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Lamberti comes back from semifinals to down Goberdhan in finals of Predator Tri-State Tour

Marc Lamberti and Jason Goberdhan, having returned recently from an all-too-familiar absence from the tables, signaled their return on the Predator Tri-State Tour with victories just over a month apart. A week before Christmas, Goberdhan chalked up his first tour win in two years at Steinway Billiards. On Saturday, Jan. 22, Lamberti followed suit, chalking up his first tour win in two years, with Goberdhan right on his heels. Goberdhan won the first of two against him, battling for the hot seat, but Lamberti returned from the semifinals to defeat him in the finals. The $500-added event drew 23 entrants to Clifton Billiards in Clifton, NJ.

Goberdhan had survived a double hill, winners’ side quarterfinal match against Bryan Jeziorski to pick up Ray Marisette in one of the two winners’ side semifinals. Lamberti, in the meantime, drew Tom Crane in the other one. Goberdhan and Lamberti advanced to the hot seat match; Goberdhan 6-3 over Marisette, Lamberti 7-5 over Crane. Goberdhan edged out in front at the end of their first match to claim the hot seat 6-4.

Marisette next ran into Jeziorski, who’d followed his defeat at the hands of Goberdhan with loss-side victories over Jay Chiu 8-6 and Alfredo Altamirano, double hill. Crane drew Linda Cheung, who’d recently eliminated KC Clayton, double hill, and Mac Jankov 7-2.

Jeziorski downed Marisette 8-6 and in the quarterfinals, faced Cheung, who added another double hill win to her event tally with the elimination of Crane. Cheung and Jeziorski embarked on an epic, 18-game quarterfinal battle that Cheung eventually won 10-8 to face Lamberti in the semifinals.

Lamberti gave up just one rack to Cheung in those semifinals to win it 6-1 and then brought that momentum with him to the finals. He gave up only two racks to Goberdhan to claim the event title.

Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Clifton Billiards for their hospitality, as well as title sponsor Predator Cues, Ozone Billiards, Sterling Billiards, Kamui, Quic Stick, Bloodworth Ball Cleaner, Joe Romer Trophies, Phil Capelle Publications and Pool and Billiards. The next stop on the Tri-State Tour, which was scheduled to begin today (Sat. Jan. 29) at Cue Bar in Bayside (Queens), NY has been postponed due to weather.

Zimny wins 4th Annual Paul Fanelli Memorial, held to benefit Lots of Love 4 Lindsay

Mike Zimny went undefeated through a field of 62 entrants, on hand for the 4th Annual Paul Fanelli Memorial Tournament on the weekend of April 5-6. For the second year in a row, the event was held to benefit Lots of Love 4 Lindsay, a fund created initially to raise money for a heart transplant for a two-year-old named Lindsay Loeb and now, a little short of a year after that transplant was performed successfully, continues to help the Loeb family with medical expenses. The event was hosted by Castle Billiards in East Rutherford, NJ, and though independent, ranking points for participating players were assigned to the Tri-State Tour. The event was live streamed via AZBTv.
Zimny advanced to a winners' side semifinal against Caroline Pao, as Scott Abramowitz squared off against Mike Strassberg. Zimny defeated Pao 7-3 and in the hot seat match, faced Abramowitz. who'd sent Strassberg to the losers' bracket 6-3. Zimny moved into the hot seat with a 7-4 win over Abramowitz and waited for what turned out to be the return of Pao.
Pao moved over and picked up Bogie Uzdejczyk, who'd defeated Vinnie Ferri 7-4 and Giovanni Husang 7-2 to reach her. Strassberg drew Gil Costello, who'd advanced past Ray Marisette 6-3 and survived a double hill match versus Jay Chiu. Pao returned to her winning ways with a 7-3 win over Uzdejczyk, while Strassberg's tournament came to an end at the hands of Costello 6-5.
Pao then defeated Costello 8-4 in the quarterfinals and then spoiled Abramowitz' bid for a re-match against Zimny with a 7-3 win in the semifinals. The re-match was hers. Zimny, though, completed his undefeated run with a 7-5 victory over Pao in the extended-race finals to claim the event title.

