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Andoni comes back from semifinals to defeat Sidbury in JPNEWT season finale

Borana Andoni (Photo courtesy of Johnny Sturgis)

Six years ago, Borana Andoni became the first female to record a victory on the 2008/2009 Tri-State Tour. Two months later, she became the first female to record a victory on the 2009/2010 Tri-State tour. In 2013, her best recorded earnings year to date, though she failed to chalk up an event victory, she cashed in nine events, including stops on the Planet Pool, Predator, Tri-State, and JPNEWT tours, as well as the WPBA Masters and the Women's Division of the Ultimate 10-Ball Championships in Tunica, MS. Producers of the recent TRUtv series, The Hustlers, failed to take any of this into account, when throughout the 10 episodes of the series, she was referred to only as the girlfriend of Scott Simonetti.
On the weekend of November 7-8, in the J. Pechauer Northeast Women's Tour's season finale, Andoni once again proved that she has independent pool credibility by taking the $1,000-added ($500 from Coins of the Realm) event that drew 28 entrants to Triple Nines in Elkridge, MD. She worked her way through a field intent on maintaining their position within the tour's rankings for a chance to compete in the WPBA's Regional Tour Championships in January. Andoni entered the event at #19, and before it was over, she'd defeated numbers 1 (Karen Corr), 2 (Linda Shea), and 3 (Nicole Monaco).
Andoni opened her winning campaign with double hill wins over #11, Dawn Fox, and #2, Shea. She then sent Corr to the loss side 7-2, from whence she would not return, making it the first 2015 JPNEWT event in which Corr competed that she failed to win. The win over Corr set Andoni up in a winners' side semifinal versus #14, Meredith Lynch. In the meantime, Kia Sidbury (#6) squared off against Lai Li. Andoni advanced to the hot seat match 7-3 over Lynch, and faced Sidbury, who'd sent Lai Li west 7-4. Just being in the hot seat match guaranteed Andoni her best finish, of six attempts, on the 2015 JPNEWT tour. Sidbury took the hot seat match 7-5 and waited on Andoni's return.
On the loss side, Lynch drew Kim Whitman, who'd defeated Kathy Friend 7-4 and Nicole Fleming 7-3 to reach her. Li picked up Monaco, who'd survived a double hill battle against Amanda Soucy and defeated Sharon O'Hanlon 7-2. Whitman and Monaco advanced to the quarterfinals; both 7-4, over Lynch and Li.
Monaco took the quarterfinal match over Whitman 7-2, before having her four-match, loss-side streak ended by Andoni 7-5 in the semifinals. Andoni took the extended race-to-9 finals over Sidbury 9-4 to claim the title. The victory moved Andoni to among the 2015 tour's top 10 players; from #19 to #9.

Youngster Rice goes undefeated to capture 1st Annual Gotham City Classic

Arturo Reyes, Dave Ascolese, Scott Simonetti, Owner Kevin Buckley and Thomas Rice

