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Rosario returns from hot seat loss to chalk up third 2019 regional win on the Predator Pro Am

(l to r): Alberto Estevez, JC Iglesias, Abel Rosario & Jason Goberdhan

Abel Rosario, #3 on the Predator Pro Am Tour’s B+ standings list, won his third 2019 regional tour victory on the weekend of November 16-17. Last month, he went undefeated in the Mixed Advanced division of Michael Fedak’s  NYC 8-Ball Championships, while earlier this year (August), he came from the loss side to win a rematch victory over (at the time), relative newcomer Euryel Castillo in a Tri-State Tour stop at Steinway Billiards. As he’d done in August, Rosario gave up the hot seat in this most recent event, this time to another relative newcomer JC Iglesias. Rosario returned from the semifinals to down Iglesias in the finals. The $1,000-added event drew 73 entrants to Cue Bar in Bayside (Queens), NY.
 
Their first meeting followed victories in their respective winners’ side semifinals. Rosario had defeated Russell Masciotti 7-3, as Iglesias was at work on a 7-4 win over Carlos Duque. Iglesias, on the basis of five appearances, is the #30-ranked C+ player on the Predator Pro Am Tour’s standings list. He downed the tour’s #3-ranked B+ player 7-5 and sat in the hot seat awaiting his return.
 
On the loss side, Duque and Masciotti ran right into their second straight loss. The tour’s #2 C+ player, Jason Goberdhan, who’d defeated Zain Sundaram 7-5 and Juan Melendez 7-3, eliminated Duque 7-4. Alberto Estevez, who’d gotten by John Francisco 7-3 and the tour’s #1 A player, Lidio Ramirez, also 7-3, defeated Masciotti 7-5.
 
Goberdhan then eliminated Estevez 7-2 in the quarterfinals, before having his bid for a title ended 7-4 by Rosario in the semifinals.
 
In the extension-to-9 finals, Rosario reached his ‘7-spot’ first. He added two more to defeat Iglesias 9-4 and claim the event title.
 
A 15-entrant, single elimination Second Chance event was won Euryel Castillo with a double hill final victory over Thomas Schreiber. Castillo pocketed $160 for the win, Schreiber took home $100. Shawn Sookhai and Irene Kim each won $20 for their third place tie.
 
Tour director Tony Robles thanked the owner and staff at Cue Bar for their hospitality, as well as title sponsor Predator Cues, Ozone Billiards, PlayNAPT.com, The DeVito Team, Poolonthenet.com, Capelle (BilliardsPress.com), AZBilliards, Pool & Billiard Magazine, Billiards Digest and his own Predator Pro Am team, to include his lovely wife, Gail. The next stop on the Predator Pro Am Tour, scheduled for the weekend of November 30-Dec. 1 will be the tour’s annual Thanksgiving Classic, hosted by Steinway Billiards in Astoria (Queens), NY. Two weeks later, the tour will host its final event of the 2019 season, the Predator Pro Am Tour Championships, scheduled for the weekend of Dec. 14-15, and hosted by Raxx Billiards in West Hempstead, NY.

Guzman goes undefeated to take his first Predator Pro Am title in three years

(l to r): Ramilo Tanglao, Juan Guzman, Esteban Morell and Eli Trajceski

In 2016, Juan Guzman chalked up four event titles, two each on the Predator Pro Am and Tri-State Tours and was runner-up to Tony Liang in an event co-sponsored by the two tours, the 6th Annual George “Ginky” Sansouci Memorial. The year was, not surprisingly, his best earnings year since he began appearing in the AZBilliards database back in 2009. His participation has lagged a bit in the past couple of years, although there’s no real way to distinguish between a drop in participation or just a drop in his advancement to cash winnings. Either way, on the weekend of April 13-14, at a $1,000-added stop on the Predator Pro Am Tour, Guzman went undefeated to capture his first event title since he won a stop on the Tri-State Tour last June. The event drew 81 entrants to Steinway Billiards in Astoria (Queens), NY.
 
Guzman faced separate opponents in the hot seat and finals of this event, although he did meet and defeat Eli Trajceski twice. The first time was in a winners’ side semifinal. Guzman sent Trajceski to the loss side 8-6 and in the hot seat match, faced Esteban Morell, who’d sent Corey Avallone to the loss side 7-4.
 
