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Safronov wins his first Tri-State with undefeated performance in Brooklyn

Bob Toomey, Kirill Safronov and Lionell Swanston

Kirill Safronov, who alternates his pool time between the Tri-State and Predator tours, finally broke through on the Tri-State and chalked up a first win on the tour. The $1,000-added event, in competition with the Predator Tour and The New England Pool & Billiard Hall of Fame 9-Ball Open in Providence, RI on the weekend of February 28-March 1, drew a small field to BQE Billiards in Brooklyn, NY on Sunday.
Safronov and Lionell Swanston battled twice for the title; first, for the hot seat and later, in the finals. Safronov sent Noah Vogelman to the loss side 7-2 in one winners' side semifinal, while Swanston dispatched Steve Wade 6-4 in the other. Safronov claimed the hot seat 7-5 over Swanston and waited on his return.
Vogelman and Wade moved over and were eliminated immediately. Vogelman fell 7-5 to Gary Murgia, who'd previously defeated Shinichi Sekine 7-4 and Ramon Feliciano 7-2. Wade was a 6-1 victim to Bob Toomey, who'd survived a double hill fight versus Anthony Cuccheilla and downed John Morrison 6-1.
Toomey advanced to the first money round with an 8-6 win over Murgia in the quarterfinals. Swanston kept him right there with a 6-4 win in the semifinals to earn himself a second shot at Safronov in the hot seat.
Swanston came out gunning in the finals and took an immediate two-rack lead. Though Safronov would reduce that lead to one, a couple of times, Swantson eventually expanded it to three racks at 5-2. Safronov settled in at that point and chalked up five in a row to win it and claim his first Tri-State title.
The next Tri-State event, scheduled for March 7, will be hosted by Gotham City Billiards. Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at BQE Billiards, as well as sponsors Ozone Billiards, Sterling-Gaming, Kamui Tips, Ron Vitello, Focus Cases by John Barton, Phil Capelle, BlueBook Publishing, Human Kinetics , and Focus Apparel. 

Hoffman, another teen on the scene, wins his first Tri-State Tour stop

Sam Hoffman, 13, went undefeated through a field of 41 at the $1,000-added, October 19 stop on the Tri-State Tour, hosted by Clifton Billiards in Clifton, NJ. He joined Thomas Rice among the youngest players to ever win a stop on the Tri-State Tour. Sitting in the hot seat, Hoffman was to have been challenged in the finals by Paulo Valverde, who'd just finished a seven-match run on the loss side, but due to the lateness of the hour, the two opted out of playing a final match.
Hoffman almost had to come from the loss side, himself. He was challenged, double hill, in the opening round of play by Pat Mareno. He survived and went on to defeat Andrew Cleary 7-3, and Mike Figueroa 6-2, which put him into a winners' side semifinal against Michael Fedak. Victor Nau and Dave Ascolese squared off in the other.
Hoffman downed Fedak 6-3 and in the hot seat battle, met up with Ascolese, who'd squeaked by Nau in a double hill match. In what would prove to be his final win of the day, Hoffman got into the hot seat 9-7 over Ascolese.
Valverde, in the meantime, was working his way back. Loss-side victories (his second and third) over Teddy Lapadula 7-3, and Eddie DaCosta 7-5, set him up to face Fedak. Nau had to contend with Borana Andoni, who'd gotten by Shinichi Sekine 7-4 and just did defeat Antonio G.ererro 7-6. Nau ended Andoni's day 7-2, as Valverde picked up a forfeit victory over Fedak.
Valverde and Nau locked up in a quarterfinal battle that was won by Valverde 11-9. No doubt contributing to the 'lateness of the hour' that led to the decision not to play a final match, Valverde and Ascolese battled to double hill before Valverde prevailed to complete his seven-match, loss-side winning streak. In the absence of that final match, Hoffman, undefeated in the hot seat, claimed the event title.
Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Clifton Billiards, as well as sponsors Sterling-Gaming, Ozone Billiards, Qpod, Heptig Cues, Kamui Tips, Phil Capelle, BlueBook Publishing, and Human Kinetics. The next stop on the Tri-State Tour, a B-C-D- handicapped event, is scheduled for Saturday, October 26 at Gotham City Billiards in Brooklyn, NY.