Lopez' Tri-State victory makes 2018 his best earnings year to date
Skip Maloney
Oct. 9, 2018
(l to r): Luis Lopez & Luis Carrasco
(l to r): Luis Lopez & Luis Carrasco
Though saddled with an increasingly popular asterisk, indicating that a tour stop win has been earned without benefit of a deciding final match, Luis Lopez’ victory on the Sunday, October 7 stop on the Tri-State Tour counted where it counted most; in his pocket. According to information at our disposal, the $705 he earned as official winner of the stop made 2018 his best earnings year to date. Another Luis (Carrasco) was Lopez’ hot seat and would-have-been finals opponent. The $1,000-added event drew 39 entrants to Steinway Billiards in Astoria (Queens), NY.
 
Following victories over Andre Shramanko 6-3 and Mike Strassberg 6-2, Lopez chalked up two straight shutouts, over Michael Fedak and, in a winners’ side semifinal, Latonia Taylor. Carrasco, in the meantime, downed Dave Shlemperis 7-2 in the other winners’ side semifinal to join Lopez in the hot seat match. Lopez defeated Carrasco 7-1 to claim the hot seat, and, as it turned out, the event title.
 
On the loss side, eight competitors were at work, looking to earn their share of the $820 left to divide up among six other competitors. Dave Shlemperis, sent to the loss side by Ramilo Tanglao and in the midst of a loss-side winning streak that would take him to the semifinals, picked up one of them; Nick Limbertos, who’d defeated Tanglao 7-3 to get into the first money round, and Ambi Estevez 7-4 to reach Shlemperis. Taylor drew Mike Mele, who’d defeated Abel Barriento, double hill and Shweta Zaveri (the tour’s top female competitor) 9-4.
 
Shlemperis and Taylor got right back to work and advanced to the quarterfinals; Shlemperis 7-5 over Limbertos and Taylor 7-4 over Mele. Shlemperis eliminated Taylor in those quarterfinals 8-5 and then had his modest four-match loss-side streak ended with a double hill win by Carrasco in the semifinals.
 
The two Luis’, Lopez and Carrasco, opted out of a final and, as the undefeated occupant of the hot seat (and having defeated Carrasco once already), Lopez claimed the event title.
 
Tour representatives thanked Manny Stamatakis and his staff at Steinway Billiards, as well as sponsors Ozone Billiards, Sterling Gaming, Kamui Tips, Phil Cappelle, 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, Oct. 21, will be hosted by Cue Bar in Bayside (Queens), NY.