Archive Page

Perez downs Calton twice, goes undefeated to claim Tri-State Tour title

Eddie Perez & Robert Calton

While Eddie Perez has been competing on the Tri-State Tour, as far as we know, since 2011, he chalked up his first victory on the tour this past weekend (Sunday, Feb. 23). The runner-up, Robert Calton, is, as far as we know, a relative newcomer to the tour, having cashed in only one event (last September), when he made it to the hot seat match, only to be defeated and then eliminated by Pascal Dufresne in the semifinals. The two battled twice in this most recent stop – hot seat and finals – with Perez winning them both. The $1,000-added, C/D event drew 41 entrants to Steinway Billiards in Astoria (Queens), NY.

Perez advanced through the field, downing Chris Farrell, Ada Lio, Jim Gutierrez and Bob Toomey to arrive at a winners’ side semifinal against Terry Mohabir. Calton, in the meantime, squared off against Alex Green in the other winners’ side semifinal.

Perez defeated Mohabir 6-2 and in the hot seat match, faced Calton, who’d sent Green to the loss side 6-3. Though he’d finished third a number of times over the years since 2011, Perez claimed his first hot seat with his first of two against Calton 6-2.

On the loss side, Mohabir picked up Patrick Meyers, who’d defeated Mark Antonetti and John Aquino, both 6-2, to reach him. Green drew Luis Lopez, who’d most recently eliminated Ada Lio in a double hill match and Bob Toomey 6-4.

Green downed Lopez 6-4 to advance to the quarterfinals, where he was joined by Meyers, who’d handed Mohabir his second straight loss 6-2. Meyers then eliminated Green 7-5 in those quarterfinals.

Robert Calton put a stop to Green’s run 7-2 in the semifinals, but couldn’t put a stop to Perez’ first quest for a tour title in the finals. They battled to double hill (5-5), at which point Calton was battling to extend the race to 8. Perez prevailed to win the deciding 11th game and claim the event title.

Tour representatives thanked Manny Stamatakis and his Steinway Billiards staff for their hospitality, as well as sponsors Ozone Billiards, Sterling-Gaming, Kamui, Phil Capelle, Paul Dayton Cues, Pool & Billiards, Liquid Weighted Cues, John Bender Cues, Billiards Engineering and Bloodworth Ball Cleaner. The next stop on the Tri-State Tour, scheduled for Sunday, March 1, will be hosted by The Spot in Nanuet, NY.

Watanabe goes undefeated, downs Martinez twice to claim Tri-State Tour title

Max Watanabe & Bianca Martinez

The headline story is about the Tri-State’s top-rated, #1 A player, Max Watanabe, doing battle twice with one of the tour’s top-rated females, Bianca Martinez, who’s currently at #3 in the women’s point standings and #4 in the tour’s overall C standings. The top three in both cases (women and C players) would have been the same (Allison LaFleur, Michelle Brotons and Martinez), had Juan Melendez not slipped into second place among the C players. Watanabe and Martinez battled twice during the $1,000-added, 10-ball event that drew 38 entrants to Cue Bar in Bayside (Queens), NY on Sunday, Feb. 16. Watanabe won both encounters to claim the event title, but not before Martinez battled him twice to the necessity of a single, deciding game.

Watanabe’s trip to the winners’ circle went through Pascal Dufresne, Russell Masciotti and Steve Kalloo to arrive at a winners’ side semifinal against Julian Tierney. Martinez, in the meantime, sent Andre Holder, Naoko Saiki, and Juan Melendez to the loss side before coming up against Jason Goberdhan in the other winners’ side semifinal.

Watanabe downed Tierney 6-4. Martinez joined him in the hot seat match after surviving a double hill fight versus Goberdhan. In their first of two, they fought to double hill before Watanabe prevailed to claim the hot seat.

On the loss side, Tierney picked up Kevin Shin, who’d recently defeated Steve Kalloo, double hill and Sherwin Robinson 6-2. Goberdhan drew Qian Chen, who’d eliminated the aforementioned C player, Juan Melendez 5-1 and survived a double hill fight against Shweta Zaveri (#4 among the tour’s ladies) to reach him.

Tierney shut Kevin Shin out and was met in the quarterfinals by Chen, who’d survived Shweta Zaveri’s second straight double hill match. Tierney won the quarterfinal match 6-4 before having his short loss-side trip ended by Martinez 7-4 in the semifinals.

