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Castillo goes undefeated, downs Laboy twice to win 1st Predator Pro Am Tour title

(l to r): Euryel Castillo, Mike Callaghan & Miguel Laboy

The nature of pool lends itself to showdowns between long-time veterans and so-called ‘young guns,’ although not all of them are necessarily young. The finals of this past weekend’s (Feb. 15-16) stop on the Predator Pro Am Tour was a case in point, when newcomer Euryel Castillo, with only six cash finishes and one event victory (*) on his ‘resume,’ all recorded within the past year, faced off against Miguel Laboy, with cash finishes and multiple event victories, dating back 15 years, to his first appearance at the 2005 US Open 9-Ball Championships, at which he finished 33rd (along with Tony Robles, by the way). The ‘young gun’ Castillo came out on top in this one, going undefeated and taking Laboy down twice at the $1,000-added event that drew 84 entrants to Raxx Billiards in West Hempstead, NY.

Their first get-together was in the battle for the hot seat. Castillo had defeated Monika Callaghan (whose husband was already toiling away on the loss side) 7-3, while Laboy was involved dispatching George Poltorak to the loss side 9-5. In their first of two, they battled to double hill before Castillo prevailed to claim the hot seat.

On the loss side, George Poltorak picked up Eli Trajceski, who’d recently defeated Jaydev Zaveri 7-3 and survived a double hill battle against Troy Deocharran. Monika Callaghan drew her husband, Michael, which is always the kind of match that draws speculation about how their relationship will proceed immediately after one of them wins; the standard speculation which follows a husband victory is usually about the husband spending at least one night sleeping on a couch. Michael had defeated Katie Baker 6-3 and Mikhail Kim 7-3 to reach his wife.

Poltorak and Trajceski locked up in a double hill fight that eventually sent Poltorak to the quarterfinals. He was joined by Michael Callaghan, who’d sent his wife home (figuratively) 6-3, his assumed night on the couch possibly avoided by the eventual $1,000 in cash they managed to bring home as a team.

Michael advanced a step further, downing Poltorak in the quarterfinals 7-4. His loss-side run was stopped by Laboy who downed him 11-9 in the semifinals, to earn a second shot at Castillo in the hot seat.

The odds in the final match were likely on Laboy’s side. Castillo, though, did not apparently get that memo, as he defeated Laboy 10-4 to capture his first non-asterisk (meaning, played a final match) title.

A Second Chance event which drew 16 entrants was won John Francisco, who pocketed $160 for the win. Sean DaCosta was runner-up ($100), with Debbie Buyukdeniz and Erick Toledo finishing in the tie for 3rd ($30 each).

Tour director Tony Robles thanked Josh and Holden Chin and their Raxx Billiards staff for their hospitality, as well as title sponsor Predator Cues, Ozone Billiards, PlayNAPL.com, The DeVito Team, PoolOnTheNet.com, Cappelle (BilliardsPress.com), AZBilliards, Pool & Billiard Magazine and Billiards Digest. He also thanked his own Predator Pro Am staff to include his lovely wife, Gail. The next stop on the Predator Pro Am Tour, scheduled for March 14-15, will be hosted by Steinway Billiards in Astoria (Queens), NY.

Turning Stone Classic XXXIII – Holden Chin vs Elvis Joubert

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, PlayNAPL.com, The DeVito Team, PoolOnTheNet.com, Cappelle (BilliardsPress.com), 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. 
 

The Iceman goes undefeated to win Predator Pro Am Open/Pro Championships

Robles wins 7 on the loss side and is runner-up for second straight year 

(l to r): Mike Salerno, Jorge Rodriguez, Mika Immonen & Tony Roble

Ten years ago, in what was reportedly his best earnings year ever, Finland’s Mika Immonen (aka The Iceman) cashed in a total of 29 events all over the world, 21 of which he finished as either the winner (13), the runner-up (4; to include his appearance on Europe’s Mosconi Cup team) or in third place (4). Six of his 13 victories that year were chalked up in the state of New York; he won a stop on the Tri-State Tour, two on the Joss NE 9-Ball Tour, and three on the Predator Pro Am Tour. Many of the cash winners in those three 2009 Predator events were present for the 2019 Tour Championships held on the weekend of December 14-15 at the event’s traditional location, Raxx Billiards in West Hempstead, NY. They included Jorge Rodriguez, Frankie Hernandez, Mhet Vergara and Tour Director Tony Robles, who, in the 2009 events won by Immonen, finished third in February, 5th in July and 9th in October. Notable, as always, in his absence from this year’s event was George “Ginky” Sansouci, who was 5th in that 2009 February event, 13th in July and tied with Robles for 9th in October.

