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Brucato goes 5-1 to take Western New York Tour stop

It did not begin well for tour director Nick Brucato on his most recent Western New York Tour stop on Sunday, July 8. As a late addition to his tour schedule, the event, hosted by Breaker’s Billiards in Pittsburgh, PA, drew only 7 entrants. He was fortunate enough to be the player who drew the opening round bye in the 8-player bracket, but was sent immediately to the loss side by Jim Udishes. He returned, though, and double dipped Udishes to take the event title.

Udishes, Nick St. James, and Richard Namie were the opening round winners over Paul Motty, Jr. (owner of Breaker’s Billiards), Andy Shaw and Butch Weimer. This created the winners’ side final four matchups between Udishes and Brucato, and St. James versus Namie. Udishes shut Brucato out and advanced to the hot seat match against Namie, who’d defeated St. James 6-4. Udishes got into the hot seat with a 6-3 victory over Namie.

Brucato went to work on the loss side. He met up first with Weimer, who’d downed Shaw 6-3. St. James picked up Motty, Jr., who’d been awarded a loss-side bye. St. James and Brucato advanced to the quarterfinals with identical 6-2 victories over Motty, Jr. and Weimer.

Over the next 29 games, Brucato would give up only five racks. He allowed St. James two in the quarterfinals, and gave up only one to Namie in the semifinals that followed. He avenged his first-round loss in mirror fashion, shutting Udishes out in the opening set of the true double elimination finals, and completed his five-match winning streak with a 6-2 victory that sealed the deal.

Steele takes two out of the three against Brucato to win Western New York Tour stop

“To be 70 years young is sometimes far more cheerful and hopeful than to be 40 years old.”  – Oliver Wendell Holmes

On Saturday, February 18, Don Steele, in his 70s, proved this point with a successful day on the Western New York Tour, defeating its 40-something tour director, Nick Brucato, twice, to claim the event title, at approximately 5:30 a.m. on Sunday morning. The $150-added event drew 21 entrants to Breaker’s Billiards in Pittsburgh, PA.

From among the winners’ side final four, Steele squared off against Richard Namie, as Brucato took on Al Landy. Steele got into the hot seat match with a 6-4 victory over Namie, as Brucato was busy surviving a double hill match against Landy. In their first of three, Steele and Brucato battled to double hill before Steele prevailed to sit in the hot seat, waiting for Brucato’s return.

Namie moved to the loss bracket and picked up Nick St. James, who’d defeated Roger Jackson 6-3, and Paul Mottey 6-5. Landy drew Butch Weimer, who’d been sent to the loss side by Steele from among the final eight winners, and then defeated Smitty Smith 6-4, and Delbert Hall 6-3. Weimer made it three on the loss side in a row with a 6-3 victory over Landy, moving into the quarterfinals against Namie, who’d defeated St. James 6-4. 

Weimer chalked up his final victory of the day, with a double hill win over Namie, and had his four-match, loss-side streak stopped by Brucato in the semifinals. Brucato got a second chance against Steele with a 6-3 victory over Weimer, and followed that up by allowing Steele only a single rack in the opening set of the true double elimination final. 

In the second set, through the first six games, Brucato had once again given up only a single rack. On the hill now, Brucato watched Steele battle back to knot things at double hill, and then, with dawn approaching, complete his undefeated day to capture the event title.

Men do not quit playing because they grow old; they grow old because they quit playing – Oliver Wendell Holmes

Brucato, as tour director, thanked the ownership and staff of Breaker’s Billiards, commenting that this most recent stop had been successful enough to warrant plans for future, regular stops on the Western New York Tour at this facility.