Archive Page

Mike Johnson returns to the tables for an undefeated run on the Garden State Tour

Mike Johnson, Gary Barnish and Kervin Santamaria

Prior to last weekend (Sat., Feb. 26), at appearances in six different events since 2007, Mike Johnson had recorded finish-payouts (with us) ranging from 17th place (Starcase Billiards Fall Classic; 2015) to 9th (NJ State 8-Ball Championships; 2018), to a few 5th place finishes on the Blaze Tour (’07), and in 2013, The Great Southern Billiard and Mezz Pro Am Tours. We understand from representatives of New Jersey’s Garden State Tour, that while unreported to us, he has climbed the single-event ladder on that tour as high as runner-up. Looking at the entries on his profile page here at AZ, you can’t help but notice that after his 5th place finish on the Blaze Tour in ‘07, he didn’t show up on our payout lists again until 2013, and then, seemed to embark on repetitive absences that have increased in an apparent pattern, over time; from 2013 to 2015 to 2018 to now (’22).

He went undefeated on the Garden State Tour last weekend to claim his first reported regional tour title. It also turned the barely-begun 2022 into his best earnings year, at which, already, he’s earned more money at the tables than in all of his previously-recorded years combined. The $200-added event drew 23 entrants to Clifton Billiards in Clifton, NJ. 

It wasn’t exactly a “merrily we roll along” trip to the winners’ circle for Johnson. In the upper bracket, after a bye, he was challenged in two straight double hill battles right at the start, versus Paul Madonia, Sr. and Kevin Scalzitti. He dodged both of those bullets to arrive at a winners’ side semifinal against Gary Barnish. In the meantime, Kervin Santamaria had his own double-hill problems at the start, but recovered quickly; winning the double-hill fight against Ginny Lewis and then, bouncing back to shut out Luigi Daminan. He got by Don Henriquez 6-4 to arrive at his winners’ side semifinal against Steve Persaud.

Johnson downed Barnish 7-4, though as it turned out, he’d be back. Santamaria locked up in a second double hill fight, eventually prevailing 6-5 over Persaud to join Johnson in the hot seat match. 

Surprise, surprise. . . a double-hill hot seat battle. Won by Johnson, who savored the moment, parked in the hot seat and waiting for the return of Barnish.

On the loss side, Barnish got by Rob Wetherford 7-3 and then handed Persaud a double hill loss in the quarterfinals. In what at this point must have seemed like an endless series of double hill contests, Barnish and Santamaria engaged in what would prove to be the last of them, in the semifinals. Barnish won it 8-7 to earn his second shot at Johnson.

In the words of tour representatives, the final match was “all Johnson,” who allowed Barnish one less rack in the finals (3) than he had in their winners’ side semifinal (4). Johnson earned the event title, his first (that we know about), though presumably not his last.

Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Clifton Billiards for their hospitality. The next stop on the Garden State Tour, scheduled for Sunday, March 20, will be hosted by 9-Ball Breaker Billiards in Clifton, NJ.

Go to thread

Zaveri and Shlemperis split top prizes on snowstorm-interrupted Tri-State stop in Wayne, NJ

Jaydev Zaveri & Dave Shlemperis

As an indoor sport, pool play is not generally affected by the weather. Getting to and back from the venues, however, is another story altogether. On Saturday, January 18, snow and sleet visited the Tri-State New York area, to include Wayne, NJ, about 25 miles northwest of midtown Manhattan, where 23 intrepid competitors gathered to shoot some 10-ball on the Tri-State Tour. Jaydev Zaveri went undefeated to the hot seat and would, in the finals, have faced Dave Shlemperis, whom he’d sent to the loss side in the event’s second round. But with dangerous driving conditions getting worse by the minute, Zaveri and Shlemperis agreed to a split. As the undefeated hot seat occupant, Zaveri claimed the event title. The $1,000-added event drew its 23 entrants to Shooter’s Family Billiards in Wayne

Zaveri opened his stormy campaign against Luis Jimenez and after defeating him, double hill (5-4), he faced Shlemperis and sent him over 6-2. He would then defeat A+ player Atif Khan in a winners’ side quarterfinal to face Joe Mazzeo in a winners’ side semifinal. Juan Melendez, in the meantime, squared off against Hunter Sullivan in the other winners’ side semifinal.

Zaveri downed Mazzeo 6-3 and in the hot seat, faced Melendez, who’d defeated Sullivan 5-2. Zaveri, in what proved to be his last match, claimed the hot seat 7-4 over Melendez.

