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Guzman chalks up second Predator, fourth overall 2019 win

l to r: Luis Carrasco, Rainer Oraa, Debra Pritchett, Akiko Taniyama, Juan Guzman & Jim Conn

Juan Guzman is, as they say, tearin’ ‘em up at the tables these days. As mentioned in a report on a Tri-State Tour stop he won in November, he’s not likely to catch up to his best earnings year to date (2016), when he won two events on the Tri-State, two on the Predator Pro Am tour, and was runner-up that year in the George “Ginky” Sansouci Memorial run by both tours, but he’s making a late year run at getting closer. He won a stop on the Predator in April, seemed to take a mini-break and has since recorded two victories on the Tri-State (Oct. & Nov.) and just this past weekend, Nov.30-Dec. 1, added a Predator Pro Am Tour stop to the 2019 resume. Though he was challenged in the finals by long-time Predator competitor, Jim Conn, who won seven on the loss side to reach him, Guzman prevailed to go undefeated at the $1,000-added event which drew 60 entrants to Steinway Billiards in Astoria (Queens), NY.

With Conn already at work on the loss side, following a defeat at the hands of Abel Barriento, Guzman advanced to a winners’ side semifinal against Rainer Oraa. Luis Carrasco and Akiko Taniyama squared off in the other one. Carrasco got into the hot seat match with a 7-4 victory over Taniyama, as Guzman was busy sending Oraa west 8-6. Guzman claimed the hot seat 9-7 over Carrasco and waited for Conn to finish his loss-side run.

It was Oora who drew Conn, four matches into his loss-side streak, which had recently included a successful rematch against Barriento 8-6 and a 7-4 win over the tour’s #1 B+ player Matt Klein. Taniyama, a C player, drew Debra Pritchett (D+), who, going into the event, was 12 rungs above Taniyama on the tour’s top female list (#7 – #19), primarily because Pritchett had competed in about three times as many events on this year’s tour; 11 versus Taniyama’s 4.5 appearances. Pritchett had recently knocked out the tour’s #1 female player, Suzzie Wong (C) 6-4 and Euryel Castillo 7-4.

Taniyama defeated Pritchett 6-3 and in the quarterfinals, faced Conn, who’d eliminated Oraa 8-5. Conn ended Taniyama’s bid 10-5 in those quarterfinals.

Conn then defeated Carrasco 9-6 in the semifinals for a shot at Guzman in the hot seat. In the extended-race-to-9 finals, Guzman reached his target 7 racks ahead of Conn to claim the event title.

In a 15-entrant, single elimination Second Chance event, Chulo Castro and Ambi Estevez battled to a deciding 13th game. Castro prevailed to claim the Second Chance title. Julian Tierney and Marisol Palacios tied for third place.

Tour director Tony Robles thanked Manny Stamatakis and his Steinway Billiards staff for their hospitality, as well as title sponsor Predator Cues, Ozone Billiards,, The DeVito Team,, Capelle (, AZBilliards, Pool & Billiard Magazine, Billiards Digest and his own Predator Pro Am team, to include his lovely wife, Gail. The next stop on the Predator Pro Am Tour, scheduled for the weekend of December 13-14, will be the tour’s final event of the year, its 2019 Tour Championships. The $4,000+-added event will, as usual, be hosted by Raxx Billiards in West Hempstead, NY.

Watanabe comes back from semifinals to down Torres in finals of Predator Pro Am stop

