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Shaw goes undefeated on Predator Pro stop; Derewonski comes from loss side to take Amateur

Jayson Shaw

Jayson Shaw only had to win three matches to claim the Predator Open/Pro title at stake during the tour's September 6-7 stop at The Cue Bar in Bayside (Queens), NY. Chris Derewonski, working the Amateur side of things, had to win twice that (and then some) to claim the amateur title. The $1,000-added ($500 each) events drew 53 entrants – eight to the Open/Pro, and 45 to the amateur event.
A victory in the opening match put Shaw into a winners' side semifinal against tour director Tony Robles. Jeremy Sossei faced Frankie Hernandez in the other. Shaw and Sossei moved into the hot seat match after identical 8-3 wins over Robles and Hernandez. Shaw took the winners' side final 8-6 and waited on what turned out to be the return of Hernandez. 
On the loss side, battling for 7th/8th, Nigel Francis and Jerry Tarantola defeated Eugene Ok and Jonathan Russell, both 8-1. Francis and Tarantola were then eliminated by Robles and Hernandez by the same 8-2 score. Hernandez then shut out Robles in the quarterfinals and got a second shot at Sossei in the (1st money round) semifinals. They battled to double hill before Hernandez prevailed for a chance against Shaw. Shaw completed his short, undefeated run with an 8-3 victory in the finals.
In the Amateur event, eventual winner, Chris Derewonski made it to the winners' side final four, before being sent to the losers' bracket 7-5 by Alex Osipov. By the same score, Kyle Bubet defeated Ron Mason in the other winners' side semifinal. Another 7-5 win put Bubet in the hot seat, and sent Osipov to the semifinals.
On the loss side, Derewonski began his trip back against Brooke Meyer, who'd defeated Brian Russell 7-1 and Junior Sanchez 7-4 to reach him. Mason drew Paolo Valverde, who'd gotten by Tony Ignomirello 7-4 and Roy Lim 7-5.
Derewonski advanced to the quarterfinals 7-5 over Meyer, and met up with Valverde, who'd survived a double hill battle against Mason. Derewonski went on to defeat Valverde in the quarterfinals (10-7), and Osipov in the semifinals (8-6). He claimed his second Predator Tour title of the year by defeating Bubet 11-6 in the finals.

Strickland takes Open Predator event; Alli takes Amateur title

Earl Strickland

Last weekend (March 29-30), Chris Derewonski came back from a loss in the hot seat match to defeat Mike Harrington in the finals of the Predator Amateur event at Gotham City Billiards. One week later (April 5-6), he was in the finals again, having followed the same path, only this time, he was playing in the Open/Pro event and his hot seat and finals opponent was Earl Strickland. Strickland defeated Derewonski twice to win the $500-added Open/Pro event that drew 12 entrants to Strickland's home room, Steinway Billiards, in Astoria, NY. On the $500-added Amateur side that drew 72 entrants, Omar Alli went undefeated to take home the top prize. 
Strickland, who'd finished third in the March 29-30 Predator stop, went undefeated through the short field, arriving at his first meeting against Derewonski, after a 7-2 win over Zion Zvi. Derewonski, in the meantime, defeated Jorge Rodriguez, who'd been the hot seat occupant and eventual runner-up in the March 29-30 stop, 7-3. Derewonski battled Strickland to double hill in the winners' side final, but the Pearl prevailed.
Zvi and Rodriguez moved to the losers' bracket, where they picked up Mike Yednak and Tony Robles, respectively. Yednak had eliminated Koka Davladze 7-3 and Steve Wright 7-5. Robles got by Jerry Tarantola 7-1 and survived a double hill fight versus Eddie Culhane. Zvi downed Yednak 7-5, and in the quarterfinals faced Rodriguez, who'd defeated Robles 7-2.
Rodriguez and Zvi fought tooth and nail to double hill before Rodriguez prevailed to get a shot at Derewonski. Derewonski and Rodriguez went double hill, too, but Derewonski came out on top for a second shot at Strickland, waiting for him in the hot seat. Strickland sealed the deal 9-4 to claim the Open/Pro title.
In the Amateur event, Omar Alli, looking to improve on his runner-up finish on the tour in early March, advanced to the hot seat match with a 7-4 win over Enoch Hooper, as Eric Grassman was sending Billy Santiago to the losers' bracket 7-6. Alli dominated the winners' side final, winning it 8-1.
Hooper moved to the losers' bracket and picked up Kirill Safronoz, who'd defeated Ray Feliciano 7-2 and George Poltorak 7-4 to reach him. Santiago drew Miguel Laboy, who'd eliminated Shawn Sookhai 7-2 and Junior Sanchez 7-5. Hooper advanced to the quarterfinals 7-4 over Safronoz, and was met by Laboy, who'd defeated Santiago 7-5. Hooper took a page out of the Omar Alli 'hot seat book' and defeated Laboy 8-1.
Grassman ended Hooper's short, loss-side winning streak in a double hill semifinal, and then, put up something of a fight in his re-match against Alli. Alli, though, stayed on top and won it 8-5 to claim the Amateur event title.
Tour director Tony Robles thanked the ownership and staff at Steinway Billiards, as well as New York City Grind, while welcoming Ozone Billiards to the sponsorship ranks. Selected matches on the tour stop were broadcast under the auspices of AZBTv.

