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Schreiber picks up his first win of the 2018/2019 Tri-State Tour season

(l to r): Thomas Schreiber & Mike Mele

It’s hard to know how the final game in any double hill match is going to affect a player. Some buckle under the pressure, while others rise to the adrenaline-fueled challenge and win. Some, at different times, do one or the other. Thomas Schreiber’s five-year history with the Tri-State Tour suggests that he thrives on double hill matches. It’s difficult to peruse the totality of his recorded history on the tour and determine just how many double hill matches he’s played, but we do know, as one example, that the second time he cashed on the Tri-State Tour, back in December of 2014, Schreiber lost a double hill match in the battle for the hot seat, won a double hill match in the semifinals and though he’d open the finals with four straight, he lost that match, double hill, to finish as runner-up. In a win during the 2017-2018 season, Schreiber got knocked to the loss side in a double hill loss, played two double hill matches to get back to the finals and then defeated hot seat occupant Pashk Gjini double hill to win. Four months later, still in the 2017-2018 season in January of 2018, Schreiber got into the hot seat with a double hill win, and then earned the event title with a double hill win in the finals against Lidio Ramirez.
On Sunday, March 24, Schreiber had a double-hill-free trip through to the hot seat, but in the end, after Mike Mele completed a six-match, loss-side winning streak to face him in the finals, Schreiber got into yet another double hill match that he won to claim the event title. Mele entered the tournament as the Tri-State’s top ‘B’ competitor in its Player of the Year standings, with 22 appearances to his credit since last summer. Schreiber’s a ‘B’ player, as well; seventh on the list, with nine appearances since last summer. The $1,000-added 8-ball event drew 38 entrants to Cue Bar in Bayside (Queens), NY. Schreiber, a two-time winner of the annual NYC 8-Ball Championships (2015/2016), had a bit of an edge in the chosen game category.
Schreiber’s trip to the hot seat saw him win 36 of the 47 games he played, downing Harry Singh, Michelle Brotons, Luis Lopez, and John Durr, before facing David Leggat in a winners’ side semifinal.  Mike Strassberg and Amanda Andries, in the meantime, met in the other one. Mele, at the time, was already at work on the loss side.
Schreiber shut Leggat out to get into the hot seat match. Strassberg survived a double hill match against Andries to join him. Schreiber gave up only a single rack to Strassberg and waited in the hot seat for his eventual double hill matchup against Mele in the finals.
It was Andries who picked up Mele on the loss side, three matches into his loss-side winning streak, which had included recent wins over Joe Romeo 6-2 and Tri V. Chau 6-4. Leggat drew John Durr, who, following his defeat at the hands of Schreiber, had won two straight double hill matches against Jerry Almodovar and Fernando Anderson to face Leggat.
Mele downed Andries 7-3 and in the quarterfinals, faced Leggat, who’d defeated Durr 6-4. Mele and Leggat locked up in a double hill fight, won by Mele, which, in effect, sent him directly to the finals. He leapfrogged over the semifinals when his opponent, Mike Strassberg, had to forfeit that match.
Entering the finals, Mele was looking for his first win on the tour. His closest finish on the tour, to date, came in the season opener of the current 2018-2019 season, last July, when he won six on the loss side to finish as runner-up to Duc Lam. At the tail end of yet another six-match, loss-side winning streak Mele came up against Schreiber and almost predictably found himself in a double hill match for the event title. Schreiber secured it to claim his first Tri-State title since January, 2018, midway through the 2017-2018 season.
Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Cue Bar 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, DIGICUE OB and Hustlin USA. The next stop on the Tri-State Tour, scheduled for the week after the upcoming Super Billiards Expo (Sunday, April 7) will be hosted by Shooter’s Family Billiards in Wayne, NJ.