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Sieczka and Mierzwa split top prizes and share ‘Polska duma’ on first 2019 Tri-State Tour stop

(l to r): Frank Sieczka & Jan Mierzwa

It was, as one Tri-State Tour rep called it, a day of Polska duma, which translates into Polish pride. League teammates and friends Frank Sieczka, Jan Mierzwa and Grzegorz Kasica were among 36 entrants, who signed on to the first 2019 stop on the tour on Sunday, January 5, and ended the day at Clifton Billiards in Clifton, NJ as the $1,000-added, 8-ball event’s final three. As the undefeated occupant of the hot seat, Sieczka claimed the title when he and Mierzwa opted to split the final two cash prizes.
 
All three advanced to a winners’ side quarterfinal, but in one of those quarterfinal matches, Sieczka and Mierzwa met for what turned out to be the one and only time. Sieczka had started his day with a shutout over Sebastian Karwas. He then downed Jaydev Zaveri, double hill and  Emit Yolcu 6-2, before running into Mierzwa and sending him to the loss side 6-4. Sieczka moved on to face DeMain Patrick in one of the winners’ side semifinals. In the meantime, Kasica, who’d sent Qian Chen, Hunter Sullivan, and Michael Graf to the loss side, squared off against Allison LaFleur in the other winners’ side semifinal.
 
Sieczka got into the hot seat match with a 6-3 win over Patrick and was joined by Kasica, who’d shut LaFleur out. Sieczka claimed the hot seat with a 6-4 win in what turned out to be his last match.
 
It was Patrick who drew Mierzwa, three matches into his loss-side streak that would end with the cash split. Mierzwa had downed Joe Mazzeo 6-4 and picked up a forfeit win over Liran Rabin to reach Patrick. LaFleur picked up (relative) newcomer Brandone Alli, who’d defeated Shweta Zaveri 6-3 and Artur Trzeciak (another representative of Polish pride) 6-4.
 
Mierzwa and Alli advanced to the quarterfinals; Mierzwa, 6-3 over Patrick and Alli, 6-2 over LaFleur. Mierzwa took the quarterfinal match over Alli 6-4, marking the 6th time in the event’s final 14 matches that members of the ‘Polska duma’ group had won a match by that score.
 
The semifinal and last match of the evening between Mierzwa and Kasica made it seven 6-4 scores out of the last 14 matches, as Mierzwa left Kasica in third place. Sieczka and Mierzwa opted out of the final and the first 2019 stop of the Tri-State Tour’s 2019-2020 season went into the books with a dash of Polish duma.
 
Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Clifton Billiards, as well as sponsors Ozone Billiards, Sterling-Gaming, Kamui Tips, Liquid Weighted Cues, Bloodworth Ball Cleaner, Quick Stik, Phil Capelle,  Pool & Billiards,  Bender Cues, Dayton Cues, and Romer Trophies. The next stop on the Tri-State Tour, scheduled for Sunday, January 12, will be hosted by Steinway Billiards in Astoria (Queens), NY.

Lang goes undefeated to join growing ranks of female winners on the Tri-State Tour

Rachel Lang

Given the number of years that the Tri-State Tour has existed, the number of female competitors to have won a stop on the tour is relatively small, and includes the names of Kim Meyer-Gabia, Rhio Anne Flores, Yomaylin Feliz, Borana Andoni, and Sandie Paterino (to name just a few). Rachel Lang joined their ranks on Saturday, March 4, with an undefeated run through a field of 20 entrants, on-hand for a $1,000-added event, hosted by Shooter's Family Billiards in Wayne, NJ. 
 
Lang was one of two females among the event's final 12 competitors (Allison LaFleur was the other). Lang squared off against Mike Strassberg in one winners' side semifinal, as Brian Jeziorski met up with Brian Cap in the other. Lang got into the hot seat match with a 6-2 win over Strassberg. Jeziorski joined her for the first of two, following his 7-5 win over Cap. Lang claimed the hot seat 8-5 over Jeziorski and waited on his return.
 
On the loss side, Strassberg picked up Erick Carrasco, who'd defeated LaFleur 7-6, and Frank Sieczka 6-4 to reach him. Cap drew "The Warrior" (Carl Yusuf Khan), who'd gotten by Jan Mierzwa and Kevin Scalzitti, both double hill. It was Khan and Carrasco who advanced to the quarterfinals; Khan 7-5 over Cap, and Carrasco 7-6 over Strassberg.
 
