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Rodriguez takes two out of three over Ramirez to claim Predator Tri-State title

Roberto Rodriguez and Lidio Ramirez

They played three times, once in the hot seat match and twice in the finals. Each match came down to a single, deciding game. Lidio Ramirez took the first match, sending Rodriguez to the semifinals. Rodriguez came back to double-dip Ramirez in the finals to win this past weekend’s (June 11-12) stop on the Predator Tri-State Tour. The $1,000-added event drew 36 entrants to Cue Bar in Bayside, Queens, NY. 

Separately, they worked their way through the field to arrive at a winners’ side semifinal match; Ramirez versus Silvestre Palacios and Rodriguez against Paul Lyons. Ramirez sent Palacios to the loss side 7-5, while Rodriguez gave up only a single rack to Lyons, downing him 6-1 to join Ramirez in the hot seat match. Their first of three got underway and moved to its 18th game before Ramirez dropped the 9-ball in the 19th game and claimed the hot seat.

On the loss side, Palacios picked up Hunter Sullivan, who’d defeated Adrian Daniel and Luis Jimenez, both 7-5, to reach him. Lyons drew Euryel Castillo, who’d recently eliminated Jason Goberdhan 7-5 and Linda Cheung 8-3. 

Palacios sent Sullivan home 7-3 and waited for Lyons to complete a double hill win over Castillo to join him in the quarterfinals. Palacios took that quarterfinal match 7-3, only to have his loss-side winning streak stopped at two wins by Rodriguez in the semifinals 8-5. 

The true double elimination finals were on. They battled back and forth to double hill and Rodriguez brought their match count to 1-1. They fought to double hill in the second set and Rodriguez finished it to claim the event title.

Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Cue Bar for their hospitality, as well as title sponsor Predator Cues, Ozone Billiards, Sterling-Gaming, Kamui Tips, Phil Capelle, Pool & Billiards, Professor Q Ball, Bender Cues, Paul Dayton Cues, Bloodworth Ball Cleaner, Joe Romer Trophies and Quick Slick. The next stop on the Predator Tri-State Tour, scheduled for the weekend of June 25-26, will be the Predator Tri-State’s Annual Invitational Tournament, to be hosted by Steinway Billiards in Astoria (Queens), NY. 

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Klein wins 10 on the loss side to meet and spoil Dayrit bid for two in a row on Tri-State Tour

(l to r): Matt Klein & Ryan Dayrit

In looking to win two Tri-State Tour stops in a row in as many weeks, C+ competitor Ryan Dayrit (#4 on the C+ list) did pretty much everything right. Except win the second event. He came within a single match of pulling it off, making it all the way to the hot seat before being challenged in the finals by the tour’s second-highest rated A/A+ competitor, Matt Klein, who lost his opening match, won 10 on the loss side and defeated Dayrit in the finals of the Saturday, Feb. 1 tour stop. The $1,000-added event drew 55 entrants to Steinway Billiards in Astoria (Queens), NY.
 
After defeating Klein 7-4 in the opening round of play, Shivam Gupta (#3 on that A+/A list) advanced through the field to eventually shut out Max Watanabe (the tour’s #1-rated A+/A competitor) in a winners’ side quarterfinal and face Emit Yolcu (B) in a winners’ side semifinal. Dayrit, in the meantime, advanced through the field to down Debra Pritchett 7-3 in another of the winners’ side quarterfinals and face Dementhris Hudson in the other winners’ side semifinal.
 
Dayrit got into the hot seat match with a 6-2 victory over Hudson. He was joined by Gupta, who’d defeated Yolcu 7-3. Dayrit claimed the hot seat with an 8-2 win over Gupta, more than likely feeling pretty good about his chances of chalking up that second straight win.
 
