Strickland takes Open Predator event; Alli takes Amateur title

Last weekend (March 29-30), Chris Derewonski came back from a loss in the hot seat match to defeat Mike Harrington in the finals of the Predator Amateur event at Gotham City Billiards. One week later (April 5-6), he was in the finals again, having followed the same path, only this time, he was playing in the Open/Pro event and his hot seat and finals opponent was Earl Strickland. Strickland defeated Derewonski twice to win the $500-added Open/Pro event that drew 12 entrants to Strickland's home room, Steinway Billiards, in Astoria, NY. On the $500-added Amateur side that drew 72 entrants, Omar Alli went undefeated to take home the top prize. 
Strickland, who'd finished third in the March 29-30 Predator stop, went undefeated through the short field, arriving at his first meeting against Derewonski, after a 7-2 win over Zion Zvi. Derewonski, in the meantime, defeated Jorge Rodriguez, who'd been the hot seat occupant and eventual runner-up in the March 29-30 stop, 7-3. Derewonski battled Strickland to double hill in the winners' side final, but the Pearl prevailed.
Zvi and Rodriguez moved to the losers' bracket, where they picked up Mike Yednak and Tony Robles, respectively. Yednak had eliminated Koka Davladze 7-3 and Steve Wright 7-5. Robles got by Jerry Tarantola 7-1 and survived a double hill fight versus Eddie Culhane. Zvi downed Yednak 7-5, and in the quarterfinals faced Rodriguez, who'd defeated Robles 7-2.
Rodriguez and Zvi fought tooth and nail to double hill before Rodriguez prevailed to get a shot at Derewonski. Derewonski and Rodriguez went double hill, too, but Derewonski came out on top for a second shot at Strickland, waiting for him in the hot seat. Strickland sealed the deal 9-4 to claim the Open/Pro title.
In the Amateur event, Omar Alli, looking to improve on his runner-up finish on the tour in early March, advanced to the hot seat match with a 7-4 win over Enoch Hooper, as Eric Grassman was sending Billy Santiago to the losers' bracket 7-6. Alli dominated the winners' side final, winning it 8-1.
Hooper moved to the losers' bracket and picked up Kirill Safronoz, who'd defeated Ray Feliciano 7-2 and George Poltorak 7-4 to reach him. Santiago drew Miguel Laboy, who'd eliminated Shawn Sookhai 7-2 and Junior Sanchez 7-5. Hooper advanced to the quarterfinals 7-4 over Safronoz, and was met by Laboy, who'd defeated Santiago 7-5. Hooper took a page out of the Omar Alli 'hot seat book' and defeated Laboy 8-1.
Grassman ended Hooper's short, loss-side winning streak in a double hill semifinal, and then, put up something of a fight in his re-match against Alli. Alli, though, stayed on top and won it 8-5 to claim the Amateur event title.
Tour director Tony Robles thanked the ownership and staff at Steinway Billiards, as well as New York City Grind, while welcoming Ozone Billiards to the sponsorship ranks. Selected matches on the tour stop were broadcast under the auspices of AZBTv.