Immonen stays hot at Predator Tour Stop

Ignacio Chavez, Tony Robles and Mezz Cues Rep Mika Immonen

The Blatt Billiards Predator 9-ball Tour kicked off its second stop with an astonishing 108 players at Comet Billiards in Parsippany, NJ this weekend.  Seventy nine players showed up for the open on Saturday and twenty nine players competed for the top prize in the second day BCD event.

Top players in attendance included Mezz Cues Representative Mika Immonen, Stop #1 winner Ignacio Chavez, George Sansouci, Rob Saez, Shaun Wilkie, Marc Vidal, Jorge Rodriguez, Bobby Blackmore, Oscar BonillaMhet Vergara, Frankie Hernandez, Sean Morgan, Jason Michas, Al Lapena  and Tony Robles.

Day one action found many of the top players in comfortable positions following the first rounds.  Frankie Hernandez was playing strong pool in his first stop of the season with wins over John Lazo 7-1, Holden Chin 7-1 Brian Hunter 7-2 and a tough win against Oscar Bonilla 7-4 to come to day 2 undefeated.  

Ignacio Chavez was in top form following his stop #1 victory with wins over Dennis Lake 7-0, Michele Li 7-1,  Scott Simonietti 7-0, Mhet Vergara 7-5.  Chavez finished off day one with a solid win over Rob Saez 7-5 ending day one still undefeated.  

Tony Robles quickly got into a groove with wins over Borana Andoni 7-2, Randy Schwager 7-4, Damon Sobers 7-1.  Robles remained undefeated at the conclusion of day 1 with a strong 7-4 win over Al Lapena.  Meanwhile, George “Ginky” Sansouci defeated Raj Vannala 7-0, Chris Lynch 7-2,  and Jason Michas 7-2 to also close out day one unscathed.   

Mika Immonen started the day in normal form with wins against John Alicea 7-2, Wayne Nicholson 7-3, Jonathan Castillo 7-2 but fell to Seminole Pro Tour player Rob Saez 7-5 and scooted to the one-loss side.

Raphael Dabreo had a terrific weekend defeating Sal Lanuto 7-5 before losing to Bobby Blackmore on the hill 7-6 and starting his tear through the one loss side defeating “Devil” Dave Ascolese 7-6 and a stunning win over Carmen Lombardo 7-6 before falling to Junior Sanchez 7-6.  Raphael was the Delta 13 highest finishing C/D player for the event as well as the B-C-D runner up on Sunday.  Congratulations Raphael for an excellent weekend of tournament play!

Liz Ford continued to play her best against the boys.  She defeated Mark Pantovic 7-0, but lost to Damon Sobers 7-5.  Unphased, Ford went on to defeat open player Steve Lillis 7-6 before losing to Randy Schwager 7-2, but still got farther than all the other women in the event to win the Delta 13 highest finishing female for the second tournament in a row.  

On day two, Ignacio Chavez picked up right where he left off by defeating Frankie Hernandez 9-6 to earn a spot for the hot seat. Tony Robles won a hard fought set against the legendary George “Ginky” Sansouci 9-6  to set up the match against Chavez.

In the match against Chavez, Robles took the lead 4-2 early in the match but scratched on three routine shots which ultimately cost him the set 9-6. Now all Robles could do was wait for the winner of Mika Immonen and Jorge Rodriguez.

Mika was on a mission on day two and was determined to make it to the finals. He dominated the one loss side with wins over Randy Schwager 7-3 and Mhet Vergara 7-2 to end day one. Mika started the second day by defeating Sean Morgan 9-2, Al Lapena 9-7, Frankie Hernandez 9-0 and Jorge Rodriguez 9-3 for the right to meet Tony in the semifinal.

Mika's break and patterns were in perfect form against Tony as he defeated the Silent Assassin 9-3. Tony stated: “In my opinion, I don't think that anyone in the world is playing better than Mika right now. He will not beat himself. You have to beat him. And in order to do that, you have to keep pace with him and keep your mistakes to a minimum. “

Everyone was excited to watch the final match between these two great warriors. Mika continued to break and run with consistency while Chavez struggled to make a ball on the break and whenever he did, he usually could not see the one ball.
Mika dominated the match making few mistakes. He came with his full arsenal and put on a clinic in shot making, position play, kicking, banking and defense to easily win the match by a score of 11-4.

The Predator 9-Ball Tour also hosted a second day BCD event. Twenty nine players came out to battle for the top prize. ChristIan Smith took care of business in the top of the chart to earn his spot for the hot seat with wins over Guy Ianuzzi 5-0, Scott Abramowitz 5-2, Dave Fitzpatrick 5-3 and Michael Esposito 5-3.

In the bottom half of the chart, Raphael DaBreo was still hot after winning the highest finishing C/D prize in the Open the day before. Raphael started the day with wins over Gary Barnish 5-2, Chris Root 5-1, Paul Raval 5-3 and Eddie Crespo 5-4 to set up a hot seat match against Christian Smith.

It was a close match from the beginning but Christian came out on top defeating Raphael 5-3. Meanwhile, Guy Ianuzzi was making everyone pay for his first lost by winning 6 matches in a row to earn a spot against Raphael in the semifinal. Guy ran out of steam and succumbed to Raphael 5-3.

In the final race to seven, Christian started strong and Raphael put up a great fight but fell short losing to Christian 7-5.

Thanks to Comet Billiards (Bill and Marcia Haley), Pat Fleming, and all the players and spectators who came out to support the tour and Comet Billiards this past weekend.

The next Predator 9-Ball Tour stop will be taking place at Mr. Cue Billiards in Lindenhurst, NY on March 28-29. This stop will be an ABCD event only. No Open or Pros will be allowed to play in this event.

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I look forward to seeing you all in Lindenhurst.