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Rodriguez comes from the loss side to win Grand Masters division of NYC 8-Ball Championship

Carrasco, Wong, Estevez, Avallone and Traynor chalk up separate division wins


The annual BCAPL-sanctioned NYC 8-Ball Championships, held under the auspices of Tony Robles’ Silent Assassin Productions, is always a masterpiece of logistical planning and execution. This year, in a two-day span, the combined $10,000-added event, coordinated six separate tournaments with a total of 241 entrants at Steinway Billiards in Astoria (Queens), NY and managed to finish it all by late (very late) Sunday evening/Monday morning. In all, the event paid out just over $20K in prize money.


Four of the eventual winners of the six events went undefeated to claim an NYC 8-Ball title, while two chose the loss-side route to the winners’ circle. The top payout among the six division winners went to Erick Carrasco, who pocketed $2,000 for winning the $3,000-added, Mixed Open division of the event, which drew 39 entrants.


Carrasco earned it the hard way. After an opening round bye, Carrasco lost his first match to Paul Carpenter and then, went undefeated through nine loss-side matches before meeting and defeating Stephen Augustus in the finals. He never did get the chance for payback against Carpenter, but the payout more than compensated. Four of the nine matches Carrasco played on the loss side went double hill, including his loss-side opener against Ambi Estevez and his semifinal win over Chuck Granville. Runner-up Augustus had earned his way to the hot seat in similar fashion, winning five matches to get there, three of which, including the hot seat match against Granville, went double hill.


[photo id=48006|align=right]Jorge Rodriguez, winner of the $1,400-added Grand Masters event that drew 32 entrants, took a slightly shorter trip on the loss side to pocket his $1,500 first prize. After an opening-round shutout over event director Tony Robles, Rodriguez fell victim to Del Sim who battled him to double hill before sending him to the loss side. Sim advanced to a winners’ side semifinal against Alex Kazakis, who defeated him, and then, downed Hunter Lombardo in the hot seat match. Rodriguez won five on the loss side, the last two of which, against Edwin Garcia and Lombardo, went double hill. With momentum to spare apparently, Rodriguez advanced to defeat Kazakis in the finals 9-3.


The $2,000-added Mixed Advanced division drew the largest field of 64 entrants. While Alberto Estevez went undefeated, his efforts were almost derailed in a double hill final against Shawn Sookhai in the finals. Sookhai had been defeated in the opening round and won eight on the loss side (four that went double hill) to face Estevez in the finals. Estevez had faced only two double hill challenges; his opening round match against Rhio Anne (“Annie”) Flores and the final against Sookhai.


The other three divisions (Mixed Masters, Men’s and Women’s Leisure) were all $1,200-added events that drew 32 entrants each. Brent Traynor went undefeated through the field to capture the event title in the Mixed Masters event, although his efforts were almost derailed by two opponents who challenged him in three double hill matches. Traynor downed Gary O’Callaghan twice; once, in a winners’ side semifinal and again in the finals. In comparison, Traynor breezed into the hot seat with a shutout win over Rob Pole in the winners’ side final.


Corey Avallone faced only one double hill challenge in his undefeated, five-match march to the Men’s Leisure title. Mark Ogawa, who would end up in the tie for fifth place, battled Avallone to double hill in the winners’ side semifinal, from which Avallone would advance to face Jerry Vasquez twice; first, in the hot seat match and then, in the finals. Avallone won them both 5-3.


[photo id=48011|align=right]Suzzie Wong, who entered the Women’s Leisure event as the #1-ranked female player on the Tri-State Tour and a week earlier had become the first D-ranked player to battle in a Predator Pro Am Tour hot seat match, went undefeated to capture the ladies title. She entered the tournament as that tour’s #3-ranked women’s player. Like Alberto Estevez in the Mixed Advanced division, Wong’s trip to the winners’ circle was almost derailed by an opponent – Michele Brotons – who’d lost her opening match and won every loss-side match (six of them, including three shutouts and one double hill challenge) to meet Wong in the finals. Wong’s five-match trek to the trophy featured one double hill match, against Irene Kim and separate opponents in the hot seat and finals. She downed Michele Ko 5-1 to move into the hot seat and finished Brotons’ six-match, loss-side run in the finals 7-5.


Event(s) director Tony Robles and his Silent Assassin Productions’ staff thanked event sponsor Michael Fedak for his continuing support of this event, as well as Steinway Billiards’ owner, Manny Stamatakis, and his staff for their hospitality. The event was also sponsored by the NAPL, Blatt Billiards, and

Shaw goes undefeated to successfully defend NYC 8-Ball Championship

Jorge Rodriguez, John Leyman and Jayson Shaw

Davladze, Sookhai, Schreiber, Kwak and Emil chalk up separate event victories


The 2nd Annual NYC 8-Ball Championships, held on the weekend of November 7-8, under the auspices of Tony Robles' Silent Assassin Productions, and functioning as the BCAPL's regional tour championships, experienced a modest increase in attendance over its debut last June. With the addition of a sixth event – a Mixed Masters tournament – the championships averaged 18 entrants, an increase of just over two entrants per event. The Mixed Advanced event saw the largest increase (13 to 23), with the Mixed Open event close on its heels (23 to 32). The Women's Leisure event saw a decrease from 16 to 10 entrants, while the Men's Leisure event added one entrant to last year's total of 15. The $3,500-added (total) championships drew 108 entrants to Steinway Billiards in Astoria (Queens), NY.