(l to r): Hector Torres, Max Watanabe, Kanami Chau & Abel Rosario

Max Watanabe had his best earnings year to date in 2018 and though he has a way to go to catch up and make 2019 an even better year, he’s doing what he needs to do to make that happen. Last week (August 4), he went undefeated at a stop on the Tri-State Tour, downing Dave Shlemperis twice. This week, on Sunday, August 11 at a $1,000-added Predator Pro Am Tour stop at Steinway Billiards that drew 64 entrants, he got sent to the loss side by Hector Torres in the battle for the hot seat and came back to defeat Torres in the finals. If you’re making a move to improve the second half of any given year, there’s nothing like back-to-back tour victories to signal that you’re on the right track.
Watanabe’s trip was almost derailed at the outset, as he opened his campaign with two double hill wins; one against Vinko Rumora and a second against Jose Estevez. He got a little traction with a 7-2 win over Miguel Laboy and a 7-4 victory over Elvis Rodriguez, which set him up in a winners’ side semifinal match against Abel Rosario. Hector Torres, in the meantime, got by Ron Bernardo, Paul Lyons, and Brandonne Alli before having to survive a double hill win over Mike Callaghan, which set him (Torres) up to face Ray Lee in the other winners’ side semifinal.
Torres downed Lee 7-1, while Watanabe locked up in his third double hill battle of the weekend against Rosario and won it. He survived three double hill matches out of five he played to get to the hot seat match, but Watanabe didn’t have an ‘answer’ for Torres, who defeated him 8-1 to claim the hot seat.
Over on the loss side, Ray Lee ran into an immediate rematch against Kanami Chau, who’d been defeated by him in a winners’ side quarterfinal and then chalked up two straight double hill wins, over Ryan Dayrit and Joe Morace, to face him a second time. Rosario picked up Luis Jimenez, who was working on a four-match, loss-side winning streak that had most recently included a 7-3 win over Chris Kelly and a double hill victory over Jaydev Zaveri.
Chau chalked up her third straight double hill win and advanced to the quarterfinals over Lee. She was joined by Rosario, who’d ended Jimenez’ loss-side run, double hill, as well. Seven of the tour stop’s final 14 matches required a single deciding game.
The quarterfinal match between Rosario and Chau came within a game of double hill, but Rosario edged out in front to take it 9-7. Watanabe, though, anxious apparently for a second shot at Torres in the hot seat, gave up only a single rack to Rosario in the semifinals that followed.
Watanabe took full advantage of that second shot. He downEd Torres 10-7 in the final to claim his second straight event title in as many weeks.
A Second Chance event drew 14 entrants. Elvis Rodriguez and Irene Kim advanced through the single elimination bracket to meet each other in the finals. Rodriguez had defeated Duc Lam to play in the finals. Kim had eliminated Akiko Taniyama to join him. Rodriguez took home the top $140 prize, after downing Kim 11-6 in the finals. Kim took home the $100 second prize, while Lam and Taniyama pocketed $20 each.
Tour director Tony Robles thanked Manny Stamatakis and his Steinway Billiards staff for their hospitality, as well as title sponsor Predator Cues, Ozone Billiards,, The DeVito Team,, Cappelle (, AZBilliards, Pool & Billiards Magazine and Billiards Digest. The Predator Pro Am Tour will return to Steinway Billiards on Labor Day weekend (Aug. 31 – Sept. 2) for the $3,000-added ($1,500 Amateur, $1,500 Pro) Eastern States Championships.

Hernandez comes from the loss side to win Pro Division of Eastern States Championships

Open/Pro winners (l to r): Mike Dechaine, Annie Flores, Jorge Rodriguez & Frankie Hernandez

