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Busanich wins second straight on Garden State Pool Tour

Shawn Jackson, Rick Miller and Dinko Bushanich

When last we checked in on the pool life and times of one Dinko Busanich, he’d gone undefeated on the Garden State Pool Tour, winning his first (recorded) event in the New York City Tri-State area in eight years. Now, a month later, on Saturday, August 6, he’s chalked up his second regional area tour win; again, on the Garden State Pool Tour and again, going undefeated to claim the event title. The event drew 27 entrants to Rockaway Billiards in Rockaway, NJ.

This time, Busanich faced an opponent who was looking for his first regional tour win in five years, Shawn Jackson. Like Busanich, Jackson’s last win came on the Tri-State Tour, at a stop hosted by Amsterdam Billiards, and also like Busanich, Jackson went undefeated the last time he won. Not to be this time for Jackson, as he faced and was defeated twice by Busanich, on his way to a runner-up finish.

After being awarded a bye, Busanich opened up with a 7-5 victory over Juan Pena. He followed that with a win over Rick Miller 6-3, which put him into a winners’ side semifinal versus Rob Wetherhold III. Jackson, in the meantime, without a bye, defeated Nic Torraca 9-2, survived a double hill fight against Ilija Trajceski and sent James Conn to the loss side 6-1 to draw Paul Spaanstra in the other winners’ side semifinal.

Jackson gave up just a single rack to Spaanstra and advanced to the hot seat match. He was joined by Busanich, who’d defeated Wetherhold 7-3. With one ‘bead on the wire’ in a race to 7, Busanich downed Jackson in their first meeting 7-4.

On the loss side, Spaanstra picked up Rick Miller, who’d followed his loss to Busanich with victories over Kevin Rushing 10-2 and a shutout over Frank Rodriguez. Whetherhold drew Conn, who’d followed his loss to Jackson with the elimination of Raymund Paragas 7-1 and Deiby Calderon 10-3, which, as it happened, was a double hill win; Calderon, beginning the match with ‘six on the wire’ in the race to 10.

Conn sent Wetherhold home 8-3 and was joined in the quarterfinals by Miller, who’d defeated Spaanstra 7-5. Miller made it four, loss-side wins in a row with a double hill win over Conn in their straight-up race to 7 quarterfinal.

Miller, though, forfeited out of the semifinals, sending Jackson right back against Busanich, waiting for him in the hot seat. Jackson would have had to reach ‘7’ first to extend the race, but it didn’t happen. They went to double hill, which, with Busanich’s single ‘bead on the wire,’ was 5-6 (Busanich-Jackson). Busanich chalked up the final rack for the win.

Tour director Dave Fitzpatrick thanked the ownership and staff at Rockaway Billiards for their hospitality, as well as sponsors JFlowers Cues & Cases, InthBox, Off the Rail, John Bender Custom Cues, Kamui and Pool-A-Holic. The next stop on the Garden State Pool Tour, a BCD Class, 32-player maximum, 9-ball event, scheduled for Sunday, Aug. 28, will be hosted by Breaker Billiards in Clifton, NJ. 

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Jankov and Rosario split top prizes on Tri-State Tour stop in Queens

(l to r): Mac Jankov & Abel Rosario

Both of the finalists on the Tri-State Tour’s Sunday, February 17 stop came into 2019, having chalked up their best recorded earnings year in 2018. Mac Jankov, who went undefeated at the event, recorded his first victory on the tour, albeit with a “finals didn’t happen” asterisk. Abel Rosario, who won two stops on the Predator Pro Am tour and one on the Tri-State Tour last year, recorded his first cash finish (runner-up) of the Tri-State’s 2018/2019 season, which began last July (his victory on the Tri-State Tour last year came in March, during the 2017-2018 season). The $1,000-added event drew 49 entrants to Cue Bar in Bayside (Queens), NY.
 