Meantime, on the loss side, Klein was at work. Half of his 10 loss-side matches went double hill, including the last three he played before his rematch against Gupta in the semifinals. By the time he got into the money rounds (9th-12th) to create the battle between the tour’s top two A+/A players (Klein and Watanabe), he’d already won two double hill matches, against Lidio Ramirez and Arturo Reyes. He eliminated Watanabe 7-5 and chalked up his third double hill win against Joe Mazzeo to draw Yolcu, coming over from the winners’ side semifinals. Hudson picked up Russell Masciotti, who’d eliminated Kevin Shin 7-5 and Debra Pritchett 8-5 to reach him.
 
Klein chalked up his fourth double hill, loss-side win against Yolcu and was joined in the subsequent quarterfinals by Masciotti, who’d sent Hudson home 7-3. Klein then recorded his fifth loss-side double hill win, eliminating Masciotti and earning an as-long-as-it-gets awaited rematch against Gupta in the semifinals.
 
Klein shut Gupta out in those semifinals, which likely gave Dayrit something to think about as the finals approached. In spite of the momentum on Klein’s side, Dayrit opened the finals with four straight racks. Klein had to reach 8 racks just to extend the match to 10, and he caught up to Dayrit in the 12th rack at the 6-6 tie. The 6th proved to be Dayrit’s last as Klein went on to win the next four and claim the event title.
 
Tour representatives thanked Manny Stamatakis and his Steinway Billiards staff for their hospitality, as well as sponsors Ozone Billiards, Sterling-Gaming, Kamui, Phil Capelle, Paul Dayton Cues, Pool & Billiards, Liquid Weighted Cues, JohnBender Cues, Billiards Engineering and Bloodworth Ball Cleaner. The next stop on the Tri-State Tour, scheduled for Sunday, Feb. 9, will be hosted by Shooter’s Family Billiards in Wayne, NJ.

Kuilan goes undefeated at record-breaking season opener of the Predator Pro Am Tour

(l to r): Ron Bernardo, Jose Kuilan, Emit Yolcu & Jaydez Zaveri

Tour director Tony Robles thinks this past weekend’s (Jan. 25-26) stop on the Predator Pro Am Tour at Steinway Billiards broke a tour record for attendance – “more than we ever got,” said Robles, with just the hint of a question mark at the end. Difficult to verify this because there are a lot of records to look through, and very few, including individual memories, have recorded specific entrant information. We mention it, routinely, in event reports, but it’s not actually a statistic that’s searchable, and if nobody remembers if there’ve ever been more than 114 entrants at a regular stop on the Predator Pro Am Tour, then, for all intents and purposes, it was a record-breaking season opener this past weekend, and a hundred years from now, when people will be wanting to know whether that Predator Pro Am Tour stop back in January of ’20 broke a tour record or not, you can tell them that it did.
 
And that it was won by Jose Kuilan, who battled Jaydev Zaveri twice to claim the title. Kuilan was looking for his first Predator Pro Am title and went undefeated to claim it. Jaydev Zaveri was clearly looking to chalk up his second win in as many weeks, having won a stop on the Tri-State Tour just last week (Jan. 18) at Shooter’s Family Billiards in Wayne, NJ. Zaveri and Kuilan advanced themselves into two double-hill winners’ side semifinals. Kuilan battled Ron Bernardo, while Zaveri took on Dave Shlemperis, with whom he had split the top two prizes at the Wayne, NJ tournament the week before. Zaveri had sent Shlemperis to the loss side in that event’s second round and Shlemperis won six on the loss side to earn the right to a finals rematch. They reckoned without the weather and in light of the distance needed to travel and worsening conditions, they opted out of a final and split the money.
 
Zaveri sent Shlemperis to the loss side this week, too, though he had to win a deciding 13th game to do it. Kuilan fought a double hill battle that eventually sent Bernardo over. Kuilan and Zaveri fought to a predictable double hill standstill, before Kuilan prevailed and grabbed the hot seat.
 
On the loss side, Shlemperis picked up Emit Yolcu, who’d defeated Raiju Dasrath 7-2 and Bryan Jeziorski, double hill, to reach him. Bernardo drew Katie Baker, who’d eliminated Gordon McDaniel 6-3 and JC Iglesias 8-5.
 