Thomas Rice, 15, must have been wondering whether by granting an interview to a reporter from Billiards Digest last October, whether he'd put a curse on his own fledgling pool career. He'd gone into the interview with wins on both the Tri-State Tour (May) and Predator Tour (September), and though he continued to be 'in the money,' regularly, on both tours, once his Tour Spotting profile appeared in the pages of Billiards Digest last November, the event victories stopped.
Until the weekend of November 15-16, when he went undefeated to win the 1st Annual Gotham City Classic in his home room, Gotham City Billiards. Held under the auspices of the Tri-State Tour, the Open/B Class event, which drew 64 entrants, was organized by room owners Kevin and Isabel Buckley, who added $6,000 to the purse, contributed green fees, and purchased four, 35" solid trophies for the event's top four finishers. 
Tour representatives described the Buckley's efforts as "one of the most generous contributions to a tournament" that they had ever witnessed.
"It exemplifies their support for the tour's amateurs," they said. "This is not like league organizations that make money off of players. It cost them to do all this. They contributed the entire room to the event and went first class for everybody."
Following victories over Stewart Warnock, Omar Alli, Miguel Laboy and Kapriel Delimelkonoglu, Rice met up with Keith Diaz in a winners' side semifinal. Dave Ascolese faced Arturo Reyes in the other. Rice's eventual finals opponent, Scott Simonetti, had been sent to the loss side by Ascolese, and was already at work on the five-match, loss-side streak that would put him up against Rice.
Rice got into the hot seat match when Diaz forfeited. Ascolese sent Reyes to the loss side 7-3. Rice downed Ascolese 7-5 and waited in the hot seat for Simonetti to complete his loss-side run.
Simonetti, in the meantime, got by LaBoy 7-4 and Shivam Gupta in a double hill match, to draw Diaz. Reyes picked up Omar Alli, who'd defeated Greg Ackerman 7-5 and Delimelkonoglu 7-2. Simonetti and Reyes advanced; Simonetti by Diaz forfeit and Reyes with a 7-3 win over Alli. Simonetti then defeated Reyes 7-5 in the quarterfinals, and moved right into the finals against Rice, when illness caused Ascolese to forfeit the semifinals.
Rice took a quick 4-0 lead in the finals. Simonetti got on the board with a game, and they traded racks to 5-3. Rice completed his undefeated run 8-3, and chalked up his first Tri-State victory in over a year.
Tour representatives were effusive in their praise and thanks to Isabel and Kevin Buckley for their continuing hospitality and support of the tour and its players. They also thanked Ozone Billiards, Sterling-Gaming, Qpod, Kamui Tips, Ron Vitello, Focus Cases by John Bartron, Phil Capelle, BlueBook Publishing, Human Kinetics , and Focus Apparel for their sponsorship. The next stop on the Tri-State Tour, scheduled for November 22, will be hosted by Steinway Billiards in Astoria, Queens, NY.

Trobiano wins Tri-State in his own room

Brian Hunter, John Trobiano and Pat Mareno

As he's done numerous times in the past, John Trobiano entered a Tri-State tournament on March 1, that, as owner of Castle Billiards in East Rutherford, NJ, he was hosting. As he has also done a number of times, he won the $1,000-added AB-CD event that had drawn 35 entrants to his location. Occupying the hot seat at the end of the night, Trobiano and Brian Hunter, who'd won five on the loss side, opted out of a final match, splitting the top prizes, while conceding the event victory to the undefeated Trobiano.
Trobiano would open his five-match run on the AB side, with a victory over Borana Andoni. He followed with victories over Antonio G.errero, and Asia Cycak, before meeting up with house pro Scott Simonetti in one of the winners' side semifinals. Pat Mareno, working on the CD side initially, got by Steve Persaud, Allison Honeymar and Eddie Perez, before coming up against Ryzard Szpila in the other semifinal. Trobiana survived a double hill fight against Simonetti, and in the hot seat match, met Mareno, who'd defeated Szpila, also double hill. Trobiano won what would prove to be his last match of the night, defeating Mareno 9-7.
On the loss side, Simonetti ran right into the streaking Hunter, who'd defeated Mike Zimny 7-4 and Asia Cycak 7-3, to reach him. Szpila met up with Jennifer "Sweet P" Pedutem, who, having been sent to the loss side by Szpila in the third round of play, was on a streak of her own. She got by Jan Mierzwa 8-5 and Frank Siezcka 7-2 to meet Szpila a second time. Hunter and Pedutem advanced to the quarterfinals; Hunter downing Simonetti 7-2 and Pedutem wreaking her vengeance on Szpila, ending his day 8-4.
It was Hunter who won the quarterfinal battle, ending Pedutem's run 10-5. He then defeated Mareno in the semifinals 8-6 for a chance against Trobiano, which never happened. The two finalists opted out of the final match, leaving Trobiano as the undefeated winner.
Tour representatives congratulated Trobiano and thanked him and his staff for their hospitality. Thanks were tendered to tour sponsors Sterling-Gaming, Ozone Billiards, Qpod, Cues, Kamui Tips, Phil Capelle, BlueBook Publishing, and Human Kinetics, as well. The next stop on the Tri-State Tour, scheduled for March 22, will be hosted by Steinway Billiards in Astoria, NY.

