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Rodriguez takes two out of three over Ramirez to claim Predator Tri-State title

Roberto Rodriguez and Lidio Ramirez

They played three times, once in the hot seat match and twice in the finals. Each match came down to a single, deciding game. Lidio Ramirez took the first match, sending Rodriguez to the semifinals. Rodriguez came back to double-dip Ramirez in the finals to win this past weekend’s (June 11-12) stop on the Predator Tri-State Tour. The $1,000-added event drew 36 entrants to Cue Bar in Bayside, Queens, NY. 

Separately, they worked their way through the field to arrive at a winners’ side semifinal match; Ramirez versus Silvestre Palacios and Rodriguez against Paul Lyons. Ramirez sent Palacios to the loss side 7-5, while Rodriguez gave up only a single rack to Lyons, downing him 6-1 to join Ramirez in the hot seat match. Their first of three got underway and moved to its 18th game before Ramirez dropped the 9-ball in the 19th game and claimed the hot seat.

On the loss side, Palacios picked up Hunter Sullivan, who’d defeated Adrian Daniel and Luis Jimenez, both 7-5, to reach him. Lyons drew Euryel Castillo, who’d recently eliminated Jason Goberdhan 7-5 and Linda Cheung 8-3. 

Palacios sent Sullivan home 7-3 and waited for Lyons to complete a double hill win over Castillo to join him in the quarterfinals. Palacios took that quarterfinal match 7-3, only to have his loss-side winning streak stopped at two wins by Rodriguez in the semifinals 8-5. 

The true double elimination finals were on. They battled back and forth to double hill and Rodriguez brought their match count to 1-1. They fought to double hill in the second set and Rodriguez finished it to claim the event title.

Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Cue Bar for their hospitality, as well as title sponsor Predator Cues, Ozone Billiards, Sterling-Gaming, Kamui Tips, Phil Capelle, Pool & Billiards, Professor Q Ball, Bender Cues, Paul Dayton Cues, Bloodworth Ball Cleaner, Joe Romer Trophies and Quick Slick. The next stop on the Predator Tri-State Tour, scheduled for the weekend of June 25-26, will be the Predator Tri-State’s Annual Invitational Tournament, to be hosted by Steinway Billiards in Astoria (Queens), NY. 

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Hohmann backs up Steinway Classic title with NYC Singles 8-Ball Championship title

Tony Robles, Thorsten Hohmann and Tournament Director John Leyman (Erwin Dionisio)

Soto, Rosario, Sugiyama, Musser and Karwas win other division 8-ball titles
 
Three days after winning the 7th Steinway Classic in a thrilling, double hill final match against Fedor Gorst (Oct. 17), Thorsten Hohmann, at the same location, won the Grand Master Division of the NYC 8-Ball Championships (Oct. 20) with a slightly less dramatic 6-1 finals victory over Ruslan Chinakhov. The Grand Master division of the annual event, which drew 22 entrants to Steinway, was one of six division 8-ball tournaments held on the weekend of October 19-20. In all, under the sponsorship of Michael Fedak, the NYC Singles 8-Ball Championships added $15,000, divided among the six divisions, which drew 151 unique entrants.
 
It was Jose Soto who won in the 16-entrant Mixed Master’s Division, Abel Rosario in the 32-entrant Mixed Advanced Division, Akiko Sugiyama in the 32-entrant Women’s Leisure Division, and Maxwell Musser in the 32-entrant Men’s Leisure Division. The largest field, 48 entrants, was the Mixed Open Division, won by Sebastian Karwas.
 
Hohmann’s path to the winners’ circle in the Grand Masters event went through Chinakhov twice. He opened with a double hill win over Joey Korsiak and then, sent Chinakhov to the loss side 6-4. Hohmann then defeated Del Sim 6-4, to draw Damianos Giallourakis in one of the winners’ side semifinals. Nick Ekonomopoulos in the meantime, after being awarded an opening round bye, downed the Steinway Classic’s runner-up, Fedor Gorst 6-2 and Jalal Yousef 6-4 to draw Jimmy Rivera in the other winners’ side semifinal.
 
Hohmann defeated Giallourakis 6-3 and in the hot seat match, faced Ekonomopoulos, who’d sent Rivera west 6-1. Hohmann claimed the hot seat 6-3 and waited on the return of Chinakhov.
 
