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Midwest Open II In The Books

Fedor Gorst (Pool Action TV)

Some of the best players in the world were at Michael’s Billiards in Fairfield, OH this past week for the Midwest Open Billiard Championship II. 

Everywhere you looked there were recognizable faces! Milling around the spacious room was recent Scotty Townsend Memorial champ Alex Pagulayan, Music City Open champ Shane Wolford, Iron City Open 9 Ball Champ Tony Chohan, Derby City Open Ring Game champ Billy Thorpe as well as this year’s Derby City Open One Pocket Champ & Master of the Table Fedor Gorst! And then there was Roberto Gomez, John Morra, Omar Alshaheen, Sanjin Pehlivanovic, Louis Demarco, Jesus Atencio, Shane Winters, Mike DeLawder, Dee Adkins, Robert Frost, Shannon Murphy, Jason Miller and Manny Chau in addition to ladies stars Kristina Tkach and April Larson – way too many to mention! This year’s pool extravaganza was modeled after the legendary Derby City Classic and featured 9 Ball Banks, One Pocket & Ten Ball divisions with an All Around Champion Award. A Bank Ring Game, Ladies 8 Ball Tournament and a Pro Ten Ball Invitational were held as well. There was something for everyone! 

Sponsors for this $19,000 added event included Joseph Long Attorney At Law, Greg Sullivan, Aramith, Simonis, Meyer Custom Cues, Ryan Meyer Cues, Seyberts.com, Diamond Billiard Products, Fort Worth Billiards Superstore, PoolActionTV.com and Michael’s Billiards. 

Things kicked off on Tuesday evening with a 66 player field for the $3,000 added Bank Pool event. The format was double elimination, race to three with alternate breaks. 

Tuesday evening also featured a Banks Ring Game. The two finalists were Billy Thorpe and Mike DeLawder – Billy took top honors! Now back to the banks event! 

After many rounds of play, the field was pared down on the winner’s side to Tony Chohan and Louis Demarco. The hot seat match was all Tony as he sent Louis west with a 3-1 score. 

After being defeated in the fourth round by young gun Jesus Atencio 3-1, Fedor Gorst had methodically picked his way through the field to face John Morra on the one loss side – John had been upset by Chicago’s Michael Eck 3-2. 

After he got past John, Fedor then defeated Louis Demarco 3-1 leaving him in third place. Fedor then moved into the finals but with his eyes firmly affixed on the prize, the match was again all Tony as he blitzed Fedor 3-0 to claim the first event! 

Wednesday was a busy day at the Midwest Open! It was the start of the One Pocket, the Pro Ten Ball Invitational as well as the Ladies 8 Ball events! 

Tony Chohan (Pool Action TV)

The $10,000 added One Pocket event had 47 players vying for the title. As in the Banks event, the format was double elimination with a race to three and alternate breaks. Red hot Tony Chohan tore through the field leaving Jesus Atencio, Jeff Lawrence, Cody Myers, Dee Adkins and Jason Shearer in his wake. 

On the bottom half of the chart, Alex Pagulayan opened with a bye and then defeated Leo Kincannon, Jeremiah Stanfield and Can Salim before edging out the always tough Fedor Gorst to reach the hot seat match. 

And again, Tony was a man on a mission as he spanked Alex 3-1 to claim his spot in the finals. Alex headed west to await an opponent. 

In a battle of the young guns, Shane Wolford took down Gorst 3-1 to face Alex for a spot in the finals. Alex, however, was having none of it as he put Shane on ice and won the match 3-0! Fedor finished in fourth place while Shane finished third. 

The finals began between the two giants of the one pocket world. Alex won the first set 3-1 forcing a second for the title. The final set saw both players grinding it out to a 2-2 tie. However, it was again Chohan as he claimed his second title at the Midwest Open! 

April Larson (Pool Action TV)

The $500 added Ladies 8 Ball Championship had 29 players – double elimination format with races to 4/3 and alternate breaks. Angela Mears swept through the field undefeated to face April Larson in the finals. April prevailed leaving Angela with a runner-up finish and Danielle Lunsford in third place. 

The $1,000 added 10 Ball Invitational had ten players – the format was single elimination with races to thirteen and alternate breaks. Fedor Gorst and Jesus Atencio advanced to the finals. It was a close match all the way but Fedor closed it out to claim the title with a 15-12 score. Tony Chohan and Kashton Keeton tied for third place. 

And finally, Event #3 – the $3,000 Ten Ball! Featuring 106 players and played on seven foot Diamonds, the format was double elimination, races to 9/7 with alternate breaks. 

