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Santoro wins nine on the loss side and double dips Adamik to win Predator Tri-State stop

Sean Santoro and Keith Adamik

Back in the proverbial day, it was possible to step into a pool room and get your equally-proverbial clock cleaned by a perfect stranger. Then came the Internet, cell phones and AZBilliards, somewhat in that order and it became increasingly difficult to sneak up on somebody. Sean Santoro, a C- rated player playing in only his second Predator Tri-State Tour event last weekend (June 12-13) at The Spot in Nanuet, won his first match, lost his second (double hill to Latanya Taylor) and proceeded to win nine matches on the loss side for entry into the finals against Keith Adamik, with a history that goes back at least 10 years on both the Predator Tri-State and former Predator Pro Am Tour. Santoro double-dipped Adamik, offered proof of the ‘any given Sunday’ rule in pool tournaments and claimed his first Predator Tri-State title. The $1,250-added event drew 55 entrants to The Spot.

With his eventual finals opponent at work on the loss side, Adamik advanced to a winners’ side semifinal against Adrian Daniel. With her husband, Jaydev, at work on the loss side, Shweta Zaveri advanced to a winners’ side semifinal versus Tae Chang.

Adamik got into the hot seat match 8-4 over Daniel. Zaveri and Chang locked up in a double hill fight that did eventually send Zaveri into the hot seat match versus Adamik. Adamik claimed the hot seat 10-7 and waited for Santoro to finish his loss-side run.

On the loss side, where a husband/wife match loomed as possible in the semifinals, Tae Chang ran into the streaking-to-the-finals Santoro, six matches into his loss-side streak and having recently eliminated Nishant Narang 6-4 and Ashima Butler 7-5. Daniel drew the ‘husband’ in the potential semifinal scenario, Jaydev, who’d just concluded two straight double hill wins, over Stewart Warnock and Aurelio Romero.

It was Zaveri and Santoro advancing to the quarterfinals; Zaveri 7-5 over Daniel and Santoro 6-4 over Chang. Santoro then spoiled the husband/wife match party, downing Jaydev 8-3 in the quarterfinals and Shweta 6-5 in the semifinals.

His nine-match, loss-side trek completed, Santoro kept dropping the balls as he moved into the true double elimination final. He took the opening set 9-5 and though Adamik put up a double hill fight in the second set, Santoro won it to claim his first event title and we assume, a raise in his handicap rating.

Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at The Spot for their hospitality, as well as title sponsor Predator Cues, Ozone Billiards, Sterling Billiards, Kamui, Quick Stik, Bloodworth Ball Cleaner, Joe Romer Trophies, Phil Cappelle Publications and Pool and Billiards. The next stop on the Predator Tri-State Tour, scheduled for Saturday, June 26, will be hosted by Clifton Billiards in Clifton, NJ. 

Watanabe goes undefeated, downs Martinez twice to claim Tri-State Tour title

Max Watanabe & Bianca Martinez

The headline story is about the Tri-State’s top-rated, #1 A player, Max Watanabe, doing battle twice with one of the tour’s top-rated females, Bianca Martinez, who’s currently at #3 in the women’s point standings and #4 in the tour’s overall C standings. The top three in both cases (women and C players) would have been the same (Allison LaFleur, Michelle Brotons and Martinez), had Juan Melendez not slipped into second place among the C players. Watanabe and Martinez battled twice during the $1,000-added, 10-ball event that drew 38 entrants to Cue Bar in Bayside (Queens), NY on Sunday, Feb. 16. Watanabe won both encounters to claim the event title, but not before Martinez battled him twice to the necessity of a single, deciding game.

Watanabe’s trip to the winners’ circle went through Pascal Dufresne, Russell Masciotti and Steve Kalloo to arrive at a winners’ side semifinal against Julian Tierney. Martinez, in the meantime, sent Andre Holder, Naoko Saiki, and Juan Melendez to the loss side before coming up against Jason Goberdhan in the other winners’ side semifinal.

Watanabe downed Tierney 6-4. Martinez joined him in the hot seat match after surviving a double hill fight versus Goberdhan. In their first of two, they fought to double hill before Watanabe prevailed to claim the hot seat.

On the loss side, Tierney picked up Kevin Shin, who’d recently defeated Steve Kalloo, double hill and Sherwin Robinson 6-2. Goberdhan drew Qian Chen, who’d eliminated the aforementioned C player, Juan Melendez 5-1 and survived a double hill fight against Shweta Zaveri (#4 among the tour’s ladies) to reach him.

