Rivera comes back from the loss side to take down Davladze on Tri-State Tour


For the second week in a row, Jimmy Rivera came from deep on the loss side to be among a Tri-State Tour stop's final four competitors. On February 17, his six-match, loss-side campaign got him as far as the quarterfinals. On Sunday, February 24, a five-match, loss-side winning streak took him to the finals, where he won a sixth match, against Koka Davladze, to claim the event title, his first on the Tri-State Tour. The $1,000-added, A-D handicapped event drew 38 entrants to The Cue Bar in Bayside, NY.

From among the winners' side final four, Davladze edged past Stewart Warnock, double hill, and in the hot seat match, faced Yakov Bekkelman, who'd sent Jimmy Martinez west 6-3. Davladze won his final match, gaining the hot seat 9-7 over Bekkelman.

On the loss side, Rivera, who'd won opening rounds against Dave Shlemperis, and Annie Flores, before being sent to the loss side by Warnock, got his loss-side march underway with a 7-2 victory over Darren DeFelippis and then, defeated Flores a second time, 7-5. This set him up for a re-match versus Warnock. Martinez, in the meantime, drew Ramon Feliciano, who'd gotten by Thomas Rice, double hill, and Luis Jimenez 6-3. 

In their first meeting, Warnock had given up only a single rack to Rivera. In their second, Rivera gave Warnock only two, and moved into the quarterfinals against Feliciano, who'd given up only a single rack eliminating Martinez. Rivera completed his loss-side run with a 7-5 victory over Feliciano in the quarterfinals, and an 8-5 win over Bekkelman in the semifinals.

Rivera and Davladze opened their single race finals by trading the first two racks, at which point, Rivera won three straight. Davladze would never get closer than the single rack separating the two at 2-1. He'd get that close one more time, at the 4-3 mark, but Rivera extended the lead back to two, three, and finally four racks, winning it 9-5 to claim his first Tri-State event title.

Tour representatives thanked the owners and staff of the Cue Bar, as well as sponsors Sterling-Gaming, Ozone Billiards, Poison Cues, Ron Tarr Cues, Kamui Tips, Phil Capelle, BlueBook Publishing, and Human Kinetics. The next stop on the Tri-State Tour, scheduled for March 2 at Gotham City Billiards in Brooklyn, will be a $1,250-added, C-D handicapped event.