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Sookhai hangs on to win second set of finals, claiming Tri-State amateur event title

Bernie Isaacowitz, Basdeo Sookhai and Jimmy Acosta

Basdeo "Shawn" Sookhai advanced through six opponents to get into the hot seat during the May 25-26 stop on the Tri-State Tour. One of those opponents, Jimmy Acosta, came back to haunt him; challenging him in the double elimination finals and taking the first of the two sets. Sookhai came back to win the second and claim title to the $1,000-added, B-D handicapped event that drew 41 entrants to Amsterdam Billiards & Bar in lower Manhattan, NY.
They met first in the third round. Sookhai had defeated Mike Zimny and Wanlop Chantarakolkit, before sending Acosta west 7-2. Sookhai then downed Jamie Poush by the same score to move among the winners' side final four and a match against the previous week's winner, 14-year-old Thomas Rice. Bernie Isaacowitz and Edward Lum met in the other winners' side semifinal. Sookhai defeated Rice 7-3, and in the battle for the hot seat, faced Isaacowitz, who'd sent Lum over, 6-2. Sookhai survived a double hill battle against Isaacowitz to sit in the hot seat, waiting for Acosta.
Acosta, in the meantime, was in the midst of the seven-match, loss-side winning streak that would take him all the way back to the finals. He got by Eddie Medina and Kim Meyer-Gabia, before being challenged, double hill, by Michael Fedak. Acosta prevailed and then defeated Ron Mason 7-1, to pick up Rice. Lum drew Kirill Safronov, who'd gotten by King Victoree and Poush, both 6-2.
Acosta eliminated Rice 7-2, and was met in the quarterfinal match by Lum, who'd defeated Safronov 6-1. Acosta completed his loss-side march with an 8-6 victory in those quarterfinals, and a 7-5 win over Isaacowitz in the semifinals. 
Acosta made it eight in a row with a 7-4 win in the opening set of the finals against Sookhai. Sookhai, though, rallied to shut Acosta down in the second set, allowing him only a single rack on his way to a 7-1 victory that earned him top honors.
Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Amsterdam Billiards for their hospitality, as well as sponsors Sterling-Gaming, Ozone Billiards, Poison Cues, Ron Tarr Cues, Kamui Tips, Phil Capelle, BlueBook Publishing, and Human Kinetics. The next stop on the Tri-State Tour, scheduled for June 1, will be a $1,000-added, A-D handicapped event, hosted by Castle Billiards in East Rutherford, NJ.