The Predator Pro Am Tour’s defending Open/Pro Tour Champion and the 2018 runner-up met in this year’s semifinal; Jorge Rodriguez and Tony Robles, respectively. It was, though, Mika Immonen who became the 2019 champion, going undefeated through a field of 24 entrants, on-hand for the $1,000-added, 10-ball event at Raxx Billiards.

A concurrently-run, $9,930-added A/B/C/D Amateur event (separate story), which drew 93 entrants, was won by Pascal Dufresne, one of the tour’s 18 event winners this year. Sent to the loss side early, Dufresne won seven in a row before meeting and defeating hot seat occupant Ryan Dayrit in the finals.

For the second year in a row at the Open/Pro Championships, Rodriguez battled for the hot seat; last year, versus Robles, this year, against The Iceman. This year, Robles was sent to the loss side by Frankie Hernandez and like Dufresne in the Amateur event would win seven on that side of the bracket for the right to face Immonen in the finals.

Immonen advanced through the field to draw Joey Korsiak in one of the winners’ side semifinals. Rodriguez, in the meantime, faced Mike Salerno in the other one. Immonen gave up only a single rack to Korsiak and moved on to the hot seat match. He was joined by Rodriguez, who’d sent Salerono west 7-4. The Iceman and Rodriguez battled to a somewhat predictable double hill battle that eventually sent Rodriguez to the semifinals.

On the loss side, Robles chalked up wins #3 and #4 against John Francisco (7-2) and Mhet Vergara (double hill) to draw Korsiak. Salerno picked up Frankie Hernandez, who’d eliminated Jimmy Conn 7-2 and Jonathan Smith 7-3 to reach him. A potential rematch between Hernandez and Robles loomed in the shortly-distant quarterfinals.

Robles did what he could to affect that rematch with a 7-5 victory over Korsiak in the event’s first money round. Salerno, though, ended Hernandez’ weekend 7-4.

Robles downed Salerno 7-5 in the quarterfinals, setting up a repeat of the 2018 hot seat match and final; Robles versus Rodriguez. They split those two matches last year. Robles, winning the first one and Rodriguez, claiming the title in the finals. Robles earned his shot against The Iceman with a 7-2 win over Rodriguez in that semifinal matchup, guaranteeing himself at least a repeat, runner-up finish and a certainly possible finish as the Open/Pro Champion.

According to Robles, he lost that final matchup, early. He missed an early shot that he says he shouldn’t have missed and The Iceman used the resultant momentum to move on and win the match 7-4.

“I made one mistake in that final match,” said Robles later, “and it cost me.”

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, PlayNAPL.com, The DeVito Team, PoolOnTheNet.com, Cappelle (BilliardsPress.com), AZBilliards, Pool & Billiard Magazine and Billiards Digest. The Predator Pro Am Tour will open its 2020 season at Amsterdam BIlliards with an event scheduled for the weekend of January 18-19, 2020

Austria’s Lechner, Finland’s Siekkinen and Spain’s Ruiz lead the pack at 14.1 Championships

Francisco Sanchez-Ruiz (Erwin Dionisio)

Three of the 2019 American 14:1 Straight Pool Championships’ competitors made it through the event’s three-day Round Robin phase (Oct. 22-24) with undefeated (6-0) records. They were arguably not the names you might have expected from this particular field of 42 entrants, which included six former winners of the championship title – Mika Immonen (2007), Johnny Archer (2011), John Schmidt (2012), Thorsten Hohmann (2013), Darren Appleton (’14 & ’15), and Neils Feijen (2016). Two-time runner up Danny Barouty (to Ed Hodan in 2006 and Bob Maidhof in 2008) was competing, as were runner-ups Shaun Wilkie (to Danny Harriman in 2010), John Schmidt (to Archer, 2011), Archer (to Hohmann, 2013), Hohmann (to Schmidt in 2012, Darren Appleton in 2015 & Klenti Kaci in 2018), Immonen (to Feijen in 2016) and Dennis Orcollo (to Konrad Juszczyszyn in 2017).
 
