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Abbasi wins two-match battle to claim B & L’s 2nd event of 10-Ball Mini-Series

Omer Abbasi

Among the many events produced by MD’s B & L Billiards Tournaments, the organization has set up a series of 12 events, with competitors earning points toward becoming one of 16 to be invited to an end-of-season championship. It’s B & L’s 10-Ball Mini-Series, which, this past weekend (Feb. 11-12) held its second qualifying tournament at the Series’ home, Bank Shot Bar & Grill in Laurel, MD. There are no dues associated with participation in the series, only entry fees. The end-of-season invitational event will not require an entry fee. B & L will be fund-raising throughout the series to create a prize fund that will be distributed at the Series’ championship event, scheduled for Dec. 2. That prize fund will be distributed between a main event for the invited top 16 players, a first and second-place prize for the top finishers in a single-elimination event, featuring the players who finished 17th through 32nd in the series’ standings at the end of the year and prizes for the top three finishers in the series’ standings.

It’s a little early to start considering who’s in or out in the competition for this year-long series and its end-of-season finale. The first two events had different winners. Derek Crothers won the season opener in January. This past weekend, Feb. 11-12, at an event that drew 39 entrants to Bank Shot Bar & Grill, Omer Abbasi and Obed Rosario battled twice, in their second round and in the finals. Abbasi went undefeated to the hot seat and waited for Rosario to complete a seven-match, loss-side winning streak. Abbasi lost the opening round of a true double-elimination final, but rallied in the second set to claim the title.

Abbasi opened with a 6-1 victory over Lucas Kilgore, as Rosario was busy surviving a double hill battle versus Rich Livering. They battled in that second round to double hill. With two beads on the wire in a race to 6, Rosario found himself in his second straight double hill match. This one ended up with him heading to the loss side, as Abbasi advanced to down Rick Molineiro 6-1 and pick up the winner of the first event of the series, Derek Crothers, in one of the winners’ side semifinals. Justin Greber, in the meantime, advanced through Anthony Garcia, Aaron Surguy, Thaddeus Patrice and Joe Orla to arrive at his winners’ side semifinal match against Mike Denbow.

Greber earned his spot in the hot seat match with a 6-3 win over Denbow. Abbasi joined him after sending Crothers to the loss side 6-4. Over the next 12 games, Greber only chalked up a single win, beginning with the shutout that put Abbasi in the hot seat.

On the loss side, Rosario embarked on his seven-match winning streak that had recently eliminated Joe Orla 5-1 and Linh Nguyen 5-2 to pick up Crothers. Denbow picked up Molineiro, who’d followed his loss to Abbasi with two straight double hill wins over Thaddeus Patrice and David Sund.

In a third straight double hill battle, Molineiro downed the racing-to-4 Denbow 7-3.  Rosario spoiled any hope Crothers may have been entertaining of a second win in the 10-Ball Mini Series by eliminating him 4-3 (Crothers racing to 6). 

Rosario stopped Molineiro’s loss-side streak at three, defeating him 4-5 in those quarterfinals (Molineiro racing to 7). He then eliminated Greber 5-1 in the semifinals for a second shot at Abbasi, waiting for him in the hot seat.

With Abbasi racing to 6, Rosario took the first set of the true double elimination final 4-2. If the time lag between hot seat and finals had taken an edge off of Abbasi’s game, that first set sharpened it again. He gave up only a single rack to Rosario in the second set, claiming the event title 6-1.

The next stop on the B & L 10-Ball Mini Series is scheduled for March 12 at Bank Shot Bar & Grill. 

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Joseph Wright, Jr. goes undefeated to claim 1st Annual B & L Tournaments Senior Open

Brian Kilgore, Joseph Wright, Jr., Jimmy Varias and Lai Li.

