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Rosario returns from hot seat loss to chalk up third 2019 regional win on the Predator Pro Am

(l to r): Alberto Estevez, JC Iglesias, Abel Rosario & Jason Goberdhan

Abel Rosario, #3 on the Predator Pro Am Tour’s B+ standings list, won his third 2019 regional tour victory on the weekend of November 16-17. Last month, he went undefeated in the Mixed Advanced division of Michael Fedak’s  NYC 8-Ball Championships, while earlier this year (August), he came from the loss side to win a rematch victory over (at the time), relative newcomer Euryel Castillo in a Tri-State Tour stop at Steinway Billiards. As he’d done in August, Rosario gave up the hot seat in this most recent event, this time to another relative newcomer JC Iglesias. Rosario returned from the semifinals to down Iglesias in the finals. The $1,000-added event drew 73 entrants to Cue Bar in Bayside (Queens), NY.
 
Their first meeting followed victories in their respective winners’ side semifinals. Rosario had defeated Russell Masciotti 7-3, as Iglesias was at work on a 7-4 win over Carlos Duque. Iglesias, on the basis of five appearances, is the #30-ranked C+ player on the Predator Pro Am Tour’s standings list. He downed the tour’s #3-ranked B+ player 7-5 and sat in the hot seat awaiting his return.
 
On the loss side, Duque and Masciotti ran right into their second straight loss. The tour’s #2 C+ player, Jason Goberdhan, who’d defeated Zain Sundaram 7-5 and Juan Melendez 7-3, eliminated Duque 7-4. Alberto Estevez, who’d gotten by John Francisco 7-3 and the tour’s #1 A player, Lidio Ramirez, also 7-3, defeated Masciotti 7-5.
 
Goberdhan then eliminated Estevez 7-2 in the quarterfinals, before having his bid for a title ended 7-4 by Rosario in the semifinals.
 
In the extension-to-9 finals, Rosario reached his ‘7-spot’ first. He added two more to defeat Iglesias 9-4 and claim the event title.
 
A 15-entrant, single elimination Second Chance event was won Euryel Castillo with a double hill final victory over Thomas Schreiber. Castillo pocketed $160 for the win, Schreiber took home $100. Shawn Sookhai and Irene Kim each won $20 for their third place tie.
 
Tour director Tony Robles thanked the owner and staff at Cue Bar for their hospitality, as well as title sponsor Predator Cues, Ozone Billiards, PlayNAPT.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 the weekend of November 30-Dec. 1 will be the tour’s annual Thanksgiving Classic, hosted by Steinway Billiards in Astoria (Queens), NY. Two weeks later, the tour will host its final event of the 2019 season, the Predator Pro Am Tour Championships, scheduled for the weekend of Dec. 14-15, and hosted by Raxx Billiards in West Hempstead, NY.

Hsu Kai-Lun goes undefeated to take Open/Pro division of Predator Pro Am Tour stop

Ko Ping-Han, Fu Che-Wei, Tony Robles and Hsu Kai-Lun

Dayrit wins Amateur event
 
Four of the final five players competing in the Open/Pro event of the November 2-3 stop on the Predator Pro Am Tour had drifted north from participating in the International 9-Ball Open in Norfolk, VA. Can you guess which four, among Hsu Kai-Lun, Fu Che-Wei, Liu Cheng-Chieh, Ko Ping-Han and Tony Robles?
 
Hsu Kai-Lun and about half a dozen fellow Taiwanese players signed on to the $500-added event, with Kai-Lun going undefeated through the field of 19, hosted by The Spot in Nanuet, NY. Kai-Lun defeated separate opponents in the hot seat (Robles) and finals (Fu Che-Wei) to claim the title.
 
Kai-Lun had to defeat Fu Che-Wei twice; the first time in a winners’ side semifinal, as Tony Robles squared off against Liu Cheng-Chieh in the other one. Kai-Lun downed Che-Wei 7-4 and was joined in the hot seat match by Robles, who’d sent Cheng-Chieh to the loss side 7-3. Kai-Lun claimed the hot seat 7-3 over Robles.
 
On the loss side, Che-Wei picked up Lin Ta-Li, who’d defeated Mike “Fingers” Badsteubner 7-2, and Max Watanabe 7-4. Liu Cheng-Chieh drew Ko Ping-Han, who’d eliminated Chang Yu-Lung 7-4 and Joey Korsiak 7-3.
 
Ping-Han downed Cheng-Chieh 7-2, and in the quarterfinals, faced Che-Wei, who’d eliminated Ta-Li 7-4. Che-Wei then defeated Ping-Han to face Robles in the semifinals.
 
Che-Wei got a second shot at Kai-Lun in the hot seat, with a 7-4 win over Robles in the semifinals. The second meeting between Kai-Lun and Che-Wei was a double hill battle for the event title. Kai-Lun won it 7-6 to claim that title.
 
