Sossei and Sherman take season-opener of Ozone Billiards Predator Tour

Hiram Sherman, TD William Finnegan & ABCD 2nd Place John Hacsi

Jeremy Sossei and Hiram Sherman took home the Open and Amateur titles, respectively, in the season opening stop of the Ozone Billiards Predator Tour. The $1000-added ($500 each) events drew 90 entrants – 76 for the Amateur and 14 for the Open – to Raxx Pool Room in West Hempstead, NY on the weekend of January 16-17.

In the A-D handicapped Amateur event, which was separated into A-B and C-D fields at the start, Sherman went undefeated. From among the winners' side final four, he defeated Tommy Derasmo 7-4 to emerge as the overall A-B winner. John Hacsi advanced to the hot seat match with a 7-5 win over Michael Hertz, which was the final of the C-D field. Sherman gained the hot seat with a 7-4 win over Hacsi, who would come back to face him in the finals.

On the one-loss side, Stewart Warnock and Jeff Firester would advance to meet Derasmo and Hertz, respectively. Warnock, from among the event's final 12, had defeated Shawn Sookhai 7-4 and Junior Sanchez 7-1, as Firester was moving past Erin McManus and 13-year old Darwin Vergara, both 7-3. Derasmo and Hertz would experience a very brief visit to the one-loss side as Warnock and Firester advanced to the quarterfinals; Warnock over Derasmo 7-4, Firester over Hertz 7-6.

Warnock then moved into the semifinals by allowing Firester only a single rack in the quarterfinals. The tables turned in that semifinal match, however, as Hacsi allowed Warnick only two racks in his successful bid for a re-match versus Sherman. Hacsi and Sherman struggled back and forth to double hill before Sherman prevailed and completed his undefeated weekend.

At the end, in the 14-entrant Open event, it was a cast of the Northeast region's ‘usual suspects' who battled it out to the finish. The winners' side final four matchups pitted Sossei against George “Ginky' Sansouci and event director Tony Robles versus Frankie Hernandez. Robles and Hernandez battled to double hill before Robles hung on to win, while Sansouci was busy forcing Sossei to earn the event title from the one-loss side with an 8-6 victory. Robles gained the hot seat with an 8-6 victory over Ginky.

Sossei and Hernandez won their opening matches on the one-loss side (versus Marc Vidal and Mhet Vergara, respectively) to face each other in the quarterfinals, where Sossei won 8-4 to take on Ginky in the semifinals. After dropping Ginky into third place 8-5, Sossei and Robles agreed to a reduction in the finals format, allowing the season-opening title to be decided in a race to 3. Sossei won those three in a row, spoiling Robles bid to win his own season opener.

Amateur Division Payouts | Open Division Payouts