On the loss side, Chinakhov was working on a seven-match, loss-side winning streak that would give him a second chance against Hohmann. He got by Raphael Dabreo 6-2, Ryan Hsu 6-4, Tony Robles 6-2 and survived a double fight versus Burgos to draw Giallourakis, coming over from the winners’ side semifinal. Rivera picked up Roland Garcia, who after being defeated by Giallourakis ended Gorst’s run 6-1 and  by the same score, Del Sim’s.
 
Chinakhov and Giallourakis battled to double hill before Chinakhov advanced to the quarterfinals. He was joined by Garcia, who’d eliminated Rivera 6-2. Chinakhov took the quarterfinal match 6-2.
 
He completed his loss-side run with a double hill win over Ekonomopoulos in the semifinals. Hohmann, though, shut Chinakhov down early in the finals and completed his undefeated run with a 6-1 victory over Chinakhov.
 
Soto is the only competitor to come from the loss side to win Mixed Masters Division
 
Five of the six divisions of the NYC Singles 8-Ball Championships featured winners who went undefeated through their respective fields. Jose Soto, in the smallest field (16), competing in the Mixed Masters division, was the only competitor to win a division by coming from the loss side to defeat the hot seat occupant. And he did so, by losing in his first round and winning six loss-side matches to down Cesar Turcios in the finals.
 
Soto lost 5-1 to Tim Edmonds in the opening round of play. Edmonds was subsequently defeated by Brooke Meyers, who advanced to face Turcios in the hot seat match. Turcios claimed the hot seat in a double hill win over Meyers. On the loss side, three of the six matches Soto played, forced him to play a single deciding game to advance; matches against Eddie Kunz, Matthew Harricharan and his quarterfinal match against Miguel Laboy. Soto downed Meyers 6-3 in the semifinals and then, claimed the title with an 8-4 win over Turcios.
 
The largest field of 48, in the Mixed Open division, was won by Sebastian Karwas, who went undefeated. It took Karwas as many matches on the winners’ side of the Mixed Open bracket to claim the title, as it took Soto on both sides of the Mixed Masters bracket to win his. Karwas got by Jim Gutierrez, Keith Stefanowitz, Omar Chavez, Alex Kent and Marco Daniele to face Paul Lyons in the hot seat match. He claimed the hot seat 6-1 over Lyons, who moved to the loss side and downed Daniele in the semifinals 5-3. Karwas took their second match 6-4 to claim the title.
 
Rosario and Schreiber battle it out for Mixed Advanced title
 
Two of the New York area’s better competitors in their respective ranking divisions battled twice to claim the 32-entrant Mixed Advanced title. Abel Rosario and Thomas Schreiber hold top positions in the standings of both the Tri-State and Predator Pro Am Tours. Rosario is #10 on the Tri-State’s A+/A standings list and the #3 B+ player on the Predator Pro Am Tour. Schreiber is #5 on the Tri-State’s list of B players and # 2 on the Predator Pro Am Tour’s list of B players.
 
After four victories each, they met first in the hot seat match. Rosario claimed the hot seat 6-3. Schreiber moved to the loss side and downed Matthew Rezendes 5-1. He and Rosario fought to an appropriate double hill game 11 before Rosario finished it to claim the title.
 
In the 32-entrant Women’s Leisure division, Akiko Sugiyama won five straight to claim that title. She faced Melissa Schleifer twice and gave up only a single rack over the two matches; that one, coming in Sugiyama’s victory in the hot seat match. Schleifer shut Debra Pritchett out in the semifinals, but punctuating her undefeated run through the field, Sugiyama shut Schleifer out in the finals.
 
Completing the six-tournament event, it was Maxwell Musser, who went undefeated through the 32-entrant Men’s Leisure field. Musser faced separate opponents in the hot seat and finals, defeating Brian Schell to claim the hot seat, and after Henry Chan had downed Schell double hill in the semifinals, Musser shut him out to take the title.
 