Guzman and Morell battled to double hill in the struggle for the hot seat, but Guzman claimed it.
 
Over on the loss side, Trajceski picked up Shawn Sookhai, who’d defeated Eugene Ok 7-1 and Duc Lam 7-2 to reach him. Avallone drew Ramilo Tanglao, who’d recently picked up a forfeit win over Paul Lyons and then, ended a seven-match, loss-side winning streak by Debra Pritchett 7-4.
 
Tanglao and Avallone locked up in a double hill fight that eventually sent Tanglao to the quarterfinals. He was joined by Trajceski, who’d eliminated Sookhai 7-2.
 
Tanglao ended up on the wrong side of his second straight double hill match, which sent Trajceski to the semifinals. There, a 7-3 win over Morell gave Trajceski a second shot at Guzman.
 
As it had in their previous matchup in the winners’ side semifinal, the final came within a game of double hill, but Guzman prevailed a second time to claim the event title.
 
Tour director Tony Robles thanked Manny Stamatakis and his Steinway Billiards’ staff for their hospitality, as well as title sponsor Predator Cues, Ozone Billiards, PlayNAPL.com, The DeVito Team, PoolOnTheNet.com, Cappelle (Billiards Press), AZBilliards, Pool & Billiards Magazine, and Billiards Digest. Robles also thanked his always-supportive cast of assistants, to include his lovely wife, Gail.
 
Although it did so this weekend, the Predator Pro Am Tour will not be returning to Steinway Billiards for its next stop (#8), scheduled for the weekend of May 18-19. That event will be the first in the tour’s history to be restricted to C/D players. According to Robles, participation has been on the rise at stops on the Predator Pro Am Tour and while room owners are generally encouraged by large numbers of participants at events, there have recently been a few stops that have featured too much of a good thing; player numbers exceeding a room’s general capacity and its ability to complete a given event within a limited time frame. The restriction to C/D players is designed to address that issue when the C/D players gather at Gotham City Billiards on the weekend of May 18-19. 

Goberdhan goes undefeated to claim his first event title on the Predator Pro Am Tour

(l to r): Lidio Ramirez, Shawn Sookhai, Jason Goberdhan & Jim Gutierrez

Whether defined by Fargo ratings or individual tour formulas, handicapped match play is designed to level the playing field so that lower-ranked players can be encouraged to participate. Without handicaps, and a few tours don’t use them (the Action Pool Tour, the J. Pechauer Northeast Women’s Tour, and the Midwest 9-Ball Tour, among others), lower-ranked competitors would have little or no incentive to drop their hard-earned money into competition against obviously superior players. By the same token, players are often encouraged to enter non-handicapped tournaments (to play ‘without a net,’ so to speak), because exposure to straight-up races against superior opponents is one of the many ways that players improve their own game.
 
According to our records, Jason Goberdhan has cashed in a total of 10 events in the Tri-State New York city area; three on the Tri-State Tour and the other seven on the Predator Pro Am Tour. Until this past weekend (April 6-7), he’d finished as high as 3rd place in both, once. Going into the 6th stop on the 2019 Predator Pro Am Tour, he was rated 6th among the tour’s “C” players. Goberdhan ended up going undefeated through a field of 93 entrants, defeating a B+ player (Shawn Sookhai) to claim the hot seat and an A+ player (Lidio Ramirez) in the finals to claim his first event title. The $1,000-added event was hosted by Steinway Billiards in Astoria (Queens), NY.
 
Goberdhan and Ramirez almost met in the hot seat match. Goberdhan faced off against Nick Croce in one of the winners’ side semifinals, as Ramirez met up with Sookhai in the other one. Goberdhan sent Croce to the loss side 7-2, while Sookhai and Ramirez locked up in a double hill fight, eventually won by Sookhai 7-6 (handicap advantages are figured into the score). Goberdhan then sent Sookhai to the semifinals 8-5 to claim the hot seat.
 
On the loss side, Ramirez picked up Russell Masciotti, who recorded a forfeit win over John Stiles and downed Jimmy Acosta 7-3 to reach him. Croce drew Jim Guttierez, who’d chalked up two straight double hill wins over Ryan Dayrit and Romero Tanglao.
 