Dayrit goes undefeated through field of 62
 
Ryan Dayrit and Keith Guenzel battled twice to claim the $1,000-added Amateur event title that drew 62 entrants. They met twice, hot seat and finals, to claim the title.
 
They advanced to their respective winners’ side semifinals; Dayrit, facing Carlos Duque and Guenzel, squaring off against Levie Lampaan. Dayrit moved into the hot seat match with a 7-4 victory over Duque. Guenzel joined him after downing Lampaan 7-2. Dayrit took the first of two against Guenzel 8-4 and waited in the hot seat for the second to happen.
 
Lampaan and Duque moved to the loss side where they picked up Jaydev Zaveri and Nick Croce, respectively. Zaveri had survived two straight double hill matches versus Bud Robideau and Ocheign Carlos to reach Lampaan.  Croce had eliminated Jay Choi 7-3 and Nicole Monaco 7-5.
 
Zaveri advanced to the quarterfinals 7-4 over Lampaan and was joined by Duque, who’d defeated Croce, double hill. Duque took the quarterfinal match that followed 8-4.
 
Duque started the semifinals against Keith Guenzel with ‘4 on the wire’ in a race to 9. He managed to chalk up the four he needed to force a single deciding game, which Guenzel won for a second shot at Dayrit in the hot seat.
 
Dayrit and Guenzel then locked up in a double hill final, which Dayrit finally won to claim the event title.
 
A Second Chance drew nine entrants and was won by Julie Ha. She took home $110 for her efforts, which included her final 7-5 victory over Mike Harrington ($70).
 
Tour director Tony Robles thanked Rhys Chen and his staff at The Spot for their hospitality, as well as title sponsor Predator Cues, Ozone Billiards, PlayNAPT.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 the weekend of November 16-17, will be a Double Points, $1,000-added event, hosted by Cue Bar in Bayside (Queens), NY.

Ragoonanan comes from the loss side to win Predator Pro Am Amateur title

(l to r): Joe Morace, Carlos Duque, Matt Klein & Rikki Ragoonanan

Hernandez downs Korsiak twice to claim Predator Pro Am Open title
 
Rikki Ragoonanan arrived at the Predator Pro Am Tour’s stop on the weekend of March 16-17, looking for his first win on the tour since last June. That victory was Ragoonanan’s first on the Predator Pro Am Tour and came eight years after winning his first major at a stop on the Tri-State Tour in 2010. Apparently looking to reduce the gaps between his winning efforts, Ragoonanan had to come from the loss side in this one and down Matt Klein twice to claim the title. The $750-added Amateur event drew 91 entrants to Cue Bar in Bayside (Queens), NY.
 
In a concurrently-run event, the tour played host to a short, 12-entrant field in a $250-added Open-Pro event that saw Frankie Hernandez defeat Joey Korsiak twice to claim that title.
 
Ragoonanan and Klein met first in a winners’ side semifinal, as Carlos Duque and Joey Morace squared off in the other one. Klein sent Ragoonanan to the loss side 7-4, as Duque gave up only a single rack to Morace and faced Klein in the hot seat match. Duque and Klein battled to double hill before Duque prevailed to claim the hot seat. It was one of nine double hill or near-double-hill (7-5) matches among the event’s final 12 players and 14 matches.
 
On the loss side, Ragoonanan picked up Pascal Dufresne, who’d recently defeated Tommy Schreiber 7-5 and Miguel Laboy 8-3 to reach him. Morace drew Greg Matos, who’d defeated Tony Ignomirello, double hill and Darrin Schmidt 7-5. In identical 7-5 wins, Morace and Ragoonanan advanced to the quarterfinals over Matos and Dufresne.
 
Ragoonan took that quarterfinal match 8-5 over Morace and then, in a semifinal rematch against Klein, defeated him double hill for a shot at Duque in the finals. Duque began that final match with four on the wire in an extended race-to-9. Ragoonanan punctuated his return from the loss side by not allowing Duque to chalk up a single rack. Ragoonanan reached his ‘9’ racks, added two and claimed the event title 11-4.
 
[photo id=50934|align=right]Hernandez follows up Empire State runner-up finish to Jayson Shaw with undefeated run
 
Three weeks ago, on the weekend of February 23-24, Frankie Hernandez was battling Jayson Shaw in the finals of the 11th Annual Empire State Championships. He’d already defeated him once, in an exciting double hill battle for the hot seat. At approximately 2 a.m. on Sunday morning, Shaw pulled out in front to claim that event title over Hernandez 9-4.
 
At this most recent stop on the Predator Pro Am Tour, Hernandez’ nemesis in the hot seat and finals was long-time Joss Tour (and many others) veteran, Joey Korsiak, who’s in the midst of his 20th year at cashing in on major tournaments, including the US Open, Derby City Classic and tour stops in (among other states) Florida, including the J. Pechauer Southeast 9-Ball Open and Sunshine State Pro Am tours.
 