John Trobiano wins his second Tri-State Tour Invitational

John Trobiano

The sixteenth annual Tri-State Tour Invitational Tournament took place July 6 & 7, 2013, at Castle Billiards in East Rutherford, NJ. The weekend was a huge success for the tour with 16 A & A+ Players, 32 B & B+ Players, 32 C & C+ Players and 16 D & D+ Players who earned their way in to compete in their respective classes and play for their chance to be named the Tri-State Tour Invitational Grand Champion. Castle Billiards hosted the event for the fourth year. Castle Billiards owners John & Minnie Trobiano were again very professional, helpful and gracious. They donated their room and all the table time. Their generosity and support to the players and the event never dwindles and is always done with the players in mind. They are people who are genuinely into the game and the players; enough positive and complimentary things cannot be said about John, Minnie, and their staff.
As each day began, organizers John Leyman, Todd Fleitman & Rick Shellhouse congratulated the players on reaching the top of their classes for the season and handed out awards to the top players of the year in each class. The Tri-State Tour added $4000 in cash prizes and the sponsors QPOD, Dunkel Custom Cues, KH Custom Cues, Ozone Billiards, Fury Cues, Kamui Tips, Sterling Gaming, Capelle’s Pool Books, Billiards Digest, Pool & Billiards, Inside Pool, Professor-Q-Ball’s News, Blue Book Publications, Castle Billiards, Amsterdam Billiards, NYCGrind and Romer’s Trophies went out of their way to provide the event with some great equipment and prizes. The sponsors are owed a debt a gratitude for their dedication to the game and the players, their efforts and generosity are what made the event so special and such a great success and without their continued support of the sport and the players this event could not happen. 
Awards were presented to the top 3 players in each class, to the Most Improved Player of the Year, and Sportsman of the Year. The the most improved player went to Thomas Rice whose game gets stronger each day with the help of lessons from such legendary players as Earl Stickland. Thomas is only 15 and is improving every day, one day soon he will be playing with the best in the world.  Each year the tour awards one player the “Sportsperson of the Year” award. It is awarded to someone the tour believes exemplifies what a player should be and how they should act and this year’s award went to Dave Shlemperis. This year the Tri-State Tour announced that they would be starting a virtual Hall of Fame that will become part of their website. The new Hall of Fame page is still under construction and plans are in effect to debut it this fall. At the Invitational two players were inducted into the Hall of Fame. Dawn Hopkins who started it all back in the late 80’s as the “All About Pool Tour” and Daniel Cintron for his accomplishments on the tour, dedication and help to the tour throughout the years. Plans are also in effect to induct two more players who during the history of the tour their names and accomplishments became synonymous with the tour and they will be revealed in the near future.
The top players of the year in the their respective classes were Koka Davladze winning the A+/A class, Gary Murgia B+ player, Dave Shlemperis B player, Thomas Rice C player and Mike Davie returning to once again be crowned D+/D class player of the year. The Ladies Player of the Year was Yomaylin Feliz. In one of our most heated battles for player of the year Eddie Perez came in first only slightly edging out runner up and 2 time C class winner Tony Ignomirello by 10 points for the C+ player of the year. For a full list of winners for all the classes and events, please see the web site 
The action in the tournament got going around eleven on Saturday morning, July 6 with the B+ and B class players along with the D+/D players kicking off the event.  The B+ class saw two players dominate the event and meet each other in the hot seat match, room owner John Trobiano and Ricardo Mejia.  Ricardo played strong and won the match on the hill. John moved to the one loss side where he played Steve Kaminow. John even though working 21 hours the day before preparing the room for the event could not be denied and won the match 7-0 and went on to the finals for a rematch with Ricardo. In the finals, the two combatants again played very well but John came out on top at 9-6. The B Class event paralleled the B+ class with Chris Peralta sending Mike Zimny to the one loss side after winning the hot seat match 7-1. Mike then beat Paul Spaanstra 7-5 and moved on to the finals. Playing a much different match this time against Chris, Mike won the match 7-4.
The D+/D class saw the 2 players who finished first and third in the points race the class for the year, fight their way to the hot seat match. Mike Davie and Ada Lio played a hard fought match but Mike came out on top 5-2. Ada then battled back by beating Amy Yu Yue on the one loss side to return to her second D+/D finals. But Mike could not be stopped and he beat Ada 5-2 again sending Ada home in second place for the second year in a row. Although Mike has been playing on the tour for a decade and has multiple Player of the year awards to his credit, he has never won a Tri-State tour tournament and so with this win Mike crowns his year on the tour with a major accomplishment.
On Sunday, play started again at 11 AM with the A+/A players and the C+ class and C class arriving to do battle. As the day progressed each event was dominated by one player, Raphael Dabreo in the A’s, Rene Villalobos in the C+’s and Umit Yolcu in the C’s. And all three would win their respective classes. In the A+/A class Raphael beat Geoffrey Bauer 7-5 sending Geoffrey to the one loss side and a match with home room favorite Scott Simonetti. But breaking strong and playing very strong Geoffrey came out on top against Scott at 7-5 and returned to the finals against Raphael. In one of the best matches of the entire event both players played exceptionally well with the lead going back and forth. Taking the match to hill/hill both players had opportunities in the final game but an unfortunate scratch late in the game by Geoffrey left Raphael with an out and the win. In the C+ class Rene dominated all the way thru winning the hot seat match against Keith Diaz 6-4. After losing to Rene in his second match of the day Robert Veit fought back on the one loss side to get to the finals only to lose again to Rene but this time at the score of 6-2. In the C class the scenario from the C+ class just about mirrored what was happening in the C Class. Umit Yolcu went undefeated beating Dave Danchak in the hot seat match 6-3 and then Ray Marisette in the finals 6-3. Ray just like Robert had lost his second match of the day and fought back to get to the finals.
This left our 6 class champions to do battle for the Grand Champion title. Rene Villalobos beat Umit Yolco 6-4 to win the C+/C playoff.  Rene then went on to beat Mike Davie in the C/D class playoff winning on the hill 7-6. John Trobiano after working the kitchen and room all day beat Mike Zimny on the hill in the B+/B class playoff and then went on to Raphael DaBreo 7-4 in the A/B class playoff.  This left the event with two players still standing; Rene Villalobos and John Trobiano. John feeling very relaxed event though working very hard over the weekend played extremely confidently and precise and won the final match of the event 7-4. This is John’s second win as Tri-State Tour Invitational Grand Champion. His first win was back in 2010.