Khan chalked up his third double hill win over his last four matches with a win over Carrasco in those quarterfinals. He then had his loss-side run ended by Jeziorski 7-4 in the semifinals. Lang completed her undefeated run with an 8-6 second victory over Jeziorski in the finals to claim the event title.
 
Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Shooter's Billiards, as well as sponsors Ozone Billiards, Sterling-Gaming, Kamui Tips, Ron Vitello, Phil Capelle, BlueBook Publishing, Human Kinetics, and Bloodworth Ball Cleaners. The next stop on the Tri-State Tour, scheduled for Sunday, March 12, will be a $1,000-added, 'double points' event, hosted by Rockaway Billiards in Rockaway, NJ. 
 

Kaminow goes undefeated to take Tri-State stop

Kevin Coyle, Steve Kaminow and Jan Mierzwa

Steve Kaminow got by Kevin Coyle twice, once by mutual decision, to capture his first Tri-State Tour title. The Saturday, February 7 stop on the tour was a 1,000-added event that drew 25 entrants to Rockaway Billiards in Rockaway, NJ.
 
Kaminow drew Jan Mierzwa in a winners' side semifinal as Coyle and Dave Fitzpatrick squared off in the other. Kaminow sent Mierzwa to the losers' bracket 7-5 and in the hot seat match, faced Coyle, who'd sent Fitzpatrick over 6-3. Kaminow took possession of his first Tri-State hot seat with a 7-5 win and waited on his return.
 
On the loss side, Mierzwa drew Gary Murgia, who'd defeated Eric Hill 7-4 and Michael Hertz 7-3 to reach him. Fitzpatrick picked up Bob Toomey, who'd gotten by Frankie Scanlon 6-4 and Chris Calabrese 6-5. It was Mierzwa and Fitzpatrick who met up in the quarterfinals, once Mierzwa had eliminated Murgia 7-4 and Fitzpatrick had defeated Toomey 6-3.
 
Mierzwa defeated Fitzpatrick 7-5, before having his short, loss-side streak ended by Coyle in the semifinals 7-4. At this juncture, Kaminow and Coyle opted out of a final match and split the top two prizes. As the undefeated hot seat occupant, Kaminow claimed the event title.
 
Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff of Rockaway Billiards, as well as sponsors Sterling-Gaming, Ozone Billiards, Qpod, Cues, Kamui Tips, Phil Capelle, BlueBook Publishing, and Human Kinetics.

Busanich and Sieczka opt out of dawn finals on Tri-State Tour stop

Brian Capps, Dinko Busanich and Frank Sieczka

Dinko Busanich and Frank Sieczka let the single match they played during the Tri-State Tour stop on Saturday, December 6, stand as the end result. Reports coming out of Castle Billiards in East Rutherford, NJ, where the $1,000-added event that drew 53 entrants was held, suggest that the possible final would have competed with Sunday's sunrise. Busanich, having defeated Sieczka in the hot seat match, took the first place title. He and Sieczka split the top two prizes.
 
Busanich defeated Brian Cap, double hill to get into the hot seat match. Sieczka, in the meantime, downed Dennis Kennedy 6-3. Busanich and Sieczka then locked up in a double hill battle that proved to be the winning match.
 
On the loss side, Cap picked up Jan Mierzwa, who'd defeated Stewart Warnock 7-4 and Keith Adamik 7-1. Kennedy drew Lenore Chen, who'd eliminated Jaydev Zaveri 6-5 and Mike Strassburg 6-2. Cap finished Mierzwa 7-4, as Chen downed Kennedy 6-3.
 
Cap took the quarterfinal match 7-4 over Chen, but fell to Sieczka 7-5 in the semifinals. Busanich and Sieczka opted out of the final match, leaving Busanich to claim the event title, while the two split the first and second place prizes.
 
Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Castle Billiards, as well as sponsors Sterling-Gaming, Ozone Billiards, Qpod Cues, Kamui Tips, Phil Capelle, BlueBook Publishing, and Human Kinetics. 

Simonetti goes undefeated to claim first Tri-State title since March 2013

Dennis Kennedy, Scott Simonetti and Brian Russell

Tri-State Tour representatives callEd Scott Simonetti's undefeated run through a field of 32 on Saturday, July 12, "the story of the day," noting that his play "reminded viewers of the Simonetti of old;" a reference, one assumes, to a year like 2010, which saw Simonetti win three stops on the Tri-State and one stop on the Predator Tour (to go along with 'money' finishes in nine other stops on both). The $1,000-added debut event of the Tri-State's 2013-2014 season on July 12 was hosted by Castle Billiards in East Rutherford, NJ.
 
