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Jeziorski wins his second Tri-State title, this time without the asterisk

Bryan Jeziorski and Rick Rodriguez

According to our records, the last time Bryan Jeziorski won a stop on the Tri-State Tour, he and Ricardo Mejia split the top two prizes. The 2013 event (part of the tour’s 2012-2013 season) drew 73 entrants to Castle Billiards in East Rutherford, NJ on Saturday, Feb. 2. The field had been restricted to 64 entrants, but when tour representatives saw the number of competitors still lined up to register when they reached that number, they expanded the field to accommodate them. At 4:30 a.m. on Sunday, February 3, they were probably questioning the wisdom of that decision. In any case, Jeziorski had sent Mejia to the loss side in the third round and Mejia had won six on the loss side to face him a second time in the finals . . . that didn’t happen.
 
On Saturday, April 20, Jeziorski signed on for a Tri-State Tour stop with 29 other entrants, and though, like his previous win, the event finished up early the next day (Easter Sunday morning), this time, Jeziorski played a final; against Rick Rodriguez, as it turned out, and won it to claim his second Tri-State title. The $1,000-added event was hosted by Clifton Billiards in Clifton, NJ.
 
Jeziorski and Rodriguez almost met in the hot seat match. Jeziorski had gotten by Frank Sieczka 7-5, Yomaylin Feliz-Foreman (AKA Smiley) 7-5 and Ilija Trajceski 7-4 to draw Luis Jimenez in a winners’ side semifinal. Rodriguez, in the meantime, after victories over Jowen Pichardo 6-2, Clint Pires 6-2 and Mac Jankov 6-4, drew Mark Joseph in the other winners’ side semifinal.
 
Jeziorski advanced to the hot seat match with a 7-5 win over Jimenez. Joseph, however, sent Rodriguez to the loss side 6-3 to join Jeziorski battling for the hot seat. Jeziorski downed Joseph 7-5 and waited in the hot seat for Rodriguez to complete a three-match trip on the loss side.
 
Jimenez opened his loss-side campaign against Clint Pires, who’d defeated Sabrina Sherman 6-4 and Feliz-Forman 7-3 to reach him. Rodriguez picked up one of the tour’s top female competitors, Michelle Brotons, who’d eliminated Jeffrey Rosen 7-5 and Mac Jankov 6-2.
 
Rodriguez and Jimenez advanced to the quarterfinals; Rodriguez, surviving a double hill fight against Brotons and Jimenez, downing Spires 7-2. Rodriguez then defeated Jimenez 7-5 in those quarterfinals.
 
Rodriguez earned his spot in the finals with a strong 6-1 victory over Joseph in the semifinals. Jeziorski earned his first non-asterisk Tri-State title with a 7-4 win over Rodriguez in the finals.
 
Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Clifton Billiards, as well as sponsors Ozone Billiards, Sterling-Gaming, Kamui Tips, Phil Capelle, BlueBook Publishing, Human Kinetics, Pool & Billiards, Professor Q Ball, Bender Cues, DIGICUE OB and Hustlin USA. The next stop on the Tri-State Tour, scheduled for Sunday, April 28, will be hosted by Steinway Billiards in Astoria (Queens), NY. 

Dufresne goes undefeated to chalk up his first Tri-State win, splits top prizes with Gupta

(l to r): Shivam Gupta & Pascal Dufresne

Having won his first stop on the Predator Pro Am Tour last month, Pascal Dufresne decided to back it up with his first win on the Tri-State Tour in Sunday, April 7. Though it will go into the books as an undefeated win, it comes with the asterisk of no final match, as Dufresne and Shivam Gupta opted to split the top two prizes. The $1,000-added, 10-ball event drew 31 entrants to Shooter’s Family Billiards in Wayne, NJ.
 
Though he’s cashed in only two events in 2019, both on the Predator Pro Am Tour, Dufresne has already exceeded his best earnings year, to date (2018). Gupta, as well, recorded his best earnings year, to date, in 2018, and has a way to go to reach that figure in 2019. Gupta, though, was making his eighth appearance on the 2018-2019 Tri-State Tour, while for Dufresne, it was only his second.
 
