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Brotons goes undefeated to win her first Predator Tri-State Tour stop in Clifton, NJ

Michelle Brotons

It’s been nice to see the former Tri-State Tour, now, officially, the Predator Tri-State Tour back to its old tricks on the other side of this pandemic thing; new names, competing and winning on the tour and older names getting better and winning on the tour, as well. This past weekend (Saturday, June 26), it was one of the familiar names, Michelle Brotons, making an appearance and winning, not only the $500-added Predator Tri-State event that drew 27 entrants to Clifton Billiards in Clifton, NJ, but what was her first ever, major tournament win, anywhere.

“This was my first Tri-State since Covid,” she clarified, “but I did win a Mac Attack tour in January (which went unrecorded).”

She ended up in 2nd place in the balloting for the Ladies Player of the Year on the Tri-State in its 2017-2018 season, when she also finished in 3rd place in the tour’s D+ division. The win in January on the Mac Attack Tour moved her into a C+ handicap category, which she might well have kept to herself when she made her appearance on this most recent Predator Tri-State stop. But she didn’t. She reported in as a C+, tour officials made the change and she went undefeated to claim her first major title.

Her path went through Martin Davis, tour veteran Bob Toomey and Paul Madonia to arrive at a winners’ side semifinal against Allison Honeymar. In the meantime, her eventual opponent in the  hot seat match, Luis Jimenez had been awarded a bye and then defeated Ricardo Mejia, and Levie Lampaan to face her eventual opponent in the finals, Eddie Medina in the other winners’ side semifinal. Medina had gotten by Tri Chau, Dave Fitzpatrick and Jerry Almodovar to arrive at his winners’ side semifinal match.

Brotons downed Honeymar 6-3, as Jimenez was busy sending Medina to the loss side 7-3. Brotons claimed the hot seat 7-4 over Jimenez and waited on what turned out to be Medina’s return.

On the loss side, Honeymar picked up a rematch with Latania Taylor, whom she’d sent to the loss side in a winners’ side quarterfinal match, and who’d gone on to defeat Tom McManamon 6-4 and Paul Madonia, double hill. Medina drew Levie Lampaan, who’d also been downed in a winners’ side quarterfinal (double hill by Jimenez), and then, eliminated Ricardo Mejia and Tri Chau, both 7-3. 

Medina and Lampaan locked up in a double hill fight that eventually sent Medina to the quarterfinals. He was joined by Honeymar, who’d defeated Taylor 6-2.

Medina won the quarterfinal 8-5 over Honeymar to earn a rematch versus Jimenez in the semifinals. They came within a game of double hill, but Medina edged out in front to win it 7-5. Brotons and Medina did get to double hill in the finals. Broton, though, closed it out to claim the title.

Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Clifton Billiards, as well as title sponsor Predator Cues, Ozone Billiards, Sterling-Gaming, Kamui Tips, Phil Capelle, BlueBook Publishing, Human Kinetics, Pool & Billiards, Romer Trophies and Professor Q Ball. The next stop on the Predator Tri-State Tour, scheduled for the weekend of July 17-18, will be hosted by New City Billiards and Café in Woodside, NY. 

Feliz-Forman goes undefeated to win (*) her first Tri-State Tour stop since 2012

Yomaylin Feliz-Forman

Yomaylin “Smiley” Feliz-Forman’s first and most recent appearance in the AZBilliards database came as the result of winning a stop on the Tri-State Tour. Her first came in October of 2009, when she defeated Paul Everton in the finals of a stop at Master Billiards in Queens, NY. Her latest happened this past weekend (Sat., May 11), as she went undefeated (*) at a $1,000-added event that drew 46 entrants to Steinway Billiards in Astoria (Queens), NY. This most recent victory is her first victory on the Tri-State Tour since 2012, although in the interim, she did win stops on the Predator Pro Am Tour in 2014 & 2015.
 