Jankov’s path to the finish line went through Juan Melendez, Mike Strassberg, KC Clayton and Jason Goberdhan, before coming up to a winners’ side semifinal matchup against Suzzie Wong, the tour’s #4-ranked female competitor and #6-ranked ‘C’ player, overall. Abel Rosario, in the meantime, had worked his way through the field to a winners side semifinal against Paul Spaanstra.
 
Spaanstra sent Rosario on a three-match trip to the loss side 6-2. Jankov joined him in the hot seat match after a 5-3 victory over Wong. Jankov claimed the hot seat 8-3 over Spaanstra.
 
On the loss side, Rosario picked up Nathaniel Raimondo, who’d shut out Jimmy Acosta and defeated Matt Klein 6-3 to reach him. Wong drew Harry Singh, who’d picked up a forfeit win over Goberdhan and won a double hill fight against Stewart Warnock, Sr.
 
Rosario downed Raimondo 6-2, as Singh eliminated Wong 5-2. Rosario took the quarterfinal match that followed 6-3 over Singh and then shut out Spaanstra 6-0 in the semifinals. The decision to opt out of the final was reached, leaving the undefeated Jankov as the event’s official winner.
 
Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Cue Bar, 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, February 24, will be a C-D 9-Ball event, hosted by Steinway Billiards in Astoria (Queens), NY. 

Mazzeo comes back from hot seat loss to win his first Tri-State title

(l to r): Joe Mazzeo & Alfredo Altimarino

Joe Mazzeo didn’t just come back from a hot seat loss in which he’d managed only a single rack, he roared back and returned the single-rack favor to Alfredo Altimarino to claim his first Tri-State Tour title on Sunday, December 6. The $1,000-added, 8-ball event, the Tri-State Tour’s first of 2019, drew 34 entrants to Clifton Billiards in Clifton, NJ.
 
Mazzeo worked his way through a number of Tri-State veterans to claim his first title, including, in order, Jaydev Zaveri 6-5 and Paul Spaanstra 6-4, to arrive at a winners’ side semifinal against John Francisco. Altimarino, in the meantime, vying for his first Tri-State title as well, got by his own list of Tri-State veterans, including Mike Strassberg 5-2, Andrew Ciccoria 5-4 and Artur Trzeciak 5-3 to arrive at the other winners’ side semifinal against Teddy Lapadula.
 
In their first of two, Mazzeo sent Francisco to the loss side 6-3. They would meet again in the semifinals. Altimarino shut out LaPadula and joined Mazzeo in the hot seat match. Altimarino claimed his first hot seat by allowing Mazzeo only that single rack.
 
On the loss side, Francisco picked up Fernando Galeas, who’d defeated Luis Jimenez 6-4 and Paul Spaanstra 6-1 to reach him. LaPadula drew Clint Pires, who’d recently eliminated Artur Trzeciak 5-1 and Ada Lio 6-4. Francisco advanced to the quarterfinals 6-3 over Galeas. He was joined by Pires, who defeated LaPadula 5-2.
 
Francisco earned his rematch against Mazzeo with a 6-4 victory over Pires in the quarterfinals, but reckoned without Mazzeo’s determination for his own rematch against Altimarino. Over the next 15 games in two matches, Mazzeo gave up only a single rack. He shut Francisco out in the semifinal rematch and then, gave up just one against Altimarino in the finals to claim his first Tri-State 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 Saturday, January 12, will be hosted by Shooters Family Billiards in Wayne, NJ.

Druminski goes undefeated to chalk up his first win on the Tri-State

(l to r): Dax Druminski & Jaydev Zaveri

Back in April, at a Tri-State stop hosted by Rockaway Billiards, Dax Druminski made it all the way to the hot seat match, before being sent to the semifinals by the eventual winner, Paul Spaanstra.  Druminski would not make it back for a second shot against Spaanstra. On Sunday, August 6, Druminski made it to a Tri-State hot seat match for the second time, and this time, he won it, sending Jaydev Zaveri to the semifinals, and eventually, defeating him a second time in the finals to claim his first Tri-State title. The $1,000-added event drew 31 entrants to Clifton Billiards in Clifton, NJ.
 
