Archive Page

Lang goes undefeated on Garden State Pool Tour to claim her second gender-mixed event

Rachel Lang and Alfredo Altamirano

She won a ladies’ event on the Garden State Pool Tour last July, in which she rebounded from an opening-round loss and went on to claim the title. Rachel Lang, runner-up in the APA’s US Amateur tournament in 2022, won her first (recorded) mixed-gender event six years ago on the Tri-State Tour (now, the Predator Tri-State Tour), and last weekend (Jan. 28-29), she chalked up her second ‘playin’ with the boys, too’ title, going undefeated through a field of 67 entrants that signed on to the $300-added event, hosted by Rockaway Billiards in Rockaway, NJ.

Split into separate, upper/lower Fargo Rate brackets, Rachel went at things from the upper bracket with her Fargo Rate of 560. She got by some of the ‘big boys,’ too, on her way to the title, downing Sean Emmitt (526), Jaydev Zaveri (607), Dinko Busanich (double hill; 637) and Julien Tierney (599) to arrive at her winners’ side semifinal match against Hunter Sullivan (600). In the meantime, Paul Madonia, Sr., having gotten by Donald Henriquez, Edwin Balcarcel, Kevin Serodio and Lysander Diaz, faced Aaron Wagner in the other winners’ side semifinal.

Lang defeated Sullivan 5-3, as Madonia sent Wagner to the loss side, double hill. And then, something very strange happened. Having won their winners’ side semifinal, Lang and Wagner did not move into the hot seat match. Instead, in order to advance to the finals, they had to play someone from their individual bracket’s loss side. But this didn’t happen right away. They had to wait until the first loss-side matches played by Sullivan and Wagner were completed, at which point, Lang would face whoever won Sullivan’s match and Madonia would meet up with the winner of Wagner’s match.

Sullivan and Wagner moved to the loss side and were met by Sylvain Anichini and Alfredo Altamirano, respectively. Anichini had defeated Dinko Busanich, double hill and Jaydev Zaveri 5-1 to draw Sullivan, while Altamirano was busy eliminating Kevin Serodio 5-3 and Paul Murphy 5-2 to pick up Wagner.

Two double hill matches ensued in pursuit of advancement in what amounted to a separated bracket for the event’s final four. Altamirano downed Wagner 6-3 (Wagner racing to 4), as, in a straight up race to 5, Anichini eliminated Sullivan 5-4.

Back come Lang and Madonia, still on the winner’s side, and in essence, skipping a hot seat match. Lang faced Anichini, as Madonia took on Altamirano. And just when you thought it was heading into normal bracket-advancement territory, those two matches were double sets, requiring the loss-side competitors to win twice. Lang lost the opening set to Anichini 6-4, but came back in the second set to defeat him 5-1, in what proved to be the de facto hot seat match, leaving Lang in the undefeated hot seat. 

Altamirano had to and did defeat Madonia twice, double hill in the first set 6-5 and 5-1 in the second set, advancing to the single set final against Lang. So, the two finalists were set before the final loss-side match between Madonia and Manichini was played to determine 3rd and 4th place.

Madonia grabbed 3rd place with a 5-4 win over Manichini (Manichini racing to 6). Lang claimed the event title with an 8-6 win in the single set final.

Tour director David Fitzpatrick thanked the ownership and staff at Rockaway Billiards for their hospitality, as well as Billiards Engineering, InTheBox, JFLowers Cues & Cases, John Bender Custom Cues, Off the Rail Apparel, Kamui and Jennifer Pedtum for her assistance in running the event. The next stop on the Garden State Pool Tour, scheduled for this weekend (Feb. 4-5), will be hosted by Breaker Billiards in Clifton, NJ.

Go to discussion...

Tierney comes from the loss side to win Garden State Pool Tour Amateur Championship

Julian Tierney and Levie Lampaan

He won his first regional tour title a little shy of two months ago, at a stop on the Garden State Pool Tour in Clifton, NJ. This past weekend (Dec. 10-11), Julian Tierney won his second regional tour stop, coming from the loss side to claim the tour’s invitational Grand Amateur Championships, a $300-added event that drew 44 entrants to Players Billiards in Eatontown, NJ.

The event was initially broken up into four separate double-elimination brackets, out of which emerged 16 players, who advanced to another double elimination bracket that would determine the tour’s 2022 Grand Amateur Champion. Lysander Diaz, David Jusis, Jesse Duetcher and Levie Lampaan emerged as champions of the four original brackets. Tierney, a ‘B’ player, was sent to the loss side early in the final 16-player bracket and won five on the loss side before challenging and defeating A player, Levie Lampaan twice in the true double elimination final.

Lampaan had advanced through two opponents to arrive at a winners’ side semifinal against Jesse Duetcher (B). Marc Lamberti (C) challenged Lysander Diaz (D+) in the other one.

Lampaan advanced to the hot seat match 7-3 over Duetcher and was joined by Diaz, who’d sent Lamberti to the loss side 7-4. Lampaan claimed the hot seat 10-7 over Diaz and waited for Tierney to complete his loss-side run.

On the loss side, Tierney survived a double hill battle versus Rob Wetherhold and eliminated Kevin Scalzitti 7-2 to draw Duetcher. Lamberti picked up David Jusis, who’d eliminated Gustavo Ardon Perdomo 6-3 and Jimmy Cangialosi 7-3 to reach him.

Tierney got by Duetcher 7-3, as Lamberti was defeating Jusis 6-4. Tierney stopped Lamberti’s short loss-side visit 7-2 in the subsequent quarterfinals.

Tierney then made sure that Lysander Diaz’ visit to the loss side was equally short. He defeated 8-4 in the semifinals. Tierney had to win two sets in the double elimination final and took the opener, allowing Lampaan only a single rack. Lampaan rallied in the second set but not by enough. Tierney won the second set 7-4 to claim the Garden State Pool Tour’s Grand Amateur Championships.

Tour director Dave Fitzpatrick thanked the ownership and staff at Players’ Billiards and on the occasion of the Garden State Pool Tour’s final event of 2023, included thanks to all of the 2022 host locations; Breaker Billiards in Clifton, NJ, Black Diamond Billiards in Union, NJ, Clifton Billiards in Clifton, NJ, Diamond Jim’s Billiards & Pub in Nanuet, NY, Side Pocket Billiards in Howell, NJ and Shooter’s Family Billiards in Wayne, NJ. 

Fitzpatrick also extended thanks to tour sponsors Billiards Engineering, John Bender Custom Cues, JFlowers Cues and Cases, Off the Rail Apparel, In the Bx and Kamui. 

The 2023 Garden State Pool Tour will be switching from its current use of a ‘letter’ ranking system to the FargoRate system. The 2023 season will open on the weekend of January 7-8 with a 675-and-under FargoRate event, hosted by Shooter’s Family Billiards in Wayne, NJ. 

Go to discussion...