Gabia goes undefeated on Tri-State Tour

Ron Gabia went into the Saturday, January 14 stop on the Tri-State Tour, third in the 2011-2012 tour rankings in his B+ class. He went undefeated when, by mutual agreement, he did not have to face Ed Culhane in the finals. Culhane, who entered the tournament in first place in those B+ rankings, had been sent west by Joe Palone in the opening round, and won nine straight before agreeing to a split of the top prizes, and ceding the first place finish to Gabia. The $500-added, A-D handicapped event drew 47 entrants to Castle Billiards in East Rutherford, NJ.

With Culhane battling in the west bracket, Gabia advanced to the winners' side final four to face Palone, who'd sent Culhane over. Cory Sohlman, in the meantime, squared off against George Osipovitch. Palone battled Gabia to double hill before giving way to send Gabia to the hot seat match, as Sohlman defeated Osipovitch 6-1. Gabia, in what proved to be his final match, didn't give up a single rack in his hot seat victory over Sohlman.

Palone's first opponent on the loss-side was a re-match versus Culhane, with four victories behind him, including a 7-4 win over Brian Jeziorski and a 7-5 victory over Annie Flores. Osipovitch drew Ed Dacosta, who'd gotten by Bernie Vogelsang 6-2 and Rick Shellhouse 6-5. Culhane made it five straight with a 7-5 rematch victory over Palone, while Dacosta moved to join him in the quarterfinals with a 6-2 win over Osipovitch. 

Culhane defeated Dacosta 7-6 and in his last match of the day, downed Sohlman 8-5 in the semifinals. It was early AM Sunday when Gabia and Culhane opted to split the top prizes, and award Gabia the 1st place finish.

Tour representatives thanked the staff and management of Castle Billiards for their hospitality, as well as sponsors Sterling-Gaming, Ozone Billiards, Ron Tarr Cues, Kamui Tips, Phil Capelle, BlueBook Publishing, and Human Kinetics. The Tri-State's next stop, a $750-added, double points event, is scheduled for Saturday, January 28 at the Port Richmond Billiard Club on Staten Island, NY.