Following victories over Teddy Lapadula, Juan Melendez, and Tony Ignomirello, Druminski moved into a winners' side semifinal against Bob Toomey. Zaveri, in the meantime, having gotten by Tri Chau, Roger Hanos, and Max Watanabe, squared off against Eddie Medina in the other winners' side semifinal. Druminski sent Toomey to the loss side 6-4 to face Zaveri, who'd defeatEd Medina 7-5. Druminski claimed his first Tri-State hot seat 7-5 over Zaveri and waited for him to get back from the semifinals.
 
On the loss side, Medina picked up Hanos, who'd eliminated Luis Jimenez 7-4 and just did survive a double hill match against Watanabe. Toomey drew Tony "Iggy," who'd chalked up two straight double hill matches against Erick Carrasco and Frank Sieczka.
 
Medina downed Hanos 7-5 to advance to the quarterfinals. Toomey joined him after eliminating "Iggy" 6-3. Medina downed Toomey 7-5, but was himself eliminated 7-4 by Zaveri in the semifinals.
 
Zaveri would end up on the hill first in his finals re-match against Druminski, but left him an opening that allowed him to tie it up. In the final and deciding rack, Druminski held position, and completed his first Tri-State win with a five-ball run that gave him the event title.
 
Tri-State 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, Billiards Digest, Joe Romer Trophies, John Bender Cues, and DIGICUE OB. The next stop on the Tri-State Tour, scheduled for Saturday, August 12, will be a $1,000-added 8-ball event, hosted by Rockaway Billiards in Rockaway, NJ.
 

Spaanstra goes undefeated to claim his second Tri-State title

Paul Spaanstra, Bob Guerra (owner Rockaway Billiards) and Paul Wilkens

Last November, after a series of five runner-up finishes on the Tri-State Tour over a span of five years, Paul Spaanstra chalked up his first win on the tour. On Sunday, April 30, at the same location as his previous win, five months earlier, Spaanstra went undefeated to claim his second Tri-State title. The $1,000-added event drew 28 entrants to Rockaway Billiards in Rockaway, NJ.
 
Spaanstra had to get by Paul Wilkens twice to win this one. They met first in a winners' side semifinal that Spaanstra won 7-3, advancing to the hot seat match. He was met by Dax Druminski, who'd defeated Tony Ignomirello in a double hill fight. Spaanstra claimed the hot seat (which he had not done back in November) with a 9-6 win over Druminski.
 
On the loss side, Wilkens began his trip back to the finals against Jerry Ritzer, who'd defeated Kevin Scalzitti 7-5 and Alex Gutierrez 7-3 to reach him. Ignomirello picked up Bob Toomey, who'd eliminated Frank Pesce and Allison LaFleur, both 6-4. 
 
Wilkens and Ignomirello advanced to the quarterfinals; Ignomirello, backing up his double hill loss against Druminski with a double hill win over Toomey and Wilkens eliminating Ritzer 7-2.
Wilkens downed Ignomirello 7-4, and then, in the semifinals, earned his second shot against Spaanstra with an 8-6 win over Druminski. Spaanstra completed his undefeated run with a 7-4 victory over Wilkens in the finals.
 
Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Rockaway Billiards, as well as sponsors Ozone Billiards, Sterling-Gaming, Kamui Tips, Ron Vitello, Phil Capelle, BlueBook Publishing, Human Kinetics, and Bloodworth Ball Cleaners. The next stop on the Tri-State Tour, scheduled for Sunday, May 7, will be hosted by BQE Billiards in Jackson Heights (Queens), NY.

Spaanstra chalks up his first win on the Tri-State Tour

Carl Yusuf Khan, Paul Spaanstra and Mike Guevera

Over the past five years, according to our records, Paul Spaanstra has chalked up five runner-up finishes on the Tri-State Tour, though until this past weekend (Sunday, Nov. 20), he had yet to chalk up an event victory. He broke that 'bridesmaid' streak with a come-from-the-loss side win at a $1,000-added Tri-State event that drew 23 entrants to Rockaway Billiards in Rockaway, NJ.
 