She’s cashed in two other events this year, marking the end of an extended, four-year ‘leave of absence’ from the tables, undertaken to get married to Brian Forman and have two children. Just to stay in touch (so to speak), her second child shares a birthday with Predator Pro Am Tour director Tony Robles. She is, more or less, back, although she continues to coordinate child-care activities. She practices on an 8-ft. table in her building during the hour or so she gets to herself when the two children nap.
 
“I shoot until they wake up,” she said, leaving open the question of how she was lucky enough to have two children under the age of four, who nap at the same time, for the same amount of time.
 
She has found, like others before her have found, that while children certainly bring disruption and a reduction in TAT (time-at-table), they also have a way of grounding a player in a way that eventually improves their game.
 
“It does change your mind-set,” she said. “You go into this Mama Bear mode.”
 
“Coming back,” she added, “I felt braver, (had) more heart; something in me ignited.”
 
In this most recent event, she and Jimmy Acosta played a double hill, winners’ side semifinal match that sent Acosta to the loss side. The suggestion that they might opt out of playing a final match was discussed early-on in the process, though the decision was not actually made until Acosta had defeated Ryan Dayrit in the event semifinals. At that point, dawn was creeping up over the East River, and both “Smiley” and her friend, Acosta were very tired, and “Smiley,” in particular, wanted to get home to her children. Though glad to accept the ‘asterisk’ title as the undefeated occupant of the hot seat, she is also aware that her ‘return’ to former form, may take a little while.
 
“My brain is strong,” she said, “but my game hasn’t really come back from the absence yet.”
 
She opened her undefeated run with a 7-5 victory over Greg Matos and followed it up with wins over Amy Yu 7-0, and Ed Medina 7-5, before running into Acosta for the aforementioned double-hill winners’ side semifinal that sent Acosta to the losers’ bracket. Dayrit, in the meantime, faced and defeated Stewart Warnock, Sr. 6-3 in the other winners’ side semifinal. “Smiley” and Dayrit played a double hill hot seat match that eventually sent Dayrit to the semifinals.
 
On the loss side, Acosta picked up Eddie Medina, who, after his loss to “Smiley,” had chalked up two straight double hill wins over Amy Yu and Amir Rashad Uddin. Warnock, Sr. drew Joe Mazzeo, who’d shut out John Durr and defeated Jim Gutierrez 7-5 to reach him.
 
Medina’s third straight double hill match proved not to be the ‘charm’ he was hoping for, as Acosta, double hill, eliminated him. Mazzeo and Warnock, Sr. battled to double hill as well, with Mazzeo advancing to join Acosta in the quarterfinals.
 
Acosta eliminated Mazzeo 7-4 and then, locked up in a battle against Dayrit in the semifinals, which came within a game of double hill (9-7). Acosta and Feliz-Forman agreed to the split and left to greet the dawn.
 
Tour representatives thanked Manny Stamatakis and his Steinway Billiards staff for their hospitality, as well as sponsors Ozone Billiards, Sterling Gaming, Kamui Tips, Phil Capelle, BlueBook Publishing, Human Kinetics, Pool & Billiards, Professor Q Ball, Bender Cues, and DIGICUE OB. The next stop on the Tri-State Tour, scheduled for Sunday, May 19, will be hosted by Cue Bar in Bayside (Queens), NY.
 

Acosta goes undefeated to claim final 2018 Tri-State event

(l to r): Jimmy Acosta & Mike Mele

You have to watch the ones that come from deep on the loss side. Once they’ve chalked up five or more on that side of the bracket, they’re usually pretty immune to the nerves that likely plagued them when their loss-side journey began. And by the time they get to the vicinity of the quarterfinals, they’ve been playing non-stop for hours and are likely to be in-stroke for whatever lies ahead. Playing in the last 2018 stop on the Tri-State Tour, it was Jimmy Acosta in the hot seat and Mike Mele, preparing for the semifinals who were doing the watching. It was Rick Motilal that they were watching.
 
