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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.

Walmsley stops loss-side bid by Smiley Feliz to take Tri-State stop

Tony Ignomirello, Neil Walmsley and Yomaylin Feliz

Neil Walmsley stopped an eight-match, loss-side winning streak by Yomaylin "Smiley" Feliz to capture the July 28 stop on the Tri-State Tour. The $1,000-added event drew 31 entrants to Clifton Billiards in Clifton, NJ. 
Feliz came out on the wrong end of a double hill match against David Ascolese in the opening round of play, and embarked on the longest possible route (eight matches) back to the finals. Walmsley, in the meantime, after victories over Dave Shlemperis, Scott Bannon, and Harry Guevarez, advanced among the winners' side final four to meet up with Scott Simonetti. Tony Ignomirello and Grant Weldon squared off in the other winners' side semifinal. Walmsley sent Simonetti over 7-5, for a match against Feliz, as Ignomirello advanced 8-7 over Weldon. Walmsley got into the hot seat with a 7-5 win over Ignomirello, and waited on Feliz.
With three wins chalked up on the loss side (including wins over Carl Yusuf Khan and Bannon), Feliz survived two straight double hill matches – against Guevarez and "Annie" Flores – to pick up Simonetti. Weldon drew Ambi Estevez, who'd defeated Mike Davie 6-4 and Jay Choi 6-3 to reach him. Feliz handed Simonetti his second straight loss 8-5 and was met in the quarterfinals by Weldon, who'd eliminated Estevez 8-4.
Feliz downed Weldon 7-4, and then survived yet another double hill fight; this one, against Simonetti in the semifinals. She moved on to her third appearance in a Tri-State final since January.
It looked as though Feliz was destined for a fourth double hill fight, as she and Walmsley battled back and forth to a 4-4 tie. Walmsley, though, found a second gear and won three straight to claim the event title.
Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Clifton Billiards for their hospitality, as well as sponsors Sterling-Gaming, Ozone Billiards, Qpod Cues, Kamui Tips, Phil Capelle, BlueBook Publishing, and Human Kinetics. The next stop on the Tri-State Tour is scheduled for August 3 at Castle Billiards in East Rutherford, NJ.