Laboy goes undefeated to win his first Tri-State Tour stop

Dennis Kennedy, Miguel Laboy and Tony Ignomirello
If you didn't know better, you'd swear that the Tri-State Tour was somehow or other designed to add a new name to the winners' list, every week. While you do get your regular, repeat customers, the number of times you see a new name far outnumbers the list of regulars. Some of this is attributable to the players on the tour who excel and move into Open/Pro status. Sometimes, it's about geography; certain players show up on the tour when it stops at certain locations. Then, too, there's the unpredictability about the game itself, which lends itself to a variation on the "any given Sunday" theme, which dictates that at a certain level of competition, anyone can emerge as the winner.
On Sunday, January 26, at a $750-added event, hosted by House of Billiards on Staten Island, Miguel Laboy worked his way through a field of 27 to add his name to the Tri-State's ever-expanding list of winners. He did so at the expense of Dennis Kennedy, one of the tour's former winners (February '12), and owner of the host location. Laboy took him down twice; once in the hot seat and again, in the finals.
After a double hill start against Giovani Hosang, Laboy moved on to defeat Marco Dy and Annie Flores, before facing the "ever-dangerous" Gary O'Callaghan in one of the winners' side semifinals. Kennedy met up with Quin Y. Chen in the other. Laboy downed O'Callaghan handily 7-1, as Kennedy was moving into the hot seat match with a 6-4 win over Chen. Laboy took the first of his two against Kennedy 6-4 and sat in the hot seat, awaiting his return.
O'Callaghan moved over to face Raj Vannala, who'd defeated Justin Muller 7-4 and Marco Costello 7-5. Chen picked up Tony Ignomirello (another Tri-State, winners' circle veteran), who was in the midst of a six-win, loss-side winning streak that would carry him all the way to the semifinals. He got by Yagif Alekberov 6-2 and Pat Mareno 6-4 to draw Ignomirello. Both winners' side semifinalists - O'Callaghan and Chen - went down; O'Callaghan 7-5 to Vannala and Chen 6-1 to Ignomirello.
Ignomirello survived a double hill battle against Vannala in the quarterfinals, only to be shut out by a determined Kennedy in the semifinals. Former winner versus new name was on, and in light of the tour's penchant for chalking up new names on the list of winners, you'd have had to give Laboy the edge.
Kennedy didn't think so, and he jumped out to a 4-0 lead, before Laboy checked in with a couple. Kennedy came back to chalk up his fifth, and Laboy promptly fought back with three to tie, and one more to take his first lead at 6-5. Kennedy would win only one more, as Laboy advanced to claim the event title 9-6.
Tour representatives thanked Kennedy and his staff at House of Billiards, along with sponsors Sterling-Gaming, Ozone Billiards, Qpod, Heptig Cues, Kamui Tips, Phil Capelle, BlueBook Publishing, and Human Kinetics. The next stop on the Tri-State Tour, scheduled for February 1, will be hosted by Gotham City Billiards in Brooklyn, NY.