Popov goes undefeated on Tri-State Tour stop

Randy Mackin - 3rd; Alex Popov - ist; Richard Ng - 2nd

Alex Popov chalked up five match victories to take first place in the Tri-State Tour stop on Saturday, March 27. He was challenged in the finals by Richard Ng, who won all but two of his 10 matches on the day; the two were his first, and his last. The $750-added, C-D handicapped event drew 30 entrants to Sandcastle Billiards in Edison, NJ. 

After victories over Rich Jaeger and Ron Tarr, Popov moved among the winners' side final four, where he faced and defeated Ken Debroske 6-4, to get into the hot seat match. He was joined by Randy Mackin, who'd just sent Joe Varvaro west 6-3. Popov gained the hot seat with a 6-5 win that sent Mackin to the semifinals to face Ng. 

With three of his eight straight wins on the one-loss side behind him, Ng defeated Mike Davie 6-2 and Christine Liotti 6-4 to take on Varvaro. Qian Y. Chen, in the meantime, defeated Pat Mareno 5-4 and Rick Shellhouse 6-3 for the right to face Debroske. Ng and Debroske moved into the quarterfinals following Ng's 6-4 victory over Varvaro and Debroske's 7-3 win over Chen.  Ng chalked up his seventh straight win with a 6-5 defeat of Debroske and faced Mackin in the semifinals.  Ng concluded his streak of eight games with 6-4 win over Mackin that put him in the finals. 

After trading wins in the opening two racks, Ng won two in a row to give him the largest lead that either player would ever enjoy. Popov fought back with two in a row of his own to knot things at 3-3. From there, Ng moved ahead by one and Popov tied it. Popov then moved ahead by one and Ng tied it at 5-5. Popov got the upper hand in the final rack and sealed it 6-5 to take home the first place prize. 

Tour representatives thanked Sterling Gaming, Fury Cues, Stealth Cues and Ron Tarr custom cues for their support of this event.