Archive Page

US 1 Billiards February Pro Am – Daniel Dagotdot vs Rob Piersa

Valania and Dagotdot split top prizes at second stop on the new Mac Attack Tour

Joe Valania & Daniel Dagotdot

Well, at least now, it has an official name. With two stops in the books and one coming up this weekend, Mac Jankov’s Mac Attack Tour may still be working to establish itself in a pool community, recuperating from the losses of pool rooms and players in the tri-state New York area, but it is attracting fair numbers and recognizeable personalities to its venues. This past weekend – Sunday, September 27 – the tour drew 32 entrants to Clifton Billiards in Clifton, NJ. Joe Valania went undefeated through the field, downing Daniel Dagotdot in the hot seat match and then, by mutual agreement, opting out of a second match, in the finals, and splitting the top two prizes with him. 

Their first and only match against each other came after Dagotdot had defeated Ricky Mejia, double hill, in one of the winners’ side semifinals and Joe Valania had sent Frank Kasetta to the loss side 6-3 in the other one. They battled to an appropriate double hill, deciding game in the battle for the hot seat, before Valania prevailed.

On the loss side, Mejia picked up Kyle Manuel, who’d defeated Jimmy Conn and Erwin Jao, both 5-3, to reach him. Kasetta drew Tommy Schreiber, who’d recently defeated Juan Melendez 5-1 and survived a double hill match versus Alfredo Altamirano.

The first money round, and in fact, all of the matches up to the final that didn’t happen, featured double hill matches. In the first two of four, Schreiber handed Kasetta his second straight loss and Mejia eliminated Kyle Manuel.

The quarterfinal match that followed was won, double hill, by Schreiber over Mejia. And in what proved to be the final match of the event, the semifinals, two very familiar rivals on the New York area pool scene, Dagotdot and Schreiber, battled to double hill before Dagotdot prevailed. The agreement was reached to opt out of a final and with Valania in the hot seat, he claimed the official event title.

Tour director Mac Jankov thanked the ownership and staff at Clifton Billiards, along with all 32 participants who came out to support his efforts to re-start the pool ‘engine’ in the tri-state area. The next stop on the Mac Attack Tour, scheduled for this Sunday, October 4, will be hosted by Breakers Billiards in Clifton, NJ.

Feliz chalks up another female win on the Tri-State

Yomaylin Feliz

Given the fact that as of this past weekend, two women have chalked up back to back wins, it’ll be a long time before anyone reports on a lengthy gap between female victories on the Tri-State Tour. In the 2011-2012 season finale, held on the weekend of June 23-24, Yomaylin Feliz, a C+ player, battled Alex Osipov, a B player, twice; once in the battle for the hot seat, and again, in the opening set of a true double elimination final. Feliz took the first match, and Osipov took the second. They opted to split the prize and not play a second set in the finals. By mutual agreement, Feliz was declared the winner. The $1,000-added A-D handicapped event drew 49 entrants to Amsterdam Billiards in Manhattan.

From among the winners’ side final four, in a straight-up, C-race to 6, Feliz sent Dave Weinstein to the loss side, double hill. Osipov, in the meantime, sent Keith Adamik (an A player) west 7-3. Feliz prevailed in her first of two against Osipov 7-4, and waited in the hot seat for his return.

Weinstein moved over and picked up Ben Castaneros, who’d shut out Luis Jimenez, and defeated Matt McMillen 6-3 to reach him. Adamik, battling for end-of-season bragging rights in his A class from his # 2 position in the rankings, drew Daniel Dagotdot, who entered the tournament at # 1 in the same A-class ratings, and had gotten by Raphael DaBreo 7-5 and Emily Duddy 7-3.

Adamik prevailed over Dagotdot 7-4, and in the quarterfinals squared off against Castaneros, who’d downed Weinstein 6-3. 

Adamik moved into the semifinals with an 8-5 victory over Castaneros, but fell short in his re-match against Osipov. Osipov’s 7-6 win in those semifinals kept Adamik just shy of passing Dagotdot for the # 1 ranking among the tour’s A/A+ players. Osipov took the opening set of the true double elimination final against Feliz, at which point, the two mutually agreed to split the prize, and declare Feliz, as occupant of the hot seat, the winner.

Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff of Amsterdam Billiards, 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 the tour’s annual invitational meet, restricted to the top-players in each of six ranked divisions. Castle Billiards in East Rutherford, NJ will host the event, scheduled for the weekend of July 14-15.

Meyer-Gabia wins her first Tri-State Tour stop, and first for female player in at least 10 years

Chris Karp, Kim Meyer-Gabia and Stewart Warnock

Tri-State Tour representatives couldn’t remember the last time that a female player won a stop on the tour, and were only comfortable noting that it hadn’t happened in at least 10 years. There’ve been a lot who finished second (Emily Duddy and Annie Flores, as examples), and while Jeanette Lee played on the tour back in the 90s, and might well have chalked up a victory back then, record-keeping from that time wasn’t very precise. 

We do know this: Kim Meyer-Gabia, who, at present, is the number-one ranked female on the tour won her first Tri-State event ever, and though it’s recorded with an asterisk, because no final match was played, it will go down in Tri-State history as the first female victory in a long time. Meyer-Gabia went undefeated in the $1,000-added A-D handicapped event on June 16, that was hosted by Carom Cafe in Flushing, NY and drew 37 entrants.

Following victories over Ron Mason, Mashak Daniel and Tony Ignomirello, Meyer-Gabia moved among the winners’ side final four to face Pat Mareno. Stewart Warnock, in the meantime, squared off against Meyer-Gabia’s eventual finals opponent, Chris Karp. Two double hill victories sent Meyer-Gabia and Warnock to the hot seat match, where Meyer-Gabia prevailed 8-5 to sit in the hot seat.

Karp moved over and picked up Basdeo Sookhai, who’d advanced through Arturo Reyes 7-3 and Daniel Dagotdot 8-5 to reach him. Mareno drew Mason, who’d defeated Ignomirello 6-3 and Ben Castaneros 6-4. Karp got back on track with a 7-4 victory over Sookhai, but it was Mason prevailing over Mareno 7-2. 

Karp won the quarterfinal match versus Mason 7-4, and then completed his three-match, loss-side journey with a 7-2 victory over Warnock in the semifinals. Karp and Meyer-Gabia consulted with each other, and given the lateness of the hour, decided not to play a final match, leaving Meyer-Gabia, undefeated in the hot seat, as the official winner.

Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Carom Cafe, 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 is a $1,000-added, A-D handicapped event, scheduled for June 23-24 at Amsterdam Billiards & Bar in New York City.

Kaldan and Sookhai split top prize on Tri-State Tour stop

Basdeo Sookhai, Andzrej Kaldan and owner operator Kevin Buckley

Andrzej Kaldan and Basdeo Sookhai played their last match, battling for the hot seat on the Tri-State Tour stop on Saturday, April 28. They were scheduled to face each other a second time in the event finals, but when they got to those finals, they opted, in the face of mutual fatigue and the lateness of the hour, to split the top two prizes. Kaldan, sitting in the hot seat, was declared the official winner of the $1,500-added, A-D handicapped event that drew 49 entrants to Gotham City Billiards in Brooklyn, NY.

From among the winners’ side final four, Sookhai sent Daniel Dagotdot to the loss side with an 8-5 victory, as Kaldan was busy sending Randy Mackin over 6-2. In what would prove to be the event’s title match, Kaldan and Sookhai battled to double hill, before Kaldan prevailed to sit in the hot seat.

Dagotdot moved over to face Dave Shlemperis, who’d defeated Beau Baer 7-2 and Keith Adamik 7-3. Mackin picked up Kim Meyer-Gabia, the tour’s top female player, who’d gotten by Jaydev Zaveri 6-1, and Luis Nova 6-4. Dagodot got right back to work with an 8-4 win over Shlemperis, but Meyer-Gabia handed Mackin his second straight loss, finishing his day. Dagotdot then ended Meyer-Gabia’s day in the quarterfinals 9-5, for a second shot against Sookhai.