Jusis and Simonetti split top prize on Tri-State Tour stop

Scott Simonetti, Dave

Coming through the C-D side of a 59-player field, Dave Jusis met and defeated A-B player Scott Simonetti twice to claim the Tri-State Tour stop title, his first, on Saturday, February 8. The $1,000-added event was hosted by Castle Billiards in East Rutherford, NJ.
Divided early, into A-B and C-D brackets, Jusis got by Gil Costello, Tony Ignomirello, Paul Wilkens, and Mike Farley, before meeting up with Mike Strassburg in the C-D final. Simonetti, in the meantime, defeated Geoff Bauer, Bob Labelestein, and Paul Raval before squaring off against Stewart Warnock in the A-B final. Jusis downed Strassburg double hill, to be met in the battle for the hot seat by Simonetti, who'd sent Warnock to the losers' bracket 7-3. Jusis sent Simonetti to the semifinals 9-7 and sat in the hot seat to await his return.
Strassburg moved over to pick up Paul Wilkens, who, after being defeated by Jusis in the third round, went on a six-match, loss-side winning streak that would take him as far as the semifinals. He defeated Quinn Chen, Mike Figueroa, Eddie Perez and Mike Farley to face Strassburg. Warnock drew Bogie Uzdejczyk, who was on a six-match, loss-side streak of his own, having eliminated Chuck Giallorenzo, Roger Hanos, Mike Zimny, Geoff Bauer, Paul Raval and Max Watanabe.
Wilkens survived a double hill match against Strassburg and in the quarterfinals, faced Warnock, who'd ended Uzdejczyk's winning streak 7-1. Wilkens and Warnock locked horns in a double hill fight that eventually advanced Wilkens to meet Simonetti in the semifinals.
Simonetti, in what proved to be the final match of the evening, defeated Wilkens 9-7. He and Jusis opted out of playing a final match, allowing the undefeated Jusis to lay claim to the event title.
Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Castle Billiards for their hospitality and continuing support of the tour, as well as sponsors Sterling-Gaming, Ozone Billiards, Qpod, Cues, Kamui Tips, Phil Capelle, BlueBook Publishing, and Human Kinetics. The next stop on the Tri-State Tour, scheduled for Sunday, February 16, will be hosted by Rockaway Billiards in Rockaway, NJ.

Nau downs Andoni twice to take Amateur Predator stop; Shaw does likewise to win Open

Jayson Shaw

Both Victor Nau and Jayson Shaw survived double hill battles for the hot seat in the Amateur and Open portions of the November 2-3 stop on the Predator Tour, and went on to win the finals, against the same opponents. Nau took two against Borana Andoni in the Amateur event, while Shaw defeated Tony Robles twice in the Open event. The $500-added Amateur event drew 20 entrants, while the $500-added Open portion of the proceedings drew a short field of 10 entrants to Castle Billiards in East Rutherford, NJ.
From among the winners' side final four in the Amateur event, Nau downed Antonio G.errero 7-3, as Andoni sent Bogie Uzdejczyk west 7-2. Nau took command of the hot seat match, sending Andoni to the semifinals 8-3.
On the loss side, Geurrero met up with Giovanni Hosang, who'd gotten by Kyle Bubet 7-3 and survived a double hill battle against ChristIan Smith, to reach him. Uzdejczyk faced Stewart Warnock, who'd defeated Keith Adamik, double hill, and Koka Davladze 7-5. Guerrero and Uzdejczyk advanced to the quarterfinals with identical 7-5 wins over Osang and Warnock.
Uzdejczyk won the quarterfinal match 7-2 over Guerrero and got a second crack at Andoni.  He put up a double hill fight against her, but she prevailed for a second shot at Nau. Nau finished things with an 8-4 win in the finals.
In the Open event, Shaw, still nursing wounds inflicted by back-to-back victories by Shane Van Boening and Lee Van Corteza in the US Open 9-Ball Championships,  advanced among the winners side final four and met up with Scott Simonetti. Tony Robles squared off against room owner, John Trobiano, in the other winners' side semifinal.
Shaw defeated Simonetti 7-4, as Robles advanced to the hot seat match with a 7-2 win over Trobiano. Shaw won the double hill, hot seat struggle against Robles in their first of two.
On the loss side, Travis McKinley was working his way to the semifinals against Robles. He got by Keith Adamik 7-5 and Vikram Dasari 7-4 to pick up Simonetti. Trobiano faced Shpendi Kaba, who'd defeated Paul Spaanstra 7-1 and Daniel Dagotdot 7-4.
Kaba and McKinley handed Trobiano and Simonetti their second straight losses, both 7-4. McKinley then defeated Kaba in the quarterfinals 7-5. Robles ended McKinley's loss-side streak in the semifinals 7-3, and was then, himself, eliminated by Shaw in their second meeting 7-4.

