Archive Page

Halpin double-dips Vicente to win Mezz ABCD 9-Ball event

Joe Mazzeo, Jason Halpin, Jose Vicente and Robert Sheldon

Jason Halpin, Jose Vicente and Robert Sheldon have become the latest in a growing list of relative (pool) newcomers to the NYC Tri-State area to either chalk up event victories, bring home what appears to be their first cash winnings, and make their premier entrance into the AZBilliards database of players. In Halpin’s case, it was all three. Vicente and Sheldon recorded the latter two accomplishments. The three competitors finished 1st, 2nd and 3rd at an ABCD 9-Ball stop on the Mezz ProAm Tour on Saturday, August 27, which was hosted by South Jersey Billiards in Somerdale, NJ.

Vicente got by Joe Mazzeo 7-3 and Al Tonelli 7-4 to draw Bill Smith, Jr. in one of the winners’ side semifinals. Robert Sheldon downed Lacie Knecht 7-5, Dan Stickle 7-4 and Carlo Favretto to pick up in Halpin in the other winners’ side semifinal. 

Vicente got into the hot seat match with a double hill win over Smith and was joined by Sheldon who sent the eventual winner, Halpin, to the loss side 7-5. Vicente took command of the hot seat match and won it ahead by five, 7-2.

On the loss side, Halpin worked his way back to a rematch against Sheldon, downing Joe Mazzeo in the quarterfinals on the way. Halpin then won three straight double-hill matches, to include his successful rematch against Sheldon in the semifinals.

Halpin took the opening set 6-5 and decided that it had gone so well that he’d do it again. And did, completing a five-match winning streak that earned him the ABCD 9-Ball event title.

Tour director Jose Burgos thanked all of the players who came out to play, South Jersey Billiards’ owner Tony Viesti, Bob Milane and the venue staff, as well as title sponsor Mezz Cues Miki, Mezz USA, Zan Tips, Turtle Rack, Billiard Life Clothing, Family Foot and Ankle Center of South Jersey, Bludworth Ball Cleaner and Pool Table 911.

Go to discussion...

Billie Billing Wins Mezz ABCD NJ State Championship

Thomas Haas, Jaydev Zaveri, Billie Billing and Gary Serrano

The Mezz ABCD 9-Ball New Jersey State Championship made its way to Sandcastle Billiards in Edison, NJ on August 21 to take their shot at winning this prestigious title. Although the field held such notables as Gary Serrano, Jaydev Zaveri, Scott Bannon, Vernon Nate, Eddie Rust and Isabel Perez, it was the veteran of the field, former WPBA star Billie Billing, who was standing tall in the winners circle. 

Billing had wins over Joe Palone (7-4), Megan Gazafi (7-5), Bostabo Ardon (7-6) and Justin Pelech (7-5) on her way to the hot-seat match. Her opponent for the hot-seat would be Jaydev Zaveri, who had wins over Kevin Rushing (7-5), Jimmy Gazafi Jr. (7-5) and Gary Serrano (7-6) to get him to the match. 

Billing made quick work of Zaveri, with a 7-3 win to send Zaveri to the one loss side. Gary Serrano was waiting on the left side of the board, looking to avenge his hill-hill loss from the right side. Serrano did exactly that, ironically by the same 7-6 scoreline. 

Both Billing and Serrano agreed to skip the formalities of the final match, and Billing was crowned the Mezz ABCD NJ State Champion. 

Tour director Jose Burgos expressed his thanks to Title Sponsor: Mezz Cues Miki,  Platinum Sponsors: Mezz USA, Zan Tips and Turtle Rack, Gold Sponsors: Billiard Life Clothing, Family Foot & Ankle Center of South Jersey and Bludworth Ball Cleaner and Silver Sponsor: Pool

Table 911.

Go to discussion...