Bernardo got caught up in his second straight double hill fight, but he won this one against Baker. Yolcu joined him in the quarterfinals after downing Shlemperis 7-5. Bernardo then allowed Yolcu only a single rack in those quarterfinals and advanced to meet Zaveri in the semifinals.
 
Zaveri got by Bernardo easily enough (if it can ever be described as ‘easy’) 7-4, but couldn’t catch Kuilan in the finals. Kuilan completed his undefeated run and his first win on the tour with an 8-5 victory in the finals.
 
A Second Chance event drew 16 entrants and saw Russell Masciotti down Paul Carpenter 7-2 in the finals to win it and take home $160. Carpenter pocketed $100. Marc Lamberti and George Poltorak each took home $30 for their third place finish. A second Second Chance event (sometimes known as a third chance) drew 10 entrants and was won Lidio Ramirez after a double hill win over Brooke Meyer. Ramirez took home $120, while Meyer went home with $80.
 
Tour director Tony Robles thanked Manny Stamatakis and his staff at Steinway Billiards for their ongoing hospitality and support of the tour, along with title sponsor Predator Cues, Ozone Billiards, PlayNAPL.com, The DeVito Team, PoolOnTheNet.com, Cappelle (BilliardsPress.com), AZBilliards, Pool & Billiard Magazine and Billiards Digest. He also thanked his own Predator Pro Am staff to include his lovely wife, Gail, who, as it turned out, filled in for him at this event (to include information dissemination to us here at AZ), when he was not well enough to attend on Sunday. The Predator Pro Am Tour will return to Steinway Billiards on the weekend of February 8-9 for a $1,000-added “Shake It Up” event.

Ramirez is undefeated on Tri-State stop

(l to r): Lidio Ramirez & Adrian Daniel

Coming off his best earnings year to date, Lidio Ramirez started the new year off right with an undefeated run through a field of 50 entrants to chalk up his first 2020 Tri-State Tour event title. Ramirez cashed in eight 2019 events; six on the Predator Pro Am Tour and two on the Tri-State Tour. He won a Predator stop and was runner-up twice, once on each tour. Runner-up Adrian Daniel was looking for his first win on the Tri-State Tour in three years, and his first cash finish anywhere since November 2018, when he finished 7th at the 2018 NJ State 8-Ball Championships. The $1,000-added event on Sunday, January 12 drew its 50 entrants to Steinway Billiards in Astoria (Queens), NY.
 
Ramirez’ path went through Jose Mendez, Russell Masciotti and Kevin Shin to arrive at a winners’ side semifinal match versus Edwin Gutkin. Adrian Daniel, in the meantime, squared off against Qian Chen.
 
Ramirez sent Gutkin to the loss side 7-4 and in the hot seat match, faced Daniel, who’d defeated Chen 6-2. In his first Tri-State hot seat match in two years, Ramirez downed Daniel 9-6.
 
On the loss side, Gutkin picked up Shin, who, following his defeat at the hands of Ramirez in a winners’ side quarterfinal, had gone on to eliminate Ray Feliciano 7-5 and Eugene Ok 7-4. Chen drew a rematch versus Debra Pritchett, whom he’d sent to the loss side 7-5 in one of the other winners’ side quarterfinals.
 
Shin advanced to the quarterfinals with a 7-5 win over Gutkin. He was joined by Pritchett, who’d successfully wreaked her vengeance on Chen 7-4. Shin defeated Pritchett 9-7 in those quarterfinals and joined Daniel in a mutual semifinal quest for a second shot at Ramirez in the hot seat.
 
Daniel put an end to Shin’s four-match, loss-side streak 7-4 in those semifinals. With that intangible benefit of momentum, Daniel took what appeared to be a commanding lead in the finals that followed and was ahead by 4, when he reached the hill at 8. Ramirez, though, came back to win the four he needed to make it a double hill battle and sunk the final 9-ball to claim the event title.
 
