Klein comes from the loss side to win his second 2018-2019 Tri-State Tour title
Skip Maloney
Apr. 15, 2019
(l to ro): Matt Klein and Russell Masciotti
(l to ro): Matt Klein and Russell Masciotti
Matt Klein is the Tri-State Tour’s fourth highest-ranked player on its 56-entrant “B” player list, behind Mike Mele, Nathaniel Raimondo and Tri Chau. He’s risen to that level on the basis of 11 appearances on the 2018-2019 tour, which began last summer. Mele has appeared 23 times, while Raimondo and Chau have made 14 appearances each. Klein has already exceeded his previous best earnings year (2018) and it’s only April. In February, after winning a stop on the Tri-State Tour, he chalked up a runner-up finish at the Empire State 9-Ball Championships. Klein added his second victory on the Tri-State in the current season, coming back from a hot seat loss to fellow B player, Russell Masciotti to down him in the finals. The $1,000-added event drew 30 entrants to Cue Bar in Bayside (Queens), NY on Sunday, April 14.
 
Klein ran a rogue’s gallery gauntlet of top-notch Tri-State talent to claim the title, beginning with Mike Strassberg (the tour’s current #2 C player) 7-5, Thomas Schreiber (one spot below Klein on the B list) 7-2, and Jason Goberdhan (#7 on the C+ list, and winner of the April 6-7 stop on the Predator Pro Am Tour) 7-3, before running into Bob Toomey (#1 on the C+ list) in a winners’ side semifinal. Masciotti, in the meantime (#26 in the B class), squared off against Keith Adamik.
 
Klein defeated Toomey 7-5 and in the hot seat match, faced Masciotti, who’d sent Adamik to the loss side 7-4. Masciotti won the ‘battle of the Bs’ hot seat match 7-3 and waited on Klein’s return.
 
On the loss side, Adamik picked up Luis Jimenez, who’d eliminated Nathaniel Raimondo 7-2 and Tri Chau 7-3, which could, dependent on how the numbers play out, elevate Klein above Raimondo and Chau on the B player list. Toomey drew a re-match against Shane Torres, whom he’d defeated in an earlier round, and who was on a six-match, loss-side winning streak that would take him as far as the semifinals against Klein. He’d most recently defeated Stewart Warnock, Sr. 7-3 and Goberdhan 6-3.
 
Adamik and Jimenez battled to double hill before Adamik advanced to the quarterfinals. He was joined by Torres, who’d successfully wreaked vengeance on Toomey 6-4. Torres then downed Adamik 8-6 in those quarterfinals, before having his loss-side streak ended 7-5 by Klein in the semifinals.
 
In an extended-race-to-9 final, Klein reached the ‘7’ threshold first to extend the race to 9 games. He advanced two more to down Masciotti 9-5 and claim the event title.
 
Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Cue Bar, 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 Saturday, April 20, will be hosted by Clifton Billiards in Clifton, NJ.