Miller and Dileo Split Norristown Mezz Stop

Wes Dobson, Ron Dileo, Mike Tuzzi, Rick Miller, and Kevin Farmer

The Mezz Pro Am Tour was back at Markley Billiards in Norristown, PA on July 16th for a Mezz ABCD 9-Ball Event.

The winner’s side came down to Rick Miller and Ron Dilio playing for the hot-seat. Miller had early wins over David Fitzpatrick, Hussain Alshola, Rob Kay and Kevin Farmer. Dilio’s path the hot-seat match included wins over Shawn Dobson, Gary Serrano and Mike Tuzzi. The hot-seat match was a battle, with Miller coming out on top 7-5.

Dileo’s stay on the left side of the brackets was not a long one, as he cruised over Mike Tuzzi 6-0 to earn another shot at Miller in the finals. Instead of playing out that final match, Miller and Dileo agreed on a split of first and second place.

Tour director Jose Burgos sent out his thanks to Brent Ross and his wonderful staff at Markley Billiards. Thanks also went out to Title sponsor Mezz Cues Miki, Platinum Sponsors Mezz USA, Zan Tip and Turtle Rack. Gold tour sponsors are Billiard Life Clothing, Family Foot & Ankle Center of South Jersey and Bludworth Ball Cleaner. Pool Table 911 is the tour’s Silver Sponsor.

Go to discussion...

Serrano Over Burgos at Mezz 9-Ball Event

Tony Viesti, Ryan Killion, Gary Serrano owner Bob Milane and Jose Burgos

South Jersey Billiards in Somerdale Nj hosted the Mezz ABCD 9 ball event on Saturday June 11, 2022.  A strong field came out to play, including players like: Gary Serrano, Bob Milane, Ryan Killion, Rick Rosado, John Herrmann, Barry West and Larry Ingram to name a few.

Special thanks to Bob Milane & Tony Viesti and their wonderful staff for hosting the event. 

Leading the top half of the bracket was Jose Burgos with wins over Rich Daniels 6-2, Lacie Knecht 6-2 and Andrew Ray 5-0. Leading the bottom half of bracket was Ryan Killion with wins over Bob Milane 6-5, Gary Serrano 6-2 and Larry Ingram 6-5.

Playing for the hot seat was Jose Burgos vs Ryan Killion this was a one sided match that had Jose Burgos winning easily 6-2 and sending Ryan to the one lost side.  Waiting for Ryan Killion on the one lost side was Gary Serrano this was a rematch from earlier that day.  This time it was Gary Serrano coming away with the win 6-3 and a spot in the finals.

In the finals, it was Jose Burgos vs Gary Serrano. This event was a true double elimination in the first set it was all Gary Serrano as he won easily 6-1.  In the second set it was all Gary Serrano as well as he won easily 6-3 to win the event. Congratulations to Gary Serrano as the Mezz ABCD winner.

I would like to thank all the players that came out to play and all our sponsors.      

Title Sponsor: Mezz Cues Miki
Platinum Sponsors: Mezz USA, Zan Tips, Turtle Rack
Gold Sponsor: Billiard Life Clothing,  Family Foot & Ankle Center of South Jersey, Bludworth Ball Cleaner
Silver Sponsor: Pool Table 911

Go to discussion...

Blanco Wins NJ State Amateur 8-Ball Title

Benny Blanco with Sandcastle Owner Ed Liddawi

Benny Blanco was crowned the 2018 NJ Amateur 8-Ball State Champion after an undefeated run through a field of 42 players at the Mezz Cue Tour stop at Sandcastle Billiards in Edison, NJ on November 10th and 11th.
After an opening round bye, Blanco won three matches on Saturday and then came back on Sunday to defeat Naim Shala and then Richard Ng for the hot-seat. 
On the one loss side, Gerard Soriano avenged his loss to Ng earlier in the day on Sunday and eliminated Ng in 3rd place. Soriano would have to settle for second place though, as he dropped the final match to Blanco. 
Sandcastle Billiards owner Ed Liddawi thanked tourney director (and Mezz Tour Director) Jose Burgos, Pat Fleming and Jim Fredericks from Accu-Stats for the online stream, his staff and family, as well as all of the players for supporting the event. 
Event sponsors and supporters for the tournament included Aramith Billiard Balls, Iwan Simonis Billiards,, Accu-Stats Video Productions &

