Spaanstra chalks up his first win on the Tri-State Tour

Carl Yusuf Khan, Paul Spaanstra and Mike Guevera
Over the past five years, according to our records, Paul Spaanstra has chalked up five runner-up finishes on the Tri-State Tour, though until this past weekend (Sunday, Nov. 20), he had yet to chalk up an event victory. He broke that 'bridesmaid' streak with a come-from-the-loss side win at a $1,000-added Tri-State event that drew 23 entrants to Rockaway Billiards in Rockaway, NJ.
Following victories over Paul Murphy and Fred Garcia, Spaanstra faced William Donofrio in one of the winners' side semifinals, while Mike Guevera squared off against Erick Carrasco in the other one. Spaanstra sent Donofrio west 7-4, and in the hot seat match faced Guevera, who'd sent Carrasco over, double hill. It was Guevera sending Spaanstra to the semifinals, double hill, and waiting in the hot seat for what would prove to be something of a nail-biter against him in the finals. 
On the loss side, Donofrio picked up Carl Yusuf Khan (known as The Warrior), who'd defeated Gary Fuller 7-5 and Garcia 7-2 to reach him. Carrasco drew Allison LaFleur, who'd won two straight double hill matches against Jim Gutierrez and Suzie Wong to face him.
Khan made short work of Donofrio 7-1, and in the quarterfinals, faced Carrasco, who'd eliminated LaFleur 8-5. In the event's first money round, Khan downed Carrasco 7-5. 
Spaanstra, looking for the sixth time in five years, to make it to the finals, downed Khan in the semifinals 7-2. The final match between Spaanstra and Guevera, racing to 10, was tied six times. Guevera broke out to an early 3-0 lead, but Spaanstra came right back to tie it for the first time. They tied it again at 4-4, and 6-6, and then traded games back and forth to the ultimate tie at double hill 9-9. Shooting at the 5-ball in the deciding game, Spaanstra used it to sink the 9-ball and win his first (as far as we can determine) Tri-State title.
Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Rockaway Billiards, as well as sponsors Ozone Billiards, Sterling-Gaming, Kamui Tips, Ron Vitello, Phil Capelle, BlueBook Publishing, Human Kinetics, and Bloodworth Ball Cleaners. The next stop on the Tri-State Tour, scheduled for Sunday, November 27, will be hosted by Clifton Billiards in Clifton, NJ.