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Cap and Guevarez split top prizes on the Tri-State

(l to r): Brian Cap & Harry Guevarez

Brian Cap and Harry Guevarez met up in the opening round of the Saturday, August 12 stop on the Tri-State Tour; the tour's first 8-ball event of the 2017-2018 season. At the end of the day, the result – Cap winning 6-4 – stood as the deciding match. Though Guevarez would win five on the loss side to earn a re-match in the finals, the two opted out of that final match, leaving Cap, the hot seat occupant, as the event winner. The $1,000-added event drew 22 entrants to Rockaway Blliards in Rockaway, NJ.
With what proved to be the only match between the eventual winner and runner-up out of the way, Cap moved on to defeat Michael Conoran 6-4 and then, meet up with Jaydev Zaveri in a winners' side semifinal. In the meantime, Allison LaFleur, on her way to her second top-three finish in as many weeks, made it by Mike Guevara, Michelle Brotons (friend and road partner) and Ron Lichtenberger to face Andrew Cicoria in the other winners' side semifinal.
Cap defeated Zaveri 6-4, and in the hot seat match, faced LaFleur, who'd chalked up her second straight, double hill win versus Cicoria. Cap claimed the hot seat 9-6 in what would prove to be his last match of the day.
On the loss side, Harry Guevarez opened his five-match march to the finals-that-never-were with a forfeit win, and defeated Paul Madonia 6-4 to draw Zaveri. Cicoria picked up Gil McGrath, who'd defeated Artur Trzeciak, double hill, and Lichtenberger 5-3 to reach him.
Guevarez defeated Zaveri 6-4, as Cicoria got right back to work and downed McGrath, double hill.  Guevarez then defeated Cicoria 6-2 in the quarterfinals. In what was described by tour representatives as a victory of "experience over determination," Guevarez dropped the final 8-ball of the semifinals, and last match of the event, winning it 7-4 over LaFleur to conclude the day's activities. The undefeated Cap claimed the event title.
Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Rockaway Billiards, as well as sponsors John Bender Custom Cues, Ozone Billiards, Sterling Billiards, Kamui, Digicue, Billiards Digest, Human Kinetics, Blue Book Publishing,  Phil Capelle Publications and Joe Romer Trophies. The next stop on the Tri-State Tour, a $1,000-added B/C/D event, scheduled for August 19-20, will be hosted by Amsterdam Billiards in Manhattan, NY.

Daniel goes undefeated to chalk up his first Tri-State win

Quin Chen, Adrian Daniel and Frank Sieczka

When you're in the hot seat, looking to win your first tour event, the footsteps approaching you  from the loss side of the bracket are likely to make a little more noise than they might if you were an 'old hand' at tournament victories. Such might have been the thoughts of Adrian Daniel on Sunday, November 27, as he sat in the hot seat of a Tri-State Tour stop, awaiting what turned out to be the arrival of one Frank Sieczka. Daniel took the final step, downing Sieczka in the finals to capture the $462-added, C/D, double points 8-ball event (his first on the tour) that drew 22 entrants to Clifton Billiards in Clifton, NJ.
Daniel entered the event, occupying the same space among the tour's C+-ranked players that he'd occupied at the end of the 2015-2016 tour season (#6). His eventual finals opponent, Sieczka, also a C+ player, was making his first appearance on the 2016-2017 tour, after finishing in the #11 spot a year ago.
Sieczka was moved to the loss side of the bracket by Allison LaFleur in a winners' side quarterfinal. LaFleur advanced to face Daniel in one winners' side semifinal, as Quin Chen and Marcos Santos squared off in the other one. Daniel sent LaFleur to an immediate re-match against Sieczka with a 7-5 win. Chen joined him for the hot seat match with a 5-3 victory over Santos. It was Daniels' second appearance in a Tri-State hot seat match; his first since 2013. Daniel completed his winners' side run with a 5-1 victory over Chen, and listened as the footsteps of Sieczka drew closer.
Sieczka opened his loss-side campaign with a 5-2 win over Michael Raymond, and followed that with a 5-3 win over Erick Carrasco, which set him (Sieczka) up for the re-match against LaFleur. Santos drew Mike Guevara, who'd defeated Ryan Dayrit 7-5 and Greg Matos 5-1 to reach him.
Sieczka successfully wreaked his vengeance on LaFleur 5-3, and in the quarterfinals, faced Santos, who'd eliminated Guevara 5-2. Sieczka took the quarterfinal match 5-3 over Santos, and then locked up in a double hill fight against Chen in the semifinals. Sieczka prevailed for a shot at Daniel.
Daniel, already having earned more money this year than in any previous year on record, was appearing in his third Tri-State final (one of his runner-up finishes in 2013 had seen him come from the loss side). Sieczka was appearing in his fourth, three of which had led to event titles, one in 2015, and two in 2014. They came within a game of double hill, but Daniel pulled out in front to take it by two, 5-3, and claim his first Tri-State win.
Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Clifton Billiards, as well as sponsors Ozone Billiards, Sterling-Gaming, Kamui Tips, Ron Vitello, Phil Capelle, BlueBook Publishing, Human Kinetics, and Bloodworth Ball Cleaners. The next stop on the Tri-State Tour, scheduled for Sunday, December 11, will be hosted by Rockaway Billiards in Rockaway, NJ.

