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LaBoy goes undefeated to chalk up fourth 2014 Tri-State win

Paul Spaanstra, Miguel LaBoy and Dave Fitzpatrick

Miguel Laboy won his first Tri-State Tour stop in January. He's won three more since; one in August, another in September, and most recently, on Saturday, November 22 at a $1,000-added event that drew 64 entrants to Steinway Billiards in Astoria (Queens), New York. Twice, at House of Billiards on Staten Island, he had to defeat the room's owner, Dennis Kennedy to claim the title. In the middle of those two occasions, in August, he and his co-finalist, Lidio Ramirez, opted out of a final match, leaving Laboy undefeated and the official event winner.
In claiming his fourth Tri-State title, Laboy had to get by Paul Spaanstra twice. Following victories over Enoch Hooper, Juan Guzman (forfeit), Thomas Rice and Koka Davladze, Laboy met Spaanstra for the first time in a winners' side semifinal. Dave Fitzpatrick and Kevin Huynh met in the other. Laboy prevailed 8-5 over Spaanstra and in the hot seat match, met Fitzpatrick, who'd defeated Hunyh 6-2. Laboy claimed his fourth Tri-State hot seat 10-7 over Fitzpatrick and waited on the return of Spaanstra.
Spaanstra started his trip back to the finals against Davladze, who. after being sent over Laboy, had defeated Greg Ackerman 8-5, and Kyle Bubet 8-4. Huynh drew Steve Wade, who'd gotten by Albert Appleton and Thomas Schreiber, both 6-4. Spaanstra eliminated Davladze 8-4, and in the quarterfinals, met Wade, who'd defeated Huynh 6-3.
Spaanstra and Wade locked up in a double hill, quarterfinal fight that eventually advanced Spaanstra to the semifinals against Fitzpatrick. A 7-3 win there, and Spaanstra got his second crack at Laboy.
Spaanstra got off on the right foot, winning three straight. Laboy, though, answered promptly with three of his own. Spaanstra responded with four in a row to take his largest lead at 7-3. Laboy checked in with another three to narrow Spaanstra's lead to one at 7-6. Though Spaanstra won rack #14, it proved to be his last, as Laboy finished with four in a row to claim the event title.
Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Steinway Billiards for their hospitality, as well as sponsors Ozone Billiards, Sterling-Gaming, Qpod, Kamui Tips, Ron Vitello, Focus Cases by John Barton, Phil Capelle, BlueBook Publishing, Human Kinetics , and Focus Apparel. The next stop on the Tri-State Tour, scheduled for November 29, will be hosted by Clifton Billiards in Clifton, NJ.

Hooper goes undefeated to collect his first Tri-State trophy

Enoch Hooper began his Labor Day weekend as a "C+" rated player. Before the weekend was over, though, he'd picked up his first victory on the Tri-State Tour with an undefeated run, and been elevated to a "B" status. The $920-added  B-C-D event on August 30-31 that brought this about drew 44 entrants to Amsterdam Billiards in Manhattan.
Hooper's rise to a "B" player actually occurred during the event, as he continued to chalk 'em up on the winners' side of the bracket. He entered the winners' side semifinal as a "C+" but went into the hot seat match as a "B." Hooper had downed Colin Kelly (a "B") 7-3 and in the hot seat faced Bob Toomey, who'd defeated Andrew Cleary 6-3. The new "B" defeated the "C" (Toomey) 7-5 and sat in the hot seat on the brink of his first Tri-State victory. 
Kelly moved to the loss side and had the misfortune of running into Alex Osipov, who'd been defeated in the event's opening round and was on a seven-match streak to the quarterfinals. He'd just defeated John Morrison 7-5 to draw Kelly. Cleary drew Jamiyl Adams, who'd just finished with Wanlop Chantarakolkit by the same score.
Osipov and Cleary advanced to the quarterfinals; Osipov 7-3 over Kelly and Cleary 7-5 over Adams. Osipov's run was ended 7-4 by Cleary, who advanced to the semifinals against Toomey. Clearly spoiled Toomey's chance at a second shot against Hooper with a double win in the semifinals.  
Cleary took an early lead in those finals, getting out in front by 4-1. Hooper came back to win on the hill 7-6.
Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Amsterdam 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 September 6, will be hosted by Clifton Billiards in Clifton, NJ.

Strickland takes Open Predator event; Alli takes Amateur title

Earl Strickland

Last weekend (March 29-30), Chris Derewonski came back from a loss in the hot seat match to defeat Mike Harrington in the finals of the Predator Amateur event at Gotham City Billiards. One week later (April 5-6), he was in the finals again, having followed the same path, only this time, he was playing in the Open/Pro event and his hot seat and finals opponent was Earl Strickland. Strickland defeated Derewonski twice to win the $500-added Open/Pro event that drew 12 entrants to Strickland's home room, Steinway Billiards, in Astoria, NY. On the $500-added Amateur side that drew 72 entrants, Omar Alli went undefeated to take home the top prize. 
Strickland, who'd finished third in the March 29-30 Predator stop, went undefeated through the short field, arriving at his first meeting against Derewonski, after a 7-2 win over Zion Zvi. Derewonski, in the meantime, defeated Jorge Rodriguez, who'd been the hot seat occupant and eventual runner-up in the March 29-30 stop, 7-3. Derewonski battled Strickland to double hill in the winners' side final, but the Pearl prevailed.
Zvi and Rodriguez moved to the losers' bracket, where they picked up Mike Yednak and Tony Robles, respectively. Yednak had eliminated Koka Davladze 7-3 and Steve Wright 7-5. Robles got by Jerry Tarantola 7-1 and survived a double hill fight versus Eddie Culhane. Zvi downed Yednak 7-5, and in the quarterfinals faced Rodriguez, who'd defeated Robles 7-2.
Rodriguez and Zvi fought tooth and nail to double hill before Rodriguez prevailed to get a shot at Derewonski. Derewonski and Rodriguez went double hill, too, but Derewonski came out on top for a second shot at Strickland, waiting for him in the hot seat. Strickland sealed the deal 9-4 to claim the Open/Pro title.
In the Amateur event, Omar Alli, looking to improve on his runner-up finish on the tour in early March, advanced to the hot seat match with a 7-4 win over Enoch Hooper, as Eric Grassman was sending Billy Santiago to the losers' bracket 7-6. Alli dominated the winners' side final, winning it 8-1.
Hooper moved to the losers' bracket and picked up Kirill Safronoz, who'd defeated Ray Feliciano 7-2 and George Poltorak 7-4 to reach him. Santiago drew Miguel Laboy, who'd eliminated Shawn Sookhai 7-2 and Junior Sanchez 7-5. Hooper advanced to the quarterfinals 7-4 over Safronoz, and was met by Laboy, who'd defeated Santiago 7-5. Hooper took a page out of the Omar Alli 'hot seat book' and defeated Laboy 8-1.
Grassman ended Hooper's short, loss-side winning streak in a double hill semifinal, and then, put up something of a fight in his re-match against Alli. Alli, though, stayed on top and won it 8-5 to claim the Amateur event title.
Tour director Tony Robles thanked the ownership and staff at Steinway Billiards, as well as New York City Grind, while welcoming Ozone Billiards to the sponsorship ranks. Selected matches on the tour stop were broadcast under the auspices of AZBTv.