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Busanich wins second straight on Garden State Pool Tour

Shawn Jackson, Rick Miller and Dinko Bushanich

When last we checked in on the pool life and times of one Dinko Busanich, he’d gone undefeated on the Garden State Pool Tour, winning his first (recorded) event in the New York City Tri-State area in eight years. Now, a month later, on Saturday, August 6, he’s chalked up his second regional area tour win; again, on the Garden State Pool Tour and again, going undefeated to claim the event title. The event drew 27 entrants to Rockaway Billiards in Rockaway, NJ.

This time, Busanich faced an opponent who was looking for his first regional tour win in five years, Shawn Jackson. Like Busanich, Jackson’s last win came on the Tri-State Tour, at a stop hosted by Amsterdam Billiards, and also like Busanich, Jackson went undefeated the last time he won. Not to be this time for Jackson, as he faced and was defeated twice by Busanich, on his way to a runner-up finish.

After being awarded a bye, Busanich opened up with a 7-5 victory over Juan Pena. He followed that with a win over Rick Miller 6-3, which put him into a winners’ side semifinal versus Rob Wetherhold III. Jackson, in the meantime, without a bye, defeated Nic Torraca 9-2, survived a double hill fight against Ilija Trajceski and sent James Conn to the loss side 6-1 to draw Paul Spaanstra in the other winners’ side semifinal.

Jackson gave up just a single rack to Spaanstra and advanced to the hot seat match. He was joined by Busanich, who’d defeated Wetherhold 7-3. With one ‘bead on the wire’ in a race to 7, Busanich downed Jackson in their first meeting 7-4.

On the loss side, Spaanstra picked up Rick Miller, who’d followed his loss to Busanich with victories over Kevin Rushing 10-2 and a shutout over Frank Rodriguez. Whetherhold drew Conn, who’d followed his loss to Jackson with the elimination of Raymund Paragas 7-1 and Deiby Calderon 10-3, which, as it happened, was a double hill win; Calderon, beginning the match with ‘six on the wire’ in the race to 10.

Conn sent Wetherhold home 8-3 and was joined in the quarterfinals by Miller, who’d defeated Spaanstra 7-5. Miller made it four, loss-side wins in a row with a double hill win over Conn in their straight-up race to 7 quarterfinal.

Miller, though, forfeited out of the semifinals, sending Jackson right back against Busanich, waiting for him in the hot seat. Jackson would have had to reach ‘7’ first to extend the race, but it didn’t happen. They went to double hill, which, with Busanich’s single ‘bead on the wire,’ was 5-6 (Busanich-Jackson). Busanich chalked up the final rack for the win.

Tour director Dave Fitzpatrick thanked the ownership and staff at Rockaway Billiards for their hospitality, as well as sponsors JFlowers Cues & Cases, InthBox, Off the Rail, John Bender Custom Cues, Kamui and Pool-A-Holic. The next stop on the Garden State Pool Tour, a BCD Class, 32-player maximum, 9-ball event, scheduled for Sunday, Aug. 28, will be hosted by Breaker Billiards in Clifton, NJ. 

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Busanich chalks up first win in eight years, going undefeated on Garden State Pool Tour

Alex Vangelov, Dinko Busanich and Jay Pass

The first time that Dinko Busanich won a (recorded) event in the New York City Tri-State area was eight years ago, when he and Frank Sieczka split the top two prizes at a stop on the Tri-State Tour back in December of 2014. As the undefeated occupant of the hot seat at the time, Busanich became the official event winner. The next and last time Busanich won a recorded event was this past weekend, Saturday, July 10, when he went undefeated to win a stop on the Garden State Pool Tour. The $250-added event drew 20 entrants to Side Pocket Billiards in Howell, NJ.

Busanich faced Alex Vangelov twice in this one; hot seat and finals. Busanich was awarded a bye, before downing Rob Wetherhold, double hill and drawing Mike Johnson in a winners’ side semifinal. Vangelov, in the meantime, playing one more match to get to the same place, defeated Luigi Ramos 6-4 and Giancarlo Delgado 6-3 to arrive at his winners’ side semifinal against Kevin Rushing.

Busanich sent Johnson to the loss side 7-3, as Vangelo was busy doing likewise to Rushing 6-1. Busanich claimed the hot seat 9-5 and waited for Vangelov to get back from the semifinals.

On the loss side, Jay Pass, who’d lost her opening round match, made it all the way to the semifinals to challenge Vangelov. She’d defeated Stephen Persaud 6-4 in the quarterfinals to get to him. Vangelov stopped Pass’s run 6-3 in those semifinals for a second chance shot at Busanich.

