Osipovitch opens new Tri-State season with a win

Mark Alicea and George Osipovitch

George Osipovitch, who finished the 2009-2010 Tri-State season as the tour's C+ Player of the Year, opened the 2010-2011 season with an undefeated tour stop victory on Saturday, July 24. The $750-added, B-D handicapped event drew 24 entrants to Edison Billiards in Edison, NJ.  

Following an opening round, 7-4 victory over Ben Sadowski, Osipovitch faced his eventual finals opponent, Mark Alicea, who was playing in his first-ever Tri-State event (Alicea's brother, John, has been a regular on the tour for many years). Osipovitch handed the young Alicea his first Tri-State defeat 6-5, and moved among the winners' side final four to meet up with Rick Shellhouse. Duane Toney, in the meantime, was squaring off against Gary Murgia.  Osipovitch defeated Shellhouse 7-5 and moved into the hot seat match versus Toney, who'd sent Murgia west 7-2. Osipovitch gained the hot seat with a 7-5 win and waited for Alicea to complete a five-match trek back to face him a second time. 

Alicea's campaign began with a 6-2 win over Antonio Navarro and was followed by a 7-6 win over Dave Fitzpatrick, which set him up to face Murgia. Shellhouse drew Ken Debroske, following victories over Raul Reyes 7-2 and Louie Alicea 7-3. Alicea (Mark) downed Murgia 7-4, as DeBroske completed Shellhouse's day with a 7-5 win.  In the quarterfinal match that followed, Alicea ended a strong 6-2 tournament bid by DeBroske with a 6-5 victory that set him up for the semifinal match against Toney. 

Alicea vaulted the final hurdle back to the finals with a 7-3 win over Toney. Osipovitch, however, was not to be denied.  The two traded racks in the opening two games, before Osipovitch won two in a row. Alicea drew within one at 3-2, but it proved to be the last rack of an otherwise impressive debut on the Tri-State tour.  Osipovitch won the final three to secure his first Tri-State event of the tour's new season. 

Thanks were extended to event sponsors Sterling-Gaming, Ozone Billiards, Viking Cues, Ron Tarr Cues, Phil Capelle, Blue Book Publishing and Dr. Dave Billiards Instructional Billiards.