Osipov loses first match to Nau, wins 9 on the loss side to down him in finals of Amateur event
The names were all familiar ‘Eastern States’ competitors, recognizeable, for the most part, by their last names – Rodriguez, Hernandez, Dechaine in the Pro event, and Osipov, Nau and Ortiz in the Amateur event. It was Frankie Hernandez who emerged as the Pro event winner of the 2018 Eastern States Championships (Stop #12 on the Predator Pro Am Tour), while Alex Osipov took the Amateur title. Both came from the loss side to complete their title run and defeated the competitor who’d sent them there; Hernandez winning three on that side of the bracket, before meeting and defeating Jorge Rodriguez in the finals, while Osipov, who lost his opening match, won nine on the loss side before meeting and defeating the man who’d sent him there, Victor Nau. The $3,000-added event ($1,000 in the Pro event, $2,000 in the Amateur) drew 23 Pro competitors and 75 Amateurs to Steinway Billiards in Astoria (Queens), NY.
Hernandez, Rodriguez and the semi-retired Dechaine were three of the four players in the two winners’ side semifinals of the Pro event, with Rodriguez battling Hernandez and Dechaine squaring off against Rob Pole. Rodriguez got into the hot seat match with an 8-5 win that sent Hernandez to the loss side, where he was joined by Pole, who’d been defeated by Dechaine 8-3. Rodriguez claimed the hot seat 8-6 over Dechaine and waited on the return of Hernandez.
On the loss side, Hernandez picked up Pat Fleming, who’d eliminated Mike Salerno 8-2 and Predator Pro Am Tour Director Tony Robles 8-3. Pole drew Rhio Anne (Annie) Flores, making a strong showing in this Pro event, and winning two straight double hill matches, against Mike (Fingers) Badsteubener and wily Predator veteran, Mhet Vergara, to reach Pole.
Annie Flores moved into the first-money-round quarterfinal with an 8-3 win over Pole, where she was joined by Hernandez, who’d sent Fleming home 8-5. Flores’ bid for further advancement was halted abruptly by Hernandez, who shut her out. Hernandez then won five matches in a row on his way to an 8-2 victory over Dechaine in the semifinals. He completed his run with a successful rematch against Rodriguez 11-8.
Osipov spends all but one match on the loss side and in finals, downs the man who sent him over
Alex Osipov, who’s in the midst of his best earnings year, to date (since 2011), came to the 2018 Eastern States Championships with two Amateur victories and one Pro event victory on the Predator Tour this year. Two of those three victories – the single Pro and one of the Amateur events – were chalked up within the last month. So he came, as it were, prepared, though not for being sent to the loss side by Victor Nau in the opening round. Apparently not willing to settle for a short weekend, he worked his way through nine matches on the loss side (including one forfeit win) to eventually meet and defeat Nau in the finals.
With Osipov at work on the loss side, Nau advanced to a winners’ side semifinal against Miguel Laboy. Raphael Ortiz, in the meantime, squared off against Luis Carrasco in the other one. Nau sent Laboy to a match against Osipov with a 7-4 win, and in the hot seat match, faced Ortiz, who’d sent Carrasco over 7-2. Nau claimed the hot seat with a forfeit by Ortiz, which meant that the winner of the quarterfinals would be leap-frogging over the semifinals and move directly into the finals.
On the loss side, Osipov chalked up loss-side wins #5 and #6 against Paul Everton 8-3 and Mario Lozano 9-7 to pick up Laboy. Carrasco drew Paul Lyons, who’d recently eliminated Ray Feliciano 7-2 and Suzzie Wong (the #2-ranked female on the Predator Pro Am Tour) 7-3. Osipov and Lyons handed Laboy and Carrasco their second straight loss; Osipov 7-4 over Laboy and Lyons 7-2 over Carrasco.
Knowing that winning the quarterfinal match would propel them directly into the finals, Osipov and Lyons both put up a fight. With Osipov, who came into the event as the tour’s #1-ranked A+ player and Lyons at #14 among the tour’s C+ players, Lyons began the quarterfinal race to 10 with five ‘on the wire’ already. He won his four to reach the hill, but Osipov won his nine to be there as well. Osipov closed it out and turned for his re-match against Nau.
In the straight-up-extended race to 9 final (Nau came into the event at #7 among the tour’s A+ players), Osipov, coming from the loss side, had to be the first to win seven racks to extend the race. He did so and went on to claim the Eastern States Championship’s Amateur title with a 9-4 win.
In a full field, 16-entrant, single elimination Second Chance event, Ambi Estevez picked up the first place, $150 prize, after winning a double hill final against Akiko Taniyama, who went home with a $100, runner up prize. Ron Bernardo and Freity DeLaRosa finished in the tie for third place and pocketed $30 each.
Tour director Tony Robles thanked Manny Stamatakis and his Steinway Billiards staff for their hospitality, along with title sponsor Predator Cues,, NAPL, Cappelle (, Ozone Billiards and the DeVito Team. The next stop on the Predator Tour (#13), scheduled for Sept. 15-16, will feature a $750-added, Double Points Amateur event and a $250-added Pro event, to be hosted by Cue Bar in Bayside (Queens), NY.

