Strickland downs Can twice to take Predator Open; Hagan wins Amateur event

Earl Strickland got by Wang Can twice; once in the battle for the hot seat, and again in the finals, to go undefeated on the January 19 stop on the Predator Tour (Open/Pro event). In a concurrently-run Amateur event, Tom Hagan came back from a defeat in the hot seat match versus Bryan Toolsee to meet and defeat him in the finals. The $500-added Open/Pro event drew 15 entrants, while the $500-added Amateur tournament drew 61; both to the Cue Bar in Bayside, Queens, NY.
Strickland and Can's first meeting followed Can's shutout over Omar Alli among the winners' side final four, and Strickland's 7-2 over Tony Robles. Strickland got into the hot seat 7-4 and waited on Can's return.
Robles moved over and met up with Jayson Shaw, who'd defeated Emily Duddy 7-1 and Yuri Kisneresain 7-2 to reach him. Alli drew Zion Zvi, who'd survived two straight double hill matches, versus Mike Nikolaev and Mhet Vergara. Robles eliminated Shaw, double hill, while Zvi ended Alli's day 7-3. Robles then defeated Zvi 7-5, before having his loss-side bid for a Strickland re-match derailed by Can 7-4.
All business, Strickland took command of the final match against Can (who apparently couldn't). The Pearl gave up only a single rack to claim the Open/Pro event title.
In the Amateur event, like Strickland and Can, Tom Hagan and Bryan Toolsee met twice; hot seat and finals, only with a different result. They'd gotten by their winners' side semifinals opponents (Toolsee against Kapriel Delimelkonoglu and Hagan versus Victor Nau) by the same 7-4 score. Toolsee got into the hot seat 8-2, and waited on Hagan's return.
On the loss side, Nau ran into Dave Shlemperis, who'd gotten by Eddie Culhane and Annie Flores, both 7-4. Delimelkonoglu picked up youngster Thomas Rice, who'd defeated Dan Saraguna 7-5 and James Stevens 7-4. Delimelkonoglu got back on the winning track with a 7-2 win over Rice. Nau's day came to an end, when Shlemperis eliminated him 7-4.
Shlemperis then did likewise to Delimelkonoglu, eliminating him 7-4 in the quarterfinals. Shlemperis put up a fight, forcing a deciding 13th game in the semifinals, but Hagan prevailed for a second shot against Toolsee. He took full advantage, defeating Toolsee 10-8 to claim the event title.