Iannuzzi comes from the loss side to defeat newcomer Yolcu on Tri-State stop


In all likelihood, Tri-State Tour newcomer Emit Yolcu didn't see the results of the November 10 tour stop coming. He battled through a field of 43 entrants, on hand for the $500-added, A-D handicapped event, hosted by Castle Billiards in East Rutherford, NJ, and survived a fierce hot seat battle to be the last winner standing. What he probably didn't see coming was Tri-State veteran, Guy Iannuzzi, who, after an early round loss, won eight matches on the loss side to meet and ultimately, defeat Yolcu in the finals. 

For Iannuzzi, it was a sort of reverse deja vu. Just over a month ago, at Clifton Billiards in Clifton, NJ, he'd been the one sitting in the hot seat at a Tri-State event; watching as a future opponent (Bogie Uzdejczyk) chalked up win after win on the loss side (10, in his case), and then, downing him in the finals. 

The 'fierce hot seat battle' was waged between Yolcu and Scott Simonetti. Both had moved among the winners' side final four; Yolcu to face Dennis Kennedy, Simonetti pitted against Louis Petronico. Yolcu advanced with a 7-4 victory over Kennedy, while Simonetti was sending Petronico west 8-4.  In the hot seat battle that followed, Yolcu got out to an 8-2 lead, before Simonetti mounted a charge that saw him win six of the next eight games. Yolcu, though, won the two that he needed, and with the 10-8 victory, sat in the hot seat, no doubt waiting for Simonetti to challenge him again at the conclusion of the semifinals.

On the loss side, though, Iannuzzi was in the midst of the eight-game, loss-side winning streak that would spoil that scenario. With three victories behind him already, Iannuzzi defeated Vince Rochefort 7-4 and came face to face with the man who'd sent him to the loss side, Raphael Dabreo. Iannuzzi exacted his revenge with a double hill win that set him up to face Petronico. Kennedy drew Robert Veit, who'd defeated two Eddies, Perez and Dacosta, both 6-4, to reach him.

Iannuzzi downed Petronico 7-4 and in the quarterfinals, faced Veit, who'd eliminated Kennedy 6-2.  Iannuzzi and Veit battled to double hill before Iannuzzi prevailed to face Simonetti in the semifinals. Picking up some speed, Iannuzzi gave up only a single rack against Simonetti and got a shot at Yolcu in the hot seat. 

Iannuzzi, with memories of that month-ago match in Clifton, NJ, did unto Yolcu as Uzdejczyk had done unto him. The two finalists battled back and forth in the early stages of an extended race-to-10. Iannuzzi pulled ahead at the end to win it 10-8 and claim the event title.

Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Castle Billiards, as well as sponsors Sterling-Gaming, Ozone Billiards, Poison Cues, Ron Tarr Cues, Kamui Tips, Phil Capelle, BlueBook Publishing, and Human Kinetics. The next stop on the Tri-State Tour, scheduled for November 17, will be a $750-added, A-D handicapped event, hosted by House of Billiards on Staten Island, NY.