Tierney shut Kevin Shin out and was met in the quarterfinals by Chen, who’d survived Shweta Zaveri’s second straight double hill match. Tierney won the quarterfinal match 6-4 before having his short loss-side trip ended by Martinez 7-4 in the semifinals.

Second verse, same as the first, as they say. Watanabe and Martinez fought to a second, double hill deciding game. Watanabe prevailed a second time to claim the event title.

Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Cue Bar for their hospitality, as well as sponsors Ozone Billiards, Sterling-Gaming, Kamui Tips, Phil Capelle, Pool & Billiards, Professor Q Ball, Bender Cues, Paul Dayton Cues, Bludworth Ball Cleaner, Joe Romer Trophies and Quick Slick. The next stop on the Tri-State Tour, scheduled for Sunday, Feb. 23, will be hosted by Steinway Billiards in Astoria (Queens), NY.

Wooley wins seven on the loss side to meet and defeat Alli in Tri-State Tour finals

(l to r): Ed Wooley & Brandonne Alli

For a little-known name, Ed Wooley certainly made a strong statement at the Sunday, February 9 stop on the Tri-State Tour. Wooley got sent to the loss side relatively early at the $1,000-added event that drew 33 entrants to Shooter’s Family Billiards in Wayne, NJ, but came back through seven loss-side matches to meet and defeat hot seat occupant, Brandonne Alli. Like Wooley, Alli  was looking to chalk up his first Tri-State win. Unlike Alli, Wooley (according to our records) was looking to record his first cash payout ever. Putting an exclamation point on his loss-side run and appearance in the finals, Wooley shut Alli out in the final match to claim the event title.
 
Once he’d sent Wooley to the loss side, Luis Jimenez advanced to a winners’ side quarterfinal, where he was defeated by Joe Mazzeo 6-4. Mazzeo moved on to face Alli in one of the winners’ side semifinals. Adrian Daniel and Michael Graf met in the other one.
 
Daniel and Graf locked up in a double hill battle that eventually sent Daniel ahead to the hot seat match. Alli joined him, once he’d completed his 6-2 win over Mazzeo. Alli defeated Daniel 5-3 to claim the hot seat.
 
On the loss side, it was Mazzeo who picked up Wooley, four matches into his loss-side winning streak. He’d recently completed a successful shutout rematch against Jimenez and the first of three straight double hill wins, against Artur Trzeciak. Graf drew Qian Chen, who’d defeated Hunter Sullivan 5-1 and Shweta Zaveri 6-4 to reach him.
 
Wooley won his second straight double hill match, eliminating Mazzeo. Graf defeated Chen 6-4 and then, in the quarterfinals, was eliminated by Wooley in his third double hill match.
 
Wooley sort of took his foot off the gas in the semifinals, allowing Adrian Daniel to win a rack, but put pedal to the metal in the subsequent finals, shutting Alli out to claim his first (recorded) tour win.
 
Tri-State Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Shooter’s Family Billiards for their hospitality, as well as sponsors Ozone Billiards, Sterling-Gaming, Kamui, Phil Capelle, Paul Dayton Cues, Pool & Billiards, Liquid Weighted Cues, JohnBender Cues, Billiards Engineering and Bloodworth Ball Cleaner. The next stop on the Tri-State Tour, scheduled for this Sunday, Feb. 16, will be a $1,000-added 10-Ball event, hosted by Cue Bar in Bayside (Queens), NY.

Sieczka and Mierzwa split top prizes and share ‘Polska duma’ on first 2019 Tri-State Tour stop

(l to r): Frank Sieczka & Jan Mierzwa

It was, as one Tri-State Tour rep called it, a day of Polska duma, which translates into Polish pride. League teammates and friends Frank Sieczka, Jan Mierzwa and Grzegorz Kasica were among 36 entrants, who signed on to the first 2019 stop on the tour on Sunday, January 5, and ended the day at Clifton Billiards in Clifton, NJ as the $1,000-added, 8-ball event’s final three. As the undefeated occupant of the hot seat, Sieczka claimed the title when he and Mierzwa opted to split the final two cash prizes.
 
