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Watanabe goes undefeated to chalk up his first win in a year on Predator Tri-State

Max Watanabe and Jay Chiu

About three weeks shy of a year ago, Max Watanabe went undefeated to claim a Predator Tri-State Tour title, competing in Clifton, NJ. About two weeks ago, he was runner-up to Sean Zeng in Mhet Vergara’s Pro Am (MVP) Tour’s Raxx Classic out on Long Island. This past weekend (Saturday, Sept. 10), he went undefeated to chalk up his first 2022 title at a Predator Tri-State stop at Cue Bar in Bayside (Queens), NY. He has a ways to go before he can match his best recorded earnings year (2019), but he’s more than halfway there now and working on it. The $1,000-added event drew 28 entrants to Cue Bar.

Watanabe got by Mikhail Kim, Lidio Ramirez and survived a double hill battle against Julian Tierney to arrive at a winners’ side semifinal against Jose Estevez. Bob Toomey, in the meantime, worked his way through Brandonne Alli, Bianca Martinez and Pat Meyers to arrive at his winners’ side semifinal match versus the eventual runner-up Jay Chiu.

Watanabe and Estevez locked up in a double hill fight that did eventually send Watanabe to the hot seat match, where he was joined by Toomey, who’d sent Chiu to the loss side 6-4. Toomey came within a game of forcing a single, deciding match, but Watanabe edged out in front toward the end and claimed the hot seat.

Chiu moved over and picked up Alli, who’d followed his opening round loss to Toomey with five straight loss-side wins which had recently eliminated Pat Myers, double hill, and Paul Lyons 6-1. Estevez drew Julian Tierney, who’d followed his winners’ side quarterfinal loss to Watanabe with wins over Basdeo Sookhai 7-5 and Lidio Ramirez 7-4.

Chiu and Tierney advanced to the quarterfinals; Chiu, 6-1 over Alli and Tierney, 7-1 over Estevez. Chiu eliminated Tierney 7-3 in those quarterfinals to earn his rematch against Toomey in the semifinals.

Chiu got his shot at Watanabe, waiting for him in the hot seat, with a 6-3 win over Toomey in those semifinals. Chiu and Watanabe battled to double hill in the finals that followed, before Watanabe completed his undefeated run to claim the event title.

Tournament director Dan Cintron and tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Cue Bar for their hospitality, along with title sponsor Predator Cues, Poison Cues, Arcos 2 Balls, Ozone Billiards, Sterling Billiards, Kamui, Hustlin’ USA Clothing, Bloodworth Ball Cleaner, Billiard Engineering, Joe Romer Trophies, Phil Cappelle Publications, Pool & Billiards and Billiards Digest. The next Predator Tri-State event, scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 5, will be hosted by Shooter’s Family Billiards in Wayne, NJ.

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Shin goes undefeated, downing Schreiber twice on Tri-State

Ambi Estevez, Kevin Shinn and Thomas Schreiber

In the last 2015 Tri-State Tour stop, held on the weekend of December 19-20, Giovanni Husang and Ambi Estevez mounted strong loss-side campaigns that took them to the quarterfinals. In the end, though, Estevez stopped Husang, Thomas Schreiber put a halt to Estevez, and Kevin Shin completed an undefeated run to claim the title. The $600-added event drew 28 entrants to The Cue Bar Billiards and Lounge in Bayside (Queens), NY.
Shin and Schreiber met first in the hot seat match. Shin, a B player, had defeated Miguel Laboy, the Tri-State's top-ranked A+/A player, 8-5 in one of the winners' side semifinals, as Schreiber shut out Adrian Daniel in the other. Shin claimed the hot seat 7-4 over Schreiber.
On the loss side, Husang and Estevez (both B+) were embarked on their five and six-match, loss-side winning streaks. Husang, who'd won the previous stop on the tour, had been defeated by Henry Hernandez in the opening round, and chalked up loss-side wins #4 & #5 against Rhys Chen 7-2 and Lidio Ramirez 7-6, to draw LaBoy. Estevez had been sent to the loss side by Adrian Daniel, where a double hill win over Tony Ignomirello and a 6-2 win over Brian Dorfmann, earned him a re-match against Daniel.
Husang defeated LaBoy 7-3, while Estevez successfully navigated his re-match versus Daniel 6-3. With six and five loss-side wins to their credit, respectively, Husang and Estevez battled to double hill in the quarterfinals, before the final ball dropped, sending Estevez to the semifinals against Schreiber. 
Schreiber left little doubt that he was itching for a second shot against Shin, allowing Estevez only a single rack in those semifinals, and earning that shot. Shin completed his undefeated run with a double hill win over Schreiber to claim the event title.
Tour representative Dan Cintron thanked the ownership and staff at the Cue Bar for their hospitality, as well as sponsors Ozone Billiards, Sterling-Gaming, Kamui Tips, Ron Vitello, Phil Capelle, BlueBook Publishing, Human Kinetics, and Bloodworth Ball Cleaners. The next stop on the Tri-State Tour, the first of 2016, is scheduled for January 9-10. The double-point event will be hosted by Steinway Billiards in Astoria (Queens), NY.