Gutierrez eliminated Croce 7-3 to advance to the quarterfinals. Ramirez joined him after defeating Masciotti 8-6. Ramirez took that quarterfinal match 11-8 for a second shot against Sookhai in the semifinals.
 
A 7-4 win in that rematch gave Ramirez a first shot at Goberdhan. A somewhat predictable double hill fight ensued, eventually won by Goberdhan 10-9 to claim his first event title.
 
A Second Chance event drew 13 entrants and was won Jose Kuilan ($130), who survived a double-hill fight against Ashley Burrows ($90) in the finals. Naoko Saiki and Duc Lam pocketed $20 each for their 3rd place tie.
 
Tour director Tony Robles thanked Manny Stamatakis and his Steinway Billiards staff, as well as title sponsor Predator Cues, Ozone Billiards, PlayNAPL.com, The DeVito Team, PoolOnTheNet.com, Cappelle (Billiards Press), AZBilliards, Pool & Billiards Magazine, and Billiards Digest. The Predator Pro Am Tour will return to Steinway Billiards for its next stop (#7), this coming weekend (April 13-14), with a $1,000-added ABCD event.

Acosta goes undefeated to claim final 2018 Tri-State event

(l to r): Jimmy Acosta & Mike Mele

You have to watch the ones that come from deep on the loss side. Once they’ve chalked up five or more on that side of the bracket, they’re usually pretty immune to the nerves that likely plagued them when their loss-side journey began. And by the time they get to the vicinity of the quarterfinals, they’ve been playing non-stop for hours and are likely to be in-stroke for whatever lies ahead. Playing in the last 2018 stop on the Tri-State Tour, it was Jimmy Acosta in the hot seat and Mike Mele, preparing for the semifinals who were doing the watching. It was Rick Motilal that they were watching.
 
In the end, though, Motilal’s eight-match, loss-side streak was ended by Mike Mele in the semifinals. Mele’s bid for the title was, in turn, stopped in the finals by Acosta, who went undefeated to claim the tour’s final 2018 event title. The $1,000-added event drew 58 entrants on Sunday, Dec. 16 to Steinway Billiards in Astoria (Queens), NY.
 
Acosta and Mele met first in the hot seat match. Acosta’s trip went through Christian Orque, Shawn Sookhai, Ed Medina and Dave Leggat to arrive at a winners’ side semifinal against Marc Joseph. Mele, in the meantime, following a double hill win against Raymond Lee in a winners’ side quarterfinal, met up with Dejan Kocev.
 
Acosta sent Joseph to the loss side 8-4. Mele joined him in the hot seat match after sending Kocev over 7-5. Acosta took the first of their two 7-4 to claim the hot seat, and then, probably, watch Motilal’s advance.
 
It was Joseph who ran into Motilal on the loss side. Motilal, who’d been sent to the loss-side in the event’s second round by Juan Melendez, had most recently chalked up loss-side wins #5 & #6, downing Ray Feliciano and David Leggat, both 7-4. Kocev drew Nathaniel Raimondo, who’d eliminated Raymond Lee 7-3 and John Stiles 7-2 to reach him.
 
Motilal got into the quarterfinal match with a 7-4 win over Joseph. Raimondo and Kocev battled to double hill before Kocev advanced to join Motilal in the quarterfinals.
 
In what proved to be his last win, Motilal sent Kocev home 7-4. The semifinal match that followed was (as described by tour representatives) a “cliffhanger” that went double hill, before Mele finished it for a second shot at Acosta in the hot seat.
 
The final itself was a bit anti-climactic. Acosta repeated his hot seat match performance, downing Mele 7-4 a second time to claim the event 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, and DIGICUE OB. The next stop on the Tri-State Tour, which will be the first of 2019, is scheduled for Sunday, January 6, 2019 at Clifton Billiards in Clifton, NJ. 

