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Dechaine comes out of ‘retirement’ to win SBE Open 10-Ball Pro Players Championship

Mike Dechaine – Photo courtesy of Erwin Dionisio

Aranas wins 32-entrant, Pro-Am BarBox Championships
He never actually left. Although “Fireball” Mike Dechaine has cut back, way back, on the number of tournaments in which he competes, he’s kept his hand in, so to speak. In fact, he’s won four of the last eight tournaments he’s entered – The Robert Dionne Memorial (NE 9-Ball Series) in January of 2017, the Gotham City Pro Classic in October, the New England 9-Ball Series’ Tour Championships just last month, and now, on the weekend of April 12-15, the $16,000-added Diamond Open 10-Ball Professional Players Championship, part of the annual Super Billiards Expo at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center IN Oaks, PA. Dechaine went undefeated through the field of 64, competing for $48K in prize money, and in the end, got by, in order, Thorsten Hohmann, Earl Strickland, and Jayson Shaw, before meeting and defeating Danny Olson in the finals.
According to Dechaine, being away from the sport and focused more on a regular job, has allowed him to approach the occasional tournaments in which he now participates with a different, if not downright better attitude. It’s an attitude, he said, that decreases the influence of expectations.
“I go into every tournament expecting to do well,” he explained, “but I think part of me winning these days is having a job now; a foundation (which) allows me to approach a tournament without expectations, (other than) just to enjoy myself and have fun.”
Aiding and abetting this somewhat new approach for the “Fireball” was an RV in which he and a group of friends were able to travel from Maine to Philadelphia in about six hours, and then, to stay, throughout the course of the weekend.
“The RV belonged to a friend of mine (John),” he said. “The (Greater Philadelphia Expo Center) was about 10 steps outside of the door, so we could come back, relax, take a nap if we wanted to. We had a blast.”
The indoor ‘blast’ got underway on Thursday, April 12. For both eventual finalists (Dechaine and Olson) the path to victory went through Thorsten Hohmann. Following a victory over Xavier Libby, Olson faced him in his second match and was sent to the loss side, from which he would eventually emerge as one of the eight loss-side finalists. Hohmann would go on to be among the eight winners’ side finalists. Dechaine, in the meantime, advanced on the winners’ side, defeating Lee Kang and Martin Daigle, before facing Tommy Kennedy, in what he (Dechaine) would describe later as his toughest match of the tournament.
“He played tremendous,” said Dechaine of Kennedy’s double hill effort. “The change was that his break started not working for him. I fought back and got lucky.”
The victory advanced Dechaine into a pool ‘dream team’ of eight final winners’ side competitors, including Shane Van Boening, Jayson Shaw, Skyler Woodward, Mika Immonen, Alex Pagulayan, Earl Strickland, and Hohmann, whom Dechaine met first.
