Feliz-Forman goes undefeated to win (*) her first Tri-State Tour stop since 2012

Yomaylin “Smiley” Feliz-Forman’s first and most recent appearance in the AZBilliards database came as the result of winning a stop on the Tri-State Tour. Her first came in October of 2009, when she defeated Paul Everton in the finals of a stop at Master Billiards in Queens, NY. Her latest happened this past weekend (Sat., May 11), as she went undefeated (*) at a $1,000-added event that drew 46 entrants to Steinway Billiards in Astoria (Queens), NY. This most recent victory is her first victory on the Tri-State Tour since 2012, although in the interim, she did win stops on the Predator Pro Am Tour in 2014 & 2015.
She’s cashed in two other events this year, marking the end of an extended, four-year ‘leave of absence’ from the tables, undertaken to get married to Brian Forman and have two children. Just to stay in touch (so to speak), her second child shares a birthday with Predator Pro Am Tour director Tony Robles. She is, more or less, back, although she continues to coordinate child-care activities. She practices on an 8-ft. table in her building during the hour or so she gets to herself when the two children nap.
“I shoot until they wake up,” she said, leaving open the question of how she was lucky enough to have two children under the age of four, who nap at the same time, for the same amount of time.
She has found, like others before her have found, that while children certainly bring disruption and a reduction in TAT (time-at-table), they also have a way of grounding a player in a way that eventually improves their game.
“It does change your mind-set,” she said. “You go into this Mama Bear mode.”
“Coming back,” she added, “I felt braver, (had) more heart; something in me ignited.”
In this most recent event, she and Jimmy Acosta played a double hill, winners’ side semifinal match that sent Acosta to the loss side. The suggestion that they might opt out of playing a final match was discussed early-on in the process, though the decision was not actually made until Acosta had defeated Ryan Dayrit in the event semifinals. At that point, dawn was creeping up over the East River, and both “Smiley” and her friend, Acosta were very tired, and “Smiley,” in particular, wanted to get home to her children. Though glad to accept the ‘asterisk’ title as the undefeated occupant of the hot seat, she is also aware that her ‘return’ to former form, may take a little while.
“My brain is strong,” she said, “but my game hasn’t really come back from the absence yet.”
She opened her undefeated run with a 7-5 victory over Greg Matos and followed it up with wins over Amy Yu 7-0, and Ed Medina 7-5, before running into Acosta for the aforementioned double-hill winners’ side semifinal that sent Acosta to the losers’ bracket. Dayrit, in the meantime, faced and defeated Stewart Warnock, Sr. 6-3 in the other winners’ side semifinal. “Smiley” and Dayrit played a double hill hot seat match that eventually sent Dayrit to the semifinals.
On the loss side, Acosta picked up Eddie Medina, who, after his loss to “Smiley,” had chalked up two straight double hill wins over Amy Yu and Amir Rashad Uddin. Warnock, Sr. drew Joe Mazzeo, who’d shut out John Durr and defeated Jim Gutierrez 7-5 to reach him.
Medina’s third straight double hill match proved not to be the ‘charm’ he was hoping for, as Acosta, double hill, eliminated him. Mazzeo and Warnock, Sr. battled to double hill as well, with Mazzeo advancing to join Acosta in the quarterfinals.
Acosta eliminated Mazzeo 7-4 and then, locked up in a battle against Dayrit in the semifinals, which came within a game of double hill (9-7). Acosta and Feliz-Forman agreed to the split and left to greet the dawn.
Tour representatives thanked Manny Stamatakis and his Steinway Billiards staff 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, and DIGICUE OB. The next stop on the Tri-State Tour, scheduled for Sunday, May 19, will be hosted by Cue Bar in Bayside (Queens), NY.