Meyer survives strong, double-hill challenge to go undefeated on Predator Pro Am Tour
Skip Maloney
Jun. 25, 2019
(l to r): Jose Kuilan, Max Watanabe, Brooke Meyer & Stephen Motilal
(l to r): Jose Kuilan, Max Watanabe, Brooke Meyer & Stephen Motilal
As James Aranas was busy working on an undefeated run to qualify for the upcoming 10-Ball Championships in Las Vegas (see separate story), Brooke Meyer was at work trying to secure (according to our records) his first victory on the Predator Pro Am Tour since April of 2016. Three years ago, in what would prove to be his best earnings year to-date, Meyer spoiled the party that might have celebrated a first-ever victory for New York’s Alison Fischer (not to be confused with English Pro Allison Fisher), downing her twice to take that title. On the weekend of June 22-23, Meyer, sitting in the #8 slot amongst the tour’s A players, went undefeated again, this time downing Jose Kuilan (#13 among C players) twice to capture the $1,000-added, A/B/C/D event that drew 80 entrants to Raxx Billiards in West Hempstead, NY.
 
Meyer and Kuilan met in the hot seat match, once Meyer had sent Jay Vapanta to the loss side 7-2 and Kuilan had dispatched Stephen Motilal to that side of the bracket 7-4. Meyer claimed the hot seat in a double hill fight and waited on what would prove to be another one in the finals.
 
On the loss side, Motilal picked up Bob Toomey, who’d defeated Michelle Brotons 6-3 and Debby Buyukveniz 7-5 to reach him. Vapanta drew Max Watanabe, who’d recently eliminated Miguel Laboy 7-1 and Chulo Castro 7-4.
 
Watanabe, who sits at #9, one spot below Meyer among the A players, defeated Vapanta 7-2, as Motilal ended Toomey’s weekend 7-5. Watanabe took the quarterfinal match that followed, 8-6 over Motilal, before he was eliminated, double hill, in the semifinals by Kuilan 9-8.
 
It looked, for a while, as though Kuilan was going to cash in on his semifinal momentum to snatch the event title out of Meyers’ hands. He was on the hill ahead of Meyer, but watched as Meyer, slowly, but surely closed the gap. At 10-9, Kuilan attempted a good-looking 6-9 combo that would have ended it, but instead, when it failed, allowed Meyer to tie it up and forced the deciding game. Meyer ‘pushed’ on the last break, and for a few minutes, both players benefited from sequential lucky rolls that put their opponent in tough shape. Meyer broke out of the pattern to finish the rack, winning the game, match and event.
 
Matt Klein took the Second Chance event, which drew 16 entrants, downing Ambi Estevez in the final. Abel Rosario and Marisol Palacio shared third place in the single-elimination event. The Third Chance drew 13 players and was won by Miguel Laboy, following a double hill final against Bob Toomey. Joe Wilson Torres and Shashi Hajaree shared third place honors in this one.
 
Tour director Tony Robles thanked Holden Chin and his Raxx Billiards staff, as well as title sponsor Predator Cues, Ozone Billiards, PlayNAPL.com, The DeVito Team, PoolontheNet.com, Cappelle (BilliardsPress.com), AZBilliards, Pool & Billiards Magazine and Billiards Digest. The next stop on the Predator Pro Am Tour (#11), scheduled for July 13-14, will be hosted by Amsterdam Billiards in Manhattan, NY.