Burtell and Kedia split top two prizes at concurrent 575 & Under Fargo event

This past weekend (Sun., Feb 5), B & L Tournaments held its inaugural Senior Open at Bank Shot Bar & Grill in Laurel, MD. Potential competitors were ‘carded’ to determine whether they had reached the qualifying age of 50, and according to Brian Kilgore (the ‘B’ in B & L), there was at least one person who was turned away because he would not be 50 until days after the start of the tournament. The event drew 46 entrants and requests for more of them, as well as requests to arrange for a similar Super Seniors event in the future.

Joseph Wright, Jr. joined the AZBilliards database for the first time as the undefeated winner of the inaugural event. Jimmy Varias, who’s been recording entries in his database on the site for a decade, was the event runner-up.

The single-day event was run concurrently with a Fargo Rate ‘575 and below’ event which drew 23 entrants and saw Danny Burtell and Harshit Kedia split the top two prizes. As the undefeated occupant of the hot seat at the time, Burtell became that event’s official winner.

The Senior Open was conducted on 16, 7 ft. Diamond tables, while the ‘575 and below’ tournament played out on the room’s three 9 ft. Diamonds.

Wright and Varias would meet twice on Wright’s path to the winners’ circle, which was almost sidetracked in his opening round, when Bruce Krumrine battled him to double hill. Wright survived and advanced through Scott Hurley, Steve Johnson and Paul Oh to arrive at his first meeting against Varias in one of the winners’ side semifinals. Wes Ormrod, in the meantime, received an opening round bye before sending Richard Davidson, Craig Rineman (double hill), Lou Wehage to draw Andy Lincoln in the other winners’ side semifinal.

Both battles for advancement to the hot seat match went double hill; Wright over Varias and Ormrod over Lincoln. Wright claimed the hot seat 7-4 over Ormrod and waited on the return of Varias.

On the loss side, Varias met and defeated Curtis Fleshman 6-4. Lincoln drew Scott Hurley, who was working on a seven-match, loss-side winning streak and chalked up his sixth with a 6-3 win over Lincoln. Varias put a stop to Hurley’s loss-side streak in the quarterfinals, defeating him 6-1 and then, eliminating Ormrod in the semifinals 6-2.

Varias came within a game of making it a double hill match in what proved to be the only set necessary in a true double elimination final. Wright edged out in front to win it and claim the B & L’s 1st Annual Senior Open.

Danny Burtell and Harshit Kedia.

Kedia wins eight on the loss side for right to face Burtell in a final that didn’t happen

Harshit Kedia played twice as many matches as Danny Burtell in the ‘575 and below’ event, occurring concurrently with the Senior Open. He lost his second-round match and went on an eight-match, loss-side winning streak that concluded when he and Burtell agreed to a split of the top two prizes. Had it not been for Kedia, the semifinals might have been a match between the ‘L’ in B & L (Lai Li) and the son of the ‘B’ in B & L, Lucas Kilgore (14). The ‘B’ and the ‘L’ of B & L faced each other, while the ‘L’ faced father and son, back to back.  

It was Burtell and Li who ended up facing each other in the hot seat. Burtell got by Chris Dietrich and Mark Somers to arrive at a winners’ side semifinal versus Niranjan Rayamajhi. Li downed Karlene Goodrich and Joshua Mohammed before running into ‘B’ (Brian Kilgore) in a winners’ side quarterfinal. The two battled to double hill before Li prevailed to face his son in the other winners’ side semifinal.

Burtell and Rayamajhi battled to double hill before Burtell advanced to the hot seat match. Li downed Lucas Kilgore 4-1 to join him. Burtell sent Li to the semifinals 4-1 and claimed the hot seat.

On the loss side, Harshit Kedia, with three notches already on his loss-side belt, met up with Brian Kilgore. A double hill match ensued, eventually advancing Kedia to wins over Judie Wilson and (for advancement to the quarterfinals) Rayamajhi, both 4-1. Lucas Kilgore drew Francis Cabalza, who’d defeated Greg Roberts and Joshua Mohammed, both double hill, to reach him. He eliminated Cabalza 3-3 (Cabalza racing to 4) to join Hedia in the quarterfinals.

