Markopoulos and Rosario split top prizes on the Tri-State Tour

(l to r): Abel Rosario and Dimos Markopoulos
For the second week in a row, the two finalists scheduled to face each other in a last match on the Tri-State Tour opted out of what would have been a very late-night match and split the top two prizes. As the undefeated occupant of the hot seat at the time, Dimos Markopoulos claimed the official event title of the $1,000-added event, held on Saturday, February 3, which drew 47 entrants to Steinway Billiards in Astoria (Queens), NY. As had happened the week before, the loss-side opponent in what would have been the final match (in this case, Abel Rosario) had come from relatively deep on the loss side for the right to challenge Markopoulos in the finals; last week, Matt Klein won seven on the loss side for the right to face Llija Trajceski in finals that never happened.
Unlike the previous week, the two finalists in this one (Markopoulos and Rosario) had met before; in a winners’ side quarterfinal, won 7-4 by Markopoulos, who advanced to a winners’ side semifinal against Carlos Serrano. Max Jankov (responsible for sending last week’s runner-up, Klein, to the loss side) faced Max Watanabe in the other winners’ side semifinal.
Markopoulos and Serrano battled to double hill before Markopoulos finished it to advance to the hot seat match. Watanabe downed Janko 9-7 to join him. Markopoulos defeated Watanabe 7-3 in the hot seat match that proved to be his last.
On the loss side, Rosario opened his five-match trip back to the finals with two straight double hill wins, over Vinny Crescimanno and Shweta Zaveri, and drew Serrano. Jankov picked up Alex Osipov, who’d defeated Victor Dabu, double hill and Daniel Feliciano 11-7 to reach him.
Osipov and Rosario advanced to the quarterfinals; Osipov with a double hill win over Jankov and Rosario 8-3 over Serrano. In the seventh double hill match of eight among the event’s final 12 competitors, Rosario defeated Osipov in those quarterfinals.
In the final double hill match among the event’s final 12, Rosario downed Watanabe in the semifinals. Rosario and Markopoulos opted out of the final match, with Markopoulos entering the record books as the event’s official winner.
Tour representatives thanked Manny Stamatakis and his staff at Steinway Billiards for their hospitality, as well as sponsors Ozone Billiards, Sterling-Gaming, Kamui Tips, Phil Capelle, BlueBook Publishing, Human Kinetics, Pool & Billiards, Professor Q Ball, Bender Cues, and DIGICUE OB. The next stop on the Tri-State Tour, scheduled for Sunday, February 18, will be a double-points, 10-ball event, hosted by Cue Bar in Bayside (Queens), NY.