Archive Page

LaFleur and Altamarino split top prizes on Tri-State Tour

Allison LaFleur & Alfredo Altamarino

The Tri-State Tour’s top two women almost met in the hot seat and finals of a $1,000-added tour stop on Sunday, November 17, which drew 29 entrants to Shooter’s Family Billiards in Wayne, NJ. But it didn’t turn out that way. Allison LaFleur went undefeated through the field, and in the end, past midnight, with a long drive ahead for both of them, she and (male) Alfredo Altamarino opted for a split of the top two prizes.
 
The ‘match that almost happened’ actually occurred in one of the winners’ side semifinals. LaFleur’s path to the hot seat was a bit of a roller coaster ride; four matches, two of which went double hill and two of which she gave up only one rack, total. She downed Adrian Daniel and another of the tour’s top women, Vinny Mistry, double hill, shut out newcomer Roger Blanco and in that winners’ side semifinal, gave up the single rack to the woman who entered the tournament ahead of her (just barely) in the tour standings, Michelle Brotons. In the other winners’ side semifinal, a local Shooter’s player, CJ Chey, squared off and defeated Joe Mazzeo 6-2. In her third double hill fight, which reportedly hinged in the end on a safety battle, LaFleur claimed the hot seat over Chey.
 
The potential for a Brotons/LaFleur final was still very much in the air, so to speak.
 
Brotons moved over and picked up . . . guess who – Alfredo Altamarino, who’d been sent to the loss side by CJ Chey in the second round and was working on a seven-match, loss-side streak that would take him to the finals and include victories over three of the tour’s top women and a prize split with a fourth, LaFleur, who’d end the night at the top of the list. After defeating top-tour-female #3, Amanda Andries 5-2, Altamarino downed #7, Vinny Mistry 7-4 and then, eliminated Mac Jankov 5-3 to pick up Brotons. Mazzeo, in the meantime, picked up Chris Kemp, who’d defeated Marcelo Adinolfi 6-3 and Rick Rodriguez 6-4 to reach him.
 
Kemp moved into the quarterfinals with a 6-4 win over Mazzeo, as Altamarino was busy surviving a double hill battle against Brotons, and ending hopes for a ‘top two women’ final. Altamarino then eliminated Kemp 6-4 and in what was described as a “stunning upset,” his rematch versus Chey in the semifinals was a shutout.
 
LaFleur and Altamarino opted out the final match, split the cash and called it a night.
 
Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Shooter’s Family Billiards for their hospitality, as well as sponsors Ozone Billiards, Sterling-Gaming, Kamui, Phil Capelle, Bloodworth Ball Cleaner, Billiard Engineering, Pool & Billiards, Professor Q Ball, Bender Cues, and Pool & Billiards. The next Tri-State event, scheduled for Sunday, November 24, will be hosted by Clifton Billiards in Clifton, NJ.

Ok goes undefeated, downing Martinez twice to capture Tri-State title

Eugene Ok and Bianca Martinez

It could have gone either way. And happened to any one of them.
 
It just so happened that on Sunday, October 27, it was Bianca Martinez facing off against a male competitor (in her case, Eugene Ok) at a stop on the Tri-State Tour. Martinez competes as a C player on the Tri-State Tour. She is fourth in tour standings among females, behind Michelle Brotons, Amanda Andries and Allison LaFleur and just ahead of Suzzie Wong. On the Predator Pro Am Tour, she plays as a D+ and is fifth among the tour’s female competitors, behind Wong, Andries, Kanami Chau, and Monika Callaghan. She is just ahead of Annie Flores
 
It’s becoming a common occurrence; women competing against their male counterparts at the tables and if not, at this juncture, always favored to win, at least in the conversation at the end of increasing numbers of regional tours; not all of them with just female competition.
 
Eugene Ok, who plays as a B+ player on both the Tri-State and Predator Pro Am Tour; good for 7th place among B+ players on the Tri-State and 4th among the B+ players on the Predator Pro Am Tour, went undefeated at the $1,000-added, 10-Ball Tri-State event that drew 27 entrants to Cue Bar in Bayside (Queens), NY. But he had to get by Martinez twice to do it; both times in a match that came within a game of going double hill.
 
