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Schreiber benefits from late forfeit to chalk up his first win on Predator Tri-State since 2019

Thomas Schreiber

You have to go back to the week between Christmas and New Year’s in late 2019 (his best recorded earnings year) to find the last time Thomas Schreiber won an event on what was then just the Tri-State Tour but is now the Predator Tri-State Tour. This past weekend, however (Saturday, Aug. 28), he recorded his first victory since that holiday weekend two years ago. He advanced to the hot seat match, where he was defeated by Solomon Brown. The final never happened. Brown forfeited the final match, citing a family emergency, and the event title was assigned to Schreiber. The $1,000-added event drew 28 entrants to Cue Bar Lounge & Billiards in Bayside (Queens), NY.

Schreiber and Brown advanced through the field to face opponents in the two winners’ side semifinals; Schreiber versus Kevin Shin, while Brown took on Jake Chiu. Brown shut Chiu out, as Schreiber sent Shin to the loss side 7-2. Though Schreiber would check in with some late racks to make the hot seat match a little closer than it appeared it was going to be when Brown had a 6-1 lead, Brown did persevere and claim the hot seat 7-5, in what would prove to be his last match.

On the loss side, Shin and Chiu walked right into their second straight losses. Shin drew Henry Cha, who’d defeated Thomas Hagan 7-5 and Josh Friedberg 7-4 to reach him and then, defeated him, double hill, to advance to the quarterfinals. Chiu picked up K.C. Clayton, who’d eliminated Jason Goberdhan 6-3 and Esteban Morell, Jr., double hill, before downing Chiu, double hill, as well.

Cha got out in front of Clayton in the quarterfinals that followed and won 9-5, for a shot at Schreiber in the final match of the event, the semifinals. The last match was another double hill affair, with Schreiber dropping the last ball, and thanks to Brown’s forfeiture of the finals, claiming his first event title in almost two years.

Tour representatives thanked the Cue Bar owners and staff, as well as title sponsor Predator Cues, Ozone Billiards, Sterling Gaming, Kamui Tips, Phil Cappelle, Blue Book Publishing, Human Kinetics, Pool & Billiards, Romer Trophies and Professor Q Ball. The next stop on the Predator Tri-State Tour, scheduled for the weekend of Sept. 25-26, will be a $1,250-added, 10-ball event, hosted by The Spot in Nanuet, NY.

Calton goes undefeated, downs Cha twice on Predator Tri-State Tour

Robert Calton and Henry Cha

Last September, Robert Calton and Henry Cha squared off in the hot seat match of the inaugural tournament of the Mac Attack Tour. Launched by Mac Jankov to accommodate the hundreds of pool players who, in the absence of the Tri-State Tour and the Predator Pro Am Tour due to the pandemic, had been left high, dry and without competition in the tri-state New York City area. Cha sent Calton to the semifinals in that nine-months-ago hot seat match, but did not face him a second time. At the end of the quarterfinals in that event, Calton, Cha and Nishant Narang opted out of playing both a semifinal and a final match and split the top three prizes. 

Fast forward to this past weekend (May 22-23). Tony Robles had moved to Florida and the Predator Pro Am Tour came to a complete stop. The Tri-State Tour resurfaced last month, having sought and obtained sponsorship from Predator, and became the Predator Tri-State Tour.

And there, in the hot seat battle, and this time, in the finals, were Robert Calton and Henry Cha. Only this time, it was Calton who claimed the hot seat and then, defeated Cha a second time in the finals to claim his first event title. The $1,000-added event drew 63 entrants to Cue Bar in Bayside (Queens), NY.

Calton’s path to the winners’ circle went through Paolo Valaverde, Philip Pearce, Adrian Daniel and Tri Chau to arrive at a winners’ side semifinal matchup versus Todd Trent. Cha opened his campaign up against Basdeo Sookhai and then sent Eddie Kwok, Duc Lam and Jimmy Acosta to the loss side, picking up Hunter Sullivan in the other winners’ side semifinal.

Calton got by Trent 7-5, as Cha was busy sending Sullivan over 7-3. Calton claimed the hot seat 7-4 over Cha and waited on his return.

On the loss side, Sullivan picked up Doug Youmans, who’d recently defeated Jimmy Acosta 7-5 and Jimmy Gutierrez 10-5. Trent drew KC Clayton, who was working on a seven-match, loss-side winning streak that had just eliminated Diana Rojas 6-3 (#5) and Adrian Daniel 6-4 (#6).

Sullivan advanced to the quarterfinals 9-5 over Youmans. Clayton took one more step to join him, downing Trent 7-4. Sullivan stopped Clayton’s run 6-3 in those quarterfinals.

In what proved to be the only double hill match of the entire tournament, Cha defeated Sullivan in the semifinals, earning a second shot at Calton, waiting for him in the hot seat. Calton took the opening set of the potential two, 7-4, and claimed the event title.

Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff Cue Bar for their hospitality, as well as title sponsor Predator Cues, Ozone Billiards, Sterling Billiards, Kamui, Quick Stik, Bloodworth Ball Cleaner, Joe Romer Trophies, Phil Cappelle Publications and Pool and Billiards. The next stop on the Predator Tri-State Tour, scheduled for the weekend of June 12-13, will be hosted by The Spot in Nanuet, NY.