Orcollo spoils Van Boening’s bid for a fourth straight win at 23rd Annual Super Billiards Expo

Dennis Orcollo (Photo courtesy of Johnny Sturgis)

Hopkins wins Women's Open 9-Ball, Brown takes One-Pocket Title
Dennis Orcollo went undefeated through a field of 64 entrants, on-hand for the 23rd Annual Super Billiards Expo's $9,000-added Open 10-Ball Professional Players Championship, held on the weekend of April 16-19 at the Greater Philadelphia Center in Oaks, PA. Over the past three years, Shane Van Boening had defeated Stevie Moore (2012), Thorsten Hohmann (2013) and Tommy Kennedy (2014) in the finals of this event. This year, however, Orcollo defeated him in the hot seat match, and Jayson Shaw foiled his attempt at a rematch against Orcollo by defeating him in the semifinals.
Orcollo's path to the hot seat went through Patrick Carosi, Danny Olson, Rodney Morris,  Johnny Archer, and, in the winners' side semifinal, Hohmann, before he handed Van Boening his first of two straight losses. Van Boening had gone through Francis Crevier, Beppu Kenji, Corey Deuel, Mika Immonen and, in the other winners' side semifinal, Warren Kiamco, before he ran into Orcollo, never to return. 
The other two runner-ups from the last three years were on-hand, as well. Tommy Kennedy, last year's runner-up went two and out, falling to Scott Frost in the opening round, and Yu-Huan Kevin Chang in the first loss-side round. Moore, 2012's runner-up, was defeated in the opening round by Kevin Clark, and then, defeated Raj Vannala, Michael Yednak and Dan Cintron, before falling to Corey Deuel in the fourth loss-side round. Hohmann defeated, in order, Tim Murray, Justin Bergman, Mike Dechaine and Darren Appleton to earn himself a winners' side final four matchup against Orcollo. Orcollo sent him west where he picked up his second straight loss versus Mike Dechaine.
Shaw, who faced Orcollo in the finals, defeated Alan Rolon, and Lee Kang on the winners' side before Warren Kiamco sent him to the loss side. Shaw then ran the gauntlet through a seven-match, loss-side winning streak that was arguably as tough as any set of opponents faced by any of the event's competitors. He got by Jeremy Sossei, Hunter Lombardo, Darren Appleton,  and Johnny Archer, before successfully navigating his re-match against Kiamco. He then defeated Dechaine and Van Boening to earn his spot in the finals.
The Open 10-Ball Professional Players Championship was the marquee event of four held over the weekend. Dawn Hopkins came from the loss side and defeated Caroline Pao in the finals of the $2,800-added Women's Open 9-Ball Players Championship that drew 28 entrants, and Jason Brown took the $2,200-added One Pocket event that was expanded to include 48 entrants. 
The weekend also featured four Amateur events; an Open event, won by Alex Olinger, that drew a record-breaking 960 entrants, a Senior Division (age 50+), won by Dennis Spears, that drew 384, a Super Seniors Division (age 65+), won by Warner Burton, that drew 128, and a Women's Division, won by Brianna Miller, that drew 160.
Further detailed reports on the Super Billiards Expo, to include more complete reports about the Women's, One-Pocket and Amateur events will follow, soon.

Tamba comes from the loss side to win Predator Amateur stop; Robles goes undefeated in Open