Following a challenging start in which he survived a double hill battle versus Jerry Almodovar, Dufresne moved on to defeat Paul Wilkins and then, in their first, and what proved to be only meeting, Dufresne sent Gupta to the loss side 6-3. This set him up to face Kevin Scalzitti in one of the winners’ side semifinals. On his way to one of his highest finishes on the tour, Rick Rodriguez, who’d defeated Mac Jankov, Brian Schell (double hill) and Bob Toomey, faced Clint Pires in the other winners’ side semifinal.
 
Dufresne and Rodriguez gave up only a single rack between them, as Dufresne shut Scalzitti out, and Rodriguez allowed Pires only a single rack to advance them both to the hot seat match. Dufresne, playing what would prove to be his last match, sent Rodriguez to the semifinals 6-2 and claimed the hot seat.
 
On the loss side, Gupta opened his trip back to the finals with a 6-2 victory over Tri Chau and followed it with a 6-2 win over his road partner, Jaydev Zaveri (Zaveri and Gupta are currently #1 and #2 among the tour’s B+ competitors). This set Gupta up to face Scalzitti, coming over from the winners’ side semifinal. Pires drew Bob Toomey, who’d started in the same loss-side position as Gupta and survived two double hill matches against Amanda Andries and Brian Schell to draw Pires.
 
Gupta and Scalzitti locked up in a double hill battle that eventually sent Gupta to the quarterfinals (6-5). Toomey joined him, after eliminating Pires 5-1.
 
Gupta and Toomey, each, at this point, with three, loss-side wins, were both looking to advance to the semifinals. Gupta made it, downing Toomey 6-2 to face Rodriguez. Gupta and Rodriguez were both looking for a second shot against Dufresne in the hot seat and fought to double hill for that right. Once again, Gupta made it (6-5).
 
Dufresne and Gupta opted out of a final match. As the hot seat occupant, Dufresne claimed the event title, undefeated. 
Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Shooter’s Family Billiards, as well as sponsors Ozone Billiards, Sterling-Gaming, Kamui Tips, Phil Capelle, BlueBook Publishing, Human Kinetics, Pool & Billiards, Professor Q Ball, Bender Cues, DIGICUE OB and Hustlin USA. The next stop on the Tri-State Tour, scheduled for this weekend (Sunday, April 14) will be hosted by Cue Bar in Bayside (Queens), NY.

Meyers goes undefeated to win his first Tri-State Tour stop

(l to r): Patrick Meyers & Greg Matos

As far as we can tell, Patrick Meyers has been competing on tri-state New York pool tables for about eight years now. It may be more than that, but showing up on our database requires that a player cash in an event before he or she is entered. The first time Meyers did that, according to our records, was back in 2010, when he cashed (tied for 5th place) at a stop on what was then known as the Ozone Billiards Predator Tour at the 1st Annual Reverend Clarence Keaton Memorial Tournament; Amateur Division. He went on to place 9th twice in the 2012 Predator Pro Am season, and then, the following year, 25th in the Amateur division of the 3rd Annual Ginky Memorial (from a field of 128). He finished 9th again, twice, in 2014 and 2015, moved up to a 7th place finish on the Predator Pro Am Tour in 2017, and then, last year, had himself a breakthrough performance on the Tri-State Tour, when he finished as the runner-up in a tournament, officially won by Joe Romeo (they split the top two prizes).
 
On Sunday, January 27, Meyers chalked up his first event victory, an undefeated run during a C-D event on the Tri-State Tour. He got by a total of six opponents and faced different opponents in the hot seat (Jason Goberdhan) and finals (Greg Matos). The $1,000-added event drew 26 entrants to Cue Bar in Bayside (Queens), NY.
 
Meyers got by Brian Schell, Ralph Ramos, Sr., and Terry Mohabir to arrive at a winners’ side semifinal match against Ralph Ramos, Sr.’s son (Junior). Jason Goberdhan, in the meantime, squared off against Brenda Martinez. Meyers squeaked by Ramos, Jr. 7-6, and in the hot seat match, faced Goberdhan, who’d sent Martinez off to the loss side 8-6. Meyers chalked up a second straight, double hill win with a 6-5 victory over Goberdhan, and sat in the hot seat, waiting on the return of Greg Matos, who’d lost a double hill match to Martinez in a winners’ side quarterfinal and was embarked on a five-match, loss-side streak that would earn him a shot at Meyers in the finals.
 