Kazakis Wins Player Relief Open

Alex Kazakis (Photo courtesy of Erwin Dionisio)

With the last minute cancellation of the 2018 Tornado Open, a large number of top players who were in the states for the event found themselves with in search of a place to play and an event to play in. It would have been easy for anyone to just shake their head and think that it was another bad roll for the players. Sandcastle Billiards’ owner Ed Liddawi isn’t just anyone though. 
On short notice, Liddawi put together the Player Relief Open 9-Ball Tournament at Sandcastle on November 8th and drew a talented field of international players. “I felt real bad about the tragic situation with the cancellation of the Tornado Open not only for Vivian Villarreal but for all the struggling traveling players that spent so much money on flights and hotels just to get to New Jersey. Not only were they out money but they also had no competition to enjoy or try to make up for their losses.”, Liddawi said. “Being a premier pool room in NJ dedicated to the serious player, I just HAD to do something while all the top players from around the World were already in the same state.”
The field of players was a who’s who of top talent including such notables as Alex Kazakis, Casper Matikainen, James Aranas, Johann Chua, John Morra, Konrad Juszczyszyn, Kristina Tkach, Maksim Dudanets, Ruslan Chinakhov and Mieszko Fortunski
The two players who were able to navigate this field of tough players without a loss were James Aranas and Casper Matikainen. Aranas had wins over 14 year old Ivo Linkin, Juszczyszyn and Chinakhov, while Matikainen had wins over Chua, Morra, Eric Bayhon and Fortunski. Aranas then took the hot-seat with a 7-4 win over Matikainen. 
Alex Kazakis had lost his second match of the day to Fortunski 7-5, but was cruising through the left side of the board. To get to the semi-final match against Matikainen, Kazakis had wins over Tkach, Joey Korsiak, Chinakhov and Dudanets. He then scored a 7-4 win over Matikainen to earn his spot in the finals. 
With the momentum of his one loss side winning streak, Kazakis defeated Aranas 7-3 in the first set of the finals and then again hill-hill in the second set to earn first place and $1,200 in prize money. 
After the tournament, Liddawi expressed his gratitude to Iwan Simonis, Aramith Billiard Balls, Outsville Inc., Accu-Stats Video Productions, Erwin Dionisio, Ivan Lee, Roy's Basement Ariel Roy Francisco, Jerry Forsyth, Mike Howerton, Billiards Digest, Michael Panozzo,, Ramin Bakhtiari, Patrick Fleming, Jim Fredericks,  Jose Burgos, Paul Lieb, Michael Sasso, Alyssa Solt, Saliba Liddawi, Nawal Liddawi, Alex Liddawi and Anastasia Beaverhausen. 
With all of those thanks, he forgot the most important thanks. That was a thanks to Liddawi himself for coming through for the players like he did. It’s room owners like Liddawi that keep this game alive. 

