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Ellahi goes undefeated to chalk up his first win on the Tri-State Tour

(l to r) Jim Gutierrez & Zouraiz Ellahi

Until Sunday, July 30, Zouraiz Ellahi had cashed in only two events on the Tri-State Tour, finishing fourth at a stop in early May and 17th at the 7th Annual Ginky Memorial on Memorial Day weekend; both stops in the Tri-State's 2016-2017 season. On Sunday, early in the Tri-State's 2017-2018 season, Ellahi went undefeated to take his first title. Arguably as significant was Jim Gutierrez' seven-match, loss-side winning streak that put him into the finals against Ellahi. The $625-added, Double Points event drew 30 entrants to Cue Bar Lounge and Billiards in Bayside (Queens), NY.
Following victories over Carmine Andujar, Jonathan Castillo and Tony Ignomirello, Ellahi moved into a winners' side semifinal against Mac Jankob, who'd been responsible for sending Gutierrez to the loss side, double hill, in the second round. Jonathan Gavrielof, in the meantime, squared off against Pashk Gjini. Ellahi got locked up in a double hill fight that eventually sent Jankob to the loss side. Gavrielof downed Gjini 6-2 to join Ellahi in the hot seat match, won by Ellahi 6-4.
Jankob's move to the loss side put him in an immediate re-match against Gutierrez, who, by that time, had downed four of his seven loss-side opponents, including, most recently, Allison LaFleur 5-1, and Juan Melendez 5-3. Gjini drew Tony "Iggie," who, following his defeat at the hands of Ellahi, had downed Esteban Morrell, Jr., double hill, and Kevin Chong 6-3.
Identical 6-3 results sent Gutierrez and Ignomirello to the quarterfinals over Jankob and Gjini. As befitted their respective rankings on the tour, last season's top D/D+ player (Gutierrez) and top C+ player (Ignomirello) battled to double hill in those quarterfinals, with the D/D+ player advancing to the semifinals against Gavrielof.
The D/D+ competitor (Gutierrez) downed the "C" player (Gavrielof) 6-3 in those semifinals for a shot at the "C+" player (Ellahi) in the hot seat. Gutierrez came up just a little short in his quest for the title, chalking up seven racks to nine against Ellahi, who claimed that title.
Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Cue Bar for their hospitality. The next stop on the Tri-State Tour, scheduled for Sunday, August 6, will be hosted by Clifton Billiards in Clifton, NJ.

Carl Yusuf Kahn (AKA The Warrior) goes undefeated on Tri-State Tour

Thomas Hagan, Carl Yusuf Khan and Ambi Estevez

On Sunday, September 11, Carl Yusuf Khan, who's been trying to solidify his nom de guerre as The Warrior, lived up to the name with an undefeated run on the Tri-State Tour. It was his first win in just over a year, dating back to an August 2015 win on the Tri-State Tour, which was preceded by a January 2015 win on the Predator Tour. In all, (to the best of our records' recollection) since 2010, Khan has cashed in 19 Tri-State Tour stops, winning five (including this most recent) and 11 stops on the Predator Tour, winning twice. Sunday's $1,000-added event drew 38 entrants to the Cue Bar in Bayside, Queens, NY. 
Khan and Ambi Estevez met twice to decide this one. Khan, following victories over Aurellio Romero and Kapriel Delimelkonoglu, had sent Thomas Hagan to the loss side, double hill, in one winners' side semifinal, as Estevez was working on sending Ron Chau over 6-4. Khan claimed the hot seat 7-4 and waited in it for the first time in over a year. 
On the loss side, Hagan picked up Mike Panzarella, who'd defeated Jorden Tenzin 7-2 and Atif Khan 7-4 to reach him. Chau drew Jonathan Gavrielof, recent winner over Andrea Shiffman 6-4, and Mike Strassberg 6-3. Hagan and Chau got right back on track and advanced to the quarterfinals; Hagan downing Panzarella 7-4 and Chau eliminating Gavrielof 6-4.
Hagan won a double hill fight over Chau in the quarterfinals, only to end up on the wrong end of a double hill score against Estevez in the semifinals. The finals would prove to be the event's third straight double hill fight. It see-sawed back and forth until Khan closed it out at 7-6 to claim the title.
Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at the Cue Bar, 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, September 18, will be hosted by Rockaway Billiards in Rockaway, NJ.