Smith wins ‘sudden death’ final to take Tri-State stop

Ken DeBroske, Vinny Zuniga and Christian Smith

Christian Smith, after being shutout of the hot seat by Vinnie Zuniga, came back from the semifinals to win a mutually-agreed-upon ‘sudden death' final game on the Tri-State Tour stop on Saturday, November 27. The $750-added B-D handicapped event drew 24 players to Sandcastle Billiards in Edison, NJ.

Victories over Carl Sallo 7-4, and Duane Toney 7-1, put Smith among the winners' side final four, where a 7-4 win over Teddy Lubis put him in the hot seat match versus Zuniga. Zuniga had just survived a double hill match against Ken Debroske. Zuniga did not allow Smith a single rack in gaining the hot seat, but it would prove to be his last win of the day.

On the one-loss side, Lubis and DeBroske were met by two opponents, both of whom had survived two straight, double hill matches to reach them. Lubis drew Dave Ascolese, who'd gotten by Dave Fitzpatrick and Carl Sallo, double hill. DeBroske picked up Duane Toney, who'd defeated Ricardo Mejia and Joe Varvaro, the same way. Lubis and DeBroske put an end to those two, short, double hill winning streaks; Lubis with a 7-5 win over Ascolese, and DeBroske 7-4, over Toney. DeBroske advanced to the semifinals versus Smith with a 7-5 victory over Lubis in the quarterfinals.

Having not won a single rack since his 7-4 victory over Lubis, Smith battled to double hill against DeBroske in those semifinals, and hung on to win. At that point, cognizant of a long trip home, Smith and Zuniga agreed to split the first and second place prize money and play a single-game, ‘sudden death' final for the event's top honors. Safety play dominated the ‘sudden death' final, until Smith secured an opening with the 7-ball and ran out to complete the victory.

Tour representatives extended thanks to tour sponsors Sterling-Gaming, Ozone Billiards, Viking Cues, Ron Tarr Cues, Phil Capelle, BlueBook Publishing, and Dr. Dave Billiards Instructional Products.