On the loss side, Ramos, Jr. picked up Clint Pires, who’d defeated Nishant Narang 6-3 and Mohabir 6-2 to reach him. Martinez drew Matos, who’d opened his loss-side campaign with a double hill win over Stewart Warnock, Sr. and then eliminated a potential father/son match by downing Ramos, Sr. 6-1.
 
Ramos, Jr. eliminated Pires 7-2 and in the quarterfinals, faced Matos, who’d chalked up his second loss-side, double hill win over Martinez. Matos sent Ramos, Jr. home 6-2 in those quarterfinals, and then, by the same score, sent Goberdhan ‘to the showers’ in the semifinals.
 
Since the winners’ side quarterfinals, Meyers and Matos had survived two double hill matches, on opposite sides of the bracket. It was fitting, somehow, that their final match would be a third double hill battle for both of them. Meyers won it (6-5) to claim his first event title.
 
Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Cue Bar, 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, scheduled for this Saturday, Feb. 2, will be an A-B-C-D event, hosted by Steinway Billiards in Astoria (Queens), NY.
 

Mazzeo comes back from hot seat loss to win his first Tri-State title

(l to r): Joe Mazzeo & Alfredo Altimarino

Joe Mazzeo didn’t just come back from a hot seat loss in which he’d managed only a single rack, he roared back and returned the single-rack favor to Alfredo Altimarino to claim his first Tri-State Tour title on Sunday, December 6. The $1,000-added, 8-ball event, the Tri-State Tour’s first of 2019, drew 34 entrants to Clifton Billiards in Clifton, NJ.
 
Mazzeo worked his way through a number of Tri-State veterans to claim his first title, including, in order, Jaydev Zaveri 6-5 and Paul Spaanstra 6-4, to arrive at a winners’ side semifinal against John Francisco. Altimarino, in the meantime, vying for his first Tri-State title as well, got by his own list of Tri-State veterans, including Mike Strassberg 5-2, Andrew Ciccoria 5-4 and Artur Trzeciak 5-3 to arrive at the other winners’ side semifinal against Teddy Lapadula.
 
In their first of two, Mazzeo sent Francisco to the loss side 6-3. They would meet again in the semifinals. Altimarino shut out LaPadula and joined Mazzeo in the hot seat match. Altimarino claimed his first hot seat by allowing Mazzeo only that single rack.
 
On the loss side, Francisco picked up Fernando Galeas, who’d defeated Luis Jimenez 6-4 and Paul Spaanstra 6-1 to reach him. LaPadula drew Clint Pires, who’d recently eliminated Artur Trzeciak 5-1 and Ada Lio 6-4. Francisco advanced to the quarterfinals 6-3 over Galeas. He was joined by Pires, who defeated LaPadula 5-2.
 
Francisco earned his rematch against Mazzeo with a 6-4 victory over Pires in the quarterfinals, but reckoned without Mazzeo’s determination for his own rematch against Altimarino. Over the next 15 games in two matches, Mazzeo gave up only a single rack. He shut Francisco out in the semifinal rematch and then, gave up just one against Altimarino in the finals to claim his first Tri-State title.
 
Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Clifton Billiards for their hospitality, 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, scheduled for Saturday, January 12, will be hosted by Shooters Family Billiards in Wayne, NJ.

Joseph goes undefeated to claim his first Tri-State title

Mark Joseph and Clint Pires

When Mark Joseph and Clint Pires met in the hot seat match and finals of the November 25 stop on the Tri-State Tour, it guaranteed them their second appearance in the AZ database; Pires had finished 4th on a Tri-State stop in August at Clifton Billiards, Joseph finished 5th a month later at Shooter’s Billiards in Wayne, NJ. Joseph won both matches to claim his first regional tour title. The $1,000-added event drew 25 entrants to Clifton Billiards in Clifton, NJ.
 
Following and opening round bye and victories over Richard Brother and Allison LaFleur, Joseph moved into a winners’ side semifinal against Teddy Lapadula. Pires, in the meantime, got by Mike Strassberg, Artur Trzeciak and Gil McGrath to face Alfredo Altamirano in the other winners’ side semifinal.
 
