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Antonetti goes undefeated to win lower-bracket event on Garden State Pool Tour

Rick Rodriguez and Mark Antonetti

Lampaan and Halpin split top prizes in upper-bracket tournament

In an increasingly regular format for regional tours, the Garden State Pool Tour split its entrants to create separate, paying events at a stop in Wayne, NJ this past weekend (Sat., April 20). Mark Antonetti went undefeated to win the lower bracket event for Fargo Rates of 510 or lower, while Levien Lampaan and Jason Halpin split the top two prizes in the upper bracket for Fargo Rates between 511 and 660. The upper bracket drew 20 entrants and the lower bracket drew 19 at the event hosted by Shooter’s Family Billiards in Wayne, NJ. 

Antonetti, in the lower bracket, faced three women in a row to reach the hot seat match. Two of those three matches went double hill. After a bye, he chalked up a double-hill win over Jennifer Pedutem, defeated Susan Durling 7-1 and in one of the winners’ side semifinals downed Allison Honeymar, double hill, to reach the hot seat match. Rick Rodriguez, in the meantime (also with a bye), downed Tracey Muller 7-2 and Bryan Arrao 5-1, before battling to double hill and winning the other semifinal against Mike Strassberg. Antonetti claimed the hot seat over Rodriguez 5-2.

Strassberg shuffled on over to the loss side, defeated Nicole Adams 5-2 and advanced to the quarterfinals. Honeymar came over and lost a double-hill battle against Yuchen “Laura” Zie, who joined Strassberg in the quarterfinal match. Zie eliminated Strassberg 4-1 in those quarterfinals.

Xie began the semifinals with two ‘beads on the wire’ in a race to 6 against Rick Rodriguez. She got three of the four she needed to win, but Rodriguez earned a second shot against Antonetti with a 6-3 win.

In their second, straight-up race to 5, Antonetti and Rodriguez mirrored their battle for the hot seat. Antonetti completed his undefeated run with another 5-2 win over Rodriguez. 

Jason Halpin and Levie Lampaan

Lampaan and Halpin let their winners’ side semifinal match define the upper bracket result

The two competitors who negotiated a split of the upper bracket’s top two prizes faced each other once, in a winners’ side semifinal. Both Levie Lampaan and Jason Halpin met in that match, having survived a double-hill battle in earlier rounds.

Lampaan, awarded a bye, opened his campaign with that double-hill battle, versus Ryan Buczkowski. He survived it to meet and defeat Jimmy Kardias 7-2, before coming into the winners’ side semifinal. Halpin, without a bye, started out with a 7-1 victory over Mike Johnson before running into his double-hill battle, against Mark Halverson, who started their match with four ‘beads on the wire’ in a race to 8. Halpin prevailed 8-3, and then defeated Gregory Meehan 7-2 to draw Lampaan. Meanwhile, from the lower end of the bracket, Gary McDonnell (after a bye) downed Jason Nicholson 7-3 and George Latko, Jr. 6-4 to draw Naldo Troncoso in the other winners’ side semifinal.

Lampaan defeated Halpin in the final-that-might-have-been 6-2, as McDonnell sent Troncoso to the loss side 6-2. Lampaan and McDonnell (with two ‘beads on the wire’ in a race to 7) battled to double hill in the hot seat match, with Lampaan claiming it in rack #11.

On the loss side, Halpin advanced to the quarterfinal with a 7-1 victory over Jerry Cerchia, as Troncoso got by Jimmy Kardias 6-2. Halpin took the quarterfinal 7-3 over Troncoso and gave up just a single rack to McDonnell in the semifinals. Negotiations got underway to split the top two prizes and with Lampaan, undefeated in the hot seat, he became the event’s official winner.

Tournament director Dave Fitzpatrick thanked Kris Kemp “and her amazing staff” at Shooter’s Family Billiards for their hospitality, along with sponsors Outsville, In The Box Apparel, Billiard Engineering, JFlowers Cues & Cases, Kamui, Off the Rail apparel, Brutal Game Gear, John Bender Custom Cues, and World Beaters Apparel. 