Krah and Cimarelli win dual-event weekend on Mezz Tour

Bob Maidhof, Vinny Cimarelli, Joe Hong and Shaun Wilkie

2nd Annual Rack for a Cure Charity 9-Ball tournament raises $6K for pediatric cancer research
It was a long, May 16-17 weekend for Mezz Pro-Am Tour director, Jose Burgos, who ran two separate tournaments, which, with some duplication, hosted 172 competitors. On Saturday, May 16, Warrington Billiards in Warrington, PA, hosted the 2nd Annual Rack for a Cure Charity 9-Ball Tournament, under the auspices of the Mezz Tour and TAP League. Organized for the second year by Jeremy and Erin Stacy of Hatboro, PA, the event, which drew 128 entrants, raised $6,000 for pediatric cancer research.
On Sunday, May 17, at Drexeline Billiards, in Drexeline, PA, the Mezz Pro-Am Tour held a regularly scheduled stop; a $1,000-added event that drew 42 entrants. The Saturday event was won by Matt Krah. Sunday's tournament was won by Vinnie Cimarelli. Shaun Wilkie was the runner-up in both.
Saturday's charity event saw Krah take two out of three over Wilkie, double dipping him in the finals. Krah and Wilkie had sent Steve Lillis and Mike Saleh to the loss side 4-1, and faced each other in the winners' side final. A double hill battle left Wilkie in the hot seat.
Seven of the last 10 matches on the loss side were decided by 3-1 scores; two shutouts and a double hill match decided the other three. Lillis and Saleh, coming over from the winners' side semifinals, picked up their second losses immediately; Lillis to Hendrick Drosp 3-1, and Saleh in a shutout by Adam Kielar. Drosp took the quarterfinal match over Kielar, and Krah won the semifinal match, both by the predominant 3-1 score. 
Krah and Wilkie locked up in a double hill fight in the opening set of the true double elimination final. Krah prevailed and then shut Wilkie out in the second set to claim the charity event title.
On Sunday, as Wilkie was at work on a nine-match, loss-side winning streak that would eventually propel him into the finals, Vinnie Cimarelli advanced to the hot seat. He'd defeated Michael Wong 7-4, while Bob Maidhof had gotten by Scott Haas 7-3. Cimarelli claimed the hot seat 7-2 over Maidhof and watched as Wilkie completed his loss side run to meet him.
Wilkie had been defeated in the opening round of play by A.J. Fitzgerald, and by the time he reached Haas, coming over from the winners' side semifinal, he'd chalked up six, loss-side wins, including a 6-1 victory over Sam Quinzi and 6-3 win over Sanne Krom. Wong picked up Joe Hong, who'd recently gotten by John Talamini 6-2 and Matt Krah 6-3.
Wilkie and Hong advanced to the quarterfinals; Wilkie 6-3 over Haas, and Hong, double hill, over Wong. Wilkie downed Hong and then Maidhof in the semifinals by the same 6-2 score.
Wilkie took the opening set of the double elimination final against Cimarelli, at which point, a recently-introduced, sudden-death, single-game-for-the-title ensued. It didn't last long. Wilkie attempted a 1-9 combination that failed and left the 9-ball sitting on the edge of the hole. It also denied Cimarelli a clean look at the 1-ball. Cimarelli attempted a rail-first poke at the 1-ball, which accommodated his wishes by sliding over and dropping the 9-ball. The (barely) undefeated Cimarelli claimed the event title.

Wong and Krah split top prizes on Mezz Tour Pro-Am event

Michael Wong and Matt Krah opted out of a final match at the Mezz Tour's second stop of the year on Sunday, February 15. In the hot seat, Wong claimed the event title, leaving Krah, who'd won three on the loss side to reach him, as runner-up. The $500-added event drew a small field of 16 entrants to Sandcastle Billiards in Edison, NJ.
Though both finalists played in a winners' side semifinal, they did not face each other. Wong battled Scott Bannon, as Krah took on Adam Kielar. Wong defeated Bannon 7-4 and faced Kielar, who'd sent Krah to the losers' bracket 7-5. Wong claimed the hot seat 7-4 over Kielar in what proved to be his final match of the evening.
On the loss side, Krah's first opponent was Tony Maria, who'd defeated Woo Tang 7-4 and Steve Lillis 7-2. Bannon drew Mike Salen, who'd given up only one rack each in his previous two matches against Kyle Bubet and Julie Ha. Bannon nipped that little run in the bud with a double hill win, as Krah downed Maria 7-4. 
Krah took the quarterfinal match against Bannon 7-4 and moved into his final match; the semifinal against Kielar. He won that 7-3 and then agreed with Wong to call it a night and split the top two prizes.
Tour director Jose Burgos thanked the ownership and staff at Sandcastle Billiards, as well as sponsors Mezz Cues, Gamblin' Clothing, Kamui, J.D. Custom Cues, Allen Hopkins Super Billiards Expo, JB Cases, Billiard Life USA, Howitzer Break Cues, Steve Klatt's Custom Cues, and Mike Ricciardella.