Warnock, Jr. comes from the loss side to take Predator Tour stop

Stewart Warnock Jr., Dan Faraguna, Tony Ignomirello and Jaydev Zaveri

When they faced each other in the finals of the November 19-20 stop on the Predator Tour, Stewart Warnock, Jr. and Tony Ignomirello occupied the same spaces in their respective ranking categories; Warnock was the #11-ranked player among the tour's "A" players, Ignomirello was in the same position among the tour's "C+" players. The opponent they both defeated, Dan Faraguna (Warnock defeated him twice), was the tour's #1-ranked "B+" player. Warnock came back from a loss to Faraguna to win three on the loss side (including a re-match against Faraguna) to claim the title. The $1,000-added event drew 66 entrants to Cue Bar in Bayside (Queens), NY.
Warnock and Faraguna squared off against each other, first, in a winners' side semifinal, as Ignomirello met up with Dave Callaghan in the other. Faraguna sent Warnock on his merry loss-side way by shutting him out. Ignomirello defeated Callaghan 7-3 to join Faraguna in the hot seat match. Ignomirello claimed the hot seat 7-4.
On the loss side, Warnock drew Arturo Reyes, who'd picked up a win on the Tri-State Tour the week before, and at this event had worked his loss-side way through Amir Uddin and Shawn Sookhai, both 7-5, to reach Warnock. Callaghan picked up Jaydev Zaveri, another recent winner on the Tri-State (Oct. 16), who'd defeated Marisol Palacios 9-6 and Akiko Taniyama 7-2.
Warnock and Zaveri advanced to the quarterfinals; Warnock 7-5 over Reyes, and Zaveri 7-6 over Callaghan. Warnock took the quarterfinal match over Zaveri 7-4 for the right to a re-match against Faraguna in the semifinals. Though their overall game totals would favor Faraguna (10-7), Warnock won the semifinal re-match 7-3 for a shot at Ignomirello in the finals.
Warnock took advantage of the opportunity he'd been granted. He downed Ignomirello 11-7 in the finals to claim the title. A Second Chance tournament that drew 12 entrants saw Eugene Ok defeat Dany Recinos in the finals 7-6 to claim the $160 first-place prize. Recinos pocketed $100.
Tour director Tony Robles thanked the ownership and staff at Cue Bar, as well as title sponsor Predator Cues, the NAPL, Ozone Billiards, PoolOnTheNet.Com, Cappelle Publishing, Delta-13 Racks, Mandy Wu (ass't TD), Irene Kim, and his "lovely wife," Gail Robles.

Arturo Reyes goes undefeated to take Tri-State title

Arturo Reyes and Pashk Gjini

Having won two stops on the Predator Tour in 2016 (in March and October), Arturo Reyes must have figured it was time to get back on track with the Tri-State Tour, which he had not won since April of last year. He signed on to the Sunday, Nov. 13, $1,000-added stop on the Tri-State, which drew 46 entrants to Steinway Billiards in Astoria (Queen), NY and went undefeated through the field.
In what was his fourth appearance on the Tri-State's 2016/2017 tour, Reyes entered the tournament ranked #15 on the tour's Player of the Year standings in the A/A+ ranking class. He opened his winning campaign against the #3-ranked player in that A/A+ class of competitors, Victor Dabu and after defeating him 7-5, moved on to defeat Amir Rashad Uddin, and Alex Escalante, which set him up for a winners' side semifinal match against Ramon Feliciano (#10/B class). Tony Ignomirello, in the meantime, the tour's #1-ranked player in the C/C+ class, faced Akiko Taniyama.
Reyes sent Feliciano to the loss side, double hill, and in the hot seat match, faced Ignomirello, who'd defeated Taniyama 6-2. Reyes claimed the hot seat 8-5 over Ignomirello. and waited for the return of what turned out to be Pashk Gjini.
On the loss side, Gjini was working his way back from a loss in a winners' side quarterfinal to a showdown against Reyes in the finals. He got by Ron Chau 7-1, and Yue "Amy" Yu 6-4 to pick up Taniyama. Feliciano drew Duc Lam, who'd eliminated Alex Escalante 8-5 and Amelio Romero 8-6. Feliciano ended Lam's day 8-4, as Gjini handed Taniyama his second straight loss 7-3.
Gjini took the quarterfinal match against Feliciano 8-6, and then downed Ignomirello in the semifinals 7-5. That illusive, but hard to deny element of momentum served Gjini well in the opening racks of the final match, as he jumped out to a 5-0 lead. Reyes, though, responded with seven straight for a 7-5 lead. They traded racks to 8-6, before Reyes reached the hill, ahead by three. Gjini chalked up rack #16, but Reyes ended it on rack #17 at 10-7 to claim the event title.
Tour representatives thanked Manny Stamatakis and his staff at Steinway Billiards for their hospitality, 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 20, will be hosted by Rockaway Billiards, in Rockaway, NJ.