Korsiak wins seven on the loss side, downs Zvi in finals of Predator Pro Am

Joey Korsiak and Zion Zvi

Ragoonanan goes undefeated to claim Amateur title
 
Joey Korsiak, back in the Tri-State New York area, following his tie-for-13th finish in the first Doug Beasley Custom Cues 9-Ball Open in Raleigh, NC last weekend (June 13-17), came from the loss side to down Zion Zvi in the finals of the Pro event, at a stop on the Predator Pro Am Tour on the weekend of June 23-24. The $500-added event drew 16 entrants to Raxx Billiards in West Hempstead, NY. In a concurrently-run, $1,000-added Amateur tournament at the same location, Rikki Ragoonanan went undefeated through a field of 68 entrants to claim the Amateur title.
 
Sent to the loss side in a double hill fight against Raphael Dabreo, Korsiak won seven in a row to earn his spot in the finals. Like the match that sent him over, his final two matches on the loss side went double hill.
 
DaBreo, in the meantime, advanced to a winners’ side semifinal against tour director Tony Robles. Zvi faced Holden Chin in the other winners’ side semifinal. Robles downed DaBreo 7-4. Zvi joined him in the battle for the hot seat with a double hill win over Chin. Zion claimed the hot seat by ‘effectively defeating’ Robles (not the words that Robles used) 7-3.
 
On the loss side, it was Chin who ran into Korsiak, three matches into his loss-side streak to the finals. Korsiak had defeated Troy Deocharran 7-5, Steve Kalloo 7-2, and Roberto Mendoza 7-4 to reach him. DaBreo drew Frankie Hernandez, who’d defeated Shawn Sookhai 7-1 and Mike Fingers 7-5. Korsiak advanced himself into a potential re-match against DaBreo with a 7-4 win over Mendoza. Hernandez, though, spoiled the re-match with a double hill win over DaBreo.
 
Korsiak the successfully navigated his way through two straight double hill matches to reach the finals, defeating Hernandez in the quarterfinals, and Robles in the semifinals. He then defeated Zvi 7-4 in the finals to claim the Pro event title.
 
Ragoonanan goes undefeated to claim his first major title since 2010
 
The money that Rikki Ragoonanan took home for his undefeated run in the Amateur event of the weekend was just $20 less than the combined total of all of his reported earnings made on a combination of the Predator Pro Am and Tri-State Tours since 2010. It was Ragoonan’s first win on the Predator Pro Am and his first win since he won a stop on the Tri-State in 2010, defeating Raphael DaBreo to complete an undefeated run through a field of 26.
 
The Amateur event this past weekend was 10 shy of triple the size of the field he faced eight years ago, and again, he went undefeated. He advanced through the field to face Michael Mathieu in a winners’ side semifinal, as Jim Gutierrez and Keith Jawahir squared off in the other one. Ragoonanan advanced to the hot seat match 7-5 over Mathieu and was joined by Gutierrez, who’d sent Jawahir west 7-2. Ragoonanan claimed the hot seat 9-5 over Gutierrez and waited on what turned out to be the return of Dave Shlemperis, who was working on a seven-match, loss-side winning streak that would bring him to the finals.
 
It was Mathieu who picked Shlemperis up on the loss side, four matches into his seven-match winning streak. Shlemperis had most recently eliminated the player who’d sent him to the loss side, Chulo Castro, double hill, and Paul Everton 7-4. Jawahir drew Jason Goberdhan, who’d gotten by Adrian Daniel 7-5 and Ryan Dayrit 6-3 to reach him.
 
Shlemperis and Goberdhan handed Mathieu and Jawahir their second straight loss; Shlemperis 7-2 over Mathieu and Goberdhan, 7-0 over Jawahir. Shlemperis then defeated Goberdhan 8-3 in the quarterfinals, and Gutierrez 9-6 in the semifinals. Ragoonanan, though, stopped Shlemperis’ winning streak 9-7 in the finals to claim his first major title in eight years.
 
A Second Chance event that drew 16 entrants, saw two semifinal matches in the single elimination format go double hill, before resulting in a final matchup between Elvis Rodriguez and Mike Salerno. In one of the semifinals, Max Watanabe was on the hill at 6-1, when Salerno won six straight to advance to the finals. In the other semifinal, Chulo Castro was one game shy of shutting out Elvis Rodriguez, when Rodriguez went on a tear to win seven straight. The final went double hill, as well, with Rodriguez coming out on top to win the Second Chance title.
 
