Ellahi goes undefeated to win his first Tri-State Tour stop

(l to r): John Morrison & Zouraiz Ellahi
It’s become something of a long-standing tradition on the Tri-State Tour that no matter how many familiar names pop up in a tour stop’s winners’ circle, there is always someone new who shows up and adds their name to a growing, very long list. The ratio is hard to determine, but for every familiar name that chalks up a win on the Tri-State, there are usually quite a few in the course of the tour’s season who add their name to the ongoing list of winners.
On Sunday, October 1, Zouraiz Ellahi added his name to the list of first-time winners on the tour with an undefeated run through a field of 38. The $1,000-added event was hosted by BQE Billiards in Jackson Heights (Queens), NY.
Ellahi’s run through the field included victories over quite a few familiar names, like Junior Singh, Alberto Estevez, Lidio Ramirez and Carl Yusuf Khan, whom he defeated in a winners’ side quarterfinal, which set him up to face John Morrison in a winners’ side semifinal. In the other winners’ side semifinal, Suzzie Wong, who was in the midst of an impressive performance that would ultimately net her a fourth place finish, squared off against Dementhris Hudson, another new name, who’d finished fourth on his only other payout appearance on the Tri-State back in May.
Ellahi defeated Morrison, who’d come back to face him in the finals, 7-4, as Hudson sent Wong to the loss side 6-3. Ellahi claimed his first Tri-State hot seat 7-5 over Hudson, who was also looking to occupy that seat for the first time.
On the loss side, Morrison picked up Khan, who’d gotten by Thomas Schreiber, double hill, and Pashk Gjini 8-6 to reach him. Wong drew Tony Ignomirello, who’d eliminated Erick Carrasco 6-4 and Juan Melendez 7-5.
Morrison and Wong advanced to the quarterfinals; Morrison 8-2 over Khan, and Wong, surprisingly shutting out Tri-State veteran ‘Tony Iggy.’ Wong and Morrison battled to double hill in those quarterfinals, but Wong’s run came to an end. Morrison went on to give up only a single rack in his semifinal battle against Hudson.
Morrison, who’d won a Tri-State event back in 2015, ended up winning two more racks in the final than he had in his winners’ side semifinal against Ellahi. But it wasn’t enough. Ellahi won it 7-4 to claim his first Tri-State title.
Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at BQE for their hospitality, as well as sponsors Ozone Billiards, Sterling-Gaming, Kamui Tips, Phil Capelle, BlueBook Publishing, Human Kinetics, Pool & Billiards, Professor Q Ball, Bender Cues, Joe Romer Trophies and DIGICUE OB. The next stop on the Tri-State Tour, scheduled for Sunday, October 15, will be hosted by Rockaway Billiards in Rockaway, NJ.