Instead, Austria’s Max Lechner, Finland’s Jan Siekkinen and Spain’s Francisco Sanchez-Ruiz went undefeated through the Round Robin phase of the event and were awarded a bye in the 24-entrant single elimination phase which began today (Friday) and will continue through tomorrow (Saturday) at Q Master Billiards in Virginia Beach, VA. Lechner was paired in his seven-entrant round robin flight and won his six race-to-125 matches by an average of 102 balls. He gave up, in order, one to David Alcaide, 66 to Marc Vidal, 24 to Tom Walter, seven to Blair Levandowski and 41 to Don Polo
 
Siekkinen competed in what was arguably the event’s toughest group of seven and went through Thorsten Hohmann (43), Johnny Archer (81), Lee Van Corteza (59), Sean Morgan (21), Neil Gold (65) and Pascal Dufresne (44); an average of 52. Ruiz got by John Schmidt (66), Petri Makkonen (25), Bob Hunter (55), Mike Badsteubner (27), Reymart Lim (72) and Michael Frank (-1); average of 40.
 
The remaining five competitors to receive opening round byes into single elimination were all 5-1 in the round robin competition. Ruslan Chinakhov lost his opening round match to Neils Feijen, one of two matches that Feijen won by shutout, 125-0 (the other was against Bob Madenjian). Chinakhov went on to down Albin Ouschan, Ralph Eckert and deliver a second shutout to Madenjian, before defeating Holden Chin and Darren Frank. Dennis Orcollo lost his opening match to Darren Appleton in one of the round robin’s closest games, 125-116. Orcollo went on to meet and defeat Maksim Dudanets, Marco Teutscher, Danny Barouty, Earl Herring and Steve Matthieu.
 
Feijen was the only member of this year’s European Mosconi Cup team who competed in this event, and while he did chalk up two shutout victories, he did lose his opening match to Albin Ouschan 125-44. In addition to the shutouts, he defeated Ralph Eckert, Holden Chin and D. Frank. The sport’s acknowledged comedian, Alex Pagulayan opened the round robin proceedings against Mika Immonen, and together, they produced the round robin’s official closest game, won by The Lion 125-119. Pagulayan went on to defeat Max Eberle before losing his one match to Shaun Wilkie in another close match 125-104. He finished with victories over Michael Yednak, Steve Lillis and Jay McWorter.
  
As noted above, Immonen’s path to his 5-1 round robin record began with a defeat by Pagulayan. The Iceman would go on to down Eberle, Wilkie, Yednak, Lillis and McWorter.
 
Friday morning competition in the single elimination phase saw eight matches scheduled. Five of the 16 competitors had also logged 5-1 records in the round robin phase; tie breakers were head-to-head results and beyond that, total ball counts. John Schmidt was scheduled to face Maksim Dudanets, who finished the round robin phase with a 3-3 record. The marquee match was likely to be Albin Ouschan (5-1) against Johnny Archer (4-2), who closed out Thursday evening’s matches with a necessary win of Sean Morgan that gave him the record he needed to advance.
 
The Darren Appleton (5-1) and Shaun Wilkie (4-2) combination was garnering interest and was selected as the Billiard Sports Network’s Friday morning choice for live broadcast. Ralf Souquet, competing in the round robin flight with the 6-0 Lechner, advanced with his 5-1 match record to face Reymart Lim (3-3). Marco Teutscher (5-1) was scheduled to face Ralph Eckert (3-3). 
 
Remaining matches pitted Lee Van Corteza against Petri Makkonen, Thorsten Hohmann versus Marc Vidal, and David Alcaide squaring off against Max Eberle. 
 

Aranas wins Predator Pro Am qualifier to CSI Predator World 10-Ball Championship

(l to r): Omar Alshaheen and James Aranas

It’s rare, if not downright unheard of, that a pool tournament, especially among the sport’s elite, is set up as a winner-take-all scenario. That, however, is just what occurred on Sunday, June 23, when 15 competitors gathered at Raxx Billiards in West Hempstead, NY vying for a single, winner payout in a $500-added event, which would qualify that winner for the upcoming, $100,000-added CSI/Predator World 10-Ball Championships, set for July 22-26 at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. Zoren James Aranas won four matches in a row in a single elimination format to claim the $1,500 first-place prize and a paid entry to the Vegas event next month.
 