As always, event director Tony Robles thanked Manny Stamatakis and his Steinway Billiards staff for their hospitality, as well as Dr. Michael Fedak for his continuing financial support for this event (Fedak finished in the tie for 13th place in the Mixed Open tournament). Robles also noted sponsorship support from Predator Cues, and Blatt Billiards. According to Robles, the 2020 NYC 8-Ball Championships are going to be even better. It’s being planned as a three-day event on Columbus Day weekend and Dr. Fedak will be adding $20,000.
 
“This event wouldn’t be possible without the support of Michael and Marilyn Fedak,” said Robles.

Watanabe comes back from semifinals to down Torres in finals of Predator Pro Am stop

(l to r): Hector Torres, Max Watanabe, Kanami Chau & Abel Rosario

Max Watanabe had his best earnings year to date in 2018 and though he has a way to go to catch up and make 2019 an even better year, he’s doing what he needs to do to make that happen. Last week (August 4), he went undefeated at a stop on the Tri-State Tour, downing Dave Shlemperis twice. This week, on Sunday, August 11 at a $1,000-added Predator Pro Am Tour stop at Steinway Billiards that drew 64 entrants, he got sent to the loss side by Hector Torres in the battle for the hot seat and came back to defeat Torres in the finals. If you’re making a move to improve the second half of any given year, there’s nothing like back-to-back tour victories to signal that you’re on the right track.
 
Watanabe’s trip was almost derailed at the outset, as he opened his campaign with two double hill wins; one against Vinko Rumora and a second against Jose Estevez. He got a little traction with a 7-2 win over Miguel Laboy and a 7-4 victory over Elvis Rodriguez, which set him up in a winners’ side semifinal match against Abel Rosario. Hector Torres, in the meantime, got by Ron Bernardo, Paul Lyons, and Brandonne Alli before having to survive a double hill win over Mike Callaghan, which set him (Torres) up to face Ray Lee in the other winners’ side semifinal.
 
Torres downed Lee 7-1, while Watanabe locked up in his third double hill battle of the weekend against Rosario and won it. He survived three double hill matches out of five he played to get to the hot seat match, but Watanabe didn’t have an ‘answer’ for Torres, who defeated him 8-1 to claim the hot seat.
 
Over on the loss side, Ray Lee ran into an immediate rematch against Kanami Chau, who’d been defeated by him in a winners’ side quarterfinal and then chalked up two straight double hill wins, over Ryan Dayrit and Joe Morace, to face him a second time. Rosario picked up Luis Jimenez, who was working on a four-match, loss-side winning streak that had most recently included a 7-3 win over Chris Kelly and a double hill victory over Jaydev Zaveri.
 
Chau chalked up her third straight double hill win and advanced to the quarterfinals over Lee. She was joined by Rosario, who’d ended Jimenez’ loss-side run, double hill, as well. Seven of the tour stop’s final 14 matches required a single deciding game.
 
The quarterfinal match between Rosario and Chau came within a game of double hill, but Rosario edged out in front to take it 9-7. Watanabe, though, anxious apparently for a second shot at Torres in the hot seat, gave up only a single rack to Rosario in the semifinals that followed.
 
Watanabe took full advantage of that second shot. He downEd Torres 10-7 in the final to claim his second straight event title in as many weeks.
 
A Second Chance event drew 14 entrants. Elvis Rodriguez and Irene Kim advanced through the single elimination bracket to meet each other in the finals. Rodriguez had defeated Duc Lam to play in the finals. Kim had eliminated Akiko Taniyama to join him. Rodriguez took home the top $140 prize, after downing Kim 11-6 in the finals. Kim took home the $100 second prize, while Lam and Taniyama pocketed $20 each.
 
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 & Billiards Magazine and Billiards Digest. The Predator Pro Am Tour will return to Steinway Billiards on Labor Day weekend (Aug. 31 – Sept. 2) for the $3,000-added ($1,500 Amateur, $1,500 Pro) Eastern States Championships.

