“Smiley” all smiles as she wins first Tri-State event

On Saturday, October 17, Yomalin “Smiley” Feliz survived an opening round hill-hill match to chalk up five more and go undefeated in her first win on the Tri-State tour. The $500-added, C-D handicapped event drew 30 entrants to Master Billiards in Queens, NY.

Following her opening round victory over Dave Shlemperis 7-6, Feliz went on to defeat Ryan McCarthy and George Poltorak, both 7-5, to move among the winners' side final four, where she faced Duane Toney. They were joined by James DeGiosafatto and Nicholas Chan. Chan downed DeGiosaffato 6-5 and faced Feliz in the hot seat match, after she'd sent Toney west 7-4. Feliz sent Chan to join Toney and DeGiosaffato 7-4 and sat in the hot seat, waiting for her eventual opponent in the finals, Paul Everton.

From among the event's final 12, on the one-loss side, Everton had defeated George Poltorak 6-5 and Mike Polizzi 6-4 for the right to meet DeGiosaffato. It was Diana “Snooky” Rojas, after victories over Olga Gashkova 6-4 and Ryan McCarthy 6-5, who was waiting for Toney. It was the two, one-loss side combatants advancing to the quarterfinals as Everton downed DeGiosaffato 6-5 and Rojas defeated Toney 6-2.

Rojas then ran into Everton, who was on his way to the finals. Everton dropped Rojas into fourth place 6-4, defeated Chan in the semifinals by the same score and turned for a shot at “Smiley” Feliz.  

Feliz pulled out to an early 3-0 lead and though Everton, who needed to reach seven wins first to extend the match to nine games, tied it up and gained a brief lead, Feliz rallied. She stopped Everton at six games and closed it out 7-6 to capture her first Tri-State victory.