Jimenez goes undefeated on Tri-State

Geoffrey Bauer, Shinichi Sekine and Luis Jimenez

Fifth time's a charm, apparently.
After placing seventh and fifth twice on the Tri-State Tour since January, Luis Jimenez broke through on the weekend of June 1-2, completing an undefeated run through a field of 37. The $780-added, A-D handicapped event was hosted by Castle Billiards in East Rutherford, NJ.
Jimenez didn't get the chance in this one to play the same opponent twice. He downed Eddie Perez, in a straight-up, C+, race to six 6-3 among the winners' side final four and was met in the hot seat battle by Geoffrey Bauer, who'd sent John Trobiano west 7-3. Jimenez got into the hot seat with an 8-4 win over Bauer, and waited for Shinichi Sikine, a B-ranked player, who was in the midst of a five-match, loss-side winning streak.
Sikine had been sent to the loss side by Trobiano in the third round, and got by Scott Simonetti 7-5 and Ken Debroske 7-4 before facing Trobiano a second time. Perez drew Ray Marisette, who'd defeated Cassandra Corbin 7-4 and Steven Protzo 6-2. Sekine successfully wreaked vengeance on Trobiano 7-4, and in the quarterfinals, faced Perez, who'd eliminated Marisette 6-4.
Sekine then defeated Perez 7-4 in those quarterfinals and survived a double hill match against Bauer in the semifinals. Jimenez, though, was not to be denied. He took the final match 7-5 to take home top honors.
Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Castle Billiards for their hospitality and continuing support, as well as sponsors Sterling-Gaming, Ozone Billiards, Poison Cues, Ron Tarr Cues, Kamui Tips, Phil Capelle, BlueBook Publishing, and Human Kinetics. The next stop on the Tri-State Tour will be a $2,500-added, A-D handicapped event, scheduled for June 8-9 at Gotham City Billiards in Brooklyn, NY.
"Come early," says the tour's notice of this event on their Facebook page, "because the field will fill up quickly. Practice starts at 10 a.m." Visit the tour's Web site – – for further information and updates.