On the loss side, Shlemperis was working on his six-match, loss-side winning streak that would take him all the way back for a rematch against Zaveri, which, of course, didn’t happen. Shlemperis got by Chris Schmidt 6-3, Kevin Scalzitti, double hill (6-5) and Paul Madonia 6-2 to draw Mazzeo, coming over from his winners’ side semifinal loss to Zaveri. Sullivan picked up a rematch versus Bob Toomey, whom he’d defeated in the second round (Toomey’s 1st round; he’d been awarded a bye). Toomey’s four-match, loss-side winning streak included recent wins over Brian Schell, double hill (5-4) and then, he spoiled the possibility of a husband/wife final by defeating Jaydev Zaveri’s wife, Shweta, also double hill (6-5).

Shlemperis defeated Mazzeo 6-3, as Sullivan eliminated Toomey 5-2. Shlemperis then took the quarterfinal match versus Sullivan 7-4.

In the final match of the evening, Shlemperis downed Juan Melendez 7-5. He and Zaveri agreed to the split – Zaveri, the official winner and Shlemperis, runner-up – and those who were left headed for the exits and a difficult ride home.

Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Shooter’s Family Billiards, as well as sponsors Ozone Billiards, Sterling-Gaming, Kamui Tips, Liquid Weighted Cues, Bloodworth Ball Cleaner, Quick Stik, Phil Capelle,  Pool & Billiards,  Bender Cues, Dayton Cues, and  Romer Trophies. The next stop on the Tri-State Tour, scheduled for Sunday, January 26, will be a $1,000-added, Double Point event, hosted by Cue Bar in Bayside (Queens), 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.         

Daniele and Lapadula split top prizes on the Tri-State Tour

(l to r): Teddy Lapadula & Marco Daniele

Marco Daniele’s first win anywhere, and on the Tri-State Tour specifically, comes with a common asterisk, awarded when an individual claims an event title without benefit of a final match, opting, instead, to split the top two (sometimes, three) prizes with his/her opponent in the finals. It’s been Daniele’s first year in the AZ database and he’s cashed in three separate events. He finished 9th on a Tri-State stop back in June, 17th a month later on the Predator Pro Am Tour and just last month, finished 3rd in the NYC 8-Ball Championships (Mixed Open division). He capped that with an official win, earned by going undefeated to the hot seat and, with Teddy Lapadula, opting out of a final match. The $1,000-added, 10-ball event drew 25 entrants to Clifton Billiards in Clifton, NJ.
 
Daniele’s path to the winners’ circle went through Bianca Martinez, Sung Lee and Anthony Nasta to arrive at a winners’ side semifinal match against the opponent with whom he would ultimately split the top two cash prizes, Teddy Lapadula. Shivam Gupta, in the meantime, after an opening round bye, downed Tri Chau and Luis Jimenez to draw Paul Madonia in the other winners’ side semifinal.
 
Daniele defeated Lapadula 5-3 and in the hot seat match, faced Gupta, who’d sent Madonia to the loss side 6-4. What proved to be Daniele’s last match of the day was a double hill battle for the hot seat, which he eventually won 8-7.
 
On the loss side, Lapadula opened his loss-side campaign against Brian Schell, who’d defeated Mike Strassberg 5-2 and Anthony Nasta 5-1 to reach him. Madonia drew Dave Shlemperis, who’d eliminated Steve Kalloo, double hill (6-5) and John Francisco 6-4.
 
Madonia advanced to the quarterfinals with a 6-2 win over Shlemperis and was joined by Lapadula, who’d defeated Schell 5-2. Lapadula then downed Madonia 6-3 and advanced to his last match, facing Gupta in the semifinals.
 
Lapadula finished the night with a 7-5 victory over Gupta, before entering the negotiations with Daniele that would lead to the split of the top two cash prizes. As the undefeated occupant of the hot seat, Daniele claimed his first event title.
 
Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Clifton Billiards, 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, November 10, will be hosted by Steinway Billiards in Astoria (Queens), NY.

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.
 

Watanabe gets by Shlemperis twice, goes undefeated to win Tri-State stop

(l to r): Max Watanabe & Dave Shlemperis

Though Max Watanabe has cashed in five 2019 events thus far (four Tri-State events and one Predator Pro Am) and Dave Shlemperis has cashed in only two (one each on the Tri-State and Predator Pro Am Tours; runner-up in both), they recorded almost mirror-like activity in 2018. For Watanabe, 2018 proved to be his best earnings year to date, and midway through the year, he finished as the Tri-State Tour’s top-ranked A/A+ competitor (the Tri-State Tour starts and ends its year-overlapping seasons in mid-summer). He cashed in 11 events, winning twice (once each on the Tri-State and Predator Pro Am Tour) and finished 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 7th, 9th and 13th in a combination of the two tour’s events. Shlemperis, the Tri-State’s #8-ranked B+ competitor in their 2018-2019 season, cashed in nine 2018 events. He won on the Tri-State Tour once and finished 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 7th, 9th and 13th in a combination of the two tour’s events (he tossed in a 17th place finish at Turning Stone XXX). On Sunday, August 4, at a Tri-State Tour stop, they battled twice to claim their first 2019 event title. Watanabe won both encounters at the $1000-added event that drew 33 entrants to Clifton Billiards in Clifton, NJ.
 
