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Emmitt goes undefeated to win his first regional tour title on the Predator Tri-State Tour

Sean Emmitt and KC Clayton

It was the second time, as far as we know, that Sean Emmitt had made it to the hot seat of a regional tour event. He did it the first time in September, 2018, at Clifton Billiards in Clifton, NJ,  downing Ralph Ramos, Jr. The competitor he’d sent to the loss side in that event, Neil Walmsley, downed Ramos in the semifinals and came back to deny Emmitt his first title, chalking up his own second.

Just over three and half years later, this past weekend (Saturday, April 16), at the same location, Emmitt made it to the hot seat again, having only cashed in two other events in between; 4th at another stop on the Tri-State back in 2018 and 4th again at a National Billiard League qualifying event, a little over a year ago. This time, though, Emmitt took the final step. After claiming the hot seat, he downed the same opponent, KC Clayton, in the finals to claim his first regional tour title. The $300-added 10-ball event drew 16 entrants to Clifton Billiards.

Emmitt faced Mike Strassberg in the winners’ side semifinal of this one, as Clayton squared off against Ty Classan. Emmitt got into the hot seat match with a 7-2 win over Strassberg and was joined by Clayton, who’d sent Classan to the loss side 7-4. Emmitt downed Clayton 7-5 and sat, once again in the hot seat of a Clifton Billiards event, awaiting his second chance to grab a regional tour title.

On the loss side, Strassberg picked up Rick Rodriguez, who’d defeated John Velez 8-5 and Frank Rodriguez 7-5 to reach him. Classan picked up Julie Madlener, who’d recently eliminated Jay Chiu and Marc Lamberti, both 6-4.

Strassberg and Classan advanced to the quarterfinals; Strassberg 6-4 over Rodriguez and Classan 6-1 over Madlener. Strassberg took the quarterfinal match 6-3 over Classan, but Clayton shut him down by the same score in the semifinals.

As might have been predicted between two opponents who had both finished as runner-up at a stop on the Tri-State Tour (Clayton was runner-up at last month’s stop at Cue Bar in Queens, NY) and were in search of their first regional tour title, the finals went double hill. Emmitt dropped the last 10-ball to claim the 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, Quick Stick, Bloodworth Ball Cleaner, Joe Romer Trophies, Phil Capelle Publications and Pool and Billiards. The next stop on the Predator Tri-State Tour, scheduled for the Saturday, May 7, will be another 10-Ball event, $500-added, hosted by Shooter’s Family Billiards in Wayne, NJ. 

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Trzeciak comes back from hot seat loss to down Francois on Predator Tri-State 8-Ball event

Kervens Francois and Artur Trzeciak

Just shy of three years ago (February, 2019), Artur Trzeciak won seven matches on the loss side at a Predator Tri-State Tour event and was prepared for a finals’ challenge against Chris Kemp, owner of Shooter’s Family Billiards, where the event took place. Kemp, though, opted out of a final and deferred his claim to the title and trophy, thereby handing Trzeciak his first Predator Tri-State win. This past weekend (Sat., Dec. 11), at the same location, Trzeciak came from playing a single match on the loss side and this time, played in the finals versus Kervens Francois, who was looking to go back-to-back on the tour, having won the previous stop (Nov. 13-14). Trzeciak prevailed to claim his second Predator Tri-State title. The $500-added, 8-ball event drew 23 entrants to Shooter’s Family Billiards in Wayne, NJ.

Trzeciak’s path to the finals went through Patrick Meyers, Qian Chen and Jay Chiu to arrive at a winners’ side semifinal match against Luis Jimenez. Francois, in the meantime, got by Ewa Swzed, Tom Cran, and Quintin Chen to meet up with KC Clayton in the other winners’ side semifinal.

Both matches for advancement to the hot seat match went double hill. Trzeciak downed Jimenez 7-6, while Francois defeated Clayton 5-4. Francois claimed the hot seat 5-2 over Trzeciak and waited on his return.

