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Valania goes undefeated, splits top two prizes with Zaveri on Predator Tri-State Tour

Jaydev Zaveri and Joe Valania

Back in February, Joe Valania chalked up what was only his second recorded event victory anywhere at a stop on the Garden State Tour. His first victory, recorded two years previously, was awarded when, as occupant of the hot seat at the time, he and Daniel Dagotdot split the top two prizes at a stop on the Mac Attack Tour. In reporting on the Garden State Tour stop in February, we noted that the win made 2022 Valania’s best recorded earnings year. This past weekend (Saturday, May 7), he added to his best recorded earnings year with his third recorded victory, this time on the Predator Tri-State Tour, though like the 2020 win on the Mac Attack Tour, he and the runner-up (Jaydev Zaveri) split the top two prizes. The $500-added 10-Ball event drew 37 entrants to Shooter’s Family Billiards in Wayne, NJ.

It is worthy of note that just below the headliners (Valania and Zaveri), third-place finisher, Sabrina Sherman, came in search of what might have been her second tour win. She had previously recorded only three cash finishes on the tour, including an undefeated run at a stop in February 2019, when she split the top two prizes with Mac Jankov (the ‘Mac’ in Mac Attack Tour). Sherman’s bid to record her second tour win was derailed when she forfeited out of the semifinals, allowing Zaveri to leapfrog from the quarterfinals, directly into the finals, which, as it happened, didn’t happen. 

Valania and Zaveri did meet in this most recent event, in a winners’ side semifinal. Valania had opened with a double hill win over Mac Jankov before sending Dave Fitzpatrick and Jason Goberdhan to the loss side and drawing Zaveri in that winners’ side semifinal. Sherman, in the meantime, had embarked on a bit of a roller coaster ride through her first three opponents, shutting out Donald Henriquez and then, surviving two straight double-hill matches against Tom Crane and Marc Lamberti before running into Jay Chiu in the other winners’ side semifinal.

In what was described by tour representatives as a “stunning upset,” Valania defeated Zaveri 6-1, while Sherman was busy sending Chiu to the loss side 5-3. In what would prove to be the last match for both of them, Valania claimed the hot seat over Sherman 5-1.

Zaveri and Chiu picked up rematches against the two competitors that they’d sent to the loss side in two of the winners’ side quarterfinals. On the loss side, Julian Tierney downed Luis Jimenez 6-2 and Mike Strassberg 6-4 to get to his rematch against Zaveri, while Nick Torraca defeated Rich Cardillo 5-2 and Shweta Zaveri (Jaydev’s wife) 6-4 to draw his rematch against Chiu.

Zaveri and Chiu defeated Tierney and Torraca a second time; Zaveri over Tierney 6-4 and Chiu over Torraca 5-3. In what would prove to be his final match, Zaveri defeated Chiu 6-3 in the quarterfinals.

At that point, with Sherman having already forfeited the semifinals, Zaveri and Valania opted out of a final match. The split of the top two prizes was negotiated and the two went their separate ways in plenty of time (sleep included) to enjoy their Mother’s Day celebrations. 

Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Shooter’s Family Billiards for their hospitality, as well as title sponsor Predator Cues, Ozone Billiards, Sterling-Gaming, Kamui Tips, Phil Capelle, BlueBook Publishing, Human Kinetics, Pool & Billiards, Romer Trophies and Professor Q Ball. The next stop on the Tri-State Tour, scheduled for May 21-22, will be hosted by Cue Bar in Bayside (Queens), NY.     

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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.

Dayrit wins* his first regional tour event on the Tri-State Tour

(l to r): Ryan Dayrit & Lidio Ramirez

Already having his best earnings year to date, Ryan Dayrit added his first major tournament win by going undefeated* on the Tri-State Tour’s second stop of its 2019-2012 season on Sunday, July 21. At the end of the $1,000-added event, which drew 41 entrants to Cue Bar in Astoria (Queens), NY, Dayrit and his opponent in the finals, Lidio Ramirez, opted out of a final match, leaving Dayrit, the undefeated occupant of the hot seat as the official winner.
 