In the end, though, Motilal’s eight-match, loss-side streak was ended by Mike Mele in the semifinals. Mele’s bid for the title was, in turn, stopped in the finals by Acosta, who went undefeated to claim the tour’s final 2018 event title. The $1,000-added event drew 58 entrants on Sunday, Dec. 16 to Steinway Billiards in Astoria (Queens), NY.
 
Acosta and Mele met first in the hot seat match. Acosta’s trip went through Christian Orque, Shawn Sookhai, Ed Medina and Dave Leggat to arrive at a winners’ side semifinal against Marc Joseph. Mele, in the meantime, following a double hill win against Raymond Lee in a winners’ side quarterfinal, met up with Dejan Kocev.
 
Acosta sent Joseph to the loss side 8-4. Mele joined him in the hot seat match after sending Kocev over 7-5. Acosta took the first of their two 7-4 to claim the hot seat, and then, probably, watch Motilal’s advance.
 
It was Joseph who ran into Motilal on the loss side. Motilal, who’d been sent to the loss-side in the event’s second round by Juan Melendez, had most recently chalked up loss-side wins #5 & #6, downing Ray Feliciano and David Leggat, both 7-4. Kocev drew Nathaniel Raimondo, who’d eliminated Raymond Lee 7-3 and John Stiles 7-2 to reach him.
 
Motilal got into the quarterfinal match with a 7-4 win over Joseph. Raimondo and Kocev battled to double hill before Kocev advanced to join Motilal in the quarterfinals.
 
In what proved to be his last win, Motilal sent Kocev home 7-4. The semifinal match that followed was (as described by tour representatives) a “cliffhanger” that went double hill, before Mele finished it for a second shot at Acosta in the hot seat.
 
The final itself was a bit anti-climactic. Acosta repeated his hot seat match performance, downing Mele 7-4 a second time to claim the event title. 
Tour representatives thanked Manny Stamatakis and his Steinway Billiards staff for their hospitality, as well as sponsors Ozone Billiards, Sterling-Gaming, Kamui Tips, Phil Capelle, BlueBook Publishing, Human Kinetics, Pool & Billiards, Professor Q Ball, Bender Cues, and DIGICUE OB. The next stop on the Tri-State Tour, which will be the first of 2019, is scheduled for Sunday, January 6, 2019 at Clifton Billiards in Clifton, NJ. 

O’Callaghan appears in third straight Predator Tour final and chalks up his second win

Gary O’Callaghan, Troy Deocharran, Frank Tonn and Doug Youmans

Somebody’s apparently been spiking Gary O’Callaghan’s cereal in the morning (with Lucky Charms, perhaps?). He’s been competing on the Tri-State and Predator Tours for a few years now, and has won events on both. He was a cast member of TruTv’s short-lived, reality pool show called “The Hustlers” a couple of years ago. Within the past month, he’s accelerated his pace a bit, and been in three straight Predator Tour finals, dating back to September 3. On the weekend of September 23-24, at a $1,000-added event, hosted by The Spot in Nanuet, NY, he went undefeated through a field of 55 to chalk up his second win.
 
Reached to discover whether there was any particular source of inspiration for this sudden rush of appearances in Predator Tour finals, O’Callaghan gave credit to his wife.
 
“A peaceful marriage,” he wrote, adding “lol.”
 
O’Callaghan was challenged in the finals by a competitor that he’d defeated in the second round. Doug Youmans would move to the loss side of the double elimination bracket and win nine in a row for the right to face O’Callaghan a second time.
 
With Youmans already at work on the loss side, O’Callaghan advanced to a winners’ side semifinal match against Rhys Chen. Frank Tonn, in the meantime, faced Abel Rosario. Tonn got into the hot seat match with a 7-4 win over Rosario. He was joined by O’Callaghan, who’d sent Chen west 8-4. Awarding Tonn six beads on the wire at the start of their race to 11, Callaghan stepped into the hot seat with an 11-8 win.
 