Tour representatives thanked Manny Stamatakis and his staff at Steinway Billiards, as well as sponsors Ozone Billiards, Sterling-Gaming, Kamui Tips, Phil Capelle, Bloodworth Ball Cleaners, Paul Dayton Cues, Liquid Weighted Cues, Pool & Billiards, Bender Cues, Billiards Engineering, and Romer Trophies. The next stop on the Tri-State Tour, scheduled for Sunday, January 19, will be hosted by Shooters Family Billiards in Wayne, NJ.

Rosario returns from hot seat loss to chalk up third 2019 regional win on the Predator Pro Am

(l to r): Alberto Estevez, JC Iglesias, Abel Rosario & Jason Goberdhan

Abel Rosario, #3 on the Predator Pro Am Tour’s B+ standings list, won his third 2019 regional tour victory on the weekend of November 16-17. Last month, he went undefeated in the Mixed Advanced division of Michael Fedak’s  NYC 8-Ball Championships, while earlier this year (August), he came from the loss side to win a rematch victory over (at the time), relative newcomer Euryel Castillo in a Tri-State Tour stop at Steinway Billiards. As he’d done in August, Rosario gave up the hot seat in this most recent event, this time to another relative newcomer JC Iglesias. Rosario returned from the semifinals to down Iglesias in the finals. The $1,000-added event drew 73 entrants to Cue Bar in Bayside (Queens), NY.
 
Their first meeting followed victories in their respective winners’ side semifinals. Rosario had defeated Russell Masciotti 7-3, as Iglesias was at work on a 7-4 win over Carlos Duque. Iglesias, on the basis of five appearances, is the #30-ranked C+ player on the Predator Pro Am Tour’s standings list. He downed the tour’s #3-ranked B+ player 7-5 and sat in the hot seat awaiting his return.
 
On the loss side, Duque and Masciotti ran right into their second straight loss. The tour’s #2 C+ player, Jason Goberdhan, who’d defeated Zain Sundaram 7-5 and Juan Melendez 7-3, eliminated Duque 7-4. Alberto Estevez, who’d gotten by John Francisco 7-3 and the tour’s #1 A player, Lidio Ramirez, also 7-3, defeated Masciotti 7-5.
 
Goberdhan then eliminated Estevez 7-2 in the quarterfinals, before having his bid for a title ended 7-4 by Rosario in the semifinals.
 
In the extension-to-9 finals, Rosario reached his ‘7-spot’ first. He added two more to defeat Iglesias 9-4 and claim the event title.
 
A 15-entrant, single elimination Second Chance event was won Euryel Castillo with a double hill final victory over Thomas Schreiber. Castillo pocketed $160 for the win, Schreiber took home $100. Shawn Sookhai and Irene Kim each won $20 for their third place tie.
 
Tour director Tony Robles thanked the owner and staff at Cue Bar for their hospitality, as well as title sponsor Predator Cues, Ozone Billiards, PlayNAPT.com, The DeVito Team, Poolonthenet.com, Capelle (BilliardsPress.com), AZBilliards, Pool & Billiard Magazine, Billiards Digest and his own Predator Pro Am team, to include his lovely wife, Gail. The next stop on the Predator Pro Am Tour, scheduled for the weekend of November 30-Dec. 1 will be the tour’s annual Thanksgiving Classic, hosted by Steinway Billiards in Astoria (Queens), NY. Two weeks later, the tour will host its final event of the 2019 season, the Predator Pro Am Tour Championships, scheduled for the weekend of Dec. 14-15, and hosted by Raxx Billiards in West Hempstead, NY.

Guzman goes undefeated, splits Tri-State top prizes with LaFleur

Juan Guzman & Allison LaFleur

Juan Guzman returned to Steinway Billiards on Sunday, October 6 to chalk up his first 2019 Tri-State victory*. He’d recorded a win on the Predator Pro Am Tour at Steinway back in April and a month later, finished in the tie for 9th place at the 9th Annual Ginky Memorial, sponsored by both tours and hosted by Steinway, as well.  He and the tour’s #3-ranked female competitor, Allison LaFleur, allowed the result of their hot seat match to stand (a win for Guzman) and opted out of a final. The $1,000-added event drew 47 entrants to Steinway.