On the losers’ side, Olson, following victories over first, Jorge Rodriguez, then Nick Charrette had to face Johnny Archer for the right to be among the losers’ side final eight. He defeated Archer, and joinEd Martin Daigle, John Morra, Jonathan Pinegar, Oscar Dominguez, Zion Zvi (who’d just eliminated Tommy Kennedy), Lee Vann Corteza and Roberto Gomez in the single elimination final 16.
Dechaine downed Hohmann 13-6, and then, faced Earl Strickland; a matchup that in bygone days might have seen a few ‘fireworks’ as the “Fireball” met the Pearl. Not this time around, however.
“Earl was a complete gentleman,” said Dechaine later. “It was good to see and it was fun to watch him.”
Dechaine won that match 13-1 and turned to face Jayson Shaw. In the losers’ side bracket, Olson, who’d defeated Daigle 13-5, and Morra 13-3, picked up Oscar Dominguez. Dechaine advanced to the finals with a 13-9 victory over Shaw. Olson joined him after defeating Dominguez 13-10.
Still at work enjoying himself and having fun, Dechaine stepped into his first major event final since last October, when he’d squared off against Yu-Lung Chang in the finals of the Gotham City Pro 9-Ball Classic (aka The Sharon ‘Sam’ Fagnoni Memorial).
“It was nerve-wracking being in the finals, of course,” he said, “but I was just trying to push through and play the best that I could.”
“Danny (Olson),” he added, “is an up-and-comer, and he’s going to be around for a while.”
Dechaine completed his undefeated run with a 13-10 victory over Olson. As he ponders his participation in future events, he is cognizant of the degree to which his somewhat lowered expectations have provided him with a key that might lead to further success.
“Focusing on one shot at a time,” he said. “Being the best that I can be.”
Pros and Amateurs mixed in Pro-Am Bar Box Tournament, won by Zoren James Aranas
“How good do you really think you are?” was the question posed on the Super Billiards Expo’s Web site Details and Registration page for the Pro-Am Barbox Championships.
“Take your best shot in this challenging 32-player event,” it suggested further.
And so they did. Though invited, there were no women among the single-elimination event’s 32-entrants. At stake was $10K in total prize money.
Zoren James Aranas went undefeated through five opponents to claim this event’s title, downing Jorge Rodriguez in the finals. Aranas got by Justin Martin, Shaun Wilkie and Benjamin Warblan to face Nathan Rose in the event semifinals. Rodriguez, in the meantime, had downed Cory Young, Jeff Jones and Nick Cipiti to draw Dee Adkins in the other semifinal.
In races to 6, best 2 out of 3 sets, Aranas advanced to the finals in two sets; 6-3, 6-1, over Rose. He was joined by Rodriguez, who’d been tested in his first match against Adkins, but hung on to win 6-5, and then eliminated him 6-4 in the second set.
Aranas won the first set of the finals 6-2. Rodriguez fought back in the second set to double hill. Aranas completed his undefeated run by finishing it.