In contention with Tony Chohan for the Master of the Table crown, a determined Fedor Gorst plowed through the field and notched out wins over Todd Michael, Steve Anderson, edged out Shane Wolford, then Willie Butler, Mike DeLawder & finally Billy Thorpe to arrive at the hot seat match. 

Meanwhile, in the lower portion of the bracket, Sanjin Pehlivanovic also made his mark as he defeated Clay Carman, Tommy Stephenson, Koka Davladze, reigning Midwest Billiards bar box champ Kristina Tkach, Dee Adkins and Louis Demarco. 

Fedor and Sanjin battled it out in the hot seat match but it was Gorst who locked up his seat in the finals 9-6. 

After losing her match to Sanjin in the third round, Kristina Tkach survived her matches with Jerry Arvalaez, Can Salim, Matthew Carman, Mike DeLawder and Louis Demarco before she finally succumbed to Alex Pagulayan 7-6! Don’t think this lady can’t play! She finished in a hard earned fourth place. 

Alex and Sanjin then battled to the end before the Lion was slayed 7-6. He finished in third place as Pehlivanovic moved on to the finals. 

Always in the lead, Fedor went on to take Sanjin down 9-4 and claimed not only the Ten Ball title but also Master of the Table! 

Congratulations to this year’s champs – Fedor Gorst, Tony Chohan, Billy Thorpe and April Larson!!! And again, congratulations to Fedor for taking his second Master of the Table crown of the year! 

Thanks go out to owner Michael Medley and his staff for going the extra mile to make both players and fans welcome. We’d also like to thank Tournament Director Jason Hill and his assistants Robert Frost and Cody Myers for ably running the many events. 

PoolActionTV.com would like to thank Jeremy Jones, Larry Schwartz, Mary Kenniston, Alex Pagulayan, Dee Adkins and Ray Hansen for their excellent commentary. 

We’d also like to thank our fans and sponsors for another fantastic event. Our sponsors include JB Cases, Hanshew Jump Cues, Simonis, Aramith, Lomax Custom Cues, StraightPoolEye, Durbin Custom Cues, Diamond Billiard Products, the Action Palace of Dayton, OH and Fort Worth Billiards Superstore of Fort Worth, TX. 

Our next stop is Griff’s in Las Vegas, NV for the US Open 10 Ball, US Open 8 Ball, US Open One Pocket and the US Open Bank Pool Championships! Dates are April 3rd-14th! Sure hope to see you there!!!

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Fracasso-Verner comes from deep on the loss side to claim 8th Ginky Memorial Amateur title

Lukas Fracasso-Verner, Jacqueline Rivera, Chuck Allie and Pashk Gjini

No matter how confident you might be about your skills as a pool player, amateur or seasoned pro, losing your opening-round match in a tournament fielding 143 other competitors has got to be disheartening. By the same token, coming back from that initial loss to not only get into the money rounds, but to come all that way and actually win the event has got to be a terrific thrill, especially if you’ve yet to graduate from high school.
 
Lukas Fracasso-Verner, 16, of Wallingford, CT accomplished this unlikely feat to become the eighth different player to capture the Amateur division of the 8th Annual George “Ginky” Sansouci Memorial Tournament, held this past Memorial Day weekend under the combined auspices of the Predator Pro Am, Tri-State and Mezz Tours at Steinway Billiards in Astoria (Queens), NY. He lost his opening round match 7-3 to Dimos Markopoulos, won nine on the loss side to get to the final board where two brackets combined, won two more to get into the event final, and then downed hot seat occupant Chuck Allie, for a total of 12 on the loss side to claim the event title.
 
As Fracasso-Verner was busy, early, working on the loss side, his eventual opponent in the finals, Allie, worked his way through the winners’ side bracket to face Gary Bozigian in one winners’ side semifinal. Jacqueline Rivera faced Luis Lopez in the other one. Allie downed Bozigian, double hill, while Rivera became the first woman to reach the hot seat match in the Amateur division of this annual Ginky Memorial with a 6-4 victory over Lopez. Rivera almost became the first woman to occupy a Ginky Memorial hot seat. She battled Allie to a deciding game before being sent to the semifinals, leaving Allie in the hot seat, awaiting Fracasso-Verner’s return from his lengthy trip on the loss side.
 
With half of that loss-side journey accomplished, Fracasso-Verner defeated Koka Davladze double hill, and Alberto Estevez 7-2 to draw Bozigian, just over from the winners’ side semifinal. Lopez picked up Pashk Gjini, who’d defeated Jody Rubin double hill and Joe Wilson Torres 6-1.
 
Fracasso-Verner advanced to the quarterfinals with a 7-5 win over Bozigian. He was joined by Gjini, who eliminated Lopez.
 
