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Shlemperis and Zaveri split top prizes on the Tri-State Tour

(L to r): Dave Shlemperis & Jaydev Zaveri


Dave Shlemperis and Jaydev Zaveri battled once to claim title to the $1,000-added, April 29 event on the Tri-State Tour. That battle, for the hot seat, was won by Shlemperis, and though Zaveri would make a successful comeback from the semifinals, the two opted out of a final match and split the top two prizes. The event, which drew 46 entrants, was hosted by Steinway Billiards in Astoria (Queens), NY.
Following victories over Duc Lam, Abel Rosario, Basdeo Sookhai and Kirill Safronov, Shlemperis advanced to a winners’ side semifinal against John Francisco. Zaveri, in the meantime, met up with Juan Melendez. Shlemperis punched his ticket to the hot seat match with a 7-3 win over Francisco and was joined by Zaveri, who’d defeated Melendez 8-6. In what proved to be the ‘championship match,’ Shlemperis defeated Zaveri 7-2.
On the loss side, Mike Mele was working on a six-game, loss-side winning streak that would take him as far as the semifinals, and began when, following an opening round bye, he was sent to that side of the bracket by Francisco. Wins #2 and #3, against Adam Miller (6-1) and Mio Celaj, double hill, set Mele up for a re-match against Francisco. Melendez drew Ray Feliciano, who’d gotten by Christian Longo, double hill, and Jeffrey Rosen 9-4, to reach him.
Mele came out on the winning side of his second straight double hill match, exacting his revenge on Francisco. Feliciano joined him in the quarterfinal match with an 8-4 win over Melendez.
Tired, apparently, of double-hill drama, Mele shut Feliciano out in that quarterfinal match, onlya to be drawn into his third double hill match; this time, against Zaveri, in the semifinals that proved to be the event’s final match. Zaveri prevailed and then, in consort with Shlemperis, opted out of a final and split the top two prizes.
Tour representatives thanked Manny Stamatakis and his Steinway Billiards staff, as well as sponsors Ozone Billiards, Sterling-Gaming, Kamui Tips, Phil Capelle, BlueBook Publishing, Human Kinetics, Pool & Billiards, Professor Q Ball, Bender Cues, and DIGICUE OB. The next stop on the Tri-State Tour, a $1,000-added, double points event, scheduled for Sunday, May 6, will be hosted by BQE Billiards in Jackson Heights, NY.

Christian Smith comes from the loss side to stop two straight by Verano on Tri-State Tour

Emerson Verano, Yomaylin

Last week, September 21, Emerson Verano watched James "Doc" Pasciolla complete a six-match, loss-side run to meet him in the finals. Verano stopped the streak to claim the event title. On Sunday, September 29, looking to chalk up a second straight win on the Tri-State Tour, Verano was in the hot seat again, watching, this time, as ChristIan Smith completed a three-match, loss-side run to meet him in the finals; deja vu, all over again, as they say.
This time, though, the result was different. Smith, who'd been sent west by Verano from among the winners' side final four, came back to win the final match, and foil Verano's bid for a second straight Tri-State win. The $1,000-added, A-D handicapped event drew 27 entrants to On the Snap Billiards in Sayerville, NJ.
Smith advanced past Ed Culhane, Carl Yusuf Khan and Marco Dy to earn a spot in one of the winners' side semifinal matches, against Verano. Yomaylin "Smiley" Feliz and Tony Ignomirello squared off in the other. "Smiley" gave up only a single rack to Ignomirello and in the hot seat, met Verano, who'd survived a double hill struggle against Smith. Verano then defeated Feliz to sit in the Tri-State hot seat for the second week in a row.
Smith moved over and picked up Justin Muller, who'd defeated Marco Dy 7-3 and Rajesh Vanalla 7-4 to reach him. Ignomirello drew Christian Longo, who'd gotten by Danny Booth 7-3 and Jaydev Zaveri 6-3. Smith and Ignomirello advanced to the quarterfinal match; Smith, with a 7-2 win over Muller, and Ignomirello, double hill over Longo.
Smith and Ignomirello fought back and forth to a deciding game in the quarterfinals. Smith dropped the final 9-ball, and advanced to meet Feliz, eager for a re-match against Verano. Smith was eager, too, and downed Feliz 7-4 to earn his own re-match. 
Smith jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the finals, but Verano came right back to tie it. Smith then chalked up a six-pack that put him on the hill. Verano won the 11th game, but Smith won the 12th to complete his loss-side comeback and chalk up the event title.
Tour representatives thanked On the Snap Billiards' owner-operator Bryant Mitchell, House Pro Daniel Cintron, and the staff for their attentiveness to players' needs, as well as sponsors Sterling-Gaming, Ozone Billiards, Qpod, Heptig Cues, Kamui Tips, Phil Capelle, BlueBook Publishing, and Human Kinetics. The next stop on the Tri-State Tour is scheduled for Saturday, October 5 at Castle Billiards in East Rutherford, NJ.