The next stop on the Predator Pro Am will also feature both an Amateur and Pro event. Scheduled for the weekend of July 7-8, the $1,500-added events ($1,000 for Amateur, $500 for Pro) will be hosted by Amsterdam Billiards in Manhattan.

Rodriguez comes from the loss side to win Grand Masters division of NYC 8-Ball Championship

Carrasco, Wong, Estevez, Avallone and Traynor chalk up separate division wins

 

The annual BCAPL-sanctioned NYC 8-Ball Championships, held under the auspices of Tony Robles’ Silent Assassin Productions, is always a masterpiece of logistical planning and execution. This year, in a two-day span, the combined $10,000-added event, coordinated six separate tournaments with a total of 241 entrants at Steinway Billiards in Astoria (Queens), NY and managed to finish it all by late (very late) Sunday evening/Monday morning. In all, the event paid out just over $20K in prize money.

 

Four of the eventual winners of the six events went undefeated to claim an NYC 8-Ball title, while two chose the loss-side route to the winners’ circle. The top payout among the six division winners went to Erick Carrasco, who pocketed $2,000 for winning the $3,000-added, Mixed Open division of the event, which drew 39 entrants.

 

Carrasco earned it the hard way. After an opening round bye, Carrasco lost his first match to Paul Carpenter and then, went undefeated through nine loss-side matches before meeting and defeating Stephen Augustus in the finals. He never did get the chance for payback against Carpenter, but the payout more than compensated. Four of the nine matches Carrasco played on the loss side went double hill, including his loss-side opener against Ambi Estevez and his semifinal win over Chuck Granville. Runner-up Augustus had earned his way to the hot seat in similar fashion, winning five matches to get there, three of which, including the hot seat match against Granville, went double hill.

 

[photo id=48006|align=right]Jorge Rodriguez, winner of the $1,400-added Grand Masters event that drew 32 entrants, took a slightly shorter trip on the loss side to pocket his $1,500 first prize. After an opening-round shutout over event director Tony Robles, Rodriguez fell victim to Del Sim who battled him to double hill before sending him to the loss side. Sim advanced to a winners’ side semifinal against Alex Kazakis, who defeated him, and then, downed Hunter Lombardo in the hot seat match. Rodriguez won five on the loss side, the last two of which, against Edwin Garcia and Lombardo, went double hill. With momentum to spare apparently, Rodriguez advanced to defeat Kazakis in the finals 9-3.

 

The $2,000-added Mixed Advanced division drew the largest field of 64 entrants. While Alberto Estevez went undefeated, his efforts were almost derailed in a double hill final against Shawn Sookhai in the finals. Sookhai had been defeated in the opening round and won eight on the loss side (four that went double hill) to face Estevez in the finals. Estevez had faced only two double hill challenges; his opening round match against Rhio Anne (“Annie”) Flores and the final against Sookhai.

 

The other three divisions (Mixed Masters, Men’s and Women’s Leisure) were all $1,200-added events that drew 32 entrants each. Brent Traynor went undefeated through the field to capture the event title in the Mixed Masters event, although his efforts were almost derailed by two opponents who challenged him in three double hill matches. Traynor downed Gary O’Callaghan twice; once, in a winners’ side semifinal and again in the finals. In comparison, Traynor breezed into the hot seat with a shutout win over Rob Pole in the winners’ side final.

 

Corey Avallone faced only one double hill challenge in his undefeated, five-match march to the Men’s Leisure title. Mark Ogawa, who would end up in the tie for fifth place, battled Avallone to double hill in the winners’ side semifinal, from which Avallone would advance to face Jerry Vasquez twice; first, in the hot seat match and then, in the finals. Avallone won them both 5-3.

 

[photo id=48011|align=right]Suzzie Wong, who entered the Women’s Leisure event as the #1-ranked female player on the Tri-State Tour and a week earlier had become the first D-ranked player to battle in a Predator Pro Am Tour hot seat match, went undefeated to capture the ladies title. She entered the tournament as that tour’s #3-ranked women’s player. Like Alberto Estevez in the Mixed Advanced division, Wong’s trip to the winners’ circle was almost derailed by an opponent – Michele Brotons – who’d lost her opening match and won every loss-side match (six of them, including three shutouts and one double hill challenge) to meet Wong in the finals. Wong’s five-match trek to the trophy featured one double hill match, against Irene Kim and separate opponents in the hot seat and finals. She downed Michele Ko 5-1 to move into the hot seat and finished Brotons’ six-match, loss-side run in the finals 7-5.