Sanchez comes back from semifinals to down Shlemperis on Predator Tour

Dave Shlemperis, Juan Guzman, Mrs. Guzman, Junior Sanchez & Tony Robles

Dave Shlemperis put up a good double hill fight in the finals of the Predator Tour's Amateur event on the weekend of November 9-10, but it wasn't enough. Junior Sanchez came back from the semifinals to avenge an earlier loss in the hot seat match and won the $500-added event that had drawn 64 entrants to Steinway Billiards in Astoria, NY.
They got into their first match, following Shlemperis' victory over Meshak Daniel 7-3 and Sanchez' 7-5 win over Keith Adamik. Shlemperis took the first of his two against Sanchez 7-5 and waited in the hot seat for his return.
Daniel and Adamik moved west and had their weekend ended in their first, loss-side matches, both double hill. Daniel came up against Jorge Bivanco, who'd gotten by Manny Stamatakis 7-4 and Steve Persaud 9-5. Adamik's final match came against Juan Guzman, who'd been sent west by Shlemperis, and then defeated Tony Ignomirello 9-6 and Luis Novas 8-4.
Guzman, making short work of Bivanco in the quarterfinals that followed, gave up only a single rack, and turned to face Sanchez. Sanchez won the semifinal fight against Guzman 7-4 to earn his second shot against Shlemperis, and then took full advantage with a double hill win in the finals that earned him the event title.

Khan survives nine-match, loss-side challenge by Mendoza to win Predator Amateur stop

Bogie Uzdejczyk, Roberto Mendoza and Carl Yusef Khan

Carl Yusuf Khan, known in the Tri-State area as "The Warrior," lived up to his billing by stopping Roberto Mendoza in the finals of the June 1-2 Amateur segment of the Predator Tour stop. Mendoza had been defeated in the opening round of play in the $750-added, A-D handicapped event that drew 51 entrants to Raxx Billiards, Sports Bar & Grill in West Hempstead, NY, and won nine on the loss side to face Khan in those finals.
With Mendoza already at work on the loss side after an opening round defeat at the hands of Gail Glazebrook, Khan advanced among the winners' side final four and a matchup against Romeo Singh. Bogie Uzdejczyk, in the meantime, faced Tommy Hagen. Khan and Uzdejczyk defeated Singh and Hagen, both 7-3, and met in the battle for the hot seat. Khan prevailed there 7-4 and waited on Mendoza. 
With four down and five to go, Mendoza defeated Junior Sanchez 7-4, and Adrian Daniel 9-7 to pick up Hagen. Singh drew Dave Shlemperis, who'd gotten by Chris Lazovitch and Shawn Sookhai, both 7-5. Mendoza and Shlemperis handed Hagen and Singh their second straight defeat; Mendoza 7-5 over Hagen and Shlemperis 7-1 versus Hagen.
Mendoza prevailed over Shlemperis in the quarterfinals 8-4, and completed his loss-side trip with a 7-3 victory over Uzdejczyk in the semifinals. The ninth, loss-side victory was one shy of a tour record for loss-side victories, held by Bill Finnegan. Khan, though, took the final match 7-4 over Mendoza to claim the event title.

Falco comes from the loss-side to win A-D event on Predator Tour

Kevin Falco recovered from a defeat among the winners’ side final four and returned to challenge and defeat hot seat occupant, Elvis Rodriguez, in the A-D handicapped portion of the May 5-6 Predator Tour Stop. The $500-added amateur event drew 64 entrants to Gotham City Billiards in Brooklyn, NY.

It was Vincent Morris who sent Falco west 7-5 in the winners’ side semifinals, as Rodriguez was busy sending Joe Palone over, 7-4. Rodriguez moved into the hot seat with a 7-4 victory, and waited on Falco.

Falco moved over and picked up Aaron Moody, who’d gotten by Wilfredo Albay and Patrick Myers, both 7-4. Palone drew Mike Yednak, who’d defeated Steve Wright 7-3 and Junior Sanchez 7-5. Palone and Falco advanced to the quarterfinals; Palone with a 7-3 win over Yednak and Falco, 7-5 over Moody. 

Falco went on to win two straight double hill matches; over Palone in the quarterfinals and his re-match versus Morris in the semifinals. He completed his tournament bid with a 12-5 victory over Rodriguez in the finals.

Tour director Tony Robles thanked the ownership and staff at Gotham City Billiards, as well as sponsors Predator Cues, The National Amateur Pool League, Delta-13 racks, Poison Cues,, and NYCGrind.

Russell goes undefeated to capture Predator Tour Amateur event

Though challenged by Junior Sanchez, who won five on the loss side to face him in the finals, Brian Russell hung on to go undefeated in the Amateur event of the Predator Tour stop on the weekend of February 11-12. The $500-added Amateur event drew 59 entrants to The Cue Bar in Bayside, NY.

From among the winners’ side final four, Russell defeated Charles Young 7-5 to get into the hot seat match against Matthew Harricharan, who, from among the final eight winners, had sent Junior Sanchez west and then defeated Rafael Ortiz 7-2. Russell got into the hot seat with a 7-5 win over Harricharan, and awaited the return of Sanchez.

Sanchez began his five-match, loss-side journey with a 7-4 victory over Coco Davladze, followed up with a 7-5 win over Billy Santiago, and picked up Ortiz. Young drew Kelly Wong, who’d advanced past Ray Lee 7-4 and Meshak Daniel 7-2. Sanchez gave up only a single rack versus Ortiz and moved into the quarterfinals against Young, who’d downed Wong 7-4. 

Sanchez then won two straight double hill battles; versus Young in the quarterfinals, and then, in a re-match, over Harricharan in the semifinals. Sanchez got into his third straight double hill match in the finals against Russell, but it was Russell prevailing to capture the event title.

Tour director Tony Robles thanked The Cue Bar owner, Sam An and his staff, as well as sponsors Predator Cues, The National Amateur Pool League, Delta-13 racks, Poison Cues,, and NYCGrind.