They both advanced to a winners’ side semifinal; Ok, facing off against Tommy Schreiber and  Martinez doing battle with one of the aforementioned women ahead of her in the standings of both tours, Amanda Andries; second on both tours and like Martinez, a C on the Tri-State and a D+ on the Predator Pro Am.
 
Ok advanced to the hot seat match with a 6-3 win over Schreiber, as Martinez was busy sending Andries west 5-2. In their first of two, Ok claimed the hot seat 7-5 and waited for Martinez to get back from the semifinals.
 
On the loss side, Schreiber picked up Dave Shlemperis, who’d been defeated by Ok in a winners’ side quarterfinal match and then, defeated Kevins Scalzitti and Shin, both 6-4. Andries drew Jason Goberdhan, who’d eliminated the Tri-State Tour’s top female, Michelle Brotons 5-1 and Jim Gutierrez 5-2.
 
Both matches for advancement to the quarterfinals went double hill. Shlemperis eliminated Schreiber and Goberdhan defeated Andries. Goberdhan then defeated Shlemperis 6-2 in those quarterfinals.
 
In a semifinal match described by a tour representative as “one of those sets where he couldn’t do anything right and she couldn’t do anything wrong,” Martinez shut Goberdhan out 5-0 to earn a second shot against Ok in the hot seat.
 
They duplicated their hot seat match performance. Ok chalked up the game, set and match 7-5 to claim the event title.
 
Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Cue Bar for their hospitality, as well as sponsors Ozone Billiards, Sterling-Gaming, Kamui, Phil Capelle, Bloodworth Ball Cleaner, Billiard Engineering, Pool & Billiards, Professor Q Ball, Bender Cues and Pool & Billiards. The next stop on the Tri-State Tour, scheduled for Sunday, November 3, will be hosted by Clifton Billiards in Clifton, NJ. 
 

Melendez goes undefeated* to claim his second Tri-State Tour title

(l to r): Juan Melendez & Matt Klein

With his victory* on the Tri-State Tour’s October 13 stop at the Spot in Nanuet, NY, his second overall on the tour, Juan Melendez made 2019 his best earnings year to date, surpassing his 2017 earnings, when he won his first Tri-State event. Going into the $1,250-added, Double Points event that drew 49 entrants to The Spot, Melendez was the Tri-State Tour’s #10-ranked C-Class player. In what proved to be his final match, vying for the hot seat, he downed the tour’s #5-ranked B+ Class player, Matt Klein. The two opted out of a final match.
 
Melendez was challenged early and just did survive a double hill fight against Ada Lio in the event’s opening round. He advanced to down Amanda Andries 6-3 and Suzzie Wong 6-1 to draw Brandone Alli in one of the winners’ side semifinals. Klein, in the meantime, squared off against Pascal Dufresne in the other one.
 
Melendez sent Alli to the loss side 6-4, as Klein was sending Dufresne over 7-5. In what proved to be the title match, Melendez claimed the hot seat 8-5 over Klein.
 
On the loss side, Dufresne picked up H. Marcelo (Mars) Adinolfi, who had defeated Joe Mazzeo and Desi DeRado, both 7-3, to reach him. Alli drew Adrian Daniel, who’d recently chalked up two straight double hill wins over Jim Gutierrez and Suzzie Wong.
 
Adinolfi and Daniel handed Dufresne and Alli their second straight loss; Adinolfi, 7-4 over Dufresne and Daniel, 6-3 over Alli. Adinolfi took one more loss-side step with a 7-5 win over Daniel in the quarterfinals.
 
Adinolfi gave Klein all he could handle in the semifinals that followed. They battled to double hill before Klein ended the match, and in effect, the event 7-6. Klein and Melendez agreed on the split of the top two cash prizes and Melendez came away with the official event title.
 