Fracasso-Verner picked up his 10th loss-side win downing Gjini 9-4 in those quarterfinals, and then spoiled Rivera’s attempt to become the first female in a Ginky Memorial final with a 9-5 win in the semifinals. Rivera did end up with the highest finish by a female in the event’s eight-year history.
 
And there it was. The end of an extraordinarily long loss-side journey for Fracasso-Verner, but not, to the best our records indicate, the longest. In January of 2017, he won 13 on the loss side at a Predator Pro Am Tour event and then, with a win in the finals, became the second-youngest player to win a stop on that tour. Following a 9-7 win over Chuck Allie in the finals over this past Memorial Day weekend, he became the 8th different winner and definitely the youngest player to win the Amateur division of the George “Ginky” Sansouci Memorial Tournament.

DaBreo goes undefeated to win his 7th Predator Pro Am title since 2009

(l to r): Raphael DaBreo, Suzzie Wong, & Jose Mendez

On average, Raphael Dabreo wins an event on the Predator Pro Am Tour about once a year, and has been doing so since 2009. In that same time frame, he’s won, on average, exactly one event on the Tri-State Tour every year. In the only year since 2009 that he failed to record a victory on either tour, he was runner-up in the Empire State 10-Ball Championships (won by Jorge Rodriguez) and the Mixed Masters division of the NYC 8-Ball Championships (won by Koka Davladze). On the weekend of October 28-29, DaBreo chalked up a second victory on the 2017 Predator Pro Am Tour, which he’d won in June. It was the first time in almost four years that DaBreo had recorded two wins on either or both of the tours. The $1,000-added Predator Pro Am event drew 59 entrants to Spin City Café Billiards in Woodside (Queens), NY.
 
Unlike his effort in June, when he won seven matches on the loss side to meet and defeat hot seat occupant, Koka Davladze, DaBreo took the undefeated route in this one. DaBreo was challenged by Jose Mendez in one of the winners’ side semifinals, while Suzzie Wong (about to record Predator Pro Am history) faced veteran Tony Ignomirello.
 
DaBreo got into the hot seat match with a 7-4 win over Mendez, as Wong was sending “Tony Iggy” to the loss side 8-5. Wong became the first D-class player to get into a hot seat match in the history of the tour. Though she battled mightily, and forced a deciding game, she did not become the first D-class player to sit in a Predator Pro Am hot seat, because DaBreo sent her to the semifinals 11-10.
 
On the loss side, Ignomirello picked up his second straight female opponent, Amy Yu, who’d defeated Pascal Dufresne 7-2 and Jerry Almodovar 7-3 to reach him. Mendez drew Geovani Hosang, who’d eliminated “The Warrior” (Carl Yusuf Khan) and Dave Shlemperis, both 7-5.
As Wong had done versus DaBreo in the hot seat match, Yu put up a double hill fight against Ignomirello, but he prevailed to advance to the quarterfinals. He was joined by Mendez, who’d eliminated Hosang 7-4.
 
Mendez ended Ignomirello’s bid for a win with a 9-7 win in those quarterfinals. In the semifinals, with both players looking for a re-match against DaBreo, Mendez ended Wong’s bid to become the first D-class player in a Predator Pro Am final by defeating her 11-8. DaBreo closed it out with a 7-5 win over Mendez in the finals.
 
A concurrently-run Second Chance event drew eight entrants, and was won by Pascal Dufresne. Dufresne pocketed $100 with a victory over Duc Lam ($50) in the finals.
 
Tour director Tony Robles thanked the ownership and staff at Spin City for their hospitality, as well as title sponsor Predator Cues, the NAPL, Ozone Billiards, PoolOnTheNet.Com, Cappelle Publishing, and Delta-13 Racks. The next stop on the Predator Tour, scheduled for November 18-19, will be hosted by Cue Bar in Bayside, Queens.

Sossei goes undefeated to take Predator Open/Pro stop

Zion Zvi, Jeremy Sossei and Joey Korsiak

DaBreo comes from the loss side to down Davladze in Amateur finals

 

Jeremy Sossei and Zion Zvi battled in the finals of the June 10-11 Pro event on the Predator Tour. Sossei was in the hot seat, when Zvi completed a five-match, loss-side run to face him. Sossei won to claim the $1,500-added Pro event that drew 12 entrants to Gotham City Billiards in Brooklyn, NY. In a concurrently-run, $1,500-added Amateur event that drew 51 entrants, Raphael Dabreo recovered from an early loss at the hands of Koka Davladze, and won seven on the loss side to eventually meet and defeat him in the finals.

 

Sossei advanced through the short Pro field to face Michael Wong in a winners' side semifinal. Wong had just sent Sossei's eventual finals' opponent, Zvi, to the loss side. Joey Korsiak, in the meantime, met up with Chris Derewonski in the other winners' side semifinal. Wong put up a double hill fight, but it was Sossei who advanced to the winners' side final against Korsiak, who'd sent Derewonski to the loss side 7-4. Sossei claimed the hot seat 7-3 and waited on Zvi.

