Strickland goes undefeated on Predator Open; Mendoza comes back to defeat Delimelkonoglu in A-D handicapped event


Earl Strickland played four matches in the Predator Tour's Open event on Sunday, October 14, and won them all. He didn't give up a single rack in the first two matches and played the same opponent in the last two - Zion Zvi. The $500-added Open event drew only eight pros to Carom Billiards in Flushing, NY. In the concurrently-run, $500-added, A-D handicapped event that drew 55 entrants, Roberto Mendoza came back from the loss side to defeat hot seat occupant Kapriel Delimelkonoglu in a single, extended race-to-9 final.

Strickland opened his undefeated bid with an 8-0 shutout over Joey Landi, and followed that up with a winners' side final four, shutout victory over Mhet Vergara. Zvi, in the meantime, got by Derek Sim, and then sent Tony Robles west 8-4. In what proved to be Strickland's toughest challenge, Zvi battled him to double hill, before giving way to leave Strickland in the hot seat.

Vergara moved over to pick up Sim, who'd downed Ron Nathan 8-2. Robles drew Adam Shaw, who'd survived a double hill match versus Landi. Sim eliminated Vergara 8-6, and in the quarterfinals, faced Robles, who'd defeated Shaw 8-2. Sim dropped Robles into fourth place, and was himself dropped into third 8-6 by Zvi. Strickland took the single, modified race-to-7 7-3 to complete his $150/match, undefeated day.

In the A-D handicapped event, it was Delimelkonoglu advancing to the hot seat. He'd been granted a forfeit victory over the eventual winner, Mendoza, in a winners' side final four match, to which Mendoza arrived late. In the battle for the hot seat, Delimelkonoglu faced Mike Boyles, who'd sent Luis Jimenez west 7-4. Delimelkonoglu then prevailed 7-4 over Boyles, and sat in the hot seat, awaiting the (on-time) return of Mendoza.

On the loss side, Mendoza picked up Arturo Reyes, who'd defeated Rhys Chen 7-4 and picked up a forfeit victory over Koka Davladze. Jimenez drew Junior Singh, who'd eliminated Brian Tierney 7-5 and survived a double hill struggle against Tony Ignomirello. Mendoza defeated Reyes 7-3, as Singh was busy winning his second straight double hill match, this time against Jimenez.

Mendoza took the quarterfinal match 8-4 over Singh, and then battled Boyles to double hill in the semifinals, for a well-earned second chance against Delimelkonoglu. He took full advantage. In the extended race, he reached 7 games, and finished ahead by four 9-5, to take the A-D handicapped title.

1st Earl Strickland $600
2nd Zion Zvi $300
3rd Derek Sim $165

1st Roberto Mendoza $1,000
2nd Kapriel Delimelkonoglu $700
3rd Mike Boyles $500
4th Junior Singh $300
5th Arturo Reyes $180
Luis Jimenez
7th Koka Davladze $125
Tony Ignomirello
9th Rhys Chen $90
Lidio Rasta
Brian Tierney