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Dempsey goes undefeated to take Amateur side of Predator Tour stop

There was a lot going on in the New York Tri-State area on the weekend of April 25-26. There were stops on the Tri-State, Predator and Mezz Tours, as well as an independent event at Castle Billiards in East Rutherford, NJ. All were fairly well-attended, which, if nothing else, is a 'for now' answer to the question of how well the sport is doing,  at least in the competitor-rich Tri-State area. On the Predator Tour, 51 entrants showed up to compete in the $500-added Amateur tournament, hosted by Steinway Billiards in Astoria (Queens), NY. Stephen Dempsey, chalking up his first win on the Predator Tour, went undefeated (Zion Zvi went undefeated in the concurrently-run Open/Pro tournament; see separate story).
 Dempsey's undefeated run went through Marvin This, twice. They met first in the hot seat match, after Dempsey had sent Ron Mason to the loss side 7-5, and This had survived a double hill match against Eddie Medina. Dempsey claimed the hot seat 10-8 over This and waited on his return.
On the loss side, Mason picked up Billy Santiago, recent winner of over Peter Cornell 7-3 and Mike Panzarella 7-5. Medina ran into George Poltorak, who'd defeated Tommy Schreiber 7-5 and Wanlop Chantarakolkit 7-3. Mason moved on, defeating Santiago 7-5, and was met, in the quarterfinals, by Poltorak, who'd eliminatEd Medina 7-3.
Poltorak took the quarterfinals 7-4 over Mason, and then, by the same score, fell to This in the semifinals. Dempsey took his second against This 10-5 to claim his first Predator title.

Morgan and Ramirez go undefeated on Predator Open/Amateur stop

Good weather on Long Island trumped double points in the Open event of the June 28-29 stop on the Predator Tour. While the $750-added Amateur event drew 70 entrants, the $750-added Open event, competing against the highest weekend area temperatures in the month of June, drew only 10 entrants to Raxx Billiards in West Hempstead, NY. Sean Morgan and Lidio Ramirez went undefeated in their respective Open and Amateur portions of the weekend's activity.
Morgan and Evgeny Stalez advanced to the hot seat match in the Open event; Morgan, having defeated Elvis Rodriguez 8-4 in one winners' side semifinal, while Stalez was defeating Frankie Hernandez 8-5 in the other. Morgan claimed the hot seat in a double hill battle against Stalez and waited on what turned out to be the return of Hernandez.
Rodriguez and Hernandez returned to their winning ways on the loss side immediately. Rodriguez eliminated TD Tony Robles 8-6, while Hernandez survived a double hill battle against Steve Wright. The quarterfinal match was the first money round and Hernandez advanced with an 8-4 win over Rodriguez. He then defeated Stalez 8-4 for a shot at Morgan in the hot seat. Morgan, though, completed his undefeated run with a 9-7 victory to claim the Open title.
In the Amateur event, Lidio Ramirez was challenged in the finals by Ray Feliciano, who mounted a seven-match, loss-side winning streak to reach him. Ramirez, in the meantime, was on his own seven-match winning streak, advancing to the hot seat match with a 7-5 win over Dave Shlemperis, while Luis Jimenez was sending Josh Friedberg to the losers' bracket 7-1. Ramirez sent Jimenez to the semifinals with an 8-6 win and waited on Feliciano.
Friedberg's first challenge on the loss side was the man he'd sent over earlier, Feliciano, who was four wins in to the streak that would take him to the finals. Feliciano had shut out Jamiyl Adams and defeated Dan Saraguna 7-2 to draw Friedberg. Shlemperis picked up Peter Cornell, who'd gotten by Kapriel Delimelkonoglu 7-5 and Nick Chuang 7-4.
Shlemperis survived a double hill fight against Cornell, while Feliciano defeated Friedberg 7-5. Shlemperis came out on the wrong end of his second straight double hill match in the quarterfinals, which sent Feliciano to a semifinal matchup against Jimenez. Feliciano completed his loss-side run with a 7-5 victory over Jimenez, but fell in the finals to Ramirez, whose 11-9 victory secured the Amateur title.