Goberdhan goes undefeated to claim his first Predator Tri-State title in two years

Jason Goberdhan and Mike Pruitt

He got in just under the wire, chalking up an undefeated run on the Predator Tri-State Tour’s final stop of the year this past weekend (Sat., Dec. 18). Jason Goberdhan first appeared on our ‘radar’ (aka AZBilliards’ database) in 2018, cashing in nine events; eight of them on the former Predator Pro Am Tour and one on the Tri-State Tour. He progressed to cash in 13 events the following year, his best-recorded-earnings year so far; six each on the Tri-State and Predator Pro Am Tour and one combination of the two – The 9th Annual Ginky Memorial. His average place-finish in those 13 events was a solid 7th, and he won a stop on each of the tours that year.

Goberdhan was able to record only three cash finishes in 2020, the last of them on March 8, when he finished 4th at a Tri-State stop. By the time he and a good deal of the Tri-State New York area’s pool community came back with any regularity to the tables in 2021, the Predator Pro Am Tour was no longer in existence and the Tri-State Tour had picked up the sponsor to become the Predator Tri-State Tour. Goberdhan returned and competed three times on the tour, before chalking up his first cash finish this past weekend at the $1,000-added event that drew 25 entrants to Steinway Billiards in Astoria (Queens), NY.

In his undefeated run through the field, Goberdhan ended up facing five of the eight competitors who finished in the money. He got by Brandonne Alli in the opening round, and then defeated those five, in a row, to claim the title. Victories over Paolo Valverde and Ricardo Rodriguez brought him to a winners’ side semifinal match against Bianca Martinez. Mike Pruitt, destined to be runner-up, didn’t see any of the event’s final eight until he came up against Luis Jimenez in the other winners’ side semifinal.

Jimenez sent Pruitt to the loss side 7-5 and was joined in the hot seat match by Goberdhan, who’d defeated Martinez 6-3. Goberdhan, who, as a C+ player on the tour, began the hot seat match with two ‘beads on the wire,’ sent the B+ Jimenez off to a rematch against Pruitt in the semifinals and claimed the hot seat 7-2.

On the loss side, Pruitt picked up Solomon Brown, who’d lost his opening round match versus Max Watanabe and was in the midst of a five-match, loss-side winning streak that was about to come to an end. Brown (B+) had recently navigated a successful rematch against Watanabe (A+) 7-1 and then eliminated Paolo Valverde 7-3. Martinez forfeited out of her scheduled first match on the loss side of the bracket to Linda Cheung, who followed victories over Tom Crane, double hill and Roberto Rodriguez 6-1 and leapfrogged into the quarterfinals. Pruitt joined her after eliminating Brown 7-5.

The D+ Linda Cheung battled the B Mike Pruitt to a double hill final game in those quarterfinals before Pruitt prevailed to earn his rematch against Jimenez. The semifinal proved to be a successful rematch for Pruitt, who won it 7-5 over Jimenez for a shot against Goberdhan in the finals.

Each of the finalists had something at stake. Goberdhan was looking for his first win in two years, but Pruitt, who’d already accomplished his highest finish on the tour by just being in the finals, was looking to claim his first event title. The double hill battle that ensued as a result came as no surprise. They each chalked up six racks in the contest, but Goberdhan began with one ‘bead on the wire,’ so when he finished his sixth rack, it was over.

Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Steinway Billiards, as well as title sponsor Predator Cues, Ozone Billiards, Sterling Billiards, Kamui, Quick Stik, Bloodworth Ball Cleaner, Joe Romer Trophies, Phil Capelle Publications and Pool and Billiards. The Predator Tri-State Tour will be back at Clifton Billiards in Clifton, NJ for its next stop, scheduled for January 22.