On the loss side, it was Chen who picked up Youmans, six wins into his loss-side streak, which had just recently included a 7-5 win over Rob Pole and an 8-5 win over Ralph Ortiz. Rosario drew Troy Deocharran, who’d defeated Luis Jimenez 7-2 and Ed Medina 7-3.
 
The loss-side opponents prevailed, with Deocharran downing Rosario 7-3 and Youmans eliminating Chen 7-5. Youmans chalked up loss-side win #8 in the quarterfinals – 8-3 over Deocharran – and then, giving Tonn five beads on the wire in a race 10, defeated him 10-7, for a second shot at O’Callaghan in the finals.
 
Youmans put up a fight in those finals, chalking up three more racks than he had in his first meeting with O’Callaghan back in the event’s second round. O’Callaghan finished his undefeated run with a 7-5 second win over Youmans and claimed the event title.
 
The next stop on the Predator Pro Am Tour will be the 3rd Annual Gotham City 9-Ball Pro Classic, scheduled for October 14-16 at Gotham City Billiards in Brooklyn, NY. The $18,000-added event (up from last year's $15,000) will be limited to the first 64 players who sign up. The roster is currently at about 26 players. First consideration will be given to Pro players. If the field needs to expand, it will do so, first, with Open players, and then A++, A+, etc. The next Amateur event on the Predator Pro Am Tour, scheduled for October 28-29, will be hosted by Spin City, in Queens, NY. 

Druminski goes undefeated to chalk up his first win on the Tri-State

(l to r): Dax Druminski & Jaydev Zaveri

Back in April, at a Tri-State stop hosted by Rockaway Billiards, Dax Druminski made it all the way to the hot seat match, before being sent to the semifinals by the eventual winner, Paul Spaanstra.  Druminski would not make it back for a second shot against Spaanstra. On Sunday, August 6, Druminski made it to a Tri-State hot seat match for the second time, and this time, he won it, sending Jaydev Zaveri to the semifinals, and eventually, defeating him a second time in the finals to claim his first Tri-State title. The $1,000-added event drew 31 entrants to Clifton Billiards in Clifton, NJ.
 
Following victories over Teddy Lapadula, Juan Melendez, and Tony Ignomirello, Druminski moved into a winners' side semifinal against Bob Toomey. Zaveri, in the meantime, having gotten by Tri Chau, Roger Hanos, and Max Watanabe, squared off against Eddie Medina in the other winners' side semifinal. Druminski sent Toomey to the loss side 6-4 to face Zaveri, who'd defeatEd Medina 7-5. Druminski claimed his first Tri-State hot seat 7-5 over Zaveri and waited for him to get back from the semifinals.
 
On the loss side, Medina picked up Hanos, who'd eliminated Luis Jimenez 7-4 and just did survive a double hill match against Watanabe. Toomey drew Tony "Iggy," who'd chalked up two straight double hill matches against Erick Carrasco and Frank Sieczka.
 
Medina downed Hanos 7-5 to advance to the quarterfinals. Toomey joined him after eliminating "Iggy" 6-3. Medina downed Toomey 7-5, but was himself eliminated 7-4 by Zaveri in the semifinals.
 
Zaveri would end up on the hill first in his finals re-match against Druminski, but left him an opening that allowed him to tie it up. In the final and deciding rack, Druminski held position, and completed his first Tri-State win with a five-ball run that gave him the event title.
 
Tri-State representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Clifton Billiards for their hospitality, as well as sponsors Ozone Billiards, Sterling-Gaming, Kamui Tips, Phil Capelle, BlueBook Publishing, Human Kinetics, Pool & Billiards, Professor Q Ball, Billiards Digest, Joe Romer Trophies, John Bender Cues, and DIGICUE OB. The next stop on the Tri-State Tour, scheduled for Saturday, August 12, will be a $1,000-added 8-ball event, hosted by Rockaway Billiards in Rockaway, NJ.
 