The event was held under the auspices of the Predator Pro Am Tour, which, concurrently, held its 10th tour stop of the year, a $1,000-added A/B/C/D event that drew 80 entrants to Raxx Billiards. Between the Open/Pro event qualifier, the A/B/C/D tour stop and two Second Chance events, 124 players (with some event overlap) traveled out to Long Island for this multi-event weekend. A report on the A/B/C/D tournament and the two Second Chance events will be posted separately.
 
The qualifier event featured exactly 201 games of pool. In winning, Aranas won 40 of the 51 games in which he competed (78%). His opponent in the finals, Omar Alshaheen, won 35 of 63, for a game-winning average of 55%. Alshaheen’s opponents chalked up an average of six games against him and he faced a double hill battle in the third, semi-final round. Aranas’ opponents won an average of just under three games per match.
 
Aranas opened with a 10-1 victory over Pat Fleming, as Alshaheen downed Jeremy Sossei 10-6. In the second round, Aranas defeated tour and event director Tony Robles 10-5. Alshaheen, in the meantime, defeated Jimmy Rivera 10-3.
 
In the semifinals that followed, Elvis Rodriguez, who’d defeated Mike Dunn 10-5 and Holden Chin (owner of Raxx Billiards) 10-8, was eliminated in a shutout by Aranas. Thorsten Hohmann, who’d defeated Mike Badsteubner and Joey Korsiak, both 10-6, forced a 19th and deciding game against Alshaheen, who advanced to meet Aranas in the finals.
 
In the final match, Aranas downed Alshaheen 10-5 to claim the top prize and his literal (ticket) on a plane to Vegas for the CSI/Predator 10-Ball Championships next month.  

Meyer survives strong, double-hill challenge to go undefeated on Predator Pro Am Tour

(l to r): Jose Kuilan, Max Watanabe, Brooke Meyer & Stephen Motilal

As James Aranas was busy working on an undefeated run to qualify for the upcoming 10-Ball Championships in Las Vegas (see separate story), Brooke Meyer was at work trying to secure (according to our records) his first victory on the Predator Pro Am Tour since April of 2016. Three years ago, in what would prove to be his best earnings year to-date, Meyer spoiled the party that might have celebrated a first-ever victory for New York’s Alison Fischer (not to be confused with English Pro Allison Fisher), downing her twice to take that title. On the weekend of June 22-23, Meyer, sitting in the #8 slot amongst the tour’s A players, went undefeated again, this time downing Jose Kuilan (#13 among C players) twice to capture the $1,000-added, A/B/C/D event that drew 80 entrants to Raxx Billiards in West Hempstead, NY.
 
Meyer and Kuilan met in the hot seat match, once Meyer had sent Jay Vapanta to the loss side 7-2 and Kuilan had dispatched Stephen Motilal to that side of the bracket 7-4. Meyer claimed the hot seat in a double hill fight and waited on what would prove to be another one in the finals.
 
On the loss side, Motilal picked up Bob Toomey, who’d defeated Michelle Brotons 6-3 and Debby Buyukveniz 7-5 to reach him. Vapanta drew Max Watanabe, who’d recently eliminated Miguel Laboy 7-1 and Chulo Castro 7-4.
 
Watanabe, who sits at #9, one spot below Meyer among the A players, defeated Vapanta 7-2, as Motilal ended Toomey’s weekend 7-5. Watanabe took the quarterfinal match that followed, 8-6 over Motilal, before he was eliminated, double hill, in the semifinals by Kuilan 9-8.
 
It looked, for a while, as though Kuilan was going to cash in on his semifinal momentum to snatch the event title out of Meyers’ hands. He was on the hill ahead of Meyer, but watched as Meyer, slowly, but surely closed the gap. At 10-9, Kuilan attempted a good-looking 6-9 combo that would have ended it, but instead, when it failed, allowed Meyer to tie it up and forced the deciding game. Meyer ‘pushed’ on the last break, and for a few minutes, both players benefited from sequential lucky rolls that put their opponent in tough shape. Meyer broke out of the pattern to finish the rack, winning the game, match and event.
 
Matt Klein took the Second Chance event, which drew 16 entrants, downing Ambi Estevez in the final. Abel Rosario and Marisol Palacio shared third place in the single-elimination event. The Third Chance drew 13 players and was won by Miguel Laboy, following a double hill final against Bob Toomey. Joe Wilson Torres and Shashi Hajaree shared third place honors in this one.
 
