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The Iceman comes back to defeat Saez in Predator Open finals

Mika Immonen

Robb Saez sent the Iceman, Mika Immonen, to the loss side in the opening round of play in the Sunday, June 2 Open event on the Predator Tour. Immonen came back from a five-match march on the loss side to meet and defeat him in the finals to claim the top prize. The $750-addded event, run in conjunction with an Amateur event (story elsewhere), drew a short field of 11 entrants to Raxx Pool Room, Sports Bar & Grill in West Hempstead, NY. 
With Immonen out of the way, Saez advanced to face Steve Wright among the winners' side final four. Tour director Tony Robles, in the meantime, squared off against Vikram Dasari in the other winners' side semifinal. Saez downed Wright 7-3 and in the battle for the hot seat, met up with Robles, who'd sent Dasari west 7-1. Saez got into the hot seat with a 7-5 victory over Robles, and awaited his re-match against Immonen.
Immonen opened his loss-side campaign with a 7-1 victory over Frankie Hernandez, and followed that with a shutout over Rich Lang, which set him up to face Wright. Dasari drew Keith Adamik, who'd gotten by Jerry Tarantola 7-5 and Anna Grintsuk 7-4. 
Adamik handed Dasari his second straight loss 7-3, as Immonen did likewise to Wright 7-1. Immonen took the quarterfinal match versus Adamik 7-2 and then defeated Robles in the semifinals 7-3. 
In the extended-race finals, the Iceman reached nine games first, extending the match to 11 games. He completed his successful bid 11-9 over Saez to claim the event title.

Vivacio comes back from semifinals to take down Lang in Predator A-D event

They split their two meetings, but Jorge Vivacio took the critical, final match over Rich Lang to win it all. The $500-added, A-D handicapped event of the June 30-July 1 stop on the Predator Tour drew 36 entrants to Eastside Billiards on the Upper East Side of Manhattan.

They met first in the battle for the hot seat. Just prior, Vivacio had defeated Ross Lacey and Lang had downed Debra Pritchett, by identical 7-4 scores. Lang got the best of Vivacio 10-3 in the hot seat match and waited for him to get back.

Lacey moved to the loss side and picked up Mike Dube, who’d defeated Dennis Espinal 7-3 and Alex Osipov 7-5 to reach him. Pritchett drew Alex Borukhovich, who’d gotten by Louis Jimenez 7-3 and survived a double hill match against Arron Moody. Lacey advanced, defeating Dube 7-2. Pritchett did not, falling to Borukhovich 8-6.

Borukhovich defeated Lacey in the quarterfinals 7-5 and had his loss-side streak stopped in a 9-7 victory by Vivacio in the semifinals. Vivacio avenged his earlier defeat at the hands of Lang with a 12-6 victory in the finals.

Osipov goes undefeated on A-D handicapped Predator event

Alex Osipov, who plays on both the Predator and Tri-State Tours, won his first of either on the weekend of March 3-4. He went undefeated through a field of 39 entrants, on hand for the $500-added, A-D handicapped event of the Predator Tour, hosted by Mr. Cue in Lindenhurst, NY.

From among the winners’ side final four, Osipov won two straight double hill matches to get into the hot seat. He sent Rich Turner west and then faced Naldo Troncoso, who’d defeated Billy Santiago 7-5. His second double hill win left him in the hot seat and sent Troncoso to the semifinals, where he met up with Roberto Mendoza, who was in the midst of a seven game, loss-side winning streak.

Mendoza, who’d been sent west by Tony Liang, defeated Juan Guzman and Frank Rapisarda to move into the money rounds. He then downed Victor Nau, double hill, and Steve Wright 7-2 for the right to face Santiago. Turner moved over from the winners’ side final four to face Rich Lang, who’d defeated Boris Manzhelky 7-4 and Kevin Falco 7-5. 

It was Mendoza and Turner advancing to the quarterfinals; Mendoza with a 7-5 victory over Santiago and Turner ending Lang’s day 7-3. Mendoza went on to win his final match of the day, defeating Turner 10-7 in the quarterfinals, and advancing to the semifinals, where Troncoso prevailed 7-3.  Osipov completed his undefeated run with a 10-8 victory over Troncoso in a single, extended-race match in the finals.

Tour director Tony Robles thanked the owners and staff of Mr. Cue, as well as sponsors Predator Cues, The National Amateur Pool League, Delta-13 racks, Poison Cues,, and NYCGrind.