Kedia chalked up his seventh loss-side win, eliminating Kilgore in a double hill battle and then played what proved to be the event’s final match, the semifinals. That went double hill as well, eventually leaving Lai Li in third place. The arrangement was made to split the top two prizes and the B & L’s double-event day was over. 

Next up on the B & L Billiards Tournaments calendar will be the second in its 10-Ball Mini Series, at which players throughout the year will be amassing points for qualification to a Series Final in December, competing in a no-entry-fee event with a prize fund of $3,000, with a $1,000 prize fund for a consolation event. Stop #2 in the series is scheduled for this Sunday (Feb. 12) at Bank Shot Bar & Grill in Laurel, MD. In recognition of the fact that the event will play out during Super Bowl LVII, B & L is billing the event as the B & L 10-Ball Series Football Block Fundraiser. The event will help in raising funds for the end-of-season, no-entry-fee event. They’ve created a Super Bowl Block board with $20 numbers. Instant payouts will be awarded to winners at the end of each quarter. A live number draw for the chart will be held as soon as the block is full and all spots are paid for. Further information and links the board are available on B & L Billiards Tournaments’ Facebook page.

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Junior Competitor Lucas Kilgore Comes From the Loss Side to Win 560-Under Fargo Event in MD

Lukas Kilgore

Not all of the junior competitors who are out and about in the pool world are associated with the Junior International Championships. One who is not, Lucas Kilgore (14), son of Brian Kilgore, the “B” in B & L (Lai Li) Billiards Tournaments in the Maryland area, is working on his own path to success at the tables, which last weekend (Sun., Sept. 25) brought him to Cambridge, MD and an amateur event for competitors with a 560-and-below Fargo Rate. Though he’d be sent to the loss side in a winners’ side semifinal, Kilgore came back after winning three and soundly defeated the man who’d sent him over, hot seat occupant Mark Somers. The $250-added event drew 34 entrants to Choptank Bowling & Billiards in Cambridge, MD.

Kilgore’s path to the winners’ circle ran through Rick Scarlato, Sr. before encountering a ‘bump’ in the form of a double hill match against Pepi Scarlato (brother to Rick, Sr.). He survived that match and defeated Shawn Heller to arrive at his winners’ side semifinal matchup against Somers. Tom Wilson in the meantime, started his tournament day with two straight double-hill matches against Wes Cannon and Jason Shard before sending Bill Tasler to the loss side 5-3 and picking up Jeff Sanders in the other winners’ side semifinal.

Somers took the first of his two against Kilgore 5-1 and advanced to the hot seat match. Wilson joined him after sending Sanders over 5-3. Somers claimed the hot seat 5-2 and waited on the return of Kilgore.

On the loss side, Kilgore picked up Bobby Brake, who’d lost a winners’ side quarterfinal to Sanders before defeating Brent Fitzwater 5-1 and shutting out Bill Tasler. Sanders drew Tree Chester, who’d be playing his fifth loss-side match that had included recent wins over Shawn Heller 4-4 (Heller racing to 6) and Michael Jones 4-1.

Between them, Kilgore and Sanders allowed their respective opponents only a single rack, won by Chester against Sanders. They advanced to face each other in the quarterfinals and locked up in a double hill match that eventually moved Kilgore into a semifinal against Wilson.

Kilgore wasted little time putting himself in position for a rematch against Somers in the final. He shut Wilson out in the semifinal to make that happen and gave up only a single rack to Somers in that final match to claim the event title.

Kilgore was unable to register for the Inaugural SVB Junior Open, scheduled for the weekend of Oct. 13-14 in Atlantic City, when the field closed at 32 entrants. He (and others) were granted a second chance when the field was extended to accommodate 64 players. Kilgore will join a lot of competitors who are engaged with the Junior International Championships in Atlantic City in a couple of weeks, when their different, junior paths for advancement cross.

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