Medina goes undefeated on the Tri-State Tour

Mike Strasburg, Eddie Medina and Mike Guevara

Ed Medina worked through a short field of 19 entrants, going undefeated on the June 8 stop on the Tri-State Tour. The $1,000-added event was hosted by Rockaway Billiards, in Rockaway, NJ.
Medina opened his campaign by just surviving a double hill match against Steve Kaminow. He wouldn't face a similar challenge until the finals. Medina went on to defeat ChristIan Smith and Jerry Ritzer, which set him up for a winners' side semifinal against William Meima. Mike Strassburg, in the meantime, faced Scott Abramowitz. Medina cruised to the hot seat match 7-2 over Meima, as Strassburg and Abramowitz battled to double hill. Strassburg prevailed and was promptly sent to the semifinals by Medina 7-3.
Meima and Abramowitz moved to the loss side, where they ran into Jerry Ritzer and Mike Guevara, respectively. Ritzer had gotten by Duane Toney and Christian Smith, both 7-2, to face Meima. Guevara had defeatEd Martin Carducci 6-3 and squeaked by Grant Weldon 7-6. Ritzer handed Meima his second straight loss 7-2, as Guevara was doing likewise to Abramowitz 6-2.
Guevara and Ritzer locked up in a double hill quarterfinal, eventually won by Guevara. Strassburg ended Guevara's loss-side run with a 6-2 win in the semifinals and turned to take a second shot at Medina, sitting in the hot seat. Whatever the outcome, it would be Strassburg's best finish in two years.
In what proved to be the longest match of the day, Medina and Strassburg fought back and forth to claim the event title. Safety play slowed the proceedings down in the early going, and at the end of six games, it was knotted at 3-3. Strassburg surged ahead by two games, and they traded racks to 6-4. Strassburg made an early combination on the 9-ball to reach seven games, forcing an extension of the match to nine games.
Medina then won three in a row, including back-to-back 3-fouls, to first, tie the match at 7-7 and then, running the next rack, reach the hill at 8-7. Medina got a look at the 9-ball in the game that would have won it for him, but it rattled in the hole, allowing Strassburg to force a 17th and deciding game. In keeping with the general direction of the match, the deciding game turned into a safety battle. Strassburg opted for a safety on the 8-ball, but left Medina enough of a shot to make it and finish his undefeated run.
Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Rockaway Billiards, as well as sponsors Sterling-Gaming, Ozone Billiards, Qpod, Cues, Kamui Tips, Phil Capelle, BlueBook Publishing, and Human Kinetics.