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Tierney goes undefeated to capture his first regional tour title on Garden State Pool Tour

Dinko Busanich, Julian Tierney and Mike Johnson

It’s something of a recent phenomenon, this mixing of possible games in a tournament. Not entirely new, but event organizers have been getting creative with the ways that they mix the games; from changes that dictate ‘x’ amount of 8-ball or 9-ball (or other) games in a single match to the format employed by the Garden State Pool Tour at its most recent event this past weekend (Oct. 15). At the $200-added Halloween Classic that drew 18 entrants to Breaker Billiards in Clifton, NJ, 8-ball was the designated game on the winners’ side of the bracket and 9-ball was the game on the loss side. Competitors not only had to absorb a first loss and continue play knowing that there was no longer any room for error, they had to move from what is generally considered to be an easier game (if there is such a thing) to a harder one. 

Julian Tierney didn’t have to worry about that. He won all of his matches, going undefeated  playing 8-ball. When it came time for the true double elimination finals against Mike Johnson, the game played in the opening set was 8-ball. Had it gone to a second set, they would have finished up playing 9-ball. Tierney took the opening set to claim his first (recorded) regional tour title.

Tierney followed an opening round bye with two straight shutouts, over Michelle Brotons and Jason Blanchard, to arrive at a winners’ side semifinal against Dinko Busanich. Johnson, also with a bye, locked into a 6-2 pattern that sent Tom Mac and Ron Lichtenberger to the loss side and set him up to face Sumit Bansal in the other winners’ side semifinal.

Tierney defeated Busanich 4-2, as Johnson kept his pattern going with a 6-2 victory over Bansal. Tierney broke the pattern, downing Johnson 6-3 to claim the hot seat.

On the loss side, Busanich drew Lysander Diaz, who, after losing an opening round match to Aurelio Romero, went on a four-match winning streak that had recently eliminated Lichtenberger and Frank Rodriguez, both double hill (5-6; Lichtenberger and Rodriguez racing to 7). Bansal drew Romero, who’d defeated Mikeal Kim 7-4 and Rob Rodriguez, double hill to reach him.

Romero won his fourth loss side match, downing Bansal 7-4, as Busanich eliminated Diaz, double hill. Busanich and Romero battled to double hill in the quarterfinals that followed before Busanich closed it out.

Busanich came into the semifinals with a Fargo-calculated 68.3% chance of winning the match against Mike Johnson; Busanich racing to 8, Johnson to 5. Johnson battled him to double hill and won it 5-4 for a second shot at Tierney, waiting for him in the hot seat.

Though Johnson’s Fargo-rated chances of winning the opening set of the true double elimination final against Tierney were even lower than his chances against Busanich (7.5% vs. 31.7%), Johnson battled Tierney to double hill in a straight-up race to 7. Tierney had the last word though and claimed title to the Garden State Pool Tour’s 2022 Halloween Classic.

Tour director Dave Fitzpatrick thanked the ownership and staff at Breaker Billiards, as well as sponsors Billiards Engineering, IntheBX, Kamui, Off the Rail, Jflowers Cues and Cases, John Bender Custom Cues and Pool-a-holic.

The next stop on the Garden State Pool Tour, scheduled for the weekend of Nov. 12-13 at Rockaway Billiards in NJ, will be the Annual Amateur New Jersey State Championships. The tour’s final event – The Grand Amateur Invitational Championship – will be held in December.

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Romero comes back to take down Zaveri on Tri-State stop

Jaydev Zaveri, Aurelio Romero and Jim Gutierrez

It was a double battle between the #1 and #4-ranked B players on the Tri-State Tour. Jaydev Zaveri, who’d won a stop on the tour in October, sat comfortably in the #1 position among the tour’s B players. Aurelio Romero, looking for his first win on the tour, was a couple of hundred ranking points away in fourth place on the list. They faced each other twice and when it was over, the underdog, Romero had pulled it off to claim his first Tri-State title. The $568-added event, hosted by Cue Bar in Bayside (Queens), NY, and held on Sunday, November 6, drew 27 entrants, some of them having been eliminated from the NYC 8-Ball Championships the day before at Steinway Billiards.
 
 
They met first in a winners’ side semifinal. Romero had chalked up wins over Pascal Dufresne, and Ron Chau to draw Zaveri. Jim Gutierrez, in the meantime, faced Ron Bernardo in the other winners’ side semifinal. Before the whole thing was over, Romero and Zaveri would play almost 30 games, 13 of them in their double hill first match, won by Zaveri. Gutierrez downed Bernardo 6-4 to face him in the hot seat match. Zaveri won his final match, claiming the hot seat 8-5 over Gutierrez.
 
