Goberdhan goes undefeated to claim his first event title on the Predator Pro Am Tour
Skip Maloney
Apr. 8, 2019
(l to r): Lidio Ramirez, Shawn Sookhai, Jason Goberdhan & Jim Gutierrez
(l to r): Lidio Ramirez, Shawn Sookhai, Jason Goberdhan & Jim Gutierrez
Whether defined by Fargo ratings or individual tour formulas, handicapped match play is designed to level the playing field so that lower-ranked players can be encouraged to participate. Without handicaps, and a few tours don’t use them (the Action Pool Tour, the J. Pechauer Northeast Women’s Tour, and the Midwest 9-Ball Tour, among others), lower-ranked competitors would have little or no incentive to drop their hard-earned money into competition against obviously superior players. By the same token, players are often encouraged to enter non-handicapped tournaments (to play ‘without a net,’ so to speak), because exposure to straight-up races against superior opponents is one of the many ways that players improve their own game.
 
According to our records, Jason Goberdhan has cashed in a total of 10 events in the Tri-State New York city area; three on the Tri-State Tour and the other seven on the Predator Pro Am Tour. Until this past weekend (April 6-7), he’d finished as high as 3rd place in both, once. Going into the 6th stop on the 2019 Predator Pro Am Tour, he was rated 6th among the tour’s “C” players. Goberdhan ended up going undefeated through a field of 93 entrants, defeating a B+ player (Shawn Sookhai) to claim the hot seat and an A+ player (Lidio Ramirez) in the finals to claim his first event title. The $1,000-added event was hosted by Steinway Billiards in Astoria (Queens), NY.
 
Goberdhan and Ramirez almost met in the hot seat match. Goberdhan faced off against Nick Croce in one of the winners’ side semifinals, as Ramirez met up with Sookhai in the other one. Goberdhan sent Croce to the loss side 7-2, while Sookhai and Ramirez locked up in a double hill fight, eventually won by Sookhai 7-6 (handicap advantages are figured into the score). Goberdhan then sent Sookhai to the semifinals 8-5 to claim the hot seat.
 
On the loss side, Ramirez picked up Russell Masciotti, who recorded a forfeit win over John Stiles and downed Jimmy Acosta 7-3 to reach him. Croce drew Jim Guttierez, who’d chalked up two straight double hill wins over Ryan Dayrit and Romero Tanglao.
 
Gutierrez eliminated Croce 7-3 to advance to the quarterfinals. Ramirez joined him after defeating Masciotti 8-6. Ramirez took that quarterfinal match 11-8 for a second shot against Sookhai in the semifinals.
 
A 7-4 win in that rematch gave Ramirez a first shot at Goberdhan. A somewhat predictable double hill fight ensued, eventually won by Goberdhan 10-9 to claim his first event title.
 
A Second Chance event drew 13 entrants and was won Jose Kuilan ($130), who survived a double-hill fight against Ashley Burrows ($90) in the finals. Naoko Saiki and Duc Lam pocketed $20 each for their 3rd place tie.
 
Tour director Tony Robles thanked Manny Stamatakis and his Steinway Billiards staff, as well as title sponsor Predator Cues, Ozone Billiards, PlayNAPL.com, The DeVito Team, PoolOnTheNet.com, Cappelle (Billiards Press), AZBilliards, Pool & Billiards Magazine, and Billiards Digest. The Predator Pro Am Tour will return to Steinway Billiards for its next stop (#7), this coming weekend (April 13-14), with a $1,000-added ABCD event.