Dayrit faced different opponents in the hot seat and finals of this one. After victories over Chris Schmidt, Sabrina Sherman and Luis Jimenez, he advanced to a winners’ side semifinal against DeMenthris Hudson, as Tony Kuo squared off against Kapriel Delimelkonoglu in the other one; Delimelkonoglu had just sent Ramirez to the loss side 7-2. Dayrit got into the hot seat match with a double hill win over Hudson, as Kuo downed Delimelkonoglu 7-5. Dayrit claimed the hot seat 7-5 over Kuo and waited for Ramirez to complete his three-match, loss-side run.
 
Delimelkonoglu moved to the loss side, where he ran into an immediate re-match against Ramirez, who’d defeated Basdeo Sookhai 7-5 and Amanda Andries 10-7 to earn the rematch. Hudson drew Luis Jimenez, who’d lost to Dayrit in a winners’ side quarterfinal and had defeated Sabrina Sherman 7-4 and Michelle Brotons, double hill.
 
Ramirez and Jimenez handed Delimelkonoglu and Hudson their second straight loss; Ramirez successfully wreaking his vengeance on Delimelkonoglu 7-2 and Jimenez sending Hudson to the figurative ‘showers’ 7-3. Ramirez then defeated Jimenez 8-6 in the quarterfinals.
 
By the same score (8-6), Ramirez then defeated Tony Kuo in the semifinals in what proved to be the last match of the event. Ramirez and Dayrit agreed upon a split, with Dayrit claiming the event title.
 
Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Cue Bar, 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 Saturday, July 27, will be hosted by Shooters Family Billiards in Wayne, NJ.

Jeziorski wins his second Tri-State title, this time without the asterisk

Bryan Jeziorski and Rick Rodriguez

According to our records, the last time Bryan Jeziorski won a stop on the Tri-State Tour, he and Ricardo Mejia split the top two prizes. The 2013 event (part of the tour’s 2012-2013 season) drew 73 entrants to Castle Billiards in East Rutherford, NJ on Saturday, Feb. 2. The field had been restricted to 64 entrants, but when tour representatives saw the number of competitors still lined up to register when they reached that number, they expanded the field to accommodate them. At 4:30 a.m. on Sunday, February 3, they were probably questioning the wisdom of that decision. In any case, Jeziorski had sent Mejia to the loss side in the third round and Mejia had won six on the loss side to face him a second time in the finals . . . that didn’t happen.
 
On Saturday, April 20, Jeziorski signed on for a Tri-State Tour stop with 29 other entrants, and though, like his previous win, the event finished up early the next day (Easter Sunday morning), this time, Jeziorski played a final; against Rick Rodriguez, as it turned out, and won it to claim his second Tri-State title. The $1,000-added event was hosted by Clifton Billiards in Clifton, NJ.
 
Jeziorski and Rodriguez almost met in the hot seat match. Jeziorski had gotten by Frank Sieczka 7-5, Yomaylin Feliz-Foreman (AKA Smiley) 7-5 and Ilija Trajceski 7-4 to draw Luis Jimenez in a winners’ side semifinal. Rodriguez, in the meantime, after victories over Jowen Pichardo 6-2, Clint Pires 6-2 and Mac Jankov 6-4, drew Mark Joseph in the other winners’ side semifinal.
 
Jeziorski advanced to the hot seat match with a 7-5 win over Jimenez. Joseph, however, sent Rodriguez to the loss side 6-3 to join Jeziorski battling for the hot seat. Jeziorski downed Joseph 7-5 and waited in the hot seat for Rodriguez to complete a three-match trip on the loss side.
 
Jimenez opened his loss-side campaign against Clint Pires, who’d defeated Sabrina Sherman 6-4 and Feliz-Forman 7-3 to reach him. Rodriguez picked up one of the tour’s top female competitors, Michelle Brotons, who’d eliminated Jeffrey Rosen 7-5 and Mac Jankov 6-2.
 
Rodriguez and Jimenez advanced to the quarterfinals; Rodriguez, surviving a double hill fight against Brotons and Jimenez, downing Spires 7-2. Rodriguez then defeated Jimenez 7-5 in those quarterfinals.
 
Rodriguez earned his spot in the finals with a strong 6-1 victory over Joseph in the semifinals. Jeziorski earned his first non-asterisk Tri-State title with a 7-4 win over Rodriguez in the finals.
 
Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Clifton Billiards, as well as sponsors Ozone Billiards, Sterling-Gaming, Kamui Tips, Phil Capelle, BlueBook Publishing, Human Kinetics, Pool & Billiards, Professor Q Ball, Bender Cues, DIGICUE OB and Hustlin USA. The next stop on the Tri-State Tour, scheduled for Sunday, April 28, will be hosted by Steinway Billiards in Astoria (Queens), NY. 

Sherman goes undefeated to capture her first Tri-State title

Sabrina Sherman & Mac Jankov

Appearing for only the 7th time on the Tri-State Tour’s 2018/2019 season, Sabrina Sherman (as a C player; 7th among women and 17th in the C class overall) went undefeated through a field of 34 entrants, on hand for the Sunday, February 24 stop on the tour. Sherman, who finished in the money twice during the 2017/2018 tour season (4th & 5th) and runner-up Mac Jankov (the tour’s top-ranked C player; 17 appearances) opted out of a final match, leaving Sherman, in the hot seat, as the event’s official winner. The $1,000-added event was hosted by Steinway Billiards in Astoria (Queens), NY.
 
Sherman’s trail to the victory went through Jason Goberdhan, Debra Pritchett and Alfredo Alatamirano, before arriving at a winners’ side semifinal matchup versus Dave Monahan. Jankov, in the meantime, squared off against Stewart Warnock, Sr.
 
Sherman downed Monahan, double hill, and in the hot seat match faced Jankov, who’d sent Warnock, Sr. to the loss side 7-4. Already guaranteed her best finish on the tour, Sherman claimed the hot seat 6-4 in what proved to be her last match.
 
On the loss side, Monahan picked up Joshua Joseph, who was in the midst of a six-match, loss-side winning streak that would take him as far as the semifinals. He’d defeated Amanda Andries 6-4 and Corey Avallone 6-1 to reach Monahan. Warnock, Sr. drew Andrew Ciccoria, who’d most recently eliminated Junko Rummel and Dejan Kocev, both 6-3.
 
Warnick, Sr. shut Ciccoria out and in the quarterfinals, faced Joseph, who’d defeated Monahan 7-3. Joseph advanced one more step, downing Warnock, Sr. 6-4 in those quarterfinals.
 
In the event’s final match, Jankov earned himself a second shot at Sherman by stopping Joseph’s loss-side run 6-4 in the semifinals. Jankov and Sherman made the decision not to play a final and Sherman went home with her first official title.
 
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, BlueBook Publishing, Human Kinetics, Pool & Billiards, Professor Q Ball, Bender Cues, DIGICUE OB, and Hustlin USA. The next stop on the Tri-State Tour, scheduled for March 10, will once again be hosted by Steinway Billiards.

Newcomers Orque & Elgantiry battle it out on the Tri-State Tours; Orque wins his first

(l to r): Christian Jay Orque & Amir Elgantiry

Christian Jay Orque, a newcomer to the Tri-State Tour, was introduced to what he had in store for himself in his first two matches at a $1,000-added stop, which drew 28 entrants to Shooter’s Billiards in Wayne, NJ on Sunday, November 18. Orque faced two Tri-State Tour veterans, Nate Raimondo and Jaydev Zaveri, and introduced wondering what they’ll have in store for themselves as Orque continues to compete on the tour. Orque defeated them both, double hill, to start his day, and though he’d get sent to the loss side out of the hot seat match, he’d return to meet and defeat another newcomer, Amir Elgantiry in the finals to claim his first Tri-State title.
 
After downing Raimondo and Zaveri, Orque advanced to defeat Wazeer Abasi 7-2 to draw Kevin Scalzitti in one of the two winners’ side semifinals. Elgantiry, in the meantime, starting with two somewhat less dramatic wins over Sabrina Sherman and Marc Lamberti, defeated Jake Kislowski 6-3 to draw Mac Jankov in the other winners’ side semifinal.
 
Orque and Elgantiry came head to head in the hot seat match, after Orque had sent Scalzitti loss-side packing 7-5 and Elgantiry had sent Jankov over 6-3. It was Elgantiry who got to claim his first Tri-State Tour hot seat with a 7-4 win over Orque.
 
On the loss side, Jankov picked up Rick Rodriguez, who’d defeated Bob Toomey 6-3 and Jake Kislowski 6-4 to reach him. Scalzitti drew Dave Shlemperis, who’d eliminated Wazeer Abasi 7-5 and Frank Sieczka 6-1.
 