Guzman’s path to the winners’ circle went through some Tri-State heavy hitters; Joe Mazzeo, Philip Pearce, Matt Klein and Shivam Gupta to arrive at a winners’ side semifinal against Lidio Ramirez. LaFleur, in the meantime, challenged Jason Goberdhan in the other one.

Guzman advanced into the hot seat match with a 7-2 win over Ramirez and was joined by LaFleur, who’d survived a double hill battle against Goberdhan. Guzman claimed the hot seat and, as it turned out, the event title with a 10-6 victory over LaFleur.

On the loss side, Ramirez picked up David Grant, who’d defeated Matt Klein 7-4 and Shivam Gupta 7-5 to reach him. Goberdhan drew Mark Antonetti, who’d eliminated Ada Lio 6-4 and just did squeak by Adrian Daniel 6-5.

Ramirez and Goberdhan handed Grant and Antonetti their second loss; Ramirez, 7-5 over Grant and Goberdhan 6-2 over Antonetti. A double-hill quarterfinal followed, which ultimately advanced Ramirez to the semifinals against LaFleur.

In what proved to be the last match of the night, LaFleur and Ramirez made it entertaining, coming to within a game of double hill before LaFleur edged out in front near the end and won it 10-8. Guzman and LaFleur opted out of the final, they split the top two prizes and Guzman chalked up the official win.

Tour representatives thanked Manny Stamatakis and his Steinway Billiards staff for their hospitality, as well as sponsors Ozone Billiards, Sterling-Gaming, Kamui Tips, Phil Capelle, BlueBook Publishing, Human Kinetics, Pool & Billiards, Professor Q Ball, Bender Cues, Dayton Cues, Liquid Weight Cues, Billiards Engineering, and Bloodworth Ball Cleaner. The next stop on the Tri-State Tour, scheduled for Sunday, Oct. 13, will be hosted by The Spot in Nanuet, NY.

Ramirez stops strong loss-side bid by Klein to take home his first 2019 Predator Pro Am title

(l to r): Lidio Ramirez, Luis Carrasco, Hannah Fields, Matt Klein

They are two of the New York Tri-State area’s heavyweights, so to speak, and they clashed in the finals of the Predator Pro Am Tour’s September 21-22 stop at Steinway Billiards. Lidio Ramirez, the tour’s second-ranked A+ player (behind Miguel Laboy, who won the stop last weekend) was looking to chalk up his first 2019 victory, having finished as runner-up twice; once, on the Predator Tour (April) and once, on the Tri-State Tour (July). Matt Klein, the tour’s #1-ranked B+ competitor (ahead of Jaydev Zaveri) and in the midst of his best earnings year to date, by far, entered the tournament with three wins on the 2018-2019 Tri-State Tour, and two runner-up finishes on the Predator Pro Am, including the Empire State Championships. He’s been 1st, 2nd or 3rd in seven of the 11 tournaments in which he’s cashed in 2019.
 
They didn’t meet until the finals. Ramirez advanced to the hot seat, while Klein lost his opening round match and chalked up 10 loss-side wins to face Ramirez in the finals. Ramirez completed an undefeated run with a victory in the finals of the $1,000-added event that drew 71 entrants to Steinway in Astoria (Queens), NY.
 
With Klein at work on the loss side of the bracket, Ramirez advanced to a winners’ side semifinal against Ricky Geronimo. The other winners’ side semifinal matched Luis Carrasco against Hannah Fields, who was making only her second appearance on the Predator Pro Am Tour.
 
Ramirez and Geronimo fought to double hill before Ramirez prevailed and moved on to the hot seat match. He was joined by Fields, who’d defeated Carrasco 8-6 in what she described (via Facebook) as “the most challenging and exhausting match (she’d) ever had.
 
“It was fun, we both played smart and neither of us backed down,” she went on to say. “He made me work for every ball but eventually I capitalized and won by a hair.”
 
