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Dufresne wins seven on the loss side to down Dayrit and win Amateur Tour Championship

(l to r): Alberto Estevez, Ryan Dayrit, Jose Kuilan & Pascal Dufresne

It’s been a good year for Pascal Dufresne, his best to-date, capped this past weekend (December 14-15) with a come-from-the-loss-side win at the 2019, $9,930-added Predator Pro Am Amateur Tour Championships, which drew 93 entrants to the event’s annual host, Raxx Billiards in West Hempstead, NY. Dufresne cashed in seven events this year; three on the Tri-State Tour, including two wins (April and September) and four on the Predator Pro Am Tour, including victories in March and this most recent event in the tour’s season finale. He also made an appearance at the 14:1 American Straight Pool Championships in October and though he failed to cash in the event, he was responsible for a computer program, utilized by the Billiards Sports Network that ran the event’s live stream that analyzed the performance of the event’s competitors.
Dufresne’s path to the winners’ circle began with back-to-back wins over Hector Torres and Chris Kelly, both 7-3, before he ran into Julie Ha, who moved his trip to the loss-side of the tracks with a 7-4 win. Ha moved on to a double hill win over Matthew Harricharan, which brought her to a winners’ side semifinal match against Alberto Estevez. Meanwhile, Ryan Dayrit, who’d gotten by Erick Carrasco 7-3, Brandonne Alli 7-1 and Ray Lee 7-4, chalked up two straight double hill wins over Pauls Carpenter and Lyons to arrive at a winners’ side semifinal match against Jim Gutierrez.
Ha locked up in a second straight double hill fight, against Estevez, but it was Estevez who moved on to the hot seat match. He was joined by Dayrit, who’d defeated Gutierrez 7-3. Dayrit claimed the hot seat and what proved to be his last win 7-4 over Estevez.
Ha moved to the loss side and ran into an immediate rematch against Dufresne, who’d chalked up loss side wins #3 and #4 against Matthew Harricharan, double hill, and Dave Shlemperis 7-2 to reach her. Gutierrez drew a rematch, as well, against Jose Kuilan, whom he’d sent to the loss side in a double hill, third round battle and who’d subsequently gone on to win three, almost four straight, loss-side double hill matches; against Irene Kim (6-5), Chris Ganley (6-5), Corey Avallone (6-5) and Ray Lee (6-4).
Dufresne and Kuilan mounted successful rematch campaigns and eliminated Ha and Gutierrez; Dufresne 7-3 over Ha and Kuilan 6-3 over Gutierrez. Dufresne then won the subsequent quarterfinal battle against Kuilan 7-4.
A double hill semifinal followed, with Dufresne prevailing over Estevez to earn his spot in the finals against Dayrit. In the extended race-to-9 battle, Dufresne reached his target ‘7’ ahead of Dayrit, extending the race, and added the two he needed to win it.
Robles thanked Holden Chin, Matthew Harricharan, Troy Deocharran, and Joshua Friedberg’s Raxx staff for their hospitality, his own Predator Pro Am staff (to include his lovely wife, Gail) and title sponsor Predator Cues, Ozone Billiards,, The DeVito Team,, Cappelle (, AZBilliards, Pool & Billiard Magazine and Billiards Digest. The Predator Pro Am Tour will open its 2020 season at Steinway Billiards with an event scheduled for the weekend of January 18-19, 2020. 

Watanabe comes back from semifinals to down Torres in finals of Predator Pro Am stop

(l to r): Hector Torres, Max Watanabe, Kanami Chau & Abel Rosario

Max Watanabe had his best earnings year to date in 2018 and though he has a way to go to catch up and make 2019 an even better year, he’s doing what he needs to do to make that happen. Last week (August 4), he went undefeated at a stop on the Tri-State Tour, downing Dave Shlemperis twice. This week, on Sunday, August 11 at a $1,000-added Predator Pro Am Tour stop at Steinway Billiards that drew 64 entrants, he got sent to the loss side by Hector Torres in the battle for the hot seat and came back to defeat Torres in the finals. If you’re making a move to improve the second half of any given year, there’s nothing like back-to-back tour victories to signal that you’re on the right track.
Watanabe’s trip was almost derailed at the outset, as he opened his campaign with two double hill wins; one against Vinko Rumora and a second against Jose Estevez. He got a little traction with a 7-2 win over Miguel Laboy and a 7-4 victory over Elvis Rodriguez, which set him up in a winners’ side semifinal match against Abel Rosario. Hector Torres, in the meantime, got by Ron Bernardo, Paul Lyons, and Brandonne Alli before having to survive a double hill win over Mike Callaghan, which set him (Torres) up to face Ray Lee in the other winners’ side semifinal.
Torres downed Lee 7-1, while Watanabe locked up in his third double hill battle of the weekend against Rosario and won it. He survived three double hill matches out of five he played to get to the hot seat match, but Watanabe didn’t have an ‘answer’ for Torres, who defeated him 8-1 to claim the hot seat.
Over on the loss side, Ray Lee ran into an immediate rematch against Kanami Chau, who’d been defeated by him in a winners’ side quarterfinal and then chalked up two straight double hill wins, over Ryan Dayrit and Joe Morace, to face him a second time. Rosario picked up Luis Jimenez, who was working on a four-match, loss-side winning streak that had most recently included a 7-3 win over Chris Kelly and a double hill victory over Jaydev Zaveri.
Chau chalked up her third straight double hill win and advanced to the quarterfinals over Lee. She was joined by Rosario, who’d ended Jimenez’ loss-side run, double hill, as well. Seven of the tour stop’s final 14 matches required a single deciding game.
The quarterfinal match between Rosario and Chau came within a game of double hill, but Rosario edged out in front to take it 9-7. Watanabe, though, anxious apparently for a second shot at Torres in the hot seat, gave up only a single rack to Rosario in the semifinals that followed.
Watanabe took full advantage of that second shot. He downEd Torres 10-7 in the final to claim his second straight event title in as many weeks.
A Second Chance event drew 14 entrants. Elvis Rodriguez and Irene Kim advanced through the single elimination bracket to meet each other in the finals. Rodriguez had defeated Duc Lam to play in the finals. Kim had eliminated Akiko Taniyama to join him. Rodriguez took home the top $140 prize, after downing Kim 11-6 in the finals. Kim took home the $100 second prize, while Lam and Taniyama pocketed $20 each.
Tour director Tony Robles thanked Manny Stamatakis and his Steinway Billiards staff for their hospitality, as well as title sponsor Predator Cues, Ozone Billiards,, The DeVito Team,, Cappelle (, AZBilliards, Pool & Billiards Magazine and Billiards Digest. The Predator Pro Am Tour will return to Steinway Billiards on Labor Day weekend (Aug. 31 – Sept. 2) for the $3,000-added ($1,500 Amateur, $1,500 Pro) Eastern States Championships.

