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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.

Youngster Rice goes undefeated to capture 1st Annual Gotham City Classic

Arturo Reyes, Dave Ascolese, Scott Simonetti, Owner Kevin Buckley and Thomas Rice

Thomas Rice, 15, must have been wondering whether by granting an interview to a reporter from Billiards Digest last October, whether he'd put a curse on his own fledgling pool career. He'd gone into the interview with wins on both the Tri-State Tour (May) and Predator Tour (September), and though he continued to be 'in the money,' regularly, on both tours, once his Tour Spotting profile appeared in the pages of Billiards Digest last November, the event victories stopped.
Until the weekend of November 15-16, when he went undefeated to win the 1st Annual Gotham City Classic in his home room, Gotham City Billiards. Held under the auspices of the Tri-State Tour, the Open/B Class event, which drew 64 entrants, was organized by room owners Kevin and Isabel Buckley, who added $6,000 to the purse, contributed green fees, and purchased four, 35" solid trophies for the event's top four finishers. 
Tour representatives described the Buckley's efforts as "one of the most generous contributions to a tournament" that they had ever witnessed.
"It exemplifies their support for the tour's amateurs," they said. "This is not like league organizations that make money off of players. It cost them to do all this. They contributed the entire room to the event and went first class for everybody."
Following victories over Stewart Warnock, Omar Alli, Miguel Laboy and Kapriel Delimelkonoglu, Rice met up with Keith Diaz in a winners' side semifinal. Dave Ascolese faced Arturo Reyes in the other. Rice's eventual finals opponent, Scott Simonetti, had been sent to the loss side by Ascolese, and was already at work on the five-match, loss-side streak that would put him up against Rice.
Rice got into the hot seat match when Diaz forfeited. Ascolese sent Reyes to the loss side 7-3. Rice downed Ascolese 7-5 and waited in the hot seat for Simonetti to complete his loss-side run.
Simonetti, in the meantime, got by LaBoy 7-4 and Shivam Gupta in a double hill match, to draw Diaz. Reyes picked up Omar Alli, who'd defeated Greg Ackerman 7-5 and Delimelkonoglu 7-2. Simonetti and Reyes advanced; Simonetti by Diaz forfeit and Reyes with a 7-3 win over Alli. Simonetti then defeated Reyes 7-5 in the quarterfinals, and moved right into the finals against Rice, when illness caused Ascolese to forfeit the semifinals.
Rice took a quick 4-0 lead in the finals. Simonetti got on the board with a game, and they traded racks to 5-3. Rice completed his undefeated run 8-3, and chalked up his first Tri-State victory in over a year.
Tour representatives were effusive in their praise and thanks to Isabel and Kevin Buckley for their continuing hospitality and support of the tour and its players. They also thanked Ozone Billiards, Sterling-Gaming, Qpod, Kamui Tips, Ron Vitello, Focus Cases by John Bartron, Phil Capelle, BlueBook Publishing, Human Kinetics , and Focus Apparel for their sponsorship. The next stop on the Tri-State Tour, scheduled for November 22, will be hosted by Steinway Billiards in Astoria, Queens, NY.

Ferri comes back from the loss side to defeat Ritzer in Tri-State finals

They met twice; once, in a winners' side semifinal and again, in the finals of the $1,000-added February 16 stop on the Tri-State Tour. Vinny Ferri had the last word, winning three on the loss side to meet and defeat Jerry Ritzer in the finals of the event that drew 26 entrants to Rockaway Billiards in Rockaway, NJ.
As Ferri and Ritzer were battling it out in one winners' side semifinal, Eric Hill and Greg Ackerman met in the other. Ritzer sent Ferri over 6-4, as Ackerman was busy surviving a double hill fight against Hill. Ritzer then moved into the hot seat with a 7-4 victory over Ackerman and waited for Ferri to come back.
Ferri opened his three-match march back to the finals against Tony Ignomirello, who'd just defeated Ada Lio 7-2 and Allison Honeymar 7-5. Hill picked up Paul Spaanstra, who'd eliminated Tri Chau 7-3 and Roger Hanos, double hill. Hill engaged Spaanstra in his second straight, double hill match and came out on top, advancing to the quarterfinals against Ferri, who'd downed Ignomirello 6-3. 
Ferri won two 7-4 matches in a row, defeating Hill in the quarterfinals and Ackerman in the semifinals, for a second shot at Ritzer in the hot seat. Ritzer, making his first appearance on the Tri-State Tour since 1997, took the opening rack of the extended-race-to-9 finals. Ferri took the next two, before Ritzer knotted things at two apiece. Ferri came back with three in a row, the last of which was won when Ritzer left the 9-ball hanging in a pocket. Ferri maintained the lead, reaching the extension at 7 racks, and winning two more to win 9-4 and claim the event title.
Tour representatives thanked the ownerships and staff at Rockaway Billiards, 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, scheduled for February 22, will be hosted by The Cue Bar in Bayside, NY.