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Kain goes undefeated to win first regional tour event on Garden State Pool Tour

Jason Halpin, Michael Kain and Robert Rodriguez

Mike Kain took full advantage of his pool handicap during a six-match, undefeated trip to the winners’ circle at a stop on the Garden State Pool Tour this past weekend (Sat., Oct. 8). He ended up playing against only one opponent in a straight-up race to 5, Pete Carrano, whom he defeated 5-2 in the opening round. Rated as a ‘5,’ Kain went on to defeat a ‘6,’ (two of them), a ‘7,’ and two ‘8’s, including a double hill battle against Jason Halpin in the finals. The $400-added event drew 36 entrants to Diamond Jim’s Billiards in Nanuet, NY.

Though the handicap worked in his favor (as handicaps are essentially meant to do), Kain did end up defeating higher-ranked opponents by relatively substantial margins. Following his victory over Carrano, he downed ‘6’-rated Chris Farrell 5-1, ‘7’-rated Emmanuel Areizaga 5-5 to meet up with his first ‘8’ handicap opponent – Roger Hanos – in one of the winners’ side semifinals. Robert Rodriguez, in the meantime, who didn’t face a higher handicap until he reached his winners’ side quarterfinal, downed Shonda Evens 6-3, Marc Antonetti 6-2 and Bud Robideau 5-6 (Robideau racing to 7) to face Halpin in the other winners’ side semifinal.

Kain advanced to the hot seat match with a 5-5 win over Hanos (racing to 8) and was met by Rodriguez, who’d survived a double hill battle versus Halpin. Playing with a single ‘bead on the wire’ in a race to 6, Kain claimed the hot seat 5-2 over Rodriguez.

On the loss side, Halpin drew Areizaga, who’d followed his winners’ side quarterfinal loss to Kain with victories over David Moore 7-3 and Ken Kerner 5-1. Hanos drew a rematch versus Kevin Scalzitti, who was working on a five-match, loss-side winning streak that Hanos had initiated in the third winners’ side round. He’d recently eliminated Donald Henriquez 8-2 and Bud Robideau 7-3 to earn the rematch.

In a straight-up race to 7, Scalzitti successfully navigated his way to redemption over Hanos, though not before Hanos had forced a 13th deciding game. Halpin downed Areizaga 7-2 to join Scalzitti in the quarterfinals.

Halpin stopped Scalzitti’s loss-side run 7-4 and then, finished Rodriguez’ day 8-2. Fittingly, Kain’s last match went double hill against Halpin. With four ‘beads on the wire’ to start in a race to 9, Kain chalked up the five he needed to claim his first (recorded) regional tour win.

Tour director Dave Fitzpatrick thanked Stephine Werner and her Diamond Jim’s Billiards and Pub staff for their hospitality, as well as sponsors John Bender Custom Cues, Billiards Engineering, Kamui, JFlowers Cues and Cases, IntheBx & Off the Rail. With only two events left in the tour season, the Garden State Pool Tour will hold its annual Halloween Classic this coming weekend (Oct. 15-16), to be hosted by Breaker Billiards in Clifton, NJ.

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