Dufresne, from the loss side, breaks through to win his first stop on the Predator Pro Am Tour
Mar. 5, 2019
Mar. 5, 2019
(l to r): Nick Croce, Tony Ignomirello, Pascal Dufresne & Dave Shlemperis
Though he’d been runner-up on the Tri-State Tour twice and cashed in a number of tri-state New York area tournaments over the past couple of years, Pascal Dufresne came to the March 2-3 stop on the Predator Pro Am Tour in search of his first event title. He found it. He came back from a winners’ side semifinal loss to down the man, Dave Shlemperis, who sent him to the loss side and claim his first title. The $1,000-added event drew 55 entrants to The Spot in Nanuet, NY.
Dufresne advanced to the winners’ side semifinal against Shlemperis, while Nick Croce squared off against Naoko Faiki, a relative newcomer to the ranks of female Predator Pro Am competitors. Shlemperis sent Dufresne off 7-2 to a three-match trip on the loss side. Croce joined him in the hot seat match after sending Faiki over 7-5. Shlemperis and Croce fought back and forth to a double hill, deciding game, which eventually sent Croce off to the semifinals.
Dufresne opened his loss-side trip against Thomas Schreiber, who’d defeated Ocheign Carlos 7-3 and survived a double hill fight against James Stevens. Faiki faced Tony Ignomirello, who’d eliminated Carlos Duque 7-4 and Juan Melendez 7-2.
Three straight double hill matches (and almost a fourth) ensued. Tony Iggy and Dufresne forced deciding games against Faiki and Schreiber, respectively, and won them both to advance to the quarterfinals. Then they locked up in a double hill quarterfinal that eventually sent Dufresne to the semifinals.
Dufresne and Croce came within a single game of a fourth straight double hill match on the loss side. Dufresne, though, edged out in front at the end to win it 7-5 to earn a second shot against Shlemperis, sitting in the hot seat waiting for him.
In spite of what Heinz Ketchup tried to tell us in a campaign advertising slogan from the 1980s and Guinness Stout tried to tell us in their own advertisements a decade later, good things don’t always come to those who wait. Just ask Dave Shlemperis, waiting to chalk up his first win on the Predator Pro Am Tour since February of 2017. Pascal Dufresne denied him that title with a 9-6 win in the finals that gave him his first title.
Tour director Tony Robles thanked the ownership and staff at The Spot, as well as title sponsor Predator Cues, Predator Cues, Ozone Billiards, NAPL, The DeVito Team, PoolontheNet.com, Billiards Digest, AZBilliards, Pool & Billiards Magazine and his entire staff, including his lovely wife, Gail. The next stop on the Predator Pro Am Tour, scheduled for the weekend of March 16-17 will be an ABCD, Double Points Amateur event, hosted by Cue Bar in Bayside (Queens), NY.