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An undefeated Kahn, and Spaanstra split top prizes on Tri-State Tour stop

Paul Spanstra, Carl Yusuf Kahn and Martin Carlucci

Carl Yusuf Khan and Paul Spaanstra allowed a single match between them to decide the January 10 stop on the Tri-State Tour. Khan advanced to the hot seat, which proved to be his final victory, as he and Spaanstra opted out of a final match, leaving Khan to claim the event title. The $1,000-added event drew 25 entrants to Rockaway Billiards in Rockaway, NJ.
They met, only the once, in a winners' side semifinal, while Martin Carducci and Chris Calabrese met in the other. Khan sent Spaanstra over 7-5, and in the hot seat match, met Carducci, who'd defeated Calabrese 6-5. Khan claimed the hot seat, and ultimately, the event title, 8-7 over Carducci.
On the loss side, Spaanstra met up with Duane Toney, who'd shut out Steve Kaminow, and defeated Fred Garcia 7-2. Calabrese drew Kevin Coyle, who'd defeated Pat Mareno 6-4, and Jaydev Zaveri 6-3. Spaanstra eliminated Toney 7-4, as Calabrese was doing the same to Coyle 6-5. 
Spaanstra took the quarterfinal match against Calabrese 8-4, and in what proved to be his final win, downed Carducci in the semifinals 8-5. Khan and Spaanstra chose to split the top prizes, and as the undefeated player, Khan claimed the title.
Tour representatives thanked sponsors Sterling-Gaming, Ozone Billiards, Qpod Cues, Kamui Tips, Phil Capelle, BlueBook Publishing, and Human Kinetics.

Uzdejczyk wins fourth 2014 Tri-State stop; eighth since 2011

Bogie Uzdejczyk, Chris Peralta and Robert Jew

For the past three years, Bogie Uzdejczyk has won at least one stop on the Tri-State or Predator Tours. He won two Tri-State stops in 2011, two more in 2012, and picked up a Predator win in 2013. One week after winning the first Tri-State Tour stop of 2014, he finished fifth in an Open/Pro Predator event behind Tony Robles, Mike Dechaine, Zion Zvi and Frankie Hernandez.  On Saturday, October 4, he claimed his fourth, undefeated Tri-State title of 2014. The $750-added event drew 23 entrants to Clifton Billiards in Clifton, NJ.
Uzdejczyk had to get by Chris Peralta twice to claim this most recent Tri-State title. Following wins against Duane Toney, Keith Adamik, and Hank Nguyen, Uzdejczyk faced Peralta for the first time in a winners' side semifinal, defeating him 7-4, as Robert Jew was busy defeating Teddy Lapadula 6-1. Uzdejczyk claimed the hot seat with a 9-6 win over Jew and waited on Peralta.
Peralta moved over and started his trek back to the finals against Nelson Tran, who'd defeated Dave Ascolese 7-1 and Harry Guevarez 7-4. LaPadula picked up Larry Chandler, who'd gotten by Ada Lio 7-3 and Roger Duronio 6-4. Peralta eliminated Tran 7-2 and in the quarterfinals, faced LaPadula, who'd finished Chandler's day 6-5.
Peralta, looking for his first Tri-State win, defeated LaPadula 7-5, and earned his first shot in a Tri-State final with a 7-3 win over Jew in the semifinals. He took the opening two racks in the finals, and after giving up one, re-established the two-rack lead at 3-1. Uzdejczyk took the next two to tie it up at 3-3, before Peralta regained the lead for the last time at 4-3. Over the next six, they traded racks, with Uzdejczyk maintaining the single-rack initiative. At 6-6, he did so for the last time, claiming the event title, as Peralta recorded his best finish on the Tri-State tour.
Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Clifton Billiards, as well as sponsors Ozone Billiards, Sterling-Gaming, Qpod, Kamui Tips, Ron Vitello, Focus Cases by John Bartron, Phil Capelle, BlueBook Publishing, and Human Kinetics. The next stop on the Tri-State Tour, scheduled for October 11, will be hosted by Castle Billiards in East Rutherford, NJ. 