 

Zvi opened his loss-side campaign with a 7-3 win over Frankie Hernandez (runner-up on Memorial Day weekend's Ginky Memorial), following it with a 7-3 win over Shawn "Alaska" Morgan, which set him up for a re-match versus Wong. Derewonski drew Greg Mitchell, who'd defeated tour director Tony Robles 7-5 and Jorge Texeira 7-2.

 

Zvi successfully negotiated the vengeance match 7-3 over Wong, as Derewonski eliminated Mitchell 7-2. Zvi took the quarterfinal match over Derewonski 7-1 and then, downed Korsiak 7-5 in the semifinals. In the finals, by the same score, Sossei stopped Zvi's run to claim the event title.

 

DaBreo comes back to 'haunt' and defeat Davladze in Amateur event

 

You'd have to think that downing an opponent 7-2 in a winners' side match would allow a competitor to think that he (or she) would have few worries about that individual coming back for a second challenge, especially when you've advanced beyond that match to the hot seat. Pool, though, is a funny kind of game and nobody knows that better than pool players, particularly Koka Davladze, who won that early match during the Predator Tour's Amateur event, and Raphael DaBreo, who lost in that matchup and eventually won seven on the loss side to meet and defeat Davladze in the finals.

 

With DaBreo at work on the loss side, Davladze advanced to a winners' side semifinal against Dan Faraguna. Daves Callaghan and Weinstein met in the other one. Davladze moved into the hot seat match 9-4 over Faraguna, and met up with Callaghan, who'd sent Weinstein over 7-4. In spite of a match that went one game shy of double hill, Davladze won his last match, claiming the hot seat over Callaghan 11-9.

 

On the loss side, DaBreo chalked up victories #3 & #4 against Roberto Hung (9-7) and Thomas Rice (8-5) to draw Faraguna. David Weinstein picked up Emit Yolcu, who'd eliminated Xavier Romero, double hill, and Ambi Estevez 7-1, to reach him. Yolcu and DaBreo advanced to the quarterfinals; Yolcu in another double hill win, over Weinstein, and DaBreo 9-4 over Faraguna.

 

Callaghan put up a double hill fight against DaBreo in the semifinals, but it wasn't enough, as DaBreo advanced to a long-awaited second shot against Davladze. He took full advantage, downing Davladze 9-5 to claim the title.

 

Tour director Tony Robles extended special thanks to Kevin and Isabel Buckley, along with their staff at Gotham City Billiards, as well as sponsors Predator Cues, Ozone Billiards, Poison Billiards, PlayNAPL.com, The Devito Team, PoolOnTheNet.com, Capelle (BilliardsPress.com), AZBilliards, Billiards Digest and Pool & Billiard Magazine. The next stop on the Predator Tour, scheduled for June 17-18, will be hosted by Raxx Billiards in West Hempstead, NY.

Davis comes from the loss side to win 7th Annual Ginky Memorial

Junior Singh, Ramon Rodriguez, Amy Yu and Phil Davis

Phil Davis became the 7th different player to win the Amateur event of the Annual George "Ginky" Sansouci Memorial Tournament, held this past weekend – May 27-29 – at Steinway Billiards in Astoria (Queens), NY. Held under the combined auspices of the Predator Pro Am, Tri-State and Mezz Tours, the event featured its usual array of amateur-status talent. Last year's winner, Tony Liang, was out of this one early, leaving the door open for Davis to go undefeated and follow (in order) Raj Vannala, Daniel Dagotdot, Mike Yednak, Kapriel Delimelkonoglu, Rhys Chen and Liang into the Ginky Memorial history book.
 
Attendance at this annual event has grown steadily over the years, although the numbers did drop a little this year; from 190 to 165 in the $2,000-added Amateur event, and from 54 to 44 in the $2,000-added Pro event, which, by the way, was won by Jayson Shaw (see separate story). Last year's winner, Zion Zvi, like Tony Liang in the Amateur event, was knocked out early. 
 
Both events were streamed live throughout the weekend by AZBTv, sponsored by Blatt Billiards, and featuring the commentary of Upstate Al and a host of guest commentators.
 
The 165-entrant Amateur tournament divided the players up into two separate brackets of A players and B-D players. They did not meet until the very end. Amy Yu won the B-D bracket, while Ramon Rodriguez won the A bracket. Davis, defeated early by Rodriguez, came back on the loss side to defeat him and advance to the finals against Yu.
 