 
Following victories over Paul Murphy and Fred Garcia, Spaanstra faced William Donofrio in one of the winners' side semifinals, while Mike Guevera squared off against Erick Carrasco in the other one. Spaanstra sent Donofrio west 7-4, and in the hot seat match faced Guevera, who'd sent Carrasco over, double hill. It was Guevera sending Spaanstra to the semifinals, double hill, and waiting in the hot seat for what would prove to be something of a nail-biter against him in the finals. 
 
 
On the loss side, Donofrio picked up Carl Yusuf Khan (known as The Warrior), who'd defeated Gary Fuller 7-5 and Garcia 7-2 to reach him. Carrasco drew Allison LaFleur, who'd won two straight double hill matches against Jim Gutierrez and Suzie Wong to face him.
 
 
Khan made short work of Donofrio 7-1, and in the quarterfinals, faced Carrasco, who'd eliminated LaFleur 8-5. In the event's first money round, Khan downed Carrasco 7-5. 
 
 
Spaanstra, looking for the sixth time in five years, to make it to the finals, downed Khan in the semifinals 7-2. The final match between Spaanstra and Guevera, racing to 10, was tied six times. Guevera broke out to an early 3-0 lead, but Spaanstra came right back to tie it for the first time. They tied it again at 4-4, and 6-6, and then traded games back and forth to the ultimate tie at double hill 9-9. Shooting at the 5-ball in the deciding game, Spaanstra used it to sink the 9-ball and win his first (as far as we can determine) Tri-State title.
 
 
Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Rockaway Billiards, as well as sponsors Ozone Billiards, Sterling-Gaming, Kamui Tips, Ron Vitello, Phil Capelle, BlueBook Publishing, Human Kinetics, and Bloodworth Ball Cleaners. The next stop on the Tri-State Tour, scheduled for Sunday, November 27, will be hosted by Clifton Billiards in Clifton, NJ.

Jason Brown gets by Deuel twice to capture SBE One-Pocket title

When the designated 32-player field for the 23rd Annual Super Billiards Expo's One-Pocket event was filled about two weeks ahead of schedule, event representatives expanded the field to 48. Jason Brown went undefeated through that field to win the $2,200-added event, held on the weekend of April 16-19, and hosted by the Greater Philadelphia Center in Oaks, PA. The One-Pocket tournament was one of three main events and four Amateur events held on the weekend (see separate story about 10-Ball Players Championship and results of Women's Tournament).
 
The One-Pocket event featured a double elimination format until a final eight players, four from the winners' side and four from the loss side, advanced to a single elimination format. All four of the  players who qualified from the loss side for the final eight (Phillip Wines, Adam Kielar, Sean Morgan and Corey Deuel) had been defeated in the second round of play and won five (or three) on the loss side to advance. Corey Deuel, who'd advance to challenge Brown in the finals, had been awarded a bye in the opening round and had to face only three loss-side opponents.
 
Brown's path to the finals opened (after being awarded a Bye) with a victory over Kielar, advanced with a win over Deuel, and qualified for the single elimination phase with a victory over Bernie Pettipiece. Deuel was awarded an opening round bye, and defeated Dennis Barouty, before being sent to the loss side by Brown. He then defeated Michael Huffman, Bill Hendrixson, and like Brown, used a victory over Pettitpiece to advance to the final eight.
 
Also advancing from the winners' side were Warren Kiamco, who'd defeated Omar Santiago, Jamie Ruff, Gilbert Ballet, and Brandon Harland. Justin Hall advanced among the winners with victories over Joe Dupuis, Martin Ciccia, Jeff Abernathy and Bob Jewett. Skyler Woodward, who had suffered back-to-back defeats in the 10-Ball Championship at the hands of Rodney Morris and Earl Strickland, defeated Josh Keller, Paul Kim Helms, and Raphael Dabreo to make the cut in the One Pocket event. 
 