DaBreo chalks up another undefeated Tri-State win at Castle Billiards

Rhys Chen, Raphael DaBreo and Chris DaCaprio

Unlike his last undefeated win on the Tri-State Tour in August, Raphael Dabreo actually got to play a final match during the Saturday, October 5 stop on the tour. His finals' opponent, Rhys Chen, won six on the loss side to meet him, but in spite of a slim, early lead could not stop DaBreo's second 2013 Tri-State victory. The $1,000-added event drew 40 entrants to Castle Billiards in East Rutherford, NJ. 
Following wins over Borana Andoni,  room owner John Trobiano (who had won a stop on this tour, on this date, exactly one year ago) and Ricardo Mejia, DaBreo would pick up a 'medical issue' forfeit by Rhio Anne Flores among the winners' side final four. In the battle for the hot seat, DaBreo squared off against Chris DaCaprio, who'd just defeated Mike Figueroa 6-4. DaBreo downed DaCaprio 9-4 and waited in the hot seat for what turned out to be the return of Chen.
Flores returned to action for matches on the loss side, picking up Chen, who, after being sent west, double hill, by Scott Simonetti, defeated Mejia double hill and Jose Liz Domeneche 7-3. Figueroa drew Bernie Vogelsang, who, after being sent west by Figueroa, had gotten by Shivram Gupta 6-4 and Eddie DaCosta 6-2. Chen downed Flores 7-2, and was met in the quarterfinal match by Vogelsang, who'd wreaked his vengeance by shutting Figueroa out.
Chen took the quarterfinal match 7-4 over Vogelsang and then, spoiled DaCaprio's bid for a second chance against DaBreo with an 8-4 semifinal win. Chen took the early 2-0 lead against DaBreo in the finals, and after giving up a single rack, made it 3-1. DaBreo came back to tie it at 3-3. They traded racks, back and forth, until DaBreo reached the hill, ahead by one. DaBreo broke dry in the final rack, but Chen missed a ball that turned the table back to him. As he'd been doing all day, DaBreo ran out to complete the match and his undefeated run through the field.
Tour representatives thanked John Trobiano and his Castle Billiards staff for their hospitality and continuing support for the tour and its players, as well as sponsors Sterling-Gaming, Ozone Billiards, Qpod, Kamui Tips, Phil Capelle, BlueBook Publishing, and Human Kinetics. The next stop on the Tri-State Tour is scheduled for Saturday, October 12, and will be hosted by House of Billiards on Staten Island.

