the hot seat.

After a first round loss to Tony Robles, George San Souci displayed heart with a gritty performance, going straight through the one-loss side to defeat Jason Trager, Trevor Heal, Brian Hunter, "Alaska" Sean Morgan, Gail Glazebrook, and Tony Robles.

Jerry Tarantola also bounced back from an early loss to Brian Hunter grinding back to fourth place, with notable wins over Jeremy Sossei, Oscar Bonilla, and Bobby Blackmore, before he was eliminated by George San Souci in a one-sided 9-2 match.

This win landed San Souci a shot in the semi-finals against "Spain" Marc Vidal, who had just finished a run through the winner's bracket, stopped by Zion Zvi.  This match would show a strong display of kicking, banking, and safety battles, with the players staying in line with one another, landing in a hill-hill tie.  One of the defining points in the match was Spain's critical kick safe which locked up the cue ball, allowing him to take control over the set to move to the finals.

In the finals, Marc Vidal returned to take another shot against Zion in single set final race to 11.  In this match, Zion would remain the dominant force, keeping a steady edge over "Spain," who wasn't able to control the cue ball as well as previous matches.  Zion Zvi presented a calm, controlled game, looking  fearless as he moved around the table with ease.   The match would end with a final score of 11-6 in favor of Zion Zvi, capping off a breakout performance.

Zion, who currently resides in Long Island, had been a long-time snooker player in Israel before picking up 9-ball in 2005.  After watching the European Pool Championships, he decided to pick up 9-ball, and went on to win the Best of the East Championship within a year of the switch.

Tony Robles and his staff would like to extend their congratulations to Zion for his outstanding performance in his first Predator event, as well as thank the Predator Tour's sponsor, Predator Cues, Delta Rack, the Seminole Pro Tour, and Blatt Billiards.

Jerry Shipman, owner of Eastside Billiards, rolled out the red carpet for all of the pool players who were in attendance for it's first Predator Tour Event. A fan of competitive pool, he remarked that it was great to see so many of his local players into the event, and plans more in the future.

The Predator Tour also held the 2nd day handicapped "BCD" tournament on Sunday, with 16 players stopping out for this event.  Teddy Cook would rise to the top of the winner's bracket, after a win over David Weinstein.

Weinstein came back to land in the finals after a win against Alison Fischer (6-4) who had beat Luis Novas (5-2) and Wilfredo Albay (5-0) on the one-loss side. In the final, Weinstein avenged his loss to Cook with a 7-3 win.