Tour representatives thanked Rhys Chen and his staff at The Spot for their hospitality, as well as sponsors Ozone Billiards, Sterling-Gaming, Kamui, Phil Capelle, Bloodworth Ball Cleaner, Billiard Engineering, Pool & Billiards, Professor Q Ball, Bender Cues and Pool & Billiards. The next stop on the Tri-State Tour, scheduled for Sunday, October 20, will be hosted by Shooter’s Family Billiards in Wayne, NJ. 

Dufresne comes from the loss side to win second 2019 Tri-State event, first of 2019-2020 season

(l to r): Luis Jimenez & Pascal Dufresne

It was apparently the Tri-State Tour’s turn on Pascal Dufresne’s calendar. He won a stop on the Tri-State Tour back in March, which was a part of the Tri-State Tour’s 2018-2019 season. In April, he chalked up a victory on the Predator Pro Am Tour. On Sunday, September 22, Dufresne came back from a winners’ side semifinal loss to down Luis Jimenez in the finals of the $1,000-added, Double Points Tri-State event that had drawn 19 entrants to BQE Billiards in Jackson Heights (Queens), NY. It was his second 2019 win on the Tri-State Tour, but his first of the 2019-2020 tour season.
 
They met twice. The first time was in a winners’ side semifinal, as Robert Calton and Shweta Zaveri were battling it out in the other one. Jimenez, who’d cashed in 10 stops on the Tri-State Tour this year, including two runner-up finishes (March & July) was looking for his first win on the tour in (as far as we can determine) five years. He sent Dufresne to the loss side 7-5, as Calton sent Zaveri over 7-4. Jimenez guaranteed himself, at minimum, another runner-up finish with a 7-2 win over Calton in the hot seat match.
 
On the loss side, Zaveri picked up Thomas Schreiber, who’d been defeated by Dufresne in a winners’ side quarterfinal and then defeated Amanda Andries 7-4 and Lionel Swanston 6-5. Dufresne drew Joshua Joseph, who’d recently eliminated Michael Fedak and Allison LaFleur, both 6-3.
 
Dufresne and Zaveri got right back to work. Zaveri downed Schreiber 8-2, as Dufresne advanced to join her in the quarterfinals with a 7-3 win over Joseph. Dufresne ended Zaveri’s bid for a rematch against Calton in the semifinals by defeating her 8-3.
 
Dufresne complete his loss-side campaign with a 7-5 victory over Calton in those semifinals. He then proceeded to spoil Luis Jimenez’ bid for a victory on the 2019-2020 Tri-State Tour season by defeating him 9-7 in the finals.
 
Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at BQE Billiards, as well as sponsors Ozone Billiards, Sterling-Gaming, Kamui Tips, Phil Capelle, Pool & Billiards, Professor Q Ball, Bender Cues,  Paul Dayton Cues, Bludworth Ball Cleaner, Joe Romer Trophies and Quick Slick. The next stop on the Tri-State Tour, scheduled for Saturday, September 28, will be hosted by Shooter’s Family Billiards in Wayne, NJ.

Laboy goes undefeated to chalk up his first 2019 win on the Predator Pro Am Tour

(l to r): Bianca Martinez, Julien Tierney, Miguel Laboy, Amanda Andries (photo by Erwin Dionisio)

Miguel Laboy brought about 14 years of competitive pool experience and a lot of regional tour victories to the September 14-15 stop on the Predator Pro Am Tour. Before he earned the event title, however, he had to get by two particular competitors with a total of about three years of experience, both of them looking for their first regional tour event victory. Laboy would end up going undefeated at the $1,000-added event that drew 68 entrants to Cue Bar in Bayside (Queens), NY, but not before he’d dispatched one of the relative newcomers (Julien Tierney) twice (winners’ side semifinals and finals) and the other to the loss side (Bianca Martinez) in the battle for the hot seat.
 
As Laboy was busy sending Tierney to the loss side 8-5 in one of the winners’ side semifinals, Martinez was locked up in a double hill fight with Erick Carrasco that she eventually won. Martinez began the hot seat match against Laboy with ‘six beads on the wire’ in a race to 11. She’d fail to add another bead to that wire, as Laboy claimed the hot seat (officially) 11-6.
 
