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Osipov finishes 5th in Amateur event, goes undefeated to take Open/Pro division of Predator Pro Am

John Francisco, Ehmunrao Toocaram, Ron Bernardo, and Han Park

Francisco comes from the loss side to win Amateur division event
 
Alex Osipov had quite a weekend on the Predator Pro Am Tour. He made it to a winners’ side semifinal in the $1,000-added, 80-entrant Amateur event of the July 7-8 stop on the tour, before being sent to the loss side. He lost his first match on that side of the bracket and finished in the tie for 5th place. He moved on to compete in the $500-added Open/Pro event, with 18 presumably tougher opponents, and proceeded to go undefeated through the field to claim that event title. Both events were hosted by the Amsterdam Billiard Club in Manhattan.
 
Osipov advanced through the Open/Pro field to arrive at a winners’ side semifinal match against Matthew Harricharan. Raphael Dabreo, in the meantime, squared off against Jonathan Smith in the other winners’ side semifinal. Osipov defeated Harricharan 7-5 and in the hot seat match, faced DaBreo, who’d sent Smith to the loss side 7-2. Osipov claimed the hot seat 7-4 over DaBreo and waited on his return from the semifinals.
On the loss side, Smith picked up one of the New York Tri-State area’s hottest players at the moment, Joey Korsiak, who’d defeated Duc Lam and Michael Yednak, both 7-5 to reach him. Harricharan drew Hunter Lombardo, who’d recently eliminated Troy Deocharran 7-4 and Zion Zvi 7-5.
 
Korsiak and Lombardo advanced to the quarterfinals; Korsiak 7-5 over Smith and Lombardo 7-3 over Harricharan. Lombardo took the quarterfinal fight 7-4, but by the same score, had his loss-side streak ended by DaBreo in the semifinals. In their re-match DaBreo managed one rack more than he scored against Osipov in the hot seat match, but it wasn’t enough. Osipov completed his undefeated run 7-5 to claim the title.
 
Francisco wins five on the loss side to meet and defeat Toocaram in Amateur finals
 
Sent to the loss side by the eventual occupant of the hot seat, Ehmunrao Toocaram, John Francisco defeated five opponents on the loss side, including Alex Osipov, before meeting Toocaram a second time, in the finals. He defeated him to claim the Amateur event title.
 
Toocaram had advanced through the field of 80 to meet up with Osipov in one of the winners’ side semifinals. Ron Bernardo faced Corey Avallone in the other one. Toocaram sent Osipov to the loss side in a double hill battle, and in the hot seat, faced Bernardo, who’d given up only a single rack to Avallone (6-1). Toocaram won his last match, downing Bernardo 8-5 to claim the hot seat.
 
On the loss side, Osipov picked up what proved to be his final opponent in the Amateur event; the eventual winner, Francisco, who, following his defeat at the hands of Toocaram, had eliminated Chickie Romero, double hill, and Robert Mendoza 9-5. Avallone drew Han Clark, who’d defeated the recently-crowned Tri-State Tour Invitational Champion, Erick Carrasco 7-5, and Kunami Chau 7-4.
 
The loss-side opponents in the battle for advancement both prevailed. Clark downed Chau 7-4, as Francisco sent Osipov to the Pro event with a 9-5 win. In two straight 7-4 victories, Francisco then eliminated Han Clark in the quarterfinals, and Ron Bernardo in the semifinals.
 
Toocaram had sent Francisco to the loss side 7-4 in a winners’ side quarterfinal. In their battle for the event title, they went double hill before Francisco dropped the final ball to claim it.
 
A Second Chance event that drew 16 entrants saw Greg Myer defeat Rene Villalobos, double hill, to claim the $160 first-place prize. Duc Lam finished in third place, with Jay Choi, in fourth. Ambi Estevez took the 10-entrant Third Chance event, claiming the $130 first-place prize after defeating Chickie Romero 7-2 in the finals.
 
Tour director Tony Robles thanked the ownership and staff at the Amsterdam Billiard Club, as well as sponsors Predator Cues, Ozone Billiards, PlayNAPL.com, The DeVito Team, PoolOnTheNet.com, Billiards Press.com, AZBilliards, Pool&Billiards Magazine, and Billiards  Digest. The next stop on the Predator Pro Am Tour, scheduled for the weekend of August 11-12, will be hosted by Boardwalk Billiards in Brooklyn, NY. Robles also reminded potential players that the 2nd Annual New York City 8-Ball Scotch Doubles Championships, to be held under the auspices of his Silent Assassin Productions company, will be hosted by Steinway Billiards in Astoria (Queens), NY on the weekend of August 4-5.
 