 

Jankov Takes Matters Into His Own Hands, Launches Series of Tri-State New York Area Tourneys

Robert Calton, Henry Cha and Nishant Narang

Cha, Calton and Narang share inaugural spotlight with 11-year-old who defeats her Dad

Mac Jankov, a tri-state New York area pool player and a competitor on both the Tri-State Tour and Predator Pro Am Tour got a little tired of waiting for those tours to re-start. One of them (the Predator Pro Am) had shut down completely and Jankov was not only looking for competition himself, but was aware of many fellow players looking, as well. He’d noted the proliferation of virtual ‘ghost’ challenges playing out on the Internet, but like many fellow competitors, it was not enough.

“The pool community in New York/New Jersey is huge and has been growing all the time, thanks to the Tri-State and Predator Pro Am tours,” he said. “Ghost tournaments are not the same as being in a real competition with other real players, in the same room, playing on the same table.”

Jankov took the proverbial bull by the horns. After hearing from members of the tri-state pool community of a recently re-opened and under-new-management pool room – Breaker Billiards in Clifton, NJ – that was drawing many area players since it re-opened, he approached owner Leonard Morina. On Sunday, September 13, Jankov oversaw the first (and not the last) Breaker Billiards 9-Ball Tournament.

“I created a Facebook page about the event,” said Jankov, “and within six hours, the proposed field of 32 was full, with a waiting list, 15 players deep.”

The field was split into upper (A/B) and lower (C/D) brackets with 15 players in each and things got underway at 11 a.m. on Sunday morning.  Races were basically, with some handicap adjustments, 7 on the winners’ side and 6 on the losers’ side. The event finished when the final three players – Henry Cha, Robert Calton and Nashan Narang – negotiated a split of the top three prizes. Cha, originally from the upper bracket, was in the hot seat at the time and became the event’s official winner.

Cha, a B+ player, had worked his way through Erwin Jao, Chris Schmidt and Tommy Schreiber to arrive at a winners’ side semifinal match against Raymond Paragas, who’d just sent Kevin Scalzitti to the loss side. Scalzitti joined the tournament one day after winning a stop on the Garden State Pool Tour.

Working in the lower bracket initially, Robert Calton had survived an opening round double hill match against Christina Li. He then got by CA Duque, who’d just sent 11-year-old Brooke Nasta to the loss side (more on her and her Dad later). Calton then downed “Scooter” Hilton to draw Nishant Narang in the other winners’ side semifinal.

Calton got into the hot seat match 7-3 over Narang and met up with Cha, who’d sent Paragas over 7-5. Cha played what proved to be his final match in claiming the hot seat 7-5 over Calton.

On the loss side, Narang and Paragas showed up in the first money round. Paragas drew Chris Schmidt, who’d recently eliminated Scalzitti and Christian J. Orque, both 6-2. Narang picked up Christian Taeza, who, showing no mercy for the player responsible for him being there, defeated Mac Jankov 6-4 and Suzzie Wong, 6-2. Two loss-side matches earlier, Wong, one of the Tri-State and Predator Pro Am Tour’s top female and top C players had eliminated the aforementioned 11-year-old, Brooke Nasta, which brings us to the father/daughter match.

Brooke Nasta

11-year-old Nasta faces and defeats her Dad on the loss side

Brooke Nasta, who, at 11, became a championship finalist at the Billiard Education Foundation’s 2020 Junior Nationals and has qualified for league play in Las Vegas, came to this tournament with her Dad, Anthony Nasta. They both signed on to compete and entered the tournament in the C/D bracket. 

Dad won his opening round match against Dave Votta 7-5 and then, was sent to the loss side by Christian Taeza 7-4. Dad opened his loss-side campaign against his daughter, who’d opened her loss-side journey with a 6-4 victory over Christina Li. 

Unlike the Californian father-son duo of Ernesto and Oscar Dominguez, who never play each other because father Ernesto always forfeits to his son, the father-daughter combination competed and Brooke came out on top 7-5. In a way, though, Dad shook his daughter out of a low-heat frying pan and threw her into a fire against Suzzie Wong. Suzzie and Brooke battled to double hill before Wong prevailed. Wong and Brooke exchanged pleasantries after the match, with the elder Wong complementing the younger Brooke on her game play, setting up a potential BFF combination right there on the spot.

Wong played one more match. She defeated Scooter Hilton before meeting and being defeated by Christian Taeza. 

The victory over Wong proved to be Taeza’s ‘swan song’ as he went down to defeat in that first money round 7-5 to Nishant Narang. Chris Schmidt joined Narang in the quarterfinals after eliminating Paragas 6-4.

In what proved to be the last match of the evening, Narang downed Schmidt 6-4. Narang, Calton and Cha negotiated the payout settlement and it was over.

In his first foray into the world of directing pool tournaments, Mac Jankov thanked Leonard Morina and his staff for their hospitality. Jankov has posted videos of this recent tournament at a new site he created on YouTube; https://youtube.com/channel/UCKhyJKiYFaEsHP6REHTyA9Q.

The next independent event, organized by Jankov is scheduled for Sunday, September 27 and will be hosted by Clifton Billiards. Jankov and his ‘crew’ will return to Breaker Billiards for another 9-ball tourney, scheduled for Sunday, October 4.