Sookhai defeated Dagotdot a second time, 8-4 in the semifinals, and then, accepted the proposal to split the top two prizes with Kaldan.

Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Gotham City Billiards, as well as sponsors Sterling-Gaming, Ozone Billiards, Ron Tarr Cues, Kamui Tips, Phil Capelle, BlueBook Publishing, and Human Kinetics. The next Tri-State event is a $500-added A-D handicapped event, scheduled for Saturday, May 5, at Castle Billiards  in  East Rutherford, NJ.

Mason returns from the loss-side to defeat Delimelkonoglu in Predator Amateur finals

In the Amateur event of the Predator Tour stop on the weekend of March 17-18, Ron Mason chalked up five wins on the loss-side, including  three double hill matches, to eventually wreak vengeance on the man in the hot seat, Kapriel Delimelkonoglu, who sent him there. The $500-added Amateur event, run concurrently with an Open/Pro event, drew 62 entrants to Steinway Billiards in Astoria, NY.

They met first among the winners’ side final eight, when Delimelkonoglu sent Mason west 7-3, and advanced among the final four winners to face Mike Fisher. Joining them were Daniel Dagotdot and Lidio Rasea. Delimelkonoglu got into the hot seat match with a 7-2 victory over Fisher and was joined by Dagotdot, who’d sent Rasea west 7-5. In a double hill hot seat match, Delimelkonoglu prevailed, and waited for Mason’s return.

Mason moved to the loss side and ran right into a double hill battle against Glenn Ramsey. Three of the four matches that decided the four-way tie for ninth place went double hill. Once past Ramsey, Mason picked up a forfeit victory over Ray Feliciano and drew Fisher, coming over from the winners’ side final four. Rasea, coming over as well, drew Jack Smith, who’d gotten by Yusuf Khan, double hill and Victor Nau 7-4. Mason advanced to the quarterfinals on the heels of a second double hill battle, this time against Fisher, and faced Rasea, who’d downed Smith 7-1.

Mason then dropped Rasea into fourth place with an 8-4 victory, turned his attention to a third double hill struggle, this time against Dagotdot in the semifinals. Mason prevailed again, 9-8, to earn a second shot against Delimelkonoglu. In the single, extended race-to-9 finals, Mason reached seven games first to force the extension and finished up ahead by five racks, 9-4, to secure the event title.

Thanks were extended to the ownership and staff of Steinway Billiards, as well as sponsors Predator Cues, The National Amateur Pool League, Delta-13 racks, Poison Cues,, and NYCGrind.

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. 

Hugh comes from loss-side to chalk up second win on Tri-State Tour

Hector Ruiz, Ed Hugh and Beau Baer

Back in September, Ed Hugh worked his way through a field of 40 entrants to go undefeated and win his first Tri-State Tour event. Just shy of three months later, on Sunday, November 27, he chalked up his second victory on the tour, this time, having to come from the loss-side to challenge and defeat hot seat occupant, Hector Ruiz. The $1,000-added event drew 23 entrants to Cue Nine Billiards in Levittown, NY.

After working his way through the event’s two opening rounds with victories over Mark Parel and Charles Eames, both 7-3, Hugh ran into Beau Baer among the winners’ side final four. Baer sent him west 7-4 and moved into the hot seat match against Hector Ruiz, who’d just defeated Tony Ignomirello 6-2. Ruiz gained the hot seat with an 8-7 victory, and waited for what turned out to be Hugh’s return.

Hugh moved over to take on, first, Mark Perel, who’d defeated Charles Aemes 7-6 and Gary Murgia 7-4. Ignomirello picked up Eddie Perez, who’d gotten by BCA league teammate Quin Y. Chen (co-winner with Daniel Dagotdot of the previous week’s tour stop on Staten Island) 6-4 and Keith Diaz 6-3. It was Hugh and Perez squaring off in the quarterfinals; Hugh, having defeated Perel 7-4, and Perez, defeating Ignomirello 6-4. 