“Klenti” Kaci goes undefeated to take Pro side of 8th Annual Ginky Memorial

Eklent Kaci, Lee Van Cortezza, Mike Dechaine and Jorge Rodriguez

The finals of the 8th Annual George “Ginky” Sansouci Memorial Pro Tournament, held over Memorial Day weekend, proved to be a preview of an event, scheduled for tomorrow evening (Thursday, May 31) at the same location, Steinway Billiards in Astoria (Queens), NY. At the upcoming event, Albanian phenomenon, Eklent “Klenti” Kaci and Filipino Lee Vann Corteza will square off for a $20,000, race-to-30 10-ball match, which will be available as a pay-per-view event, beginning at 6:30 p.m. (EDT). Over the Memorial Day weekend, in the Pro event held under the combined auspices of the Predator Pro Am, Tri-State and Mezz Tours, Kaci and Vann Corteza had to work through a field of 38 entrants before meeting up in the finals. Kaci defeated Vann Corteza in those finals, completing an undefeated run that earned him the 8th Annual Ginky Memorial Pro title. A concurrently-run Amateur event drew 144 entrants (separate story, to be posted later).
 
It proved to be more than tomorrow night’s race-to-30 for both Kaci and Vann Corteza. Kaci ended up winning 56 of the games he played over six matches. Corteza, thanks to Mike Dechaine, had to play two more matches (an extra 33 games), and ended up winning more total games (65). Corteza ended up winning 65 of his 115 games (56%), as Kaci chalked up the event title by winning 56 of his 82 games (68%).
 
Kaci opened his bid for the title with a 9-2 win over Brian Schell, and then, almost had his undefeated run derailed by Tony Robles, whose actual participation in the event was (and always has been at this annual memorial event), secondary to his overall organization and oversight of everything about this tournament. This did not prevent “The Silent Assassin” from throwing Kaci a bit of a scare by virtue of a double hill fight that did eventually send Robles west and Kaci further east in the bracket.
 
Kaci’s next match proved to be significantly easier (if they’re ever easier), because Kaci didn’t give Jimmy Conn a single rack, which set him (Kaci) up in a winners’ side semifinal match against Joey Korsiak.
 
Vann Corteza, in the meantime, who’d worked his way through Ehmunrao Toocaram (9-1), Alex Kazakis (9-5) and had to fight Jorge Rodriguez to double hill before advancing, found himself facing not-so-retired “Fireball,” Mike Dechaine in the other winners’ side semifinal.
 
Kaci moved into the hot seat match with a 9-2 win over Korsiak, and faced Dechaine, who’d just consigned Vann Corteza to a few extra matches on the loss side with a 9-5 win. Dechaine gave Kaci his second double hill challenge, but Kaci prevailed to sit in the hot seat and wait for what turned out to be Vann Corteza’s return.
 
On the loss side, Korsiak picked up Rodriguez, who, following his defeat at the hands of Vann Corteza, had eliminated Robles and Alan Rolon. Vann Corteza drew a second match-up against Kazakis, who’d defeated Jimmy Conn and Frankie Hernandez.
 
Vann Corteza downed Kazakis a second time, 9-6, and in the quarterfinals, faced Rodriguez, who’d eliminated Korsiak 9-7. Vann Corteza then ended Rodriguez’ run 9-5 in those quarterfinals, and turned for a second shot against Dechaine in the semifinals. Vann Corteza left Dechaine in third place with a 9-5 win and the final ‘preview’ match of the upcoming challenge event was on.
 
If Kaci holds on to the percentage for tomorrow night’s 20K challenge match, he should win that match 30-14, because he claimed the 8th Annual George “Ginky” Sansouci Memorial Tournament over Vann Corteza by a score of 11-6.
 
Tour representatives of the Predator Pro Am, Tri-State and Mezz Tours thanked Manny Stamatakis and his Steinway Billiards staff for their hospitality. They also thanked Upstate Al and his staff for the live stream of selected matches of both the Amateur and Pro events throughout the weekend.   
 

