Mejia goes undefeated to win his first Tri-State stop in four years

Rafael Alberto and Ricardo Mejia
All of Ricardo Mejia’s recorded pool tournament payouts have been on the Tri-State Tour, dating back to January, 2011 when he showed up in the AZBilliards database for the first time with a third-place finish. He’d record his best earnings year in 2013 by showing up on the payout lists of the Tri-State five times; a 2nd, a 5th and three 7th place finishes. In January of 2014, he won a stop on the tour, going undefeated through a field of 37, and finishing the tour season as the #6-ranked player in the B+ Class. On Sunday, August 5, Mejia chalked up his second Tri-State win in another undefeated performance, which did not feature a final match. He and Rafael Alberto opted out of playing a final, and as the hot seat occupant, Mejia became the official winner. The $1000-added event drew 35 entrants to Clifton Billiards in Clifton, NJ.
Mejia and Alberto met first in the event’s second round. Mejia prevailed and sent Alberto on a nine-match, loss-side winning streak that would eventually put him into the finals that never happened. Mejia, in the meantime, advanced through the field to draw Kevin Serodio in a winners’ side semifinal. Mike Strassberg and Sung Lee met in the other one. Mejia downed Serodio 8-6 and met up with Strassberg, who’d survived a double hill match against Lee. Mejia then claimed the hot seat 8-6 over Strassberg in what proved to be his last match.
On the loss side, with four notches on his loss-side belt, Alberto got by Tri Chau and Teddy Lapadula, both 7-4, to draw Serodio. Lee picked up Clint Pires, who’d defeated Jose Pereya 6-3 and Jake Kislowski 7-5 to reach him.
Alberto eliminated Serodio 7-4 and in the quarterfinals, faced Pires, who’d sent Lee home in a double hill win. Alberto gave up only two racks to Pires to win that quarterfinal, and finished his loss-side run with a double hill win over Strassberg in the semifinals. He and Mejia opted out of the finals (listed as an official forfeit by Alberto) and Mejia had his ‘asterisk’ second victory on the Tri-State Tour.
Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Clifton Billiards, 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, August 12, will be a C/D handicapped, $1,000-added, Double Points 8-Ball event, hosted by Cue Bar in Bayside (Queens), NY.