Shlemperis got by Scalzitti 7-2 and in the quarterfinals, faced Jankov, who’d ended Rodriguez’ day 6-3. In what would prove to be his final match, Jankov eliminated Shlemperis in those quarterfinals 8-4.
 
Jankov was forced to forfeit his semifinal match against Orque, which set Orque and Elgantiry up for a final in which they were both well rested. Orque came out ‘guns a’ blazin,’ as they say, gave up only three racks and claimed his first Tri-State title 9-3 over Elgantiry. He may have also, rather inadvertently, picked up a pool nickname, when initial reports coming out of the tour, auto-corrected his last name to ‘Orquestra.’
 
Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Shooter’s Billiards, as well as sponsors Ozone Billiards, Sterling-Gaming, Kamui Tips, Phil Capelle, BlueBook Publishing, Human Kinetics, Pool & Billiards, Professor Q Ball, Bender Cues, and DIGICUE OB. The next stop on the Tri-State Tour, scheduled for this Thanksgiving Day weekend (Sunday, Nov. 25), will be a $1,000-added, double points event, hosted by Clifton Billiards in Clifton, NJ.

Guzman goes undefeated, downing Pichardo twice, to win his first 2018 Tri-State Tour event

Juan Guzman and Jowen Pichardo

Going into the season finale of the Tri-State Tour’s 2017-2018 season, there were  32 players among the Tri-State Tour’s A/A+ division, the highest division below the Pro (11 players) and Open (10 players) divisions of the tour’s ranking system. The top 16 in each of six divisions (with a minimum of participation in four events) will or have already been informed of their eligibility for the tour’s season finale, the annual Tri-State Invitational, scheduled for June 30-July 1 at Steinway Billiards in Astoria (Queens), NY. Among those who will not receive an invitation will be Juan Guzman, who, on Saturday, June 16, chalked up his first win in only his third appearance on the 2017-2018 tour. He went undefeated at the $1,000-added event that drew 30 entrants to Clifton Billiards in Clifton, NJ. Guzman’s opponent, in both the hot seat match and finals – Jowen Pichardo – will receive an invitation as one of the top 16 players in the tour’s C-class (40 players in the division).
 
For reasons unknown, Guzman’s participation in both of the area’s major pool tours (the Tri-State and Predator Pro Am) has dropped precipitously since 2016; a year in which he won two events on both tours and was runner-up to Tony Liang in the George “Ginky” Sansouci Memorial Tournament, run by both tours. On the basis of this most recent appearance on the Tri-State Tour, it does not appear as if his skill level has been affected by the absence.
 
Guzman and Pichardo advanced through the field on Saturday into a winners’ side semifinal; Guzman, facing Sabrina Sherman and Pichardo, squaring off against Matt Klein. Guzman downed Sherman 10-6, as Pichardo was sending Klein to the loss side 6-4. Guzman claimed the hot seat 10-8 and waited for Pichardo to get back from the semifinals.
 
On the loss side, Sherman picked up Amy Yu (the tour’s #5-ranked female player; a C+), who’d survived a double hill battle against Rick Rodriguez and eliminated Nes Jakanovic 8-6. Klein drew a re-match against Michelle Brotons (the #2-ranked female; a D+), whom he’d defeated in a winners’ side quarterfinal. Brotons downed Teddy Lapadula 6-2 and shut out Tony Ignomirello to earn the re-match.
 
Two of the three ladies in those first money-round battles advanced to the quarterfinals. Sherman (the #9-ranked female; a C) defeated Yu 6-1, and in those quarterfinals, met Brotons, who’d eliminated Klein 7-3. Brotons took the quarterfinal match 6-3, only, by the same score, to have her loss-side run ended by Pichardo in the semifinals. Guzman completed his undefeated run with a 10-6 victory and claimed his first 2018 Tri-State title.
 
Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Clifton Billiards, as well as sponsors John Bender Custom Cues, Ozone Billiards, Sterling Billiards, Kamui, DigiCue, Billiards Digest, Human Kinetics, Blue Book Publishing, Phil Cappelle Publications, and Joe Romer Trophies. The next stop on the Tri-State Tour, as noted at the outset, will be the annual Tri-State Invitational, scheduled for June 30-July 1 at Steinway Billiards.