Scalzitti comes from the loss side to take Tri-State stop in Jackson Heights

Ambi Estevez, Duc Lam and Kevin Scalzitti

In a winners' side semifinal during the Sunday, May 15 stop on the Tri-State Tour, Kevin Scalzitti suffered a loss at the hands of Duc Lam. After winning three matches on the loss side, Scalzitti came back in the finals to return the favor. The $1,000-added event drew 23 entrants to BQE Billiards in Jackson Heights (Queens), NY.
 
Following victories over Mike Harrington 7-3, Ed Medina 7-2 and Kapriel Delimelkonoglu 7-2, Scalzitti met up with Lam, as Ambi Estevez squared off against Bob Toomey in the other winners' side semifinal. Lam sent Scalzitti west 8-5 and, in the hot seat match, faced Estevez, who'd defeated Toomey 6-3. Lam claimed the hot seat 9-7 and waited for his second, fateful match against Scalzitti.
 
Scalzitti opened his loss-side campaign against Pascal Dufresne, who'd defeated Steve Kaminow 7-2 and eliminated Delimelkonoglu 7-5. Toomey picked up Alberto Sanchez, who'd gotten by Andrea Shiffman 7-4 and survived a double hill battle versus Akiko Taniyama.
 
Scalzitti downed Dufresne 7-1, as Toomey eliminated Sanchez 7-4. Dufresne took the quarterfinal match that followed 7-5 over Toomey, and then dropped Estevez 7-4 in the semifinals.
 
In the finals, Scalzitti employed some semifinal momentum to get off to a quick, three-rack lead against the opponent who'd sent him to the loss side, Lam. Lam took rack #4, but Scalzitti came right back with two in a row to take a commanding 5-1 lead. That lead vanished when Lam chalked up four in a row to knot the match at 5-5. They proved to be Lam's last. Scalzitti responded with four straight of his own to claim the event title.
 
Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at BQE Billiards for their hospitality, as well as sponsors Ozone Billiards, Sterling-Gaming, Kamui Tips, Ron Vitello, Phil Capelle, BlueBook Publishing, Human Kinetics, and Bloodworth Ball Cleaners. The next stop on the Tri-State Tour, scheduled for Saturday,  May 21, will be hosted by Clifton Billiards in Clifton, NJ.

Sutcharitakul goes undefeated to win his first Tri-State stop

Mike Strassburg and Chumreon Sutcharitakul

Prior to Sunday, April 26, the closest that Chumreon Sutcharitakul had come to the Tri-State winners' circle (based on information at our disposal) was as runner-up at an event in November, 2012. He'd been defeated in the opening round of play and marched seven matches through the loss side to challenge hot seat occupant, Ed Medina. On Sunday, he went undefeated to claim his first Tri-State title at a $1,000-added event, hosted by BQE Billiards in Brooklyn, NY.
 
He'd survived a double hill match against Chris DeCaprio in a winners' side semifinal, as Michael Esposito was sending eventual runner-up Mike Strassburg to the loss side 6-4. Sutcharitakul claimed the hot seat 7-3 over Esposito and waited on Strassburg.
 
Strassburg moved over and met up with Bob Toomey, who'd defeated Arthur Russel 6-2 and Erick Carraco 6-5 to reach him. DeCaprio drew Ramon Feliciano, who'd gotten by Duc Lam 8-6 and survived a double hill confrontation versus Edward Pacumio.
 
Strassburg and DeCaprio resumed their winning ways; Strassburg defeating Toomey 6-5 and DeCaprio eliminating Feliciano 7-4. In what proved to be the last match of the event, Strassburg downed DeCaprio in the quarterfinals 6-2. Esposito settled for third place by forfeiting the semifinal match to Strassburg. Sutcharitakul and Strassburg opted out of a final, splitting the top two prizes. As the undefeated hot seat occupant, Sutcharitakul claimed the event title.
 
Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at BQE Billiards, along with sponsors Sterling-Gaming, Ozone Billiards, Qpod Cues, Kamui Tips, Phil Capelle, BlueBook Publishing, and Human Kinetics. The next stop on the Tri-State Tour, scheduled for Saturday, May 2, will be hosted by Gotham City Billiards in Brooklyn, NY. 

