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Tierney goes undefeated to capture his first regional tour title on Garden State Pool Tour

Dinko Busanich, Julian Tierney and Mike Johnson

It’s something of a recent phenomenon, this mixing of possible games in a tournament. Not entirely new, but event organizers have been getting creative with the ways that they mix the games; from changes that dictate ‘x’ amount of 8-ball or 9-ball (or other) games in a single match to the format employed by the Garden State Pool Tour at its most recent event this past weekend (Oct. 15). At the $200-added Halloween Classic that drew 18 entrants to Breaker Billiards in Clifton, NJ, 8-ball was the designated game on the winners’ side of the bracket and 9-ball was the game on the loss side. Competitors not only had to absorb a first loss and continue play knowing that there was no longer any room for error, they had to move from what is generally considered to be an easier game (if there is such a thing) to a harder one. 

Julian Tierney didn’t have to worry about that. He won all of his matches, going undefeated  playing 8-ball. When it came time for the true double elimination finals against Mike Johnson, the game played in the opening set was 8-ball. Had it gone to a second set, they would have finished up playing 9-ball. Tierney took the opening set to claim his first (recorded) regional tour title.

Tierney followed an opening round bye with two straight shutouts, over Michelle Brotons and Jason Blanchard, to arrive at a winners’ side semifinal against Dinko Busanich. Johnson, also with a bye, locked into a 6-2 pattern that sent Tom Mac and Ron Lichtenberger to the loss side and set him up to face Sumit Bansal in the other winners’ side semifinal.

Tierney defeated Busanich 4-2, as Johnson kept his pattern going with a 6-2 victory over Bansal. Tierney broke the pattern, downing Johnson 6-3 to claim the hot seat.

On the loss side, Busanich drew Lysander Diaz, who, after losing an opening round match to Aurelio Romero, went on a four-match winning streak that had recently eliminated Lichtenberger and Frank Rodriguez, both double hill (5-6; Lichtenberger and Rodriguez racing to 7). Bansal drew Romero, who’d defeated Mikeal Kim 7-4 and Rob Rodriguez, double hill to reach him.

Romero won his fourth loss side match, downing Bansal 7-4, as Busanich eliminated Diaz, double hill. Busanich and Romero battled to double hill in the quarterfinals that followed before Busanich closed it out.

Busanich came into the semifinals with a Fargo-calculated 68.3% chance of winning the match against Mike Johnson; Busanich racing to 8, Johnson to 5. Johnson battled him to double hill and won it 5-4 for a second shot at Tierney, waiting for him in the hot seat.

Though Johnson’s Fargo-rated chances of winning the opening set of the true double elimination final against Tierney were even lower than his chances against Busanich (7.5% vs. 31.7%), Johnson battled Tierney to double hill in a straight-up race to 7. Tierney had the last word though and claimed title to the Garden State Pool Tour’s 2022 Halloween Classic.

Tour director Dave Fitzpatrick thanked the ownership and staff at Breaker Billiards, as well as sponsors Billiards Engineering, IntheBX, Kamui, Off the Rail, Jflowers Cues and Cases, John Bender Custom Cues and Pool-a-holic.

The next stop on the Garden State Pool Tour, scheduled for the weekend of Nov. 12-13 at Rockaway Billiards in NJ, will be the Annual Amateur New Jersey State Championships. The tour’s final event – The Grand Amateur Invitational Championship – will be held in December.

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Schreiber comes from the loss side to win Tri-State Tour stop

(l to r): Thomas Schreiber & Pashk Gjini


Thomas Schreiber, looking for his first win on the Tri-State Tour since February of 2016, came from the loss side to win the Sunday, September 10 stop on the 2017/2018 tour. The two wins, 18 months apart, were chalked up at the same location – Cue Bar Lounge & Billiards in Bayside (Queens), NY. The $1,000-added, AB/CD event drew 43 entrants.
Three winners’ side matches brought Schreiber to a winners’ side semifinal against Lidio Ramirez, while Pashk Gjini faced Brian Schell in the other one. Gjini cruised to the hot seat match with a shutout over Schell, while Schreiber and Ramirez battled to double hill, eventually sending Ramirez to face Gjini. Gjini took something of a second cruise into the hot seat 10-2 over Ramirez, and waited on the return of Schreiber.
On the loss side, Schreiber picked up Luis Jimenez, who’d defeated Ricky Motilal 7-4 and Jaydev Zaveri 7-5 to reach him. Schell drew Ron Lichtenberger, who’d eliminated Gil McGrath 6-3 and Kris Bisram 6-1.
Schreiber and Jimenez locked up in a double hill fight for advancement to the quarterfinals. Schreiber won and faced Schell, who’d knocked off Lichtenberger 6-2. Schreiber then defeated Schell 7-5 to draw a re-match against Ramirez in the semifinals.
In their second double hill fight, it was Schreiber who advanced to the finals against Gjini. Schreiber and Gjini fought back and forth to a 6-6 tie before Schreiber pulled out in front to claim the event title.
Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Cue Bar, as well as sponsors Ozone Billiards, Sterling-Gaming, Kamui Tips, Phil Capelle, BlueBook Publishing, Human Kinetics , Pool & Billiards, Professor Q Ball, Bender Cues, Joe Romer Trophies and DIGICUE OB. The next stop on the Tri-State Tour, scheduled for Sunday, September 17, will be hosted by Shooter’s Billiards in Wayne, NJ.