Shaw goes undefeated a second time
The fixed-entrant, signature event – The Men's Grandmasters – with its full field of 16 saw Jayson Shaw successfully defend the title he'd won last year, going undefeated for a second time. Though Sean Morgan, last year's runner-up, was among the event's final eight, he ended up in the tie for 5th/6th, which left the door open for Jorge Rodriguez to battle Shaw twice; in the hot seat match and finals. Shaw defeated Nick Ekonomopoulos 8-7 to get into the hot seat match, while Rodriguez sent Mike Wong to the loss side 8-5. Shaw claimed the hot seat 8-5 and waited for Rodriguez to get back from the semifinals.
Those semifinals were set up when Morgan and Jeremy Sossei emerged from the 7th/8th matches over Frankie Hernandez and Hunter Lombardo. Morgan drew Ekonomopoulos, and Sossei picked up Wong. Ekonomopoulos ended Morgan's bid to be in the title match 8-4, while Sossei eliminated Wong by the same score. Sossei dropped Ekonomopoulos into fourth place 8-5, before having his bid ended by Rodriguez in the semifinals. Shaw punctuated his title defense with a commanding 8-2 victory over Rodriguez in the finals.
Emil and Kwak go undefeated to capture Men's/Women's Leisure titles
Andrew Emil and Carolina Kwak emerged from the 16- and 10-entrant fields of the Men's and Women's Leisure events and went undefeated to capture their respective titles. Emil shut out Jim Gutierrez to get into the hot seat match of the Men's Leisure tournament. He was joined by Mark Ogawa, who'd sent Rolando Rodriguez west 5-2. Emil claimed the hot seat 5-3 over Ogawa.
On the loss side, Rodriguez won three straight double hill matches for a shot at Emil in the hot seat. He got by Brad McDuffie, then Gutierrez in the quarterfinals, and finally, Ogawa in the semifinals. Emil, though, punctuated his undefeated run with a shutout over Rodriguez in the finals. 
Kwak got into the Women's Leisure hot seat with, first, a double hill win over Bianca Martinez in a winners' side semifinal. Latonia Taylor, in the meantime, sent May Ng to the loss side 5-2. By that same score, Kwak sent Taylor to the semifinals to claim the hot seat. On the loss side, Martinez got into the quarterfinals, following a double hill win over Erika Zan. She was met by the woman she'd sent to the loss side, Deborah Pritchett, who'd eliminated Ng 5-2. Pritchett gave Martinez her come-uppance in a double hill quarterfinal and got a shot at Kwak with a 5-3 win over Taylor in the semifinals. Kwak claimed the Women's Leisure title with a 5-2 victory over Pritchett in the finals.
Schreiber, Davladze, and 'The Warrior' claim Mixed Titles.
Tommy Schreiber, competing in the largest-field (32) Mixed Open event, was the only other competitor to go undefeated in the six-event championships. He got into the hot seat match, following a 6-4 victory over Ambi Estevez, and was met by Cristobal Tiru, who'd defeated Joe Wilson Torres 6-4. Schreiber claimed the hot seat 6-3 over Tiru. 
It was Estevez and Abel Rosario who emerged from the loss-side scuffles to meet in the quarterfinals. Rosario survived a double hill match versus Omar Chavez to face Torres, whom he then defeated 6-2. Estevez defeated John Morrison 6-3 to join him. Estevez won the quarterfinal match, double hill, over Rosario, before Tiru eliminated him 6-2 in the semifinals. Schreiber then defeated Tiru a second time to claim the title, though not before Tiru battled him to to double hill, forcing a case game.
Shawn "The Warrior" Sookhai and Koka Davladze came back from losses in the winners' side semifinals of the Mixed Advanced and Mixed Masters fields to win those events. Sookhai, sent west by Max Watanabe 7-5 in the Mixed Advanced tourney, came back through Noah Vogelman (7-4), Ehmunrao Toocaram (7-5) and successfully wreaked vengeance on Watanabe 7-5, before downing hot seat occupant Matthew Harricharam 9-6 to claim the Mixed Advanced title.
Davladze was sent to the loss side by Raphael Dabreo, 7-4, in a winners' side semifinal of the Mixed Masters event. DaBreo went on to defeat Juan Guzman 7-5 in the hot seat match. Elvis Rodriguez, who'd been sent west in the other winners' side semifinal, 7-4, by Guzman, ran into Davladze in the quarterfinals and was eliminated 7-3. Davladze finished Guzman in the semifinals 7-5 and went on to defeat DaBreo 9-7 in the Mixed Masters finals. 
Tour organizer Tony Robles thanked added-money contributors Manny Stamatakis (owner of Steinway Billiards), and Michael Fedak, as well as tour director John Leyman. He also thanked Stamatakis' staff for their hospitality, and sponsors Marc Griffin and the BCA Pool League, Cue Sports International, Predator Cues,,, NAPL. com, Delta 13, Ozone Billiards, Irene Kin, Ron Mason, Mandy Wu, Dan Faraguna, Allison Fisher, and (his) "amazing wife, Gail."