The Garden State Pool Tour will return to Shooter’s Family Billiards and engage in the same split-bracket format on the weekend of May 4-5.

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Chris Farrell chalks up his first recorded, regional tour win on Garden State Pool Tour

By their design, split/separate brackets in a tournament are intended to keep the lower-ranked (Fargo-rated) players separated from their greater-skilled (higher Fargo-rated) brethren until late in the event process. This avoids circumstances that would force a mythical, low Fargo-rated ‘John Smith’ from paying an entry fee and then drawing Shane Van Boening in an opening round of play. Players in the separate brackets compete against similarly-rated players until the two brackets get closer to the end, at which point, our mythical ‘John Smith’ might be slated to play Shane Van Boening anyway, although at a point when ‘John’ has presumably played and won a series of matches that have at least allowed him to practice a little before doing so.

Chris Farrell started out in the lower bracket (525 & lower Fargo Rate) at this past weekend’s (Feb. 4-5) stop on the Garden State Pool Tour and thanks to the efforts of a fellow, lower-bracket competitor (Juan Taveras), faced a competitor from the upper bracket (526 to 675) only once, battling for the hot seat. Taveras lost his opening match in the lower bracket to Mike Strassberg and then proceeded to win eight on the loss side for the right to meet Farrell in the finals. Farrell went undefeated through the field, downing Taveras in the final. The $150-added event drew 37 entrants (17 upper bracket and 20 lower bracket) to Breaker Billiards in Clifton, NJ. 

Farrell’s path went through Gil Costello, Bob Toomey and Brenda C. Martinez, arriving at a winners’ side semifinal against Brook Villa. Christian Taeza, in the meantime, working initially from the upper bracket, received an opening round bye before sending Jim Conn, Alfredo Altamarino and Frank Rodriguez to the loss side and picking up Bill Meima in the other winners’ side semifinal.

Farrell downed Villa, double hill, advancing to meet his only upper bracket opponent, Taeza, who joined him in the hot seat match after defeating Meima 6-3.

On the loss side, Meima drew an immediate rematch against Rodriguez, who’d moved to the loss side and defeated Jim Conn, double hill, and Levi Lampaan 4-4 (Lampaan racing to 6). Villa drew Taveras, who was five matches into his loss-side streak and had recently won his rematch against Strassberg 6-2 and downed Martinez, double hill.

Taveras chalked up loss-side win #6, defeating Villa 6-2 and was joined in the quarterfinals by Meima, who’d sent Rodriguez home 5-3. Taveras then gave up only a single rack to Meima in those quarterfinals.

Taveras also gave up just a single rack to his upper bracket opponent in the semifinals, Christian Taeza before advancing to meet Farrell in the finals. Farrell completed his undefeated run with an 8-6 win in that final match to claim the event title.

Tour director Dave Fitzpatrick, assisted by Jennifer Pedutem, thanked the ownership and staff at Breaker Billiards for their hospitality, along with sponsors Billiards Engineering, JFlowers Cues and Cases, IntheBX, Off the Rail Apparel, Kamui, John Bender Custom Cues and Outsville. The next stop on the Garden State Pool Tour, scheduled for the weekend of Feb. 25-26, will be hosted by Diamond Jim’s Billiards and Pub in Nanuet, NY.

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Laboy goes undefeated to claim his third 2014 Tri-State title