Guzman goes undefeated to take his first Predator Pro Am title in three years

(l to r): Ramilo Tanglao, Juan Guzman, Esteban Morell and Eli Trajceski

In 2016, Juan Guzman chalked up four event titles, two each on the Predator Pro Am and Tri-State Tours and was runner-up to Tony Liang in an event co-sponsored by the two tours, the 6th Annual George “Ginky” Sansouci Memorial. The year was, not surprisingly, his best earnings year since he began appearing in the AZBilliards database back in 2009. His participation has lagged a bit in the past couple of years, although there’s no real way to distinguish between a drop in participation or just a drop in his advancement to cash winnings. Either way, on the weekend of April 13-14, at a $1,000-added stop on the Predator Pro Am Tour, Guzman went undefeated to capture his first event title since he won a stop on the Tri-State Tour last June. The event drew 81 entrants to Steinway Billiards in Astoria (Queens), NY.
 
Guzman faced separate opponents in the hot seat and finals of this event, although he did meet and defeat Eli Trajceski twice. The first time was in a winners’ side semifinal. Guzman sent Trajceski to the loss side 8-6 and in the hot seat match, faced Esteban Morell, who’d sent Corey Avallone to the loss side 7-4.
 
Guzman and Morell battled to double hill in the struggle for the hot seat, but Guzman claimed it.
 
Over on the loss side, Trajceski picked up Shawn Sookhai, who’d defeated Eugene Ok 7-1 and Duc Lam 7-2 to reach him. Avallone drew Ramilo Tanglao, who’d recently picked up a forfeit win over Paul Lyons and then, ended a seven-match, loss-side winning streak by Debra Pritchett 7-4.
 
Tanglao and Avallone locked up in a double hill fight that eventually sent Tanglao to the quarterfinals. He was joined by Trajceski, who’d eliminated Sookhai 7-2.
 
Tanglao ended up on the wrong side of his second straight double hill match, which sent Trajceski to the semifinals. There, a 7-3 win over Morell gave Trajceski a second shot at Guzman.
 
As it had in their previous matchup in the winners’ side semifinal, the final came within a game of double hill, but Guzman prevailed a second time to claim the event title.
 
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 (Billiards Press), AZBilliards, Pool & Billiards Magazine, and Billiards Digest. Robles also thanked his always-supportive cast of assistants, to include his lovely wife, Gail.
 
Although it did so this weekend, the Predator Pro Am Tour will not be returning to Steinway Billiards for its next stop (#8), scheduled for the weekend of May 18-19. That event will be the first in the tour’s history to be restricted to C/D players. According to Robles, participation has been on the rise at stops on the Predator Pro Am Tour and while room owners are generally encouraged by large numbers of participants at events, there have recently been a few stops that have featured too much of a good thing; player numbers exceeding a room’s general capacity and its ability to complete a given event within a limited time frame. The restriction to C/D players is designed to address that issue when the C/D players gather at Gotham City Billiards on the weekend of May 18-19. 

From the loss side, Villalobos downs Yu in Predator Pro Am final to win his first stop on tour

(l to r): Rene Villalobos, Elvis Rodriguez, Amy Yu & Paul Carpenter

When Rene Villalobos stepped to the tables during the Oct. 27-28 stop on the Predator Pro Am Tour, he hadn’t cashed in a Predator event in over two and half years. In his last previous outing (March, 2016), he finished as runner-up to Arturo Reyes, who came within two matches of meeting him in this most recent semifinal. He had also yet to win a stop on the tour since he began competing in 2009. Villalobos’ battle for the hot seat in this most recent event was spoiled by the tour’s #2-ranked female and #2-ranked C+ player, Amy Yu. He returned from the semifinals to down Yu in the finals and claim the title. The $1,000-added event drew 76 entrants to Spin City Billiards in Queens, NY.
 
Villalobos and Yu advanced to the winners’ side semifinals, with Villalobos pitted against Elvis Rodriguez, and Yu facing Paul Carpenter. Yu sent Carpenter to the loss side 7-5, as Villalobos sent Rodriguez over 8-2. Yu claimed the hot seat 7-2 and waited on Villalobos’ return.
 
On the loss side, Carpenter and Rodriguez met up with Paul Lyons and Arturo Reyes, respectively. Lyons had downed Bob Toomey 7-4 and Ryan Dayrit 7-3 to reach Carpenter. Reyes had eliminated last week’s tour stop winner, Matthew Harricharan 7-4 and in a double hill battle, Bryan Toolsee.
 