Second verse, same as the first, as they say. Watanabe and Martinez fought to a second, double hill deciding game. Watanabe prevailed a second time to claim the event title.

Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Cue Bar for their hospitality, as well as sponsors Ozone Billiards, Sterling-Gaming, Kamui Tips, Phil Capelle, Pool & Billiards, Professor Q Ball, Bender Cues, Paul Dayton Cues, Bludworth Ball Cleaner, Joe Romer Trophies and Quick Slick. The next stop on the Tri-State Tour, scheduled for Sunday, Feb. 23, will be hosted by Steinway Billiards in Astoria (Queens), NY.

Robinson comes from the loss side, wins first regional tour event on the Predator Pro Am Tour

(l to r): Nick Croce, Sherwin Robinson, Eric Toledo & Ron Bernardo

Between them, the winner, runner-up and third-place finisher in this past weekend’s (Feb. 8-9) stop on the Predator Pro Am Tour at Steinway Billiards, had only 10 recorded cash finishes in any regional tour events anywhere. Nick Croce, who finished third, had half of those. Eventual hot seat occupant and runner-up Erick Toledo had four, one per year, all on the Predator Tour dating back to 2008 (’19, ’10, ’09 & ’08). His best, before this past weekend, was his third-place finish in ’08. The eventual winner, Sherwin Robinson, had only one recorded cash finish anywhere, that occurred two years ago on the Predator Pro Am, when he made it as far as a winners’ side semifinal, before forfeiting out of that match and finishing in the tie for 5th place.

Robinson, Toledo and Croce earned their top cash finishes by navigating through a relatively large field that included some of the tour’s more recognizable competitors. Robinson, for example, in his first loss-side match, eliminated B+ player Pascal Dufresne, who’s fresh off his best recorded earnings year (2019), in which he won two stops each on the Predator Pro Am and Tri-State tours and whose recorded cash finishes last year alone were three short of the total for Robinson, Toledo and Croce over the last 10 years. The $1,000-added event drew 87 entrants to Steinway Billiards in Astoria (Queens), NY.

Toledo and Robinson met first in a winners’ side semifinal, as Croce and Ray Feliciano squared off in the other one. Toledo got into the hot seat match with a 7-4 win over Robinson. Croce joined him after defeating Feliciano 7-1. Toledo moved into his first (recorded) hot seat match and won it 9-5 over Croce, assuring himself his best (recorded) finish ever, regardless of what happened in the finals.

On the loss side, Robinson launched his three-match, loss-side journey against Dufresne, who was in the midst of an eight-match, loss-side winning streak that had recently included a double hill win over Arturo Reyes and a 7-1 victory over Duc Lam. Feliciano picked up Ron Bernardo, fresh off of two straight, double hill matches versus DeMain Patrick and Kanami Chau.

Identical 7-4 scores sent Robinson and Bernardo to the quarterfinals, over Dufresne and Feliciano. Robinson went on to defeat Bernardo in those quarterfinals 8-6 and Croce, in the semifinals 8-5.

It was going to be either Robinson or Toledo walking away with his first (recorded) regional tour win. It was Robinson, edging out in front of Toledo at the end and winning the match 9-7, who chalked up the event title.

A Second Chance, single-elimination event that drew 15 entrants saw Jason Goberdhan down Mikhail Kim 7-3 in the finals to claim the $160 first-place prize. Kim pocketed $100 as runner-up, while Dave Callaghan, who’d been defeated by Kim, and Julian Tierney, who’d been defeated by Goberdhan, each took home $30. An 11-entrant, single elimination Third Chance event was won by Jose Mendes, who downed Juan Guzman, double hill, in the finals. Mendes pocketed $130. Guzman took home $90.

Tour director Tony Robles thanked Manny Stamatakis and his Steinway Billiards staff for their hospitality, as well as title sponsor Predator Cues, Ozone Billiards, PlayNAPL.com, The DeVito Team, PoolOnTheNet.com, Cappelle (BilliardsPress.com), AZBilliards, Pool & Billiard Magazine and Billiards Digest. He also thanked his own Predator Pro Am staff to include his lovely wife, Gail. The next stop on the Predator Pro Am Tour, scheduled for this coming weekend (Feb. 15-16), will be hosted by Raxx Billiards in West Hempstead, NY.

