Mejia picks up first Tri-State win, going undefeated through field of 37

Ricardo Mejia got as close as runner-up last February on the Tri-State Tour. On Saturday, January 11, he shed the bridesmaid role by going undefeated through a field of 37 players, on-hand for the $1,000-added stop on the tour, hosted by Castle Billiards in East Rutherford, NJ.
Originally divided up between A/B and C/D players, the ranks would come together at the approach of the finals. Working in the A/B bracket, Mejia would get by Mike Zimny, Shin Sekin, Alex Gutierrez, and in the A/B final, defeat Raj Vanalla in a double hill match that would put him in the event hot seat. Paul Wilkens, in the meantime, was advancing through the C/D bracket, defeating Jan Mierza, Richard Anderson, Frank Sieczka and finally, Scott Abramowitz 6-3, which would move him into the hot seat match against Mejia. Mejia would gain the hot seat, double hill, and wait on what would turn out to be the return of Chuck Giallorenzo.
On the loss side, Vanalla would have the misfortune of running into Giallorenzo, who'd gotten by Max Watanabe 7-3 and Mike Zimny 7-4. Abramowitz would have the equal misfortune of meeting up with a streaking Jaydev Zaveri, who'd defeated Mike Figueroa 6-4 and Bernie Vogelsang 6-5 to reach him.
Giallorenzo ended Vanalla's run 7-4, as Zaveri ended Abramowitz' run 6-4. Giallorenzo then survived a double hill quarterfinal over Zaveri, and spoiled Wilkens' bid for a rematch against Mejia with a 7-4 win in the semifinals. 
Giallorenzo, with momentum on his side, took the opening two games of the finals, before Mejia responded with an early 9-ball combination in the next two games, and broke and ran to a 3-2 lead he'd never give up. Giallorenzo chalked up only one more rack as Mejia went on to complete his undefeated run 7-3.
Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Castle Billiards, as well as sponsors Sterling-Gaming, Ozone Billiards, Qpod, Heptig Cues, Kamui Tips, Phil Capelle, BlueBook Publishing, and Human Kinetics. The next stop on the Tri-State Tour is a $750-added, A-D handicapped event, scheduled for Sunday, January 19 at Clifton Billiards in Clifton, NJ.