In the extended-race-to-11 finals, Busanich could have ended it by winning 9 racks first and at 7-7, that was still possible. Vangelov, though, took the next two racks, which extended the race to 11. Dinko came back to win two, knotting the score at 9-9. Vangelov won rack #19 to reach the hill first, but when he hung the 9-ball in the next game, Busanich took advantage and forced the 21st game of the final. Things went back and forth in that final rack, but in the end, Busanich dropped the event’s last 9-ball to claim his (first ‘no final match’) event title.

Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Side Pocket Billiards for their hospitality, as well as Billiards Engineering, Kamui, J-Flowers Custom Cues & Cases, AZBilliards and John Bender Custom Cues. The next stop on the Garden State Pool Tour, scheduled for this weekend (Sunday, July 17), will be a C/D Class 9-Ball event, hosted by Black Diamond Billiards in Union, New Jersey. And it will be a C-D Class 9-Ball event.

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Sieczka returns to the Tri-State winners’ circle

Lidio Ramierez, Frank Sieczka and Xavier Ramos

After precisely one year without an event victory on the Tri-State Tour, Frank Sieczka returned and chalked up what amounted to his second straight victory on the tour. In October, 2014, Sieczka chalked up his first victory on the Tri-State Tour, and a month later, on November 8, he won his second. He might have won a third had he and Dinko Busanich not chosen to opt out of a final match in a December event, allowing Busanich, in the hot seat, to take the title. On Sunday, November 8, 2015, Sieczka went undefeated at a $1,000-added event that drew 20 entrants to BQE Billiards in Jackson Heights (Queens), NY.
Following victories over Esteban Morrell, Jr. and Adrian Daniel, Sieczka met up with Ron Chau in a winners' side semifinal. Xavier Ramos, in the meantime, faced Lidio Ramierez. Sieczka defeated Chau 6-2, and in the hot seat match, squared off against Ramos, who'd shut Ramierez out. Sieczka claimed the hot seat with a 7-4 win over Ramos.
On the loss side, Chau ran into Adrian Daniel, who, after his loss to Sieczka, had defeated Bob Toomey 6-1, and Erick Carrasco 7-5. Ramierez faced Luis Jimenez, who'd picked up a forfeit victory over Dave Ascolese and eliminated Jud Parker 7-5. Chau picked up his second straight loss, 6-3 against Daniel, while Ramierez got back to work with a 7-5 victory over Jimenez.
Ramierez took the quarterfinal match against Daniel that followed 8-6, and then defeatEd Ramos, double hill in the semifinals. Sieczka opened the final match against Ramierez with five straight racks, though Ramierez fought back to pull within one at 6-5. Sieczka took two of the next three to win it 8-6 and claim his second straight, and third overall, Tri-State title.
Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at BQE Billiards, as well as sponsors  Ozone Billiards, Sterling-Gaming, Kamui Tips, Ron Vitello, Phil Capelle, BlueBook Publishing, Human Kinetics, and Bloodworth Ball Cleaners. The next Tri-State event, scheduled for Sunday, November 15, will be hosted by Rockaway Billiards in Rockaway, NJ.

Busanich and Sieczka opt out of dawn finals on Tri-State Tour stop

Brian Capps, Dinko Busanich and Frank Sieczka

Dinko Busanich and Frank Sieczka let the single match they played during the Tri-State Tour stop on Saturday, December 6, stand as the end result. Reports coming out of Castle Billiards in East Rutherford, NJ, where the $1,000-added event that drew 53 entrants was held, suggest that the possible final would have competed with Sunday's sunrise. Busanich, having defeated Sieczka in the hot seat match, took the first place title. He and Sieczka split the top two prizes.
Busanich defeated Brian Cap, double hill to get into the hot seat match. Sieczka, in the meantime, downed Dennis Kennedy 6-3. Busanich and Sieczka then locked up in a double hill battle that proved to be the winning match.
On the loss side, Cap picked up Jan Mierzwa, who'd defeated Stewart Warnock 7-4 and Keith Adamik 7-1. Kennedy drew Lenore Chen, who'd eliminated Jaydev Zaveri 6-5 and Mike Strassburg 6-2. Cap finished Mierzwa 7-4, as Chen downed Kennedy 6-3.
Cap took the quarterfinal match 7-4 over Chen, but fell to Sieczka 7-5 in the semifinals. Busanich and Sieczka opted out of the final match, leaving Busanich to claim the event title, while the two split the first and second place prizes.
Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Castle Billiards, as well as sponsors Sterling-Gaming, Ozone Billiards, Qpod Cues, Kamui Tips, Phil Capelle, BlueBook Publishing, and Human Kinetics. 