As the event moved into the 9/12 matches, only one previous Ginky Memorial champion remained, Rhys Chen, who, after a 7-5 victory over James Conn, was knocked out by Koka Davladze 8-6. Davladze, who'd previously eliminated James Stevens 9-6 advanced to meet Davis in the 5/6 matches. Junior Singh, in the meantime, having defeated Neven Lipovac 7-4, and Benny Rosado 7-5, picked up Gary Bozigian.
 
Davis and Singh advanced to the quarterfinals; Davis 7-1 over Davladze, and Singh 7-5 over Bozigian. Davis took the quarterfinal match over Singh 9-5, and then, in a re-match against Rodriguez, downed him 7-5 for a shot at Amy Yu. 
 
He took full advantage. Giving six racks to Yu in a race to 13, Davis completed his loss side run with a 13-8 victory to claim  the 7th George "Ginky" Sansouci Memorial title.
 
Event director Tony Robles, as he is every year at this time, was demonstrably appreciative of the effort put forth by representatives from the Tri-State and Mezz Tours, as well as the ownership and staff at Steinway Billiards. In addition to thanks offered to Blatt Billiards (BlattBilliards.com) for their sponsorship of the live stream, Robles also thanked sponsors Predator Cues, Ozone Billiards, PlayNAPL.com, PoolOnTheNet.com, Cappelle (BilliardsPress.com), and the DeVito team. 
 

Robles wins Open/Pro, Salerno wins Mixed Masters at 3rd Annual NYC 8-Ball Championships

Mike Salerno and Emily Duddy

In what had to have been a masterpiece of logistical engineering, Steinway Billiards in Astoria (Queens), NY, in two days (Nov. 5-6), hosted the $7,000-added, 3rd Annual NYC 8-Ball Championships presented by Predator Cues and sponsored by Dr. Michael Fedak. The event entailed the coordination of 132 competitors across six divisions of play – an Open/Pro event (Grand Masters), an A/A+/A++ event (Mixed Masters), a B/B+ event (Mixed Advanced), a C/C+ event (Mixed Open), and separate Men's and Women's D/D+ events (Men's and Women's Leisure). The $1,500-added Mixed Open drew the largest crowd of competitors (48), with the $1,500-added Mixed Advanced event drawing the second highest number (32). The $1,000-added Mixed Masters and the $1,000-added Women's Leisure event each drew 15 entrants, while the $1,000-added Men's Leisure event drew 16. The $1,000-added Grand Masters event, with a number of eligible Open/Pro players (Jayson Shaw among them) competing in events elsewhere, drew only six.
 
 
It took tour director Tony Robles only three matches to claim the Open/Pro title. He received a first round bye and then defeated Michael Yednak 7-1 to reach the hot seat match. Jonathan Smith, in the meantime, had survived an opening round, double hill battle against Zion Zvi, and then defeated Jorge Rodriguez 7-4 to join Robles in the struggle for the hot seat. Robles won it 7-3 and waited on Smith's return. On the loss side, Rodriguez and Yednak got by Jimmy Rivera and Zvi, respectively, to face each other in the quarterfinals. Yednak won that battle 7-2, only to have his run ended by Smith in the semifinals 7-3. Smith got his second shot at Robles, but the result duplicated the 7-3 hot seat match and Robles, undefeated, claimed the title.
 
 
The 48-entrant Mixed Open (C/C+ players) event was won by Tommy Schreiber, who won seven on the loss side to meet and defeat Steven Tillman in the finals. Gary Bozigian finished in third place, with Greg Matos in fourth. 
 
 
In the 32-entrant Mixed Advanced event (B/B+ players), Rick Miller went undefeated. He downed Adrian Daniel in the hot seat match 6-4, and in the finals, faced Shawn Sookhai, who'd been sent to the loss side by Miller in a winners' side semifinal and won three on the loss side, including a victory over Amir Uddin in the quarterfinals, and Daniels, double hill, in the semifinals. His rematch against Miller in the finals went Miller's way 7-3.
 
 
In the upper echelon of the handicapped player's system – the A/A+ and A++ players (Mixed Masters) – Mike Salerno took home the top prize, undefeated, but not before Emily Duddy flexed a few muscles in two battles against him. Both of the winners' side semifinals (Duddy versus Duc Lam and Salerno versus Koka Davladze) went double hill, as did the hot seat battle. The finals were a different story, as Salerno shut Duddy out to claim the event title.
 
 
As had happened in the Mixed Masters event, the last three winners' side matches in the Women's Leisure event (D/D+) went double hill. Diane Tse and Sarah Morcos got by Suzzie Wong and Jessica Gonzalez, double hill, and then, Morcos sent Tse to the semifinals, double hill. Tse, though, after defeating Latonia Taylor, double hill, in the semifinals, came back to give up only a single rack and claim that title. Wong finished fourth.
 
