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Busanich wins second straight on Garden State Pool Tour

Shawn Jackson, Rick Miller and Dinko Bushanich

When last we checked in on the pool life and times of one Dinko Busanich, he’d gone undefeated on the Garden State Pool Tour, winning his first (recorded) event in the New York City Tri-State area in eight years. Now, a month later, on Saturday, August 6, he’s chalked up his second regional area tour win; again, on the Garden State Pool Tour and again, going undefeated to claim the event title. The event drew 27 entrants to Rockaway Billiards in Rockaway, NJ.

This time, Busanich faced an opponent who was looking for his first regional tour win in five years, Shawn Jackson. Like Busanich, Jackson’s last win came on the Tri-State Tour, at a stop hosted by Amsterdam Billiards, and also like Busanich, Jackson went undefeated the last time he won. Not to be this time for Jackson, as he faced and was defeated twice by Busanich, on his way to a runner-up finish.

After being awarded a bye, Busanich opened up with a 7-5 victory over Juan Pena. He followed that with a win over Rick Miller 6-3, which put him into a winners’ side semifinal versus Rob Wetherhold III. Jackson, in the meantime, without a bye, defeated Nic Torraca 9-2, survived a double hill fight against Ilija Trajceski and sent James Conn to the loss side 6-1 to draw Paul Spaanstra in the other winners’ side semifinal.

Jackson gave up just a single rack to Spaanstra and advanced to the hot seat match. He was joined by Busanich, who’d defeated Wetherhold 7-3. With one ‘bead on the wire’ in a race to 7, Busanich downed Jackson in their first meeting 7-4.

On the loss side, Spaanstra picked up Rick Miller, who’d followed his loss to Busanich with victories over Kevin Rushing 10-2 and a shutout over Frank Rodriguez. Whetherhold drew Conn, who’d followed his loss to Jackson with the elimination of Raymund Paragas 7-1 and Deiby Calderon 10-3, which, as it happened, was a double hill win; Calderon, beginning the match with ‘six on the wire’ in the race to 10.

Conn sent Wetherhold home 8-3 and was joined in the quarterfinals by Miller, who’d defeated Spaanstra 7-5. Miller made it four, loss-side wins in a row with a double hill win over Conn in their straight-up race to 7 quarterfinal.

Miller, though, forfeited out of the semifinals, sending Jackson right back against Busanich, waiting for him in the hot seat. Jackson would have had to reach ‘7’ first to extend the race, but it didn’t happen. They went to double hill, which, with Busanich’s single ‘bead on the wire,’ was 5-6 (Busanich-Jackson). Busanich chalked up the final rack for the win.

Tour director Dave Fitzpatrick thanked the ownership and staff at Rockaway Billiards for their hospitality, as well as sponsors JFlowers Cues & Cases, InthBox, Off the Rail, John Bender Custom Cues, Kamui and Pool-A-Holic. The next stop on the Garden State Pool Tour, a BCD Class, 32-player maximum, 9-ball event, scheduled for Sunday, Aug. 28, will be hosted by Breaker Billiards in Clifton, NJ. 

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