Schreiber goes undefeated to win last 2019 stop on the Tri-State Tour

(l to r): Thomas Schreiber & Victor Herrera

Thomas Schreiber splits his TOT (time on table) between work on the Tri-State and Predator Pro Am Tours and is a B player on both; second on the Predator Pro Am among B players (behind Pascal Dufresne) and third on the Tri-State behind Joe Mazzeo and Paul Madonia. Schreiber chalked up his second 2019 win on the year’s final Tri-State Tour stop on Sunday, December 29. The victory edged him closer to the top among the Tri-State’s B players because along the way, he defeated Joe Mazzeo, who finished in the three-way tie for 9th place. The $1,000-added event drew 44 entrants to Cue Bar in Bayside (Queens), NY.
 
Schreiber’s path went through Terry Mohabir and the tour’s #1-ranked female and C player, Michelle Brotons, before encountering Mazzeo and sending him to the loss side. He advanced to meet and defeat Emit Yolcu (who would go on to defeat Mazzeo on the loss side) and faced Rajkumar Persaud in one of the winners’ side semifinals. The other winners’ side semifinal featured the tour’s #4 B+ player (Eugene Ok) against its #2 C+ player (Bob Toomey).
 
Schreiber got into the hot seat match with a shutout over Persaud. He was joined by Ok, who’d sent Toomey to the loss side 7-2. Schreiber and Ok got locked up into a somewhat predictable double hill fight for the hot seat, eventually won by Schreiber.
 
On the loss side, the battle for 5th/6th featured replays of two of the winners’ side quarterfinals. Toomey ran right into a rematch against Alison Fischer, whom he’d sent to the loss side, double hill, in one of those winners’ side quarterfinals. She’d moved over and launched her loss-side campaign with a successful (6-3) win against Brotons and then, double hill, eliminated Elvis Rodriguez. Persaud walked into a rematch against Victor Herrera, who, in a quest to improve his #26 position among the tour’s C+ players, had eliminated Gil Costello 6-3 and Emit Yolcu (fresh off his elimination of Mazzeo) 7-4.
 
Herrera, on his five-match, loss-side way to the finals, downed Persaud 7-4 and in the quarterfinals, faced Toomey, who’d defeated Fischer 6-4. Herrera and Toomey fought tooth and nail (aka double hill) before Herrera prevailed and then leapfrogged over a semifinal match against Ok, who, due to work responsibilities, forfeited.
 
The final match see-sawed back and forth to a final and deciding game. Herrera missed a shot at the deciding 9-ball, which Schreiber obligingly dropped for him to claim the event title.
 
Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Cue Bar for their hospitality, as well as sponsors Ozone Billiards, Sterling-Gaming, Kamui Tips, Phil Capelle, Pool & Billiards, Professor Q Ball, Bender Cues, Paul Dayton Cues, Bludworth Ball Cleaner, Joe Romer Trophies and Quick Slick.         

Dufresne wins seven on the loss side to down Dayrit and win Amateur Tour Championship

(l to r): Alberto Estevez, Ryan Dayrit, Jose Kuilan & Pascal Dufresne

It’s been a good year for Pascal Dufresne, his best to-date, capped this past weekend (December 14-15) with a come-from-the-loss-side win at the 2019, $9,930-added Predator Pro Am Amateur Tour Championships, which drew 93 entrants to the event’s annual host, Raxx Billiards in West Hempstead, NY. Dufresne cashed in seven events this year; three on the Tri-State Tour, including two wins (April and September) and four on the Predator Pro Am Tour, including victories in March and this most recent event in the tour’s season finale. He also made an appearance at the 14:1 American Straight Pool Championships in October and though he failed to cash in the event, he was responsible for a computer program, utilized by the Billiards Sports Network that ran the event’s live stream that analyzed the performance of the event’s competitors.
 
Dufresne’s path to the winners’ circle began with back-to-back wins over Hector Torres and Chris Kelly, both 7-3, before he ran into Julie Ha, who moved his trip to the loss-side of the tracks with a 7-4 win. Ha moved on to a double hill win over Matthew Harricharan, which brought her to a winners’ side semifinal match against Alberto Estevez. Meanwhile, Ryan Dayrit, who’d gotten by Erick Carrasco 7-3, Brandonne Alli 7-1 and Ray Lee 7-4, chalked up two straight double hill wins over Pauls Carpenter and Lyons to arrive at a winners’ side semifinal match against Jim Gutierrez.
 
