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Sebastian Kas goes undefeated to win Garden State Pool Tour’s Amateur 8-Ball Champion

Sebastian Kas

In his first win on the Garden State Pool Tour, and as far as we know, his first win anywhere, Sebastion Kas became the tour’s Amateur 8-Ball Champion last weekend (Sunday, May 1). Kas worked his way through the field of 47, downing Julie Madlener twice; hot seat and finals. It was Madlener’s second recorded victory on the tour, having finished in the tie for 9th at a stop in Rockaway, NJ this past February. The $400-added Amateur 8-Ball Championship was hosted by Shooter’s Family Billiards in Wayne, NJ.

Kas’ path to the winners’ circle went through Deo Alpojara, Jimmy (Silky) Acosta and Mikhail Kim to arrive at a winners’ side semifinal against Hunter Sullivan. Madlener, in the meantime, had bested Al Lewis, Kervens Francois, and Ginny Lewis to arrive at her winners’ side semifinal matchup versus Frank Kasetta.

Kas and Madlener advanced to their first (recorded) tournament hot seat match. Kas had sent Sullivan to the loss side 6-2, as Madlener was busy shutting Kasetta out to earn her spot in the winners’ side final. Sebastion claimed the hot seat 7-4 and waited on Madlener’s return.

On the loss side, Sullivan and Kasetta downed the first opponents they faced on that side of the bracket and squared off in the quarterfinals. The match went double hill before Sullivan prevailed. The two competitors who met in the semifinals were both battling for a second chance against Kas, waiting in the hot seat for one of them. After trading racks throughout the contest, Madlener advanced for a second shot at him.

Each of the finalists added a rack to their performance against each other in the hot seat match. Kas completed his undefeated run to claim his first Garden State Pool Tour title and its 8-Ball Championship.

Tour representatives thanked Kris Consolvo Kemp and her staff at Shooter’s Family Billiards, all the players who competed, and tour sponsors Kamui, Billiards Engineering, and John Bender Custom Cues. The Garden State Pool Tour will set up two separate events for its next stop. On Saturday, May 21, there will be an ABCD 9-Ball event and on Sunday, May 22, a CD 9-Ball event, both hosted by Players Billiards in Eatontown, NJ. 

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Emmitt goes undefeated to win his first regional tour title on the Predator Tri-State Tour

Sean Emmitt and KC Clayton

It was the second time, as far as we know, that Sean Emmitt had made it to the hot seat of a regional tour event. He did it the first time in September, 2018, at Clifton Billiards in Clifton, NJ,  downing Ralph Ramos, Jr. The competitor he’d sent to the loss side in that event, Neil Walmsley, downed Ramos in the semifinals and came back to deny Emmitt his first title, chalking up his own second.

Just over three and half years later, this past weekend (Saturday, April 16), at the same location, Emmitt made it to the hot seat again, having only cashed in two other events in between; 4th at another stop on the Tri-State back in 2018 and 4th again at a National Billiard League qualifying event, a little over a year ago. This time, though, Emmitt took the final step. After claiming the hot seat, he downed the same opponent, KC Clayton, in the finals to claim his first regional tour title. The $300-added 10-ball event drew 16 entrants to Clifton Billiards.

Emmitt faced Mike Strassberg in the winners’ side semifinal of this one, as Clayton squared off against Ty Classan. Emmitt got into the hot seat match with a 7-2 win over Strassberg and was joined by Clayton, who’d sent Classan to the loss side 7-4. Emmitt downed Clayton 7-5 and sat, once again in the hot seat of a Clifton Billiards event, awaiting his second chance to grab a regional tour title.

On the loss side, Strassberg picked up Rick Rodriguez, who’d defeated John Velez 8-5 and Frank Rodriguez 7-5 to reach him. Classan picked up Julie Madlener, who’d recently eliminated Jay Chiu and Marc Lamberti, both 6-4.

Strassberg and Classan advanced to the quarterfinals; Strassberg 6-4 over Rodriguez and Classan 6-1 over Madlener. Strassberg took the quarterfinal match 6-3 over Classan, but Clayton shut him down by the same score in the semifinals.

As might have been predicted between two opponents who had both finished as runner-up at a stop on the Tri-State Tour (Clayton was runner-up at last month’s stop at Cue Bar in Queens, NY) and were in search of their first regional tour title, the finals went double hill. Emmitt dropped the last 10-ball to claim the title.

Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Clifton Billiards for their hospitality, as well as title sponsor Predator Cues, Ozone Billiards, Sterling Billiards, Kamui, Quick Stick, Bloodworth Ball Cleaner, Joe Romer Trophies, Phil Capelle Publications and Pool and Billiards. The next stop on the Predator Tri-State Tour, scheduled for the Saturday, May 7, will be another 10-Ball event, $500-added, hosted by Shooter’s Family Billiards in Wayne, NJ. 

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