 

Event(s) director Tony Robles and his Silent Assassin Productions’ staff thanked event sponsor Michael Fedak for his continuing support of this event, as well as Steinway Billiards’ owner, Manny Stamatakis, and his staff for their hospitality. The event was also sponsored by the NAPL, Blatt Billiards, and PoolOnTheNet.com.

Yu claims her first Predator title, downing Ramirez twice at Steinway

Cristobal Tiru, Amy Yu, Lidio Ramirez and Max Watanabe

A sign of the times? A coincidence? Take your pick.
 
On the weekend of April 22-23, Amy Yu chalked up an undefeated victory, her first, on the Predator Tour. What made her victory noteworthy (beyond its first-ever significance for her, personally) was that she became the second woman in a week to go undefeated, downing male tour veterans twice (hot seat and finals) to win a stop on the New York Tri-State area's two predominant tours; the Tri-State and Predator Tours. On Saturday, April 15, Kristina "Reaper" Grim defeated Tri-State and Predator Tour veteran Raul Calderon twice to claim a victory. Yu downed Tri-State and Predator Tour veteran Lidio Ramirez on the most recent, $1,000-added Predator stop, which drew 79 entrants to Steinway Billiards in Astoria (Queens), NY.
 
Yu got into her first hot seat match, after she'd defeated another male Predator Tour veteran, Shawn Sookhai 8-4. Ramirez, in the meantime, downed Cristobal Tiru 7-4 to face Yu, who subsequently claimed the hot seat 10-5.
 
On the loss side, Sookhai drew Max Watanabe, who'd eliminated Willy Santiago 8-4, and JPNEWT veteran, Jia Li 7-3. Tiru picked up Abel Rosario, who'd defeated Matthias Gutzmann and Thomas Schreiber, both 7-4. Watanabe and Tiru advanced to the quarterfinals following identical 7-2 victories over Sookhai and Rosario.
 
Tiru eliminated Watanabe 7-5 in those quarterfinals, before being eliminated by Ramirez in the semifinals 8-5. Yu completed her undefeated run through the field of 79 with a second, commanding 10-4 victory over Ramirez in the finals.
 
The next stop on the Predator Tour, a $1,000-added, double points event, scheduled for May 6-7, will be hosted by The Spot in Nanuet,  NY.

Rodriguez goes undefeated to take Predator Tour finale

Adalberto Nazario, Elvis Rodriguez, Brooke Meyer and Paul Carpenter

When the Predator Tour began its season finale event on the weekend of November 26-27, three players among the tour's "A" players were 15 points apart in Player of the Year standings. Arturo Reyes was at the top, but made an early exit, leaving the spot open for either Brooke Meyer (#2) or Elvis Rodriguez (#3). Rodriguez sent Meyer to the loss side, and though Meyer would come back from the loss side to face him in the finals, Rodriguez defeated him a second time to claim the event title and the award as the tour's "A" Player of the Year. The $1,000-added event drew 48 entrants to Steinway Billiards in Astoria (Queens), NY.
 
 
Rodriguez and Meyer met first in a winners' side quarterfinal, won by Rodriguez, who moved on to face Shawn Sookhai in a winners' side semifinal, as Paul Carpenter and Lucas Fracasso-Verner squared off in the other one. Rodriguez downed Sookhai 7-4, and in the hot seat match, faced Carpenter, who'd sent Fracasso-Verner over 7-5 to join Sookhai. Rodriguez claimed the hot seat 9-5 over Carpenter, and waited on what would turn out to be the match that decided who would be the tour's "A" Player of the Year.
 
 
On the loss side, Fracasso-Verner and Sookhai walked into their second straight loss. Fracasso-Verner picked up Adalberto Nazario, who'd defeated Xavier Romero, double hill, and Jose Kuilan 7-5 to reach him. Sookhai drew Meyer, who, following his defeat at the hands of Rodriguez, had eliminated Duc Lam and Nick Liberator, both 7-5. Meyer moved into the quarterfinals with a 7-2 win over Sookhai, and was joined by Nazario, who'd eliminated Fracasso-Verner 7-5.
 
