Edwin Garcia wins 1st Predator Caribbean 10 Ball Open with undefeated run
Harold Acosta
Feb. 3, 2019
This past weekend (Jan 26-27, 2019) Pool Players Factory in Puerto Rico hosted their first major event of the year with 5k added money thanks to the sponsorship of Predator Cues.  The event was open to all Puerto Rican, Caribbean and Latin American Players. 
 
Among those in attendance were Ruben Bautista (Mexico), Julio Burgos, Joselito Martinez, and Ricardo Joel Rodriguez, all Puerto Rican players currently living in the USA.  Other tournament notables were Alan Rolon, Efrain Morales, Edwin Toro, Anthony Perez, Jomax Garcia, Geovanni Serrano, Wilbert Ortiz, Wilfredo Camacho, Juan Poventud, Nelson Hernandez, Shooter Pagan, Miguel “Pito” Batista, among many others.
 
Sixty-four (64) players showed up for the two-day tournament with many of the top Islanders not disappointing their fans with brilliant plays throughout the event.  Format was two races to five with a sudden death match if necessary.  Much to the surprise of the tournament directors was the fact that 42 of the 126 matches (33%) went to a sudden-death game.  Obviously endurance and/or fatigue was a factor within the tournament.  Nonetheless by the end of the first day we had 16 of the best tournament players ready to chalk-up for the first-place prize of $ 4,000.
 
The last four players in the event were Edwin Garcia and Julio Burgos in the winner’s side and Reinaldo Dendariarena and Ruben Bautista in the one-loss side.  Reinaldo was sent to the one-loss side by Edwin Garcia, and Ruben Bautista was sent by Julio Burgos.  Both matches were decided by sudden death wins. 
 
Reinaldo and Ruben Bautista then met for the 4th place prize with a fairly easy win for Bautista.  Edwin Garcia and Julio Burgos were now setup to meet each other to see whom was to claim the hot seat of the tournament.  Edwin Garcia won the first set 5 to 3.  Julio Burgos won the second set 5-2.  Sudden death went to Edwin Garcia with a break and run.
 
A rematch between Julio Burgos and Ruben Bautista was now in play.  Everyone was excited since Julio (Puerto Rico) had won against Ruben (Mexico) in their previous match.   After the dust was cleared, Ruben had ousted Julio with two wins by score of 5-1 and 5-1 with Julio Burgos obtaining third place in the event.
 
For the Championship Match between Edwin Garcia and Ruben Bautista, more excitement was built-up.  Ruben Bautista had been determined to be the tournament favorite at the get-go, and obviously there was a sense by some people that Bautista could snatch the event.  Edwin Garcia is one of the best top 2 players in Puerto Rico and everyone was certain that Edwin would not go down easily; and that he too had a great chance of success.
 
On the last match of the night, Ruben took the first set 5-2.  Edwin came back with a 5-3 win, and now the outcome of the event relied on the 42nd sudden-death match of the tournament.  Edwin won the lag but came up with a dry break, Ruben played a safety on the one, Edwin returned the safety. Ruben had to jump the cue-ball leaving the one open.  Edwin pocketed the one but tried to leave a safe on the two returning the table to Ruben.  Ruben proceeded to pocket the two, three, and four ball.  The five was straight-in to the upper right corner, a makeable ball but somehow Ruben rattled the 5 and that was it for Ruben’s performance.  Edwin cleared the table and claimed the tournament Championship.
 
Jose Garcia and Alejandro Rodriguez, proud owners of Pool Players Factory, the largest pool hall in the Caribbean with (14) Diamond Pro Tables and six (6) 7ft Smart Tables greeted players and fans alike.  Also on a very special and surprise appearance, Mr. Karim Belhaj, CEO of Predator Cues addressed the crowd on day two with encouraging words as to a sponsored tour for the Island, with future Predator sponsored events like this one.  Needless to say, Mr. Belhaj made the day for all of us whom have been dreaming of something like this to happen.  We thank Jose Garcia, Alejandro Rodriguez and Karim Belhaj for the great news and their combined willingness to help establish a Puerto Rican Tour.