‘The Greatest Clearance Of My Career’. Melling over Immonen in New York

Chris Melling (Photo courtesy of JP Parmentier)

Long time fans of pool already know that England’s Chris Melling is one of the more talented and entertaining players on the pro circuit. Daring, fast, creative and downright clever, when the Englishman is on his game, there is simply no one in pool who is more fun to watch. It’s one reason why he’s been labeled “The Magician.”
And on Thursday night on day 2 of the third leg of the World Pool Series at Steinway Billiards in Queens, New York City, Melling took his on-table tricks to new and rarefied heights that has sent the pool world, especially online, into a tizzy.
Words may fail to aptly describe the stunt that Melling pulled off in front of an audience of over 50,000 viewing on social media giant Unilad, but we’ll give it a go. Melling was playing the great Mika Immonen in a race to 9, do-or-die match to see who would go through to the final 16 of the Ryo Rack Classic Championship. It was rack three with the score tied 1-1, and Melling had the solids but was faced with a difficult table and no obvious answers for an easy clear. Then came three shots that will surely make the rack “must see TV” for years to come.
The first shot saw the Englishmen gently send the pink 4-ball into the 13 ball, while the cue ball caromed across table and back into the still moving 13-ball, which then nudged the still-moving 4-ball into the corner pocket. While this unusually creative shot drew applause from the crowd, Melling was now hooked behind the 13. No problem, though. Without even blinking, Melling then jacked up his playing cue and swerved the cue ball on a full table arc and incredibly potted the two ball at the other end of the table.
Several easy shots later Melling ran into a wall as his last ball, the 1-ball, was blocked from both corner pockets. After fussing for two minutes, Melling called the 1-ball in the very corner that was blocked. What’s this? The crowd seemed to sense something special was about to happen and indeed it did. Melling sent the 1-ball on a four rail journey around the table, through all of Immonen’s stripes, barely past the 8-ball and into the tight 4 inch corner pocket. With the cue ball in position and with the crowd going wild, the Englishman tapped in the 8-ball to win the rack.
(Watch the video HERE. Rack 3 starts at 9:30)
It was clear that Melling was in that rarefied zone and, indeed, he went on to route Immonen 9-3 and move into the final 16 single elimination knockout stage which begins Friday.
“That was the greatest clearance of my career,” Melling said afterward. “On the 1-ball a lot of people might say that was lucky, but 8-ball is call shot. It’s going to take something for somebody to beat that shot.”
Indeed if Melling continues this standard of play he’s going to be a big favorite as the RYO Rack Classic heads to a conclusion over the next two days. Of course he will certainly have plenty of top notch competition, as the stacked field of 64 has been now been cut down to just 16 players. The tournament now moves to single elimination and best of three sets, with each set a race to 6 games.
One of the other favorites will be Melling’s first opponent on Friday, 18 year old Albanian Klenti Kaci, who won the last leg of the World Pool Series in April, the Aramith Masters. Kaci came back to New York this summer clearly in top notch playing form as he hasn’t even been touched in the tournament so far, winning all three of matches to advance. On Thursday Kaci took down England’s Imran Majid 11-6 to reach the final 16.
Majid later came off the losers side with a handy 9-6 win over talented Kuwaiti Ahmed Aldulaimi to make the final 16.  England will be well represented on Friday. Karl Boyes, the 2010 World 8-ball champion, has suddenly rediscovered his form. Boyes took down fellow Brit Mark Gray, 11-5 to advance. Gray then rebounded with a solid 9-5 win over the Philippines Warren Kiamco to make the last 16. World Pool Series founder and multi-world champion Darren Appleton advanced earlier in the day with a n 11-6 win over Immonen.
Another player who is quietly crushing anyone put in front of him is Austria’s Mario He, who recently won the World Cup of Pool with his partner Albin Ouschan. He won his third straight match on Thursday, easily defeating Irish great, Karen Corr, 11-4. The Austrian will face local New York favorite Tony Robles. Robles came off the losers side of the bracket with a big win over Estonia’s Dennis Grabe, 9-6.
The USA’s Skylar Woodward, clearly still buzzing from his runner up finish at the World Cup of Pool in London in June with Shane Van Boening, has yet to taste defeat. The same goes for American Shawn Wilkie, who is gearing up for the World Games next week in Poland.
Polish veteran Radislaw Babica has looked the goods so far in New York. After thrashing American Billy Thorpe 11-4 on Wednesday, Babica easily beat Canada’s Jason Klatt 11-5 to advance to the final 16. Klatt later qualified for the final 16 with a 9-4 win over April Larson. But while the Canadian ended Larson’s run in the event, the 17 year old school girl had clearly won the hearts of everyone at Steinway.
With her prodigious talent and infectious personality, Larson has been garnering plenty of attention in the last few years and especially in 2017. She recently reached the semi-finals in the WPBA Masters event and last week she represented the USA in the Atlantic Cup challenge in Austria. In New York, the Minnesota native lost her first match to American Corey Duel. She then proceeded to win two straight 9-8 matches Thursday, each one via a thrilling shootout. In the second match against Korea’s Lee Kang, Larson showed incredible bottle and nerve in the shootout as she potted one long 8-ball after the next to win the match, as the large crowd watching gave this budding pool superstar a rousing applause.
Play continues Friday in the RYO Rack Classic Championship at Steinway Billiards in New York City beginning at 1pm. The semi-finals and final will be held on Saturday.
The winner of the RYO Rack Classic Championship will take home $10,000.
For the complete draw and live scoring please CLICK HERE.