 
The quarterfinal matchup came within a game of double hill (9-7), and advanced Meyer to the semifinals against Carpenter. A double hill match ensued, and eventually sent Meyer to a re-match against Rodriguez in the finals. In the modified race-to-7 format of the final, Rodriguez had to reach seven games ahead of Meyer to win the match. Had Meyer reached seven first, the race would have extended to nine games. Rodriguez reached seven games comfortably ahead by four to claim the event and "A" Player of the Year title.
 
 
A Second Chance event drew 14 entrants and concluded with a double hill final. Rob Pole defeated Abel Rosario to claim the Second Chance title. 
 
 
While the regular tour season ended with this final event, Raxx Billiards in West Hempstead, NY will host the annual Tour Championships, scheduled for Dec. 3-4. Only players who have participated in five events during the tour's regular season will be eligible for this $9,500-added (minimum) event. 

Warnock, Jr. comes from the loss side to take Predator Tour stop

Stewart Warnock Jr., Dan Faraguna, Tony Ignomirello and Jaydev Zaveri

When they faced each other in the finals of the November 19-20 stop on the Predator Tour, Stewart Warnock, Jr. and Tony Ignomirello occupied the same spaces in their respective ranking categories; Warnock was the #11-ranked player among the tour's "A" players, Ignomirello was in the same position among the tour's "C+" players. The opponent they both defeated, Dan Faraguna (Warnock defeated him twice), was the tour's #1-ranked "B+" player. Warnock came back from a loss to Faraguna to win three on the loss side (including a re-match against Faraguna) to claim the title. The $1,000-added event drew 66 entrants to Cue Bar in Bayside (Queens), NY.
 
 
Warnock and Faraguna squared off against each other, first, in a winners' side semifinal, as Ignomirello met up with Dave Callaghan in the other. Faraguna sent Warnock on his merry loss-side way by shutting him out. Ignomirello defeated Callaghan 7-3 to join Faraguna in the hot seat match. Ignomirello claimed the hot seat 7-4.
 
 
On the loss side, Warnock drew Arturo Reyes, who'd picked up a win on the Tri-State Tour the week before, and at this event had worked his loss-side way through Amir Uddin and Shawn Sookhai, both 7-5, to reach Warnock. Callaghan picked up Jaydev Zaveri, another recent winner on the Tri-State (Oct. 16), who'd defeated Marisol Palacios 9-6 and Akiko Taniyama 7-2.
 
 
Warnock and Zaveri advanced to the quarterfinals; Warnock 7-5 over Reyes, and Zaveri 7-6 over Callaghan. Warnock took the quarterfinal match over Zaveri 7-4 for the right to a re-match against Faraguna in the semifinals. Though their overall game totals would favor Faraguna (10-7), Warnock won the semifinal re-match 7-3 for a shot at Ignomirello in the finals.
 
 
Warnock took advantage of the opportunity he'd been granted. He downed Ignomirello 11-7 in the finals to claim the title. A Second Chance tournament that drew 12 entrants saw Eugene Ok defeat Dany Recinos in the finals 7-6 to claim the $160 first-place prize. Recinos pocketed $100.
 
 
Tour director Tony Robles thanked the ownership and staff at Cue Bar, as well as title sponsor Predator Cues, the NAPL, Ozone Billiards, PoolOnTheNet.Com, Cappelle Publishing, Delta-13 Racks, Mandy Wu (ass't TD), Irene Kim, and his "lovely wife," Gail Robles.

Robles wins Open/Pro, Salerno wins Mixed Masters at 3rd Annual NYC 8-Ball Championships

Mike Salerno and Emily Duddy

In what had to have been a masterpiece of logistical engineering, Steinway Billiards in Astoria (Queens), NY, in two days (Nov. 5-6), hosted the $7,000-added, 3rd Annual NYC 8-Ball Championships presented by Predator Cues and sponsored by Dr. Michael Fedak. The event entailed the coordination of 132 competitors across six divisions of play – an Open/Pro event (Grand Masters), an A/A+/A++ event (Mixed Masters), a B/B+ event (Mixed Advanced), a C/C+ event (Mixed Open), and separate Men's and Women's D/D+ events (Men's and Women's Leisure). The $1,500-added Mixed Open drew the largest crowd of competitors (48), with the $1,500-added Mixed Advanced event drawing the second highest number (32). The $1,000-added Mixed Masters and the $1,000-added Women's Leisure event each drew 15 entrants, while the $1,000-added Men's Leisure event drew 16. The $1,000-added Grand Masters event, with a number of eligible Open/Pro players (Jayson Shaw among them) competing in events elsewhere, drew only six.
 
