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Rosario goes undefeated to claim Predator Tri-State event title

Abel Rosario and Linda Cheung

Linda Chung cashes for the first time in a “best ever” finish on the tour

As the Predator Tri-State Tour continues to build toward the kind of schedule that characterized its pre-COVID days, more and more tour veterans are starting to return to populate the payout lists. Abel Rosario, as a random example, appearing for only the second time in the current season, went undefeated on Saturday, Sept. 25 to claim his first Predator Tri-State title since he came from the loss side to win one just over two years ago in August, 2019. Competitors were the beneficiaries of $3,000 in added-money at this event, thanks to the generosity of long-time benefactor of the tri-state New York city pool community, Dr. Michael Fedak, who added $1,000 dollars to the $2,000 added by The Spot in Nanuet, NY. The event drew 35 entrants.

Rosario and eventual runner-up, Linda Chung met twice, in the hot seat and finals. It was not only Chung’s first appearance in a hot seat match, but her appearance in the preceding winners’ side semifinal had guaranteed that she’d go home from a Predator Tri-State event with cash for the first time. There was, too, a bit of ‘added flavor’ to the event for Chung. She’d defeated her husband, Jay Chiu, double hill, in a third-round match and had that ‘blow’ softened when Chiu advanced to the first loss-side money round.

Chung had defeated Connor Phares 6-3 to advance to the hot seat match, while Rosario was busy downing Mike Pruitt 6-4. Rosario won the first of his two versus Chung 9-7 to claim the hot seat. 

On the loss side, Phares picked up K.C. Clayton, who’d defeated Mark Tracey, double hill, and in that first money round, Jay Chiu 5-3 to reach him. Pruitt drew Matt Klein, who, like Rosario, had not chalked up a Predator Tri-State win since the 2019-2020 season, when he won 10 on the loss side to win in February, 2020. Klein had eliminated Raymond Lee and Keith Adamik, both 6-4 to draw Pruitt.

Klein downed Pruitt 6-3, advancing to the quarterfinals. Phares joined him after eliminating Clayton 5-3. Klein advanced one step closer by defeating Phares 7-4.

Chung, though, proved that her advancement to this stage of the proceedings was not just a ‘lucky break’ (or set of ‘rolls’). She downed Klein in the semifinals 9-7 to earn a second shot at Rosario in the finals. 

Rosario, though, proved as resilient as Chung and equally determined to win. He won their second meeting 9-6 to claim the title.

Tour representatives thanked the owners (husband-and-wife team, Rhys Chen and Lenore Chin) and staff at The Spot for their hospitality, Dr. Michael Fedak for the extra money-added, as well as title sponsor Predator Cues, Ozone Billiards, Sterling Gaming, Kamui Tips, Phil Cappelle, Blue Book Publishing, Human Kinetics, Pool & Billiards, Romer Trophies and Professor Q Ball. The next stop on the Predator Tri-State Tour, scheduled for this coming weekend (Saturday, Oct. 2), will be a $500-added event, hosted by Clifton Billiards in Clifton, NJ.