Low Expectation Brits Shine Bright On Day 1

Mark Gray

Admittedly low on confidence, Karl Boyes and Mark Gray burst out of the gates of the World Pool Series’ RYO Rack Classic in New York.


Can a player win a tournament even if they are not playing their best pool?
Generally when you have the best pool talent in the world under one roof for four days, the answer is usually a resounding no. But sometimes in pool, those that have the least expectations can do the most damage, especially players that have entered the winner’s circle more than a few times in their career.
Take Englishmen Mark Gray and Karl Boyes. The two Brits arrived in New York City for the third leg of the World Pool Series, The Ryo Rack Classic Championship, admittedly in the dumps. Gray just came off a miserable performance at the scotch doubles World Cup of Pool in London, and hasn’t had a solid finish in all of 2017. Boyes, a former World 8-ball Champion, has barely touched a cue over the last six months and came to the Big Apple with a confidence level near the bottom of the Hudson River.
But both players, playing without a shred of expectation,  each put in two impressive performances at Steinway Billiards Café in Queens on Wednesday, and have put themselves within one of reaching the final 16 single elimination stage of this 8-ball extravaganza.
The usually reliable Gray first thrashed American Greg Mitchell, 11-0.  Later in the day on the TV table, in front of an audience that reached over 50,000 viewers courtesy of social media giant Unilad Sport, Gray faced off with American Dennis Hatch.  The talented and passionate Hatch has had a good year so far and is close to getting back on the Mosconi Cup for Team USA
After a slow start by both players, Gray picked up the pace and played some of his best pool this year. He broke well, played solid positions, and kept the game simple. The result was a scintillating 11-3 thumping for the Brit.
“I played better in the second half of the match, but I still don’t think I played very good” Gray said afterward, trying to downplay any possible resurgence in his game. “I haven’t had a good year, haven’t had any good results and it’s just been awful. I don’t think I’ve turned things around yet. But I guess I have to just take things one game at a time and see what happens.”
Boyes, who won the World 8-ball Championship in 2010, had an even better day than his mate Gray. The Blackpool native first manhandled Qatar’s Waleed Majid, 11-5. Then in his next match he downed American great Johnny Archer, 11-8. It was as good a start as anyone could ask for, but afterward Boyes was having none of it. 
“ I have no chance to win,” Boyes said in jest, obviously trying to project a care free attitude that he hopes might actually generate a few more wins and a shot at the crown on Saturday.  “I played terrible. I have no clue what I’m doing out there. But, hey, maybe I’ll get lucky.”
The two Englishmen will actually face each other in the next round so at least one of them will have an excuse to keep their expectations down low.
And while both Englishman are clearly keeping their expectations justifiably low, some players here in New York clearly showed up with every intention to win this third leg of this fledging 8-ball tour.
Austria’s Mario He recently won the World Cup of Pool with his partner Albin Ouschan and came to New York brimming with confidence.  It showed on Wednesday as He outlasted 19 year old American Manny Perez, 11-7.  He then went on to bury German legend Ralf Souquet, 11-3. The big Austrian needs one more win to reach the final 16 single knockout stage.
American Skylar Woodward also has been riding a wave of good vibes lately after his runner up performance with Shane Van Boening in the World Cup of Pool. Woodward, who is hoping to move into the top 10 in the Mosconi Cup rankings for team USA ,had a good start to the event with wins over Blair Levandowski and Tommy Tokoph.
Albanian Klenti Kaci, who won the second leg of the World Pool Series in April, the Aramith Masters, had a bye in the first round and then took down American Jorge Rodriguez , 11-7. Ireland’s Hall of Famer Karen Corr, who resides in Philadelphia, looked the goods today with two solid victories, including a round-two victory over talented Spaniard Mark Vidal. England’s Imran Majid continued his fine play this year with two wins, first by a hill-hill shootout over Raymond Linares and then Korea’s Lee Kang.
Singapore’s Sharik Sayed had a confidence boosting day. In round one Sayed and the Philippines’ Warren Kiamco took their match to a shootout, which Sayed won handily. Sayed then sent German great Thorsten Hohmann over to the losers side of the bracket with an impressive 11-4 win.
Israel’s Zion Zvi, who is the house pro at Steinway and lives just down the street, took advantage of his home knowledge and won twice on Wednesday, including an 11-8 win over talented Estonian Dennis Grabe.  Mult-world champion and Hall of Famer Mika Immonen, who lives in New York,  won twice. World Pool Series founder Darren Appleton had a walkover in the first round, then went the distance with American Corey Duel in round two, and stayed on the winners side by winning a shootout.
Play continues on Thursday for the RYO Rack Classic Championship  beginning at 10:30am Eastern Time in the US.  By the end of play on day 2, the field will be paired down to the final 16 where the format will become single elimination knockout.
The winner of the RYO Rack Classic Championship will take home $10,000.


For the complete draw and live scoring please CLICK HERE.

Zvi and Lam take Open/Pro, Amateur titles at 10th Annual Empire State Championships

