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Sossei takes two out of three over Kiamco to win Joss NE 9-Ball Tour stop on Long Island

Warren Kiamco, Raxx Owner Holden Chin and Jeremy Sossei

It was Jeremy Sossei’s third, and second straight, win in four attempts on the 2021-22 Joss Northeast 9-Ball Tour this past weekend (May 14-15). It was Warren Kiamco’s first appearance on the tour this year, and with it being a long way from the man’s ‘first rodeo,’ he got as close to winning it as possible; facing Sossei three times, battling to double hill twice, but winning only the first set of the true double elimination final. The $1,500-added event drew 42 entrants to Raxx Pool Room, Sports Bar & Grill in West Hempstead, NY.

Going into Stop #14, Bucky Souvanthong and Ron Casanzio were the tour’s top two points leaders (#1 & #2), way out in front of the field, based on the number of times they’ve competed in the 2021-22 season and on their finish positions each time they did so. They didn’t compete in Stop #14, which left a door open for Sossei, who obligingly walked in, won his second straight stop on the tour and promptly moved himself into third place in the tour-point standings. Kiamco was probably a ‘wild card’ that Sossei had not expected in the deck.

Sossei ran into some immediate trouble when he opened his run in a double hill battle against Ron Piontkowski. Once over that hurdle, he downed Chuck Allie 9-5 and shut out Chris Lazaravitch, before facing Mhet Vergara in a match that came within a game of double hill. He survived that to draw John Francisco in one of the winners’ side semifinals. Kiamco drew a bye in his opening round and went on to send Troy Deocharran (4), Alex Osipov (2) and Ray Lee (2) to the loss side, picking up Mike Renshaw in the other winners’ side semifinal.

Kiamco got into the hot seat match with a shutout over Renshaw, while Sossei sent Francisco to the loss side 9-4. In his first of three versus Kiamco and the first of two straight double hill matches, Sossei claimed the hot seat.

On the loss side, Francisco drew a rematch against Yesid Garibello, whom he’d sent to the loss side in a third-round, double hill fight. Garibello moved over to engage in a four-match winning streak that had recently eliminated Lazaravitch 7-2 and Caroline Pao, double hill. Renshaw drew Mhet Vergara, who’d followed his winners’ side quarterfinal loss to Sossei with wins over Jay Plonski and Mike Salerno, both 7-4.

Garibello wreaked his vengeance on Francisco 7-5, while Vergara was eliminating Renshaw by the same score, and, as it turned out, by the same score that Vergara eliminated Garibello in the subsequent quarterfinals.

Vergara was one step away from a rematch against Sossei, who’d sent him to the loss side, five matches ago. Unfortunately, for him, it was Warren Kiamco who was in his way in the semifinals that followed. Kiamco was the one who earned the rematch, downing Vergara 7-4.

For the second time, Sossei and Kiamco locked themselves up in a double hill fight, in the opening set of the true double elimination final. This time, though, it was Kiamco who won. The ‘wild card’ was on the table and very much in play. Sossei, though, had his own hand to play and did so in the second set, defeating Kiamco 7-3 to claim title to the 14th stop on the 2021-22 Joss NE 9-Ball Tour.

A $500-added Second Chance tournament drew eight entrants and was won by Raxx Pool Room, Sports Bar & Grill’s owner, Holden Chin. Chin shut out Sly Vachiro in the hot seat match and in the true double-elimination final, faced Mike Callaghan, who’d lost his opening match to Vachiro, won two straight double hill matches to begin his four-match trip back to the finals and then shut out Vachiro in their semifinal rematch. He then took the opening set of the true double elimination final, before Chin came back to shut him out in the second set. 

The next stop on the Joss NE 9-Ball Tour, scheduled for the weekend of June 4-5, will be a $1,500-added event, hosted by Snookers Sports Billiards, Bar & Grill in Providence, RI. The season finale of the 2021-22 season – Turning Stone Classic XXXV 9-Ball Open – is scheduled for September 1-4 at the Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, NY.

