Rose comes from the loss side to take Sunshine State Predator Pro Am Tour season opener
Skip Maloney
Jan. 9, 2019
(l to r): Mike Delawder, Stroker's owner Jose Del Rio & Nathan Rose
(l to r): Mike Delawder, Stroker's owner Jose Del Rio & Nathan Rose
In the 17 years that Nathan Rose has been bringing home cash from mostly Florida-based pool tournaments, he’s had only two years of recorded earnings that were better than his last one, 2018. In 2015, his most productive year, he chalked up a win on the Shark Billiard Tour, was runner-up to Mike Davis at the Starcade Billiards Fall Classic and cashed in four events on the Florida Pool Tour. Eight years earlier, he had a win on the Southeast 9-Ball Tour and cashed in the Seminole Pro Tour, the Steve Mizerak Championship and the Bob Martin Memorial. Last year, he figured in the payouts of five stops on the Sunshine State Pro Am Tour, winning two of them, and taking a trip to the Super Billiards Expo, where he finished third behind Zoren James Aranas and Jorge Rodriguez in the Pro-Am Bar Box Championships. He’s opened his 2019 tournament schedule by winning the season opener on the now-named Sunshine State Predator Pro Am Tour. Mike Delawder defeated him in the hot seat match, but Rose returned from the semifinals to win a double hill final and claim the title. The $1,400-added event drew 69 entrants to Stroker’s Billiards in Palm Harbor, FL.
 
By the time Rose and Delawder met for the first time in the hot seat match, Delawder had won a single game more than Rose (36-35), but had lost eight more (28-36). Going into the winners’ side semifinals, Delawder had given up 17 racks to his opponents. Rose had given up only 10.
 
After his victory over Nikilin, Rose advanced to defeat Jarred Schlauch 7-4, Kelly Cavanaugh 7-3, and David Singleton 7-2 to arrive at a winners’ side semifinal match against George Saunders. Delawder got by Stephanie Mitchell 8-3, James Roberts 7-5, Kodi Allen 7-4 and Mitch Keiser 7-5 to pick up Bobby Garza (the tour’s 2018 top-ranked player) in the other winners’ side semifinal.
 
Rose shut out Saunders, as Delawder was busy downing Garza 7-3. They came into the hot seat match with a 13% difference in their win-percentage; Rose at 77% (thanks in no small part to the shutout over Saunders) and Delawder at 64%. Delawder claimed the hot seat 7-3, narrowing that winning-game gap to 4%; 69% for Rose and 65% for Delawder. As it turned out, that four-point winning-percentage gap would hold through to the end, though both would see their individual percentage drop. Delawder, in the meantime, waited in the hot seat to find that out.
 
On the loss side, Saunders picked up Mitch Keiser, who, following his defeat at the hands of Delawder, had defeated Carlton Johnson 7-4 and the eventual top junior in the tournament Trenton White 7-2. Garza drew Jarred Schlauch, who, following Delawder’s win over him, embarked on a seven-match, loss-side winning streak that would take him as far as the quarterfinals. He’d most recently eliminated room owner Jose Del Rio 7-4 and Kyle Bova, double hill.
 
Schlauch downed Garza 7-5 and in the quarterfinals, faced Keiser, who’d defeated Saunders 7-4. Keiser ended Schlauch’s loss-side trip 7-2 in those quarterfinals, and then was defeated himself 7-3 by Rose in the semifinals.
 
Nathan Rose’s double hill, 9-8, win over Delawder in the finals gave him the event title, though it lowered his win-percentage to 65%. The nine racks scored against Delawder lowered his win-percentage to 61%. If Delawder had dropped the 9-ball, Rose would still have won the winning-percentage contest, but only by a single percentage point (67-66).
 
In addition to cash prizes awarded to the top 16 finishers, two top-finishing women – Jenn Berzinski and Kelly Cavanaugh (tied) – and the event’s top-finishing junior, Trenton White, took home cash prizes, as well.
 
Tour directors Janene Phillips and Bobby Garza thanked Jose Del Rio and his Stroker’s staff for their hospitality, as well as title sponsor Predator Cues (to include their donation of promotional items given out at the event), Cyclop Balls, Diamond, AZBilliards and Kamui. The next stop on the Sunshine State Predator Pro Am Tour, scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 2, will be hosted by Brewlands in Tampa, FL.