Both matches went double hill, sending Joseph and Pires into the hot seat match, while Lapadula and Altamirano moved to the loss side. They had both secured their highest finish on the tour, but neither of them was finished. Joseph gave up only a single rack to Pires in their hot seat matchup (5-1) and waited on his return.
 
On the loss side, Kevin Serodio, who’d lost his opening round to Jowen Pichardo, was in the midst of a six-match, loss-side winning streak that came within a game of derailing Pires’ bid for a rematch against Joseph. Victories over Luis Lopez and Shane Soto were followed by a 5-2 win over Bob Toomey, and a 5-1 victory over Greg Partlow, which set Serodio up to meet Lapadula. Altamirano, in the meantime, drew Carlos Serrano, who’d gotten by Gil McGrath 5-3 and Michelle Brotons 5-1 to reach him.
 
Identical 5-1 scores sent Altamirano (over Serrano) and Serodio (over Lapadula) to the quarterfinals, where Serodio chalked up loss-side win #5 over Altimarano 5-3.
 
Pires was already in a position to record his best finish on the tour when he arrived from the hot seat match to face Serodio in the semifinals. He secured a minimum runner-up finish with a double hill win that ended Serodio’s loss-side winning streak.
 
In some ways, for both Joseph and Pires, it didn’t matter who won the final match. Both were assured of their best finish, to date, on the tour. But in other ways, it mattered a lot, because they battle to double hill to decide it. In the extended race-to-7 final, if Pires reached five first, the match would extend to seven games. Pires forced that extension and was able to chalk up another rack to reach the hill, but Joseph hung on to win it 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, Phil Capelle, BlueBook Publishing, Human Kinetics, Pool & Billiards, Professor Q Ball, Bender Cues, and DIGICUE OB. The next stop on the Tri-State Tour, scheduled for December 2, will be hosted by Cue Bar in Bayside (Queens), NY.

Mejia goes undefeated to win his first Tri-State stop in four years

Rafael Alberto and Ricardo Mejia

All of Ricardo Mejia’s recorded pool tournament payouts have been on the Tri-State Tour, dating back to January, 2011 when he showed up in the AZBilliards database for the first time with a third-place finish. He’d record his best earnings year in 2013 by showing up on the payout lists of the Tri-State five times; a 2nd, a 5th and three 7th place finishes. In January of 2014, he won a stop on the tour, going undefeated through a field of 37, and finishing the tour season as the #6-ranked player in the B+ Class. On Sunday, August 5, Mejia chalked up his second Tri-State win in another undefeated performance, which did not feature a final match. He and Rafael Alberto opted out of playing a final, and as the hot seat occupant, Mejia became the official winner. The $1000-added event drew 35 entrants to Clifton Billiards in Clifton, NJ.
 
Mejia and Alberto met first in the event’s second round. Mejia prevailed and sent Alberto on a nine-match, loss-side winning streak that would eventually put him into the finals that never happened. Mejia, in the meantime, advanced through the field to draw Kevin Serodio in a winners’ side semifinal. Mike Strassberg and Sung Lee met in the other one. Mejia downed Serodio 8-6 and met up with Strassberg, who’d survived a double hill match against Lee. Mejia then claimed the hot seat 8-6 over Strassberg in what proved to be his last match.
 
On the loss side, with four notches on his loss-side belt, Alberto got by Tri Chau and Teddy Lapadula, both 7-4, to draw Serodio. Lee picked up Clint Pires, who’d defeated Jose Pereya 6-3 and Jake Kislowski 7-5 to reach him.
 
Alberto eliminated Serodio 7-4 and in the quarterfinals, faced Pires, who’d sent Lee home in a double hill win. Alberto gave up only two racks to Pires to win that quarterfinal, and finished his loss-side run with a double hill win over Strassberg in the semifinals. He and Mejia opted out of the finals (listed as an official forfeit by Alberto) and Mejia had his ‘asterisk’ second victory on the Tri-State Tour.
 
Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Clifton Billiards, 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, scheduled for Sunday, August 12, will be a C/D handicapped, $1,000-added, Double Points 8-Ball event, hosted by Cue Bar in Bayside (Queens), NY.