Archive Page

DeLawder goes undefeated to win Sunshine State Predator ProAm Tour season finale

Anthony Meglino, Romeo Brown and Mike DeLawder

Hall and Meglino split top prizes on added One Pocket event

In only his second cash finish on the 2022 Sunshine State Predator Pro Am Tour this past weekend (Nov. 26-29), Mike DeLawder went undefeated through a field of 70 entrants to claim the tour’s season finale, its $2,500-added 9-Ball Championships, hosted by Racks Billiards in Sanford, FL. This year’s tour finale added a $1,000-added One Pocket event which drew 21 entrants to the same location and saw Justin Hall and Anthony Meglino split the top two prizes.

The One Pocket tournament started a couple of hours before the 9-Ball Championships on Saturday, and finished after them, at around 3 a.m. on Monday morning, when, after a 4-hour, 46-minute semifinal, Meglino and Hall opted out of a final match and chose to split the money. 

Justin Hall made it to his One Pocket winners’ side semifinal match without giving up a rack, shutting out Raymond Linares, George Saunders and Ricardo (Joel) Rodriguez to pick up Can Salim. From the other end of the bracket, Meglino got by his first two opponents the same way (shutout), before Shannon Fitch put up a double hill fight in their winners’ side quarterfinal. Meglino advanced to draw Manuel Montas.

Meglino shut Montas out, as Hall was giving up his first rack of the tournament to Salim. In what would prove to be the defining match of the One Pocket event, Hall downed Meglino 3-1 and claimed the hot seat. 

On the loss side, Salim picked up Fitch, who’d followed his loss to Meglino with a shutout win over Saunders and a double hill win over Mike DeLawder. Montas drew Kyle Bova, who’d lost his opening round match to Meglino and went on a five-match, loss-side streak that would take him as far as the quarterfinals. He’d recently eliminated Rodriguez, double hill, and shut out Greg Pugh.

Bova shut out Montas and in the quarterfinals, faced Salim, who’d defeated Fitch 3-1. Salim ended Bova’s winning streak by shutting him out in the quarterfinals, before he and Meglino embarked on their epic, double-hill, semifinal struggle for a spot in the finals. Meglino finally closed it out. He and Hall, who would, as occupant of the hot seat at the time, become the event’s official winner, agreed to split the top two cash prizes, as the Sunshine State Predator Pro Am Tour concluded its Thanksgiving Day weekend season finale a few hours before dawn.

Anthony Meglino and Justin Hall

DeLawder faces Meglino in hot seat match of 9-Ball Championships

The dual events occurred more or less simultaneously over the weekend and the much-larger 9-Ball Championships featured many of the 21 entrants competing in One Pocket, among them the top three finishers from that event; Justin Hall, Anthony Meglino and Can Salim. Meglino would battle Mike DeLawder for the hot seat and finish in 3rd place, while Hall and Salim finished 13th and 9th, respectively.

DeLawder’s path to the winners’ circle, after an opening round bye, went through Mike Deere, Manuel Montas, Monthep (Bee) Hongsyok and David Grossman before running into Tommy Kennedy in one of the winners’ side semifinals. Meglino, in the meantime (also following a bye), advanced through Ross Webster, Vincent Cardonia, Jesse Link, and (blissfully unaware of the four+ hour match they’d be playing later), Can Salim to arrive at his winners’ side semifinal against Serafin Serrano. Ramel (Romeo) Brown, who would challenge DeLawder in the finals, would win his first three matches before being sent to the loss side by Kennedy 9-2 in one of the winners’ side quarterfinals.

With a single “bead on the wire” in a race to 9, DeLawder defeated Kennedy 8-8. Meglino joined him in the hot seat match after defeating Serrano 9-5. With that same single “bead on the wire,” DeLawder claimed the hot seat over Meglino 8-3.

On the loss side, Brown, en route to the finals, was in the midst of his five-match, loss-side winning streak and had followed his loss to Kennedy with wins over Lee Heuwagen 5-4 (Heuwagen racing to 7) and David Singleton 7-5, before picking up Serrano. Kennedy drew George Saunders, who was working on his own modest, four-match, loss-side streak having recently eliminated Ricardo (Joel) Rodriguez, shutting him out, and Greg Pugh, Jr. 6-2.