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Jay Chiu double dips Ray Lee to claim Predator Tri-State title

Jay Chiu and Ray Lee

It’s been a good year for Jay Chiu. Coming into this past weekend’s (Oct. 23-24) Predator Tri-State Tour stop, it was already his best earnings year of four that have been recorded. He’s earned over twice as much on the tour this year than he has in the previous four recorded years combined (’21, ’14, ’13 & ’09). And he added to his 2021 earnings, in style, so to speak. He came from the loss side to double dip hot seat occupant, Ray Lee, who’d won the first event of the newly-named Predator Tri-State Tour, when it returned from its COVID hiatus last April. This past weekend’s $1,000-added event drew 33 entrants to Cue Bar in Bayside (Queens), NY, in a last minute switch from an event originally scheduled for New City Billiards in Sunnyside (Queens).

Chiu and Lee had met previously in the semifinals of a July 21 stop in New City, NY. Both had advanced to separate winners’ side semifinals, with Lee advancing to the hot seat match, and being defeated by Brandonne Alli. Chiu won two on the loss side to face and defeat Lee in those semifinals, only to be defeated by Alli, double hill, in the finals. Chiu and Lee met at the Cue Bar for the first time in the winners’ side semifinals, while Nishant Narang and Roberto Rodriguez squared off in the other one.

Narang advanced to the hot seat match 7-5 over Rodriguez, while Lee and Chiu were battling to double hill. Once again, as he’d done back in July, Lee advanced to the hot seat match, where this time, he defeated Nishant Narang to claim it. 

On the loss side, Chiu picked up Kevin Shin, recent winner over Abel Rosario and Erland Lami, both 7-2. Rodriguez drew Mac Jankov, who’d eliminated Esteban Morrell, Jr., double hill, and Linda Cheung 7-5.

Chiu and Jankov advanced to the quarterfinals; Chiu 8-6 over Shin and Jankov downing Rodriguez 7-4. Chiu then defeated Jankov 6-3 in those quarterfinals.

By the same 6-3 score, Chiu eliminated Narang in the semifinals and earned his spot in the finals. Chiu downed Lee twice in the true double elimination final, both times 8-6, to claim the event title.

Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff for their hospitality, which included stepping in to fill the void when the event couldn’t be held in its original location. They also thanked title sponsor Predator Cues, Ozone Billiards, Sterling Gaming, Kamui Tips, Phil Cappelle, Blue Book Publishing, Human Kinetics, Pool & Billiards, Romer Trophies and Professor Q Ball. The next stop on the Predator Tri-State Tour, scheduled for the weekend of Nov. 13-14, will be hosted by The Spot in Nanuet, NY.

Alli chalks up his first victory on the Predator Tri-State Tour

Brandonne Alli & Jay Chiu

Brandonne Alli was one of a handful of players who managed to stay very active during the pandemic-curtailed, New York tri-state 2020 pool year. It was, in fact, his best recorded earnings year of three, dating back to 2019, which included cash finishes on the former Predator Pro Am Tour, the former Tri-State Tour and the newly-created Mac Attack Tour, initiated by Mac Jankov to fill a void left by the pandemic. This past weekend (July 17-18), Alli signed on to the newly-sponsored (by) Predator Tri-State Tour and went undefeated to chalk up his first win in the area. The $1,000-added event drew 46 entrants to New City Billiards and Café in New City, NY.

Alli had to get by Jay Chiu twice to claim this title; once in a winners’ side semifinal and again, in the finals. As Alli squared off against Chiu the first time, Ray Lee faced Ada Lio in the other winners’ side semifinal. Lee had won the first official event of the Predator Tri-State Tour’s 2021 season back in April, at which Alli had finished in the tie for 7th place.

Lee downed Lio 7-4 and advanced to the hot seat match. Alli joined him after winning a double hill fight against Chiu. Alli claimed the hot seat over Lee 7-5.

On the loss side, Chiu picked up David Grant, who’d defeated Bob Toomey 7-5 and survived a double hill fight against Bianca Martinez to reach him. Lio drew Duc Lam, who’d eliminated John Francisco 7-5 and Mike Pruitt 8-6.

Chiu advanced to the quarterfinals on the heels of a 7-5 victory over Grant. Lam joined him after defeating Lio 9-7. Chiu and Lam battled to double hill in the subsequent quarterfinals, before Chiu finished it and faced Lee in the semifinals. Chiu dispatched Lee 8-3 for a second shot at Alli, waiting for him in the hot seat.