On the loss side, another relative newcomer was making some competitive noise. Amanda Andries had lost her opening match to Marisol Palacio and set out on a nine-match, loss-side winning streak that would take her as far as the quarterfinals where she’d run into Tierney. She chalked up wins #7 and #8 against Corey Avallone 6-3 and shut out Brandonne Alli to draw Carrasco. Tierney, in the meantime, picked up Yomaylin “Smiley” Feliz-Forman, who arrived on the heels of two straight double hill wins, over Chris Kelly and Abel Rosario.
 
Andries advanced to the quarterfinals when job obligations forced Carrasco to forfeit. Tierney joined her after downing “Smiley” 7-3. Tierney ended Andries’ loss-side run 8-5 (Andries started with ‘three on the wire’) and then defeatEd Martinez (who also started with ‘three on the wire’) 8-6 for a shot at Laboy, waiting for him in the hot seat.
 
The relative ‘youngsters’ were edged out of the day, with clear indications that they’ll be back and will need to be reckoned with. Laboy completed his undefeated run with an 8-3 victory over Tierney in the finals.
 
A Second Chance event that drew 16 entrants saw Dave Callaghan take home the $160 first-place prize, with Thomas Schreiber as runner-up ($100). Lidio Ramirez and Euryel Castillo each took home $30 in the tie for third.
 
Tour director Tony Robles thanked the ownership and staff at Cue Bar for their hospitality, as well as title sponsor Predator Cues, Ozone Billiards, PlayNAPL.com, The DeVito Team, Poolonthenet.com, Capelle (BilliardsPress.com), 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 this weekend, Sept. 21-22, will be a $1,000-added event, hosted by Steinway Billiards in Astoria (Queens), NY.

Bozigian goes undefeated to capture Eastern States Amateur Championships

(l to r): Tony Ignomirello, Gary Bozigian, Matt Klein & Ryan Dayrit

He came in search of his first 2019 event victory and found it. Gary Bozigian, making only his fourth appearance on the 2019 Predator Pro Am Tour, went undefeated in the Amateur division of the Eastern States Championships over Labor Day weekend (August 31-Sept. 2). With limited points in the tour standings as a B player (#24 on the list), Bozigian defeated the tour’s top-ranked B+ player, Matt Klein, twice to claim the title. The $1,500-added Amateur event drew 83 entrants to Steinway Billiards in Astoria (Queens), NY.
 
Bozigian and Klein clashed first in a winners’ side semifinal, as Tony Ignomirello, the tour’s top-ranked C+ player (11 appearances) and Ryan Dayrit, the tour’s 3rd-ranked C player (12 appearances), met in the other one. Bozigian and Klein locked up in a double fight that eventually sent Klein to the loss side. Tony “Iggy” sent Dayrit to the loss side 7-4 and joined Bozigian in the hot seat match. Bozigian claimed the hot seat 7-2 over Ignomirello and waited on the return of Klein.
 
On the loss side, Klein and Dayrit met up with the Estevez brothers. Klein drew Alberto Estevez, who’d defeated Yomaylin “Smiley” Feliz, double hill, and Max Watanabe 7-4 t reach him. Dayrit picked up Ambi Estevez, who’d recently eliminated Jonathan Martinez 7-2 and Amanda Andries 7-3.
 
The brothers Estevez went down to identical 7-4 defeats to Klein and Dayrit, who advanced to the quarterfinals. Klein then eliminated Dayrit 8-3 and got a second shot at Bozigian with a 7-4 victory over Ignomirello in the semifinals.
 
Klein may have had the momentum from loss-side action, but it didn’t improve his game play in the finals against Bozigian. Bozigian downed him a second time, this time 7-4 to claim the Amateur Eastern States Championship title.
 