The two of them chalked up identical scores in both the hot seat match and finals. Hernandez got into the hot seat match after downing Elvis Rodriguez 7-1. Korsiak joined him following a 7-2 victory over Tour Director Tony Robles. Hernandez claimed the hot seat 7-3.
 
On the loss side, Robles picked up Turkish competitor Sami Koylu, who’d defeated Raphael Dabreo 7-2 and Dominic Gauthier 7-1 to reach him. Rodriguez drew Mike Salerno, who’d shut out KC Clayton and eliminated Stephen Molital 7-2. Suzzie Wong (eliminated by Gauthier) and Dave Callaghan (eliminated by Motilal) rounded out the complete roster at this event).
 
Koylu and Robles battled to double hill before Koylu advanced to the quarterfinals. He was joined by Salerno, who’d defeated Rodriguez 7-2. Koylu then eliminated Salerno 7-2, before being eliminated himself 7-3 by Korsiak in the semifinals. Duplicating their hot seat match score, Hernandez downed Korsiak 7-3 in the finals.
 
A 16-entrant Second Chance event was won by Tommy Schreiber, who collected $160 for his 7-5 win over Brooke Meyer in the finals. Lidio Ramirez and Jimmy Acosta took home $30 each for their tie in third place. An 8-entrant Third Chance event was won Miguel Laboy, who took home $100, following his victory over Russell Masciotti in the finals.
 
Tour director Tony Robles thanked the ownership and staff at the Cue Bar, as well as title sponsor Predator Cues, Ozone Billiards, NAPL, The DeVito Team, PoolontheNet.com, Billiards Digest, AZBilliards, Pool & Billiards Magazine and his entire staff, including his lovely wife, Gail. The next stop on the Predator Pro Am Tour, scheduled for the weekend of April 6-7, will be hosted by Steinway Billiards in Astoria (Queens), NY.

Dufresne, from the loss side, breaks through to win his first stop on the Predator Pro Am Tour

(l to r): Nick Croce, Tony Ignomirello, Pascal Dufresne & Dave Shlemperis

Though he’d been runner-up on the Tri-State Tour twice and cashed in a number of tri-state New York area tournaments over the past couple of years, Pascal Dufresne came to the March 2-3 stop on the Predator Pro Am Tour in search of his first event title. He found it. He came back from a winners’ side semifinal loss to down the man, Dave Shlemperis, who sent him to the loss side and claim his first title. The $1,000-added event drew 55 entrants to The Spot in Nanuet, NY.
 
Dufresne advanced to the winners’ side semifinal against Shlemperis, while Nick Croce squared off against Naoko Faiki, a relative newcomer to the ranks of female Predator Pro Am competitors. Shlemperis sent Dufresne off 7-2 to a three-match trip on the loss side. Croce joined him in the hot seat match after sending Faiki over 7-5. Shlemperis and Croce fought back and forth to a double hill, deciding game, which eventually sent Croce off to the semifinals.
 
Dufresne opened his loss-side trip against Thomas Schreiber, who’d defeated Ocheign Carlos 7-3 and survived a double hill fight against James Stevens. Faiki faced Tony Ignomirello, who’d eliminated Carlos Duque 7-4 and Juan Melendez 7-2.
 
Three straight double hill matches (and almost a fourth) ensued. Tony Iggy and Dufresne forced deciding games against Faiki and Schreiber, respectively, and won them both to advance to the quarterfinals. Then they locked up in a double hill quarterfinal that eventually sent Dufresne to the semifinals.
 
Dufresne and Croce came within a single game of a fourth straight double hill match on the loss side. Dufresne, though, edged out in front at the end to win it 7-5 to earn a second shot against Shlemperis, sitting in the hot seat waiting for him.
 
In spite of what Heinz Ketchup tried to tell us in a campaign advertising slogan from the 1980s and Guinness Stout tried to tell us in their own advertisements a decade later, good things don’t always come to those who wait. Just ask Dave Shlemperis, waiting to chalk up his first win on the Predator Pro Am Tour since February of 2017. Pascal Dufresne denied him that title with a 9-6 win in the finals that gave him his first title.
 
Tour director Tony Robles thanked the ownership and staff at The Spot, as well as title sponsor Predator Cues, Predator Cues, Ozone Billiards, NAPL, The DeVito Team, PoolontheNet.com, Billiards Digest, AZBilliards, Pool & Billiards Magazine and his entire staff, including his lovely wife, Gail. The next stop on the Predator Pro Am Tour, scheduled for the weekend of March 16-17 will be an ABCD, Double Points Amateur event, hosted by Cue Bar in Bayside (Queens), NY.