After defeating Ben Crocker in the opening round, Phillip Wines was sent to the loss side by Raphael DaBreo. He then handed Dennis Orcollo (winner of the 10-Ball Players Championship) his second straight loss, and defeated Rory Hendrickson, Len Gianfrante, Jeff Abernathy and Bob Jewett to qualify for the final eight. Kielar opened with a victory over Sean Morgan, and was then, like Deuel, sent to the loss side by Brown. He then got by Stephen Todd, Dan Barouty, Paul Spaanstra, Joe Dupuis, and Brandon Harland to qualify for the final eight. Sean Morgan's path went through Kielar, who in the opening round, sent him to the loss side, where he defeated Kevin Bauccio, Chris England, Michael Rinella, Paul Kim Helms, and Raphael DaBreo to qualify for the single elimination phase.
 
In the single elimination phase, winners met winners, and one-loss players faced one-loss players; Kiamco faced Hall, while Brown squared off against Woodward. Kielar and Wines met, as did Deuel and Morgan. Kiamco shut Hall out, while Brown survived a double hill encounter against Woodward. Wines and Deuel defeated Kielar and Morgan, respectively, both 4-2.
 
For the semifinals and finals, the race was expanded to five. Brown faced Kiamco, while Deuel and Wines met. Both semifinals went double hill with Brown and Deuel advancing in search of the $2,000 first prize. Brown prevailed for the second time against Deuel, 5-3, to claim the event title.
 

An undefeated Kahn, and Spaanstra split top prizes on Tri-State Tour stop

Paul Spanstra, Carl Yusuf Kahn and Martin Carlucci

Carl Yusuf Khan and Paul Spaanstra allowed a single match between them to decide the January 10 stop on the Tri-State Tour. Khan advanced to the hot seat, which proved to be his final victory, as he and Spaanstra opted out of a final match, leaving Khan to claim the event title. The $1,000-added event drew 25 entrants to Rockaway Billiards in Rockaway, NJ.
 
They met, only the once, in a winners' side semifinal, while Martin Carducci and Chris Calabrese met in the other. Khan sent Spaanstra over 7-5, and in the hot seat match, met Carducci, who'd defeated Calabrese 6-5. Khan claimed the hot seat, and ultimately, the event title, 8-7 over Carducci.
 
On the loss side, Spaanstra met up with Duane Toney, who'd shut out Steve Kaminow, and defeated Fred Garcia 7-2. Calabrese drew Kevin Coyle, who'd defeated Pat Mareno 6-4, and Jaydev Zaveri 6-3. Spaanstra eliminated Toney 7-4, as Calabrese was doing the same to Coyle 6-5. 
 
Spaanstra took the quarterfinal match against Calabrese 8-4, and in what proved to be his final win, downed Carducci in the semifinals 8-5. Khan and Spaanstra chose to split the top prizes, and as the undefeated player, Khan claimed the title.
 
Tour representatives thanked sponsors Sterling-Gaming, Ozone Billiards, Qpod Cues, Kamui Tips, Phil Capelle, BlueBook Publishing, and Human Kinetics.

Crespo wins six on the loss side, takes down Spaanstra in Tri-State finals

Paul Spaanstra, Ed Crespo and Roberto Castilla

Ed Crespo works at Clifton Billiards in Clifton, NJ and on two separate occasions in 2014, he'd made it to the finals of a Tri-State Tour stop at his workplace. Scott Abramowitz came from the loss side to knock him out of the hot seat in January, while in March, he and Teddy Lapadula, who was in the hot seat, opted out of playing a final match. On November 29, Crespo came from the loss side to meet and defeat Paul Spaanstra in the finals of a $1,000-added event that drew 35 entrants to Clifton Billiards.
 
Crespo opened his day with a 7-4 victory over Paul Murphy, but was then moved to the loss bracket (7-5) by Shivam Gupta, with whom he would clash later. Spaanstra, who'd come from the loss side a week earlier, only to be defeated in the finals by Miguel Laboy, was busy chalking up five winners' side victories, including a double hill win over Gupta to get into the hot seat match. He faced Roberto Castilla, who'd defeated Jaydev Zaveri 6-4. Spaanstra and Castillo battled to double hill before Spaanstra prevailed to await the return of Crespo.
 