All three advanced to a winners’ side quarterfinal, but in one of those quarterfinal matches, Sieczka and Mierzwa met for what turned out to be the one and only time. Sieczka had started his day with a shutout over Sebastian Karwas. He then downed Jaydev Zaveri, double hill and  Emit Yolcu 6-2, before running into Mierzwa and sending him to the loss side 6-4. Sieczka moved on to face DeMain Patrick in one of the winners’ side semifinals. In the meantime, Kasica, who’d sent Qian Chen, Hunter Sullivan, and Michael Graf to the loss side, squared off against Allison LaFleur in the other winners’ side semifinal.
 
Sieczka got into the hot seat match with a 6-3 win over Patrick and was joined by Kasica, who’d shut LaFleur out. Sieczka claimed the hot seat with a 6-4 win in what turned out to be his last match.
 
It was Patrick who drew Mierzwa, three matches into his loss-side streak that would end with the cash split. Mierzwa had downed Joe Mazzeo 6-4 and picked up a forfeit win over Liran Rabin to reach Patrick. LaFleur picked up (relative) newcomer Brandone Alli, who’d defeated Shweta Zaveri 6-3 and Artur Trzeciak (another representative of Polish pride) 6-4.
 
Mierzwa and Alli advanced to the quarterfinals; Mierzwa, 6-3 over Patrick and Alli, 6-2 over LaFleur. Mierzwa took the quarterfinal match over Alli 6-4, marking the 6th time in the event’s final 14 matches that members of the ‘Polska duma’ group had won a match by that score.
 
The semifinal and last match of the evening between Mierzwa and Kasica made it seven 6-4 scores out of the last 14 matches, as Mierzwa left Kasica in third place. Sieczka and Mierzwa opted out of the final and the first 2019 stop of the Tri-State Tour’s 2019-2020 season went into the books with a dash of Polish duma.
 
Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Clifton 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, January 12, will be hosted by Steinway Billiards in Astoria (Queens), NY.

Schmidt goes undefeated to win his first regional tour event on Tri-State Tour

(l to r): Luis Jimenez & Chris Schmidt

It had been, according to our records, almost exactly five years since Chris Schmidt had taken home any cash by competing on the Tri-State Tour. In October of 2014, he finished, in successive weeks, 5th and 4th at two stops on the tour. Schmidt returned to the ‘fold,’ so to speak, on Sunday, October 20 to chalk up his first Tri-State victory. Schmidt went undefeated through a field of 22, on hand for the $1,000-added event that was hosted by Shooter’s Family Billiards in Wayne, NJ.
 
Schmidt had to get by Luis Jimenez twice to claim this event title. Following victories over Tri Chau 7-1 and Paul Wilkens 7-2 Schmidt drew Jimenez for the first time in one of the winners’ side semifinals. Adrian Daniels, in the meantime, squared off against Rick Rodriguez in the other winners’ side semifinal.
 
Schmidt advanced to the hot seat match with a 7-3 win over Jimenez. Daniels joined him after a 6-3 win over Rodriguez. Schmidt and Daniels battled to double hill before Schmidt prevailed to claim what appears to be his first recorded claim to a tournament’s hot seat.
 
On the loss side, Jimenez opened his three-match march back to the finals against Desi DeRado, who’d defeated Paul Wilkens 7-5 and Zach Ivie, double hill, to reach him. Rodriguez drew Shweta Zaveri, who’d recently eliminated Bob Toomey 7-5 and CJ Chey 7-1.
 
Jimenez and Rodriguez got right back to work, winning. Jimenez downed DeRado 7-3, as Rodriguez just did survive a double hill fight against Zaveri.
 
Jimenez earned his way to a slot in the finals with two straight double hill wins, over Rodriguez in the quarterfinals and Daniels in the semifinals. Schmidt, though, edged out in front in the final match that followed, defeating Jimenez 7-5 and claiming his first event title.
 
Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Shooter’s Family Billiards, as well as sponsors Ozone Billiards, Sterling-Gaming, Kamui, Phil Capelle, Bloodworth Ball Cleaner, Billiard Engineering, Pool & Billiards, Professor Q Ball, Bender Cues and Pool & Billiards. The next stop on the Tri-State Tour, scheduled for Sunday, October 27, will be a Double Points, 10-ball event, hosted by Cue Bar in Bayside (Queens), NY. 