Woo returns to the Tri-State Tour and goes undefeated at Castle Billiards

Geoff Bauer, Jonathan Woo and Teddy LaPadula

Jonathan Woo picked up a Tri-State win last November at House of Billiards on Staten Island, coming back from a double hill semifinal to down hot seat occupant, Michael Aro. On Saturday, September 7, he chalked up his first Tri-State win of 2013 with an undefeated run through a field of 37, on-hand for a $1,000-added, A-D handicapped event, hosted by Castle Billiards in East Rutherford, NJ. In the hot seat for this one, Woo and his finals opponent, Geoff Bauer, who'd won eight on the loss side for the right to face him, opted out of a final match and split the top two prizes.
Woo got by Ricardo Mejia, Marco Dy, and Charles Vegara to advance among the winners' side final four and a match against room owner, John Trobiano. In the other winners' side semifinal, Mike Strassberg squared off again Teddy Lapadula, last seen in the Tri-State winners' circle in February of 2010 (also at Castle Billiards). Woo sent Trobiano west 7-4, as LaPadula guaranteed himself a minimum third place finish with a double hill win over Strassburg. Woo then defeated LaPadula 8-6 and waited in the hot seat for Bauer.
Bauer's eight-match, loss-side streak went through Scott Simonetti, Luis Jimenez, Mejia, Vegara, and Guy Iannuzzi before running into Trobiano. Strassberg picked up Jaydev Zaveri, who'd defeated Dennis Kennedy 6-5 and James "Doc" Pasciolla 6-1 to reach him. Bauer handed Trobiano his second straight 7-4 loss and in the quarterfinals, faced Strassberg, who'd eliminated Zaveri 6-2.
Six down and two to go. Bauer took the quarterfinal match over Strassberg 9-7, and then gave LaPadula his guaranteed third place finish with an 8-4 win. At that point, Woo and Bauer chose not to play a final match, splitting the prize money and declaring the undefeated Woo as the event's official winner. 
Tour representatives thanked Trobiano and his staff at Castle Billiards, as well as sponsors Sterling-Gaming, Ozone Billiards, Qpod, Kamui Tips, Phil Capelle, BlueBook Publishing, and Human Kinetics. The next Tri-State stop will be a Double Point event, scheduled for Saturday, September 14, at Gotham Billiards Club in Brooklyn, NY.

Yednak wins 3rd Annual Ginky Memorial Amateur tournament

Michael Yednak

Having been mentored by George "Ginky" Sansouci, Michael Yednak had just a little more invested emotionally in the Ginkster's 3rd Annual Memorial Tournament than most. He'd signed on to the previous two. The first, he said, was just too emotional for him. He was unprepared to compete, and unable to advance to any of the money rounds. Last year, he finished in the tie for 25th place. This year, he went undefeated through a field of 128 to capture the title and finally bring it home.
"I wish he'd been here to see it," said Yednak. "He taught me so much, but it took a couple of years for me to put all the pieces together."
"There are a lot of important tournaments," he added, "but this one was personal; one that I felt like I had to win. I just wanted to make him proud of me."
The amateur side of the Memorial tournament (as well as the Open, which was ongoing when the amateur finished, early on Labor Day) was hosted by Steinway Billiards, with selected matches streamed live by and NYCGrind. Yednak's quest to make Ginky proud had to go through Koka Davladze, twice.
They met first in the hot seat match. Yednak had sent Phil Davis to the left bracket 7-2, as Davladze was busy surviving a double hill match against Ross Lacy. In the battle for the hot seat, it was Yednak surviving the double hill struggle, sending Davladze to the semifinals.
Davis moved to the loss side and ran into Juan Guzman, who'd gotten by Laszlo Kovack and Tony Liang, both 7-3. Lacy picked up Scott Simonetti, who'd defeated Rhio Anne Flores 7-4 and just did get by Kelly Wong 8-7. It was Davis and Simonetti advancing to the quarterfinals, once Davis had eliminated Guzman 7-3 and Simonetti had defeated Lacy 7-5.
Davis stopped Simonetti 7-5, but was then defeated by Davladze in the semifinals 7-3. Right from the start, the extended-race to 11 was tight; Yednak and Davladze trading racks back and forth to a 7-7 tie. Davladze edged out in front 8-7, sunk four balls on the subsequent break and ran out to force the extension to 11 games.  However, someone (no one noticed who) changed the score to 8-8, instead of 9-7. The players knew what was going on, because Davladze racked to shoot again (had Yednak reached nine, it would have been over). It took a moment for someone to notice the score, but it was corrected quickly. That 16th rack proved to be Davladze's last, as Yednak completed his undefeated run with four straight to finish 11-7 and bring home the top prize.
"I got pretty lucky," he said, afterwards. "When I played badly, other players didn't punish me,  and I played well at the right times."
"That's one of the things that Ginky taught me; about getting through the bad matches," he added. "He always used to say, 'Talent will get you only so far, and then you have to practice.' Practice is what made the difference with me this year. All I did was practice."