On the loss side, Jimenez and Clayton walked right into their second straight loss. Jimenez had picked up Hunter Sullivan, who’d recently shut out Bud Robideau and survived a double hill battle versus Jay Chiu before downing Jimenez 6-2. Clayton drew Rick Rodriguez, who’d recently eliminated Thomas McManamon 5-2 and Ewa Swzed, double hill, before eliminating Clayton, double hill.

Sullivan downed Rodriguez 6-2 in the quarterfinals that followed, only to have his loss-side streak ended by the same score, versus Trzeciak in the semifinals. Trzeciak took full advantage of the second shot against Francois that he’d earned. He defeated Francois 7-3 in the finals to claim the first title he’d earned by competing and winning an event final.

Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Shooter’s Family Billiards, as well as title sponsor Predator Cues, Ozone Billiards, Sterling Billiards, Kamui, Quick Stik, Bloodworth Ball Cleaner, Joe Romer Trophies, Phil Capelle Publications and Pool and Billiards. The next stop on the Predator Tri-State Tour, scheduled for Dec. 18-19, will be hosted by Steinway Billiards in Astoria (Queens), NY.

Tri-State Tour stages ‘Battles of the high ‘Cs’ as Goberdhan goes undefeated to win them all

(l to r): Jason Goberdhan & Bob Toomey

The Tri-State Tour stop on Sunday, November 24 was restricted to C and D players on the tour and 22 of them showed up to compete; 18, split evenly between C players (including four of the tour’s top five women) and C+ players, to go along with three D+ players and a single D. Six of the tour’s top seven C+ players competed (missing was #6, Mac Jankov), and three of them ended up in the two winners’ side semifinals. Jason Goberdhan, #7 on that list of the tour’s top C+ players went undefeated through the field, downing the #2 C+ player, Bob Toomey twice; hot seat and finals. The $1,000-added event was hosted by Clifton Billiards in Clifton, NJ.
 
The battle between the #1 and #2 C+ players – Mike Strassberg and Bob Toomey – took place in the second round and yielded a somewhat predictable double hill fight, won by Toomey. He advanced to send Tom McManamon (C) to the loss side 6-4 and draw Brian Schell (#6 C) in one of the winners’ side semifinals. Goberdhan, in the meantime, after an opening round bye, sent Bianca Martinez (#4 C) and Teddy Lapadula (#4 C+) to the loss side and picked up Adrian Daniel (#3 C+) in the other winners’ side semifinal.
 
Goberdhan and Toomey advanced to the hot seat match with identical 6-4 victories over Daniel and Schell, respectively. Goberdhan then sent Toomey to the semifinals 6-2 and waited in the hot seat for his return.
 
Over on the loss side, Schell and Daniel picked up C+ Players Rick Rodriguez (#5) and Dax Druminski (#15). Rodriguez, sent to the loss side by Daniel in a winners’ side quarterfinal, had subsequently eliminated C+ player #1, Strassberg, double hill and shut out C+ player #4, Lapadula, to get Schell. Druminski had eliminated Michelle Brotons (the tour’s #1 female and #1 C player) 7-4 and Marc Antonetti 6-4 to draw Daniel.
 
Druminski and Rodriguez handed Daniel and Schell their second straight loss and advanced to the quarterfinals; Druminski 6-3 over Daniel and Rodriguez, double hill over Schell. Rodriguez then defeated Druminski 6-3 in those quarterfinals.
 
Toomey put a stop to Rodriguez’ ambitions for further advancement with a shutout over him in the semifinals. In the end, the tour’s #7 C+ player (Goberdhan) downed the tour’s #2 C+ player (Toomey) 6-4. Goberdhan went home undefeated with the event title.
 
Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Clifton Billiards for their hospitality, as well as sponsors Ozone Billiards, Sterling-Gaming, Kamui, Phil Capelle, Bloodworth Ball Cleaner, Billiard Engineering, Pool & Billiards, Professor Q Ball, Bender Cues, and Pool & Billiards. The next Tri-State event, scheduled for Sunday, December 1, will be hosted by Cue Bar in Bayside (Queens), NY.

LaFleur and Altamarino split top prizes on Tri-State Tour

Allison LaFleur & Alfredo Altamarino

The Tri-State Tour’s top two women almost met in the hot seat and finals of a $1,000-added tour stop on Sunday, November 17, which drew 29 entrants to Shooter’s Family Billiards in Wayne, NJ. But it didn’t turn out that way. Allison LaFleur went undefeated through the field, and in the end, past midnight, with a long drive ahead for both of them, she and (male) Alfredo Altamarino opted for a split of the top two prizes.
 
The ‘match that almost happened’ actually occurred in one of the winners’ side semifinals. LaFleur’s path to the hot seat was a bit of a roller coaster ride; four matches, two of which went double hill and two of which she gave up only one rack, total. She downed Adrian Daniel and another of the tour’s top women, Vinny Mistry, double hill, shut out newcomer Roger Blanco and in that winners’ side semifinal, gave up the single rack to the woman who entered the tournament ahead of her (just barely) in the tour standings, Michelle Brotons. In the other winners’ side semifinal, a local Shooter’s player, CJ Chey, squared off and defeated Joe Mazzeo 6-2. In her third double hill fight, which reportedly hinged in the end on a safety battle, LaFleur claimed the hot seat over Chey.
 
The potential for a Brotons/LaFleur final was still very much in the air, so to speak.
 
Brotons moved over and picked up . . . guess who – Alfredo Altamarino, who’d been sent to the loss side by CJ Chey in the second round and was working on a seven-match, loss-side streak that would take him to the finals and include victories over three of the tour’s top women and a prize split with a fourth, LaFleur, who’d end the night at the top of the list. After defeating top-tour-female #3, Amanda Andries 5-2, Altamarino downed #7, Vinny Mistry 7-4 and then, eliminated Mac Jankov 5-3 to pick up Brotons. Mazzeo, in the meantime, picked up Chris Kemp, who’d defeated Marcelo Adinolfi 6-3 and Rick Rodriguez 6-4 to reach him.
 
Kemp moved into the quarterfinals with a 6-4 win over Mazzeo, as Altamarino was busy surviving a double hill battle against Brotons, and ending hopes for a ‘top two women’ final. Altamarino then eliminated Kemp 6-4 and in what was described as a “stunning upset,” his rematch versus Chey in the semifinals was a shutout.
 
LaFleur and Altamarino opted out the final match, split the cash and called it a night.
 
Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Shooter’s Family Billiards for their hospitality, as well as sponsors Ozone Billiards, Sterling-Gaming, Kamui, Phil Capelle, Bloodworth Ball Cleaner, Billiard Engineering, Pool & Billiards, Professor Q Ball, Bender Cues, and Pool & Billiards. The next Tri-State event, scheduled for Sunday, November 24, will be hosted by Clifton Billiards in Clifton, NJ.

Schmidt goes undefeated to win his first regional tour event on Tri-State Tour

(l to r): Luis Jimenez & Chris Schmidt

It had been, according to our records, almost exactly five years since Chris Schmidt had taken home any cash by competing on the Tri-State Tour. In October of 2014, he finished, in successive weeks, 5th and 4th at two stops on the tour. Schmidt returned to the ‘fold,’ so to speak, on Sunday, October 20 to chalk up his first Tri-State victory. Schmidt went undefeated through a field of 22, on hand for the $1,000-added event that was hosted by Shooter’s Family Billiards in Wayne, NJ.
 
Schmidt had to get by Luis Jimenez twice to claim this event title. Following victories over Tri Chau 7-1 and Paul Wilkens 7-2 Schmidt drew Jimenez for the first time in one of the winners’ side semifinals. Adrian Daniels, in the meantime, squared off against Rick Rodriguez in the other winners’ side semifinal.
 
