Hill-Hill Win for Robles at Predator Tour Stop

Stop #4 of the Predator 9-Ball Tour kicked off Easter Weekend with a very strong field of 45 players at Cue Bar in Bayside, NY.  Top players in attendance included World Champion and Hall of Famer Mike Sigel, Oscar Bonilla, Shaun Wilkie, Al LapenaHolden Chin, Frankie HernandezJorge Rodriguez, Jeremy Sossei, Sean “Alaska” Morgan,  Mhet Vergara, Mike Fingers, Victor Nau, Eddie Uber, Marc Vidal, George SanSouci and Tony Robles.  

Before we go on to the results, I would like to inform everyone that a dear friend of the tour, Scott Simonetti came up with a rare bacterial infection and had part of his left arm and left leg amputated. I've known Scott for about 20 years and can honestly tell you that he was always fearless and had the heart of a lion when it came to competition on the green felt.  Please keep Scott in your prayers as he recovers.

With the sixteen Open and Pro players in the event, no player was ever comfortable with the matches that lay before them.  And many of the higher ranked players found victory against the usually dominating Pros.   

Opening first round matches saw open player Mhet Vergara against the ever improving Lionel Rivera (A) with Lionel nearly giving Vergara a donut winning 8-1. 
Another impressive win was John Alicea (A) who took down giant player Frankie Hernandez (Pro) 8-5.  Victor Nau also had a tough opening draw in Al Lapena who has continued to do well in the Predator events this season.  Victor struggled to stay in the match and lost 8-4.  

Later rounds found Mike Sigel, winner of the Jim Murnak Custom Cue Cases $50 give-back, against Predator tour veteran Oscar Bonilla.  The match opened with Oscar coming out strong 4-1 with Mike finding the tables unfriendly to his break.  A couple of missed shots by Oscar allowed Sigel to close the gap and tie it hill/hill, Oscar's break.  Oscar broke and found a very difficult 1-ball shot.  Rather than push out, Oscar made an incredible shot pocketing the 1-ball and ran out the table to defeat Sigel 8-7.  

Tony Robles was on cruise control until he ran into Sean “Alaska” Morgan.  Morgan played strong throughout the set and capitalized on a number of mistakes by Robles and defeated the Assassin 8-6.

Michael Yednak had a great tournament with big time wins over Thomas Wan 8-7, Rene Villalobos 8-7, Andrew Kane 8-7, then lost a heartbreaker to Jeremy Sossei 8-7 and then Tony Robles knocked Michael out leaving him with a  9th thru 12th finish.

Shaun Wilkie started out strong defeating Mike Fingers 8-6, then Darwin Vergara 8-5, Mike Wong 8-6, then ran into tour new comer Eddie Uber and lost 8-7.  He would fight back on the one-loss side with two strong wins over Mike Sigel 9-4 and Marc Vidal 9-8 before falling to Jeremy Sossei 9-7.

Oscar Bonilla continues to show the crowd he is a force to be reckoned with.  Before his big win over Mike Sigel, Oscar defeated Brian Hunter 8-2, then Sigel 8-7, Al Lapena 8-5, Jeremy Sossei 9-7 and won the hot seat match against Sean Morgan 9-6.  The comfortable Bonilla then waited for the one-loss side to catch up.

After losing to Alaska , Robles worked out his demons on the one-loss side with big time wins over Mhet Vergara 8-4, Michael Yednak 8-0, Al Lapena 9-6, Eddie Uber 9-8 & Jeremy Sossei 9-4.  This set up a rematch between Robles and Morgan who enjoyed his best Predator Tournament ever with wins over Erin McManus 8-0, Jorge Rodriguez 8-3, Tony Robles 8-6, Marc Vidal 8-3, & Eddie Uber 9-5, before losing to Oscar Bonilla 9-6.  In the semi-final match, Tony came out vengeful with a 9-3 win and geared up to face Oscar in the finals.

The finals, as predicted, was a close battle that saw both players playing great pool with few errors.  At hill/hill, Tony broke and calmly ran out to win his first stop of the 2009 season.

Our Delta-13 Highest Finishing C/D player was Steve Wright.  Steve played incredible pool this tournament with amazing wins over Louis Pannullo 8-5, Brian Hunter 8-6 & John Lazo 8-4.  This is Steve's second time winning the Delta-13 Highest Finishing C/D and after his stellar play this season, he was raised to the B level.  Congratulations Steve!

The tour also hosted a B-C-D tournament on Sunday with 10 players vying for the top prize of $150.   Players that played in the Open event on  Saturday got to play for $20 on Sunday and earn double points for their Open tournament finish, plus 10 points for playing in the event.  The finals of the event saw the Delta-13 Highest Finishing C/D Player Steve Wright (now a B player) versus newbie P.J. Puma, a Cue Bar regular. 

P.J. was undefeated going into the finals with wins over Jesse Thomas, Paul Raval, Andrew Kane & Alex Borukovich.  In the finals, at hill/hill, Steve devastatingly hooked himself in the side pocket.  A failed masse attempt on the 2-ball left P.J. with a five ball run out that he successfully completed allowing him to finish in 1st place. 

Congratulations to P.J. Puma for winning the tournament in his homeroom, Cue Bar!

The tour would like to thank Cue Bar billiards for hosting another great event and look forward to returning to the venue June 27th & 28th.  We would also like to thank Jim Murnak Custom Cue Cases for their contribution toward the play fund.  Each tournament for the rest of the season, Jim Murnak Custom Cue Cases will donate $50 toward a random player's entry fee.   Names will be drawn from a hat to determine the winner each tournament.  This week's winner was none other than Mike Sigel!  

Stop #5 will be taking place at Raxx Pool Room, Sports Bar & Grill this coming weekend April 18th & 19th. This will be an ABCD event only! No Pros or Open players will be allowed!

Please log on to www.predator9balltour.com to see the complete schedule.

Looking forward to seeing you all there!