Jorge Rodriguez, Zion Zvi, Jimmy Rivera and Kang Lee

Zion Zvi, winner of last spring's 6th Annual George "Ginky" Sansouci Memorial Tournament, chalked up not only his first win, but his first paying finish since then, with an undefeated run at the 10th Annual Empire State Championships, held on the weekend of February 25-26. The $1,000-added Open/Pro, 10-Ball division of the championships drew 25 entrants to the event's traditional home, Raxx Billiards in West Hempstead, NY. A concurrently-run, $2,000-added, 9-Ball Amateur event drew 108 entrants and saw Duc Lam return from a defeat in the hot seat match to down Tony Kuo in the finals.
"I took a break over the past few years," said Zvi, who's sponsored by Molinari Cues and Steinway Billiards, "but I'm going to be more active this year.
"I'm coming back, one step at a time," he added.
Zvi and Jimmy Rivera battled twice in this one; once, in the hot seat match and again, in the finals. Zvi had sent Frankie Hernandez to the loss side 7-4, as Rivera was downing Lee Kang by the same score. Zvi took the hot seat by that same 7-4 score as well, and waited on Rivera's return.
Over on the loss side, Jorge Rodriguez, following victories over Jim Conn 7-2, and Eugene Ok 7-4, was laying in wait for Hernandez. Waiting for Kang was veteran player Danny Basavich (better known as Kid Delicious), who'd defeated Chris Derewonski 7-3, and Holden Chin 7-2.
Rodriguez downed Hernandez 7-5 as Kang was busy eliminating Kid Delicious 7-4. Rodriguez then defeated Kang in the quarterfinals 7-2. In the semifinals, Rivera ended Rodriguez' loss-side run 7-5. 
Zvi, though, on something of a comeback trail that looks to be stepping up its pace in the weeks and months ahead, was too close to let this one slip away. He downed Rivera a second time, this time 7-2, to claim the title.
Lam comes back from hot seat defeat to down Kuo in Amateur finals
Duc Lam and Tony Kuo battled twice in the Amateur event, with the lower-handicapped Kuo getting '4 on the wire' (racing to 9) in the hot seat match, and '3 on the wire' (racing to 8, and then, to 10) in the finals. In the winners' side semifinals, Lam had sent the event's defending champion, Justin Muller, to the loss side 7-5, as Kuo was sending Ryan Dayrit over by the same score. Lam and Kuo played 10 games in the hot seat match, each winning five. Kuo's handicap advantage made it 9-5 for him, and he was in the hot seat.
On the loss side, Muller picked up Eddie Kuz, who'd gotten by Matthew Harricharan, double hill, and Juan Guzman 7-2. Dayrit drew Thomas Schreiber, who'd eliminated Troy Deocharran  and Nicole Monaco, both 7-4.
Kuz ended Muller's hopes of defending his title 7-5, and in the quarterfinals, faced Dayrit, who'd downed Schreiber 8-5. Dayrit took the quarterfinals 9-5, and then had his short loss-side streak ended by Lam in the semifinals 10-5.
As noted, Kuo opened the finals with '3 on the wire,' racing initially to 8. Lam reached 8 first, with Kuo at 6, having won 3. Lam went on to win it 10-8 to claim the event title.
A 16-entrant Second Chance, single-elimination event saw Shawn Jackson take home the top prize, with Dany Recinos as runner-up. Ramilo Tanglao and George Poltorak tied for third.

Shaw Wins Turning Stone Classic Undefeated

Jayson Shaw (Photo courtesy of Erin Bechner)

He looked unstoppable all week, and in the end he was unstoppable. Jayson Shaw cruised to his fourth (in 5 attempts) Turning Stone Classic title at the Turning Stone Classic XXVI in Verona, NY on August 25th – 28th. 


Shaw's path to the hot-seat started with three dominating wins over Korean Champion Lee Kang, Bucky Souvanthong and  Ivaylo Petrov. After three matches, Shaw's combined win/loss record was 27 racks won and 4 racks lost. Next up for Shaw was veteran Ernesto Dominguez. Dominguez would win six racks before Shaw got to nine, but Shaw was back to his dominating ways in his next match as he defeated Danny Hewitt 9-3. Shaw's winning streak looked to be in danger in his next match, a true battle with Earl Strickland. Strickland led the match early, but he seemed to lose his focus mid-match and Shaw regained control to cruise to a 9-6 win. The hot-seat match saw Shaw in full "break and run mode", as he defeated Karen Corr 9-2.


While the presence of Corr in the late rounds of a tournament is no real surprise, her bid for the hot-seat here was her best finish at a Turning Stone event. Corr had early wins over Sean Morgan, Dawn Fox, Zion Zvi and Alain Parent. Aside from a hill-hill match with Morgan, Corr was almost as dominating as Shaw with her next three matches won with a combined 27-7 scoreline. Just like Shaw in his match with Strickland, Corr looked to be on her way to the one loss side in her match with 17 year old Russian sensation Maksim Dudanets. Dudanets led the match 8-5, before Corr won four straight racks for the 9-8 win. She capped off her comeback with a 9-ball break at hill-hill to send the Russian youth to the one loss side. Corr then survived another hill-hill match, this time with Donny Mills, to earn her place in the hot-seat match. 