They met first in a winners’ side quarterfinal, with Watanabe prevailing 7-3 and advancing to a winners’ side semifinal against Eli Trajceski. Luis Jimenez, in the meantime, who finished as the runner-up in last week’s (July 27) stop on the Tri-State Tour, squared off against Mike Strassberg in the other winners’ side semifinal.
 
Watanabe sent Trajceski off 7-5 to an immediate encounter versus Shlemperis on the loss side. Jimenez and Strassberg battled to double hill before Jimenez prevailed. The battle for the hot seat was a double hill affair with Watanabe claiming the hot seat and waiting on the return of Shlemperis.
 
Shlemperis had opened his five-match, loss-side campaign with a double hill win over Jaydev Zaveri and followed it with a 7-3 win over Bob Toomey, which set him up versus Trajceski. Strassberg drew Mars Adinolfi, who’d defeated Rick Rodriguez 7-1 and Paul Madonia 7-3 to reach him.
 
Of the next five matches that would determine the event’s winner, four of them went double hill, beginning with the two matches that determined advancement to the quarterfinals; Shlemperis over Trajceski and Adinolfi over Strassberg. The quarterfinals came within a game of double hill, with Shlemperis winning it 7-5.
 
Shlemperis chalked up his third double hill win of the five matches he played on the loss side in the semifinals, downing Jimenez and earning himself a second shot at Watanabe in the hot seat. He battled Watanabe to double hill in the finals, but Watanabe dropped the last ball to claim the event title.
 
Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Clifton Billiards, as well as sponsors Ozone Billiards, Sterling-Gaming, Kamui Tips, Liquid Weighted Cues, Bloodworth Ball Cleaner, Quick Stik, Phil Capelle, Pool & Billiards,  Bender Cues, Dayton Cues, and  Romer Trophies. The next stop on the Tri-State Tour, scheduled for Sunday, August 11, will be hosted by Cue Bar in Bayside (Queens), NY. 

Burrows wins (*) final stop on Tri-State’s 2018/2019 season, splits top two prizes with Joseph

(l to r): Joshua Joseph & Ashley Burrows

Ashley Burrows would go undefeated into the hot seat at the Tri-State Tour’s last event of the 2018/2019 season. Joshua Joseph would win six on the loss side of the bracket and earn the right to meet her in a final match. The two opted out of that final match, leaving Burrows, the undefeated occupant of the hot seat, as the official winner and Joseph, in his highest finish on the tour, as runner-up. The $1,000-added event drew 48 entrants to Clifton Billiards in Clifton, NJ.
 
Joseph, appearing in his eighth event of the 2018/2019 season, solidified his position among the D+ class of competitors. He finished the season in third place, guaranteeing him an invite to the year-ending Invitational Tournament. Though her (*) victory advanced Burrows among her fellow B class players, she was 400 points away from the 16-player cutoff point for an invite to the year-ending Invitational Tournament. That tournament, scheduled for the weekend of June 29-30, will feature the top 16 players from each of six divisions and crown a champion for each of them, as well as a Tri-State Tour Grand Champion, who, at the end of the 2017/2018 season, was Erick Carrasco.
 
Burrow’s path to the hot seat went through Joe Palone, survived a double hill battle against Paul Madonia, and sent Levie Lampaan and Paul Wilkens to the loss side, to draw Manny Gomez in one of the winners’ side semifinals. Bianca Martinez, in the meantime, well-positioned at #8 to earn an invite to the D+ event of the Invitational faced Rick Rodriguez in the other winners’ side semifinal.
 
Burrows and Martinez became the first women, in an ill-defined long time, to square off in the hot seat match of a Tri-State tournament. Burrows had sent Gomez to the loss side 7-5, as Martinez was busy sending Rodriguez west 7-1. Burrows claimed the hot seat over Martinez 8-6 in what would prove to be her last match.
 
