Engel stops loss-side charge by Linares to win Ultimate Billiards Summer Sizzler

Jesse Engel


By the time the Labor Day weekend Ultimate Billiards Summer Sizzler tournament had hit the money rounds, a lot of the marquee names were gone; Tommy Kennedy, John DiToro, Anthony Meglino, Pierre Palmieri and Danny Green, for example. Among those left were Jesse Engel and Ray Linares, who locked up in a two-set final, eventually won by Engel, to complete an undefeated weekend. The $1,000-added event, sponsored by Ultra Skin Layered Tips, drew 31 entrants to Ultimate Billiards in Fort Pierce, FL.

The two finalists took separate paths to the end games. Linares was sent to the loss side in the opening round of play by Jimmy Sandaler. He would go on to win eight in a row to meet up with Engel in the finals. Engel, in the meantime, advanced to the winners' side final four, where he met up with cue maker, Ted Harris, as Justin Gilsinan (son of Ultimate Billiards co-owner Gary Gilsinan) squared off against Chris Gentile. Gilsinan and Engel advanced to the hot seat match, from where, 9-6, Engel sent Gilsinan to the semifinals and a meet-up with Linares.

Linares, meanwhile, was at work on his eight-game winning streak, and chalked up victories four and five over Danny Green and Robert Batson to draw Harris. Gentile picked up Hunter Lombardo, who'd gotten by Sandaler (ending any hope Linares had of a rematch against him) and Rich Johnson

It was Gentile and Linares advancing to the quarterfinals, with Linares winning his seventh to face Gilsinan in the semifinals. Linares completed his loss-side trek with a 7-5 victory over Gilsinan.

In the opening, race-to-9 set of the true double elimination final, Engel and Linares battled to double hill, before Linares prevailed to force a race-to-7 second set. Engel won that second set 7-3 to capture the event title.

This was the opening tournament of a series of events to be held at Ultimate Billiards on the first weekend of each month (September through February), culminating in a $2,000-added event in March. For more information, visit www.ultimate-billiards.com, or call 772-464-7665. Ultimate Billiards' co-owner Gary Gilsinan thanked Ultra Skin Layered Tips for their sponsorship of this and the future events, as well as Ted Harris and Danny Green for their cue repair work during the tournament. Harris, a well-known cue maker, is travelling and tutoring Green, and has, according to Gilsinan, been a constant supporter of area tournaments.