Shaw goes undefeated to take 5th Annual Ginky Memorial

Jayson Shaw
Jayson Shaw started the year with a bang, defeating John Morra in the finals of Turning Stone XXIII in January. A week or two later, he was runner-up to Ruslan Chinahov in the Derby City Classic's Straight Pool Challenge. In April, he ran through a loss-side gauntlet of players (Jeremy Sossei, Hunter Lombardo, Darren Appleton, Johnny Archer, Warren Kiamco, Mike Dechaine and Shane Van Boening) before being the runner-up to Dennis Orcollo in the finals of the SBE's Players Championship. 
On Memorial Day weekend, Shaw cut through a field of 64 entrants and went undefeated to claim the $2,000-added, 5th Annual George "Ginky" Sansouci Memorial Open/Pro title, realized, as it is each year, by the combined efforts of the Tri-State, Predator and Mezz Tours, and hosted by Steinway Billiards in Astoria (Queens), New York. Shaw was challenged in the hot seat and finals by Brian Deska, fresh from his recent victory over Brandon Shuff in the last (May 9-10) stop on the Action Pool Tour.  Shaw had finished fourth in last year's Ginky Memorial while Deska finished in the tie for ninth place. This year, they both advanced to a winners' side semifinal; Shaw squaring off against Chris Derewonski, as Deska battled Mike Dechaine. Deska and Dechaine came within a game of double hill (9-7), in a match that sent Dechaine to the loss side. Shaw downed Derewonski 9-2 and then claimed the hot seat 9-6 from Deska.
As there always seems to be at this annual event, there were a lot of potential loss-side challengers, capable and anxious to knock Shaw out of that hot seat.  Dechaine and Derewonski discovered this immediately, when they picked up Jeremy Sossei, and Earl Strickland. Sossei had eliminated a pair of Shaun/Sean(s) to reach Dechaine; Shaun Wilkie and Sean "Alaska" Morgan, both 9-6. It was Chris Derewonski who had the misfortune of running into Strickland, who, already in the money, was picking up the finish line on his radar. He got by Kevin Clark 9-5 and eliminated Mike Wong 9-6 to draw Derewonski. Dechaine and Derewonski went down; Dechaine 9-4 to Sossei and Derewonski, in a strong showing, to Strickland 9-7.
Strickland advanced one more time, defeating Sossei in the quarterfinals 9-5. Deska then defeated him 9-6 in the semifinals. 
It looked in the early going of the extended race-to-11 finals as if it were going to be a long night, as Shaw and Deska traded racks back and forth to a 3-3 tie; some, but not a lot of safety play going on, the two just stepping to the table and dropping balls when given the chance. At 3-3, Shaw started to step up the pace. He won two in a row before Deska chalked up what would prove to be his final game. At 5-4, Shaw increased the tempo even more; at one point in the six-pack he chalked up to win, he was playing at a pace of just over a minute per rack. All Deska could do was hope for the occasional opportunity to play, and he didn't get many of them. Shaw became the fourth winner in the five years of the Ginky Memorial, which was won by Mike Dechaine twice (2011, 2014), along with Earl Strickland (2012) and Mike Davis (2013).
For Predator Tour Director Tony Robles, this 5th Annual Ginky Memorial was particularly significant because the event accomplished a goal he had set for himself when he launched the Predator Tour in 2008; to hold a tournament in the Tri-State New York area that drew more than 200 entrants. With the Open/Pro enrollment of 64 entrants and the concurrently-run Amateur event (separate story) drawing 176, that goal was reached with an excess of 30 players. Still on his 'goal' list (and seeking sponsors, he says) is an International Straight Pool event. Tour representatives from each of the three sponsoring tours thanked each other for their mutual cooperation, along with the ownership and staff of Steinway Billiards. Thanks were also extended to sponsors Predator Cues, Ozone Billiards, Poison Billiards,, The DeVito Team,, and Delta-13 racks.