On the loss side, Crespo worked his way through four matches, including a 7-4 win over Arturo Reyes and 7-3 win over Stewart Warnock for a second chance against Gupta. Zaveri drew Dennis Quinn, who'd gotten by Roger Duronio 6-5 and Allison Honeymar 6-4. Crespo successfully wreaked his vengeance against Gupta 7-5 and in the quarterfinals, met Quinn, who'd eliminated Zaveri 6-3.
 
Crespo ended Quinn's day 7-5. He then battled to double hill before prevailing in his semifinal match versus Castillo.
 
Crespo and Spaanstra opened the event finals by trading racks to a 2-2 tie, with Spaanstra taking the single-rack lead each time. In rack #5, Crespo took the initiative, and won four in a row. Spaanstra fought back to win a single game, before Crespo completed his first successful Tri-State bid of the year with three in a row.
 
Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Clifton Billiards for their hospitality, as well as sponsors Ozone Billiards, Sterling-Gaming, Qpod, Kamui Tips, Ron Vitello, Focus Cases by John Bartron, Phil Capelle, BlueBook Publishing, Human Kinetics, and Focus Apparel. The next stop on the Tri-State Tour, scheduled for December 6, will be hosted by Castle Billiards in East Rutherford, NJ.

LaBoy goes undefeated to chalk up fourth 2014 Tri-State win

Paul Spaanstra, Miguel LaBoy and Dave Fitzpatrick

Miguel Laboy won his first Tri-State Tour stop in January. He's won three more since; one in August, another in September, and most recently, on Saturday, November 22 at a $1,000-added event that drew 64 entrants to Steinway Billiards in Astoria (Queens), New York. Twice, at House of Billiards on Staten Island, he had to defeat the room's owner, Dennis Kennedy to claim the title. In the middle of those two occasions, in August, he and his co-finalist, Lidio Ramirez, opted out of a final match, leaving Laboy undefeated and the official event winner.
 
In claiming his fourth Tri-State title, Laboy had to get by Paul Spaanstra twice. Following victories over Enoch Hooper, Juan Guzman (forfeit), Thomas Rice and Koka Davladze, Laboy met Spaanstra for the first time in a winners' side semifinal. Dave Fitzpatrick and Kevin Huynh met in the other. Laboy prevailed 8-5 over Spaanstra and in the hot seat match, met Fitzpatrick, who'd defeated Hunyh 6-2. Laboy claimed his fourth Tri-State hot seat 10-7 over Fitzpatrick and waited on the return of Spaanstra.
 
Spaanstra started his trip back to the finals against Davladze, who. after being sent over Laboy, had defeated Greg Ackerman 8-5, and Kyle Bubet 8-4. Huynh drew Steve Wade, who'd gotten by Albert Appleton and Thomas Schreiber, both 6-4. Spaanstra eliminated Davladze 8-4, and in the quarterfinals, met Wade, who'd defeated Huynh 6-3.
 
Spaanstra and Wade locked up in a double hill, quarterfinal fight that eventually advanced Spaanstra to the semifinals against Fitzpatrick. A 7-3 win there, and Spaanstra got his second crack at Laboy.
 
Spaanstra got off on the right foot, winning three straight. Laboy, though, answered promptly with three of his own. Spaanstra responded with four in a row to take his largest lead at 7-3. Laboy checked in with another three to narrow Spaanstra's lead to one at 7-6. Though Spaanstra won rack #14, it proved to be his last, as Laboy finished with four in a row to claim the event title.
 
Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Steinway Billiards for their hospitality, as well as sponsors Ozone Billiards, Sterling-Gaming, Qpod, Kamui Tips, Ron Vitello, Focus Cases by John Barton, Phil Capelle, BlueBook Publishing, Human Kinetics , and Focus Apparel. The next stop on the Tri-State Tour, scheduled for November 29, will be hosted by Clifton Billiards in Clifton, NJ.