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Robles wins Open Predator stop; Davis knocks Rice out of hot seat to win Amateur event

Tony Robles

Tony Robles started the year off with a victory over Mike Dechaine in the first stop on his Predator Tour. Dechaine had downed him in the battle for the hot seat on the weekend of January 11-12, but Robles came back to defeat him 11-5 in the finals. Seven months later, on the weekend of July 12-13, after finishing second or third in four subsequent stops on the tour, the Silent Assassin returned to the winners' circle with an undefeated run that saw him best Zion Zvi twice (Robles had defeated Zvi in the semifinals of the January stop). The $500-added Open/Pro side of the tour stop drew 12 entrants to the Amsterdam Billiard Club in Manhattan.
In the concurrently-run Amateur event, Phil Davis came from the loss side to defeat Thomas Rice in the finals. The $500-added Amateur event drew 57 entrants.
Robles and Zion Zvi met in the hot seat match, after Robles had defeated Hunter Lombardo 8-5 and Zvi had dispatched Frankie Hernandez to the loss side 8-4. Robles took the first of his two against Zvi 8-6.
Lombardo and Hernandez moved to the loss side and were immediately eliminated. Adam Wheeler, who'd gotten by Shawn Sookhai 8-1 and Craig McAndrews 8-3, took out Hernandez in a double hill match. Jeremy Sossei, who'd picked up a forfeit against Jerry Tarantola and defeated Sean Morgan 8-3, ended Lombardo's day 8-4.
Sossei gave up only a single rack in the quarterfinals against Wheeler, and then had his short, loss-side run ended by Zvi, who allowed him only a single rack in the semifinals. In their second meeting, Robles and Zvi battled to double hill, before Robles prevailed to capture his second Predator Open title of the year.
In the Amateur event, it was teenager Thomas Rice advancing to the hot seat, only to be bested in the finals by Phil Davis. Davis had been sent to the loss side by Chris Derewonski 7-1 in a winners' side semifinal, while Rice was busy defeating Akbar Karmoddien 7-2. Rice got into the hot seat with a 9-1 victory over Derewonski, and waited on the fateful return of Davis.
On the loss side, Davis picked up Raphael Dabreo, who'd defeated Marco Dy 7-3 and Miguel Laboy 7-4, to reach him. Karmoddien, in the meantime, faced Ron Mason, who'd survived a double hill match against Wanlop Chan and downed Dax Linden 7-3. Mason and Davis advanced to the quarterfinals; Mason, 7-5 over Karmoddien and Davis, 7-2 over DaBreo.
Davis survived a double hill battle against Mason in those quarterfinals, and then took out Derewonski 7-5 for a shot against Rice in the hot seat. Rice took an early and lengthy lead over Davis in the finals. Ahead 8-2, however, Rice faltered and saw Davis chalk up nine in a row to snatch the Amateur title away from the teenager. 

Daniel and Chen split top prizes on Tri-State Tour

Meshak Daniel, Keith Diaz and Rhys Chen

Meshak Daniel stopped a five-match, loss-side winning streak by Rhys Chen without use of his cue, during the October 26 stop on the Tri-State Tour. Daniel had advanced to the hot seat in the $1,500-added, B-D handicapped event that had drawn 45 entrants to Gotham Billiards in Brooklyn, NY. Chen advanced through the loss side to challenge him in the finals, but due to the lateness of the hour, the two decided to call it a night and split the top prizes. Daniel, in the hot seat, was awarded the official event title, his first on the Tri-State Tour.
Daniel advanced to one of the winners' side semifinals with victories over Chumreon Sutcharitaku, Jaydev Zaveri and Samantha Adler. As Daniel squared off against Richard Anderson, Keith Diaz and Eddie Perez met in the other semifinal. Daniel sent Anderson west double hill, and in the hot seat battle, faced Diaz, who'd defeated Perez double hill. Daniel G.t into the hot seat with a second straight double hill win, this time over Perez.
On the loss side, having just been defeated, double hill, by Diaz, Chen defeated Ben Casteneros 7-4 and George Poltorak, double hill, to face Anderson. Akbar Karmoceddien, who'd gotten by Tornike Khaduridze 6-3 and Tony Ignomirello 6-4, drew Perez. Chen and Karmoceddien handed Anderson and Perez their second straight losses; Chen 7-4 over Anderson and Karmoceddien 6-4 over Perez.
Chen took the quarterfinals against Karmoceddien 8-6 to earn himself a re-match against Diaz, who'd sent him to the loss side five matches ago. Chen returned the double-hill favor, defeating Diaz and turning for a shot against Daniel in the hot seat. It was at this point that the two opted out of playing a final match, and chose to split the top two prizes.
Tour representatives thanked Kevin and Isabella Buckley, the owners of Gotham City Billiards, for their hospitality and continuing support of the tour, as well as sponsors Sterling-Gaming, Ozone Billiards, Qpod, Heptig Cues, Kamui Tips, Phil Capelle, BlueBook Publishing, and Human Kinetics. The next stop on the Tri-State Tour is scheduled for Saturday, November 3, at BQE Billiards in Jackson Heights, NY.