Ha locked up in a second straight double hill fight, against Estevez, but it was Estevez who moved on to the hot seat match. He was joined by Dayrit, who’d defeated Gutierrez 7-3. Dayrit claimed the hot seat and what proved to be his last win 7-4 over Estevez.
 
Ha moved to the loss side and ran into an immediate rematch against Dufresne, who’d chalked up loss side wins #3 and #4 against Matthew Harricharan, double hill, and Dave Shlemperis 7-2 to reach her. Gutierrez drew a rematch, as well, against Jose Kuilan, whom he’d sent to the loss side in a double hill, third round battle and who’d subsequently gone on to win three, almost four straight, loss-side double hill matches; against Irene Kim (6-5), Chris Ganley (6-5), Corey Avallone (6-5) and Ray Lee (6-4).
 
Dufresne and Kuilan mounted successful rematch campaigns and eliminated Ha and Gutierrez; Dufresne 7-3 over Ha and Kuilan 6-3 over Gutierrez. Dufresne then won the subsequent quarterfinal battle against Kuilan 7-4.
 
A double hill semifinal followed, with Dufresne prevailing over Estevez to earn his spot in the finals against Dayrit. In the extended race-to-9 battle, Dufresne reached his target ‘7’ ahead of Dayrit, extending the race, and added the two he needed to win it.
 
Robles thanked Holden Chin, Matthew Harricharan, Troy Deocharran, and Joshua Friedberg’s Raxx staff for their hospitality, his own Predator Pro Am staff (to include his lovely wife, Gail) and title sponsor Predator Cues, Ozone Billiards, PlayNAPL.com, The DeVito Team, PoolOnTheNet.com, Cappelle (BilliardsPress.com), AZBilliards, Pool & Billiard Magazine and Billiards Digest. The Predator Pro Am Tour will open its 2020 season at Steinway Billiards with an event scheduled for the weekend of January 18-19, 2020. 
 

The Iceman goes undefeated to win Predator Pro Am Open/Pro Championships

Robles wins 7 on the loss side and is runner-up for second straight year 

(l to r): Mike Salerno, Jorge Rodriguez, Mika Immonen & Tony Roble

Ten years ago, in what was reportedly his best earnings year ever, Finland’s Mika Immonen (aka The Iceman) cashed in a total of 29 events all over the world, 21 of which he finished as either the winner (13), the runner-up (4; to include his appearance on Europe’s Mosconi Cup team) or in third place (4). Six of his 13 victories that year were chalked up in the state of New York; he won a stop on the Tri-State Tour, two on the Joss NE 9-Ball Tour, and three on the Predator Pro Am Tour. Many of the cash winners in those three 2009 Predator events were present for the 2019 Tour Championships held on the weekend of December 14-15 at the event’s traditional location, Raxx Billiards in West Hempstead, NY. They included Jorge Rodriguez, Frankie Hernandez, Mhet Vergara and Tour Director Tony Robles, who, in the 2009 events won by Immonen, finished third in February, 5th in July and 9th in October. Notable, as always, in his absence from this year’s event was George “Ginky” Sansouci, who was 5th in that 2009 February event, 13th in July and tied with Robles for 9th in October.

The Predator Pro Am Tour’s defending Open/Pro Tour Champion and the 2018 runner-up met in this year’s semifinal; Jorge Rodriguez and Tony Robles, respectively. It was, though, Mika Immonen who became the 2019 champion, going undefeated through a field of 24 entrants, on-hand for the $1,000-added, 10-ball event at Raxx Billiards.

A concurrently-run, $9,930-added A/B/C/D Amateur event (separate story), which drew 93 entrants, was won by Pascal Dufresne, one of the tour’s 18 event winners this year. Sent to the loss side early, Dufresne won seven in a row before meeting and defeating hot seat occupant Ryan Dayrit in the finals.

For the second year in a row at the Open/Pro Championships, Rodriguez battled for the hot seat; last year, versus Robles, this year, against The Iceman. This year, Robles was sent to the loss side by Frankie Hernandez and like Dufresne in the Amateur event would win seven on that side of the bracket for the right to face Immonen in the finals.

Immonen advanced through the field to draw Joey Korsiak in one of the winners’ side semifinals. Rodriguez, in the meantime, faced Mike Salerno in the other one. Immonen gave up only a single rack to Korsiak and moved on to the hot seat match. He was joined by Rodriguez, who’d sent Salerono west 7-4. The Iceman and Rodriguez battled to a somewhat predictable double hill battle that eventually sent Rodriguez to the semifinals.