Carpenter and Lyons locked up in double hill fight that eventually sent Carpenter to the quarterfinals. Rodriguez downed Reyes 7-2 to join him. At the start of those quarterfinals, a handicap advantage for Rodriguez gave Carpenter ‘five on the wire’ in a race to 10. Carpenter added two to his initial five, while Rodriguez chalked up the 10 he needed to advance to the semifinals.
 
Villalobos duplicated his effort against Rodriguez in the winners’ side semifinal and defeated him again 8-2. Villalobos, in a potentially extended race-to-11 final, chalked up the nine he needed to defeat Yu 9-4 and claim the event title.
 
A Second Chance event drew 11 entrants and saw Max Watanabe down Duc Lam in the finals to claim that title. Matthew Klein downed Marisol Palacios in the finals of a Third Chance event that drew eight entrants.
 
Tour director Tony Robles thanked the ownership and staff of Spin City Billiards for hosting the event, as well as title sponsor Predator Cues, Ozone Billiards, PlayNAPL.com, The DeVito Team, PoolOnTheNet.com, Cappelle (BilliardsPress.com), AZBilliards, Pool & Billiard Magazine, Billiards Digest and offered special thanks, as well, to tour assistants Thomas Schreiber, Marisol Palacios and Ambi Estevez
 
Though not an official stop on the Predator Pro Am Tour, Robles’ Silent Assassin Productions will present the $12,000-added, 5th Annual NYC 8-Ball Championships, sponsored by Michael Fedak on the weekend of Nov. 3-4. The event will feature five divisions of play – Men’s Leisure,   Women’s Leisure, Mixed Open, Mixed Advanced, Mixed Masters and Grand Masters (Pro). The $12,000-added will be divided proportionately among the five divisions. The next regular stop on the Predator Pro Am Tour, scheduled for the weekend of Nov. 17-18, will be hosted by Cue Bar in Bayside, Queens.

Hernandez comes from the loss side to win Pro Division of Eastern States Championships

Open/Pro winners (l to r): Mike Dechaine, Annie Flores, Jorge Rodriguez & Frankie Hernandez

Osipov loses first match to Nau, wins 9 on the loss side to down him in finals of Amateur event
 
The names were all familiar ‘Eastern States’ competitors, recognizeable, for the most part, by their last names – Rodriguez, Hernandez, Dechaine in the Pro event, and Osipov, Nau and Ortiz in the Amateur event. It was Frankie Hernandez who emerged as the Pro event winner of the 2018 Eastern States Championships (Stop #12 on the Predator Pro Am Tour), while Alex Osipov took the Amateur title. Both came from the loss side to complete their title run and defeated the competitor who’d sent them there; Hernandez winning three on that side of the bracket, before meeting and defeating Jorge Rodriguez in the finals, while Osipov, who lost his opening match, won nine on the loss side before meeting and defeating the man who’d sent him there, Victor Nau. The $3,000-added event ($1,000 in the Pro event, $2,000 in the Amateur) drew 23 Pro competitors and 75 Amateurs to Steinway Billiards in Astoria (Queens), NY.
 
Hernandez, Rodriguez and the semi-retired Dechaine were three of the four players in the two winners’ side semifinals of the Pro event, with Rodriguez battling Hernandez and Dechaine squaring off against Rob Pole. Rodriguez got into the hot seat match with an 8-5 win that sent Hernandez to the loss side, where he was joined by Pole, who’d been defeated by Dechaine 8-3. Rodriguez claimed the hot seat 8-6 over Dechaine and waited on the return of Hernandez.
 
On the loss side, Hernandez picked up Pat Fleming, who’d eliminated Mike Salerno 8-2 and Predator Pro Am Tour Director Tony Robles 8-3. Pole drew Rhio Anne (Annie) Flores, making a strong showing in this Pro event, and winning two straight double hill matches, against Mike (Fingers) Badsteubener and wily Predator veteran, Mhet Vergara, to reach Pole.
 
Annie Flores moved into the first-money-round quarterfinal with an 8-3 win over Pole, where she was joined by Hernandez, who’d sent Fleming home 8-5. Flores’ bid for further advancement was halted abruptly by Hernandez, who shut her out. Hernandez then won five matches in a row on his way to an 8-2 victory over Dechaine in the semifinals. He completed his run with a successful rematch against Rodriguez 11-8.
 