 
In the Men's Leisure event, Rolando Rodriguez and Carmine Andujar battled it out to take home the title. They met twice in the more or less traditional slots for double meetings; once in the hot seat match, won 5-3 by Andujar, and again, in the finals, won 7-4 by Rodriguez to claim the event title. Juan Melendez finished third in this one, after a 4-2 win by Rodriguez in the semifinals. Carlo James Barroso, after a squeaker versus Melendez in the quarterfinals, finished fourth.
 
 
Tour director Tony Robles was effusive in his thanks and recognition of the large group of individuals and entities which contributed either financially, or in other ways (live streaming by AZBTv, for example) to the success of this 3rd Annual event. As he has done so often in the past, he thanked Manny Stamatakis and his staff at Steinway Billiards for their hospitality and all that they do to help the event(s) run smoothly. He was also particularly thankful for the tremendous support of Dr. Michael Fedak, who contributed $5,000 of the $7,000-added to the six events of the 3rd Annual NYC 8-Ball Championships, presented by Predator Cues and sponsored by Fedak. He also acknowledged the support of sponsors like the National Pool League (NAPL), PoolOnTheNet.com, the BCAPL and Cue Sports International.
 
 
"I can't thank these people enough for sponsoring this event," said Robles. "They all do so many different things in making a huge contribution to these annual NYC 8-Ball Championships."

Rivera wins nine on the loss side to reach Tri-State finals; awarded forfeit win over Hernandez

Henri Hernandez and Jimmy Rivera

In Jimmy Rivera's first Tri-State Tour win, back in February of 2013, he won five on the loss side and eventually defeated Koka Davladze in the finals. Three years and six months later, on Saturday, August 20, Rivera chalked up his second Tri-State victory, once again, coming from the loss side. This time, though, he won nine on the loss side for a shot in the finals against Henri Hernandez, who, due to the lateness of the hour, was forced to withdraw, leaving Rivera as the event winner. The $1,000-added, A/D handicapped event drew 57 entrants to Steinway Billiards in Astoria (Queens), NY.
 
With Rivera already long at work on the loss side, Hernandez advanced to a winners' side semifinal against Miguel Laboy. Adalberto Nazario squared off against Ron Bernardo in the other one. Hernandez sent LaBoy to the loss side 7-4 and, in the hot seat match, faced Nazario, who'd defeated Bernardo 6-2. In what would prove to be his last match of the tournament, Hernandez claimed the hot seat 9-8 over Nazario.
 
On the loss side, LaBoy drew Rivera, already six matches into his loss-side run with wins over Patrick Dugan, Steve Kaminow, Stewart Warnock, and Amir Rashad Uddin. In the event's first money rounds, Rivera defeated Mike Figueroa 7-5, and Max Watanabe 7-4 to face LaBoy. Bernardo, in the meantime, picked up Ambi Estevez, who'd defeated Nicole Monaco and Mike Esposito, both 6-3, to reach him.
 
Rivera, who was never afforded the opportunity to face the opponent who'd sent him to the loss side (Arturo Reyes), downed LaBoy 7-2. He was joined in the quarterfinals by Bernardo, who'd ended Estevez' night 7-6. Rivera leapfrogged into the semifinals against Nazario when Bernardo forfeited the quarterfinal match. Rivera completed his loss-side run with an 11-7 victory over Nazario in the semifinals.
 
It was at this point that Hernandez was forced to bow out. He and Rivera split the top two prizes, while Rivera was awarded the event title.
 
Tour representatives thanked Manny Stamatakis and his staff at Steinway Billiards, 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 the weekend of August 27-28, will be hosted by Amsterdam Billiards in Manhattan.
 

Faraguna goes undefeated to win Amateur Predator stop

Fernando Paulino, Manny Stamatakis, Abel Rosario, Dan Faraguna and James Stevens

Two out of three of Dan Faraguna's final three matches at an April 23-24 stop on the Predator Tour went double hill. He won them both, and the hot seat match to complete an undefeated run on the $1,500-added Amateur Predator Tour stop that drew 70 entrants to Steinway Billiards in Astoria (Queens), NY.
 
Faraguna's opponent in both the hot seat match and finals was Fernando Paulino. Faraguna had sent Abel Rosario to the loss side in the first of two double hill matches he needed to secure the event title. Paulino had defeated James Stevens 8-6. Faraguna claimed the hot seat over Paulino 9-7.
 
On the loss side, Rosario picked up Andrzej Kaldan, who'd defeated Akiko Taniyama 7-5 and Dany Recinos 7-4 to reach him. Stevens drew Steinway Billiards' owner, Manny Stamatakis, who was on a six-match, loss-side ride that began when Stevens had defeated him in a winners' side match. Stamatakis picked up loss-side wins #3 and #4 against Koka Davladze 7-3 and Basdeo "Shawn" Sookhai 7-4. 
 