Shaw comes back from semis to take Predator Open, Luna goes undefeated in Amateur event

Jonathan Smith, Jorge Rodriguez, Jayson Shaw, Frankie Hernandez & Hunter Lombardo

Jayson Shaw, presumably looking to maintain the pace he set in 2015 (winning 11 events, including two Turning Stones, four Predator stops, the Ginky Memorial, and the NYC 8-Ball Championship Men's Grandmasters), chalked up his second 2016 Predator Tour Open win on the weekend of July 9-10. Shaw had to come back from a defeat in the hot seat match at the hands of Frankie Hernandez to claim the title. The $500-added event drew 19 entrants to Amsterdam Billiards in Queens, NY.
 
In a concurrently-run, $1,000-added Amateur event that drew 72 entrants, Carlos Luna went undefeated through the field to capture his first Predator title. Luna had to get by Akiko Taniyama twice to win it.
 
Shaw's path to the winners' circle went through Jonathan Smith in a winners' side semifinal (7-2), as Hernandez was defeating Tony Robles 7-5 in the other. In a rare stumble, two matches from the title, Shaw fell to Hernandez 7-4 in the hot seat match.
 
On the loss side, Smith picked up Hunter Lombardo, who'd defeated Zion Zvi 7-5 and survived a double hill match against Michael Yednak. Robles drew Jorge Rodriguez, who'd gotten by Sean Morgan, double hill and Del Sim 7-2. Smith and Lombardo battled to double hill before Smith advanced to the quarterfinals, meeting Rodriguez, who'd eliminated Robles 7-2. Rodriguez then downed Smith 7-4, before being knocked out 7-3 by Shaw in the semifinals. Shaw exacted his revenge on Hernandez, defeating him 9-7 in the finals to claim the Open/Pro title.
 
Luna goes undefeated to take Amateur event
 
In the Amateur event Luna and Taniyama met first in the hot seat match. Luna had sent Gail Robles to the loss side in one of the winners' side semifinals, but not before Robles had battled him to double hill, and came within a ball of advancing to her first hot seat match. Taniyama sent Marisol Talacios to the loss side 7-2 in the other winners' side semifinal. Luna claimed the hot seat 9-7 over Taniyama and waited on his return.
 
On the loss side, Robles picked up Kirril Safronov, who'd defeated Jerry Tarantola 7-4 and Dave Shlemperis 7-5. Talacios drew Ehmunrao Toocaram, who'd won two straight double hill matches against Rene Villalobos and Abel Rosario. Robles and Toocaram advanced to the quarterfinals; Toocaram, double hill over Talacios, and Robles, 7-3 over Safronov. 
 
Robles, in the midst of her best showing on the tour, ever, took down Toocaram in those quarterfinals 7-5. She battled Taniyama to a deciding game in the semifinals, which, like her winners' side semifinal match came down to the last ball, sunk by Taniyama. Luna and Taniyama battled to double hill in the finals, as well, with Luna sinking the final ball to claim the event title.

Shaw goes undefeated to successfully defend NYC 8-Ball Championship

Jorge Rodriguez, John Leyman and Jayson Shaw

Davladze, Sookhai, Schreiber, Kwak and Emil chalk up separate event victories

 

The 2nd Annual NYC 8-Ball Championships, held on the weekend of November 7-8, under the auspices of Tony Robles' Silent Assassin Productions, and functioning as the BCAPL's regional tour championships, experienced a modest increase in attendance over its debut last June. With the addition of a sixth event – a Mixed Masters tournament – the championships averaged 18 entrants, an increase of just over two entrants per event. The Mixed Advanced event saw the largest increase (13 to 23), with the Mixed Open event close on its heels (23 to 32). The Women's Leisure event saw a decrease from 16 to 10 entrants, while the Men's Leisure event added one entrant to last year's total of 15. The $3,500-added (total) championships drew 108 entrants to Steinway Billiards in Astoria (Queens), NY.

 
Shaw goes undefeated a second time
The fixed-entrant, signature event – The Men's Grandmasters – with its full field of 16 saw Jayson Shaw successfully defend the title he'd won last year, going undefeated for a second time. Though Sean Morgan, last year's runner-up, was among the event's final eight, he ended up in the tie for 5th/6th, which left the door open for Jorge Rodriguez to battle Shaw twice; in the hot seat match and finals. Shaw defeated Nick Ekonomopoulos 8-7 to get into the hot seat match, while Rodriguez sent Mike Wong to the loss side 8-5. Shaw claimed the hot seat 8-5 and waited for Rodriguez to get back from the semifinals.
 