Osipov spends all but one match on the loss side and in finals, downs the man who sent him over
 
Alex Osipov, who’s in the midst of his best earnings year, to date (since 2011), came to the 2018 Eastern States Championships with two Amateur victories and one Pro event victory on the Predator Tour this year. Two of those three victories – the single Pro and one of the Amateur events – were chalked up within the last month. So he came, as it were, prepared, though not for being sent to the loss side by Victor Nau in the opening round. Apparently not willing to settle for a short weekend, he worked his way through nine matches on the loss side (including one forfeit win) to eventually meet and defeat Nau in the finals.
 
With Osipov at work on the loss side, Nau advanced to a winners’ side semifinal against Miguel Laboy. Raphael Ortiz, in the meantime, squared off against Luis Carrasco in the other one. Nau sent Laboy to a match against Osipov with a 7-4 win, and in the hot seat match, faced Ortiz, who’d sent Carrasco over 7-2. Nau claimed the hot seat with a forfeit by Ortiz, which meant that the winner of the quarterfinals would be leap-frogging over the semifinals and move directly into the finals.
 
On the loss side, Osipov chalked up loss-side wins #5 and #6 against Paul Everton 8-3 and Mario Lozano 9-7 to pick up Laboy. Carrasco drew Paul Lyons, who’d recently eliminated Ray Feliciano 7-2 and Suzzie Wong (the #2-ranked female on the Predator Pro Am Tour) 7-3. Osipov and Lyons handed Laboy and Carrasco their second straight loss; Osipov 7-4 over Laboy and Lyons 7-2 over Carrasco.
 
Knowing that winning the quarterfinal match would propel them directly into the finals, Osipov and Lyons both put up a fight. With Osipov, who came into the event as the tour’s #1-ranked A+ player and Lyons at #14 among the tour’s C+ players, Lyons began the quarterfinal race to 10 with five ‘on the wire’ already. He won his four to reach the hill, but Osipov won his nine to be there as well. Osipov closed it out and turned for his re-match against Nau.
 
In the straight-up-extended race to 9 final (Nau came into the event at #7 among the tour’s A+ players), Osipov, coming from the loss side, had to be the first to win seven racks to extend the race. He did so and went on to claim the Eastern States Championship’s Amateur title with a 9-4 win.
 
In a full field, 16-entrant, single elimination Second Chance event, Ambi Estevez picked up the first place, $150 prize, after winning a double hill final against Akiko Taniyama, who went home with a $100, runner up prize. Ron Bernardo and Freity DeLaRosa finished in the tie for third place and pocketed $30 each.
 
Tour director Tony Robles thanked Manny Stamatakis and his Steinway Billiards staff for their hospitality, along with title sponsor Predator Cues, PoolOnTheNet.com, NAPL, Cappelle (BilliardsPress.com), Ozone Billiards and the DeVito Team. The next stop on the Predator Tour (#13), scheduled for Sept. 15-16, will feature a $750-added, Double Points Amateur event and a $250-added Pro event, to be hosted by Cue Bar in Bayside (Queens), NY.

O’Callaghan goes undefeated to take Predator stop at Steinway

Troy Deocharran, Shawn Sookhai, Gary O’Callaghan and Greg Matos

The missing link had a way of influencing the outcome. On Labor Day weekend, at Steinway Billiards in Astoria, Queens, one of the remaining 12 competitors, out of 63 that had registered to compete in the $1,000-added stop on the Predator Tour, forfeited a winners’ side semifinal match. The ripple effect gave Greg Matos a pass into the hot seat match, and later, gave Troy Deocharran a pass into the quarterfinals. Benefiting in one way or another from both of those matches, Gary O’Callaghan, whose last known tour victory was on the Tri-State Tour, four years ago, went undefeated to claim the event title.
 
As noted above, the ‘missing link,’ (Paul Lyons) forfeited  his winners’ side semifinal match to Greg Matos, while O’Callaghan was busy sending Basdeo “Shawn” Sookhai to the loss side 8-3 in the other one. As an Amateur event, all of the matches were handicapped, including the hot seat match, which, in a race to 10, gave Matos five racks to start with. He chalked up three more, but O’Callaghan reached 10, claimed the hot seat and waited there for Matos to get back from the semifinals.
 