Dennis Kennedy, Miguel LaBoy and Ron Gabia

It was a repeat of a matchup held in January at the House of Billiards on Staten Island. At that event, Miguel Laboy downed the owner of the room, Dennis Kennedy, twice, to claim his first Tri-State title. On Saturday, September 27, Laboy did it again, defeating Kennedy twice to capture his third Tri-State title (he'd won his second in August). The $1,000-added event on the last weekend in September drew 27 entrants to BQE Billiards in Jackson Heights, NY.
As he'd done back in January, Laboy defeated Kennedy in both the hot seat match and finals. In the most recent event, Laboy had defeated Chumreon Sutcharitakul, Ben Castaneros, and Dave Ascolese before running into Luis Jimenez in a winners' side semifinal. Kennedy, in the meantime, faced Jennifer Pedutem. Laboy sent Jimenez to the losers' brackets 7-4, while Kennedy shut Pedutem out to join him in the hot seat match. Laboy defeated Kennedy 8-4 this time (it was 6-4 back in January), and once again, waited on Kennedy's return from the semifinals.
On the loss side, Pedutem picked up Larry Chandler, who'd defeated Michael Aro 6-3 and John McArthur 6-5. Jimenez drew Ron Gabia, who'd advanced past Arturo Reyes and Jimenez, both 7-5. Gabia moved into the quarterfinals with a 7-6 win over Jimenez, and faced Pedutem, who'd eliminated Chandler 8-6. Gabia got a shot against Kennedy with an 11-9 win over Pedutem.
Kennedy, though, most likely looking to reverse his fortunes from his January defeat by Laboy, downed Gabia 8-3 and earned his shot. He took early advantage of the chance he'd earned by getting out to a 3-0 lead in the finals.
Laboy responded quickly, tying the score at 3-3, but Kennedy came right back to regain the three-rack lead and extend it to four racks at 7-3. Laboy responded with three to pull within one, before Kennedy chalked up his eighth, thereby extending the race to 10 games. Laboy won his seventh, then his eighth to tie it, and his 9th to reach the hill. Kennedy won rack 18 to force a deciding rack, won by Laboy to claim the event title.
Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at BQE Billiards, along with sponsors Ozone Billiards, Sterling-Gaming, Qpod, Kamui Tips, Ron Vitello, Focus Cases by John Bartron, Phil Capelle, BlueBook Publishing, Human Kinetics, and Focus Apparel. The next stop on the Tri-State Tour, scheduled for October 4, will be hosted by Clifton Billiards in Clifton, NJ.

Lio goes undefeated to win her first Tri-State Tour stop

Keith Adamik, Ada Lio and Ricardo Mendoza

Ada Lio, currently running neck and neck with Jennifer Pedutem in the D+/D-class rankings on the Tri-State Tour, and fourth among the tour's top female players, took a major step forward on September 6, when she went undefeated through a field of 28 to capture her first Tri-State title. She took down a couple of "A" class players to do it, too. The $750-added event was hosted by Clifton Billiards in Clifton, NJ.
Lio was in a winners' side semifinal before she'd given up more than two racks, downing Larry Chandler 6-1 and Dave Fitzpatrick 6-2 to move among the winners' side final four and a match against Jaydev Zaveri. Roberto Mendoza, in the meantime, squared off against Keith Adamik.
Lio and Mendoza moved into the hot seat match on the heels of identical 7-4 wins over Zaveri and Adamik. Lio claimed her first Tri-State hot seat with an 11-6 victory over the A+-ranked  Mendoza, and waited on what turned out to be the return of the A-rated player, Adamik.
Adamik and Zaveri moved to the loss side to compete in the first of the money rounds. Adamik drew Geovanni Hosang, who'd gotten by Chris Schmidt and Roger Hanos, both 7-5. Zaveri faced Sam Hoffman, who'd defeated Mike Strassberg 6-2 and Dave Fitzpatrick 6-5. Adamik and Zaveri advanced to the quarterfinals; Adamik 7-4 over Hosang and Zaveri in a shutout over Hoffman.
Adamik downed Zaveri 8-5 in those quarterfinals for a second shot against Mendoza in the semifinals. Adamik took full advantage, winning their re-match 7-2 and turning for a shot at Lio in the hot seat.
It didn't look good right from the start for Adamik, who watched Lio chalk up a six-pack before he responded with two racks of his own. Lio won rack # 9, and after giving up a third to Adamik, chalked up three straight to complete her undefeated run 10-3. 
Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff of Clifton Billiards, as well as sponsors Ozone Billiards, Sterling-Gaming, Qpod, Kamui Tips, Ron Vitello, Focus Cases by John Batron, Phil Capelle, BlueBook Publishing, Human Kinetics , and Focus Apparel. The next stop on the Tri-State tour, scheduled for September 13,  will be hosted by Rockaway Billiards in Rockaway, NJ.