As it turned out, Alli and Chiu duplicated their effort in the earlier winners’ side quarterfinal match. For a second time, they battled to a 5-5, double hill tie and for the second time, Alli closed it out, this time, claiming the event title.

Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at New City Billiards & Café, as well as title sponsor Predator Cues, Ozone Billiards, Sterling-Gaming, Kamui Tips, Phil Capelle, BlueBook Publishing, Human Kinetics, Pool & Billiards, Romer Trophies and Professor Q Ball. The next stop on the Predator Tri-State Tour, scheduled for Saturday, August 21, will be hosted by Shooter’s Family Billiards in Wayne, NJ.

The Tri-State Tour becomes the Predator Tri-State Tour and starts a modest schedule of events

Aiden Wagner and Ray Lee

It’s been just over a year since the Tri-State Tour held an event; March 8, 2020, to be exact, when Russell Masciotti went undefeated to win his first regional tour event. Hosted by Steinway Billiards in Astoria (Queens), NY, the event drew 38 entrants. An event was scheduled for the following weekend at Clifton Billiards in Clifton, NJ, but never happened. The Tri-State shut down, as did Tony Robles’ Predator Pro Am Tour. The former is back, the latter shut down permanently and Tony Robles moved to Florida. Just a little over 13 months later, the Tri-State has picked up Predator Cues as a title sponsor and begun a modest schedule of events, beginning with a $500-added event this past weekend (Saturday, April 17), hosted by Shooter’s Family Billiards in Wayne, NJ. 

Ray Lee, whose last recorded event victory (according to our records) was at a stop on the Mezz Tour back in 2015, went undefeated through a field of 41 entrants. He and Aiden Wagner battled twice for the title; hot seat and finals.

John Leyman, Cue Sports International’s current Director of Rules and Referees and long-time co-tour director on the old Tri-State Tour, has stepped up to the plate. . . uhh, table and was on-hand for what is now the Predator Tri-State Tour’s first event back from the involuntary vacation of the global pandemic.

“It feels all right,” he said on Tuesday of his and pool’s return to the tri-state New York City area. “It’s still a little touch and go. We don’t have a firm schedule yet, but (the stop at Shooter’s Billiards) is a start to get back into the swing of things.”

While the area’s two major tours came to a halt, activity in the area didn’t cease entirely, as a number of local players stepped in and mounted tours of their own; Mhet Vergara set up his MVP Tour, Mac Jankov established a Mac Attack Tour and Dave Fitzpatrick was at the helm of the Garden State Tour, which had enjoyed something of a sporadic existence before. When the Predator Tri-State made its decision to start the proverbial and literal balls rolling again, they found themselves in scheduling competition with some of those tours that had rushed in to fill the no-competitive-pool-in-NYC vacuum. And that is likely to continue into the foreseeable future, as the Predator Tri-State takes it time, building up to the way things used to be. 

“We’ve had this one event this month and we’ll have one next month, too,” explained Leyman, adding that a more robust schedule, closer to the way things used to be, depends a great deal on how the ongoing pandemic continues to impact everybody’s lives, including pool players anxious to get back and start playing again.

Normally, the Tri-State Tour would be winding up its mid-year to mid-year calendar about now, preparing for the annual Tri-State Invitational, which has always marked the tour’s transfer from one season to the next. That invitational event will not be happening until the summer of 2022 and it will be the culmination of a long season that began this past weekend. That season could, however, end up having the same number of events as the previous 12-month schedule, because as Leyman noted, for a while, things are going to proceed slowly. 

“We’re definitely not going to be running as many tournaments,” he said. “We’re probably going to be cutting down (on our former schedule of tournaments every week). It’s going to be more feasible to do two a month.”

“Honestly,” he added, “it’s all COVID-related. It has a lot to do with that. Once we’re past the COVID problems, returning to what we were doing will probably happen, but until then, things are going to be different for a while.” 

Leyman talked of doing bigger events every couple of weeks and eventually re-scheduling the Annual George “Ginky” Sansouci Memorial Tournament. He also noted that The Predator Tri-State Tour is “definitely going to do a few Open/Pro events,” which had not been as much of a priority, pre-pandemic. And that, he said finally, “is all there is to that.”