Dufresne comes from the loss side to win second 2019 Tri-State event, first of 2019-2020 season

(l to r): Luis Jimenez & Pascal Dufresne

It was apparently the Tri-State Tour’s turn on Pascal Dufresne’s calendar. He won a stop on the Tri-State Tour back in March, which was a part of the Tri-State Tour’s 2018-2019 season. In April, he chalked up a victory on the Predator Pro Am Tour. On Sunday, September 22, Dufresne came back from a winners’ side semifinal loss to down Luis Jimenez in the finals of the $1,000-added, Double Points Tri-State event that had drawn 19 entrants to BQE Billiards in Jackson Heights (Queens), NY. It was his second 2019 win on the Tri-State Tour, but his first of the 2019-2020 tour season.
 
They met twice. The first time was in a winners’ side semifinal, as Robert Calton and Shweta Zaveri were battling it out in the other one. Jimenez, who’d cashed in 10 stops on the Tri-State Tour this year, including two runner-up finishes (March & July) was looking for his first win on the tour in (as far as we can determine) five years. He sent Dufresne to the loss side 7-5, as Calton sent Zaveri over 7-4. Jimenez guaranteed himself, at minimum, another runner-up finish with a 7-2 win over Calton in the hot seat match.
 
On the loss side, Zaveri picked up Thomas Schreiber, who’d been defeated by Dufresne in a winners’ side quarterfinal and then defeated Amanda Andries 7-4 and Lionel Swanston 6-5. Dufresne drew Joshua Joseph, who’d recently eliminated Michael Fedak and Allison LaFleur, both 6-3.
 
Dufresne and Zaveri got right back to work. Zaveri downed Schreiber 8-2, as Dufresne advanced to join her in the quarterfinals with a 7-3 win over Joseph. Dufresne ended Zaveri’s bid for a rematch against Calton in the semifinals by defeating her 8-3.
 
Dufresne complete his loss-side campaign with a 7-5 victory over Calton in those semifinals. He then proceeded to spoil Luis Jimenez’ bid for a victory on the 2019-2020 Tri-State Tour season by defeating him 9-7 in the finals.
 
Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at BQE Billiards, as well as sponsors Ozone Billiards, Sterling-Gaming, Kamui Tips, Phil Capelle, Pool & Billiards, Professor Q Ball, Bender Cues,  Paul Dayton Cues, Bludworth Ball Cleaner, Joe Romer Trophies and Quick Slick. The next stop on the Tri-State Tour, scheduled for Saturday, September 28, will be hosted by Shooter’s Family Billiards in Wayne, NJ.

Kuo goes undefeated, splits top prizes with Lam on Tri-State stop

Tony Kuo & Duc Lam

It was the same matchup that had occurred at the 2017 Empire State Championships on Long Island two years ago. At that tournament two years ago (February), Tony Kuo and Duc Lam met twice – hot seat and finals – to determine the event’s amateur champion. Kuo got into the hot seat, but Lam came back from the semifinals to win it. On Saturday, August 17, at a $1,000-added Tri-State Tour stop that drew 36 entrants to Steinway Billiards in Astoria (Queens), NY, Kuo and Lam battled it out for the hot seat again and again, Kuo prevailed. This time, though, Lam didn’t get a second chance. Although Lam did win the semifinal match for the right to challenge Kuo in the final, the late hour led to a mutual agreement to split the top two cash prizes. As the undefeated occupant of the hot seat, Kuo claimed the official event title.

Victories over Joe Wilson Torres (double hill), Juan Melendez and Shweta Zaveri set Kuo up for a winners’ side semifinal against Raymond Lee. Lam, in the meantime, squared off against Bianca Martinez. Lam and Martinez locked up in a double hill fight that eventually did send Lam to the hot seat match. Kuo joined him after 7-4 victory over Lee. In what proved to be the decisive match of the tournament, Kuo and Lam fought to double hill, as well, with Kuo prevailing in his last match of the evening.
Martinez arrived on the loss side of the bracket and ran into Dax Druminski, who’d been sent to the loss bracket by Lam in a winners’ side quarterfinal and then, defeated Max Watanabe, double hill and Luis Lopez 6-2. Lee picked up Luis Jimenez, who’d eliminated Shweta Zaveri 8-4 and Rick Rodriguez 7-4 to reach him.
Druminski chalked up his third straight loss-side win 6-1 over Martinez. Jimenez recorded his third straight on the loss side, as well, downing Lee 7-3.
Druminski took the quarterfinal match 7-5 over Jimenez to earn his rematch against Lam in the semifinals. Lam, though, closed out the event proceedings with a 9-4 win over Druminski, before agreeing to the split with Kuo in the hot seat.
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, Bludworth Ball Cleaner, Quick Slik, Pool & Billiards, Professor Q Ball, Bender Cues, and Paul Dayton Cues. The Tri-State Tour will return to Steinway Billiards this weekend (August 24-25) for a two-day, B/C/D event.

