Martinez wins seven on the loss side to win Invitational 10-Ball tourney in FL

Joselito Martinez, Tommy Kennedy and David Grossman

Seven of Joselito Martinez’ nine recorded cash payouts have come on the Predator Sunshine State Pro Am Tour, dating back to 2018, including what was previously his only win; a Scotch Doubles title he shared with Marcos Burgos in what was an inaugural Scotch Doubles event on the tour in October, 2018. The two that came outside the realm of the Sunshine State tour were a stop on Tommy Kennedy’s SE Open 9-Ball Tour and a Predator Tour 10-Ball Open, held in Martinez’ home territory of Puerto Rico, both in 2019. On Saturday, January 2, at Park Avenue Billiards in Orange Park, FL, Martinez won his first official ‘single’ win, competing in a non-points, special event on the Predator Sunshine State Pro Am Tour. He earned the event title by winning seven on the loss side to meet and defeat hot seat occupant, David Grossman in the finals. The $750-added, 10-Ball event drew 25 invited entrants to Park Avenue Billiards. 

The weekend also featured an Amateur 9-Ball event on Sunday, Jan. 3, which drew 32 players, Fargo-rated at 575 or below. Won by local cue maker, Nick Osborne, that event is detailed in a separate report in our News section.

Martinez won a single match on the loss side, downing Michael Kayrouz 9-3, before being defeated by Ray Linares in the second round 9-6. Linares joined him on the loss side, one match later, when David Grossman sent him over in a winners’ side quarterfinal 9-3. This sent Grossman to a winners’ side semifinal against Donny Mills. Tommy Kennedy, in the meantime, back into the swing of things after a prolonged illness, followed an opening round bye with victories over Mike Moxley 9-3 and Derek Laprairie 9-6 to draw Mike Delawder in the other winners’ side semifinal.

Grossman advanced to the hot seat match 9-7 over Mills, as Kennedy got by Delawder 9-6. Grossman grabbed the hot seat 9-4 over Kennedy.

On the loss side, Martinez, headed back to the finals, defeated John Sounders 7-4, Benjie Estor 7-1 and both Laprairie and Jordan Burden 7-3 to draw Mills. Delawder drew Anthony Meglino, who, like Martinez, had won a single match on the winners’ side of the bracket before Mills defeated him in a winners’ side quarterfinal. Meglino downed Jimmy Garza and Ray Linares, both 7-5, to reach Delawder.

Martinez chalked up loss-side win #5, eliminating Mills 7-5 and advancing to the quarterfinals. Meglino joined him by extending his loss-side streak to a third match; 7-1 over Delawder.

Martinez put a stop to Meglino’s bid 7-2 in those quarterfinals, before meeting up with Kennedy in the semifinals. A fierce, double hill fight ensued, won eventually by Martinez, who turned to face Grossman in the hot seat.

In the single, extended-to-11 race in the finals, Martinez and Grossman stayed close for a while. Martinez pulled out in front and claimed the title 11-7.

Tour directors Janene Phillips and Bobby Garza thanked the ownership and staff at Park Ave. Billiards, as well as title sponsor Predator Group, Kamui, Central Florida USA Pool League, Stitch It To Me Embroidery, Diamond Products, AZBilliards, and all of the players who compete in their events. The season-opening, points-earning stop on the 2021 Predator Sunshine State Pro Am Tour, scheduled for the weekend of Feb. 6-7, will be hosted by Stroker’s Billiards in Palm Harbor, FL.