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Smith survives loss-side challenge by Shellhouse to take Tri-State stop

In the finals of the Tri-State Tour stop on Saturday, June 2, Christian Smith stopped a five-match, loss-side streak by Rick Shellhouse to finish undefeated. The $500-added event drew 37 entrants to Castle Billiards in East Rutherford, NJ.

Smith was rolling along smoothly, until he got to the winners’ side semifinals, where he faced two straight double hill matches that eventually left him in the hot seat. He got by Dennis Feliciano first, as his hot seat opponent, Al Cacciola, was busy sending Antonio Navarro to the loss bracket 6-4. Smith sent Cacciola to the semifinals, and waited for what turned out to be the return of Shellhouse.

On the loss side, Shellhouse, after being sent over by Cacciola from among the final eight winners 6-4, worked his way by David Danchak 6-4 and Ted Lapadula 6-3 to reach Navarro. Feliciano picked up Scott Simonetti, who’d defeated Emily Duddy and John Trobiano, both 7-5. 

Shellhouse downed Navarro 6-5 and in the quarterfinals, faced Feliciano, who’d stopped Simonetti 8-2.

Shellhouse dropped Feliciano into fourth place 7-3, and turned for a rematch versus Cacciola in the semifinals. He won that 6-3 and with a bit of momentum on his side, moved on to an extended race-to-10 final against Smith.

Shellhouse forced the extension by winning the double hill match (for Smith) at 7-7. Smith, though, went on to win three straight to complete his undefeated day.

Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Castle Billiards, as well as sponors  Sterling-Gaming, Ozone Billiards, Ron Tarr Cues, Kamui Tips, Phil Capelle, BlueBook Publishing, and Human Kinetics.

Heal comes back from semifinals to take Tri-State stop on Staten Island

Bill Suden, Trevor Heal and Bryan Jeziorsky

Trevor Heal started strong and finished that way, as well, to take top honors in the Tri-State stop on Saturday, March 24. He opened his 6-1 campaign with a shutout, and finished by returning from the semifinals to take down hot seat occupant, Bryan Jeziorsky. The $750-added, B-D handicapped event drew 30 entrants to Port Richmond Billiards on Staten Island.

Following his opening round shutout over Ed Culhane, Heal moved on to defeat Inna Bediner and Rajesh Vannala, which moved him among the winners’ side final four to face Gary Murgia.

Jeziorsky, in the meantime, squared off against Chris Luethi. Heal and Jeziorsky got their first shot at each other, once Heal had defeated Murgia 7-1, and Jeziorsky had sent Luethi west 7-4. Jeziorsky got into the hot seat with a 7-5 victory over Heal, that would prove to be his last.

Murgia moved over to meet David Danchak, in the midst of a run that was propelling him to the quarterfinals. He’d gotten by Richard Anderson 6-3 and Mike Zimmy double hill. Luethi drew Bill Suden, who’d been sent west by Murgia and was on a four-match run that would set him up to face Heal in the semifinals. He’d gotten by Culhane 7-4 and Vannala 7-3 to pick up Luethi.

Danchak downed Murgia 8-2, as Suden was benefiting from a forfeit by Luethi. Suden won the quarterfinal match versus Danchak that followed, double hill and turned to face Heal. Heal won his only loss-side match 7-4 for a second crack at Jeziorsky. 

After trading racks through the opening two games of the extended race-to-9 finals, Heal pulled out to a 4-1 lead. They traded racks to 5-2, and Jeziorsky won two in a row, to pull within one. They proved to be his last, as Heal went on a four-game run that first, when he reached seven games, forced the extension to nine games, and then, two racks later, earned him first prize.

Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Port Richmond Billiards, as well as sponsors Sterling-Gaming, Ozone Billiards, Ron Tarr Cues, Kamui Tips, Phil Capelle, BlueBook Publishing, and Human Kinetics. Next stop on the Tri-State Tour is a $1000-added, A-D handicapped event, scheduled for April 1, at Carom Cafe and Billiards in Flushing, NY.

Morris chalks up first Tri-State win

Mel McCullen, Vincent Morris and Dennis Kennedy

On Saturday, February 4, Vincent Morris worked his way undefeated through a field of 41 entrants, including Mel McCullen twice, to win his first victory on the Tri-State Tour. The $1,000-added, C/D handicapped 9-Ball event was hosted by Gotham City Billiards in Brooklyn, NY.

Morris’ seven-match path to the victory saw him win just over twice as many games as he lost (43-21). Wins over Thaddeus Moses, Vincent Loretta, Rick Shellhouse and Andrew Cleary put him among the winners’ side final four, where he faced McCullen for the first time. Joining them for the winners’ side semifinal were Dennis Kennedy and David Danchak. Morris sent McCullen west 6-3 and in the battle for the hot seat, faced Kennedy, who’d defeated Danchak double hill. Morris then sent Kennedy to the semifinals with a 6-3 victory and awaited McCullen’s return.

Both McCullen and Danchak moved to the loss side and faced opponents who’d won two straight double hill matches to reach them. McCullen drew Mishak Daniel, who’d squeaked by Mike Harrington and Tyronnie Harlee. Danchak picked up Randy Mackin, who’d downed both Andrew Cleary and Steve Wade 6-5. McCullen eliminated Daniel 7-3 and was joined in the quarterfinals by Mackin, who’d defeated Danchak 6-3.

McCullen got by Mackin 7-4, and then, for a second crack at Morris, defeated Kennedy in the semifinals 6-3. Morris, though, was not to be denied, and repeated his earlier victory with another 6-3 win over McCullen that secured his first Tri-State victory.

Tour representatives thanked Gotham City Billiard owners Kevin and Isabelle Buckley, 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, scheduled for February 14, will be a $500-added, A/D handicapped event, hosted by Castle Billiards in East Rutherford, NJ.