She described the subsequent hot seat match versus Ramirez as “humbling.” She watched Ramirez (as she put it) “run her (posterior) over,” as he claimed the hot seat 11-8 (she started the match with seven on the wire).
 
Over on the loss side, Klein chalked up wins # 6 and #7 against John Stiles (7-4) and Bryan Toolsee (7-3) to draw Geronimo. Carrasco picked up his second straight female opponent, Debra Pritchett, who’d defeated KC Clayton 6-1 and Jason Goberdhan (the tour’s #2-ranked C+ player, just behind Tony Ignomirello) 7-5.
 
Carrasco downed Pritchett 7-4, as Geronimo ended up on the wrong side of his second straight double hill fight, losing to Klein 7-6. Klein then ended Carrasco’s short, loss-side run 7-4 in the quarterfinals.
 
Hannah Fields would describe her semifinal meetup with Klein as “an amazingly fun match.” She noted in her FB report that his “personality” made the beating she received at his hands feel like “less of an ass-kicking” than it was. Klein’s 10-7 victory (Fields started with five on the wire, racing to the 10), gave him the chance to chalk up his first 2019 Predator Pro Am Tour title.
 
Ramirez had other ideas, like chalking up his first 2019 victory, period. And he did it. He downed Klein 7-5 to claim the event title.
 
A full-field, 16-entrant Second Chance event saw Ray Feliciano and Gary Bozigian battle to double hill in the finals, before Feliciano prevailed to take home the $160 first-place prize. Bozigian was the $100 runner-up. Tenzin Jorden and Suzzie Wong each won $30 for their 3rd place tie.
 
Tour director Tony Robles thanked Manny Stamatakis and his staff at Steinway Billiards for their hospitality, as well as title sponsor Predator Cues, Ozone Billiards, PlayNAPL.com, The DeVito Team, Poolonthenet.com, Capelle (BilliardsPress.com), AZBilliards, Pool & Billiard Magazine, Billiards Digest and his own Predator Pro Am team, to include his lovely wife, Gail. The Predator Pro Am Tour will return to Steinway Billiards in a little less than a month, when they host the $7,000-added Steinway Classic from October 15-17. Two days later, on the weekend of October 19-20, Robles’ Silent Assassin Productions, with the sponsorship of Dr. Michael Fedak, will bring the 6th Annual NYC 8-Ball Championships to Steinway Billiards.

Laboy goes undefeated to chalk up his first 2019 win on the Predator Pro Am Tour

(l to r): Bianca Martinez, Julien Tierney, Miguel Laboy, Amanda Andries (photo by Erwin Dionisio)

Miguel Laboy brought about 14 years of competitive pool experience and a lot of regional tour victories to the September 14-15 stop on the Predator Pro Am Tour. Before he earned the event title, however, he had to get by two particular competitors with a total of about three years of experience, both of them looking for their first regional tour event victory. Laboy would end up going undefeated at the $1,000-added event that drew 68 entrants to Cue Bar in Bayside (Queens), NY, but not before he’d dispatched one of the relative newcomers (Julien Tierney) twice (winners’ side semifinals and finals) and the other to the loss side (Bianca Martinez) in the battle for the hot seat.
 
As Laboy was busy sending Tierney to the loss side 8-5 in one of the winners’ side semifinals, Martinez was locked up in a double hill fight with Erick Carrasco that she eventually won. Martinez began the hot seat match against Laboy with ‘six beads on the wire’ in a race to 11. She’d fail to add another bead to that wire, as Laboy claimed the hot seat (officially) 11-6.
 
On the loss side, another relative newcomer was making some competitive noise. Amanda Andries had lost her opening match to Marisol Palacio and set out on a nine-match, loss-side winning streak that would take her as far as the quarterfinals where she’d run into Tierney. She chalked up wins #7 and #8 against Corey Avallone 6-3 and shut out Brandonne Alli to draw Carrasco. Tierney, in the meantime, picked up Yomaylin “Smiley” Feliz-Forman, who arrived on the heels of two straight double hill wins, over Chris Kelly and Abel Rosario.
 