After the loss to Shaw in the hot-seat match, she found Earl Strickland waiting on the one loss side. In her long career, Corr had never defeated Strickland in a tournament. She was more than up to the challenge on this day though, as she fought neck and neck with an unusually subdued Strickland. Corr and Strickland went to hill-hill, a place that Corr was becoming comfortable with at this event. and it was Corr that navigated a tough rack to earn the win. "I'm over the moon" Corr said after the match. "Earl is such a genius at the table, and how many times are you going to have the chance to play him?" she continued. 


The extended race to 13 final started out close, as Shaw couldn't seem to distance himself from the tenacious Corr. She was within one rack at 5-4, when Shaw found a groove with his break and quickly took control of the match. After multiple table runs by Shaw, he had scored a 13-5 win for his fourth Turning Stone title. When asked after the tournament as to what he attributed his Turning Stone success to, Shaw credited the beautiful arena in Verona. "I just feel really comfortable. There are a lot of people watching, which is good. I feel as if I can play good anywhere, but it’s nice to have a crowd watching. You know what it is like sometimes. Some places you go you don’t have many spectators. I like the fact that it’s open to anyone. I feel really at home here". 


Shaw's win earned him $8000 in prize money, while Corr settled for $5000 for second place. 

Kang goes undefeated to win first Open/Pro Predator stop

Jorge Rodriguez, Tony Robles and Lee Kang

Runner-up three times in 2015, the last time (November) against Earl Strickland, Lee Kang chalked up his first win on the Predator Tour's Open/Pro event on the weekend of May 21-22. Kang went undefeated in the $500-added event that drew 14 entrants to Raxx Billiards in West Hempstead, NY.
His finals opponent on this recent event was Tour Director Tony Robles, whom he defeated twice to claim the title. The final four on the winners' side of the bracket became the event's top four finishers. Robles had sent Jorge Rodriguez to the loss side 7-2 in one winners' side semifinal, as Kang was busy sending Frankie Hernandez over in a double hill fight in the other. Kang claimed his first win over Robles 7-3 and waited in the hot seat for his return.
On the loss side, Rodriguez and Hernandez picked up Zion Zvi and Del Sim, respectively. Zvi had eliminated Ron Mason 7-2 and Holden Chin 7-4 to draw Rodriguez. Sim had survived two straight double hill matches against Mike Wong and Dave Schlemperis to pick up Hernandez. 
Rodriguez and Hernandez advanced to the quarterfinals, both 7-4 against Zvi and Sim. In what was the event's first money round, Rodriguez defeated Hernandez 7-4 to face Robles in the semifinals. A double hill fight there eventually advanced Robles to a re-match against Kang in the finals.
The finals were all Kang. He opened up with seven in a row, establishing a lead that was two shy of a shutout. Robles spoiled that shutout bid with a single win in the eighth game, and received appreciative, though ironic applause for preventing that shutout. Kang closed it out with two wins to claim the event title.
"He was playing like a monster," said Robles afterwards. "It was the best pool I'd ever seen him play."
Robles thanked the ownership and staff at Raxx Billiards, as well as sponsors Predator Cues, National Amateur Pool League, Ozone Billiards, Delta-13 racks, Gotham City Technologies,, The DeVito Team, Billiards Press, AZ Billiards, Billiards Digest, and Pool & Billiard Magazine. He also thanked William Finnegan, Mandy Wu, and Irene Kim for their assistance with the tournament, as well as his wife, Gail Robles.

Dechaine defeats defending champion Rodriguez at 8th Annual Empire State Championships