Brown finished Serrano’s 9-ball campaign 7-3, while Saunders was busy doing likewise to Kennedy 5-3. Brown and Saunders battled to double hill in the quarterfinals that followed, Brown advancing to the semifinals against Meglino, who, at the time, was looking to get his first shot in the finals of both events. Brown spoiled that party 7-3 and turned to face DeLawder.

In the final, it was Brown who carried the single “bead on the wire” in a race to 11 against DeLawder. They battled to double hill before DeLawder completed his undefeated run 11-9 to claim the event title.

Tour directors Janene Phillips and Bobby Garza thanked all who attended, watching and/or playing/supporting the event, along with Jana Dixon and Rob McLaren for their assistance. They also thanked the ownership and staff at Rack’s for their hospitality, along with title sponsor Predator Cues, Jamison Daniels, Kamui, Stitch It To Me Embroidery, Dr. V’s Custom Shop, Central Florida USA Pool League and AZBilliards. Added thanks were extended to Garza with Lights Out Streaming and Jacksonville Roofing, USA. 

“We’d like to thank everyone for their continued support,” wrote Phillips and Garza in their tour information e-mail. “We will see you all in February for our season opener at Stroker’s in Palm Harbor, FL.”

When it becomes available, further information about the Sunshine State Predator Pro Am Tour’s 2023 schedule can be found on the tour’s listing, here on the AzBilliards website.

Go to discussion...

Toye wins nine on the loss side, downs Link in finals on Sunshine State Predator Pro Am Tour

Jesse Link, Justin Toye and Mike DeLawder

The finalists on the Sunshine State Predator Pro Am Tour’s 8th stop last weekend (August 21-22) were both looking for their first major victory. Jesse Link went undefeated to the hot seat at this $500-added event that drew 37 entrants to Q Ball Billiards in Jacksonville, FL, while Justin Toye spent most of his time (9 out of 10 matches) on the loss side of the bracket. They both had to get by veteran competitor, Mike Delawder in the final three matches of the tournament for the chance to face each other in the finals. Both did so. Toye won the extended single race-to-9 final to claim the event title.

After an opening round bye, Toye got locked up in a double hill battle versus Logan Lane that sent him on his loss-side journey, while Link and Delawder embarked on their shorter trips to the hot seat match. Link downed Landon Fox, Eric Neeld, Bill Norrish and Tommy Pauley to arrive at his winners’ side semifinal against David Grossman. Delawder, awarded a bye, then defeated Michele Neeld, John Souders and Christian Daniels to reach the man that had sent Toye to the loss side (Logan Lane).

Link moved into the hot seat match 7-5 over Grossman and was joined by Delawder, who’d sent Lane to the loss side 7-2. Link claimed the hot seat 6-4 over Delawder and waited on Toye.

Meanwhile, on the loss side, Toye was mowin’ ‘em down. He gave up a total of only four racks in his first four games versus Landon Fox (0), Cris Baumgart (1), Brett Agler (2) and Jack Smith (1) before running into Christian Daniels, who gave him a loss-side, double hill run for his money; unsuccessfully as it turned out. Toye advanced to defeat Randall McLuckie 5-2 and picked up Grossman, over from his winners’ side semifinal loss. Lane drew Kristian Dimitrov, who was working on a five-match, loss-side winning streak that was about to end and had just eliminated Tommy Pauley 5-2 and Matt Deweese 5-1.

Toye did his part to assure his rematch against Logan Lane with a 5-2 victory over Grossman. Lane cooperated by surviving a double hill battle against Dimitrov. Toye ‘thanked’ Lane for the extra three matches added to the number of matches he needed to claim the event title, by allowing him only a single rack in their quarterfinal rematch.

Toye moved on to meet and defeat Delawder 5-2 in the semifinals for a shot against Link, waiting for him in the hot seat. He took full advantage of the opportunity he was given and downed Link 9-5 to claim his first event title.

Tour directors Janene Phillips and Bobby Garza thanked the ownership and staff at Q Ball Billiards for their hospitality, as well as title sponsor Predator Cues, Kamui, Diamond Stitch It To Me Embroidery, Central Florida USA Pool League, Skills for Rent & AZ Billiards. Stop #9 on the Sunshine State Predator Pro Am Tour, scheduled for the weekend of October 9-10, will be a $1,000-added Open 9-Ball event, hosted by Brewlands in Lakeland, FL.