On the loss side, Troy Deocharran, who’d survived a double hill encounter versus Jessica Lynn, and defeated Jason Carandan 7-4, drew Lyons, whose forfeiture, advanced Deocharran to the quarterfinals. He was joined by Basdeo “Shawn” Sookhai, who’d drawn Duc Lam, fresh off victories over Rhio “Annie” Flores 8-6 and Max Watanabe 7-4. Sookhai took the quarterfinal match 7-3 over Deocharran, only to have his own loss-side effort for a re-match against O’Callaghan derailed by Matos in the semifinals 8-6.
 
With the same handicap in place, Matos opened the finals with five on the wire, and didn’t add any. O’Callaghan chalked up his 10, and grabbed the event title.
 
The Labor Day weekend tour stop offered two Second Chance tournaments. The first, which drew 16 entrants was won by Robert Pole, who downed Cristobal Tiru 9-7 in the finals. The second (which, of course, would technically be the third) drew a smaller crowd of 10 and was won by Mike Salerno, who beat Bob Toomey 11-9 in those finals. Competitors in the Second Chance events boosted the total entrants at the tour stop to 89.
 
Tour director Tony Robles thanked Manny Stamatakis and his staff at Steinway Billiards, as well as title sponsor Predator Cues, the NAPL, Ozone Billiards, PoolOnTheNet.Com, Cappelle Publishing, and Delta-13 Racks. Robles also acknowledged the continuing support and assistance of Mandy Wu (ass’t TD), Irene Kim, and his “lovely wife,” Gail Robles. The next stop on the Predator Tour, scheduled for September 16-17, will be a $1,000-added Amateur event, hosted by Cue Bar in Bayside, Queens.
 

Shlemperis returns to the Predator Tour stage, comes from the loss side to claim event title

Eugene Ok, Elvis Rodriguez and Dave Shlemperis

The last time we reported on Dave Shlemperis' appearance in the winners' circle of a tour event (in June 2016), we noted that he'd had something of a 'dry' year, which, to the point of the report on a Predator Tour stop, had failed to include a win. He only cashed twice in 2016; winning once and finishing (a month later) in a tie for 7th place, both on the Predator Tour. Well, he's back, and in a February 11-12 appearance on the Predator Tour, he won seven on the loss side and downed hot seat occupant, Elvis Rodriguez in the finals. The $1,000-added event drew 54 entrants to the Cue Bar in Bayside (Queen), NY.
 
Shlemperis was sent to the loss side, in a double hill battle, by Rhio "Annie" Flores, who advanced to a winners' side semifinal against Rodriguez, who was the winner, coming from the loss side, on the previous week's (Feb. 5) stop on the Tri-State Tour. Eugene Ok, in the meantime, squared off against KC Clayton. Rodriguez downed Flores 7-4, and in the hot seat match, faced Ok, who'd sent Clayton to the loss side 7-3. Rodriguez claimed the hot seat and his last match win of the weekend with an 8-6 victory over Ok.
 
On the loss side, Shlemperis was four matches into his seven-match, loss-side winning streak, having downed, most recently, Tim Fitzsimmons 7-5, and Tom Hagan, double hill, to earn himself a rematch against Flores. Clayton drew Paul Lyons, who'd defeated Amy Yu 7-4 and Darrin Schmidt 7-2 to reach him. 
 
In their second double hill fight of the event, Shlemperis downed Flores. He was met, in the quarterfinals, by Lyons, who'd eliminated Clayton 7-3. Shlemperis then downed Lyons 7-2, before locking up in another double hill match against Ok in the semifinals. Shlemperis advanced to the finals, where he defeated Rodriguez 9-4 to claim the event title.
 
Tour director Tony Robles thanked the ownership and staff at Cue Bar, as well as sponsors Predator Cues, Ozone Billiards, Poison Billiards, PlayNAPL.com, The Devito Team, PoolOnTheNet.com, Capelle (BilliardsPress.com), AZBilliards, Billiards Digest and Pool & Billiard Magazine.
 
The next stop on the Predator Tour, scheduled for February 25-26, will be a combination $2,000-added A/B/C/D event, and a $1,000-added Pro event. It will be hosted by Raxx Billiards in West Hempstead, NY.