Tony Robles thanked Manny Stamatakis and his Steinway Billiards staff for their hospitality, as well as sponsors Predator Cues, Ozone Billiards, PlayNAPL.com, The DeVito Team, Poolonthenet.com, Capelle (BilliardsPress.com), AZBilliards, Pool & Billiard Magazine, Billiards Digest and his own Predator Pro Am team, to include his lovely wife, Gail. Robles also acknowledged the work of UpstateAl and his AZBTv crew for the streaming of selected matches throughout the event weekend. The next stop on the Predator Pro Am Tour, scheduled for the weekend of Sept. 14-15, will be a $1,000-added, double points event, hosted by Cue Bar in Bayside (Queens), NY.

NYC Scotch Doubles 8-Ball Championships Crown Four Winners

Tony Robles and his team at Silent Assassin Productions welcomed 164 players to Steinway Billiards on August 3rd – 4th for four divisions of the 3rd Annual NYC Scotch Doubles 8-Ball Championship. 
 
The Leisure Division saw the smallest field, twelve teams, competing for first prize. This division saw Amanda Andries & Henry Chan redeem themselves after a 5-2 loss to Kendall Nunn & Radames Marimon for the hot-seat. Andries & Chan bounced back with a hill-hill win over Cesar Becerra & Maxwell Musser in the semi-final match, and then another hill-hill win in the extended final match over Nunn & Marimon.
 
The Open Division drew a field of thirty seven teams and there was no late tournament redemption in this one, as the team of Artur Trzeciak & Sebastian Karwas went undefeated with a 6-3 hot-seat win over Charlene Capers & Jerry Alexander and then a 6-0 win over Capers & Alexander in the finals. 
 
The Advanced Division’s eighteen teams played a tight final few matches with John Durr & Ken Batal taking the hot-seat with a 6-4 win over Quang Nguyen & Jimmy Tran. Nguyen & Tran then lost to Chris Schmidt & Kevin Scalzitti in the semi-final match 5-2. The extended final match was another close one, with Durr & Batal winning the hill-hill match for first place. 
 
The absolute top players competed in the sixteen team Master Division, where Miguel Batista & Wilberto Ortiz were undefeated with wins over Zion Zvi & Duc Lam for the hot-seat 7-4 and again in the finals 7-5. 
 
Robles wished his thanks to UpState AL and his team for hosting the free live stream courtesy of Blatt Billiards, John Leyman for being the official referee, tournament assistants Julie Ha, Tommy Schreiber and Irene Kim,  Erwin Dionisio for his fantastic photography, and Steinway Billiards, National Amateur Pool League (NAPL) and Predator Cues for their sponsorship.  He also wished a huge thanks to all of the players for their enthusiasm and support of the event.  
 
Robles and his team will be back at Steinway Billiards on October 19th – 20th for the six divisions of the NYC 8-Ball Championship Singles Championships.

Dayrit wins* his first regional tour event on the Tri-State Tour

(l to r): Ryan Dayrit & Lidio Ramirez

Already having his best earnings year to date, Ryan Dayrit added his first major tournament win by going undefeated* on the Tri-State Tour’s second stop of its 2019-2012 season on Sunday, July 21. At the end of the $1,000-added event, which drew 41 entrants to Cue Bar in Astoria (Queens), NY, Dayrit and his opponent in the finals, Lidio Ramirez, opted out of a final match, leaving Dayrit, the undefeated occupant of the hot seat as the official winner.
 
Dayrit faced different opponents in the hot seat and finals of this one. After victories over Chris Schmidt, Sabrina Sherman and Luis Jimenez, he advanced to a winners’ side semifinal against DeMenthris Hudson, as Tony Kuo squared off against Kapriel Delimelkonoglu in the other one; Delimelkonoglu had just sent Ramirez to the loss side 7-2. Dayrit got into the hot seat match with a double hill win over Hudson, as Kuo downed Delimelkonoglu 7-5. Dayrit claimed the hot seat 7-5 over Kuo and waited for Ramirez to complete his three-match, loss-side run.
 
Delimelkonoglu moved to the loss side, where he ran into an immediate re-match against Ramirez, who’d defeated Basdeo Sookhai 7-5 and Amanda Andries 10-7 to earn the rematch. Hudson drew Luis Jimenez, who’d lost to Dayrit in a winners’ side quarterfinal and had defeated Sabrina Sherman 7-4 and Michelle Brotons, double hill.
 