Tony Robles

The Predator Tour, which spends a lot of its time in the Tri-State New York area, paid a visit to Rhode Island on the weekend of September 14-15, and (no surprise) was treated to a host of the New England area's top players. As the Red Sox were busy completing their sweep of the Yankees at Fenway Park, Ranulf Tamba, who's spent the past few years plying his trade primarily on the New England-based Rack 'Em Up, and J. Pechauer Ride the 9 Tours went to work in the Amateur division of the Predator stop, and came from the loss side to defeat the Tri-State New York area-based Stewart Warnock. In the Open division, another New England-based regular, Nelson Oliviera, was runner-up to Tony Robles, who he challenged in the hot seat and finals. The $1,000-added Amateur event drew 30 entrants to Snookers, in Providence, RI, while the $1,000-added Open event drew a short field of 12.
In the Amateur event, Tamba was sent to the loss side from among the winners' side final eight 7-1 by Abel Barriento, who advanced to face Warnock in one of the winners' side semifinals. Gail Glazebrook squared off against Irvin Simkins in the other. Warnock got into the hot seat match with a 9-6 win over Barriento, and was met there by Simkins, who'd sent Glazebrook west 7-5. Warnock and Simkins battled to double hill before Warnock prevailed to sit in the hot seat, unaware as he waited for Tamba, that he'd won his final match.
Tamba, in the meantime, went right back to work on the loss side, defeating Brooke Meyer 7-1 and James Stevens 7-5, to pick up Glazebrook. Justin Muller won a double hill match against Billy Santiago and downed Kevin Falco 8-4 to pick up Barriento. Barriento advanced 8-6 over Muller, but Tamba handed Glazebrook her second straight loss 7-4.
Tamba then defeated both Barriento in the quarterfinals and Simkins in the semifinals 7-5. He and Warnock fought tooth and nail to double hill in the finals, but Tamba sunk the final ball to claim the title.
Robles got into the hot seat match in the Open event after downing Tom D'Alfonso 8-4. Oliviera had defeated Justin Muller (tied for 5th in the Amateur event) 8-3 to meet him. Robles took the first of their two 8-4 and waited in the hot seat for the second.
Neither Muller, nor D'Alfonso made it out of their first loss-side match. Phil Davis, who'd gotten by Dan Cintron 8-5 and Clayton Rocha 8-4, beat Muller in a double hill match. D'Alfonso was defeated 8-5 by Ray McNamara, who'd eliminated Jay McCaughey 8-3 and won a double hill battle against Joey Dupuis. 
Davis took the quarterfinal match over McNamara 8-4, but was downed 8-5 by Oliviera in the semifinals. Oliviera took Robles right to the brink, but Robles completed his undefeated run through the short field of 12 to claim the event title.

Cintron goes undefeated to take Predator Open event

Mhet Vergara, Travis McKinney, Dan Cintron and Phil Davis

Dan Cintron took down Phil Davis twice to capture the July 14 Open event on the Predator Tour's ninth stop of the season. The $500-added event drew a short field of 13 entrants to Amsterdam Billiards in Manhattan.
As Cintron was busy advancing to the hot seat match with a 7-4 victory over tour director Tony Robles, Davis was at work shutting out Mhet Vergara. In their first meeting, Cintron prevailed 7-5 and sat in the hot seat, awaiting their second.
Robles moved west to pick up Travis McKinney, who'd defeated Tim Perry and Keith Adamik, both 7-4. Vergara drew Chris Derewonski, who'd gotten by Jerry Tarantola 7-3, and survived a double hill fight against Sean Morgan. McKinney eliminated Robles 7-4, and in the quarterfinals, met up with Vergara, who'd defeated Derewonski 7-3. 
McKinney gave up only a single rack to Vergara in the quarterfinals, but was then eliminated by Davis 7-5 in the semifinals. Davis's second chance against Cintron elicited the same result; a 7-5 win for Cintron that gave him the event title.

Bryant goes undefeated to win Lucasi Hybrid Winter Classic in Portsmouth, NH

Paul Tori, Brittany Bryant and Dan Cintron

With all due respect, it’s hard to view the finals of the Lucasi Hybrid New England 9-Ball Series Winter Classic on Sunday, February 12 as anything but a battle between Beauty and the Beast; specifically, (in reverse order) Dan Cintron, and the rising Canadian female star, Brittany Bryant.

Cintron came back from the loss-side to challenge her as the hot seat occupant, and Bryant prevailed to conclude an undefeated weekend. The $3,625-added event drew 66 entrants to Legends Billiards in Portsmouth, NH.

They almost met in the battle for the hot seat, but while Bryant successfully got by Barian Yildran in a winners’ side final four, double hill match, Cintron fell to Paul Tori 6-6 (Cintron needing to reach eight). Bryant survived a second straight double hill match, and sat in the hot seat, awaiting what proved to be Cintron’s return.

First up for Cintron on the loss-side was Ivo Petrov, who’d gotten by Scott Packard 8-1 and Tsepel Tenzin 9-7. Yildran drew Adam Vetucan, fresh off two straight double hill wins over Mike Barbagallo and Gareth Steele. Vetucan made it three straight double hill wins with a victory over Yildran, as Cintron was busy downing Petrov 10-8. 