Following victories over Tri Chau, Dave Ascolese, and Dave Jusis, Simonetti moved into a winners' side semifinal match against Jose Liz Domeneche. Dennis Kennedy, in the meantime, squared off against Ramon Feliciano. Simonetti moved into the hot seat match with an 8-5 win over Domeneche and faced Kennedy, who'd defeated Feliciano 6-5. Kennedy fought tooth and nail to secure a double hill win that left him in the hot seat, awaiting the return of what turned out to be Focused Apparel's Brian Russel.
 
Russel, who'd been sent to the loss side by Borana "Queen Bee" Andoni, embarked on a seven-match, loss-side winning streak that would take him all the way back to the finals. He got by Chau, Jan Mierzwa, Dave Jusis and Shin Sekine (who'd taken out Andoni for him), to draw Domeneche. Feliciano picked up Frank Sieczka, who'd shut out Robert Jew, and given up only a single rack to Dave Fitzpatrick.
 
Russel marched on, giving up only a single rack to Domeneche as Feliciano was allowing only a single rack to Sieczka. Russel defeated Feliciano 7-5 in the quarterfinal match that followed, and got a shot at Simonetti in the hot seat with a 7-4 win over Kennedy in the semifinals. Simonetti and Russel opted out of a final match, choosing to split the top prizes, leaving the undefeated Simonetti as the event's official title holder.
 
Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Castle Billiards, as well as sponsors Sterling-Gaming, Ozone Billiards, Qpod, Heptig Cues, Kamui Tips, Phil Capelle, BlueBook Publishing, and Human Kinetics. The next stop on the Tri-State Tour, to be hosted by the Cue Bar in Bayside, NY, is scheduled for July 19.

Chen wins seven on the loss side, downs Smith in the finals of Tri-State stop

Dennis Kennedy, Rhys Chen and Christian Smith

Rhys Chen's trip through a field of 58 players, on hand for the Tri-State Tour's $1,000-added, A-D 9-Ball event on the weekend of June 14-15 went through host venue (Castle Billiards, East Rutherford, NJ) owner, John Trobiano twice. They met in the third round, when Trobiano sent Chen to the loss side to embark on a seven-match winning streak that would pass through Trobiano and eventually lead to a winning effort in the finals against ChristIan Smith
 
Smith, who advanced to the hot seat, defeated Don Montavalo, Carl Yusuf Khan, Shin Sekine, and Jose Liz Domeneche before running into Keith Adamik in a winners' side semifinal. Dennis Kennedy, in the meantime, squared off against Tony Ignomirello. Smith downed Adamik 7-1, as Kennedy was busy sending Ignomirello west 6-5. Smith gained the hot seat 9-8 over Kennedy, and waited on Chen.
 
Chen opened his loss-side campaign with victories over Antonio G.evara, Vinny Ferri, Domeneche and successfully wreaked his vengeance on Trobiano 7-5, to pick up Adamik. Ignomirello drew Dave Jusis, who'd gotten by Pat Mareno 6-2 and Jan Mierzwa 7-2.
 
Chen moved on to the quarterfinals (five down, three to go) with a 7-5 win over Adamik. He was joined by Jusis, who ended Ignomirello's day 6-3. Chen then eliminated Jusis 7-4 and defeated Kennedy in the semifinals 8-7. In the extended-race finals, Chen took an early and what proved to be insurmountable 3-1 lead. Smith would chalk up only one more, as Chen went on to reach seven games, extending the race to nine games, and then run out the final rack for a 9-4 win.
 
Tour representatives thanked John Trobiano and his staff at Castle 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 June 21, will be hosted by Steinway Billiards in Astoria (Queens), NY.

Uzdejczyk chalks up his third 2014 Tri-State title

Andrew Cleary, Bogie Uzdjeczyk and Mike Zimny

With 2013 being the only exception, Bogie Uzdejczyk has won two events on the Tri-State Tour,  three out of the last four years. His only event victory last year was on the Predator Tour. He has apparently decided to make up for lost time. On Saturday, May 10, he chalked up his third win on the 2014 Tri-State Tour, following his January win in Brooklyn and a February victory in Queens; all by going undefeated. The $1,000-added AB-CD event was hosted by Castle Billiards in East Rutherford, NJ, where 43 entrants came out to play.
 