Tour director Tony Robles thanked Holden Chin and his Raxx Billiards staff, as well as title sponsor Predator Cues, Ozone Billiards, PlayNAPL.com, The DeVito Team, PoolontheNet.com, Cappelle (BilliardsPress.com), AZBilliards, Pool & Billiards Magazine and Billiards Digest. The next stop on the Predator Pro Am Tour (#11), scheduled for July 13-14, will be hosted by Amsterdam Billiards in Manhattan, NY. 

Joss Tour At Raxx This Weekend

Players & Fans,
 
Congratulations to Stop # 14 winners Jeremy Sossei ($1,000 main event), Aaron Greenwood ($300 second chance) & our $1,500 Joss Cue raffle winner Luke Given  
 
Stop # 15 of The Joss Northeast 9-Ball Tour will take place on May 4 & 5 at Raxx Pool Room Sports Bar & Grill in W. Hempstead NY. Raxx is one the Northeast's largest rooms complete with a huge 50 foot bar, Great food and 25 tables making for a fun time for everyone anytime. Our good friend and owner Holden Chin, deserves much credit and thanks for being so generous in allowing us the use of his beautiful facility and adding $2,000 for this free spectator event. Much more info about Raxx can be found on their web site raxxpoolroom.com  So why not come down and show Holden your appreciation and support by  playing in, or just to watch, yet another great event with some of the games top players.  
 
This event at Raxx will consist of a $1500 added Saturday and Sunday Main Event (entry Fee $120 for pro level or $70 for non pro level) and a $500 added second chance event on Sunday ($20 Entry Fee) for those non pro players eliminated from the main event on Saturday.
  
For those of you coming to play, please arrive on Saturday May 4, Before 11:30 AM, and in proper dress please. Yes, jeans and sneakers are permitted in our billiard parlor events. But please, NO T-SHIRTS, TANKS, SHORTS OR SWEATS. Complete tour info can be found on our site www.joss9balltour.com
   
Please remember to spread the word to frequent your local billiard parlors and utilize and promote the world class products of our most generous sponsors. They are the backbone of our sport and deserve our support!! 
 
Thanks, and I hope to see you all at Raxx.
 
Mike Zuglan
 
The Joss Northeast 9-Ball Tour Is Proudly Sponsored By;
 
Joss Cues – http://www.josscues.com
Turning Stone Resort Casino – http://www.turningstone.com 
Simonis Cloth – http://www.simoniscloth.com
Poolonthenet.com – http://www.poolonthenet.com
AzBilliards.com – http://www.azbilliards.com
Aramith – http://www.aramith.com
Billiards Press – http://www.billiardspress.com                 
World Class Cue Care – http://www.jnj-industries.com
FargoRate – http://www.fargorate.com

 

 

Rosario takes single-game final to capture Predator Pro/Am Tour Championship Amateur title

(l to r): Mac Jankov, Annie Flores, Ron Bernardo & Abel Rosario

As the clock hands edged their way toward 3 a.m. on Monday morning, December 10, it was clear that fatigue was becoming a dominant factor in the last matches of the $9,630-added Predator Pro Am Tour Championships’ Amateur tournament, which had drawn 94 entrants to Raxx Billiards in West Hempstead, NY over the weekend. The 16-entrant, $1,000-added  Open/Pro Division of the Tour Championships at the same location (separate story) were over, won by Jorge Rodriguez. So, too, were the three, $500-added (total) Second (two) and Third Chance events. All that remained were the Amateur semifinals and finals; Annie Flores and Abel Rosario in the former, and whoever won, against hot seat occupant, Ron Bernardo, in the final.
 
They were all tired. So was Upstate Al in the AZBTv broadcast booth, whose commentary on the semifinal was sparse, to say the least. He let people know he was still there, usually by just saying so, and here and there, a few pertinent comments on possible shot options for the players. 
 