To his credit, Vetucan made it four straight double hill matches in the quarterfinals, but this time, he came out on the wrong end of the decision to finish fourth. Cintron moved on and downed Tori 8-6 in the semifinals. In a straight-up race to eight, Bryant concluded her undefeated weekend with an 8-3 victory over Cintron.

‘Twas, as they say, Beauty that killed the Beast.

Castaneros comes back from the loss-side to double dip Lee in Tri-State finals

Bryan Jeziorski, Raymond Lee, Ben Castaneros

Recently elevated to Open/Pro status on the Tri-State Tour, Dan Cintron was ineligible to participate in the $2,000-added, A-D handicapped, Double Points Tri-State event on the weekend of January 7-8. In the absence of tour representatives, who were dealing with a family crisis, 

Cintron did, however, step in and run the tournament, and watched (occasionally itching to be a part of it), as Ben Castaneros came back from a defeat among the winners’ side final four to double dip hot seat occupant Raymond Lee. The event drew 61 entrants to Gotham City Billiards in Brooklyn, NY.

In their first of three, among the winners’ side final four, Lee sent Castaneros west 6-1, as Bryan Jeziorski was busy sending Alex Osipov over 7-5. Lee then prevailed 7-4, and waited in the hot seat for the return of Castaneros.

First up for Castaneros on the loss side was Mike Strassberg, who’d benefited from a forfeit by Luis Jimenez, and defeated Andrzej Kaldan 6-2. Osipov picked up Ron Gabia, who’d gotten by Arturo Reyes 7-3 and Ed Culhane 7-5. Castaneros defeated Strassberg 7-4 and advanced to the quarterfinals against Osipov, who’d downed Gabia 7-2. A 6-4 victory for Castaneros in those quarterfinals, was followed by a 7-4 semifinal victory over Jeziorski.

Castaneros gave up only three racks in the two-set finals against Lee. He gave up two in the opening set, and one in the second, to capture the event title. 

Tour representatives thanked the staff and management of Gotham City Billiards for their hospitality, as well as sponsors Sterling-Gaming, Ozone Billiards, Ron Tarr Cues, Kamui Tips, Phil Capelle, BlueBook Publishing, and Human Kinetics.

Cintron wins second straight Tri-State stop

Dan Cintron and Carl Yusuf Khan

Dan Cintron won his second straight event on the Tri-State Tour with an undefeated day on Sunday, December 18. It was also the second time in a row that the final match proved to be the battle for the hot seat, as Cintron and Carl Yusuf Khan (like Cintron and Rick Shellhouse, a week earlier) opted out of a final match. The $1,000-added, A/D handicapped, 9-ball event drew 34 entrants to the Cue Bar in Bayside, NY.

Cintron and Khan met first (and last) among the winners’ side final four. An 8-6 win for Cintron sent Khan to the loss-side, from where he’d return to challenge in the finals. Cintron squared off in the hot seat match against Steve Wade, who’d defeated Keith Diaz 6-4. Cintron played his last match and got into the hot seat with a 10-8 victory over Wade.

Khan moved over and picked up Gary Murgia, who’d defeated Raul Reyes 7-5 and survived a double hill battle against Keith Adamik (an earlier Khan victim). Diaz drew Rene Villalobos, who’d gotten by Thomas Shuler, double hill, and Vincent Morris 6-2. Khan defeated Murgia 7-3, and was joined in the quarterfinal match by Villalobos, who’d eliminated Diaz 6-4.

Villalobos put up a quarterfinal fight that went double hill, but Khan prevailed to face Wade in the semifinals. In what proved to be the final match of the evening, Khan dropped Wade into third place 7-3, at which point, he and Cintron chose to split the top prizes.

Tour representatives thanked Sammy, Nikko and Richard of the Cue Bar for their congeniality, as well as sponsors  Sterling-Gaming, Ozone Billiards, Ron Tarr Cues, Kamui Tips, Phil Capelle, BlueBook Publishing, and Human Kinetics. The next stop on the Tri-State Tour will be in 2012, at a $2,000-added, A/D handicapped event, offering Double Points to be held at Gotham Billiards in Brooklyn, NY, January 7-8.

Cintron goes undefeated for first Tri-State win since February

Rick Shellhouse and Dan Cintron

Dan Cintron began 2011 with two victories on the Tri-State Tour, and then slipped into something of a ‘bridesmaid’ role three times. He was defeated twice as the hot seat occupant (by Daniel Dagotdot in August, and Shi Wei Chang in September), and had an eight-match, loss-side winning streak come to an abrupt halt when he and two others opted out of continuing an October event that was greeting the dawn. On Saturday, December 10, at a $500-added, A-D handicapped event that drew 41 entrants to Castle Billiards in East Rutherford, NJ, Cintron advanced to the hot seat, following a victory over Rick Shellhouse, which, later, by mutual agreement, became the deciding match.