Jorge Rodriguez, Hunter Lombardo, Mike Dechaine and Mike Davis

Becoming a qualifying event for consideration as a member of the 2016 Mosconi Cup team, the 8th Annual Empire State 10-Ball Championships, held on the weekend of February 20-21, doubled the number of entrants from last year that signed on to compete in the Open/Pro event of those championships. Mike Dechaine, soon to be inducted into the New England Pool and Billiard's Hall of Fame, went undefeated through the 2016 field of 32, defeating defending Open/Pro champion, Jorge Rodriguez in the finals. The $1,000-added event was hosted by Raxx Billiards in West Hempstead, NY (see separate story for Amateur results).
Rodriguez' attempt to defend his title was initially sidetracked in a winners' side final four matchup, in which Hunter Lombardo sent him to the loss side. Dechaine, in the meantime, went nose-to-nose against Mike Davis, who, one week prior, had become North Carolina's 10-Ball Champion and the week before that, the Series VII American Rotation Champion in Indiana. Lombardo defeated Rodriguez 7-5, as Dechaine was busy surviving a double hill battle against Davis. Dechaine then defeated Lombardo in the hot seat match 7-5.
On the loss side, Rodriguez met up with Edwin Guzman, who'd gotten by Lee Kang 7-3 and just did get by Miguel LaBoy 7-6. Davis ran into a familiar opponent, Shaun Wilkie, who'd eliminated another consistent rival on the Action Pool Tour, Brandon Shuff  7-4 and downed Brooke Meyer 7-1.
Rodriguez and Davis got right back to work; Rodriguez shutting out Guzman and Davis eliminating Wilkie 7-5. Rodriguez then defeated Davis 7-4 in the event quarterfinals, for a second shot at Lombardo in the semifinals. Rodriguez wreaked his vengeance 7-4 on Lombardo for a chance to defend his title against Dechaine in the finals. It was not to be. Dechaine completed his undefeated run 9-6, sending him north to Rhode Island for his induction into the New England Pool and Billiard's Hall of Fame with an added victory to his resume.

Strickland and Dempsey go undefeated on the Predator Tour

On the weekend of November 28-29, warming up for the Predator Tour's season finale, a $7,000-added event, scheduled for December 12-13 at Raxx Billiards in West Hempstead, NY, Earl Strickland and Steve Dempsey went undefeated through their respective Open/Pro and Amateur fields. The $500-added Open/Pro event drew 10 entrants to Steinway Billiards in Astoria, Queens, NY. The Amateur event drew 58 to the same location.
Strickland's path to the winners' circle went through Lee Kang twice; once in the hot seat match and again, in the finals. Strickland had sent Zion Zvi (the tour's top-ranked Pro class player) to the loss side 7-5, as Kang sent Sean Morgan over 7-4. Strickland gave up a single rack in the battle for the hot seat, and waited on Kang's return.
On the loss side, Zvi drew Ron Mason, who'd picked up a loss-side bye and defeated Ryan Boursse 7-4. Morgan drew the tour's top-ranked Open class player, Jorge Rodriguez, who'd defeated tour director Tony Robles 7-1 and Mike Wong 7-5.  Zvi downed Mason 7-2, as Rodriguez was eliminating Morgan 7-4.
Rodriguez took the quarterfinal match 7-5 over Zvi, and was then eliminated 7-4 by Kang. In their second of two, Strickland claimed the Open/Pro title over Kang 7-4.
In the Amateur event, Steve Dempsey faced separate opponents in the hot seat match and finals; Ramilo Tanglao in the former, Juan Guzman (whom he'd sent to the loss side) in the latter. Dempsey sent Raphael DaBreo to the loss side 7-2 in a winners' side semifinal, as Tanglao sent Paul Wilkens over, double hill. Dempsey claimed the hot seat 9-6 and waited on Guzman's return. 
On the loss side, Guzman got by Tony Liang and Shawn Sookhai, both 7-5, to pick up DaBreo. Wilkens drew Mike Figueroa, who'd eliminated Lukas Srancasso-Verner 7-5 and Erick Carrasco 7-4. Guzman downed DaBreo 7-2, and in the quarterfinals, faced Wilkens, who'd defeated Figueroa 7-5. 
Guzman won two straight double hill matches for a shot at Dempsey in the hot seat. he got by Wilkens in the quarterfinals, and Tanglao in the semifinals. Dempsey, though, shut Guzman down in the finals, allowing him only a single rack to claim the event title.