Ramirez and Jimenez handed Delimelkonoglu and Hudson their second straight loss; Ramirez successfully wreaking his vengeance on Delimelkonoglu 7-2 and Jimenez sending Hudson to the figurative ‘showers’ 7-3. Ramirez then defeated Jimenez 8-6 in the quarterfinals.
 
By the same score (8-6), Ramirez then defeated Tony Kuo in the semifinals in what proved to be the last match of the event. Ramirez and Dayrit agreed upon a split, with Dayrit claiming the event title.
 
Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Cue Bar, as well as sponsors Ozone Billiards, Sterling-Gaming, Kamui Tips, Liquid Weighted Cues, Bloodworth Ball Cleaner, Quick Stik, Phil Capelle, Pool & Billiards,  Bender Cues, Dayton Cues, and Romer Trophies. The next stop on the Tri-State Tour, scheduled for Saturday, July 27, will be hosted by Shooters Family Billiards in Wayne, NJ.

Toomey and Mazzeo split top prizes on Tri-State Tour’s 2019/2020 season opener

(l to r): Bob Toomey & Joe Mazzeo

Negotiations for opting out of a tournament’s final match are often, though not always, conducted, if not secretly, at least away from the person who is sometimes holding the cash for its eventual distribution. And sometimes, hearing or reading about it afterwards, can make you wonder whose idea it was. A person who was defeated in the hot seat match, as a random example, is generally motivated to take a second shot against the opponent who sent him/her to the semifinals. Reasons for the cash split at the end of a long day can range from the practical (a long drive home, a work shift that begins late at night, or even early the next morning) to the personal (the opponents drove to the tournament together and agreed upon arrival that if faced with a final match, they’d split).
 
On Sunday, July 14, the Tri-State Tour opened its 2019/2020 season with a $1,000-added 8-Ball event that drew 29 entrants to Clifton Billiards in Clifton, NJ, where the 2018/2019 season had ended almost exactly a month ago. At the end of the tournament, Bob Toomey, the tour’s 2018/2019 Sportsman of the Year, was sitting in the hot seat, waiting to see whether the opponent he’d defeated in the hot seat match, Jason Blanchard, was going to make it back from the semifinals. He didn’t. Instead, Joe Mazzeo, who’d lost in the event’s second round and then embarked on a seven-match, loss-side winning streak, downed Blanchard and was presented with the opportunity to face Toomey in the final. Mazzeo, according to tour representatives, “decided to take second and end the day,” leaving the undefeated hot seat occupant (Toomey) as the event’s official winner.
 
Toomey’s path to the hot seat featured five matches, three of which went double hill. He downed Amanda Andries 5-2 and ran into his first double hill match against Rick Rodriguez. He then defeated Allison LaFleur 5-3 to draw Artur Trzeciak in one of the winners’ side semifinals. Blanchard, in the meantime, got by Chris Schmidt, Sam Hoffman, and Raphael Castillo, who’d sent Mazzeo to the loss side in the second round, to pick up Joe Ganguzza in the other winners’ side semifinal.
 
Toomey chalked up his second double hill win of the day, over Trzeciak, as Blanchard defeated Ganguzza 6-2 to join him in the hot seat match. In what would prove to be the event’s ‘title match,’ battling for the hot seat, Toomey won his third double hill battle and sent Blanchard to the semifinals.
 
On the loss side, Mazzeo was working on his seven-match, loss-side winning streak. He’d gotten by Chris Schmidt 6-3, John Durr, double hill, Nick Serino 6-2 and Teddy Lapadula 6-4 to draw Ganguzza. Trzeciak picked up Manny Gomez, who’d recently shut out Allison LaFleur and defeated Mike Strassberg 5-2.
 