Shaw comes back from semis to take Predator Open, Luna goes undefeated in Amateur event

Jonathan Smith, Jorge Rodriguez, Jayson Shaw, Frankie Hernandez & Hunter Lombardo

Jayson Shaw, presumably looking to maintain the pace he set in 2015 (winning 11 events, including two Turning Stones, four Predator stops, the Ginky Memorial, and the NYC 8-Ball Championship Men's Grandmasters), chalked up his second 2016 Predator Tour Open win on the weekend of July 9-10. Shaw had to come back from a defeat in the hot seat match at the hands of Frankie Hernandez to claim the title. The $500-added event drew 19 entrants to Amsterdam Billiards in Queens, NY.
In a concurrently-run, $1,000-added Amateur event that drew 72 entrants, Carlos Luna went undefeated through the field to capture his first Predator title. Luna had to get by Akiko Taniyama twice to win it.
Shaw's path to the winners' circle went through Jonathan Smith in a winners' side semifinal (7-2), as Hernandez was defeating Tony Robles 7-5 in the other. In a rare stumble, two matches from the title, Shaw fell to Hernandez 7-4 in the hot seat match.
On the loss side, Smith picked up Hunter Lombardo, who'd defeated Zion Zvi 7-5 and survived a double hill match against Michael Yednak. Robles drew Jorge Rodriguez, who'd gotten by Sean Morgan, double hill and Del Sim 7-2. Smith and Lombardo battled to double hill before Smith advanced to the quarterfinals, meeting Rodriguez, who'd eliminated Robles 7-2. Rodriguez then downed Smith 7-4, before being knocked out 7-3 by Shaw in the semifinals. Shaw exacted his revenge on Hernandez, defeating him 9-7 in the finals to claim the Open/Pro title.
Luna goes undefeated to take Amateur event
In the Amateur event Luna and Taniyama met first in the hot seat match. Luna had sent Gail Robles to the loss side in one of the winners' side semifinals, but not before Robles had battled him to double hill, and came within a ball of advancing to her first hot seat match. Taniyama sent Marisol Talacios to the loss side 7-2 in the other winners' side semifinal. Luna claimed the hot seat 9-7 over Taniyama and waited on his return.
On the loss side, Robles picked up Kirril Safronov, who'd defeated Jerry Tarantola 7-4 and Dave Shlemperis 7-5. Talacios drew Ehmunrao Toocaram, who'd won two straight double hill matches against Rene Villalobos and Abel Rosario. Robles and Toocaram advanced to the quarterfinals; Toocaram, double hill over Talacios, and Robles, 7-3 over Safronov. 
Robles, in the midst of her best showing on the tour, ever, took down Toocaram in those quarterfinals 7-5. She battled Taniyama to a deciding game in the semifinals, which, like her winners' side semifinal match came down to the last ball, sunk by Taniyama. Luna and Taniyama battled to double hill in the finals, as well, with Luna sinking the final ball to claim the event title.