There was still $11,500 worth of prize money to be allocated among the last three. They could have opted for a three-way split, giving each of them $3,833.33; not a band chunk of change for a weekend of work. But they didn’t. With a difference of $2,500 at stake between 1st and 2nd place, splitting the top two prizes, while clearly an option, didn’t happen either. This, after all, was the Tour Championship, and they’d all worked an entire year to get here. Rosario and Flores played a tight, full race-to-7 semifinal match, which eventually sent Rosario, who won it 7-5,  back for a second shot against Bernardo. What they did do, in deference to the hour and the lurking specter of increased fatigue, which would most certainly have had an effect on the quality of the final match, was to turn the final match into a single game contest. One game for 63% ($6,000) of the remaining marbles.
 
Abel Rosario won it to claim the Amateur title. He’d entered the tournament as the tour’s #1-ranked B player, and while the tour’s #5-ranked C player (Bernardo) won their earlier meeting – a double hill hot seat match – he had to, and likely, at that hour, was glad to accept the $3,500 runner-up prize.
 
As is often the case, in many different fields of endeavor, the headlines don’t always indicate the whole story, and among many of the ups and downs encountered by the 94 entrants, Rhio Anne (Annie) Flores’ third place finish, her best on the tour since last November, was among the event’s most notable highlights. She’d flown to London to watch her companion, Alex Kazakis, compete in the 25th Annual Mosconi Cup. While certainly experiencing divided loyalties in her support for Team USA and Kazakis, it couldn’t have been a whole lot of fun to watch Kazakis go down in defeat against Shane Van Boening, in what could have (and from Kazakis’ point of view, should have) been the match that tied the overall match score at 10-10 and led to a single match for the title. She flew back from London and arrived just in time to join the Predator Pro Am’s Tour Championships.
 
It was Abel Rosario who’d ended Flores’ winners’ side journey, after which she embarked on a six-match, loss-side journey that took her as far as the semifinal. Rosario moved on and eventually arrived at a winners’ side semifinal against Gary Bozigian. Bernardo, in the meantime, squared off against Mac Jankov.
 
Rosario sent Bozigian to the loss side 7-5. Bernardo downed Jankov 6-4, setting up his first of two against Rosario in the hot seat match. In the deciding game, the 9-ball was jammed into the edge of a corner pocket, with no clear path to get at it, because the cue ball was down there, too. Bernardo executed a massé shot and dropped the 9-ball to claim the hot seat. It guaranteed Bernardo at least 2nd place ($3,500), while Rosario had to settle for a minimum third place finish
 
“That,” said Tony Robles, when it happened, “was a $1,500 shot,” which guaranteed Bernardo, at minimum, 2nd place ($3,500), while Rosario had to contend with the possibility of finishing 3rd ($2,000). It didn’t turn out that way.
 
On the loss side, Flores had chalked up four wins, including most recently, a 7-5 win over Juan Guzman and a 7-3 victory over Brian Toolsee, when she ran into Bozigian. Jankov picked up Corey Avallone, who’d most recently shut out Naoko Saiki, and eliminated Esteban Morell, double hill.
 
Both matches for advancement to the quarterfinals went double hill; Jankov eliminating Avallone 6-5 and Flores defeating Bozigian 7-6. Flores moved on to eliminate Jankov 9-6 in the quarterfinals.
 
As tired as they both were, going into their semifinal rematch, Rosario and Flores (likely with the added burden of some lingering jet lag) put on quite a back-and-forth show. In the end, though, Rosario pulled out in front to win it 7-5.
 
The single-game final was on, and among the few that were left, including Tour Director Tony Robles, perched in a seat just outside the perimeter of the TV table’s viewing range, there was a hope that neither of the competitors, Rosario or Bernardo, were in the mood for any kind of protracted ‘safety’ game. They weren’t. In a handful of ‘innings,’ it was over. Rosario sunk the final 9-ball and everybody got to go home.
 
Robles thanked Holden Chin and his Raxx staff for their hospitality, his own Predator Pro Am staff and title sponsor Predator Cues, Ozone Billiards, PlayNAPL.com, The DeVito Team, PoolOnTheNet.com, Cappelle (BilliardsPress.com), AZBilliards, Pool & Billiard Magazine and Billiards Digest. The next stop on the Predator Pro Am Tour will be the 2019 season opener, scheduled for the weekend of January 26-27 and hosted by Steinway Billiards in Astoria (Queens), NY.

