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Kennedy/Hunter go undefeated to win Open/Amateur divisions of 5th Annual Labor Day Classic

Rhyan Hunter and Ameet Kukadia

Capone’s 5th Labor Day Classic, held this past Labor Day weekend (Sept. 3-4), is in the books and the undefeated winners are Tommy Kennedy in the $500-added Open event and Rhyan Hunter in the $1,000-added Amateur event, which was open to competitors with a Fargo Rate of 640 and under. Both events yielded full fields; 64 in the Amateur event and 16 in the Open event at Capone’s in Spring Hill, FL.

Hunter was the only player in the Amateur event having to give the entire field a single game on the wire, which wasn’t enough for anyone to come close to him. His precision shooting and heart gave him the victory in every match. He opened with a shutout over JT Russell and advanced through victories over Justin Logan 7-3, Justin Ward 7-3 and another shutout, versus Dan Mello, to arrive at a winners’ side semifinal against Andy Crews. In the meantime, eventual runner-up Ameet Kukadia, slowly becoming a regular at Capone’s events, advanced to the other winners’ side semifinal versus (unrelated to Dan) Mike Mello, who was playing in his first event at Capone’s. 

Hunter defeated Crews 7-3, as Mike Mello sent Kukadia to the loss side 7-4. Hunter claimed the hot seat 7-4 over Mello and waited on Kukadia’s return.

On the loss side, Kukadia drew Dan Mello, who’d survived a double hill match against Jamison Daniels and shut out Justin Logan to reach him. Crews picked up Justin McNulty, who’d also survived a double hill match, against Benji Estor, and came within a second straight double hill match, downing Litos Davila 6-4. 

Kukadia and McNulty advanced to the quarterfinals; Kukadia, 6-2 over Dan Mello and McNulty, 6-4 over Crews. Kukadia defeated McNulty in those quarterfinals 6-3 and then won his redemption match versus Mike Mello 6-2 in the semifinals.

To claim the title, Kukadia needed to win two matches against Hunter in the finals that followed. Hunter completed his undefeated run with a 7-2 win in the only set necessary.

Tommy Kennedy (File photo)

Kennedy weathers ‘challenge’ storms to go undefeated in Open event

The Open event had its share of past champions, including Jason Richko (2019) and Tony Crosby (2021). Not present was the Labor Day Classic’s 2020 Champion, Donny Mills, who was ‘laboring away’ at Turning Stone in New York state over the weekend. 

“He was doing damage up there,” said TD Carrie Vetrono, “and finished as runner-up. Congratulations to Donny.”

Tommy Kennedy was a former champion, as well (2019), and his undefeated run through the Classic made him the first competitor to have his ‘name up in lights’ as winner of the event, twice. It was not an easy journey for TK.

Of the five matches Kennedy played to claim the Labor Day Classic’s 2022 Open title, two went to double hill and two more came within a game of it. He opened with an 8-6 win over Marcus Murillo and a double hill win over Richard Broumpton, which set him up in a winners’ side semifinal against one of the former champions, Jason Richko. In the meantime, Lee Heuwagen and Tony Crosby were working their way to their meetup in the other winners’ side semifinal; Crosby arriving with a 16-3 aggregate score against Zee Zee Green (0) and Ross Webster (3), Heuwagen arriving with a 16-4 aggregate score against Bobby Jones (3) and Guy Jones (1). 

Kennedy got into the hot seat match 8-6 over Richko. Heuwagen joined him after a commanding 8-2 win over Crosby. TK grabbed the hot seat 8-4.

Crosby wanted the trophy and came back from the loss-side, knocking out Sandeep Swain 7-5, Ross Webster 7-1 in the quarterfinals and this time, victorious over Heuwagen in their semifinal rematch 7-5.

Kennedy and Crosby locked up in what was Kennedy’s second double hill match. After a long day of shooting, Crosby fell short, giving way in the 15th rack and handing Kennedy the title.

TD Carrie Vetrono thanked everyone that participated and helped make Capone’s 5th Annual Labor Day Classic the tournament that it was. 

“Without everyone’s help we could not do this,” she said. “Special thanks to Rocco-Rocky McElroy and his Capone’s staff for all they do, as well as Joel Vetrono and Anthony Fisher for helping send matches out on the amateur event.”

The next event at Capone’s, scheduled for the weekend of October 8-9, will be an Open Handicap event that will play out on the venue’s 9-foot tables. 

See y’all on the rail!

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Meglino and Hall split top prizes at Capone’s One Pocket event

Sandeep Swain, Anthony Meglino and Justin Hall

Anthony Meglino and Justin Hall played a single set of a true double elimination final at Capone’s $2,000-added One Pocket Tournament this past weekend (Dec. 17-19). Hall won that first set, double hill, at which point, they opted out of a second set and split the top two prizes. As occupant of the hot seat at the time, Meglino became the official winner of the event that drew 29 entrants to Capone’s.

Meglino started out with 3-1 victories over Tim Parasian and Nathan Rose, before Mike Davis, Jr. put up a double hill fight that did eventually send Meglino to a winners’ side semifinal against Josh Roberts. Sam Swain, in the meantime, was awarded an opening round bye before surviving two straight double hill matches, versus Stephanie Mitchell and Bruce Choyce, to arrive at his winners’ side semifinal match against Kyle Bova, who had just sent Justin Hall to the loss side.

Meglino shut Josh Roberts out and advanced to the hot seat match. He was joined by Swain, who’d sent Bova to the loss side 3-1. Meglino chalked up his second straight shutout, downing Bova and claiming the hot seat with an aggregate game score of 15-4; winning (percentage-wise) well over three out of every four games he played (.789).

On the loss side, Bova picked up James Adams, who’d been shut out in a winners’ side quarterfinal by Roberts and then, downed Tim Parasian, double hill and John Ditoro 3-1. Roberts drew Hall, who’d followed his winners’ side quarterfinal loss to Bova with victories over Alec Saputo and Ed Porter, both 3-1.

The Bova/Hall quarterfinal rematch came about when Bova downed Adams 3-1 and Hall shut Roberts out 3-0. Hall won the rematch, chalking up his second shutout, and then, chalked up his third shutout in his semifinal match against Swain. 

Hall came into the true double elimination final against Meglino with a better five-match, loss-side aggregate score (15-2) than Meglino had recorded in his five-match, winners’ side trip to the hot seat (15-4). Hall used that momentum to score more racks in the first set of the true double elimination than any of Meglino’s previous five opponents. Hall battled him to double hill before winning the match and then, by mutual agreement, split the top two prizes, which, no matter how it was sliced, likely made for an early Merry Christmas for the both of them.

Tournament director Carrie Vetrono thanked Rocco “Rocky” McElroy and Capone’s staff for its continuing support of the sport, as well as John Ditoro for his assistance, as well.