Hatch wins Empire State Championship

Dennis Hatch

The Seminole Tribe of Florida Empire State Championships have wrapped up after a grueling final day of play.  Although not reaching the finals, the story of the event turned out to be the stellar play of John Ditoro and Tony Crosby.  Both players came from Florida to test the waters in the Empire State.  With a field of 103 strong players in the open event (23 in the B/C/D), they surely needed to bring their “A” game to compete. With his strong finish, Tony Crosby finds himself atop the rankings on the Seminole Pro Tour with one event left on the schedule, leading Mike Davis by the slimmest of margins.

In one corner of the ring in the finals was Dennis Hatch, who fought through 9 matches on the 1-loss side including victories over John DiToro, Tony Crosby, Marc Vidal, Al Lapena, and Jeremy Sossei amongst others.  In the other corner waiting for Hatch was Manny Chau, who advanced through the winner's side with relative ease defeating Al Lapena, Shawn Wilkie, and Adam Kielar on the final day of play.  This single race to 11 went back and forth throughout the match with the players tied at 5-5 halfway through.  From there it seemed as though Dennis' long day was starting to wear him down, as Manny reached the hill first leading 10-6.  As if watching Manny get to the hill lit a fire under him, Dennis brought the match back to 10-9 within minutes.  When Manny was unable to close out the match, Dennis brought the match all square at 10-10.  Hatch then broke and ran to the 5, but left himself with a sharp cut along the short rail, needing to bring the cue ball up and down the length of the table for position on the 6. When he powered up the shot, and sent the cue ball flying 27 feet into perfect position, the crowd went wild.  Congratulations to Dennis Hatch, the 2009 Seminole Tribe of Florida Empire State Champion.

Congratulations to the winner of the B/C/D 2nd chance event Ariel Rivera, who defeatEd Scott Murphy to take the crown.

A huge “thank you” goes out to Tony Robles, Holden Chin (Raxx Owner), William Finnegan (Tournament Director), Javier Chirino (Trophy Provider) Delta 13 Racks, Blatt Billiards, Predator, and the Seminole Tribe of Florida.  You all have made this event and partnership a huge success.

We would also like to thank NYCGrind.com and Go4Pool.net for their fantastic coverage all weekend.  Without your hard work, this event would not be able to reach so many people.

For more information regarding the Seminole Pro Tour, visit www.seminolesportsmanagement.com and for more information regarding the Blatt Billiards Predator 9-Ball Tour, visit www.predator9balltour.com