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Jaared “The Jazz Man” Arosemena joins Team Cyborg

Jaared Arosemena

Jaared Arosemena is no stranger to the music world.  With 5 internationally released albums to his name under the name "Jaared", Jaared has received numerous musical accolades.  With a "Best New Saxophonist Artist" nomination at the 2002 Smooth Jazz Awards, and also a five time pre-nominated Grammy Artist, Jaared caught the attention of not only millions of fans world wide, but also some of the industry's top artists.  Jaared has performed with such notable names as Stevie Wonder, Robin Thicke, Angela Bofill, Freeda Payne, FrEddie Jackson, Robbie Dupree, Junior Marvin, and Martha Reeves just to name a few.  Jaared has also had television experience when he was the leader of a band for the popular "8101 Talk Show", which interviewed many famous names such as Manheim Steamroller and Patti Austin.


What you may not know about Jaared is that he is also an Open Pro Pool Player.  Jaared's love for the sport of pocket billiards started at the age of 8 thanks largely in part to his grandfather who is still to this day, a very talented One Pocket player at the young age of 91.  Jaared recalls seeing Steve Mizerak in a Miller Light Beer commercial back in the late 70's.  He loved that Steve was "just showing off" in the commercial, and from that point, became a huge Steve Mizerak fan.  It was following his pool playing idol that changed his pool life forever, when in 1983, he saw an ESPN televised 9 ball event at Caesar's Lake Tahoe, pitting his idol against a pool player he'd never heard of…a 22 year old player named Earl "Little Earl" Strickland.  Jaared recalls, "I had NEVER seen pool played that beautifully"…however, he wasn't talking about "The Miz"!   From that day in 1983, to this very day, Jaared has been Earl "The Pearl" Strickland's #1 dedicated fan.  But it wasn't until 30 years later, and after a very successful musical career, that Jaared had the opportunity to meet his longtime idol  at the 2013 US Open.  Jaared met Earl's friend Larry Ross and struck up a conversation. "The conversation", Jaared explains, "was simply to meet Earl Strickland".  Jaared, whimsically says to Mr. Ross, "I wish I could learn the sport from Earl", to which Mr. Ross said, "You can!  Earl gives lessons out of Steinway Billiards in Astoria Queens, NY.".  That was the day that changed Jaared's pool playing life forever.  Jaared immediately started taking monthly lessons from "The Pearl", and he hasn't looked back!  Jaared is also a huge supporter of this great sport.  Because of that, Jaared has had the opportunity to meet a majority of his pool playing pro favorites and commentators, and has performed and co-commentated at the 2015 US Open, and has co-commentated with his good friend UpState Al at the 2016 Super Billiards Expo.  It was UpState Al who gave Jaared his pool moniker "The Jazz Man".   Because of The Jazz Man's continued support of the sport, Jaared caught the eye of Joel Garrison on Facebook.  Jaared was explaining to a forum member about the qualities of a Low Deflection Shaft, when Mr. Garrison reached out to him.  Ever since that fateful night, Jaared and Joel have worked together to help spread the word about ON Tips Cyborg.  However, it has only been recently that The Jazz Man's strong game has been noticed.  With the teaming of Jaared "The Jazz Man" Arosemena  and #TeamCyborg, this team is sure to hit the right notes together

Shaw and Derewonski win Open/Amateur sides of Predator Tour stop

Jayson Shaw

Both the Amateur and Open/Pro side of the March 29-30 stop on the Predator Tour saw the same two players face each other in the hot seat match and finals. In both the $500-added Amateur event, and $500-added Open/Pro event, the hot seat occupants (Amateur Mike Harrington and Open/Pro Jorge Rodriguez) failed to win a second time, leaving Amateur Chris Derewonski and Open/Pro Jayson Shaw to claim the respective titles. The concurrently-run dual events were hosted by Gotham City Billiards in Brooklyn, NY.
In the short field (11) Open/Pro event, Rodriguez advanced to the hot seat match with a winners' side semifinal victory over Earl Strickland 7-4, while Jayson Shaw advanced to meet him with a 7-2 win over tour director Tony Robles. Rodriguez took the hot seat battle 7-2 and waited on Shaw's return.
Strickland and Robles moved to the loss side where they met up with young Thomas Rice and Hunter Lombardo, respectively. Rice had gotten by Larry Ross and Steve Kalloo, both 7-3, to draw Strickland, while Lombardo had defeated Joe Gibbons 7-1 and Jeremy Sossei 7-5 to pick up Robles. Strickland downed the youngster 7-3, and in the quarterfinals, drew Robles, who'd ended Lombardo's day by the same score. 
Strickland and Robles hooked up in a double hill quarterfinal match, which ultimately advanced Strickland to meet a familiar foe, Shaw, in the semifinals. Shaw downed Strickland 7-3 for his second shot against Rodriguez. In an extended race to 11, Shaw claimed the event title 11-6.
In the 59-entrant Amateur field, Derewonski and Harrington met up in the hot seat match, once Derewonski had dispatched Brooke Meyer to the loss side 8-4 and Harrington had taken command of a match against Sookeeo Ramkissoon 7-1. Harrington took his first against Derewonski 10-3, and waited in the hot seat for him to return.
Meyer and Ramkissoon's event day would end in their first loss-side matches. Meyer fell victim to Steve Astashen, who, after being defeated by Emily Duddy, was in the midst of a seven-match, loss-side winning streak that would take him as far as the quarterfinals. Wins #5 & #6 came against Dave Ascolese 7-3 and Brian Russell 7-2. Ramkissoon picked up Gail Robles, who was on a four-match, loss side winning streak of her own that would take her as far as the semifinals. She'd gotten by Patrick Meyers and Meshak Daniel, both 7-4, to draw Ramkissoon.
Robles defeated Ramkissoon 7-4, as Astashen was eliminating Meyer 7-3. With both of their loss-side winning streaks on the line, Robles shut Astashen out in the quaterfinals, before she had her own loss-side run stopped by Derewonski 9-7 in the semifinals. Derewonski earned his rematch and took full advantage, defeating Harrington in the finals 12-6 to capture the event title.