Mazzeo advanced to the quarterfinals with a 6-3 win over Ganguzza. He was joined by Trzeciak, who’d eliminated Gomez 5-3. Mazzeo took the quarterfinal match over Trzeciak 6-3 and completed his loss-side run (and the tournament) with a 6-2 victory over Blanchard in the semifinals. He opted out of a final match, leaving Toomey as official winner of the Tri-State Tour’s season opener. 
Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Clifton Billiards, as well as sponsors Ozone Billiards, Sterling Billiards, Kamui, DIGICUE OB, John Bender Custom Cues, Billiards Digest, Human Kinetics, Blue Book Publishing, Joe Romer Trophies and Phil Cappelle Publications. The next stop on the Tri-State Tour, scheduled for Sunday, June 21, will be a $1,000-added 9-ball event, hosted by Steinway Billiards in Astoria (Queens), NY.

Dufresne goes undefeated to chalk up his first Tri-State win, splits top prizes with Gupta

(l to r): Shivam Gupta & Pascal Dufresne

Having won his first stop on the Predator Pro Am Tour last month, Pascal Dufresne decided to back it up with his first win on the Tri-State Tour in Sunday, April 7. Though it will go into the books as an undefeated win, it comes with the asterisk of no final match, as Dufresne and Shivam Gupta opted to split the top two prizes. The $1,000-added, 10-ball event drew 31 entrants to Shooter’s Family Billiards in Wayne, NJ.
 
Though he’s cashed in only two events in 2019, both on the Predator Pro Am Tour, Dufresne has already exceeded his best earnings year, to date (2018). Gupta, as well, recorded his best earnings year, to date, in 2018, and has a way to go to reach that figure in 2019. Gupta, though, was making his eighth appearance on the 2018-2019 Tri-State Tour, while for Dufresne, it was only his second.
 
Following a challenging start in which he survived a double hill battle versus Jerry Almodovar, Dufresne moved on to defeat Paul Wilkins and then, in their first, and what proved to be only meeting, Dufresne sent Gupta to the loss side 6-3. This set him up to face Kevin Scalzitti in one of the winners’ side semifinals. On his way to one of his highest finishes on the tour, Rick Rodriguez, who’d defeated Mac Jankov, Brian Schell (double hill) and Bob Toomey, faced Clint Pires in the other winners’ side semifinal.
 
Dufresne and Rodriguez gave up only a single rack between them, as Dufresne shut Scalzitti out, and Rodriguez allowed Pires only a single rack to advance them both to the hot seat match. Dufresne, playing what would prove to be his last match, sent Rodriguez to the semifinals 6-2 and claimed the hot seat.
 
On the loss side, Gupta opened his trip back to the finals with a 6-2 victory over Tri Chau and followed it with a 6-2 win over his road partner, Jaydev Zaveri (Zaveri and Gupta are currently #1 and #2 among the tour’s B+ competitors). This set Gupta up to face Scalzitti, coming over from the winners’ side semifinal. Pires drew Bob Toomey, who’d started in the same loss-side position as Gupta and survived two double hill matches against Amanda Andries and Brian Schell to draw Pires.
 
Gupta and Scalzitti locked up in a double hill battle that eventually sent Gupta to the quarterfinals (6-5). Toomey joined him, after eliminating Pires 5-1.
 
Gupta and Toomey, each, at this point, with three, loss-side wins, were both looking to advance to the semifinals. Gupta made it, downing Toomey 6-2 to face Rodriguez. Gupta and Rodriguez were both looking for a second shot against Dufresne in the hot seat and fought to double hill for that right. Once again, Gupta made it (6-5).
 
Dufresne and Gupta opted out of a final match. As the hot seat occupant, Dufresne claimed the event title, undefeated. 
Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Shooter’s Family Billiards, as well as sponsors Ozone Billiards, Sterling-Gaming, Kamui Tips, Phil Capelle, BlueBook Publishing, Human Kinetics, Pool & Billiards, Professor Q Ball, Bender Cues, DIGICUE OB and Hustlin USA. The next stop on the Tri-State Tour, scheduled for this weekend (Sunday, April 14) will be hosted by Cue Bar in Bayside (Queens), NY.