Castillo and Melendez split top prizes on second-to-last 2018/2019 Tri-State Tour stop

(l to r): Euryel Castillo & Juan Melendez

When the Tri-State Tour stop held on Sunday, June 9 got down to its last 12 players (from 41 entrants), 10 of them were competitors who will likely be invited to the tour’s annual invitational tournament, restricted to the top 16 players in each of the tour’s six ranking divisions (not including either the Open or Pro class) and scheduled for June 29-30. The player who got into the hot seat and won (*) the tournament, Euryel Castillo (#29 among the tour’s C+ players) is not likely to be among the invitees, unless over a dozen invited players from the C+ division can’t make it. The man he would have played in the final, Juan Melendez, is a likely invitee in the C division, having entered the tournament as #12 on that list. Also likely to be invited will be the 3rd place finisher, Yomaylin Feliz-Forman (#15 on the B List), who gave up only one rack in her first five matches before being sent to the loss side by Castillo in the battle for the hot seat. She was defeated by Melendez in the semifinals (she’d sent him to the loss side originally). The $1,000-added event was hosted by Cue Bar in Bayside (Queens), NY.

Following victories over Thomas Schreiber (#7 among B players), Joe Mazzeo, and a double hill win over Tony Kuo, Castillo advanced to a winners’ side semifinal against the tour’s #2-ranked B+ player, Matt Klein. Two of the tour’s top-ranked women squared off against each other in the other winners’ side semifinal; Yomaylin Feliz-Forman (better known as “Smiley”) versus Shweta Zaveri, the tour’s top-ranked female and its #1 competitor in the D+ division.

Castillo sent Klein to the loss side 7-3, as “Smiley” got the best of Zaveri 9-5. Castillo and Feliz locked up in a double hill fight for possession of the hot seat, eventually claimed (7-6) by Castillo.

On the loss side, Klein picked up Thomas Schreiber (#7 among B players), who’d defeated Tony Kuo 7-3 and eliminated Max Watanabe (#2 among the A/A+ players) in a double hill battle. Shweta Zaveri drew Juan Melendez, who’d been sent to the loss side by “Smiley” 7-2 in a winners’ side quarterfinal and then, defeated Bob Toomey (#1 C+) 6-4 and Bianca Martinez (#8 D+), double hill.

Schreiber downed Klein 7-5 to get into the quarterfinals. He was joined by Melendez, who’d defeated Zaveri in his second straight double hill win. Melendez more or less solidified the likelihood of joining the invitational tournament with a 7-5 victory over Schreiber in those quarterfinals.

Melendez turned for a re-match against Feliz and in his third, loss-side double hill match, defeated her 8-7 for a shot at Castillo in the hot seat; a shot not taken, as it were. The two agreed to a split, with Castillo as the undefeated occupant of the hot seat claiming the event title.

Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Cue Bar, 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 last regular tour stop of the 2018/2019 Tri-State Tour season, scheduled for Saturday, June 15, will be hosted by Clifton Billiards in Clifton, NJ. Two weeks later, on the weekend of June 29-30, the Annual Tri-State Invitational Tournament will be hosted by Steinway Billiards in Astoria (Queens), NY.

Klein and Shweta Zaveri split top prizes on Tri-State Tour stop

Matt Klein & Shweta Zaveri

Both were looking for their first 2019 win on the Tri-State Tour. For Shweta Zaveri, it would have been her first victory on the tour, ever. For Matt Klein, it proved to be his first since last June, near the end of the Tri-State’s 2017-2018 season. They played a single match, a winners’ side semifinal. They would have played a second, in the finals, but they opted out and split the top two prizes. Zaveri came into the event as the tour’s 2018/2019 points leader among its female competitors and among its D+ players. Klein, at present, is the tour’s fifth-ranked points leader in the B division. The $1,000-added event that led to their division of the top two prizes drew 46 entrants on Saturday, February 2 to Steinway Billiards in Astoria (Queens), NY.
 