 
On the loss side, Romero opened his loss side campaign against Akbar Karmoeddien, who’d defeated Eugene Ok 7-4 and Victor Dabu 7-3 to reach him. Bernardo picked up Ryan Dayrit (#2 among the tour’s D/D+ players), who’d just eliminated Tony Ignomirello 7-4 and Mario Lanzo 6-3. Romero and Bernardo got right back on the winning track, knocking off Karmoddien 7-5, and Dayrit 6-5 in the event’s first money round. 
 
 
Romero took the subsequent quarterfinal match over Bernardo 7-4. And then, faced the tour’s #2-ranked D/D+ player, Gutierrez, in the semifinals. Romero took that match 8-3 to earn himself the re-match against Zaveri in the hot seat.
 
 
It started out well for Romero, as he chalked up five in a row to get things underway in the finals. Zaveri checked in with two, but Romero came right back with two of his own to make it 7-2. Zaveri then added three to pull within two at 7-5. They each chalked up another single game, which put Romero on the hill, before Zaveri won game #15 to pull within one at 8-7. Romero finished it at 9-7 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, Ron Vitello, Phil Capelle, BlueBook Publishing, Human Kinetics, and Bloodworth Ball Cleaners. The next stop on the Tri-State Tour, scheduled for Sunday, November 13, will be hosted by Steinway Billiards in Astoria (Queens), NY. 

Ramirez goes undefeated to take his second 2016 Tri-State Tour stop

As he did back in May, on the Predator Tour, Lidio Ramirez successfully fought off a double hill, loss-side challenge to win an event. This time, at a $1,000-added event on the Tri-State Tour, on Sunday, October 30, which drew 27 entrants to Clifton Billiards in Clifton, NJ, he did it twice. 
 
 
Ramirez faced Victor Dabu twice in this event; once, in a winners’ side semifinal, and again, in the finals. He ran into Dabu first, after victories over Pascal Dufresne, Aurelio Romero and Nes Jovanovic. Tony Ignomirello, in the meantime, squared off against Bob Toomey in the other winners’ side semifinal. Ramirez defeated Dabu, double hill, and in the hot seat match, met up with Ignomirello, who’d sent Toomey to the loss side 6-3.
On the loss side, Dabu picked up Jovanovic, who, after his loss to Ramirez, had defeated Adam Kosmin 7-2 and Romero 7-1. Toomey drew Jaydev Zaveri, who’d gotten by Ryan Dayrit 7-5 and Eric Carrasco 6-3 to reach him.
 
 
Dabu downed Jovanovic 7-4, and in the quarterfinals, faced Zaveri, who’d ended Toomey’s day 6-4. Dabu defeated Zaveri 8-3 and then downed Ignomirello in the semifinals 8-6, for a second shot at Ramirez.
 
 
The match went back and forth, through multiple ties. Dabu took the lead, reaching the hill at 6-5, but Ramirez came back to win the next two and claim the event title. 
 
 
Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Clifton 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, November 6, will be hosted by Cue Bar in Bayside (Queens), NY.

Watanabe comes from the loss side to take down Figueroa on Tri-State stop

Max Watanabe, Mike Figueroa and Dennis Quinn

Mike Figueroa, who finished the 2015-2016 Tri-State season ranked third in the tour's C++ division got into the hot seat at the Tri-State Tour's fourth 2016-2017  stop on Saturday, August 6, having defeated Max Watanabe in a winners' side semifinal, and Dennis Quinn in the battle for the hot seat. Watanabe, who finished the 2015-2016 Tri-State season ranked sixth in the tour's B+ division, came back from the loss side to meet and defeat Figueroa in the finals. The event drew 20 entrants to Clifton Billiards in Clifton, NJ.
 
In their first of two, Figueroa sent Watanabe to the loss side 7-4, as Dennis Quinn was busy defeating Bob Toomey (2015-2016's top-ranked C player) 6-4. Figueroa claimed the hot seat 7-5 over Quinn and waited on Watanabe.
 
On the loss side, Watanabe picked up Mike Panzarella, who'd gotten by Aurelio Romero 7-4, and Eddie Manlulu 7-2 to reach him. Toomey drew James Pasciolla, who'd defeated Adrian Daniel 6-3 and survived a double hill fight versus Allison LaFleur. Watanabe downed Panzarella 7-3, and in the quarterfinals, faced Toomey, who'd eliminated Pasciolla 6-2. 
 
In what was the event's first money round, Watanabe defeated Toomey 8-6, and earned his second shot against Figueroa with a 6-3 win over Quinn in the semifinals. Watanabe completed his run with a commanding 9-2 win over Figueroa in the finals.
 
Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Clifton 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 Saturday, August 20, will be hosted by Steinway Billiards in Astoria (Queens), NY.