Schmidt advanced to the hot seat match with a 7-3 win over Jimenez. Daniels joined him after a 6-3 win over Rodriguez. Schmidt and Daniels battled to double hill before Schmidt prevailed to claim what appears to be his first recorded claim to a tournament’s hot seat.
 
On the loss side, Jimenez opened his three-match march back to the finals against Desi DeRado, who’d defeated Paul Wilkens 7-5 and Zach Ivie, double hill, to reach him. Rodriguez drew Shweta Zaveri, who’d recently eliminated Bob Toomey 7-5 and CJ Chey 7-1.
 
Jimenez and Rodriguez got right back to work, winning. Jimenez downed DeRado 7-3, as Rodriguez just did survive a double hill fight against Zaveri.
 
Jimenez earned his way to a slot in the finals with two straight double hill wins, over Rodriguez in the quarterfinals and Daniels in the semifinals. Schmidt, though, edged out in front in the final match that followed, defeating Jimenez 7-5 and claiming his first event title.
 
Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Shooter’s Family Billiards, as well as sponsors Ozone Billiards, Sterling-Gaming, Kamui, Phil Capelle, Bloodworth Ball Cleaner, Billiard Engineering, Pool & Billiards, Professor Q Ball, Bender Cues and Pool & Billiards. The next stop on the Tri-State Tour, scheduled for Sunday, October 27, will be a Double Points, 10-ball event, hosted by Cue Bar in Bayside (Queens), NY. 

Kuo goes undefeated, splits top prizes with Lam on Tri-State stop

Tony Kuo & Duc Lam

It was the same matchup that had occurred at the 2017 Empire State Championships on Long Island two years ago. At that tournament two years ago (February), Tony Kuo and Duc Lam met twice – hot seat and finals – to determine the event’s amateur champion. Kuo got into the hot seat, but Lam came back from the semifinals to win it. On Saturday, August 17, at a $1,000-added Tri-State Tour stop that drew 36 entrants to Steinway Billiards in Astoria (Queens), NY, Kuo and Lam battled it out for the hot seat again and again, Kuo prevailed. This time, though, Lam didn’t get a second chance. Although Lam did win the semifinal match for the right to challenge Kuo in the final, the late hour led to a mutual agreement to split the top two cash prizes. As the undefeated occupant of the hot seat, Kuo claimed the official event title.

Victories over Joe Wilson Torres (double hill), Juan Melendez and Shweta Zaveri set Kuo up for a winners’ side semifinal against Raymond Lee. Lam, in the meantime, squared off against Bianca Martinez. Lam and Martinez locked up in a double hill fight that eventually did send Lam to the hot seat match. Kuo joined him after 7-4 victory over Lee. In what proved to be the decisive match of the tournament, Kuo and Lam fought to double hill, as well, with Kuo prevailing in his last match of the evening.
Martinez arrived on the loss side of the bracket and ran into Dax Druminski, who’d been sent to the loss bracket by Lam in a winners’ side quarterfinal and then, defeated Max Watanabe, double hill and Luis Lopez 6-2. Lee picked up Luis Jimenez, who’d eliminated Shweta Zaveri 8-4 and Rick Rodriguez 7-4 to reach him.
Druminski chalked up his third straight loss-side win 6-1 over Martinez. Jimenez recorded his third straight on the loss side, as well, downing Lee 7-3.
Druminski took the quarterfinal match 7-5 over Jimenez to earn his rematch against Lam in the semifinals. Lam, though, closed out the event proceedings with a 9-4 win over Druminski, before agreeing to the split with Kuo in the hot seat.
Tour representatives thanked Manny Stamatakis and his Steinway Billiards staff for their hospitality, as well as sponsors Ozone Billiards, Sterling-Gaming, Kamui Tips, Phil Capelle, Bludworth Ball Cleaner, Quick Slik, Pool & Billiards, Professor Q Ball, Bender Cues, and Paul Dayton Cues. The Tri-State Tour will return to Steinway Billiards this weekend (August 24-25) for a two-day, B/C/D event.