Andries advanced to the quarterfinals when job obligations forced Carrasco to forfeit. Tierney joined her after downing “Smiley” 7-3. Tierney ended Andries’ loss-side run 8-5 (Andries started with ‘three on the wire’) and then defeatEd Martinez (who also started with ‘three on the wire’) 8-6 for a shot at Laboy, waiting for him in the hot seat.
 
The relative ‘youngsters’ were edged out of the day, with clear indications that they’ll be back and will need to be reckoned with. Laboy completed his undefeated run with an 8-3 victory over Tierney in the finals.
 
A Second Chance event that drew 16 entrants saw Dave Callaghan take home the $160 first-place prize, with Thomas Schreiber as runner-up ($100). Lidio Ramirez and Euryel Castillo each took home $30 in the tie for third.
 
Tour director Tony Robles thanked the ownership and staff at Cue Bar for their hospitality, as well as title sponsor Predator Cues, Ozone Billiards, PlayNAPL.com, The DeVito Team, Poolonthenet.com, Capelle (BilliardsPress.com), AZBilliards, Pool & Billiard Magazine, Billiards Digest and his own Predator Pro Am team, to include his lovely wife, Gail. The next stop on the Predator Pro Am Tour, scheduled for this weekend, Sept. 21-22, will be a $1,000-added event, hosted by Steinway Billiards in Astoria (Queens), NY.

Dayrit wins* his first regional tour event on the Tri-State Tour

(l to r): Ryan Dayrit & Lidio Ramirez

Already having his best earnings year to date, Ryan Dayrit added his first major tournament win by going undefeated* on the Tri-State Tour’s second stop of its 2019-2012 season on Sunday, July 21. At the end of the $1,000-added event, which drew 41 entrants to Cue Bar in Astoria (Queens), NY, Dayrit and his opponent in the finals, Lidio Ramirez, opted out of a final match, leaving Dayrit, the undefeated occupant of the hot seat as the official winner.
 
Dayrit faced different opponents in the hot seat and finals of this one. After victories over Chris Schmidt, Sabrina Sherman and Luis Jimenez, he advanced to a winners’ side semifinal against DeMenthris Hudson, as Tony Kuo squared off against Kapriel Delimelkonoglu in the other one; Delimelkonoglu had just sent Ramirez to the loss side 7-2. Dayrit got into the hot seat match with a double hill win over Hudson, as Kuo downed Delimelkonoglu 7-5. Dayrit claimed the hot seat 7-5 over Kuo and waited for Ramirez to complete his three-match, loss-side run.
 
Delimelkonoglu moved to the loss side, where he ran into an immediate re-match against Ramirez, who’d defeated Basdeo Sookhai 7-5 and Amanda Andries 10-7 to earn the rematch. Hudson drew Luis Jimenez, who’d lost to Dayrit in a winners’ side quarterfinal and had defeated Sabrina Sherman 7-4 and Michelle Brotons, double hill.
 
Ramirez and Jimenez handed Delimelkonoglu and Hudson their second straight loss; Ramirez successfully wreaking his vengeance on Delimelkonoglu 7-2 and Jimenez sending Hudson to the figurative ‘showers’ 7-3. Ramirez then defeated Jimenez 8-6 in the quarterfinals.
 
By the same score (8-6), Ramirez then defeated Tony Kuo in the semifinals in what proved to be the last match of the event. Ramirez and Dayrit agreed upon a split, with Dayrit claiming the event title.
 
Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Cue Bar, as well as sponsors Ozone Billiards, Sterling-Gaming, Kamui Tips, Liquid Weighted Cues, Bloodworth Ball Cleaner, Quick Stik, Phil Capelle, Pool & Billiards,  Bender Cues, Dayton Cues, and Romer Trophies. The next stop on the Tri-State Tour, scheduled for Saturday, July 27, will be hosted by Shooters Family Billiards in Wayne, NJ.

