Lionel Rivera Goes Undefeated in Predator Tour Stop #5

Albert Estevez, Tony Robles, Lionel Rivera and Gail Glazebrook

The Blatt Billiards Predator 9-Ball Tour held its second “A-B-C-D” stop of the 2009 season. A total of seventy-nine players showed up for tour's two events of the weekend.

The main tournament began Saturday and drew sixty-two of the Tri-State area's strongest players.  The tournament structure lets the A-B players battle it out at the top of the chart, while the C-D players compete on the bottom.    

Picking up right where he left off from the first A-B-C-D event (3rd place), Lionel Rivera, took advantage of a first round bye and fell into dead stroke by defeating John Mazes 7-2, Craig Seal 7-4, Mike Wong 7-4 and Thomas Wan 7-4 to remain unscathed after the first day.

Albert Estevez also took advantage of a first round bye and defeated Dave Ascolese 7-3, Bobby Varughese 7-3 and a close call with Shawn Sookhai 7-6.

The very classy Beau Baer was having a monster tournament with clear-cut wins over Mark Perel 7-5, Charlie Lentini 7-4, Bob Mammarella 7-3 and Shorty Santiago 7-5.

Stop #4's B-C-D winner PJ Puma also went undefeated with wins over Dennis Lake 7-6, Mike Ettl 7-2, and a very tight win over Alex Gonzalez 7-6.

The one loss side still had many killers fighting to stay alive. Thomas Wan continued to fight after his loss to Lionel Rivera but was stopped by Beau Baer 7-3. Shorty Santiago was defeated by Beau Baer 7-5, but came back to defeat Charlie Lentini 7-4 only to fall short against Thomas Wan 7-2. Dave Ascolese was grinding it out after his first loss to Albert Estevez and defeated Duane Toney 7-4 and Gregory Charles 7-2 before losing to Mike Ettl 7-3.  

New comer to the tour Charlie Lentini was also having a great tournament with incredible wins over Justin Muller 7-0 and John Alicea 7-3. John Hacsi was taking care of business on the one-loss side.  After losing to Jim Murnak 7-2, John came back to defeat Stefan Wiegmann 7-0, Teddy Cook 7-2, Rob Slayback 7-1, and Mike Ettl 7-3 but lost a heart breaker to Shawn Sookhai 7-6.   

As day one came to a close, only four were left undefeated; Lionel Rivera, Beau Baer, P.J. Puma & Albert Estevez.  On the A-B side, Lionel Rivera would face Beau Baer for a chance at the hot seat, while in the C-D bracket, P.J. Puma would battle Albert Estevez.

While Lionel Rivera remained in control of his game on day two, Beau seemed to be a different player.  Lionel took advantage of a couple of mistakes and dominated Baer 7-2 for a chance at the hot seat. Albert Estevez took care of PJ Puma to earn his shot at the hot seat winning 7-5.

The match for the hot seat was a barn burner with Lionel squeaking out the win 7-6.

On the one loss side, Shawn Sookhai staged a comeback by winning four in a row, (three of them hill-hill matches) to earn a shot at the semifinals against Albert Estevez. But Sookhai seemed to lose his steam against Estevez and Albert played tough pool.  Estevez won 7-3 against Sookhai for a chance to redeem himself against Lionel.

In the final, Lionel could not be denied as he calmly ran rack after rack to claim his first Predator Tour stop win of this season, winning 7-4.

The tour also hosted the Delta-13 second day B-C-D event which was won by my good friend Charles Lentini. Charles defeated Dave Deserio in the final 7-4.

Stop #6 will be taking place May 23-24 at Comet Billiards in Parsippany, NJ. Pat Fleming will be on hand to stream the matches live through This stop will be open to all players!

Please log on to to see the complete schedule.

Looking forward to seeing you all there!