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Morris chalks up first Tri-State win

Mel McCullen, Vincent Morris and Dennis Kennedy

On Saturday, February 4, Vincent Morris worked his way undefeated through a field of 41 entrants, including Mel McCullen twice, to win his first victory on the Tri-State Tour. The $1,000-added, C/D handicapped 9-Ball event was hosted by Gotham City Billiards in Brooklyn, NY.

Morris’ seven-match path to the victory saw him win just over twice as many games as he lost (43-21). Wins over Thaddeus Moses, Vincent Loretta, Rick Shellhouse and Andrew Cleary put him among the winners’ side final four, where he faced McCullen for the first time. Joining them for the winners’ side semifinal were Dennis Kennedy and David Danchak. Morris sent McCullen west 6-3 and in the battle for the hot seat, faced Kennedy, who’d defeated Danchak double hill. Morris then sent Kennedy to the semifinals with a 6-3 victory and awaited McCullen’s return.

Both McCullen and Danchak moved to the loss side and faced opponents who’d won two straight double hill matches to reach them. McCullen drew Mishak Daniel, who’d squeaked by Mike Harrington and Tyronnie Harlee. Danchak picked up Randy Mackin, who’d downed both Andrew Cleary and Steve Wade 6-5. McCullen eliminated Daniel 7-3 and was joined in the quarterfinals by Mackin, who’d defeated Danchak 6-3.

McCullen got by Mackin 7-4, and then, for a second crack at Morris, defeated Kennedy in the semifinals 6-3. Morris, though, was not to be denied, and repeated his earlier victory with another 6-3 win over McCullen that secured his first Tri-State victory.

Tour representatives thanked Gotham City Billiard owners Kevin and Isabelle Buckley, as well as sponsors Sterling-Gaming, Ozone Billiards, Ron Tarr Cues, Kamui Tips, Phil Capelle, BlueBook Publishing, and Human Kinetics.  The next stop on the Tri-State Tour, scheduled for February 14, will be a $500-added, A/D handicapped event, hosted by Castle Billiards in East Rutherford, NJ.

Historic snowstorm is backdrop for Kaldan’s first Tri-State win

Gary Murgia, Andrzej Kaldan and Kim Meyer-Gabia

Not since they started keeping snowfall records in 1869, had the city of New York seen as much snow in October as it saw on Saturday, October 29. Three inches were reported in New York’s Central Park, a matter of miles away from Gotham City Billiards in Brooklyn. Undaunted by the weather, 36 entrants showed up at Gotham City Billiards to take part in the $1,250-added, B-D handicapped stop on the Tri-State Tour, which, in consideration of the weather conditions, ended prematurely. Andrzej (pronounced Andrew) Kaldan, who had made his way to the hot seat undefeated, and Kim Meyer-Gabia, who’d worked her way back through four matches on the loss-side to meet him in the finals, agreed to call it a night.

Following victories over Ben Castaneros, Alex Borukhovich, and Hector Ruiz, Kaldan faced Alex Osipov among the winners’ side final four. Kaldan sent Osipov west 7-6, as Gary Murgia was busy doing likewise to Meyer-Gabia 7-4. Kaldan played his last game of the night, defeating Murgia 9-3 in the battle for the hot seat.

Meyer-Gabia moved over to take on Ed Culhane, who’d defeated Mel McCullen 9-4 and Hector Ruiz 7-3 to reach him. Osipov picked up Arturo Reyes, who’d gotten by Harry Lau 7-4, and Keith Diaz 7-3. Meyer-Gabia dominated the match versus Culhane 7-1, advancing to the quarterfinals against Osipov, who’d downed Reyes 7-5. A 6-4 win in those quarterfinals gave Meyer-Gabia a second chance against Murgia in the semifinals.

She made the best of it, defeating Murgia 7-5 in what proved to be the final match of the evening. Shortly thereafter, she and Kaldan agreed to end the proceedings, leaving the undefeated Kaldan with his first victory on the Tri-State tour, and Meyer-Gabia, with the single loss, in second place.

In addition to sponsors Sterling-Gaming, Ozone Billiards, Ron Tarr Cues, Kamui Tips, Phil Capelle, BlueBook Publishing, and Human Kinetics, tour representatives thanked Kevin and Isabel Buckley, owners of Gotham City Billiards, for the superb playing conditions, including recently re-covered tables, and additional funding of the purse.