Those semifinals were set up when Morgan and Jeremy Sossei emerged from the 7th/8th matches over Frankie Hernandez and Hunter Lombardo. Morgan drew Ekonomopoulos, and Sossei picked up Wong. Ekonomopoulos ended Morgan's bid to be in the title match 8-4, while Sossei eliminated Wong by the same score. Sossei dropped Ekonomopoulos into fourth place 8-5, before having his bid ended by Rodriguez in the semifinals. Shaw punctuated his title defense with a commanding 8-2 victory over Rodriguez in the finals.
 
Emil and Kwak go undefeated to capture Men's/Women's Leisure titles
Andrew Emil and Carolina Kwak emerged from the 16- and 10-entrant fields of the Men's and Women's Leisure events and went undefeated to capture their respective titles. Emil shut out Jim Gutierrez to get into the hot seat match of the Men's Leisure tournament. He was joined by Mark Ogawa, who'd sent Rolando Rodriguez west 5-2. Emil claimed the hot seat 5-3 over Ogawa.
 
On the loss side, Rodriguez won three straight double hill matches for a shot at Emil in the hot seat. He got by Brad McDuffie, then Gutierrez in the quarterfinals, and finally, Ogawa in the semifinals. Emil, though, punctuated his undefeated run with a shutout over Rodriguez in the finals. 
 
Kwak got into the Women's Leisure hot seat with, first, a double hill win over Bianca Martinez in a winners' side semifinal. Latonia Taylor, in the meantime, sent May Ng to the loss side 5-2. By that same score, Kwak sent Taylor to the semifinals to claim the hot seat. On the loss side, Martinez got into the quarterfinals, following a double hill win over Erika Zan. She was met by the woman she'd sent to the loss side, Deborah Pritchett, who'd eliminated Ng 5-2. Pritchett gave Martinez her come-uppance in a double hill quarterfinal and got a shot at Kwak with a 5-3 win over Taylor in the semifinals. Kwak claimed the Women's Leisure title with a 5-2 victory over Pritchett in the finals.
 
Schreiber, Davladze, and 'The Warrior' claim Mixed Titles.
Tommy Schreiber, competing in the largest-field (32) Mixed Open event, was the only other competitor to go undefeated in the six-event championships. He got into the hot seat match, following a 6-4 victory over Ambi Estevez, and was met by Cristobal Tiru, who'd defeated Joe Wilson Torres 6-4. Schreiber claimed the hot seat 6-3 over Tiru. 
 
It was Estevez and Abel Rosario who emerged from the loss-side scuffles to meet in the quarterfinals. Rosario survived a double hill match versus Omar Chavez to face Torres, whom he then defeated 6-2. Estevez defeated John Morrison 6-3 to join him. Estevez won the quarterfinal match, double hill, over Rosario, before Tiru eliminated him 6-2 in the semifinals. Schreiber then defeated Tiru a second time to claim the title, though not before Tiru battled him to to double hill, forcing a case game.
 
Shawn "The Warrior" Sookhai and Koka Davladze came back from losses in the winners' side semifinals of the Mixed Advanced and Mixed Masters fields to win those events. Sookhai, sent west by Max Watanabe 7-5 in the Mixed Advanced tourney, came back through Noah Vogelman (7-4), Ehmunrao Toocaram (7-5) and successfully wreaked vengeance on Watanabe 7-5, before downing hot seat occupant Matthew Harricharam 9-6 to claim the Mixed Advanced title.
 
Davladze was sent to the loss side by Raphael Dabreo, 7-4, in a winners' side semifinal of the Mixed Masters event. DaBreo went on to defeat Juan Guzman 7-5 in the hot seat match. Elvis Rodriguez, who'd been sent west in the other winners' side semifinal, 7-4, by Guzman, ran into Davladze in the quarterfinals and was eliminated 7-3. Davladze finished Guzman in the semifinals 7-5 and went on to defeat DaBreo 9-7 in the Mixed Masters finals. 
 
Tour organizer Tony Robles thanked added-money contributors Manny Stamatakis (owner of Steinway Billiards), and Michael Fedak, as well as tour director John Leyman. He also thanked Stamatakis' staff for their hospitality, and sponsors Marc Griffin and the BCA Pool League, Cue Sports International, Predator Cues, GothamCityTechnologies.com, PoolOnTheNet.com, NAPL. com, Delta 13, Ozone Billiards, Irene Kin, Ron Mason, Mandy Wu, Dan Faraguna, Allison Fisher, and (his) "amazing wife, Gail."