Schwartz returns from the loss-side to take down Bannon in Tri-State finals

Call it the Curse of the Clock. A competitor advances smoothly through the winners' side bracket and sits in the hot seat, where he waits (and waits, and waits) for his finals opponent. When he meets that opponent, he (or she) is facing a competitor with momentum and lots of practice on their side. Such was the fate of Scott Bannon on the Tri-State Tour on Saturday, September 17.  He advanced to the hot seat match and after waiting hours for an opponent, finally faced Jacob Schwartz, whom he'd sent to the loss-side in the event's third round. Schwartz, on the heels of seven straight wins, made it eight in a row to capture the title. The $500-added B/D-handicapped event drew 38 entrants to Castle Billiards in East Rutherford, NJ.

As Schwartz was honing his skills in the west bracket, Bannon moved among the winners' side final four, where he faced Marc Koelhoffer. Tony Eglesias, in the meantime, was facing Jerry DeLeo. Bannon downed Koelhoffer 9-6, as Eglesias moved past DeLeo 7-2. Bannon sent Eglesias to the semifinals 7-3 and sat in the hot seat to await (and await, and await) the return of Schwartz.

Koelhoffer was the one who drew Schwartz, who by that time had chalked up four of the seven he'd win on the loss-side, including a 7-6 victory over Raj Vannala, and a 7-4 win over Chris DeCaprio. DeLeo drew Chuck Giallorenzo, who'd gotten by Borana Andoni 7-6 and John Trobiano 7-5. Schwartz moved into the quarterfinals with an 8-4 win over Koelhoffer, and was joined by DeLeo, who'd defeated Giallorenzo 6-5.

Schwartz dropped DeLeo into fourth place 7-5, and then denied Eglesias a re-match versus Bannon with a 7-3 victory in the semifinals. The wait, for Bannon, was over, but the Curse of the Clock took its toll. Schwartz handily defeated Bannon 9-5 in the single, extended race-to-9 finals to secure the event victory.