Klein’s tournament trail went through Bob Toomey, Ilija Tracjeski, Terry Mohabir, and Jowen Pichardo to arrive at his winners’ side semifinal against Zaveri. Shivam Gupta, in the meantime, faced Ryan Dayrit. Klein sent Zaveri on her three-match, loss-side trip with an 8-4 victory. He was joined in the hot seat match Gupta, who’d sent Dayrit over 8-6. In what proved to be his final match, Klein claimed the hot seat 7-4 over Gupta.
 
On the loss side, Zaveri picked up Andrew Cicoria, who’d recently survived a double hill win battle against Sean Emmitt and shut out Pichardo. Dayrit drew Ricky Motilal, who’d defeated Brian Jeziorski 7-4 and Suzzie Wong 8-4 to reach him.
 
Dayrit downed Motilal 8-6 and in the quarterfinals, faced Zaveri, who’d eliminated Cicoria 6-2. Zaveri chalked up two straight double hill wins that provided her with an opportunity to face Klein a second time. She downed Dayrit 6-5 in the quarterfinals and Gupta 9-8 in the semifinals.
 
It was late Sunday night at this stage of the game(s), or early Monday morning, depending on your perspective. While Zaveri may have been motivated to chalk up her first Tri-State win with a re-match against Klein, they both agreed to the split.
 
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 Sunday, February 10, will be hosted by Shooter’s Family Billiards in Wayne, NJ.

Trajceski wins his third Tri-State Tour stop, going undefeated at Shooter’s in Wayne, NJ

Shivam Gupta and Ilija Trajceski

Maybe it’s the weather. Two out of three of Ilija Trajceski’s victories on the Tri-State Tour have been won in cold weather. The third, his first, in October, 2017 at Clifton Billiards was not; it was rainy and mild (70˚). It should be noted that Mr. Trajceski has cashed in only four Tri-State events since October, 2017 and he’s won three of them. He was runner-up in the fourth. He chalked up his third Tri-State win on Saturday, January 12, going undefeated through a field of 33 entrants at a $1,000-added event, hosted by Shooters Family Billiards in Wayne, NJ, under partly cloudy skies with temperatures hovering around the freezing mark.
 
Trajceski opened his bid for the title with a double hill win over the man with whom he’d split the top two cash prizes in his ‘official’ second win a year ago (and placed 4th in his first win), Matt Klein. Trajceski moved on past Brian Jeziorski and in a winners’ side quarterfinal, 7-5 over Shivam Gupta (whom he’d encounter later, in the finals), to draw good friend Jaydev Zaveri in one of the winners’ side semifinals. Corey Avallone, in the meantime, squared off against Bob Toomey in the other winners’ side semifinal.
 
Trajceski sent Zaveri to the loss side 7-3 and was joined in the hot seat match by Avallone, who’d sent Toomey to the left bracket 7-2. Trajceski claimed the hot seat 8-4 over Avallone, and probably took a walk outside for a breath of cold air.
 
On the loss side, Gupta opened his loss-side campaign with victories over Victor Silva 7-5 and Max Watanabe 6-5 to draw Zaveri. Toomey picked up Mac Jankov, who’d chalked up two straight double hill, 6-5 wins over Dominic Novello and Shweta Zaveri to reach him.
 
Gupta sent Zaveri home 7-5, while Toomey was doing likewise to Jankov 6-3. Gupta took the subsequent quarterfinal match over Toomey 7-5 and then locked up in a double hill fight against Avallone in the semifinals, which he won 9-8.
 
The second verse of the Trajceski/Gupta song (otherwise known as the finals) was the same as the first. Gupta, in the space between the two matches, had played 65 loss-side games over five matches; all, with the exception of the 9-8 semifinal, won 7-5 by Trajceski. Trajceski won a fifth 7-5 match and his second 7-5 match over Gupta to claim the event title.
 
While an unconfirmed report indicates that Trajceski thanked the local weatherman, tour representatives thanked Shooter’s Family Billiards owners Kris and Chris Consalvo-Kemp for their ongoing hospitality, which, at this event, included the addition of two of the venue’s TAP league players as entrants. They also thanked 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 Sunday, January 27, will be hosted by Cue Bar in Bayside (Queens), NY.