Cintron had a “fairly easy” ride to the hot seat, in spite of one double hill challenge from Paul Raval. From among the winners’ side final four, Cintron faced and defeated Scott Bannon 7-5, as Shellhouse was sending George Osipovich west 6-3. In what proved to be his final victory, he sent Shellhouse to the semifinals 10-7.

Bannon moved to the loss-side and ran right into the man he’d sent there earlier – Ed Culhane – who was in the midst of a six-match winning streak that would propel him into the semifinals. Culhane had defeated Scott Simonetti 7-4 and Mike Zimny 7-2 to set up the re-match. Osipovich picked up Greg Costanza, who’d gotten by Eddie Perez 7-5 and Kyle Bubet 7-3.

Culhane wreaked his vengeance with a 7-3 victory over Bannon, as Osipovich was busy surviving a double hill battle versus Costanza. Culhane concluded his six-match run with a 7-5 victory over Osipovich in the quarterfinals, and ran into a determined Shellhouse, who allowed him only a single rack in an 8-1 semifinal victory that proved to be the final match of the evening. Cintron and Shellhouse, good friends, opted out of a final match, declaring the undefeated Cintron as the winner.

Tour representatives thanked the staff and management of Castle Billiards for their hospitality, as well as sponsors Sterling-Gaming, Ozone Billiards, Ron Tarr Cues, Kamui Tips, Phil Capelle, BlueBook Publishing, and Human Kinetics. The Tri-State’s final stop of the year (not the tour’s season) is scheduled for Sunday, December 18, at The Cue Bar in Bayside, NY. 

Dagotdot wins fourth straight tournament with Tri-State victory

Daniel Dagotdot, Quin Y. Chen and Eddie Perez

Since February, Daniel Dagotdot had won four of the eight tournaments in which he’d been entered, alternating those victories between the Tri-State and Predator Tours. In the other four tournaments, which included two stops on the Mezz Pro Am Tour, he never finished lower than fifth place. On Saturday, November 19, he chalked up number five of nine with an undefeated run on the Tri-State Tour, which had stopped at the Port Richmond Billiard Club on Staten Island. The $750-added event, which had drawn 35 entrants, came to an early end when, at approximately 2 a.m. on Monday morning, the final three competitors opted to split the top prizes. 

By dinner time on Sunday (approximately 6 p.m.), Dagotdot had worked his way through three rounds of play to move among the winners’ side final four, defeating Harry Lau, Keith Adamik and Tri-State veteran Dan Cintron.  Facing him among the final four winners was Richard Ng. Quin Y. Chen, in the meantime, squared off against Alex Osipov. Dagotdot moved into the hot seat match with an 8-6 victory over Ng and was joined by Chen who shut out Osipov. Dagotdot gained the hot seat with a 10-6 victory over Chen that proved to be his final match. 

Osipov moved to the loss-side and picked up Eddie Perez, whom he’d sent to the loss-side earlier in the tournament. Perez earned a re-match after victories over Pat Mareno, double hill, and Hector Ruiz, 6-2. Ng’s first opponent on the loss side was Gary Murgia, who’d advanced past Keith Adamik 7-4 and Billy Cheng 7-3. Ng survived a double hill battle against Murgia and was joined in the quarterfinals by Perez, who had successfully wreaked his vengeance on Osipov, also double hill.

Perez dropped Ng into fourth place 7-4 and for all intents and purposes, the tournament came to an end. The semifinal matchup between Perez and Chen (teammates on a Staten Island BCA League team) was, by mutual agreement,  reduced to a single game, which was won by Chen, who advanced into the finals against Dagotdot. That match never happened, as, again by mutual agreement, Dagotdot and Chen agreed to split the first and second place winnings (by an undisclosed ratio), leaving Dagotdot as the official, undefeated winner.

Tour representatives thanked Gary Murgia, who was described as the “catalyst” for returning the Tri-State Tour to Staten Island’s Port Richmond Billiard Club. Thanks to the turnout for this most recent event, the venue has already decided to host further events on the tour. Also thanked were Mike, Moe and Karen from the Port Richmond Billiard Club for their hospitality, as well as sponsors Sterling-Gaming, Ozone Billiards, Ron Tarr Cues, Kamui Tips, Phil Capelle, BlueBook Publishing, and Human Kinetics for their sponsorship.