Jorge Rodriguez wins Predator Tour Stop

Jorge Rodriguez

Nearly 40 players came out to Master Billiards in Queens, NY this weekend to play in the 12th stop of the Predator 9-ball Tour.  Big names included Mika Immonen, Shaun Wilkie, Shin Park, Jorge Rodriguez, Mike Fingers, Bobby Blackmore, & Tony Robles.

Day one saw the usual suspects lining up for the top spots in the tournament.  Shin Park was on a tear destroying everyone in his path including a 9-0 win over Tony Robles.  Robles, “He shot perfect pool.  Didn't miss a ball and had a great break.  He earned the shut out.”  Mhet Vergara was also having a great tournament as he concluded day one undefeated along with Jorge Rodriguez and Shaun Wilkie, who sent Mika Immonen to the one loss side with a 9-5 victory.  Caroline “Kapow” Pao was also tearing through the winner's side earning two wins in a row before falling to Mike Panzarella 9-6.  She would win the highest finishing female of the event.

For day two, the top six were brought back to fight for the 1st place prize.  Shin Park faced Mhet Vergara in the semis and Park took a huge 7-0 lead before Vergara caught a gear to earn 5 racks in a row, but couldn't go any farther and fell to Park 9-5. Jorge Rodriguez just had all the right moves in his match to Shaun Wilkie and earned the 9-6 win over the Valley Forge runner up.  Vergara seemed to keep that gear moving in his next match against Immonen, taking a stunning 5-1 lead over the Iceman, but Mika came back strong and tied the match 7-7.  The battle ensued and a missed opportunity in rack 16 by Vergara let Immonen squeak out the win 9-8.Wilkie seemed to be having an off day in his match to Robles.  Though Wilkie took a 3-0 lead at the beginning of the match and had some spectacular shots, a few out of position cue balls let Robles escape with the 9-7 win to face Immonen.  

The Robles/Immonen match was quite the crowd pleaser.  Robles came out strong and took a commanding 5-0 lead over Immonen and a frustrated Mika just could not get a roll.  But Robles seemed to lose focus and missed 4 kill zone shots to allow Immonen the next 7 racks in a row and take a 7-5 lead.  Robles regrouped and took control to earn the next two racks and tie it 7-7.  The next two racks were traded to make it 8-8 with Tony's break.  A great break proved frivolous as nothing was pocketed and Mika had his opportunity.  He ran through the rack but unfortunately under stroked the six ball, leaving him virtually tied up with the 7.  A disappointed Mika tried his best to cut it into the corner but missed by half a diamond allowing Robles to close the set 9-8 and leave Mika to settle for 4th place.  

For the hot seat, Jorge Rodriguez battled the seemingly impenetrable Shin Park as best he could.  But Park was not to be stopped.  Park again took a commanding 6-2 lead over Rodriguez and though Rodriguez came with some great shots to try and close the gap, it was too big a lead for Park to lose and Rodriguez fell to Park 9-2 and prepared to battle Robles on the one-loss side

Rodriguez seemed annoyed about his big loss to Park and took it out on Robles by taking a huge 5-0 lead over the Assassin early in the match.  Robles however, was not to be pushed around for too long and with a reliable break and a few good rolls, regained momentum and closed the gap 8-7 Rodriguez.  The last rack was a destined to be Rodriguez.  On Tony's break, surprisingly Tony broke and didn't make a ball again when he needed it most.  Rodriguez took advantage and ran through to the 6-ball only to have it skid and miss the corner pocket. The leave for Robles was a very thin cut on the 6-ball and unfortunately he made it but scratched afterwards.  Robles conceded and Rodriguez took the set 9-7.

Park was needed at the Sang Lee International Billiards Tournament and thus conceded his match to Rodriquez allowing Jorge his first Predator 9-ball Tour win of the season.  Congratulations Jorge.  

For tournament payouts and standings, please visit:

1st Jorge Rodriguez
2nd Shin Park         
3rd Tony Robles     
4th Mika Immonen    
5th/6th Shaun Wilkie              
          Mhet Vergara    
7th/8th Joey Kong        
          Mike Panzarella

Highest Finishing Female:  Caroline Pao
Highest Finishing C/D:       Ron Mason