Stamatakis won his re-match against Stevens 7-5. He was joined, in the quarterfinals, by Rosario, who'd given up only a single rack to Kaldan. Stamatakis then defeated Rosario 8-6, before ending his loss-side run with a 7-1 defeat at the hands of Paulino in the semifinals.
 
Paulino's second shot at Faraguna in the finals went double hill. Faraguna won it to complete his undefeated run and claim the event title.

Shaw goes undefeated, Astashian comes from the loss side to win Predator Open/Pro & Amateur

Hunter Lombardo, Jayson Shaw, Mike Wong & Gotham City Billiards Room Owner Kevin Buckley

Jayson Shaw picked up his third 2016 title on the weekend of March 19-20. Following his wins at the Derby City 10-Ball Challenge and the New England Pool and Billiard Hall of Fame 9-Ball Open, he went undefeated in the Open/Pro event on the Predator Tour. In the Amateur event on the same weekend, Steve Astashian came from the loss side to defeat Nayan Roy and pick up his first win on the Predator Tour. The amateur event drew 84 entrants to Gotham City Billiards in Brooklyn, NY. The Open/Pro event drew 13.
 
Shaw's undefeated path to the winners' circle in the Open/Pro event went through Mike Wong twice. Fresh off a double hill win over Hunter Lombardo in a winners' side semifinal, Shaw faced Wong, who'd sent Frankie Hernandez to the loss side 7-5. Shaw shut Wong out and waited in the hot seat for Round Two.
 
On the loss side, Hernandez picked up Gotham City House Pro Jorge Rodriguez, who'd gotten by Brandon Hernandez 7-1 and Mike Dechaine 7-3. Lombardo drew Tony Robles, who'd defeated Koka Davladze 7-5 and Brooke Meyer 7-1. Two 7-4 wins over Robles and Hernandez put Lombardo and Rodriguez in the quarterfinals, won by Lombardo 7-1. 
 
Two straight double hill battles followed, with Wong downing Lombardo in the semifinals, and Shaw, completing his undefeated run and claiming the title in the finals.
 
Astashian's path to victory in the Amateur event went through Nayan Roy twice. He'd sent Riyadh Benghalem to the loss side 7-3 in a winners' side semifinal to face Roy in the hot seat match. Roy had sent Dan Faraguna west 7-5. Roy claimed the hot seat in a double hill win over Astashian and waited for him to get back.
 
On the loss side, Faraguna picked up Javier Romero, who'd picked up a forfeit win over Carmine Andujar and defeated Edwin Gutkin 7-3. Benghalem got Willie Santiago, who'd downed "Devil" Dave Ascolese 7-4 and Arturo Reyes, double hill. Faraguna and Benghalem advanced to the quarterfinals; Faraguna, 7-4 over Romero and Benghalem, double hill over Santiago.
 
Benghalem chalked up a second straight double hill win with a victory over Faraguna in those quarterfinals, and was then eliminated by Astashian 7-2 in the semifinals. The second meeting between Astashian and Roy, in the finals, was another double hill battle, but this one went to Astashian to complete his first Predator Tour win.

Shaw goes undefeated to successfully defend NYC 8-Ball Championship

Jorge Rodriguez, John Leyman and Jayson Shaw

Davladze, Sookhai, Schreiber, Kwak and Emil chalk up separate event victories

 

The 2nd Annual NYC 8-Ball Championships, held on the weekend of November 7-8, under the auspices of Tony Robles' Silent Assassin Productions, and functioning as the BCAPL's regional tour championships, experienced a modest increase in attendance over its debut last June. With the addition of a sixth event – a Mixed Masters tournament – the championships averaged 18 entrants, an increase of just over two entrants per event. The Mixed Advanced event saw the largest increase (13 to 23), with the Mixed Open event close on its heels (23 to 32). The Women's Leisure event saw a decrease from 16 to 10 entrants, while the Men's Leisure event added one entrant to last year's total of 15. The $3,500-added (total) championships drew 108 entrants to Steinway Billiards in Astoria (Queens), NY.

 
Shaw goes undefeated a second time
The fixed-entrant, signature event – The Men's Grandmasters – with its full field of 16 saw Jayson Shaw successfully defend the title he'd won last year, going undefeated for a second time. Though Sean Morgan, last year's runner-up, was among the event's final eight, he ended up in the tie for 5th/6th, which left the door open for Jorge Rodriguez to battle Shaw twice; in the hot seat match and finals. Shaw defeated Nick Ekonomopoulos 8-7 to get into the hot seat match, while Rodriguez sent Mike Wong to the loss side 8-5. Shaw claimed the hot seat 8-5 and waited for Rodriguez to get back from the semifinals.
 