Jaydev Zaveri is crowned the 2015-2016 Tri-State Tour Invitational Champion

The nineteenth annual Tri-State Tour Invitational Tournament took place June 25 & 26, 2016, at Steinway Café and Billiards in Astoria, NY. The weekend was a huge success for the tour with 16 A & A+ Players, 25 B & B+ Players, 31 C & C+ Players and 15 D & D+ Players who earned their way in to compete in their respective classes and play for their chance to be named the Tri-State Tour Invitational Grand Champion. Steinway Café and Billiards hosted the event for the second year and once again provided a great atmosphere and playing environment for the players. Steinway Café and Billiards owner Manny Stamatakis and the staff including Anna and George were very professional, helpful and gracious. Manny donated the room and all the table time. Their generosity and support to the players and the event as always were exemplary. The staff and everyone at the room assured the events success. Steinway Café and Billiards is an excellent venue for any event, it has professionally maintained tables, a clean fresh atmosphere and some of the very best food in NYC.  
As each day began, organizers John Leyman, Todd Fleitman, Rick Shellhouse & Daniel Cintron congratulated the players on reaching the top of their classes for the season and handed out awards to the top players of the year in each class. The Tri-State Tour added $4000 in cash prizes and the sponsors John Bender Custom Cues, Ozone Billiards, Kamui Tips, Sterling Gaming, Capelle’s Pool Books, The 90/90 Aiming System, Pool & Billiards, Professor-Q-Ball’s News, Blue Book Publications, Steinway Café and Billiards, Amsterdam Billiards, and Romer’s Trophies went out of their way to provide the event with excellent equipment and prizes. The sponsors as the Tri-State has always maintained are owed a debt a gratitude for their dedication to the game and the players, their efforts and generosity are what always make the event so special and such a great success and without their continued support of the sport and the players this event could not happen. 
Awards were presented to the top 3 players in each class, the Most Improved Player of the Year, and Sportsman of the Year. The most improved player went to Erick Carrasco. He has grown from a beginner player to a good and competent player over the past year. He started on the tour as a D+ player barely able to string a couple good shots together to a player who is much stronger and is now rated C+ and has a good command of the game. His recent 4th place finish in a field of 191 players at the George “Ginky” San Souci Memorial is a tribute to how much Erick’s game has improved. Each year the tour awards one player the “Sportsperson of the Year” award. It is awarded to someone the tour believes exemplifies what a player should be and how they should act and this year’s award went to Jim Gutierrez. Jim never faltered in his efforts to always be a sportsman at the table even when he was in a battle to win D Class player of the year. Even if it meant losing a match and watching the player he was battling for first place with go further in the event and earn more points. His great attitude and his efforts to always make everything right and fair in a match is what other players should strive to emulate. 
The top players of the year in their respective classes were Miguel Laboy winning the A+/A class for the second year in a row, Steve Kaminow B+ player, Kevin Scalzitti B player, Tony Ignomirello returning to the top again this year as the C+ player, Bob Toomey as the C player and Jim Gutierrez D+/D class player of the year. This year saw some new ladies rise to the top of the leader board with the Ladies Player of the Year being Akiko Taniyama. For a full list of winners for all the classes and events, please see the web site 
The action in the tournament got going around eleven on Saturday morning, June 25 with the B+ and B class players along with the D+/D players kicking off the event.  The B+ class was won by some very strong play from Shivam Gupta who bested all players on the no loss side to reach the finals undefeated. Alberto Estevez after a 3rd round loss to Kapriel Delimelkonoglu moved to the one loss side. He then beat his next 2 opponents to meet Kapriel in the semi-finals with a chance to return to the B+ finals for the second year in a row. This time Alberto won with a score of 7-4. In the finals Shivam played nearly flawlessly and sent Alberto home again with a second place finish. In the B-Class Ramon Feliciano went thru the field in his usual strong and deliberate manner and bested all comers. He won against Pascal Dufresne in the hot seat match 7-6 and then beat him again in the finals only allowing Pascal to get to 4 this time.
The D+/D class saw Chris Kaiser and Alberto Sanchez battle their way to the hot seat match where Chris played well and did everything right and won the set 6-2. Alberto after being sent to the one loss side met up with Samantha Adler who had lost her first match of the day and battled all the way back winning 5 back to back matches to get to the semi-finals. But after the grueling grind of the one loss side Samantha just ran out of steam and Alberto took advantage of some luck and some mistakes and won the match 6-2. The finals saw Chris take an early lead but Alberto battled back to tie the score at 4-4 and then Chris took control and played well to finish off the match with an 8-4 win.
On Sunday, play resumed at 11 AM with the A+/A players and the C+ class and C class arriving to do battle. Stewart Warnock played with a purpose all day in the A+/A Class and his drive and determination saw him arrive in the finals undefeated. His opponent Ron Gabia had lost his 3rd round match of the day to move to the one loss side and proceeded to handily dispatch his opponents to arrive in the finals. And just like the day had already went for the 2 players Stewart went out in front early and looked to dominate but Ron would not be held back. As he had done all day he battled back and surged ahead to win the match 9-6.
In the C+ class Jaydev Zaveri sent Harry Guevarez to the one loss side in the hot seat match with a score of 6-3. Harry then battled back for a rematch with Jaydev beating Michael Aro 6-2. Jaydev who played well all day
not allowing any opponent more than 4 wins in any match struggled only slightly and allowed Harry to get to the hill. But in the end Jaydev took advantage of some good rolls and won the match 6-5.
The C Class saw one player in the finals undefeated while their opponent had lost his first match of the day. Amy Yu played very strong all day besting her opponents 6-1, 6-4, 6-2 and 6-4 to get to the finals undefeated. Bob Toomey the C Class player of the year lost his first match 6-4 to Ron Chau and moved to the one loss side and battled to the semifinals match with 5 wins and thus had a chance to redeem himself against Ron Chau. Which Bob did winning on the hill 6-5. But being C Class player of the year and the C Class event winner was just out of reach as Amy Yu once again played very well and won the match 6-3.
This left our 6 class champions to do battle for the Grand Champion title. Jaydev Zaveri continued his dominating ways and beat Amy Yu 6-3 to win the C+/C playoff and then Chris Kaiser in the C/D playoff on the hill 7-6. At times it looked like Chris was going to win but Jaydev hung in there took advantage of some good rolls and came out on top. In the B+/B class playoff Ramon Feliciano executed very well and bested Shivam Gupta in the match 7-5. Ramon Feliciano continued his deliberate and winning game play and forged on to the grand finals beating Ron Gabia 7-4 in the A/B playoffs. But in the grand finals Ramon just could not get going right away and fell behind. He caught some wind and started to battle back but by that time it was just too late and Jaydev as he had all day took advantage of the mistakes and the rolls and won the match 7-3 to become that 2015-2016 Tri-State Tour Invitational Grand Champion.

