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Klein and Shweta Zaveri split top prizes on Tri-State Tour stop

Matt Klein & Shweta Zaveri

Both were looking for their first 2019 win on the Tri-State Tour. For Shweta Zaveri, it would have been her first victory on the tour, ever. For Matt Klein, it proved to be his first since last June, near the end of the Tri-State’s 2017-2018 season. They played a single match, a winners’ side semifinal. They would have played a second, in the finals, but they opted out and split the top two prizes. Zaveri came into the event as the tour’s 2018/2019 points leader among its female competitors and among its D+ players. Klein, at present, is the tour’s fifth-ranked points leader in the B division. The $1,000-added event that led to their division of the top two prizes drew 46 entrants on Saturday, February 2 to Steinway Billiards in Astoria (Queens), NY.
Klein’s tournament trail went through Bob Toomey, Ilija Tracjeski, Terry Mohabir, and Jowen Pichardo to arrive at his winners’ side semifinal against Zaveri. Shivam Gupta, in the meantime, faced Ryan Dayrit. Klein sent Zaveri on her three-match, loss-side trip with an 8-4 victory. He was joined in the hot seat match Gupta, who’d sent Dayrit over 8-6. In what proved to be his final match, Klein claimed the hot seat 7-4 over Gupta.
On the loss side, Zaveri picked up Andrew Cicoria, who’d recently survived a double hill win battle against Sean Emmitt and shut out Pichardo. Dayrit drew Ricky Motilal, who’d defeated Brian Jeziorski 7-4 and Suzzie Wong 8-4 to reach him.
Dayrit downed Motilal 8-6 and in the quarterfinals, faced Zaveri, who’d eliminated Cicoria 6-2. Zaveri chalked up two straight double hill wins that provided her with an opportunity to face Klein a second time. She downed Dayrit 6-5 in the quarterfinals and Gupta 9-8 in the semifinals.
It was late Sunday night at this stage of the game(s), or early Monday morning, depending on your perspective. While Zaveri may have been motivated to chalk up her first Tri-State win with a re-match against Klein, they both agreed to the split.
Tour representatives thanked Manny Stamatakis and his Steinway Billiards staff for their hospitality, 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 Sunday, February 10, will be hosted by Shooter’s Family Billiards in Wayne, NJ.

Estevez goes undefeated to capture his first Tri-State title

(l to r): Ambi Estevez & Joe Cicoria


Ambi Estevez has been playing on the Tri-State and Predator Tours for about six years now; perhaps more, if he played in events prior to 2012 in which he failed to earn a payout. The winless streak came to an end on Sunday, August 12, when he went undefeated through a field of 23 entrants to chalk up (acording to our records) his first event title. So, too, with Andrew Cicoria, who faced him in the finals. Cicoria hasn’t been playing as long (records for him go back only two years), but his runner-up finish in the event was (again, as best as we can determine with existing records) his best finish, to date. The $1,000-added event drew its 23 entrants to Cue Bar in Bayside (Queens), NY.
Estevez’ path to his first appearance in the winners’ circle went through Sung Lee, Stewart Warnock, Sr. (a double hill win), and Suzzie Wong, to arrive at a winners’ side semifinal matchup against Joe Romeo (who’d just sent Cicoria to the loss side, double hill). Bob Toomey, in the meantime, squared off against one of the tour’s top female competitors, Allison LaFleur, in the other winners’ side semifinal.
Estevez advanced to the hot seat match with a 6-3 win over Romeo. Toomey and LaFleur battled to a single deciding game that eventually sent Toomey to battle Estevez. Estevez then downed Toomey 5-3 to claim the hot seat.
On the loss side, LaFleur picked up Cicoria, who, following his defeat by Romeo, had eliminated Arthur Trzeciak 5-1 and Wong 5-3. Romeo drew Ryan Dayrit, who’d gotten by Shweta Zaveri and Marisol Palacios, both 6-4.
Cicoria downed LaFleur 5-2, and was denied a re-match against Romeo, when Dayrit shut him out to advance to the quarterfinals. Cicoria defeated Dayrit 5-3 in those quarterfinals, and completed his loss-side run back to the finals with a 5-1 victory over Toomey in the semifinals.
It’s hard to know in a final match in which both players are looking for their first tour win whether the victory is a matter of superior skills or the simple fact that one player wanted it more than the other. In either case, Estevez won 5-3 to claim his first Tri-State title.
Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Cue Bar, as well as sponsors Ozone Billiards, Sterling Gaming, Kamui Tips, Phil Cappelle, BlueBook Publishing, Human Kinetics, Pool & Billiards, Professor Q-Ball, Bender Cues and DIGICUE OB. The next stop on the Tri-State Tour, scheduled for August 19, will be hosted by Steinway Billiards in Astoria (Queens), NY.