Dempsey goes undefeated to take Amateur side of Predator Tour stop

There was a lot going on in the New York Tri-State area on the weekend of April 25-26. There were stops on the Tri-State, Predator and Mezz Tours, as well as an independent event at Castle Billiards in East Rutherford, NJ. All were fairly well-attended, which, if nothing else, is a 'for now' answer to the question of how well the sport is doing,  at least in the competitor-rich Tri-State area. On the Predator Tour, 51 entrants showed up to compete in the $500-added Amateur tournament, hosted by Steinway Billiards in Astoria (Queens), NY. Stephen Dempsey, chalking up his first win on the Predator Tour, went undefeated (Zion Zvi went undefeated in the concurrently-run Open/Pro tournament; see separate story).
 
 Dempsey's undefeated run went through Marvin This, twice. They met first in the hot seat match, after Dempsey had sent Ron Mason to the loss side 7-5, and This had survived a double hill match against Eddie Medina. Dempsey claimed the hot seat 10-8 over This and waited on his return.
 
On the loss side, Mason picked up Billy Santiago, recent winner of over Peter Cornell 7-3 and Mike Panzarella 7-5. Medina ran into George Poltorak, who'd defeated Tommy Schreiber 7-5 and Wanlop Chantarakolkit 7-3. Mason moved on, defeating Santiago 7-5, and was met, in the quarterfinals, by Poltorak, who'd eliminatEd Medina 7-3.
 
Poltorak took the quarterfinals 7-4 over Mason, and then, by the same score, fell to This in the semifinals. Dempsey took his second against This 10-5 to claim his first Predator title.

Marshall goes undefeated to win his first Tri-State Tour stop

Brian Marshall, Ed Medina and Tony Ignomirello

Brian Marshall wound his way through a field of Tri-State veterans to chalk up his first Tri-State win on Sunday, August 10. Marshall faced Ed Medina twice to complete his run; once in a winners' side semifinal and again in the finals. The $750-added event was hosted by Clifton Billiards in Clifton, NJ.
 
Marshall's path through the field began with a win over Vinny Ferri, and was followed by victories over Ed Crespo and Vincent Morris, which set him up for his first encounter against Ed Medina. Tony Ignomirello, in the meantime, faced Mike Strassberg, who would go on to win $750 in the event's Break and Run contest. Marshall and Medina chalked up their first of two double hill matches against each other. Marshall prevailed and moved into the hot seat match against Ignomirello, who'd defeated Strassberg 6-3. Marshall sent Ignomirello to the semifinals 7-5 and waited on Medina.
 
Medina moved to the loss side and ran into young Thomas Rice, who'd defeated Emily Duddy 7-4, and just did get by Vincent Sauro 7-6. Strassberg met up with Allison Honeymar, who had gotten by Mike Erickson 6-3 and given up only a single rack to Dave Fitzpatrick.
 
Medina began his campaign for a rematch against Marshall with a 7-5 win over Rice, as Strassberg ended Honeymar's day 6-3. Medina won the quarterfinal match over Strassberg 7-4 and then locked up in double hill struggle with Ignomirello in the semifinals, for the right to challenge Marshall in the hot seat.
 
Medina got his chance and made good, early use of the opportunity, opening up a 3-0 lead over Marshall in the finals. Marshall, though, fought right back and with some racks traded, the two were tied at 4-4. They were also tied at 5-5 and 6-6, before Marshall sealed the deal to claim his first win on the Tri-State Tour.
 
Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff of Clifton Billiards, as well as sponsors Ozone Billiards, Sterling-Gaming, Qpod, Kamui Tips, Ron Vitello, Focus Cases by John Batron, Phil Capelle, BlueBook Publishing, Human Kinetics , and Focus Apparel. The next stop on the Tri-State Tour, scheduled for August 16, will be hosted by Gotham City Billiards.

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.