 
It took tour director Tony Robles only three matches to claim the Open/Pro title. He received a first round bye and then defeated Michael Yednak 7-1 to reach the hot seat match. Jonathan Smith, in the meantime, had survived an opening round, double hill battle against Zion Zvi, and then defeated Jorge Rodriguez 7-4 to join Robles in the struggle for the hot seat. Robles won it 7-3 and waited on Smith's return. On the loss side, Rodriguez and Yednak got by Jimmy Rivera and Zvi, respectively, to face each other in the quarterfinals. Yednak won that battle 7-2, only to have his run ended by Smith in the semifinals 7-3. Smith got his second shot at Robles, but the result duplicated the 7-3 hot seat match and Robles, undefeated, claimed the title.
 
 
The 48-entrant Mixed Open (C/C+ players) event was won by Tommy Schreiber, who won seven on the loss side to meet and defeat Steven Tillman in the finals. Gary Bozigian finished in third place, with Greg Matos in fourth. 
 
 
In the 32-entrant Mixed Advanced event (B/B+ players), Rick Miller went undefeated. He downed Adrian Daniel in the hot seat match 6-4, and in the finals, faced Shawn Sookhai, who'd been sent to the loss side by Miller in a winners' side semifinal and won three on the loss side, including a victory over Amir Uddin in the quarterfinals, and Daniels, double hill, in the semifinals. His rematch against Miller in the finals went Miller's way 7-3.
 
 
In the upper echelon of the handicapped player's system – the A/A+ and A++ players (Mixed Masters) – Mike Salerno took home the top prize, undefeated, but not before Emily Duddy flexed a few muscles in two battles against him. Both of the winners' side semifinals (Duddy versus Duc Lam and Salerno versus Koka Davladze) went double hill, as did the hot seat battle. The finals were a different story, as Salerno shut Duddy out to claim the event title.
 
 
As had happened in the Mixed Masters event, the last three winners' side matches in the Women's Leisure event (D/D+) went double hill. Diane Tse and Sarah Morcos got by Suzzie Wong and Jessica Gonzalez, double hill, and then, Morcos sent Tse to the semifinals, double hill. Tse, though, after defeating Latonia Taylor, double hill, in the semifinals, came back to give up only a single rack and claim that title. Wong finished fourth.
 
 
In the Men's Leisure event, Rolando Rodriguez and Carmine Andujar battled it out to take home the title. They met twice in the more or less traditional slots for double meetings; once in the hot seat match, won 5-3 by Andujar, and again, in the finals, won 7-4 by Rodriguez to claim the event title. Juan Melendez finished third in this one, after a 4-2 win by Rodriguez in the semifinals. Carlo James Barroso, after a squeaker versus Melendez in the quarterfinals, finished fourth.
 
 
Tour director Tony Robles was effusive in his thanks and recognition of the large group of individuals and entities which contributed either financially, or in other ways (live streaming by AZBTv, for example) to the success of this 3rd Annual event. As he has done so often in the past, he thanked Manny Stamatakis and his staff at Steinway Billiards for their hospitality and all that they do to help the event(s) run smoothly. He was also particularly thankful for the tremendous support of Dr. Michael Fedak, who contributed $5,000 of the $7,000-added to the six events of the 3rd Annual NYC 8-Ball Championships, presented by Predator Cues and sponsored by Fedak. He also acknowledged the support of sponsors like the National Pool League (NAPL), PoolOnTheNet.com, the BCAPL and Cue Sports International.
 
 
"I can't thank these people enough for sponsoring this event," said Robles. "They all do so many different things in making a huge contribution to these annual NYC 8-Ball Championships."