Medina goes undefeated on the Tri-State Tour

Mike Strasburg, Eddie Medina and Mike Guevara

Ed Medina worked through a short field of 19 entrants, going undefeated on the June 8 stop on the Tri-State Tour. The $1,000-added event was hosted by Rockaway Billiards, in Rockaway, NJ.
Medina opened his campaign by just surviving a double hill match against Steve Kaminow. He wouldn't face a similar challenge until the finals. Medina went on to defeat ChristIan Smith and Jerry Ritzer, which set him up for a winners' side semifinal against William Meima. Mike Strassburg, in the meantime, faced Scott Abramowitz. Medina cruised to the hot seat match 7-2 over Meima, as Strassburg and Abramowitz battled to double hill. Strassburg prevailed and was promptly sent to the semifinals by Medina 7-3.
Meima and Abramowitz moved to the loss side, where they ran into Jerry Ritzer and Mike Guevara, respectively. Ritzer had gotten by Duane Toney and Christian Smith, both 7-2, to face Meima. Guevara had defeatEd Martin Carducci 6-3 and squeaked by Grant Weldon 7-6. Ritzer handed Meima his second straight loss 7-2, as Guevara was doing likewise to Abramowitz 6-2.
Guevara and Ritzer locked up in a double hill quarterfinal, eventually won by Guevara. Strassburg ended Guevara's loss-side run with a 6-2 win in the semifinals and turned to take a second shot at Medina, sitting in the hot seat. Whatever the outcome, it would be Strassburg's best finish in two years.
In what proved to be the longest match of the day, Medina and Strassburg fought back and forth to claim the event title. Safety play slowed the proceedings down in the early going, and at the end of six games, it was knotted at 3-3. Strassburg surged ahead by two games, and they traded racks to 6-4. Strassburg made an early combination on the 9-ball to reach seven games, forcing an extension of the match to nine games.
Medina then won three in a row, including back-to-back 3-fouls, to first, tie the match at 7-7 and then, running the next rack, reach the hill at 8-7. Medina got a look at the 9-ball in the game that would have won it for him, but it rattled in the hole, allowing Strassburg to force a 17th and deciding game. In keeping with the general direction of the match, the deciding game turned into a safety battle. Strassburg opted for a safety on the 8-ball, but left Medina enough of a shot to make it and finish his undefeated run.
Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Rockaway Billiards, as well as sponsors Sterling-Gaming, Ozone Billiards, Qpod, Cues, Kamui Tips, Phil Capelle, BlueBook Publishing, and Human Kinetics.

Cheng comes back from semifinals to win second Tri-State stop

Carl Yusuf Khan, Billy Cheng and Dave Shlemperis

It was Billy Cheng‘s second official victory on the Tri-State Tour, but the first in which he battled an opponent in the finals. Back in April, Cheng was the winner of record when he and Raul Reyes opted out of a final match because it was set to commence at 4 a.m. on Easter Sunday morning. Eight months later, on Saturday, December 3, Cheng had to play an extra match when Carl Yusuf Khan kept him out of the hot seat, but returned to defeat Khan in the finals and chalk up the “W.” The $1,250-added event drew 44 entrants to Gotham City Billiards in Brooklyn, NY.

Following victories over Samson Kelly, Raphael DaBreo, Tien “Max” Tran, and Joei Huang, Cheng moved among the winners’ side final four to face Kapriel Delimelkonoglu. Khan, in the meantime, squared off against Vincent Morris. Cheng downed Delimelkonoglu 7-5, as Khan was busy sending Morris west 7-3. Khan won his last match by prevailing in the battle for the hot seat 7-4, and waited for Cheng’s return.

Morris and Delimelkonoglu moved to the loss-side and lasted only a single round. Morris picked up Gary Murgia, who’d defeated Duane Toney 7-2 and Joei Huang 7-5 to reach him. Delimelkonoglu had the misfortune of running into Dave Shlemperis, who, like Cheng, had been sent west by Khan, and was working his way back with a re-match on his mind. Shlemperis got by Ben Cateneros 7-5 and Andrzej Kaldan 7-6 to face Delimelkonoglu, and then survived a double hill match against him to get into the quarterfinals. He was joined by Murgia, who’d defeated Morris, also double hill.

In what was a second straight double hill match for both of them, it was Shlemperis prevailing over Murgia in those quarterfinals to meet Cheng in the semifinals. Both Shlemperis and Cheng were looking for a second crack against Khan, and it was Cheng who earned it with a 7-3 victory.  

Khan took the first two games of the single, race-to-9 final match, and Cheng took the next two. They traded racks to a 5-5 tie, at which point, Cheng took a two-rack lead. Khan came back to win one more, before Cheng won the last two. He sunk the 9-ball on the break in the final game to capture the event title.

Tour representatives thanked Kevin and Isabel Buckley of Gotham Billiards for their hospitality, 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 scheduled for Saturday, December 10, at Castle Billiards in East Rutherford, NJ.