Hontz comes from the loss side to defeat Praseutsy in Mezz Tour finals

Rob Hontz, owner Bob Maidhof, Michael Praseutsy and Wes Dobson

From among the final eight on the winners' side of the bracket in the opening stop on the 2014 Mezz Tour, Rob Hontz fought a double hill, ultimately unsuccessful battle against Mike Saleh, which sent him to the loss side. Hontz then won five in a row, and fought an ultimately successful battle against hot seat occupant, Michael Praseutsy, to claim the title. The $1,000-added, A-D handicapped event, held on the weekend of January 10-11, drew 32 entrants to Drexeline Billiards in Drexel Hill, PA.

With Hontz out of the way, Saleh moved into a winners' side semifinal against Wes Dobson, while Praseutsy faced Gary Serano. Saleh ended up in a second straight double hill match, but this one sent him to the losers' bracket and Dobson into the hot seat match. Praseutsy downed Serano 7-3, and then, by the same score, got into the hot seat over Dobson.
Hontz began his trek back to the finals with his second straight double hill match, winning this one, over George Ellinger. He came within a game of a third double hill match when he defeated Vinny Cimarelli 7-5, which set him up to face Serano. Saleh picked up Mark Nanashee, who'd shut out A.J. Fitzgerald and defeated Owen Collins 7-4 to reach him.
Hontz' opportunity for a re-match against Saleh was denied him when Nanashee defeated Saleh, double hill. Instead, after giving up only a single rack to Serano, Hontz faced Nanashee in the quarterfinals, where a 7-4 win gave him a shot at Dobson in the semifinals.
Hontz took full advantage. He gave up another solo rack to Dobson and entered the finals with a 35-17 loss-side record. By agreement, Hontz and Praseutsy opted out of a double elimination final, agreeing to play a single match for the title. Hontz won it 7-5 to claim the first stop on the 2014 Mezz Tour.
Tour director Jose Burgos thanked owner Bob Maidhof and his Drexeline Billiards staff, as well as sponsors Mezz Cues, Gamblin Clothing, Kamui Chalk, JD Custom Cues, Allen Hopkins Super Billiards Expo, John Barton, JB Cases, Jabcues and Things, Billiard Life, Howitzer Break Cues, and Steve Klapp Custom Cues.

Krah goes undefeated on Mezz Pro Am Tour

Matt Krah held off a loss-side challenge from Ron Dileo to win the June 2 stop on the Mezz Pro Am Tour. The event was hosted by Mainline Billiards in Frazer, PA.

Krah would face Dileo twice to chalk up the win. He did so first among the winners' side final four, as Shawn Jackson met with Lou Patrikio. Both winners' side semifinals went to double hill, with Krah and Jackson prevailing to face each other in the hot seat match. Krah got into the hot seat 7-5 over Jackson and awaited his second match against Dileo.
On the loss side, Dileo advanced to meet up with Patrikio in the quarterfinals. He defeated Patrikio and then, Jackson in the semifinals to earn a second chance against Krah.
In the true double elimination final, Krah took the opening set over Dileo 7-5 to claim the event title. Tour director Jose Burgos thanked the ownership and staff at Mainline Billiards, as well as sponsors Mezz Cues, Kamui Chalk, Gamblin Clothing, Allen Hopkins' Super Billiards Expo, Jab Cues & Things, Billiard Life USA, Inside Pool Magazine, and Mike Ricciardella, RE/MAX Pros.