Lombardo wins five on the loss-side, two in finals, to take Mezz Pro Am stop

Noel Bensurto, Hunter Lombardo, Daniel Smith, DJ the Dog , Eddie Abraham and Owner Ed Liddawi

When he stepped into Sandcastle Billiards on Sunday, August 28, Eddie Abraham was looking to chalk up his third win on the Mezz Pro Am Tour in 2011, and his sixth since March 2010.  While he and the other 29 entrants, on-hand for the $1,000-added event in Edison, NJ, were mindful of area flood waters brought on by Hurricane Irene, Abraham may have overlooked another force of nature which had made its way north from southern waters; namely, Hunter Lombardo

Lombardo had traveled north from his normal 'hunting' grounds in and around Florida to participate in the World Straight Pool Championships, which had been scheduled to commence on Sunday in nearby East Brunswick, NJ. When the start of that event was postponed, due to the storm, Lombardo signed on to do battle on the Mezz Pro Am Tour. While Abraham survived their first meeting – a double hill battle among the winners' side final eight – he was sent west himself in the battle for the hot seat by Daniel Smith, who'd most recently (July) shared 7th place with Stevie Moore in the Richard Sweet Memorial event in Atlanta. Lombardo went on to win five straight on the one-loss side, including the semifinal rematch against Abraham, took both sets of a true double elimination final versus Smith and chalked up his first win on this northeast tour.

Immediately after Abraham had dispatched Lombardo to the loss-side, he got embroiled in another double hill battle; this one, versus Daniel Dagotdot. He survived this one, too, and then faced Smith, who'd just sent Joe Palone west 7-2. It was Smith who moved into the hot seat, with a 7-4 victory and then waited for 'Hurricane' Lombardo to return.

Lombardo, in the meantime, was embarked on a five straight, one-loss side streak that featured an aggregate score of 35-12. He opened that campaign with a 7-4 win over Gregg McAndrews, and followed it with a 7-2 victory over Raul Reyes, which set him up to face Palone, coming over from the winners' side final four. Dagotdot drew Brett Stottlemyer, who'd defeated perennial northeast powerhouse Dan Cintron 7-1and Zack Christiansen 7-2. 

Dagotdot and Stottlemyer got locked up in a double hill battle that eventually sent Dagotdot to the quarterfinals. Lombardo, in the meantime, was picking up speed and joined Dagotdot with a 7-1 victory over Palone.  Lombardo then downed Dagotdot 7-3 to earn his rematch against Abraham. 

Like the floodwaters that surrounded the facility, Lombardo swept Abraham aside in their re-match7-2, and moved on to the true double elimination finals. He took the opening set versus Smith 7-4, and then allowed him only a single rack in the second set that earned him the event title.