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Gutierrez wins double hill battle in finals to win his first Predator Pro Am Tour stop

(l to r): Mizuno Atsutoshi, Cesar Turcios, Jonathan Martinez & Jim Gutierrez

In the midst of what, according to our records, is Jim Gutierrez’ best earnings year to date, he came from the loss side during a stop on the Predator Pro Am Tour and battled hot seat occupant Mizuno Atsutoshi to double hill before prevailing to claim his first Predator Pro Am event title. The $1,000-added event, held this past weekend (Oct. 13-14), drew 72 entrants to Steinway Billiards in Astoria (Queens), NY.
Gutierrez advanced to the winners’ side semifinal and a match versus Ramilo Tanglao, as Atsutoshi squared off against Matthew Harricharan in the other one. By identical scores of 7-1, Gutierrez and Atsutoshi advanced to the hot seat match over Tanglao and Harricharan. As a D+ player on the Predator Pro Am (#2 in that player class), Gutierrez began the hot seat match with seven on the wire in a race to 11. Atsutoshi claimed the hot seat with an actual score of 11-1, and a handicap match score of 11-8.
On the loss side, Tanglao picked up Jonathan Martinez, who’d defeated Paul Carpenter 6-5 and  Michael De Lara Iona 7-5 to reach him. Harricharan drew Cesar Turcios, who was sent to the loss side by Dave Shlemperis, and was in the midst of an eight-match, loss-side streak that included back-to-back double hill wins; in a successful re-match against Shlemperis (loss-side win #5) and over the tour’s #3-ranked female, Amy Yu (#6).
Martinez advanced to the quarterfinals 7-2 over Tanglao and was joined by Turcios, who’d eliminated Harricharan 7-5. Turcios chalked up what proved to be his final loss-side victory 9-4 over Martinez in those quarterfinals, and then had his bid for a spot in the finals halted by Gutierrez 10-8 in the semifinals.
With the same handicap matchup (seven on the wire for Gutierrez in a race to 11), Gutierrez and Atsutoshi battled to double hill in the finals. Gutierrez prevailed in the deciding rack to claim his first Predator Pro Am title.
A single-elimination Second Chance event drew 16 entrants. Michael De Lara Iona and Ron Bernardo battled to double hill in the finals, before Iona prevailed 7-6 to claim the Second Chance title. Dave Shlemperis and Feng Zhao shared third place in the event.
Tour director Tony Robles thanked Manny Stamatakis and his Steinway Billiards staff for their hospitality, as well as title sponsor Predator Cues,, NAPL, Cappelle (, Ozone Billiards, the DeVito Team, and his Predator Pro Am staff. The next stop on the Predator Tour, scheduled for Oct. 20-21, will be an Amateur event, hosted by The Spot in Nanuet, NY.
On Saturday, September 20, Amsterdam Billiards in Manhattan will host a Challenge Match between Tony Robles and Efren Reyes. Part of Efren Reyes’ Farewell Tour, it might well prove to be Reyes’ last trip to the Tri-State New York area. The match will be held from 6-9 p.m.