On the loss side, Robles chalked up wins #3 and #4 against John Francisco (7-2) and Mhet Vergara (double hill) to draw Korsiak. Salerno picked up Frankie Hernandez, who’d eliminated Jimmy Conn 7-2 and Jonathan Smith 7-3 to reach him. A potential rematch between Hernandez and Robles loomed in the shortly-distant quarterfinals.

Robles did what he could to affect that rematch with a 7-5 victory over Korsiak in the event’s first money round. Salerno, though, ended Hernandez’ weekend 7-4.

Robles downed Salerno 7-5 in the quarterfinals, setting up a repeat of the 2018 hot seat match and final; Robles versus Rodriguez. They split those two matches last year. Robles, winning the first one and Rodriguez, claiming the title in the finals. Robles earned his shot against The Iceman with a 7-2 win over Rodriguez in that semifinal matchup, guaranteeing himself at least a repeat, runner-up finish and a certainly possible finish as the Open/Pro Champion.

According to Robles, he lost that final matchup, early. He missed an early shot that he says he shouldn’t have missed and The Iceman used the resultant momentum to move on and win the match 7-4.

“I made one mistake in that final match,” said Robles later, “and it cost me.”

Robles thanked Holden Chin, Matthew Harricharan, Troy Deocharran, and Joshua Friedberg’s Raxx staff for their hospitality, his own Predator Pro Am staff (to include his lovely wife, Gail) and title sponsor Predator Cues, Ozone Billiards, PlayNAPL.com, The DeVito Team, PoolOnTheNet.com, Cappelle (BilliardsPress.com), AZBilliards, Pool & Billiard Magazine and Billiards Digest. The Predator Pro Am Tour will open its 2020 season at Amsterdam BIlliards with an event scheduled for the weekend of January 18-19, 2020

Austria’s Lechner, Finland’s Siekkinen and Spain’s Ruiz lead the pack at 14.1 Championships

Francisco Sanchez-Ruiz (Erwin Dionisio)

Three of the 2019 American 14:1 Straight Pool Championships’ competitors made it through the event’s three-day Round Robin phase (Oct. 22-24) with undefeated (6-0) records. They were arguably not the names you might have expected from this particular field of 42 entrants, which included six former winners of the championship title – Mika Immonen (2007), Johnny Archer (2011), John Schmidt (2012), Thorsten Hohmann (2013), Darren Appleton (’14 & ’15), and Neils Feijen (2016). Two-time runner up Danny Barouty (to Ed Hodan in 2006 and Bob Maidhof in 2008) was competing, as were runner-ups Shaun Wilkie (to Danny Harriman in 2010), John Schmidt (to Archer, 2011), Archer (to Hohmann, 2013), Hohmann (to Schmidt in 2012, Darren Appleton in 2015 & Klenti Kaci in 2018), Immonen (to Feijen in 2016) and Dennis Orcollo (to Konrad Juszczyszyn in 2017).
 
Instead, Austria’s Max Lechner, Finland’s Jan Siekkinen and Spain’s Francisco Sanchez-Ruiz went undefeated through the Round Robin phase of the event and were awarded a bye in the 24-entrant single elimination phase which began today (Friday) and will continue through tomorrow (Saturday) at Q Master Billiards in Virginia Beach, VA. Lechner was paired in his seven-entrant round robin flight and won his six race-to-125 matches by an average of 102 balls. He gave up, in order, one to David Alcaide, 66 to Marc Vidal, 24 to Tom Walter, seven to Blair Levandowski and 41 to Don Polo
 
Siekkinen competed in what was arguably the event’s toughest group of seven and went through Thorsten Hohmann (43), Johnny Archer (81), Lee Van Corteza (59), Sean Morgan (21), Neil Gold (65) and Pascal Dufresne (44); an average of 52. Ruiz got by John Schmidt (66), Petri Makkonen (25), Bob Hunter (55), Mike Badsteubner (27), Reymart Lim (72) and Michael Frank (-1); average of 40.
 
The remaining five competitors to receive opening round byes into single elimination were all 5-1 in the round robin competition. Ruslan Chinakhov lost his opening round match to Neils Feijen, one of two matches that Feijen won by shutout, 125-0 (the other was against Bob Madenjian). Chinakhov went on to down Albin Ouschan, Ralph Eckert and deliver a second shutout to Madenjian, before defeating Holden Chin and Darren Frank. Dennis Orcollo lost his opening match to Darren Appleton in one of the round robin’s closest games, 125-116. Orcollo went on to meet and defeat Maksim Dudanets, Marco Teutscher, Danny Barouty, Earl Herring and Steve Matthieu.
 