Lee and Wagner worked their way through this past weekend’s field, arriving at their respective winners’ side semifinal matches; Lee, facing Henry Cha and Wagner, squaring off against KC Clayton. Lee got into the hot seat with a 7-4 win over Cha, as Wagner was sending Clayton to the loss side 6-1. Lee claimed the hot seat 7-3 and warmed it up from its protracted absence, while waiting for Wagner’s return from the semifinals.

Cha and Clayton showed up on the loss side and immediately lost their second match. Cha picked up Jimmy Acosta, who’d defeated Narang Nishant 9-5 and CJ Chey 9-6 to reach him. Clayton drew Hunter Sullivan, who, a week ago, had come from the loss side to double dip Kevin Scalzitti in the Garden State Pool Tour’s Amateur 9-Ball State Championship, and in Wayne, NJ was looking to chalk up his third event victory in eight weeks. He’d recently defeated Jennifer Pass and Brandonne Alli, both 6-4, to face Clayton.

Acosta eliminated Cha 7-3. He was joined in the quarterfinals by Sullivan, who’d defeated Clayton 6-1. Sullivan’s hopes for a third straight regional win got brighter when he downed Acosta in those quarterfinals 9-5.

Wagner, though, stopped Sullivan’s run and any hopes he may have been entertaining about facing Lee in the finals, with a 6-1 victory in the semifinals. Lee and Wagner battle to double hill in the finals that followed. Lee prevailed to secure the first event title of the Predator Tri-State Tour’s new season.

TD John Leyman thanked the ownership and staff at Shooter’s Billiards for their hospitality as well as title sponsor Predator Cues, Ozone Billiards, Sterling Billiards, Kamui, Quick Stik, Bloodworth Ball Cleaner, Joe Romer Trophies, Phil Cappelle Publications and Pool and Billiards. The next stop on the Predator Tri-State Tour, scheduled for May 22-23, will be hosted by Cue Bar in Bayside, NY.

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,, The DeVito Team,, Cappelle (, 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. 

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,, The DeVito Team,, Cappelle (, 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.