Hugh earned his ‘revenge’ match against Baer with an 8-5 victory over Perez in the quarterfinals, and exacted that revenge with a 7-5 victory over Baer in the semifinals. In spite of the fact that Ruiz got out to an early 3-0 lead in the extended, single set final, Hugh continued what tour representatives described as a combination of “a strong break, outstanding kicking and fearless play,” to win 10 of the next 11 games and complete his second victory on the Tri-State Tour.

The next Tri-State event is a $1,250-added B/D handicapped event to be held this weekend, December 3, at Gotham City Billiards in Brooklyn, NY. Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff of Cue Nine Billiards for their hospitality during this most recent event, as well as sponsors Sterling-Gaming, Ozone Billiards, Ron Tarr Cues, Kamui Tips, Phil Capelle, BlueBook Publishing, and Human Kinetics.

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. 

Steve Knoll Takes The Predator Tour By Storm at Castle Billiards while Jeremy Sossei Takes the Last Open/Pro Stop of the Season

Steve Knoll, Michael Toohig and Rene Villalobos

The Predator Pro-Am Tour’s $1,000 added last stop of the regular 2011 season took place at Castle Billiards in East Rutherford, NJ on November 5-6.

“Castle”, as most players in the area call it, is known for their famous sizzling steak and friendly atmosphere, as well as catering to some of the best pool players in New Jersey.

Forty-five players from around the tri-state area came out to compete in the Amateur 9-ball Event, all looking to end the season on a positive note… and potentially raise their standing in the tour’s end of the year rankings.

Notable amateur players in this event included Noel Bensurto, Lionel Rivera, Gary Murgia, Jack Smith, Daniel Dagotdot, Ariel Rivera, Carl Yusef Khan, John Ortiz, Ed Culhane, and Steve Knoll of Sarasota, FL.

Several players played strong throughout the two-day tournament, but one player showed the most dominance overall. Florida player Steve Knoll is known as being a top amateur player, and proved to be too strong for the competition throughout this weekend.

Steve’s road through the winner’s bracket included wins over Guy Ignonicello 7-5, Christian Smith 7-6, Ed Culhane 7-2, Mike Hertz 8-7, Jack Smith 7-4, Rene Villalobos 10-8 to take the hot seat, and Michael Toohig 10-5 in the finals.

A number of other players also showed a lot of grit in this event, including Jack Smith, Rhio Anne Flores, Gary Murgia, and Rene Villalobos… who were all playing good enough to win, and left it all on the table during their late-event losses.

Michael Toohig was also playing with more swagger and more confidence that I have seen to date on tour. It was a pleasure to watch him dig deep, and come with several wins en route to his strong second place finish.

Amateur Division Final Results:

1st: Steve Knoll – $850
2nd: Michael Toohig – $550
3rd: Rene Villalobos – $400
4th: Gary Murgia – $300
5th/6th: Rhio Ann Flores, Jack Smith – $200
7th/8th: Kapriel Delimelkonoglu, Mike Hertz – $125
9th-12th: Phil Davis, Christian Cabera, Mike Harrington, Tony Ignomirello – $85
The Open/Pro 10-Ball Division featured pro division points leader and Tour Owner Tony Robles and Jeremy Sossei, as well as several up-and-coming players.

New York player Raphael Dabreo, who was ranked #3 in the B+ Class standings prior to this event, was impressive in making a statement with a solid 3rd place finish… but one player was head and shoulders above the rest.

Connecticut pro Jeremy “The Giant Killer” Sossei played superb all day en route to an undefeated win. Jeremy defeated Brian Tierney 8-2, Joe Landi 8-4, Tony Robles 8-1, Raphael DaBreo 8-6 for the hot seat, and Tony Robles 9-8 in the finals.

Both Amateur and Open/Pro tour players will be looking forward to the Predator Tour’s 2011 Finale, which will take place at Raxx Pool Room, Bar & Grill on December 10-11.

Pro Division Final Results:

1st: Jeremy Sossei – $550
2nd: Tony Robles – $350
3rd: Raphael DaBreo – $200