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Dayrit wins five on the loss side to down Saiki in finals of Tri-State stop

(l to r): Ryan Dayrit and Naoko Saiki

Last Sunday’s (Jan. 26) Tri-State Tour stop at Cue Bar in Bayside (Queens), NY featured one of those still-rare, but a lot more frequent than they used to be battles between a male and female in the finals of a regional tour. There was a little bit of ‘David and Goliath’ in the air, too, because Naoko Saiki, who’d only ever cashed in one other event on the tour (9th, two and a half years ago at Steinway Billiards) was going up against Ryan Dayrit, who’d cashed in 13 events last year alone, including one win each on the Predator Pro Am and Tri-State Tours. The woman got into the hot seat, but Goliath came back from the loss side to down the female ‘David’ in the finals. The $1,000-added event drew 26 entrants to Cue Bar.
Dayrit had something of a shaky start. He survived an opening-round, double hill match against Johnny Colon and then fell 7-2 to Chris Luna, which, in a 32-player bracket, happened to be a winners’ side quarterfinal match. Luna advanced to face Nishant Narang in a winners’ side semifinal. Saiki, in the meantime, had her own kind of shaky start; opening with a double hill win over Jose Ramos, she avoided a second double hill scenario by a game, defeating Allison LaFleur 6-4 to face Lionell Swanston in the other winners’ side semifinal.
Saiki chalked up her second double hill win, over Swanston, and in the hot seat match, faced Narang, who’d sent Luna west 6-3. Saiki claimed the hot seat 6-4 over Narang, and waited for Dayrit to finish his loss side run.
Dayrit had opened that run with a 6-1 victory over Juan Melendez and then got locked up in a double hill fight against Qian Chen, before prevailing to draw Swanston. Luna, in the meantime, certainly mindful of a potential rematch versus Dayrit in the upcoming quarterfinals, drew Bob Toomey, who’d survived a double hill fight against LaFleur and eliminated Mike Strassberg 6-2 to reach him.
Dayrit got into the quarterfinals 6-4 over Swanston. Toomey spoiled the Dayrit/Luna rematch with a 6-3 win over Luna.
Dayrit won the next two 6-4, downing Toomey in the quarterfinals and Narang in the semifinals. Though the final match between Dayrit and Saiki see-sawed back and forth through its opening racks, Dayrit eventually pulled out in front to complete his comeback and win it 8-4.
Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Cue Bar, as well as sponsors 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 Tri-State Tour, scheduled for Saturday, February 1, will be hosted by Steinway Billiards in Astoria (Queens), NY.

Safronov wins his first Tri-State with undefeated performance in Brooklyn

Bob Toomey, Kirill Safronov and Lionell Swanston

Kirill Safronov, who alternates his pool time between the Tri-State and Predator tours, finally broke through on the Tri-State and chalked up a first win on the tour. The $1,000-added event, in competition with the Predator Tour and The New England Pool & Billiard Hall of Fame 9-Ball Open in Providence, RI on the weekend of February 28-March 1, drew a small field to BQE Billiards in Brooklyn, NY on Sunday.
Safronov and Lionell Swanston battled twice for the title; first, for the hot seat and later, in the finals. Safronov sent Noah Vogelman to the loss side 7-2 in one winners' side semifinal, while Swanston dispatched Steve Wade 6-4 in the other. Safronov claimed the hot seat 7-5 over Swanston and waited on his return.
Vogelman and Wade moved over and were eliminated immediately. Vogelman fell 7-5 to Gary Murgia, who'd previously defeated Shinichi Sekine 7-4 and Ramon Feliciano 7-2. Wade was a 6-1 victim to Bob Toomey, who'd survived a double hill fight versus Anthony Cuccheilla and downed John Morrison 6-1.
Toomey advanced to the first money round with an 8-6 win over Murgia in the quarterfinals. Swanston kept him right there with a 6-4 win in the semifinals to earn himself a second shot at Safronov in the hot seat.
Swanston came out gunning in the finals and took an immediate two-rack lead. Though Safronov would reduce that lead to one, a couple of times, Swantson eventually expanded it to three racks at 5-2. Safronov settled in at that point and chalked up five in a row to win it and claim his first Tri-State title.
The next Tri-State event, scheduled for March 7, will be hosted by Gotham City Billiards. Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at BQE Billiards, as well as sponsors Ozone Billiards, Sterling-Gaming, Kamui Tips, Ron Vitello, Focus Cases by John Barton, Phil Capelle, BlueBook Publishing, Human Kinetics , and Focus Apparel. 

Mason goes undefeated to win Amateur stop on the Predator Tour

Sossei wins short-field Open/Pro event
Ron Mason, last seen in a Predator Tour winners' circle back in March of 2012, when he came from the loss to side to chalk up the victory, wound his way through a field of 26 to go undefeated on a Predator Tour Amateur stop on the weekend of September 27-28. The $500-added event drew the 26 to Mr. Cues, in Lindenhurst, NY. A concurrently-run Open/Pro event drew a short field of eight entrants, and was won by Jeremy Sossei.
Mason's win came in spite of being tightly challenged by Roger Lakotko in the hot seat match and then, in the finals, by Jerry Tarantola, who'd won five on the loss side for the right to face him. Mason drew Dan Faraguna in a winners' side semifinal, while Lakotko squared off against John Schott, who'd just sent Tarantola to the losers' bracket. Lakotko defeated Schott 7-3, as Mason was busy downing Faraguna 7-4. Lakotko battled Mason to double hill before giving way and moving to a semifinal match against Tarantola, from which he would not return.
Tarantola began his five-match, loss-side march to the finals with a 7-2 win over Asa Shaw, and then hung on to win a double hill fight over Victor Nau, which set Tarantola up for a re-match against Schott. Kevin Falco, in the meantime, defeated Lionell Swanston 7-4 and Joe Wilson Torres 7-3, to pick up Faraguna.
Tarantola survived his second straight double hill match, successfully wreaking his vengeance on Schott, as Faraguna was busy eliminating Falco 7-3. Tarantola took the quarterfinal match against Faraguna 8-6, and the semifinal match against Lakotko 7-5. Mason, though, was not to be denied. He took the final match 8-5 to claim the Amateur event title.
The Open/Pro event consisted of 14 matches, the first four of which created the winners' side semifinals; Jeremy Sossei defeated Scott Murphy 8-2, Frankie Hernandez downed Tour Director Tony Robles 8-6, Joey Korsiak survived a double hill match versus Warren Kiamco and Hunter Lombardo got by Joe Davis 8-4. Sossei and Lombardo then downed Hernandez and Korsiak, both 8-6, and faced each other in the hot seat match. Lombardo took that, double hill, and sat in the hot seat, awaiting Sossei's return.
On the loss side, Murphy eliminated Robles 8-6 to face Korsiak, as Kiamco defeated Davis 8-2 to pick up Hernandez.  It was Hernandez and Korsiak advancing to the quarterfinals; Hernandez 8-5 over Kiamco, and Korsiak over Murphy 8-3. It was Hernandez who advanced to a semifinal re-match against Sossei with an 8-4 win over Korsiak. 
Sossei defeated Hernandez 8-4 and then took full advantage of his second opportunity against Lombardo, defeating him 11-8 in the finals to claim the event title.