Hulse goes undefeated to win his first Tri-State title

(l to r): Omar Hulse & Euryel Castillo

Omar Hulse navigated his way through a field of C/D competitors on-hand for the August 11 stop on the Tri-State Tour and went undefeated to claim his first Tri-State title. The $1,000-added, C/D event drew 30 entrants to Cue Bar Lounge & Billiards in Bayside (Queens), NY.
 
Following victories over Rick Rodriguez, Mike Strassberg, and Allison LaFleur, Hulse drew Ambi Estevez in one of the winners’ side semifinals. Euryel Castillo, in the meantime, drew Jowen Pichardo in the other one. With a series of 5-3 wins, Hulse claimed the hot seat. He and Pichardo got into the hot seat match on the heels of identical 5-3 victories over Estevez and Castillo, respectively. Hulse then claimed the hot seat by the same score over Pichardo and waited on what turned out to be the return of Castillo.
 
On the loss side, the 5-3 ‘party’ continued. Castillo picked up Suzzie Wong, who’d defeated Jack Zhong and Mitra Kanhai, both 5-3. Allison LaFleur broke things up a little, when she defeated Esteban Morrell, Jr. 5-2 and Jim Gutierrez 5-1, to pick up Estevez, but then righted the 5-3 ship by defeating Estevez 5-3. Castillo downed Wong 5-2 to join LaFleur in the quarterfinals.
 
Castillo and LaFleur battled to double hill in those quarterfinals, before Castillo ended it to earn a rematch against Pichardo in the semifinals. Castillo gave up only a single rack in those semifinals and got a shot at Hulse in the hot seat. He made good use of the chance he’d earned, but fell short. Castillo fought Hulse to a ninth deciding game in the finals, but it was Hulse who claimed the event title.
 
Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Cue Bar for their hospitality, as well as sponsors Ozone Billiards, Sterling-Gaming, Kamui Tips, Phil Capelle, Pool & Billiards, Professor Q Ball, Bender Cues, Paul Dayton Cues, Bludworth Ball Cleaner, Joe Romer Trophies and Quick Slick. The next stop on the Tri-State Tour, scheduled for Saturday, August 17, will be hosted by Steinway Billiards in Astoria (Queens), NY. 

Watanabe gets by Shlemperis twice, goes undefeated to win Tri-State stop

(l to r): Max Watanabe & Dave Shlemperis

Though Max Watanabe has cashed in five 2019 events thus far (four Tri-State events and one Predator Pro Am) and Dave Shlemperis has cashed in only two (one each on the Tri-State and Predator Pro Am Tours; runner-up in both), they recorded almost mirror-like activity in 2018. For Watanabe, 2018 proved to be his best earnings year to date, and midway through the year, he finished as the Tri-State Tour’s top-ranked A/A+ competitor (the Tri-State Tour starts and ends its year-overlapping seasons in mid-summer). He cashed in 11 events, winning twice (once each on the Tri-State and Predator Pro Am Tour) and finished 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 7th, 9th and 13th in a combination of the two tour’s events. Shlemperis, the Tri-State’s #8-ranked B+ competitor in their 2018-2019 season, cashed in nine 2018 events. He won on the Tri-State Tour once and finished 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 7th, 9th and 13th in a combination of the two tour’s events (he tossed in a 17th place finish at Turning Stone XXX). On Sunday, August 4, at a Tri-State Tour stop, they battled twice to claim their first 2019 event title. Watanabe won both encounters at the $1000-added event that drew 33 entrants to Clifton Billiards in Clifton, NJ.
 
