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Emmitt goes undefeated to win his first regional tour title on the Predator Tri-State Tour

Sean Emmitt and KC Clayton

It was the second time, as far as we know, that Sean Emmitt had made it to the hot seat of a regional tour event. He did it the first time in September, 2018, at Clifton Billiards in Clifton, NJ,  downing Ralph Ramos, Jr. The competitor he’d sent to the loss side in that event, Neil Walmsley, downed Ramos in the semifinals and came back to deny Emmitt his first title, chalking up his own second.

Just over three and half years later, this past weekend (Saturday, April 16), at the same location, Emmitt made it to the hot seat again, having only cashed in two other events in between; 4th at another stop on the Tri-State back in 2018 and 4th again at a National Billiard League qualifying event, a little over a year ago. This time, though, Emmitt took the final step. After claiming the hot seat, he downed the same opponent, KC Clayton, in the finals to claim his first regional tour title. The $300-added 10-ball event drew 16 entrants to Clifton Billiards.

Emmitt faced Mike Strassberg in the winners’ side semifinal of this one, as Clayton squared off against Ty Classan. Emmitt got into the hot seat match with a 7-2 win over Strassberg and was joined by Clayton, who’d sent Classan to the loss side 7-4. Emmitt downed Clayton 7-5 and sat, once again in the hot seat of a Clifton Billiards event, awaiting his second chance to grab a regional tour title.

On the loss side, Strassberg picked up Rick Rodriguez, who’d defeated John Velez 8-5 and Frank Rodriguez 7-5 to reach him. Classan picked up Julie Madlener, who’d recently eliminated Jay Chiu and Marc Lamberti, both 6-4.

Strassberg and Classan advanced to the quarterfinals; Strassberg 6-4 over Rodriguez and Classan 6-1 over Madlener. Strassberg took the quarterfinal match 6-3 over Classan, but Clayton shut him down by the same score in the semifinals.

As might have been predicted between two opponents who had both finished as runner-up at a stop on the Tri-State Tour (Clayton was runner-up at last month’s stop at Cue Bar in Queens, NY) and were in search of their first regional tour title, the finals went double hill. Emmitt dropped the last 10-ball to claim the title.

Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Clifton Billiards for their hospitality, as well as title sponsor Predator Cues, Ozone Billiards, Sterling Billiards, Kamui, Quick Stick, Bloodworth Ball Cleaner, Joe Romer Trophies, Phil Capelle Publications and Pool and Billiards. The next stop on the Predator Tri-State Tour, scheduled for the Saturday, May 7, will be another 10-Ball event, $500-added, hosted by Shooter’s Family Billiards in Wayne, NJ. 

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Almodovar goes undefeated to claim his first Tri-State title

(l to r): Jerry Almodovar & Kevin Serodio

Jerry Almodovar has cashed, according to our records, four times at a combination of Tri-State and Predator Pro Am Tour stops over the past three years; his highest finish coming in the Predator tour’s Tour Championships last December, at which he finished fourth. Almodovar broke through on Sunday, Oct. 28, with an undefeated run on the Tri-State Tour, downing Paul Wilkens in the battle for the hot seat and splitting the top two prizes with Kevin Serodio, following a decision not to play a final match. The $1,000-added event drew 25 entrants to Shooter’s Family Billiards in Wayne, NJ.
Following victories over Bernie Vogelsang, Mike Strassberg and Tim Demarest, Almodovar moved into a winner’s side semifinal against Serodio. Wilkens, in the meantime, having defeated Neil Walmsley, Jaydev Zaveri and Rick Rodriguez, squared off against Eddie Medina. Almodovar won the only match he played against Serodio 6-3 and was joined in the hot seat match by Wilkens, who’d sent Medina west in a double hill battle. Almodovar claimed the hot seat and, in effect, the event title 7-3 over Wilkens.
On the loss side, Serodio picked up Michelle Brotons, fourth on the Tri-State’s list of top-ranked females and 7th on its list of C players, who was in the midst of a four-match, loss-side winning streak that was about to end. She’d downed Shweta Zaveri 7-5 and Tim Demarest 7-4 to reach Serodio. Medina drew David Schaeffer, who’d just eliminated Luis Jimenez 7-3 and Walmsley 7-5.
Medina advanced to the quarterfinals 7-2 over Schaeffer and was met by Serodio, who’d defeated Brotons, double hill. Serodio went on to defeat Medina 7-4 in those quarterfinals.
In what proved to be the last match of the night, Serodio earned a shot against Almodovar in the hot seat with a 7-5 win over Wilkens in the semifinals. Having played once in a winners’ side semifinal that sent Almodovar to the hot seat match, Almodovar and Serodio opted out of a second match and split the top two prizes.
Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Shooter’s Family Billiards, as well as sponsors Ozone Billiards, Sterling Gaming, Kamui Tips, Phil Cappelle, BlueBook Publishing, Human Kinetics, Pool & Billiards, Professor Q Ball, Bender Cues and DIGICUE OB. The next stop on the Tri-State Tour, scheduled for Sunday, Nov. 4, will be a Double Points 10-Ball event, Clifton Billiards in Clifton, NJ.

