Silva wins seven on the loss side, downs Lubis in finals to capture his first Tri-State title

There are any number of pivot points in a pool game, match or tournament, at any skill level. Identification of such a pivot point may differ between competitor and spectator, but in either case, a good shot in an individual game, a critical game victory, match result, or even just a good roll can signify a turning point that propels a player forward to the winners’ circle. Victor Silva’s pivot point during the August 25-26 stop on the Tri-State Tour may have occurred during his fifth loss-side, and seventh overall match, against the Tri-State Tour’s 2017-2018 Most Improved Player of the Year, Matthew Klein. Klein had defeated Silva in a double hill, second round match. Silva came back to defeat him in the matches that determined the two-way tie for fifth place, and then advanced through to meet and defeat hot seat occupant, Teddy Lubis, in a tightly contested, double hill final that earned Silva his first recorded Tri-State win (and his first entry into the AZBilliards database). The $1,000-added event drew 46 entrants to Amsterdam Billiard Club in Manhattan.
With Silva at work on the loss side, Klein advanced to a winners’ side semifinal against Lubis, as Kiril Safranov and Amy Yu squared off in the other one. Lubis and Safranov moved on to the hot seat match after identical 7-5 wins over Klein and Yu. Lubis claimed the hot seat 7-3 over Safranov and waited for Silva to complete his loss-side trip.
Klein moved west and ran right into a rematch against Silva, who’d chalked up loss-side wins #3 and #4 against Charles Brancato and Thomas Schreiber, both 7-4. Yu picked up Eric Hummel, who’d eliminated Mike Mele 7-5 and Jason Daniel Decker 6-4 to reach her.
Silva downed Klein 7-4 and pivoted towards the final. Yu joined him in the quarterfinals after a 6-4 victory over Hummel.
The (Sunday) night, though, was young and while he’d cleared his re-match hurdle, there were two more to clear before he’d even get a shot at claiming his first event title. He was challenged, double hill, in both of them, but he defeated Yu in the quarterfinals, and Safranov in the semifinals to get that shot.
In the extended race-to-7 format, Silva had to reach 7 ahead of Lubis to extend the match to nine games, and it almost didn’t happen. Lubis reached the ‘7’ hill first but found himself out of position to close it out. Silva did, though, and it was now a race to 9. Silva won the next game, as well, to reach the ‘9’ hill first. Silva had a shot at the 9-ball to close it out, but he missed, which led to a back and forth chase to sink that 9-ball, which eventually, Lubis did. He also won the next game, forcing Silva into his third straight double hill battle.
Lubis dropped two balls breaking the final rack, and had what looked to be a clean, open path to a runout. But he feathered a side-pocket shot a little too much, and not only did the target ball fail to drop, but the rolling cue ball failed to touch a rail. With ball in hand, Silva ran out to claim his first Tri-State title.
Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Amsterdam Billiard Club, as well as sponsors Ozone Billiards, Sterling-Gaming, Kamui Tips, Phil Capelle, Human Kinetics, QuicSlick and Bender Cues. The next stop on the Tri-State Tour, scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 9, will be hosted by Cue Bar in Bayside (Queens), NY.