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Morgan and Ramirez go undefeated on Predator Open/Amateur stop

Good weather on Long Island trumped double points in the Open event of the June 28-29 stop on the Predator Tour. While the $750-added Amateur event drew 70 entrants, the $750-added Open event, competing against the highest weekend area temperatures in the month of June, drew only 10 entrants to Raxx Billiards in West Hempstead, NY. Sean Morgan and Lidio Ramirez went undefeated in their respective Open and Amateur portions of the weekend's activity.
Morgan and Evgeny Stalez advanced to the hot seat match in the Open event; Morgan, having defeated Elvis Rodriguez 8-4 in one winners' side semifinal, while Stalez was defeating Frankie Hernandez 8-5 in the other. Morgan claimed the hot seat in a double hill battle against Stalez and waited on what turned out to be the return of Hernandez.
Rodriguez and Hernandez returned to their winning ways on the loss side immediately. Rodriguez eliminated TD Tony Robles 8-6, while Hernandez survived a double hill battle against Steve Wright. The quarterfinal match was the first money round and Hernandez advanced with an 8-4 win over Rodriguez. He then defeated Stalez 8-4 for a shot at Morgan in the hot seat. Morgan, though, completed his undefeated run with a 9-7 victory to claim the Open title.
In the Amateur event, Lidio Ramirez was challenged in the finals by Ray Feliciano, who mounted a seven-match, loss-side winning streak to reach him. Ramirez, in the meantime, was on his own seven-match winning streak, advancing to the hot seat match with a 7-5 win over Dave Shlemperis, while Luis Jimenez was sending Josh Friedberg to the losers' bracket 7-1. Ramirez sent Jimenez to the semifinals with an 8-6 win and waited on Feliciano.
Friedberg's first challenge on the loss side was the man he'd sent over earlier, Feliciano, who was four wins in to the streak that would take him to the finals. Feliciano had shut out Jamiyl Adams and defeated Dan Saraguna 7-2 to draw Friedberg. Shlemperis picked up Peter Cornell, who'd gotten by Kapriel Delimelkonoglu 7-5 and Nick Chuang 7-4.
Shlemperis survived a double hill fight against Cornell, while Feliciano defeated Friedberg 7-5. Shlemperis came out on the wrong end of his second straight double hill match in the quarterfinals, which sent Feliciano to a semifinal matchup against Jimenez. Feliciano completed his loss-side run with a 7-5 victory over Jimenez, but fell in the finals to Ramirez, whose 11-9 victory secured the Amateur title.

Strickland downs Can twice to take Predator Open; Hagan wins Amateur event

Earl Strickland

Earl Strickland got by Wang Can twice; once in the battle for the hot seat, and again in the finals, to go undefeated on the January 19 stop on the Predator Tour (Open/Pro event). In a concurrently-run Amateur event, Tom Hagan came back from a defeat in the hot seat match versus Bryan Toolsee to meet and defeat him in the finals. The $500-added Open/Pro event drew 15 entrants, while the $500-added Amateur tournament drew 61; both to the Cue Bar in Bayside, Queens, NY.
Strickland and Can's first meeting followed Can's shutout over Omar Alli among the winners' side final four, and Strickland's 7-2 over Tony Robles. Strickland got into the hot seat 7-4 and waited on Can's return.
Robles moved over and met up with Jayson Shaw, who'd defeated Emily Duddy 7-1 and Yuri Kisneresain 7-2 to reach him. Alli drew Zion Zvi, who'd survived two straight double hill matches, versus Mike Nikolaev and Mhet Vergara. Robles eliminated Shaw, double hill, while Zvi ended Alli's day 7-3. Robles then defeated Zvi 7-5, before having his loss-side bid for a Strickland re-match derailed by Can 7-4.
All business, Strickland took command of the final match against Can (who apparently couldn't). The Pearl gave up only a single rack to claim the Open/Pro event title.
In the Amateur event, like Strickland and Can, Tom Hagan and Bryan Toolsee met twice; hot seat and finals, only with a different result. They'd gotten by their winners' side semifinals opponents (Toolsee against Kapriel Delimelkonoglu and Hagan versus Victor Nau) by the same 7-4 score. Toolsee got into the hot seat 8-2, and waited on Hagan's return.
On the loss side, Nau ran into Dave Shlemperis, who'd gotten by Eddie Culhane and Annie Flores, both 7-4. Delimelkonoglu picked up youngster Thomas Rice, who'd defeated Dan Saraguna 7-5 and James Stevens 7-4. Delimelkonoglu got back on the winning track with a 7-2 win over Rice. Nau's day came to an end, when Shlemperis eliminated him 7-4.
Shlemperis then did likewise to Delimelkonoglu, eliminating him 7-4 in the quarterfinals. Shlemperis put up a fight, forcing a deciding 13th game in the semifinals, but Hagan prevailed for a second shot against Toolsee. He took full advantage, defeating Toolsee 10-8 to claim the event title.