Tenzin Jorden goes undefeated to win his first Predator Pro Am Tour stop

(l to r): Tony Robles, Dave Callaghan, Thomas Schreiber & Tenzin Jorden

12th Annual Empire State Championships at Raxx Billiards in West Hempstead, NY on tap next
Tenzin Jorden and Thomas Schreiber battled twice in the February 9-10 stop on the Predator Pro Am Tour. The first time, the match sent Schreiber on a three-match, loss-side trip. The second time earned Jorden his first title on the Predator Pro Am Tour. The $1,000-added event drew 73 entrants to Cue Bar in Bayside (Queens), NY.
Both matches between Jorden and Schreiber went double hill. The first, in a winners’ side semifinal, advanced Jorden to the hot seat match, where he was joined by Dave Callaghan, who’d defeated Mac Jankov in his winners’ side semifinal match. Jorden claimed his first hot seat 9-7 over Callaghan and waited on Schreiber’s return.
Long before Dave Callaghan had moved into the hot seat match, his brother, Michael Callaghan was busy trying to advance on the loss side. Michael made it past the first money round (13th through 16th) and moved into the matches that would determine the four-way tie for 9th place. And ran into his wife, Monika, whom his brother had sent to the loss side earlier. Displaying a level of fearlessness rarely seen on a pool table, Michael Callaghan defeated his wife, double hill (6-5), eliminating her from the tournament, albeit with $150 in her pocket . . . uhh, purse? Fortunately, they were able to stay and watch brother/brother-in-law, Dave, compete in the semifinals because Michael was subsequently defeated by Esteban Morrell 7-4. We don’t know whether they watched those semifinals together or not. We didn’t ask.
Esteban Morrell, who’d defeated Hector Torres 7-4 previously advanced to meet Jankov, coming over from the winners’ side semifinal. Schreiber drew Matthew Harricharan, who’d eliminated Brian Toolsee and Jaydev Zaveri (winner of the last Predator Pro Am stop), both 7-4.
Morrell won a double hill battle over Jankov and in the quarterfinals, faced Schreiber, who’d defeated Harricharan 7-2. Schreiber gave up only a single rack to Morrell in those quarterfinals, and then sent Dave Callaghan to sit and watch the finals with Michael and Monika Callaghan by defeating Dave 7-3 in the semifinals.
Jorden and Schreiber settle in to the their second straight, double hill match; this one for all of the proverbial marbles, all 1,250 of them. Jorden defeated Schreiber a second time to claim his first Predator Pro Am title.
A Second Chance event that drew 14 entrants, saw Russell Masciotti and KC Clayton battle to double hill in the final. Masciotti dropped the last ball to claim the Second Chance title and take home $140. Clayton added $100 to the $100 he’d earned finishing in the tie for 13th place in the main event. Vinnie Crescimanno and Justin Daniels (adding to his $100 for finishing in the tie for 13th place) each took home $20.
Tour director Tony Robles thanked the ownership and staff at Cue Bar for their hospitality, as well as title sponsor Predator Cues, Ozone Billiards, NAPL, The DeVito Team,, Billiards Digest, AZBilliards, Pool & Billiards Magazine and his entire staff, including his lovely wife, Gail.
Zion Zvi will defend his two-time title at 12th Annual Empire State Championships
The next stop on the Predator Pro Am Tour, scheduled for the weekend of February 23-24, will be the 12th Annual Empire State Championships, as usual, hosted by Raxx Billiards in West Hempstead, NY. There will be a $2,000-added Amateur event, which last year, drew 111 entrants, and was won by Jason Carandang. There will also be a $1,000-added Open/Pro event. The two-time defending champion of this event, Zion Zvi, has indicated that he will be on-hand to defend his title.