Feijen was the only member of this year’s European Mosconi Cup team who competed in this event, and while he did chalk up two shutout victories, he did lose his opening match to Albin Ouschan 125-44. In addition to the shutouts, he defeated Ralph Eckert, Holden Chin and D. Frank. The sport’s acknowledged comedian, Alex Pagulayan opened the round robin proceedings against Mika Immonen, and together, they produced the round robin’s official closest game, won by The Lion 125-119. Pagulayan went on to defeat Max Eberle before losing his one match to Shaun Wilkie in another close match 125-104. He finished with victories over Michael Yednak, Steve Lillis and Jay McWorter.
  
As noted above, Immonen’s path to his 5-1 round robin record began with a defeat by Pagulayan. The Iceman would go on to down Eberle, Wilkie, Yednak, Lillis and McWorter.
 
Friday morning competition in the single elimination phase saw eight matches scheduled. Five of the 16 competitors had also logged 5-1 records in the round robin phase; tie breakers were head-to-head results and beyond that, total ball counts. John Schmidt was scheduled to face Maksim Dudanets, who finished the round robin phase with a 3-3 record. The marquee match was likely to be Albin Ouschan (5-1) against Johnny Archer (4-2), who closed out Thursday evening’s matches with a necessary win of Sean Morgan that gave him the record he needed to advance.
 
The Darren Appleton (5-1) and Shaun Wilkie (4-2) combination was garnering interest and was selected as the Billiard Sports Network’s Friday morning choice for live broadcast. Ralf Souquet, competing in the round robin flight with the 6-0 Lechner, advanced with his 5-1 match record to face Reymart Lim (3-3). Marco Teutscher (5-1) was scheduled to face Ralph Eckert (3-3). 
 
Remaining matches pitted Lee Van Corteza against Petri Makkonen, Thorsten Hohmann versus Marc Vidal, and David Alcaide squaring off against Max Eberle. 
 

Schmidt Leads American 14.1 Straight Pool Championship Day One

John Schmidt (File photo courtesy of Dave Thomson – Medium Pool)

The 2019 American 14.1 Straight Pool Championship is underway at Q-Master Billiards in Virginia Beach, Virginia with an all-star field of straight pool aficionados. 
 
The first three days of the event feature six groups of eight competitors playing round robin races to 125. John Schmidt, in his first tournament since his historic run of 626 balls back in June, is a perfect 2-0 with dominant wins over Bobby Hunter and Reymart Lim. Schmidt’s 2-0 record has him at the top of his group, tied with Spaniard Francisco Sanchez-Ruiz
 
The man of the week, Thorsten Hohmann, is fresh off his second straight tournament win, but he dropped a day one match to Finland’s Jani Siekkinen 125-43. Hohmann did defeat Niel Gold in his other Tuesday match to turn in a 1-1 record for the day. Siekkinen defeated Pascal Dufresne in his other Tuesday match and is undefeated at 2-0. 
 
Other undefeated players after day one are Dennis Orcollo, Marco Teutscher, Niels Feijen, Ralf Souquet and Alex Pagulayan
 
After two more days of round robin play, the top four players from each group will advance to a 24 player single elimination bracket on Friday. 
 
Straight pool fans who can’t attend the event in person can watch free streaming coverage online at Billiard Sports Network.

Melendez goes undefeated* to claim his second Tri-State Tour title

(l to r): Juan Melendez & Matt Klein

With his victory* on the Tri-State Tour’s October 13 stop at the Spot in Nanuet, NY, his second overall on the tour, Juan Melendez made 2019 his best earnings year to date, surpassing his 2017 earnings, when he won his first Tri-State event. Going into the $1,250-added, Double Points event that drew 49 entrants to The Spot, Melendez was the Tri-State Tour’s #10-ranked C-Class player. In what proved to be his final match, vying for the hot seat, he downed the tour’s #5-ranked B+ Class player, Matt Klein. The two opted out of a final match.
 
Melendez was challenged early and just did survive a double hill fight against Ada Lio in the event’s opening round. He advanced to down Amanda Andries 6-3 and Suzzie Wong 6-1 to draw Brandone Alli in one of the winners’ side semifinals. Klein, in the meantime, squared off against Pascal Dufresne in the other one.
 