Shaw goes undefeated on Predator Open, Uzdejczyk comes from loss side to win Amateur title

Jayson Shaw, Robb Saez and Michael Yednak

Jayson Shaw, looking to add to his already substantial winnings in 2013, signed on for the $500-added Open event at Stop # 16 on the Predator Tour, held on the weekend of October 5-6. Amidst a short field of 15 entrants at The Cue Bar in Bayside, Queens, Shaw went undefeated to claim his third 2013 Predator title, which had included the Empire State 10-Ball Championships in February. He had to get by Mike Yednak twice; once, in the hot seat and again, in the finals. Yednak, who won the Amateur division of Labor Day weekend's George "Ginky" Sansouci Memorial tournament has just recently been elevated to Open/Pro status, and in addition to advancing to the winners' side final, managed to down Robb Saez in the semifinals for second shot at Shaw.
In the $500-added Amateur event, which drew 44 entrants to the same location, Bogie Uzdejczyk came from the loss side and avenged an earlier loss by defeating hot seat occupant, Tommy Hagan to claim the event title. Sent west by Hagan in one of the winners' side semifinals, Uzdejczyk won three on the loss side for a second shot at Hagan, and then, took full advantage to win it.
In the Open event, Shaw faced Robb Saez in one of the winners' side semifinals as Yednak squared off against Ray Lee in the other. Shaw and Yednak advanced to the hot seat match with identical 7-5 victories over Saez and Lee. Shaw gave up only a single rack in the hot seat match, and waited on Yednak's return.
Saez, in the meantime, working on the loss side met up with Juan Guzman, who'd downed Emily Duddy 7-3 and Tony Liang 7-4. Lee had the misfortune of running into Mhet Vergara, who'd defeated Darren Defilippis 7-4 and then, completely shut out Jerry Tarantola. Vergara chalked up his second straight shutout, eliminating Lee, while Saez was busy surviving a double hill battle over Guzman.
Saez ended Guzman's two-match shutout streak 7-3 in the quarterfinals and turned to the final obstacle on his way to a re-match against Shaw – Yednak, in the semifinals. Yednak, though, was just as determined for a re-match and downed Saez 7-5 to earn the opportunity. Shaw ended Yednak's bid 9-4 in the finals to claim the title.
Uzdejczyk takes Amateur event
In the Amateur event, Tommy Hagan advanced to the hot seat match by first, defeating Bogie Uzdejczyk in a winners' side semifinal 7-4, and then, by a score of 7-5 in the hot seat match, defeating Marco Dy, who'd sent John Hacsi to the loss side 7-5. Hagan sat in the hot seat, waiting on Uzdejczyk.
Uzdejczyk began his three-match loss-side campaign against Stuart Warnock, who'd gotten by Billy Santiago 7-3 and survived a double hill match against Scott Murphy. Hasci met up with Dinko Busanich, who'd defeated Tony Liang 7-4 and Keith Adamik 7-5.
Uzdejczyk ended Warnock's day 7-5 and in the quarterfinals, faced Hasci, who'd prevailed in a double hill match against Busanich. Uzdejczyk went on to defeat Hasci 7-5, and then, earn himself a re-match against Hagan with a 7-5 victory over Dy in the semifinals. He completed his comeback with a 9-7 win over Hagan to claim the event title.

Torres bests Berdzenishvili twice to go undefeated on A-D Empire State Championship

Tom Torres used two 9-7 victories over Niko Berdzenishvili to go undefeated at the A-D handicapped event of the Empire State Championships on the weekend of February 18-19. The $2,000-added amateur event drew 100 entrants to Raxx Billiards in West Hempstead, NY.

They met first in the battle for the hot seat, once Niko had sent Tony Ignomirello west 7-2, and Torres had sent Victor Nau over 7-5. Torres chalked up his first 9-7 victory, which left him in the hot seat, awaiting Niko’s return.

First up for Ignomirello in the west bracket was Gavin Lawrence, who’d defeated Rene Villalobos 7-5 and Adrian Daniel 7-3 to reach him. Nau picked up Arturo Reyes, who’d had a relatively easy time versus Dinko Busanich in a 7-1 victory and then survived a double hill struggle against Robert Mendoza

It was Nau and Ignomirello advancing to the quarterfinals; Nau with a double hill win over Reyes, and Ignomirello with a 7-5 victory over Lawrence. Nau won a second straight double hill match in his victory over Ignomirello in the quarterfinals, but fell short in his third straight double hill match, falling to Niko in the semifinals.

With Torres in the hot seat, Niko needed to reach nine games first to extend the final race to 11. Torres, though, repeated his hot seat score, completing his undefeated day with a 9-7 victory to capture the amateur side of the Empire State Championships.

Tour director Tony Robles thanked the ownership and staff of Raxx Billiards for their hospitality, and sponsors Predator Cues, The National Amateur Pool League, Delta-13 racks, Poison Cues,, and NYCGrind.