Walmsley stops loss-side bid by Smiley Feliz to take Tri-State stop

Tony Ignomirello, Neil Walmsley and Yomaylin Feliz

Neil Walmsley stopped an eight-match, loss-side winning streak by Yomaylin "Smiley" Feliz to capture the July 28 stop on the Tri-State Tour. The $1,000-added event drew 31 entrants to Clifton Billiards in Clifton, NJ. 
Feliz came out on the wrong end of a double hill match against David Ascolese in the opening round of play, and embarked on the longest possible route (eight matches) back to the finals. Walmsley, in the meantime, after victories over Dave Shlemperis, Scott Bannon, and Harry Guevarez, advanced among the winners' side final four to meet up with Scott Simonetti. Tony Ignomirello and Grant Weldon squared off in the other winners' side semifinal. Walmsley sent Simonetti over 7-5, for a match against Feliz, as Ignomirello advanced 8-7 over Weldon. Walmsley got into the hot seat with a 7-5 win over Ignomirello, and waited on Feliz.
With three wins chalked up on the loss side (including wins over Carl Yusuf Khan and Bannon), Feliz survived two straight double hill matches – against Guevarez and "Annie" Flores – to pick up Simonetti. Weldon drew Ambi Estevez, who'd defeated Mike Davie 6-4 and Jay Choi 6-3 to reach him. Feliz handed Simonetti his second straight loss 8-5 and was met in the quarterfinals by Weldon, who'd eliminated Estevez 8-4.
Feliz downed Weldon 7-4, and then survived yet another double hill fight; this one, against Simonetti in the semifinals. She moved on to her third appearance in a Tri-State final since January.
It looked as though Feliz was destined for a fourth double hill fight, as she and Walmsley battled back and forth to a 4-4 tie. Walmsley, though, found a second gear and won three straight to claim the event title.
Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Clifton Billiards for their hospitality, as well as sponsors Sterling-Gaming, Ozone Billiards, Qpod Cues, Kamui Tips, Phil Capelle, BlueBook Publishing, and Human Kinetics. The next stop on the Tri-State Tour is scheduled for August 3 at Castle Billiards in East Rutherford, NJ.

