Gabia goes undefeated to win first Tri-State Tour, splits winnings with Cintron and Zarzour

William Zarzour, Ron Gabia, Dan Cintron

By the time the quarterfinal match of the October 22 Tri-State Tour stop was over, hot seat occupant Ronald Gabia had been waiting for an opponent for hours. Saturday had become Sunday, and threatened to become dawn, and it was at that point that the top three finishers – Gabia, Dan Cintron and William Zarzour – opted to split the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winnings and call it a night, or morning, as it were. The undefeated Gabia was declared the event winner, while, based on their relative strengths and standing in the overall event, Cintron placed second, with Zarzour in third place. The $1,000-added event drew 36 entrants to East Side Billiards on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, NY.

Gabia began his march to the hot seat with victories over Paul Ravel (who'd sent Cintron west in an opening round, double hill battle), Carl Yusuf Khan, and Ed Culhane, before moving among the winners' side final four to battle, first, Joe Landi, and then, Zarzour in the hot seat match. Gabia shut Landi out, as Zarzour was sending Cyndi Haefner to the loss-bracket 6-4, and then sent Zarzour to the ill-fated, never-to-be-played semifinals 8-6.

Cintron, in the meantime, was in the midst of an eight-match winning streak on the loss side, that included victories over Koka Davladze 7-6, and Culhane 7-5, which set him up to face Landi. Haefner drew another surging competitor on the loss-side, Alex Osipov, who'd been sent west by Zarzour, and was working on a five-match, loss-side winning streak of his own. He'd gotten by Jim Ireland 6-4 and Kapriel Delimelkonoglu 6-1 to reach Haefner.

Cintron downed Landi 7-6, as Osipov was busy ending Haefner's tournament bid 6-3. At that point, the two most successful loss-side competitors, Cintron and Osipov, squared off in the quarterfinals. It proved to be the final match of the evening/early morning, and they battled, appropriately enough, to double hill, before Cintron prevailed. The three remaining players opted for the split, and ended the tournament.

Tournament representatives thanked the ownership and staff of Eastside Billiards, as well as sponsors Sterling-Gaming, Ozone Billiards, Ron Tarr Cues, Kamui Tips, Phil Capelle, BlueBook Publishing, and Human Kinetics.