Hernandez and Ok win Open-Pro, Amateur events on Predator Pro Am Tour

(l to r): Omar Soto, Eugene Ok, Ryan Boursse & Mac Jankov

Eugene Ok and Frankie Hernandez both went undefeated to claim respective Amateur and Open/Pro titles in the July 13-14 stop on the Predator Pro Am Tour. Ok worked his way through a field of 83 entrants on-hand for the $1,000-added Amateur event, hosted by Amsterdam Billiards in Manhattan. Hernandez, the tour’s current #1-ranked Open/Pro competitor, went undefeated through the Open/Pro field of 21 entrants in the $500-added event.
In the ‘almost’ department with two losses, the second of which occurred in the event final, were Ryan Boursse in the Amateur event and Tour Director Tony Robles in the Open/Pro, who won five on the loss side to get into the final match. Robles couldn’t remember the last time he’d been in an event final, which, according to our records, had been last September, when he downed Max Watanabe twice. Prior to that, it had been five years (2014) since he won two events and was runner-up in three others on the tour. He won four matches to win the 2018 event at Cue Bar in Bayside, Queens. It took nine matches to be the runner-up this past weekend.
Jimmy Rivera sent Robles to the loss side in a winners’ side quarterfinal that went double hill before Robles gave him ball-in-hand to close out the 13th rack (7-6). Rivera advanced to meet eventual winner Frankie Hernandez, while Duc Lam and Sean Morgan met in the other winners’ side semifinal.
Lam downed Morgan, double hill, and in the hot seat match, faced Hernandez, who’d sent Rivera to the loss side 7-3. Hernandez claimed the hot seat 7-2 over Lam and waited for The Silent Assassin to come back from his five-match, loss-side trip.
Robles would play five matches on the loss side and the one match in the final. Three of those six matches went double hill, including the only one he lost, in the final. He opened his loss-side trip with his first double hill win, over Dominic Gauthier. He then eliminated John Messina 7-2 to draw Morgan, coming over from the winners’ side semifinal. Rivera drew Jonathan Smith, who’d recently eliminated Raphael Dabreo and Pat Fleming, both 7-5.
Robles downed Morgan 7-2. Smith spoiled the potential Robles/Rivera rematch by downing Rivera 7-5 to join Robles in the quarterfinals.
Robles won the next two matches, double hill, to meet Hernandez in the finals. He downed Smith in the quarterfinals and then, Lam in the semifinals, both 7-6. He ended up on the wrong side of his third straight double hill match and had to settle for runner-up, as Hernandez completed his undefeated run to claim the event title.
Ok moves up the tour’s B+ ladder with undefeated victory in the Amateur event
Eugene Ok’s trip through the 83-entrant Amateur field ended in his second victory on the Predator Pro Am Tour, his first since May of 2017, a year in which he finished among the top five in five events on the Predator and Tri-State Tours.
Ok had to get by Ryan Boursse twice in this event and the first, was in a winners’ side semifinal match. Mac Jankov, in the meantime, squared off against Alfredo Altamirano in the other one. Ok got into the hot seat match, downing Boursse 7-5 and was joined by Jankov, who’d sent Altamirano over 7-4.  Ok claimed the hot seat 8-6 over Jankov and waited for Boursse to get back from the loss side.
In his opening loss-side match, Boursse drew Pascal Dufresne, who’d defeated Luis Jimenez and Brooke Meyer, both 7-5, to reach him. Altamirano picked up Omar Soto, who’d gotten by Ada Lio 7-2 and Ryan Dayrit 7-5.
Boursse and Soto advanced to the quarterfinals; Boursse 7-5 over Dufresne and Soto 7-3 over Altamirano. Boursse then eliminated Soto 7-4 in the quarterfinals and Mac Jankov 9-5 in the semifinals. Boursse was able to chalk up one more rack in the finals than he had in the winners’ side semifinal, forcing a 13th and deciding game in the final against Ok. Ok, though, closed it out to claim the Amateur event title.
A single elimination Second Chance event drew 15 entrants. Ambi Estevez claimed that title, with Jorge Collado as runner-up. Ray Lee and Luis Jimenez tied for third place.
Tour director Tony Robles thanked the ownership and staff at Amsterdam Billiards, as well as title sponsor Predator Cues, Ozone Billiards,, The DeVito Team,, Cappelle (, AZBilliards, Pool & Billiards Magazine and Billiards Digest.
On the weekend of August 3-4, Robles’ Silent Assassin Productions will present a non-tour event at Steinway Billiards – The 4th Annual NYC 8-Ball Scotch Doubles Championships. The following weekend, August 10-11, Steinway Billiards will host the next Predator Pro Am Tour stop; a $1,000-added, double points event. 

Kazakis over Kaci on Joss Tour

Holden Chin, Alex Kazakis and Eklent Kaci

Two of Europe’s hottest young players took advantage of being in the states to drop in on stop 14 of the Joss NE 9-Ball Tour on April 28th – 29th at Raxx Pool Room in West Hempstead, NY. 
All eyes were on Albania’s Eklent Kaci and Greece’s Alex Kazakis (fresh off of his runner-up finish at the World Pool Series event) and fans in attendance were wondering who would be able to challenge them on this day. Kaci would start off his tournament with two quick wins, but a hill-hill loss to Bruce Nagle sent him packing to the one loss side on Saturday. Kazakis would get by Nagle 9-3 and then defeat Zion Zvi 9-6 for the hot-seat. 
Kaci got acclimated to the left side of the board pretty quickly, and other than a close 9-7 win over Holden Chin, would score convincing wins over everyone put in front of him. Zvi fought hard in his semi-final match with Kaci, but lost 9-6 to send Kaci to the finals against Kazakis. 
The final match was another close one, but it was Kazakis scoring a 9-6 win in one set for first place. 
Sundays second chance tournament saw Holden Chin drop his first match of the day (3-2 to Ray Lee) and then bounce back with five straight wins, including 3-0 and 3-1 wins over Lee in the finals for first place. 
The Joss NE 9-Ball Tour will take off the month of May, but will be back on June 2nd – 3rd at Snookers in Providence RI for another $1,500 added main event and $500 added second chance tournament. 