On the loss side, Gomez and Rodriguez ran right into their second straight loss. Gomez drew Jason Goberdhan, who’d defeated Bob Toomey, double hill and Paul Wilkens 7-1 to meet and defeat Gomez 6-3. Rodriguez picked up Joshua Joseph, who was three matches into his six-match, loss-side winning streak and had most recently defeated the competitor who’d sent him to the loss side Marco Daniele 5-3 and shut out Ada Lio. He downed Rodriguez 7-4 to join Goberdhan in the quarterfinals.
 
Joseph defeated Goberdhan 7-3 in those quarterfinals and then, double hill, defeatEd Martinez in the semifinals. Joseph and Burrows agreed on the split and ended the regular 2018/2019 Tri-State Tour season. 
Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Clifton Billiards, as well as sponsors Ozone Billiards, Sterling-Gaming, Kamui Tips, Phil Capelle, BlueBook Publishing, Human Kinetics, Pool & Billiards, Professor Q Ball, Bender Cues, and DIGICUE OB. The next scheduled Tri-State Tour event will be its annual Tri-State Invitational, scheduled for the weekend of June 29-30 and hosted by Steinway Billiards in Astoria (Queens), NY.

Gupta goes undefeated to win his first 2019 Tri-State event title, downing Trajceski twice

(l to r): Ilija Trajceski & Shivam Gupta

They’d been down this road before. Specifically, in January of this year, when they faced off in the finals of a Tri-State Tour stop at Shooter’s Family Billiards in Wayne, NJ. It was noted at the time, that it was Ilija Trajceski’s third victory on the Tri-State Tour since 2017 and only the fourth time that he had cashed in a Tri-State event. He’d sent Shivam Gupta to the loss side in the winners’ side quarterfinals, but Gupta won five on the loss side to face him in the finals. Trajceski downed Gupta a second time, by the same 7-5 score, to claim that event title.
 
On Sunday, May 5, at the last 10-ball match of the Tri-State’s season, they squared off twice again; this time in the hot seat match and finals and although the score was the same in both matches (6-3), the end result was that Gupta claimed his first 2019 Tri-State title (his second of the 2018/2019 season). Gupta is the #2-ranked B+ player in the Tri-State’s current Player of the Year standings (9 appearances), behind Jaydev Zaveri (Gupta’s traveling partner), whose 21 appearances on the 2018/2019 tour give him a substantial lead among the B+ players. Trajceski, with 10 appearances is at #14 on the list of B players. The $1,000-added event drew 31 entrants to Clifton Billiards in Clifton, NJ.
 
Gupta began his trek to the event title with a double hill win over his traveling partner and fellow B+ competitor for the division’s top slot, Jaydev Zaveri. He then downed Scott Bannon 6-4 and Pashk Gjini 6-1, to draw Tri Chau in one of the winners’ side semifinals. Trajceski, in the meantime, after defeating Rick Rodriguez 6-4, Paul Madonia 6-5 and Andrew Ciccoria 6 -3, would draw Marc Lamberti in the other winners’ side semifinal.
 
Gupta and Chau locked up in a double hill fight that eventually (6-5) sent Gupta to the hot seat match. He was joined by Trajceski, who’d defeated Lamberti 6-4. Gupta claimed the hot seat with his first of what proved to be two 6-3 wins over Trajceski.
 
On the loss side, Chau and Lamberti got back on track with double hill victories over their first loss-side opponents. Chau faced and defeated Eddie Medina, who’d defeated Mike Strassberg 6-3 and Scott Bannon 6-4 to reach him. Lamberti defeated Andrew Ciccoria, who’d defeated Bob Toomey and Rick Brothers, both 5-3, before falling to Lamberti.
 
Lamberti gave up only a single rack to Chau in the quarterfinals (6-1) to earn his rematch against Trajceski in the semifinals. In his second of three straight 6-3 matches, and the only one in which he recorded a win, Trajceski defeated Lamberti a second time. Gupta completed his undefeated run with a second 6-3 win over Trajceski in the finals.
 
Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Clifton Billiards, as well as sponsors Ozone Billiards, Sterling Gaming, Kamui Tips, Phil Capelle, BlueBook Publishing, Human Kinetics, Pool & Billiards, Professor Q Ball, Bender Cues, and DIGICUE OB. The next stop on the Tri-State Tour, scheduled for Saturday, May 11, will be hosted by Steinway Billiards in Astoria (Queens), NY. 