Zvi and Ramirez win Open-Pro/Amateur events on Predator Tour

Sean Morgan, Zion Zvi and Jorge Rodriguez

Zion Zvi, spoke of a 'return to form' when he won an Open/Pro event on the Predator Tour back in April; his first on the Predator Tour (or any other tour, for that matter) in four years. Then, he won again in September, and now, on the weekend of October 10-11, coming from the loss side (as he did in September), he chalked up his third 2015 Predator Tour victory.  The $500-added Open/Pro event drew 16 entrants to Steinway Billiards in Astoria (Queens), NY.
In a concurrently-run Amateur tournament, Lidio Ramirez took the undefeated route to claim victory. The $500-added Amateur event drew 67.
Zvi's path to the Open/Pro winners' circle had to go through Sean Morgan twice and Jorge Rodriguez once. Zvi faced Morgan in one of the winners' side semifinals, while Rodriguez battled Mike Yednak. Morgan sent Zvi to the loss side 7-5, while Rodriguez sent Yednak over 7-4. Rodriguez claimed the hot seat 7-1 over Morgan, and waited on Zvi's return.
On the loss side, Zvi picked up Earl Strickland, who'd eliminated tour director Tony Robles 7-4 and Brian Yi 7-2. Yednak drew Jayson Shaw, who'd been sent to the loss side by Morgan, and then defeated Shawn Sookhai 7-2 and Lee Kang 7-3. Shaw shut Yednak out, while Zvi was eliminating Strickland 7-3. Zvi then ended Shaw's run 7-3 in the quarterfinals, and successfully downed Morgan 7-2 in their semifinal rematch. He completed his undefeated run through the field with a 9-6 win over Rodriguez in the finals.
On the Amateur side, Lidio Ramirez chalked up his first 2015 Predator victory to go along with two that he chalked up in 2014. He advanced to the winners' side semifinal against Juan Guzman, as Diana "Snooky" Rojas was facing Bob Toomey
Ramirez survived a double hill match versus Guzman, who'd come back from the loss side to challenge him in the finals, while Rojas sent Toomey wet 7-4. Ramirez claimed the hot seat 8-6 over Rojas and waited on the return or Guzman.
On the loss side, Guzman picked Sean Hoey, who'd defeated Dave Shlemperis 8-5 and Mike Corona 7-5, to reach him. Toomey drew Omar Chavez, recent winner over Mike Harrington 7-3 and Luis Jimenez 7-5. Chavez handed Toomey his second straight loss 7-2, and in the quarterfinals, faced Guzman, who'd eliminated Hoey 7-4.
Guzman took the quarterfinal match 10-7 over Chavez, and then spoiled Rojas' bid for a re-match versus Ramirez with an 8-6 win in the semifinals. Ramirez defeated Guzman a second time 7-4 to complete his undefeated run.

Hernandez comes from the loss side, while “Alaska” goes undefeated on the Predator Tour

Jorge Rodriguez, Sean Morgan, Lee Kang and Hunter Lombardo

Henry Hernandez won five matches on the loss side to meet and defeat Amy Yu in the finals of the Amateur event on the September 26-27 stop on the Predator Tour. Sean "Alaska" Morgan, in the meantime, went undefeated through a short Open/Pro field at the same dual event. The $2,000-added Amateur event drew 52 entrants to Gotham City Billiards in Brooklyn, NY. The $1,000-added Open/Pro event drew nine entrants.
Hernandez advanced to a winners' side quarterfinal, before being sent to the loss side by Steve Astashen 7-3. Astashen moved on to meet Shawn Sookhai, as Amy Yu met up with Omar Chavez in the other winners' side semifinal. Double hill wins for Yu and Astashen set them up for the hot seat match, won by Yu 9-7.
On the loss side, Hernandez began his journey back to the finals with a 7-5 win over Annie Flores, and followed that with a 7-4 victory over Koka Davladze. This set him up to meet Sookhai. Chavez drew Xavier Romero, who'd gotten by Diana Rojas and Mike Figueroa, both 7-4. Hernandez and Romero handed Sookhai and Chavez their second straight loss; 7-4, Hernandez over Sookhai and 7-1, Romero over Chavez.
Hernandez survived a double hill quarterfinal versus Romero, and then, avenged his earlier loss to Astashen with a 7-4 win against him in the semifinals. Hernandez downed Amy Yu in the finals 11-7 to claim the Amateur title.
Three wins put Sean "Alaska" Morgan into the Open/Pro hot seat. He defeated Jorge Rodriguez 7-5 to get into the hot seat match against Lee Kang, who'd defeated Brian Yi 7-1. Morgan claimed the hot seat 7-2.
On the loss side, Hunter Lombardo and Elvis Rodriguez squared off in the only 9-12 match. Lombardo won it 7-2 and then defeated Kevin Guimond 7-3, to draw Yi. Rodriguez picked up Chris Derewonski, who'd eliminated Tony Robles 7-4. Lombardo squeaked by Yi 7-6, and in the quarterfinals, faced Rodriguez, who'd eliminated Derewonski 7-5. 
Rodriguez won the quarterfinal match versus Lombardo 7-2, before having his brief, loss-side streak ended by Kang 7-3 in the semifinals. Morgan completed his undefeated run with a second victory over Kang 9-3.