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Ramirez stops loss-side bid by Sanz to go undefeated on Predator Amateur stop

Andrzej Kaldan, Lidio Ramirez and Pablo Sanz​

Lidio Ramirez fought through a double hill challenge by Pablo Sanz in the finals of the Predator Tour's Amateur stop on the weekend of May 21-22 to claim his first Predator title. The $1,000-added event drew 67 entrants to Raxx Billiards in West Hempstead, NY. 
With his eventual finals' opponent, Sanz, already at work on the loss side, Ramirez advanced to a winners' side semifinal against Rhio "Annie" Flores, while Andrzej Kaldan, who'd just sent Sanz to the loss side, faced Jimy Cardona. Ramirez and Kaldan moved on to the hot seat match, after identical 7-4 wins over Flores and Cardona. Ramirez claimed the hot seat 8-5 over Kaldan and waited on the return of Sanz.
Sanz opened his loss-side, finals-bound campaign against Nicole Monaco, defeating her 7-5. He followed up with a 7-2 win over Chickie Romero to draw Cardona. Flores picked up Steinway Billiards' owner, Manny Stamatakis, who'd defeated Miguel Laboy 7-4 and Josh Friedberg 7-3 to reach her.
Flores sent Stamatakis home 7-2, as Sanz eliminated Cardona, double hill. Flores gave Sanz his second straight double hill fight in the quarterfinals, but Sanz prevailed to earn himself a re-match against Kaldan. Sweet revenge became even sweeter revenge, as Sanz shut Kaldan out in the semifinals. 
Sanz, in his third double hill match of his final four, forced a deciding game against Ramirez in the finals. Ramirez, though, hung on to win and claim his first Predator title.
Robles thanked the ownership and staff at Raxx Billiards, as well as sponsors Predator Cues, National Amateur Pool League, Ozone Billiards, Delta-13 racks, Gotham City Technologies,, The DeVito Team, Billiards Press, AZ Billiards, Billiards Digest, and Pool & Billiard Magazine. He also thanked William Finnegan, Mandy Wu, and Irene Kim for their assistance with the tournament, as well as his wife, Gail Robles.

Faraguna wins second straight, undefeated Predator stop

Shawn Sookhai, Dan Faraguna, Lukas Fracasso-Verner, Erick Carrasco and Elvis Rodriguez

Last week (April 23-24), Dan Faraguna won two double hill matches out of the final three he played to complete an undefeated run on the Predator Tour. A week later (April 30-May 1), all three of his final matches went double hill, and for the second week in a row, he completed an undefeated run to claim the event title. The $1,000-added event, hosted by the Cue Bar in Bayside (Queens), NY, drew 55 entrants.
The first of Faraguna's three final double hill matches came in a winners' side semifinal victory over Erick Carrasco. Shawn Sookhai, in the meantime, won a double hill match in the other winners' side semifinal over Elvis Rodriguez. Faraguna and Sookhai battled to double hill in the hot seat match, before (for the second week in a row), Faraguna moved into the hot seat.
On the loss side, Carrasco drew 14-year-old Lucas Fracasso-Verner, who'd defeated Izzy Matos 8-4 and Pablo Sanz 7-5 to reach him. Rodriguez picked up Kapriel Delimelkonoglu, who'd eliminated Gene Hunt 7-4 and Del Sim 8-2. 
Fracasso-Verner defeated Carrasco 7-5 and advanced to the quarterfinals against Rodriguez, who'd eliminated Delimelkonoglu 7-4.  Fracasso-Verner took the quarterfinal match 7-3 over Rodriguez, but had his loss-side streak ended by Sookhai 7-4 in the semifinals.
The finals would prove to be the third double hill match for both Faraguna and Sookhai; the third straight for Faraguna. He won it to complete his run and claim his second straight, undefeated event title. The victory cemented Faraguna's place atop the Predator Tour's Amateur B Division rankings.