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Geronimo wins 19th Annual Jay “Swanee” Swanson Memorial Tournament

Rodrigo Geronimo (Photo courtesy of Ashi Fachler)

Three weeks prior to becoming winner and runner-up of the 19th Annual Jay "Swanee" Swanson Memorial Tournament at Hard Times in Bellflower, CA on the weekend of February 7-8, Rodrigo Geronimo and Vilmos Foldes had met in the finals of a stop on the Mezz West Tour in La Mesa, CA. In the earlier event, which featured an appearance by Efren Reyes (he finished fourth), Rodrigo Geronimo and Vilmos Foldes met first in a winners' side final 16 battle, and then, in a two-set final. Foldes took the opening set of that final, but Geronimo prevailed in the second set to secure his third Mezz West Tour title of the season.
At the most recent "Swanee" Memorial, Geronimo and Foldes squared off twice, as well; first, in the hot seat match, and again, in the final. Foldes took the first of those two, but Geronimo won the single match, race-to-11 final to claim the event title. The two-year defending champion Dennis Orcollo was not on hand to defend his title at this year's $4,000-added event that drew 164 entrants to Hard Times in Bellflower.
Best friends, road partners and fellow Hungarians Foldes and Attila Bezdan advanced to a winners' side semifinal in this one (they'd met on the loss side at the Mezz West event, three weeks earlier). Foldes took on Brian Parks, while Bezdan faced Geronimo. They would not meet again. While Foldes defeated Parks 7-5, Geronimo sent Bezdan to the loss side 7-4. Foldes then claimed the hot seat 7-4 over Geronimo.
As the loss side dwindled down to eight, three familiar names remained in the hunt. Two of them, Rodney Morris and Mika Immonen, had been sent to the loss side by Foldes, and as Bezdan moved over from the winners' side semifinal, he faced an "Iceman" on a 10-match, loss side winning streak that included victories over Oscar Dominguez and a shutout over Corey Deuel, who reportedly was never able to get up from his chair. Parks, meanwhile, drew Morris who'd just eliminated Fach Garcia and given up only a single rack to Chris Rose.
Morris and Immonen advanced to the quarterfinals with identical 7-5 victories over Parks and Bezdan. Morris ended the Iceman's streak with a 7-2 quarterfinal victory, and was then, himself eliminated by Geronimo in an entertaining, double hill semifinal. The Philippines trumped Hungary at the 19th Annual "Swanee" Memorial, as Geronimo went on to defeat Foldes 11-6 and claim the event title.