Gasper holds off one-loss side challenge by Piersa to take Tri-State stop

Robert Piersa, Mike Gasper and Peter Brennan

Mike Gasper won seven straight to go undefeated on the Tri-State Tour stop on Saturday, October 30, though he had to defeat Robert Piersa, who'd won 10 straight on the one-loss side to meet him in the finals. The $750-added, A-D handicapped event drew 44 entrants to Sandcastle Billiards in Edison, NJ.

Gasper opened his seven-match campaign with victories over Ra Hann, Juan Guzman, Eric Tang and Ray Mendez, Jr. to move among the winners' side final four, where he facEd Scott Simonetti. Peter Brennan, in the meantime, squared off against Bernard Vogelsang. Gasper chalked up his fifth in a row with a 7-3 victory over Simonetti, as Brennan was busy sending Vogelsang west 6-3. Gasper got into the hot seat with an 8-4 win over Brennan and watched, as Piersa worked his way back to the finals.

Following an opening round, 7-4 defeat at the hands of Ricardo Mejia, Piersa chalked up his first five wins and moved among the event's final 12. He then moved past Mendez 7-6, and Jeff Kerr 7-4 to pick up Simonetti. George Osipovitch, after victories over Joe Varvaro 6-4 and Glenn Andaya 6-2, was waiting for Vogelsang. Piersa finished Simonetti's day with a 7-5 win, as Vogelsang was ending Osipovitch's 6-3.

Piersa won the quarterfinal matchup versus Vogelsang 9-4, and then downed Brennan 8-6 in the semifinals. It completed his 10-match comeback, described by tour officials as “one of the best performances in Tri-State history.”

Gasper opened up a three-game lead early in the finals that followed, before Piersa got on the board. Though Piersa  would draw within two games, twice, at 4-2, and 6-4, and win two of the last three games with Gasper on the hill, Gasper prevailed 7-4 to complete his undefeated day.

Tour representatives offered thanks to Sterling-Gaming, Ozone Billiards, Viking Cues, Ron Tarr Cues, Phil Capelle,  BlueBook Publishing, and Dr. Dave Billiards Instructional Products for their sponsorship leading to this event.