Walmsley comes back from winners’ side final defeat to down Emmitt in Tri-State final

Sean Emmitt & Neil Walmsley

Neil Walmsley, to the best of our ‘records’ knowledge, has cashed three times on the Tri-State Tour in the past nine years. He has won two of those three events. He was runner-up to Raj Vannala at an event in January, 2009. Four years later, he stopped an eight-match, loss-side bid by Yomaylin “Smiley” Feliz to capture his first Tri-State title. On Sunday, September 16, Walmsley was defeated in a winners’ side semifinal match against Seam Emmitt, who was looking for his first Tri-State title, and came back to defeat him in the finals to claim his second title. The $1000-added event drew 26 entrants to Clifton Billiards (site of Walmsley’s previous win) in Clifton, NJ.
Following victories over Ilija Trajeski, Joe Mazzeo and David Schaffer, Walmsley advanced to a winners’ side semifinal against Emmitt. Ralph Ramos, Jr., in the meantime, who’d defeated Joshua Joseph, and his own father, Ralph Ramos, Sr., squared off against Dax Druminski in the other winners’ side semifinal.
Emmitt handed Walmsley what could easily been a confidence-shattering defeat 7-1 and advanced to the hot seat match. He was joined by Ramos, Jr., who sent Druminski west 7-4. Emmitt defeatEd Ramos, Jr. 8-5 and sat in the hot seat, waiting on Walmsley.
On the loss side, Walmsley opened his loss-side campaign against Tri Chau, who’d defeated Schaffer 7-3 and survived a double hill match against Joseph, to reach him. Druminski picked up Ramos, Sr., who followed his son’s victory over him with victories of his own over Bob Toomey and Mac Jankov, both 6-2.
Walmsley downed Chau 7-2, as Ramos, Sr. was busy eliminating Druminski 6-2. At this point, two intriguing possibilities existed for the finals, two matches away. There was either going to be a father/son semifinal, or Walmsley was going to have to defeat father and then son to get to Emmitt in the hot seat.
It was the second of those two which played out. Walmsely downed Dad 8-5 and then, defeated Junior in a double hill match, which gave him a second shot at Emmitt. Reversing the fortunes of their winners’ side final match, Walmsley claimed his second Tri-State title with a 9-3 win.
Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Clifton Billiards for their hospitality, as well as sponsors Ozone Billiards, Sterling-Gaming, Kamui Tips, Phil Cappelle, Blue Book Publishing, Human Kinetics, Pool & Billiards, Professor Q Ball, Bender Cues and DIGICUE OB. The next stop on the Tri-State Tour, scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 23 will be an 8-Ball event, hosted by Shooters Family Billiards in Wayne, NJ.

Walmsley stops loss-side bid by Smiley Feliz to take Tri-State stop

Tony Ignomirello, Neil Walmsley and Yomaylin Feliz

Neil Walmsley stopped an eight-match, loss-side winning streak by Yomaylin "Smiley" Feliz to capture the July 28 stop on the Tri-State Tour. The $1,000-added event drew 31 entrants to Clifton Billiards in Clifton, NJ. 
Feliz came out on the wrong end of a double hill match against David Ascolese in the opening round of play, and embarked on the longest possible route (eight matches) back to the finals. Walmsley, in the meantime, after victories over Dave Shlemperis, Scott Bannon, and Harry Guevarez, advanced among the winners' side final four to meet up with Scott Simonetti. Tony Ignomirello and Grant Weldon squared off in the other winners' side semifinal. Walmsley sent Simonetti over 7-5, for a match against Feliz, as Ignomirello advanced 8-7 over Weldon. Walmsley got into the hot seat with a 7-5 win over Ignomirello, and waited on Feliz.
With three wins chalked up on the loss side (including wins over Carl Yusuf Khan and Bannon), Feliz survived two straight double hill matches – against Guevarez and "Annie" Flores – to pick up Simonetti. Weldon drew Ambi Estevez, who'd defeated Mike Davie 6-4 and Jay Choi 6-3 to reach him. Feliz handed Simonetti his second straight loss 8-5 and was met in the quarterfinals by Weldon, who'd eliminated Estevez 8-4.
Feliz downed Weldon 7-4, and then survived yet another double hill fight; this one, against Simonetti in the semifinals. She moved on to her third appearance in a Tri-State final since January.
It looked as though Feliz was destined for a fourth double hill fight, as she and Walmsley battled back and forth to a 4-4 tie. Walmsley, though, found a second gear and won three straight to claim the event title.
Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Clifton Billiards for their hospitality, as well as sponsors Sterling-Gaming, Ozone Billiards, Qpod Cues, Kamui Tips, Phil Capelle, BlueBook Publishing, and Human Kinetics. The next stop on the Tri-State Tour is scheduled for August 3 at Castle Billiards in East Rutherford, NJ.