Robles goes undefeated to win second straight Predator Open event

Tony Robles

With an undefeated trip through a short field on Sunday, July 1, Tony Robles won his second straight, Open event on his own tour; his fourth, overall, since February. To do it, he forced Zion Zvi into his third straight second-place finish on the tour. It would have been his fourth straight second place finish had Robles not defeated him in the semifinals of the Empire State Championships in February. The $500-added Open/Pro event drew 16 entrants to Eastside Billiards on the Upper East Side of Manhattan.

They met first among the winners' side final four, with Robles sending Zvi west 7-3. Robles advanced to the hot seat match where he faced Justin Daniels, who'd defeated Sean Morgan 7-3. Robles sent Daniels to the semifinals 7-5 and sat in the hot seat, awaiting Zvi's return.

Zvi moved over and picked up Jennifer Baretta, who'd defeated Mike Dube and Joe Landi, both 7-4.  Morgan drew Mhet Vergara, who'd survived a double hill battle against Greg McAndrews and then given up only a single rack to Alex Osipov.  Zvi and Morgan advanced to the quarterfinals with identical 7-4 wins over Baretta and Vergara. Zvi  then defeated Morgan 7-3, and gave up only a single rack in the semifinals versus Daniels to earn his re-match against Robles. 

In the extended-race finals, Zvi was looking to exact revenge for his earlier loss among the winners' side final four, but Robles stepped to the table with his own memories. While Robles had kept Zvi out of the finals of the Empire State Championships with a double hill, semifinal win, it was Zvi, a month later, who chalked up a commanding 7-2 semifinal victory that spoiled Robles' bid for a third straight win on the tour. 

With Robles in the hot seat, Zvi had to reach nine games first, to extend the race to 11 games, and he almost pulled it off. Zvi was out in front by two at the 5-3 and 6-4 marks. When Zvi reached the 'extension hill'  mark of 8 games, though, Robles was only one behind. Robles then won two in a row to hit the nine-game mark, and conclude his undefeated day.

As tour representative, Robles thanked the ownership and staff at Eastside Billiards, as well as sponsors  Predator Cues, The National Amateur Pool League, Delta-13 racks, Poison Cues,, and NYCGrind.