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Rempfer downs Wong twice to go undefeated on Tri-State

Craig Rempfer & Suzzie Wong


Craig Rempfer was looking for his first major win. Suzzie Wong was looking to maintain and possibly improve her status as the #3-ranked female on the Tri-State Tour; Wong is also the #5-ranked player on the tour’s list of D/D+ players. They both got what they wanted on Sunday, February 25, when Rempfer won and Wong was runner-up at the $1,000-added Tri-State event that drew 32 entrants to Steinway Billiards in Astoria (Queens), NY.
They met twice in this event. Following victories over Daniel Decker, Michelle Brotons (#2 on the female player list), and Jonathan Martinez, Rempfer moved into a winners’ side semifinal against Alex Podulke. Wong, in the meantime, faced Luis Lopez in the other winners’ side semifinal. They both moved into the hot seat match with double hill wins over Podulke and Lopez. Rempfer grabbed the hot seat with a double hill win over Wong and waited on her return.
Lopez moved to the loss side and picked up Erick Carrasco, who’d chalked up two straight double hill wins over Carlos Cerrano and Juan Melendez to reach him. Podulke drew Mike Mele, who’d eliminated Patrick Meyers 6-3 and Daniel Feliciano, double hill. Nine of the event’s final 14 matches required a single deciding game.
Lopez chalked up the eighth one against Carrasco and moved into the quarterfinals. Mele joined him with a 6-4 win over Podulke. Lopez earned his re-match against Wong with a 7-5 win over Mele, but had his short, loss-side trip cut short by her in the last double hill, semifinal match.
It was, as far as our records could determine, Rempfer’s first appearance in the hot seat and subsequent final of a major event. Rempfer maintained his poise against Wong, completing his undefeated run with a 6-3 win that gave him his first regional tour win.
Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Steinway 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, March 3, will be hosted by Shooters Family Billiards in Wayne, NJ.

Jackson goes undefeated to claim Tri-State title


Shawn Jackson cut through a 44-entrant field, on-hand for the August 19-20 stop on the Tri-State Tour, and went undefeated to claim the event title. The $1,000-added event was hosted by Amsterdam Billiards in Manhattan, NY.
Jackson battled Sal Neljkovic twice; once in the hot seat match and again, in the finals. Following victories over John Stiles, Kapriel Delimelkonoglu, and Bob Toomey, Jackson met up with Suzzie Wong in a winners' side semifinal. Neljkovic, in the meantime, having defeated Raymond Lee, Nancy Chung, Tony Ignomirello and Thomas Schreiber, faced Dave Shlemperis in the other winners' side semifinal. Jackson sent Wong to the loss side 10-6, as Neljkovic downed Shlemperis in a double hill fight. Jackson claimed the hot seat 7-3 over Neljkovic, and waited on his return.
Over on the loss side, Abel Rosario was working on a nine-match, loss-side winning streak that would take him as far as the semifinals. With five of those wins already chalked up, he shut out Bob Toomey, and downed Craig Rempfer 8-5 to draw Shlemperis. Wong, in the meantime, drew Dave Weinstein, who'd defeated Dany Recinos 7-2 and survived a double hill fight against Jaydev Zaveri to reach her.
Weinstein and Rosario advanced to the quarterfinals; Weinstein 9-6 over Wong and Rosario 7-5 over Shlemperis. Rosario then chalked up what would prove to be his last win, allowing Weinstein only a single rack in those quarterfinals. He came within a game of forcing a deciding game in the semifinals against Neljkovic that followed, but Neljkovic edged out in front to win it 7-5.
In spite of the wait, Jackson came out strong in the finals re-match. Neljkovic chalked up only two against Jackson's 7 in those finals, allowing Jackson to complete his undefeated run and claim the event title.
Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Amsterdam Billiards, as well as sponsors John Bender Custom Cues, Ozone Billiards, Sterling Billiards, Kamui, Digicue, Billiards Digest, Human Kinetics, Blue Book Publishing, Joe Romer Trophies, and Phil Capelle Publications. The next stop on the Tri-State Tour, scheduled for August 27, will be hosted by Steinway Billiards, in Astoria (Queens), NY.