Uzdejczyk's AB trail went through Paul Raval, Doug Youmans, and Borana "Queen B" Andoni, before drawing Vincent Ferri in a winners' side semifinal. Andrew Cleary, in the meantime,  playing on the CD side of things initially, went through Bernie Vogelsang, Eddie Perez, Pat Mareno and Jessica Lynn Greibeslad, to face Jan Mierzwa in the other semifinal. Uzdejczyk defeated Ferri 7-4 and turned to face Cleary, who'd defeated Mierzwa 6-4. Uzdejczyk claimed his third Tri-State hot seat with an 8-6 win over Cleary, and waited on what turned out to be Mike Zimny.
 
Zimny, who was among the final eight on the winners' side, had been denied a winners' side semifinal match by Ferri. He moved to the loss side and began his five-match march to the finals. He took out Youmans 7-2 and Andoni 7-4 to draw a re-match versus Ferri. Jan Mierzwa drew Dave Jusis, who'd eliminated Ed Huth and Eddie DaCosta, both 6-2.
 
Zimny took the re-match over Ferri 7-5, as Mierzwa defeated Jusis 6-3. Zimny completed his loss-side run with a 7-3 win over Mierzwa in the quarterfinals and a 7-2 victory over Cleary in the semifinals. 
 
Zimny got out to an early lead over Uzdejczyk in the finals, and was ahead by three when he reached seven games, forcing an extension to nine games. Uzdejczyk broke and ran the next rack, and then won four more to stop Zimny in his tracks and claim the event title.
 
Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Castle 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 Saturday, May 17, will be hosted by House of Billiards on Staten Island. The following weekend – May 24-26 – the 4th Annual George "Ginky" Sansouci Memorial Tournament, with Amateur and Pro events and sponsored by the Tri-State, Predator and Mezz Tours, will be held at Steinway Billiards in Astoria, NY.

Trobiano wins Tri-State in his own room

Brian Hunter, John Trobiano and Pat Mareno

As he's done numerous times in the past, John Trobiano entered a Tri-State tournament on March 1, that, as owner of Castle Billiards in East Rutherford, NJ, he was hosting. As he has also done a number of times, he won the $1,000-added AB-CD event that had drawn 35 entrants to his location. Occupying the hot seat at the end of the night, Trobiano and Brian Hunter, who'd won five on the loss side, opted out of a final match, splitting the top prizes, while conceding the event victory to the undefeated Trobiano.
 
Trobiano would open his five-match run on the AB side, with a victory over Borana Andoni. He followed with victories over Antonio G.errero, and Asia Cycak, before meeting up with house pro Scott Simonetti in one of the winners' side semifinals. Pat Mareno, working on the CD side initially, got by Steve Persaud, Allison Honeymar and Eddie Perez, before coming up against Ryzard Szpila in the other semifinal. Trobiana survived a double hill fight against Simonetti, and in the hot seat match, met Mareno, who'd defeated Szpila, also double hill. Trobiano won what would prove to be his last match of the night, defeating Mareno 9-7.
 
On the loss side, Simonetti ran right into the streaking Hunter, who'd defeated Mike Zimny 7-4 and Asia Cycak 7-3, to reach him. Szpila met up with Jennifer "Sweet P" Pedutem, who, having been sent to the loss side by Szpila in the third round of play, was on a streak of her own. She got by Jan Mierzwa 8-5 and Frank Siezcka 7-2 to meet Szpila a second time. Hunter and Pedutem advanced to the quarterfinals; Hunter downing Simonetti 7-2 and Pedutem wreaking her vengeance on Szpila, ending his day 8-4.
 
It was Hunter who won the quarterfinal battle, ending Pedutem's run 10-5. He then defeated Mareno in the semifinals 8-6 for a chance against Trobiano, which never happened. The two finalists opted out of the final match, leaving Trobiano as the undefeated winner.
 
Tour representatives congratulated Trobiano and thanked him and his staff for their hospitality. Thanks were tendered to tour sponsors Sterling-Gaming, Ozone Billiards, Qpod, Cues, Kamui Tips, Phil Capelle, BlueBook Publishing, and Human Kinetics, as well. The next stop on the Tri-State Tour, scheduled for March 22, will be hosted by Steinway Billiards in Astoria, NY.