Sookhai goes undefeated to take first of last three 2018/2019 Tri-State events

(l to r): Basdeo Sookhai & John Durr

With the end of the Tri-State Tour’s 2018/2019 season a mere two weeks/events away, the end-of-season invitational picture is becoming clearer. At the conclusion of an event at Clifton Billiards in Clifton, NJ on Saturday, June 15th, the Tri-State Tour will assess each of six different ranking categories to determine the top 16 players in each of those categories to determine who’ll be in attendance at the season-ending  Invitational Tournament, scheduled for the weekend of June 29-30 at Steinway Billiards. Typically, in these last weeks before the Invitational Tournament every year, players in all six divisions look to solidify their spot among the final 16, which has a way of creating a few ‘bubble’ matches between players at or near the cutoff point. In some cases, players among a particular division’s top 16 are unable to attend the season-ending Invitational, opening the door to players in the 17-20 range of a given division.
 
On the weekend of June 1-2, at a $1,500-added event that drew 32 entrants to Steinway Billiards in Astoria (Queens), NY, Basdeo “Shawn” Sookhai solidified his place among the tour’s A/A+ players by going undefeated through the field and taking home the event title. Sookhai came into the event in 8th place among the tour’s A/A+ players and barring any catastrophic circumstances, will be invited to attend the Invitational. Geovanni Hosang, who did not compete in this most recent event, is close enough in points to overtake him for the 8th slot on the A/A+ list if he competes in one or both of the remaining two events, but Sookhai is pretty much a lock to be invited.
 
Not so with Sookhai’s opponent in the hot seat match and efinals, one John Durr, who entered the tournament right at the #16 spot on the tour’s list of B players. Just below him in the 17th spot was Pashk Gjini, whom he met in a winners’ side quarterfinal. Durr sent Gjini to the loss side 7-5 and advanced to face Kunami Chau in one of the winners’ side semifinals. Sookhai, in the meantime, who’d gotten by Lidio Ramirez (double hill), Raphael Castillo and Amir Rashad Uddin, squared off against Liran Rabin in the other winners’ side semifinal.
 
Sookhai moved into the hot seat match on the heels of an 8-3 victory over Rabin. Durr joined him after downing Chau 7-3. Sookhai and Durr battled to double hill before Sookhai prevailed 7-6 to claim the hot seat.
 
Over on the loss side, Rabin picked up Raphael Castillo, who’d defeated Amir Rashad Uddin 7-5 and Bob Toomey 6-2. Chau drew Michael Fedak, who’d defeated Debra Pritchett 5-2 and Luis Lopez 6-2 to reach him. Lopez had previously eliminated Pashk Gjini, who finished in the four-way tie for 9th place, which might be enough to allow him to hold on to his 17th spot among the tour’s B players and possibly, if someone among the top 16 is unable to compete in the Invitational, give him the chance to compete.
 
Castillo and Fedak handed Rabin and Chau their second straight loss; Castillo 6-3 over Rabin and Fedak 6-1 over Chau. Castillo and Fedak fought to double hill in the quarterfinals that followed before Castillo advanced to meet Durr in the semifinals.
 
Durr ended Castillo’s day 7-5 in those semifinals and then, fell to Sookhai a second time, 7-5 in the finals. In the absence of any of his fellow B players, above him on the list, Durr’s runner-up finish should notch him up a step or two on that list, certainly above Frank Sieczka, who was tied in ranking points with Durr going into the event, and did not compete.
 
Tour representatives thanked Manny Stamatakis and his Steinway Billiards staff, along with sponsors Ozone Billiards, Sterling-Gaming, Kamui Tips, Phil Capelle, BlueBook Publishing, Human Kinetics, Pool & Billiards, Professor Q Ball, Bender Cues, DIGICUE OB, and Hustlin’ USA. The next stop on the Tri-State Tour, the second-to-last in the season, is scheduled for Sunday, June 9 at Cue Bar in Bayside (Queens), NY.