John Trobiano wins his second Tri-State Tour Invitational

John Trobiano

The sixteenth annual Tri-State Tour Invitational Tournament took place July 6 & 7, 2013, at Castle Billiards in East Rutherford, NJ. The weekend was a huge success for the tour with 16 A & A+ Players, 32 B & B+ Players, 32 C & C+ Players and 16 D & D+ Players who earned their way in to compete in their respective classes and play for their chance to be named the Tri-State Tour Invitational Grand Champion. Castle Billiards hosted the event for the fourth year. Castle Billiards owners John & Minnie Trobiano were again very professional, helpful and gracious. They donated their room and all the table time. Their generosity and support to the players and the event never dwindles and is always done with the players in mind. They are people who are genuinely into the game and the players; enough positive and complimentary things cannot be said about John, Minnie, and their staff.
As each day began, organizers John Leyman, Todd Fleitman & Rick Shellhouse congratulated the players on reaching the top of their classes for the season and handed out awards to the top players of the year in each class. The Tri-State Tour added $4000 in cash prizes and the sponsors QPOD, Dunkel Custom Cues, KH Custom Cues, Ozone Billiards, Fury Cues, Kamui Tips, Sterling Gaming, Capelle’s Pool Books, Billiards Digest, Pool & Billiards, Inside Pool, Professor-Q-Ball’s News, Blue Book Publications, Castle Billiards, Amsterdam Billiards, NYCGrind and Romer’s Trophies went out of their way to provide the event with some great equipment and prizes. The sponsors are owed a debt a gratitude for their dedication to the game and the players, their efforts and generosity are what made the event so special and such a great success and without their continued support of the sport and the players this event could not happen. 
Awards were presented to the top 3 players in each class, to the Most Improved Player of the Year, and Sportsman of the Year. The the most improved player went to Thomas Rice whose game gets stronger each day with the help of lessons from such legendary players as Earl Stickland. Thomas is only 15 and is improving every day, one day soon he will be playing with the best in the world.  Each year the tour awards one player the “Sportsperson of the Year” award. It is awarded to someone the tour believes exemplifies what a player should be and how they should act and this year’s award went to Dave Shlemperis. This year the Tri-State Tour announced that they would be starting a virtual Hall of Fame that will become part of their website. The new Hall of Fame page is still under construction and plans are in effect to debut it this fall. At the Invitational two players were inducted into the Hall of Fame. Dawn Hopkins who started it all back in the late 80’s as the “All About Pool Tour” and Daniel Cintron for his accomplishments on the tour, dedication and help to the tour throughout the years. Plans are also in effect to induct two more players who during the history of the tour their names and accomplishments became synonymous with the tour and they will be revealed in the near future.
The top players of the year in the their respective classes were Koka Davladze winning the A+/A class, Gary Murgia B+ player, Dave Shlemperis B player, Thomas Rice C player and Mike Davie returning to once again be crowned D+/D class player of the year. The Ladies Player of the Year was Yomaylin Feliz. In one of our most heated battles for player of the year Eddie Perez came in first only slightly edging out runner up and 2 time C class winner Tony Ignomirello by 10 points for the C+ player of the year. For a full list of winners for all the classes and events, please see the web site 
The action in the tournament got going around eleven on Saturday morning, July 6 with the B+ and B class players along with the D+/D players kicking off the event.  The B+ class saw two players dominate the event and meet each other in the hot seat match, room owner John Trobiano and Ricardo Mejia.  Ricardo played strong and won the match on the hill. John moved to the one loss side where he played Steve Kaminow. John even though working 21 hours the day before preparing the room for the event could not be denied and won the match 7-0 and went on to the finals for a rematch with Ricardo. In the finals, the two combatants again played very well but John came out on top at 9-6. The B Class event paralleled the B+ class with Chris Peralta sending Mike Zimny to the one loss side after winning the hot seat match 7-1. Mike then beat Paul Spaanstra 7-5 and moved on to the finals. Playing a much different match this time against Chris, Mike won the match 7-4.
The D+/D class saw the 2 players who finished first and third in the points race the class for the year, fight their way to the hot seat match. Mike Davie and Ada Lio played a hard fought match but Mike came out on top 5-2. Ada then battled back by beating Amy Yu Yue on the one loss side to return to her second D+/D finals. But Mike could not be stopped and he beat Ada 5-2 again sending Ada home in second place for the second year in a row. Although Mike has been playing on the tour for a decade and has multiple Player of the year awards to his credit, he has never won a Tri-State tour tournament and so with this win Mike crowns his year on the tour with a major accomplishment.
On Sunday, play started again at 11 AM with the A+/A players and the C+ class and C class arriving to do battle. As the day progressed each event was dominated by one player, Raphael Dabreo in the A’s, Rene Villalobos in the C+’s and Umit Yolcu in the C’s. And all three would win their respective classes. In the A+/A class Raphael beat Geoffrey Bauer 7-5 sending Geoffrey to the one loss side and a match with home room favorite Scott Simonetti. But breaking strong and playing very strong Geoffrey came out on top against Scott at 7-5 and returned to the finals against Raphael. In one of the best matches of the entire event both players played exceptionally well with the lead going back and forth. Taking the match to hill/hill both players had opportunities in the final game but an unfortunate scratch late in the game by Geoffrey left Raphael with an out and the win. In the C+ class Rene dominated all the way thru winning the hot seat match against Keith Diaz 6-4. After losing to Rene in his second match of the day Robert Veit fought back on the one loss side to get to the finals only to lose again to Rene but this time at the score of 6-2. In the C class the scenario from the C+ class just about mirrored what was happening in the C Class. Umit Yolcu went undefeated beating Dave Danchak in the hot seat match 6-3 and then Ray Marisette in the finals 6-3. Ray just like Robert had lost his second match of the day and fought back to get to the finals.
This left our 6 class champions to do battle for the Grand Champion title. Rene Villalobos beat Umit Yolco 6-4 to win the C+/C playoff.  Rene then went on to beat Mike Davie in the C/D class playoff winning on the hill 7-6. John Trobiano after working the kitchen and room all day beat Mike Zimny on the hill in the B+/B class playoff and then went on to Raphael DaBreo 7-4 in the A/B class playoff.  This left the event with two players still standing; Rene Villalobos and John Trobiano. John feeling very relaxed event though working very hard over the weekend played extremely confidently and precise and won the final match of the event 7-4. This is John’s second win as Tri-State Tour Invitational Grand Champion. His first win was back in 2010.