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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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