Medina wins eight on the loss side, downs Sung in Tri-State finals

(l to r): Lee Sung & Eddie Medina

By the time Lee Sung, a D+ player on the Tri-State Tour, reached the hot seat match during the Nov. 3 stop on the tour, he’d already reached as close to an event victory as he ever had before. When he got into the hot seat, the sense of accomplishment had to be riding high in his sense of what was to come. What came was Tri-State veteran Eddie Medina, who lost his opening match and came back through eight matches on the loss side to meet Sung in the finals. Sung reached the hill first in the match which would have ended with his seven game wins.  But Medina persevered (more on this later), reached seven games first and eventually, defeated Sung to claim the event title. The $1,000-added event drew 27 entrants to Clifton Billiards in Clifton, NJ.
 
So, Sung first. He downed Andre Shramenko, Shweta Zaveri, and Mark Joseph to pick up Teddy Lapadula in one of the winners’ side semifinals. Jaydev Zaveri, in the meantime, following victories over Paul Madonia, Sean Emmitt and Marc Lamberti, drew Paul Wilkens in the other winners’ side semifinals.
 
Sung and Zaveri both fought double hill battles, 6-5, to get into the hot seat match. Sung’s confidence notched up another step with the 8-5 win over Zaveri that left him in the hot seat.
 
On the loss side, it was Wilkens who picked up eventual winner Eddie Medina, in the midst of his eight-match march back to the finals. Medina had chalked up wins #4 and #5 against Marc Lamberti 6-3 and Mike Mele 6-1. LaPadula drew Sean Emmitt, who’d eliminated Suzzie Wong and Mark Joseph, both 6-4.
 
Medina ended Wilkens’ day 6-1 and, in the quarterfinals, faced Emmitt, who’d defeated LaPadula 6-3. Medina moved on to down Emmitt 6-3 in those quarterfinals and completed his loss-side run with a double hill win over Jaydev Zaveri in the semifinals.
 
As noted at the outset, Sung took the lead in the extended-race-to-9 finals and was staring down his cue at the 10-ball that would end the match with his seven wins. The 10-ball dropped, but so did the cue ball, turning the table over to Medina. Medina went on to win the match, eventually reach seven game-wins first and finish his long and tiring day by winning two more to claim the event title.
 
Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Clifton Billiards for their hospitality, as well as sponsors Ozone Billiards, Sterling-Gaming, Kamui Tips, Phil Capelle, 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. 11, will be hosted by Steinway Billiards in Astoria (Queens), NY.

Sieczka and Trzeciak split top prizes on Tri-State

Frank Sieczka and Artur Trzeciak

 

Frank Sieczka came to Shooter’s Family Billiards in Wayne, NJ on Sunday, September 23, looking to chalk up his second victory of the 2018-2019 Tri-State Tour season. His good friend and travel partner, Artur Trzeciak, came in search of his first recorded event victory ever. Sieczka made it to the hot seat. Trzeciak won five on the loss side to meet him in the finals. They opted out of the final match, leaving the undefeated Sieczka as the official winner, and Trzeciak with his first runner-up finish. The $1,000-added, 8-ball event drew 40 entrants.
 
Trzeciak won his first two matches before running into Joshua Joseph in a winners’ side quarterfinal. A 4-2 victory by Joseph sent Trzeciak to the loss side and advanced Joseph to a winners’ side semifinal against Bernie Vogelsang. Sieczka, in the meantime, worked his way through four opponents (Joe Mazzeo, Sean Emmitt, Paul Madonia and Victor Silva) to arrive at the other winners’ side semifinal against Joshua Joseph’s father, Mark Joseph.
 
Sieczka sent the elder Joseph to the loss side 5-2, as Vogelsang sent the son west 6-4. Sieczka played what proved to be his last match, downing Vogelsang 6-4 to claim the hot seat, and essentially, win the event title.
 
On the loss side, the elder Joseph (Mark) ran into Greg Partlow, who’d benefited from a forfeit by Allison LaFleur and eliminated Victor Silva, double hill. The son, Joshua, got a re-match against the ‘finals bound’ Trzeciak, who, following his defeat by Joshua, had eliminated Chris Rudy, double hill, and Joe Romeo 5-1. Father and son got to leave at the same time; Dad downed by Partlow, double hill, while son was shutout in his re-match versus Trzeciak.
 
Trzeciak battled to double hill in the quarterfinals against Partlow before dropping the final 8-ball and advancing to his last match of the night, against Vogelsang in the semifinals. He won that match 6-4, agreed to the split with Sieczka, and presumably, with cash in both their pockets, they left together.
 
Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Shooter’s Family Billiards, along with sponsors Ozone Billiards, Sterling-Gaming, Kamui Tips, Phil Capelle, 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, Sept. 30, will be a Double Points event, hosted by BQE Billiards in Jackson Heights, NY.