Dufresne goes undefeated to chalk up his first Tri-State win, splits top prizes with Gupta
Skip Maloney
Apr. 10, 2019
(l to r): Shivam Gupta & Pascal Dufresne
(l to r): Shivam Gupta & Pascal Dufresne
Having won his first stop on the Predator Pro Am Tour last month, Pascal Dufresne decided to back it up with his first win on the Tri-State Tour in Sunday, April 7. Though it will go into the books as an undefeated win, it comes with the asterisk of no final match, as Dufresne and Shivam Gupta opted to split the top two prizes. The $1,000-added, 10-ball event drew 31 entrants to Shooter’s Family Billiards in Wayne, NJ.
 
Though he’s cashed in only two events in 2019, both on the Predator Pro Am Tour, Dufresne has already exceeded his best earnings year, to date (2018). Gupta, as well, recorded his best earnings year, to date, in 2018, and has a way to go to reach that figure in 2019. Gupta, though, was making his eighth appearance on the 2018-2019 Tri-State Tour, while for Dufresne, it was only his second.
 
Following a challenging start in which he survived a double hill battle versus Jerry Almodovar, Dufresne moved on to defeat Paul Wilkins and then, in their first, and what proved to be only meeting, Dufresne sent Gupta to the loss side 6-3. This set him up to face Kevin Scalzitti in one of the winners’ side semifinals. On his way to one of his highest finishes on the tour, Rick Rodriguez, who’d defeated Mac Jankov, Brian Schell (double hill) and Bob Toomey, faced Clint Pires in the other winners’ side semifinal.
 
Dufresne and Rodriguez gave up only a single rack between them, as Dufresne shut Scalzitti out, and Rodriguez allowed Pires only a single rack to advance them both to the hot seat match. Dufresne, playing what would prove to be his last match, sent Rodriguez to the semifinals 6-2 and claimed the hot seat.
 
On the loss side, Gupta opened his trip back to the finals with a 6-2 victory over Tri Chau and followed it with a 6-2 win over his road partner, Jaydev Zaveri (Zaveri and Gupta are currently #1 and #2 among the tour’s B+ competitors). This set Gupta up to face Scalzitti, coming over from the winners’ side semifinal. Pires drew Bob Toomey, who’d started in the same loss-side position as Gupta and survived two double hill matches against Amanda Andries and Brian Schell to draw Pires.
 
Gupta and Scalzitti locked up in a double hill battle that eventually sent Gupta to the quarterfinals (6-5). Toomey joined him, after eliminating Pires 5-1.
 
Gupta and Toomey, each, at this point, with three, loss-side wins, were both looking to advance to the semifinals. Gupta made it, downing Toomey 6-2 to face Rodriguez. Gupta and Rodriguez were both looking for a second shot against Dufresne in the hot seat and fought to double hill for that right. Once again, Gupta made it (6-5).
 
Dufresne and Gupta opted out of a final match. As the hot seat occupant, Dufresne claimed the event title, undefeated. 
Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Shooter’s Family Billiards, as well as sponsors Ozone Billiards, Sterling-Gaming, Kamui Tips, Phil Capelle, BlueBook Publishing, Human Kinetics, Pool & Billiards, Professor Q Ball, Bender Cues, DIGICUE OB and Hustlin USA. The next stop on the Tri-State Tour, scheduled for this weekend (Sunday, April 14) will be hosted by Cue Bar in Bayside (Queens), NY.