Scalzitti comes from the loss side to take Tri-State stop in Jackson Heights

Ambi Estevez, Duc Lam and Kevin Scalzitti

In a winners' side semifinal during the Sunday, May 15 stop on the Tri-State Tour, Kevin Scalzitti suffered a loss at the hands of Duc Lam. After winning three matches on the loss side, Scalzitti came back in the finals to return the favor. The $1,000-added event drew 23 entrants to BQE Billiards in Jackson Heights (Queens), NY.
Following victories over Mike Harrington 7-3, Ed Medina 7-2 and Kapriel Delimelkonoglu 7-2, Scalzitti met up with Lam, as Ambi Estevez squared off against Bob Toomey in the other winners' side semifinal. Lam sent Scalzitti west 8-5 and, in the hot seat match, faced Estevez, who'd defeated Toomey 6-3. Lam claimed the hot seat 9-7 and waited for his second, fateful match against Scalzitti.
Scalzitti opened his loss-side campaign against Pascal Dufresne, who'd defeated Steve Kaminow 7-2 and eliminated Delimelkonoglu 7-5. Toomey picked up Alberto Sanchez, who'd gotten by Andrea Shiffman 7-4 and survived a double hill battle versus Akiko Taniyama.
Scalzitti downed Dufresne 7-1, as Toomey eliminated Sanchez 7-4. Dufresne took the quarterfinal match that followed 7-5 over Toomey, and then dropped Estevez 7-4 in the semifinals.
In the finals, Scalzitti employed some semifinal momentum to get off to a quick, three-rack lead against the opponent who'd sent him to the loss side, Lam. Lam took rack #4, but Scalzitti came right back with two in a row to take a commanding 5-1 lead. That lead vanished when Lam chalked up four in a row to knot the match at 5-5. They proved to be Lam's last. Scalzitti responded with four straight of his own to claim the event title.
Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at BQE Billiards for their hospitality, 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 Saturday,  May 21, will be hosted by Clifton Billiards in Clifton, NJ.