They met first in a winners’ side quarterfinal, with Watanabe prevailing 7-3 and advancing to a winners’ side semifinal against Eli Trajceski. Luis Jimenez, in the meantime, who finished as the runner-up in last week’s (July 27) stop on the Tri-State Tour, squared off against Mike Strassberg in the other winners’ side semifinal.
 
Watanabe sent Trajceski off 7-5 to an immediate encounter versus Shlemperis on the loss side. Jimenez and Strassberg battled to double hill before Jimenez prevailed. The battle for the hot seat was a double hill affair with Watanabe claiming the hot seat and waiting on the return of Shlemperis.
 
Shlemperis had opened his five-match, loss-side campaign with a double hill win over Jaydev Zaveri and followed it with a 7-3 win over Bob Toomey, which set him up versus Trajceski. Strassberg drew Mars Adinolfi, who’d defeated Rick Rodriguez 7-1 and Paul Madonia 7-3 to reach him.
 
Of the next five matches that would determine the event’s winner, four of them went double hill, beginning with the two matches that determined advancement to the quarterfinals; Shlemperis over Trajceski and Adinolfi over Strassberg. The quarterfinals came within a game of double hill, with Shlemperis winning it 7-5.
 
Shlemperis chalked up his third double hill win of the five matches he played on the loss side in the semifinals, downing Jimenez and earning himself a second shot at Watanabe in the hot seat. He battled Watanabe to double hill in the finals, but Watanabe dropped the last ball to claim the event title.
 
Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Clifton Billiards, as well as sponsors Ozone Billiards, Sterling-Gaming, Kamui Tips, Liquid Weighted Cues, Bloodworth Ball Cleaner, Quick Stik, Phil Capelle, Pool & Billiards,  Bender Cues, Dayton Cues, and  Romer Trophies. The next stop on the Tri-State Tour, scheduled for Sunday, August 11, will be hosted by Cue Bar in Bayside (Queens), NY. 

DeRado and Jimenez split top prizes on Tri-State Tour

(l to r): Desi DeRado & Luis Jimenez

Desi DeRado earned his first cash payout at a Tri-State Tour stop back in March, in what was the tour’s 2018-2019 season. This past weekend, July 27, he chalked up his first victory on the tour*, going undefeated to the hot seat and negotiating a prize settlement with Luis Jimenez in lieu of a final match. The $1,000-added event drew 19 entrants to Shooter’s Family Billiards in Wayne, NJ.
 
DeRado and Jimenez did play a match in this one, a winners’ side semifinal. DeRado’s trip to the asterisk victory had something of a shaky start. A 7-3 win over Ryan Macedonio was followed by a double hill battle that he won over Steve Kaminow, setting him up for the winners’ side semifinal against Jimenez. Rick Rodriguez and Mac Jankov squared off in the other winners’ side semifinal.
 
DeRado won his second straight, double hill match, sending Jimenez to the loss side, as Rodriguez downed Jankov 6-2. DeRado defeated Rodriguez 8-6 in what proved to be his last match and claimed the hot seat.
 
On the loss side, Jimenez launched his trip back to the finals against Nick Serino, who’d defeated Steve Kaminow, double hill and Ryan Macedonia 7-2. Jankov drew Mike Strassberg, who’d defeated Sabrina Sherman 6-4 and survived a double hill match against John DeVito.
 
Jimenez eliminated Serino 7-3 and in the quarterfinals, faced Jankov, who’d defeated Strassberg double hill. Jankov ended up on the wrong side of his second straight double hill match in those quarterfinals, which sent Jimenez to his last match, the semifinals.
 
For different reasons, both Jimenez and Rodriguez were anxious to win the semifinals for a second shot at DeRado in the hot seat. Jimenez earned the shot with a 7-4 victory over Rodriguez, but never got the shot when negotiations opened for a split of the top prizes. The event title, DeRado’s first-ever, though accompanied by the *, went into the record books.
 
Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Shooter’s Family Billiards, as well as sponsors Ozone Billiards, Sterling-Gaming, Kamui Tips, Liquid Weighted Cues, Bloodworth Ball Cleaner, Quick Stik, Phil Capelle, Pool & Billiards,  Bender Cues, Dayton Cues, and Romer Trophies. The next stop on the Tri-State Tour, scheduled for Sunday, August 4, will be hosted by Clifton Billiards in Clifton, NJ.

Toomey and Mazzeo split top prizes on Tri-State Tour’s 2019/2020 season opener

(l to r): Bob Toomey & Joe Mazzeo

Negotiations for opting out of a tournament’s final match are often, though not always, conducted, if not secretly, at least away from the person who is sometimes holding the cash for its eventual distribution. And sometimes, hearing or reading about it afterwards, can make you wonder whose idea it was. A person who was defeated in the hot seat match, as a random example, is generally motivated to take a second shot against the opponent who sent him/her to the semifinals. Reasons for the cash split at the end of a long day can range from the practical (a long drive home, a work shift that begins late at night, or even early the next morning) to the personal (the opponents drove to the tournament together and agreed upon arrival that if faced with a final match, they’d split).
 
On Sunday, July 14, the Tri-State Tour opened its 2019/2020 season with a $1,000-added 8-Ball event that drew 29 entrants to Clifton Billiards in Clifton, NJ, where the 2018/2019 season had ended almost exactly a month ago. At the end of the tournament, Bob Toomey, the tour’s 2018/2019 Sportsman of the Year, was sitting in the hot seat, waiting to see whether the opponent he’d defeated in the hot seat match, Jason Blanchard, was going to make it back from the semifinals. He didn’t. Instead, Joe Mazzeo, who’d lost in the event’s second round and then embarked on a seven-match, loss-side winning streak, downed Blanchard and was presented with the opportunity to face Toomey in the final. Mazzeo, according to tour representatives, “decided to take second and end the day,” leaving the undefeated hot seat occupant (Toomey) as the event’s official winner.
 
Toomey’s path to the hot seat featured five matches, three of which went double hill. He downed Amanda Andries 5-2 and ran into his first double hill match against Rick Rodriguez. He then defeated Allison LaFleur 5-3 to draw Artur Trzeciak in one of the winners’ side semifinals. Blanchard, in the meantime, got by Chris Schmidt, Sam Hoffman, and Raphael Castillo, who’d sent Mazzeo to the loss side in the second round, to pick up Joe Ganguzza in the other winners’ side semifinal.
 
Toomey chalked up his second double hill win of the day, over Trzeciak, as Blanchard defeated Ganguzza 6-2 to join him in the hot seat match. In what would prove to be the event’s ‘title match,’ battling for the hot seat, Toomey won his third double hill battle and sent Blanchard to the semifinals.
 
On the loss side, Mazzeo was working on his seven-match, loss-side winning streak. He’d gotten by Chris Schmidt 6-3, John Durr, double hill, Nick Serino 6-2 and Teddy Lapadula 6-4 to draw Ganguzza. Trzeciak picked up Manny Gomez, who’d recently shut out Allison LaFleur and defeated Mike Strassberg 5-2.
 
Mazzeo advanced to the quarterfinals with a 6-3 win over Ganguzza. He was joined by Trzeciak, who’d eliminated Gomez 5-3. Mazzeo took the quarterfinal match over Trzeciak 6-3 and completed his loss-side run (and the tournament) with a 6-2 victory over Blanchard in the semifinals. He opted out of a final match, leaving Toomey as official winner of the Tri-State Tour’s season opener. 
Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Clifton Billiards, as well as sponsors Ozone Billiards, Sterling Billiards, Kamui, DIGICUE OB, John Bender Custom Cues, Billiards Digest, Human Kinetics, Blue Book Publishing, Joe Romer Trophies and Phil Cappelle Publications. The next stop on the Tri-State Tour, scheduled for Sunday, June 21, will be a $1,000-added 9-ball event, hosted by Steinway Billiards in Astoria (Queens), NY.