Melendez sent Alli to the loss side 6-4, as Klein was sending Dufresne over 7-5. In what proved to be the title match, Melendez claimed the hot seat 8-5 over Klein.
 
On the loss side, Dufresne picked up H. Marcelo (Mars) Adinolfi, who had defeated Joe Mazzeo and Desi DeRado, both 7-3, to reach him. Alli drew Adrian Daniel, who’d recently chalked up two straight double hill wins over Jim Gutierrez and Suzzie Wong.
 
Adinolfi and Daniel handed Dufresne and Alli their second straight loss; Adinolfi, 7-4 over Dufresne and Daniel, 6-3 over Alli. Adinolfi took one more loss-side step with a 7-5 win over Daniel in the quarterfinals.
 
Adinolfi gave Klein all he could handle in the semifinals that followed. They battled to double hill before Klein ended the match, and in effect, the event 7-6. Klein and Melendez agreed on the split of the top two cash prizes and Melendez came away with the official event title.
 
Tour representatives thanked Rhys Chen and his staff at The Spot for their hospitality, as well as sponsors Ozone Billiards, Sterling-Gaming, Kamui, Phil Capelle, Bloodworth Ball Cleaner, Billiard Engineering, Pool & Billiards, Professor Q Ball, Bender Cues and Pool & Billiards. The next stop on the Tri-State Tour, scheduled for Sunday, October 20, will be hosted by Shooter’s Family Billiards in Wayne, NJ. 

Jimenez breaks through to win his first Tri-State stop in five years

Greg Matos and Luis Jimenez

Luis Jimenez just made 2019 his best earnings year at the tables to date, according to our records. His previous best was in 2013 when he won two stops on the Tri-State Tour and cashed in seven more. The following year, he won only once at a Tri-State stop at Gotham City Billiards. He finished in the money on four Predator Pro Am stops that year and only one other on the Tri-State Tour. Some lean years at the table followed, including 2018, when he finished in the Tri-State Tour money only once. This year, he’s already cashed in 11 stops on the Tri-State Tour and three on the Predator Pro Am Tour, which have included three runner-up finishes on the Tri-State in March, July and last week (Sunday, Sept. 22). On Sunday, September 29, at a $1,000-added Tri-State 10-ball event that drew 25 entrants to Shooter’s Family Billiards in Wayne, NJ, Jimenez broke through and went undefeated to chalk up his first 2019 Tri-State victory. The first-place prize of $475 put Jimenez $25 over what he earned in all of 2013. And he’s still got three months to go.
 
Jimenez faced separate opponents in the hot seat and finals of this one. Following victories over Kevin Kemp, Jaydev Zaveri (double hill) and Ashley Burrows, Jimenez would face Paul Madonia in one of the winners’ side semifinals. In the meantime, his eventual opponent in the finals, Greg Matos, would square off against Mike Strassberg in the other one. Jimenez shut Madonia out, as Strassberg was sending Matos to the loss side 5-3. As he’d done last weekend, Jimenez claimed the hot seat, here downing Strassberg 6-2.
 
On the loss side, Madonia drew Joe Mazzeo, who’d defeated Jeff Martinez 6-4 and last week’s winner, Pascal Dufresne 6-2 to reach him. Matos picked up Dax Druminski, who’d recently eliminated Vinny Mistry 5-2 and Mac Jankov, double hill.
 
Matos earned himself a re-match against Strassberg with a 6-2 victory over Madonia in the quarterfinals. He followed that with a successful reverse-of-earlier score rematch 5-3 over Strassberg in the semifinals. 
 
No doubt with thoughts of the previous week’s tournament still very much alive, Jimenez once again prepared to chalk up his first 2019 Tri-State victory. Matos didn’t make it easy. They battled to double hill before Jimenez dropped the last 10-ball to claim the event title.
 
Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Shooter’s Family Billiards, as well as sponsors Ozone Billiards, Sterling-Gaming, Kamui Tips, Phil Capelle, Pool & Billiards, Professor Q Ball, Bender Cues, Paul Dayton Cues, Bludworth Ball Cleaner, Joe Romer Trophies and Quick Slick. The next stop on the Tri-State Tour, scheduled for Sunday, October 6, will be hosted by Steinway Billiards in Astoria (Queens), NY.