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Langley goes undefeated to win Fall Brawl on Garden State Pool Tour

Justin Pelech, Pat Langley and Ed Wooley

Two years ago in the Garden State Pool Tour’s annual Fall Brawl, Ed Langley finished as runner-up to Kevin Scalzitti. This year, he checked in to compete in the 6th Annual Fall Brawl, held on Saturday, Sept. 10, and went undefeated to claim the title. The $200-added event drew 20 entrants to Players Billiards in Eatontown, NJ. 

The event featured a combination of 8-ball and 9-ball matches, divided in favor of more 9-ball competition; eight racks of 9-ball and five racks of 8-ball in the races to 7 on the winners’ side of the bracket, six racks of 9-ball and three racks of 8-ball in the races to 5 on the loss side, 11 racks of 9-ball and six racks of 8-ball in the race to 9 finals. The finals in this year’s Fall Brawl proved to be the only match that began with 9-ball.

Langley faced Ed Woolley twice in this event; hot seat and finals. Langley got by Jorge Capillo 7-4, then battled Jaydev Zaveri to double hill before advancing to a winners’ side semifinal against Kyle Bubet. Woolley’s route to the hot seat match went through Kervin Santamaria and David Jusis, to whom he gave up one rack, each, to arrive at his winners’ side semifinal against Christian Taez.

Langley sent Bubet to the loss side 7-2 and was joined in the hot seat match by Woolley, who’d sent Taez over 7-3. In their first of two, Langley downed Woolley 7-3, evenly splitting their games of 8-ball and 9-ball, finishing with the latter and claiming the hot seat.

On the loss side, Taez drew Zaveri, who’d followed his loss to Langley with a 5-1 victory over Ben Zimmerman and a double hill win over 2020 champion, Kevin Scalzitti. Bubet picked up Justin Pelech, who’d lost to Zaveri in a second-round match and chalked up three on the loss side versus Jorge Capillo 5-2, David Jusis 5-0 and Alex Vangilov 5-1.

Pelech did his part to secure a quarterfinal rematch against Zaveri with a 5-2 win over Bubet, but Taez gave up only a single rack to Zaveri. Pelech made it six in a row in those quarterfinals, defeating Taez 5-2, but his streak came to an abrupt halt in the semifinals, when Woolley won five straight games of 8-ball to earn a second shot against Langley.

As it turned out, Langley and Woolley played 9-ball for all but the last game of the final race-to-9. It switched at the conclusion of the 11th game of 9-ball and Langley completed his undefeated run by winning the only 8-ball match and claiming the event title.

Tour director Dave Fitzpatrick thanked the ownership and staff at Players Billiards (“one of the most player-friendly rooms in the New Jersey area”) for their hospitality, along with sponsors IntheBx, Off the Rail, Billiards Engineering, John Bender Custom Cues, JFlowers Cues & Cases & Kamui. The next two Garden State Pool Tour events will be hosted at Clifton Billiards in Clifton, NJ, commencing with this weekend’s Sunday, Sept. 18 C-D Class 9-Ball event; 40-player maximum. On October 8-9, the tour will welcome a new host to the Garden State Pool Tour family – Diamond Jim’s in Nanuet, NY, who will host a 64-player A-D Class tournament. 

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Zaveri and Villa split top prizes on Predator Tri-State stop at Shooter’s Family Billiards

Jaydev Zaveri and Brook Villa

At least this time out, Jaydev Zaveri was the official winner. Having worked his way into the finals of three Predator Tri-State Tour stops at the same location this year (Shooter’s Family Billiards in Wayne, NJ), Zaveri and his first two opponents – Jan Mierzwa in February and Joe Valania in May, both of whom were in the hot seat at the time – negotiated a financial agreement and opted out of playing a final match. This past weekend (Saturday, August 27), Zaveri negotiated from the hot seat with tour newcomer, Brook Villa and while splitting the top two prizes with him, he did become the official winner of the $500-added Predator Tri-State stop that drew 29 entrants to Shooter’s Family Billiards.

Zaveri’s trip to the hot seat had something of a shaky start, surviving two straight double hill battles against Hunter Sullivan and Frank Krupa. A subsequent 7-3 victory over Pascal Dufresne set Zaveri up in a winners’ side semifinal against James Kearney. Aiden Wagner, in the meantime, destined for the hot seat match, got by Jowen Pichardo, Bob Toomey, and Ben Zimmerman to arrive at his winners’ side semifinal against Villa.

Zaveri got into what would prove to be his final match, battling for the hot seat, with a 7-2 victory over Kearney. Wagner joined him after sending Villa to the loss side 7-5. A 7-4 victory put Zaveri in the hot seat and, as it turned out, afforded him the opportunity to be declared the event’s official winner.

On the loss side, Villa picked up Ben Zimmerman who’d followed his loss to Wagner with wins over Tom Crane 7-5 and John Torp 6-3. Kearney drew Kevin Scalzitti, who’d lost his opening match to Pascal Dufresne and was working on a four-match, loss-side winning streak that had most recently eliminated Mike Strassberg 7-3, John Torp 6-3 and was about to end.

Kearney shut Scalzitti out and in the quarterfinals, faced Villa, who’d defeated Zimmerman 6-3. Villa was downing his opponents more efficiently as he got closer to the end, following his victory over Zimmerman with a 9-2 victory Kearney in the quarterfinals and then shutting out Wagner in the semifinals.

It set up an interesting title match, a contest between a tour veteran with a long list of cash finishes and victories on a number of area tours versus a newcomer, looking for his first recorded tour victory. The match, of course, didn’t happen. Zaveri and Villa agreed to the split and Zaveri went into the books as the event’s official winner. 

Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Shooter’s Family Billiards for their hospitality, as well as title sponsor Predator Cues. 

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