Uzdejczyk goes undefeated on Tri-State; splits top prize with Warnock

Stewart Warnock, Bogie Uzdejczyk and Ryszard Szpila

Bogie Uzdejczyk chalked up his second 2014 victory on the Tri-State Tour with an undefeated effort on a stop held Saturday, February 22. He and Stewart Warnock, whom he'd defeated already, opted out of a final match, choosing to split the top prizes. The $1,000-added event drew 36 entrants to The Cue Bar in Bayside (Queens), NY.
 
Uzdejczyk's path went through Luis Jimenez, Meshak  Daniel, and Miguel Laboy before running into Warnock among the winners' side final four. Ryszard Szpila, in the meantime, met with Frank Sieczka. Uzdejczyk survived a double hill battle versus Warnock in the only match they would play, as Szpila advanced to the hot seat match with a 6-4 win over Sieczka. Uzdejczyk claimed the hot seat with an 8-6 win over Szpila, in effect, ending his efforts for the night.
 
On the loss side, Warnock began a three-match winning streak to get back to the finals. His first opponent was Akbar Karmoeddien, who'd defeated Laboy 8-4 and Rob Mislivits 7-2. Sieczka drew Jan Mierzwa who'd gotten by Allison Honeymar 7-6 and Raymond Lee 6-4. Warnock downed Karmoeddien 7-4, and in the quarterfinals, met up with Mierzwa, who'd eliminated Sieczka 6-3.
 
Warnock dropped Mierzwa into fourth place and then defeated Szpila, fresh off his hot seat battle, 8-7. It was at this point that with long rides home ahead of them, Uzdejczyk and Warnock decided against a final match and chose to split the top prizes.
 
Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at The Cue Bar, as well as sponsors Sterling-Gaming, Ozone Billiards, Qpod, Heptig Cues, Kamui Tips, Phil Capelle, BlueBook Publishing, and Human Kinetics. The next stop on the Tri-State Tour, scheduled for March 1, will be hosted by Castle Billiards in East Rutherford, NJ.

Abramowitz comes from the loss side to win his first Tri-State tournament

Ed Crespo, Scott Abramowitz and Rick Shellhouse

Scott Abramowitz had to deal with Rick Shellhouse twice, once on the winners' side of the bracket and later, in the semifinals, just for the chance to appear in his first Tri-State final. He took full advantage of the opportunity when it presented itself, winning three on the loss side and defeating Ed Crespo in the finals to win his first Tri-State Tour stop on Sunday, January 19. The $750-added event drew 25 entrants to Clifton Billiards in Clifton, NJ.
 
Following victories over Thomas Schuler, Ada Lio and a shutout versus John Greslik, Abramowitz moved among the winners' side final four, where he met up with Shellhouse for the first time. Crespo, in the meantime, squared off against Jamiyl Adams in the other winners' side semifinal. Shellhouse sent Abramowitz to the loss side 6-3, and in the hot seat match, faced Crespo, who'd defeated Adams 7-6. Crespo got into the hot seat 8-7 over Shellhouse.
 
Abramowitz began his loss-side trip to the finals against Mike Strassberg, who'd defeated Jan Mierzwa and Greslik, both 6-3. Adams met up with Vincent  Morris, who'd gotten by Paul Everton 7-4 and Louis Petronico 7-3. It was Abramowitz and Morris advancing to the quarterfinals; Abramowitz, 6-3 over Strassberg and Morris, 7-5 over Adams. 
 
Abramowitz survived a double hill match against Morris to earn himself a re-match against Shellhouse in the semifinals. He exacted his revenge, defeating Shellhouse 6-2, and turned to face Crespo in the hot seat. Abramowitz took a quick 3-0 lead, and after allowing Crespo a single game, won three more to make it 6-1. Crespo chalked up two in a row, before Abramowitz came back with one, to make it 7-3. Crespo took rack # 11, before Abramowitz chalked up two in a row to claim the event title.
 
Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Clifton Billiards, as well as sponsors   Sterling-Gaming, Ozone Billiards, Qpod, Heptig Cues, Kamui Tips, Phil Capelle, BlueBook Publishing, and Human Kinetics. The next stop on the Tri-State Tour, to be hosted by House of Billiards on Staten Island, NY, is scheduled for Saturday, January 26.