Kelly goes undefeated to capture his first Tri-State title

Pascal Dufresne, Chris Kelly, and Tony Liang

The number has continued to come up; twice in January, once each in March and April. Until Saturday, May 7, Chris Kelly had cashed in three stops on the Predator Tour this year, and once, on the Tri-State Tour. He finished in the tie for 9th place in all four. Having presumably grown tired of hearing "Number Nine! Number Nine! Number Nine! and Number Nine!" Chris Kelly signed on for the $1,000-added, May 7 event on the Tri-State Tour that drew 37 entrants to Steinway Billiards in Astoria (Queens), NY, and went undefeated to chalk up his first Tri-State title.
Kelly had to get by Pascal Dufresne twice to complete his undefeated run. He'd gotten by Duc Lam, Elvis Rodriguez, and Tony Liang to draw Stewart Warnock in a winners' side semifinal. Dufresne, in the meantime, faced Mike Figueroa. Kelly sent Warnock to the loss side 8-3, as Dufresne was busy shutting out Figueroa to send him to the west bracket. Kelly took the first of two versus Dufresne 7-4 and waited in the hot seat for the second.
On the loss side, Tony Liang, fresh off his loss to Kelly, embarked on a four-match, loss-side winning streak that would take him as far as the semifinals. He survived a double hill bout versus Lam and eliminated Rhio Anne Flores 7-3 to draw Warnock. Figueroa picked up Adrian Daniel, who'd downed Akiko Taniyama 6-3 and Brian Schell 7-5 to reach him.
Liang advanced to the quarterfinals 7-2 over Warnock, and was met by Daniel, who'd eliminated Figueroa 6-2. In what would prove to be his final loss-side win, Liang defeated Daniel 9-7. 
Liang put up a strong, double hill fight in the semifinals that followed, but Dufresne prevailed for a second shot at Kelly. Dufresne took the opening rack of the finals, before he and Kelly traded racks to a 3-3 tie. Kelly, at that point, chalked up three straight racks to reach the hill, and though Dufresne would win rack #10, Kelly closed out his first Tri-State win with a deciding victory in rack #11.
Tour representatives thanked Manny Stamatakis and his staff at Steinway 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, May 15, will be hosted by BQE Billiards in Jackson Heights (Queens), NY.

Faraguna goes undefeated to win Amateur Predator stop

Fernando Paulino, Manny Stamatakis, Abel Rosario, Dan Faraguna and James Stevens

Two out of three of Dan Faraguna's final three matches at an April 23-24 stop on the Predator Tour went double hill. He won them both, and the hot seat match to complete an undefeated run on the $1,500-added Amateur Predator Tour stop that drew 70 entrants to Steinway Billiards in Astoria (Queens), NY.
Faraguna's opponent in both the hot seat match and finals was Fernando Paulino. Faraguna had sent Abel Rosario to the loss side in the first of two double hill matches he needed to secure the event title. Paulino had defeated James Stevens 8-6. Faraguna claimed the hot seat over Paulino 9-7.
On the loss side, Rosario picked up Andrzej Kaldan, who'd defeated Akiko Taniyama 7-5 and Dany Recinos 7-4 to reach him. Stevens drew Steinway Billiards' owner, Manny Stamatakis, who was on a six-match, loss-side ride that began when Stevens had defeated him in a winners' side match. Stamatakis picked up loss-side wins #3 and #4 against Koka Davladze 7-3 and Basdeo "Shawn" Sookhai 7-4. 
Stamatakis won his re-match against Stevens 7-5. He was joined, in the quarterfinals, by Rosario, who'd given up only a single rack to Kaldan. Stamatakis then defeated Rosario 8-6, before ending his loss-side run with a 7-1 defeat at the hands of Paulino in the semifinals.
Paulino's second shot at Faraguna in the finals went double hill. Faraguna won it to complete his undefeated run and claim the event title.