Palaez and Laboy split top prizes in NE 9-Ball Series’ visit to New York City

(l to r): Paul Wrangpetch, Cano Palaez & Miguel Laboy
The New England 9-Ball Series stepped out of its geographical comfort zone on Saturday, November 10, and paid a tour-stop visit to New York City. As a result, the visit drew a few familiar NYC-based players to the $1,000-added event (Stop #6) among the 23 who competed at Spin City Café Billiards in Woodside (Queens), NY. The players were not, as they usually are, split into upper and lower brackets for this particular event. The top two prizes were split by NYC-area veteran Miguel Laboy (runner-up) and winner Cano Palaez, who’d defeated Laboy in the hot seat match.
Following victories over Paul Wrangpetch, Hiram Maldonado, and another NYC-area vet, Thomas Schreiber, Palaez moved into a winners’ side semifinal against Atstoshi Mizuno. Laboy, in the meantime, who’d been awarded an opening round bye, got by Juan Guzman and Pat Langley to draw Jimmy Acosta in the other winners’ side semifinal.
Separated by 247 FargoRate points, Palaez (453) started his winners’ side semifinal with six on the wire in a race to 10 against Mizuno (700). Palaez chalked up the four racks he needed while giving up only two to Mizuno. Palaez was joined in the hot seat match by Laboy (663), who was playing a much tighter race against Acosta (635); Acosta, starting with a single game on the wire in a race to 7. Laboy won it 7-4. As he’d done against Mizuno, Palaez gave up only two racks to Laboy, winning it 4-2 (Laboy racing to 9) to claim the hot seat, and, as it turned out the event title.
On the loss side, Mizuno picked up Pat Langley, who, following his defeat at the hands of Laboy, had eliminated via shutout yet another familiar New-York-area name, Bob Toomey, and, in a straight-up race to 7, just did survive a double hill match against Michael Verducci. Acosta drew Wrangpetch, who’d lost his opening round match to Palaez and was working on a five-match, loss-side winning streak that would take him as far as the semifinals. He’d most recently eliminated Jennifer Tully 8-3 and Schreiber 5-4 (Schreiber racing to 9).
Wrangpetch took his next loss-side step, downing Acosta 4-8 (Acosta racing to 10), while Mizuno dispatched Langley 9-2. Wrangpetch, working with the identical handicap as hot seat occupant Palaez (at the start, six on the wire in a race to 10), eliminated Mizuno 4-6 in the quarterfinals before having his loss-side streak snapped by Laboy 9-2 (Wrangpetch racing to 4).
Palaez and Laboy, as friends, opted out the final match, and as the hot seat occupant, Palaez claimed the event title, while splitting the top two prizes with Laboy.
Tour director Marc Dionne thanked the ownership and staff at Spin City Billiards, as well as sponsors Predator Cues, USAPL (New England), Fargo Rate, Bert Kinister, AZBilliards, Inside English, Professor Q-ball’s National Pool and 3-Cushion News, Delta 13 Racks, MJS Construction, Bob Campbell, Bourgeois Farms and OTLVISE Billiard Mechanics of America. The next stop on the New England 9-Ball Series (#7) will return the tour to familiar territory. The $500-added event, scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 24, will be hosted by Stix & Stones in Abington, MA.