Those semifinals were set up when Morgan and Jeremy Sossei emerged from the 7th/8th matches over Frankie Hernandez and Hunter Lombardo. Morgan drew Ekonomopoulos, and Sossei picked up Wong. Ekonomopoulos ended Morgan's bid to be in the title match 8-4, while Sossei eliminated Wong by the same score. Sossei dropped Ekonomopoulos into fourth place 8-5, before having his bid ended by Rodriguez in the semifinals. Shaw punctuated his title defense with a commanding 8-2 victory over Rodriguez in the finals.
 
Emil and Kwak go undefeated to capture Men's/Women's Leisure titles
Andrew Emil and Carolina Kwak emerged from the 16- and 10-entrant fields of the Men's and Women's Leisure events and went undefeated to capture their respective titles. Emil shut out Jim Gutierrez to get into the hot seat match of the Men's Leisure tournament. He was joined by Mark Ogawa, who'd sent Rolando Rodriguez west 5-2. Emil claimed the hot seat 5-3 over Ogawa.
 
On the loss side, Rodriguez won three straight double hill matches for a shot at Emil in the hot seat. He got by Brad McDuffie, then Gutierrez in the quarterfinals, and finally, Ogawa in the semifinals. Emil, though, punctuated his undefeated run with a shutout over Rodriguez in the finals. 
 
Kwak got into the Women's Leisure hot seat with, first, a double hill win over Bianca Martinez in a winners' side semifinal. Latonia Taylor, in the meantime, sent May Ng to the loss side 5-2. By that same score, Kwak sent Taylor to the semifinals to claim the hot seat. On the loss side, Martinez got into the quarterfinals, following a double hill win over Erika Zan. She was met by the woman she'd sent to the loss side, Deborah Pritchett, who'd eliminated Ng 5-2. Pritchett gave Martinez her come-uppance in a double hill quarterfinal and got a shot at Kwak with a 5-3 win over Taylor in the semifinals. Kwak claimed the Women's Leisure title with a 5-2 victory over Pritchett in the finals.
 
Schreiber, Davladze, and 'The Warrior' claim Mixed Titles.
Tommy Schreiber, competing in the largest-field (32) Mixed Open event, was the only other competitor to go undefeated in the six-event championships. He got into the hot seat match, following a 6-4 victory over Ambi Estevez, and was met by Cristobal Tiru, who'd defeated Joe Wilson Torres 6-4. Schreiber claimed the hot seat 6-3 over Tiru. 
 
It was Estevez and Abel Rosario who emerged from the loss-side scuffles to meet in the quarterfinals. Rosario survived a double hill match versus Omar Chavez to face Torres, whom he then defeated 6-2. Estevez defeated John Morrison 6-3 to join him. Estevez won the quarterfinal match, double hill, over Rosario, before Tiru eliminated him 6-2 in the semifinals. Schreiber then defeated Tiru a second time to claim the title, though not before Tiru battled him to to double hill, forcing a case game.
 
Shawn "The Warrior" Sookhai and Koka Davladze came back from losses in the winners' side semifinals of the Mixed Advanced and Mixed Masters fields to win those events. Sookhai, sent west by Max Watanabe 7-5 in the Mixed Advanced tourney, came back through Noah Vogelman (7-4), Ehmunrao Toocaram (7-5) and successfully wreaked vengeance on Watanabe 7-5, before downing hot seat occupant Matthew Harricharam 9-6 to claim the Mixed Advanced title.
 
Davladze was sent to the loss side by Raphael Dabreo, 7-4, in a winners' side semifinal of the Mixed Masters event. DaBreo went on to defeat Juan Guzman 7-5 in the hot seat match. Elvis Rodriguez, who'd been sent west in the other winners' side semifinal, 7-4, by Guzman, ran into Davladze in the quarterfinals and was eliminated 7-3. Davladze finished Guzman in the semifinals 7-5 and went on to defeat DaBreo 9-7 in the Mixed Masters finals. 
 
Tour organizer Tony Robles thanked added-money contributors Manny Stamatakis (owner of Steinway Billiards), and Michael Fedak, as well as tour director John Leyman. He also thanked Stamatakis' staff for their hospitality, and sponsors Marc Griffin and the BCA Pool League, Cue Sports International, Predator Cues, GothamCityTechnologies.com, PoolOnTheNet.com, NAPL. com, Delta 13, Ozone Billiards, Irene Kin, Ron Mason, Mandy Wu, Dan Faraguna, Allison Fisher, and (his) "amazing wife, Gail."