Joss NE 9-Ball Tour at Sharpshooters This Weekend

Players & Fans,
 
Congratulations to Stop # 2 winners & "Hudson Valley Fall Classic II" champ, Shaun Wilkie ($1,000), Victor Nau ($300, second chance) & $1,500 custom, engraved Joss Cue raffle winner, Holden Chin
 
Stop # 3 of our Joss Northeast 9-Ball Tour's 2018-2019 season will take place on October 13 & 14 at Sharp Shooters Billiards & Sports Pub in Amsterdam NY. Tim & Julie Berlin also own Trick Shot Billiards & Sports Pub in Clifton Park NY where we will once again have a tour stop this season, as well as another here at Sharp Shooters later on. Sharp Shooters is the home of some of the Diamond Pro tables that were used at one of our Turning Stone Classic events just a few years ago. Sharp Shooters is a full service facility with a full bar, a complete pub food menu, darts, arcade games, nightly entertainment and most recently a tournament quality indoor Bocce Ball court. There is something for everyone of all ages, every day of the week at Sharp Shooters. More information can be found at their site www.sharpshootersbilliards.com or call them at 518-627-4634. Also, as is done at all of our Joss Northeast 9-Ball Tour events, there will be a raffle for a custom, engraved, Joss Cue valued at $1,500. Anyone can participate in the cue raffle and you Do Not have to be present to win! The drawing for this gorgeous cue will take place immediately prior to the final match on Sunday. So come to Sharp Shooters to play, or just watch a great tournament & to show your appreciation to Tim & Julie by taking a shot at winning a $1,500 Joss cue in their raffle! 
The raffle cue can be viewed here:    https://josscues.com/joss-tour-2018-19-cue/
 
This event is being held in honor of our recently departed good friends and Sharp Shooters and regular Joss Tour players, John "Babs" Babravich and Jim Romanowski. RIP friends. You are both missed immensely!
 
If you will be in need accommodations, try one of these two nearby motels. Super 8, 5502 Rt 30, Amsterdam NY 12010, 518-843-5888 OR Valley View Inn,1351 NY Rt 5s, Amsterdam NY 12010, 518-842-5637. 
                                                           
This event at Sharp Shooters Billiards & Sports Pub will consist of a $1500 added Saturday and Sunday Main Event (entry Fee $120 for pro level or $70 for non pro level) and a $500 added second chance event on Sunday ($20 Entry Fee) for those non pro players eliminated from the main event on Saturday. All of our billiard parlor main events are now races to 9 on the winners side and races to 7 on the one loss side.
 
For those of you coming to play, please arrive on Saturday Oct 13th BEFORE 11:30 AM, and in proper dress please. Jeans and sneakers are permitted in our billiard parlor events. But please, No T-shirts, tanks, shorts or sweats. Complete tour info can be found on our site www.joss9balltour.com    
 
Also, our second "Joss Junior 9-Ball Championships" will be held right here at Sharp Shooters on January 26 & 27, 2019. There will once again be 2 divisions. 18 & under and 12 and under. 18 & under will play exactly the same as all of our regular season Joss events which is, races to 9/7 double elimination on the 9 footers. The 12 & under will play races to 7/5, double elimination on the 7 footers. For more info, please contact Mike Zuglan immediately at 518-356-7163 for entry information. Please contact Mike if you would like to donate any items to be given away at the event.
 
Please note that our $25,000 Added Turning Stone Classic XXXI 9-Ball Open on January 10-13, 2019 is fast approaching and will fill to capacity before you know it. If you would like to compete in this BCA, WPA official ranking event, NOW is the time to enter to avoid being shut out! To enter you must contact me at 518-356-7163 or see me at any of our events Before the event is full at 128. I have actively been collecting entries since our last Turning Stone event and we are currently about 2/3 full so I strongly urge everyone to act now!! 
 
Please remember to spread the word to frequent your local billiard parlors and utilize the world class products of our most generous sponsors. They are the backbone of our sport and deserve our support!! 
 
Thanks and I hope to see you all at Sharp Shooters.
 
Mike Zuglan
 
The Joss Northeast 9-Ball Tour Is Proudly Sponsored By;
 
Joss Cues – http://www.josscues.com
Turning Stone Resort Casino – http://www.turningstone.com 
Simonis Cloth – http://www.simoniscloth.com
Poolonthenet.com – http://www.poolonthenet.com
AzBilliards.com – http://www.azbilliards.com
Billiards Press – http://www.billiardspress.com                 
World Class Cue Care – http://www.jnj-industries.com
FargoRate – http://www.fargorate.com