Delimelkonoglu comes back from hot seat loss to down Lee in Tri-State final

(l to r): Kapriel Delimelkonoglu & Ray Lee

For reasons that probably elude even him, Kapriel Delimelkonoglu has had a bit of a hard time winning events on the Tri-State Tour. Since 2010, he's cashed in 38 events between the Tri-State and Predator Tours (19 on the Tri-State, 23 on the Predator, including appearances at the Ginky Memorial, which is administered by both tours). He last won an event on a strictly Tri-State Tour stop in 2011 and won the 2014 Ginky Memorial's Amateur event, which technically counts as a win on both tours. On Sunday, August 27, at an A/B/C/D, $1,000-added event, which drew 43 entrants to Steinway Billiards in Astoria (Queens), NY, Delimelkonoglu came back from a hot seat loss to Ray Lee, and downed him in the finals to capture his first exclusively Tri-State title in six years.
Following wins over Jud Parker, and Jaydev Zaveri, Delimelkonoglu moved into a winners' side semifinal match against Duc Lam. Lee, in the meantime, faced Daniel Feliciano in the other winners' side semifinal. Delimelkonoglu sent Lam to the loss side, double hill, as Lee was busy sending Feliciano over 6-2. Lee claimed the hot seat 7-4 and waited on Delimelkonoglu's return.
On the loss side, Lam picked up Alex Osipov, who'd defeated Zaveri 7-4 and Parker 8-5 to reach him. Feliciano drew Matt Klein, who'd eliminated Tony Ignomirello 6-2 and Bob Toomey 6-4. Osipov and Feliciano advanced to the quarterfinals; Osipov 7-1 over Lam, and Feliciano 6-3 over Klein.
Osipov and Feliciano locked up in a double hill quarterfinal that eventually sent Osipov to the semifinals against Delimelkonoglu. A second double hill fight followed, this time with Osipov falling to Delimelkonoglu 7-6. The finals between Delimelkonoglu and Lee see-sawed back and forth until Delimelkonoglu pulled out in front to win it 9-6, capturing his first exclusively Tri-State title in six years.
Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Steinway Billiards, as well as sponsors Ozone Billiards, Sterling-Gaming, Kamui Tips, Phil Capelle, BlueBook Publishing, Human Kinetics , Pool & Billiards, Professor Q Ball, Bender Cues, Joe Romer Trophies and DIGICUE OB. The next stop on the Tri-State Tour, scheduled for September 10, will be hosted by Cue Bar in Bayside (Queens), NY.

Turning Stone Day One: Appleton and Dechaine upset

Day one is in the books at the Joss NE 9-Ball's Turning Stone Classic XXIV, and the day was bookended by two surprising upsets.


The first upset of the day took place in round one, where a Darren Appleton pinched nerve in the neck teamed up with strong play from Joss Tour regular Jason Michas to send Appleton to the one loss side in his first match. Michas won the match 9-5 and Appleton said he was contemplating pulling out of the tournament to seek medical help on the neck. Fortunately for the fans in attendance, Appleton stuck it out and has already won his first match of the day on day two. 


Other action in the first round saw Robb Saez with a dominating 9-0 win over Rich Grannis and Mosconi Cup hopeful Scott Frost scoring a lopsided 9-1 win over Ernesto Dominguez. While Ernesto was being sent to the one loss side, son Oscar was being sent to join him, after a hill-hill loss to Michael Yednak.


Round two on Thursday didn't hold any major upsets, but one match of note saw local Junior Champion Jake Miosi take a brutal loss. Miosi led Ray Lee 4-0 when the wheels fell off. Nine games later, Miosi had lost the match 9-4. 


The second major upset of the day occured in the final round of play, as Canadian veteran "Machine Gun" Luc Salvas shot down Mike Dechaine on the streaming table. Dechaine trailed in the match early and Salvas pulled away to get to the hill at 8-6. Salvas had a runnable table, but missed a ball and Dechaine pounced on the opportunity. Dechaine would tie the match at 8-8, but missed a 4-ball while running the final table and Salvas cleaned up the table for the 9-8 win. Dechaine will begin the long journey through the one loss side with a match against Tony Antone Friday afternoon.


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