Strickland wins short-field Predator Open; Grassman wins Amateur event

Earl Strickland

Jeremy Sossei and Earl Strickland played twice in the February 23 Open event on the Predator Tour, with Strickland winning both times. Eric Grassman faced two different opponents in the Amateur event over the weekend and won twice, as well; against Diana Rojas and Thomas Rice. The $500-added Amateur event drew 48 entrants, while the $500-added Open drew 10 to Gotham City Billiards in Brooklyn, NY.
Strickland and Sossei met first in the battle for the hot seat. Strickland had downed Jorge Rodriguez 7-5 in one winners' side semifinal, while Sossei defeated Tony Robles 7-3 in the other. Strickland moved into the hot seat with his first win over Sossei 7-3.
Rodriguez moved over to pick up Emily Duddy, who'd defeated Joe Gibbons 7-1 and Larry Ross 7-4. Robles drew Joey Korsiak, who'd gotten by Jerry Tarantola 7-3 and shut out Mike Esposito. Rodriguez and Korsiak met in the quarterfinals, once Rodriguez had downed Duddy 7-2 and Korsiak had defeated Robles 7-3. Rodriguez then shut out Korsiak and got a shot at Sossei in the semifinals. Sossei denied Rodriguez a re-match against Strickland with a 7-5 win, and then, in his own re-match, fell to Strickland in the finals 7-3.
On the Amateur side, the eventual winner, Grassman, met up with Steve Wright among the winners' side final four, as Diana Rojas faced Thomas Rice. Grassman and Rojas advanced to the hot seat match with identical 7-1 wins over Wright and Rice. Grassman sent Rojas to the semifinals 8-4.
On the loss side, Rice picked up James Stevens, who'd defeated William Finnegan 7-1 and Tony Ignomirello 7-4 to reach him. Wright drew Chris Derewonski, who'd gotten by Koka Davladze 7-3 and survived a double hill match against Roberto Mendoza. Wright and Rice got right back to work; Wright shutting out Derewonski, while Rice eliminated Stevens 7-2.
Rice took the quarterfinal match 7-5 over Wright, and successfully navigated his semifinal re-match against Rojas 7-3. Rice battled Grassman to double hill before Grassman prevailed to claim the Amateur event title.
Tour director Tony Robles thanked Gotham City Billiard owners, Kevin and Isabel Buckley, for their hospitality and continuing support of the tour. 

Strickland Undefeated at Joss Tour Stop

Earl Strickland

Earl Strickland completed an undefeated run through the field to win the Joss NE 9-Ball Tour stop at Raxx Pool Room in West Hempstead, NY on November 23rd and 24th.


Strickland was just one of the early favorites in this event, with a field that included Mike Dechaine and Europe's Jayson Shaw. By the luck of the draw, Dechaine and Shaw faced off in the first round with Shaw scoring the win and Dechaine taking a very early trip to the left side of the board.


Back on the winners side, it was Strickland scoring a 9-6 win over Shaun Wilkie to capture the hot-seat on Sunday afternoon.


Wilkie made the journey to the one loss side, and found Dechaine waiting. Dechaine had won seven straight matches on the left side of the board and was not planning on settling for third place. Dechaine ran over WIlkie 9-2 to set up a match with Strickland in the finals.


Strickland came out strong in the first set of the finals and raced to a 6-1 lead. Dechaine is not known for crumbling under pressure though, and he came back to win seven straight games and held an 8-6 lead. That would be as close to the finish line as Dechaine would get, as Strickland won the next three racks for the 9-8 victory and first place.


The second place finish was enough to catapult Dechaine to the top of the Joss Tour Points List.


Sunday's second chance tournament saw Larry Ross beat Mike Andrews for the hot-seat and then degeat Joe Gibbons in the finals for an undefeated victory.


As is always the case on the Joss Tour, a beautiful $1500 custom engraved Joss Cue was raffled off, and the winner on this weekend was John Kalski.


The Joss NE 9-Ball Tour will now take a break for the holidays and return to action on February 8th at Sharpshooters Billiards in Amsterdam, NY.