Cap and Guevarez split top prizes on the Tri-State

(l to r): Brian Cap & Harry Guevarez

Brian Cap and Harry Guevarez met up in the opening round of the Saturday, August 12 stop on the Tri-State Tour; the tour's first 8-ball event of the 2017-2018 season. At the end of the day, the result – Cap winning 6-4 – stood as the deciding match. Though Guevarez would win five on the loss side to earn a re-match in the finals, the two opted out of that final match, leaving Cap, the hot seat occupant, as the event winner. The $1,000-added event drew 22 entrants to Rockaway Blliards in Rockaway, NJ.
With what proved to be the only match between the eventual winner and runner-up out of the way, Cap moved on to defeat Michael Conoran 6-4 and then, meet up with Jaydev Zaveri in a winners' side semifinal. In the meantime, Allison LaFleur, on her way to her second top-three finish in as many weeks, made it by Mike Guevara, Michelle Brotons (friend and road partner) and Ron Lichtenberger to face Andrew Cicoria in the other winners' side semifinal.
Cap defeated Zaveri 6-4, and in the hot seat match, faced LaFleur, who'd chalked up her second straight, double hill win versus Cicoria. Cap claimed the hot seat 9-6 in what would prove to be his last match of the day.
On the loss side, Harry Guevarez opened his five-match march to the finals-that-never-were with a forfeit win, and defeated Paul Madonia 6-4 to draw Zaveri. Cicoria picked up Gil McGrath, who'd defeated Artur Trzeciak, double hill, and Lichtenberger 5-3 to reach him.
Guevarez defeated Zaveri 6-4, as Cicoria got right back to work and downed McGrath, double hill.  Guevarez then defeated Cicoria 6-2 in the quarterfinals. In what was described by tour representatives as a victory of "experience over determination," Guevarez dropped the final 8-ball of the semifinals, and last match of the event, winning it 7-4 over LaFleur to conclude the day's activities. The undefeated Cap claimed the event title.
Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Rockaway Billiards, as well as sponsors John Bender Custom Cues, Ozone Billiards, Sterling Billiards, Kamui, Digicue, Billiards Digest, Human Kinetics, Blue Book Publishing,  Phil Capelle Publications and Joe Romer Trophies. The next stop on the Tri-State Tour, a $1,000-added B/C/D event, scheduled for August 19-20, will be hosted by Amsterdam Billiards in Manhattan, NY.

Shlemperis chalks up his second straight, from-the-loss-side win, this time on Tri-State Tour

Dave Shlemperis and Lionel Oliver

Dave Shlemperis backed up a seven-on-the-loss-side win on the Predator Tour on the weekend of February 11-12, with another come-from-the-loss-side win on the Tri-State Tour, on Sunday, February 19. He spent a lot less time on the loss side of the Tri-State bracket, having been defeated by Lionel Oliver in the battle for the hot seat, and needing only the one loss-side win to return, challenge and defeat Oliver in the finals. The $625-added event drew 30 entrants to the Cue Bar in Bayside (Queens), NY.
Following victories over Ray Feliciano, and Luis Jimenez, Shlemperis advanced to a winners' side semifinal against Kevin Shin. Oliver, in the meantime, squared off against Vijay Patel. Shlemperis downed Shin 6-4, as Oliver sent Patel west 5-3. Oliver claimed the hot seat 7-2 over Shlemperis and waited for him to get back.
On the loss side, Shin picked up Luis Jimenez, who'd gotten by Carl Yusuf Khan 6-1, and Jaydev Zaveri 6-3. Patel drew Andrew Cicoria, who'd eliminated Bob Toomey 5-1, and Jim Gutierrez 4-2. The loss-side combatants in the battle to determine the tie for 5th place defeated the newcomers from the winners' side semifinals. Jimenez ended Shin's day 6-3, while Cicoria was busy sending Patel home 5-3.
Jimenez won the quarterfinal match that followed, 6-3 over Cicoria. He put up a fight against Shlemperis in the semifinals, but Shlemperis took the final game and got himself a second shot against Oliver. Like Jimenez before him, Oliver put up a fight to claim the title, but it wasn't enough. Shlemperis pulled ahead to win it by two 8-6 and claim his second title in as many weeks.
Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at the Cue Bar, 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, February 26, will be a C/D, Double Points, 8-ball event, hosted by Steinway Billiards, in Astoria (Queens), NY.