Archive Page

Robles wins four to take short-field title in Pro Division on Predator stop

Matt Harricharan, Max Watanabe and Tony Robles

Rosario comes from the loss side to avenge early loss to Rodriguez and capture Amateur title
Most tour directors tend not to play in their own tournaments, for obvious reasons. With the weight of tournament direction on their shoulders, it can be hard to concentrate on a given game at hand. The variety of organizational and player-related issues that can crop up when you’re trying to take aim at a ball can be daunting. Tommy Kennedy does it down in Florida fairly regularly on his Southeast Open 9-Ball Tour. Mike Zuglan used to do it on the Joss Tour. The Texas Tornado (Vivian Villareal) does it in Texas.
Tony Robles plays regularly on his own Predator Pro Am Tour (when the stop includes an Open/Pro event), although until this past weekend (Sept. 15-16), he hadn’t (according to our records) won a stop on his own tour since 2014, when he won twice and was runner-up three times. His most recent effort was aided and abetted by a short field of eight entrants, as most of the would-have-been competitors were playing elsewhere in a qualifier for Accu-Stats’ International 9-Ball Open, which will be held in Norfolk, VA during the time slot which for over four decades was reserved for the US Open 9-Ball Championships, now run by Matchroom Sports and scheduled for April 2019 in Las Vegas.
Be that as it may, Tony Robles went through the short field in a series of four matches, hosted by Cue Bar in Bayside (Queens), NY and came out on top. In the meantime, the $750-added Amateur event drew one shy of the 64-player maximum-allowed. Abel Rosario won five on the loss side and came back to avenge an earlier loss to Elvis Rodriguez, defeating him in the finals to claim the Amateur title.
Robles’ trip to the winners’ circle started with a 7-0- defeat of Suzzie Wong in the opening round, which set him up to face Troy Deocharran in one of the winners’ side semifinals. Max Watanabe faced Alex Osipov in the other one. Robles got into the hot seat match with a 7-3 win over Deocharran. He was joined by Watanabe, who’d sent Osipov west 7-4. Robles claimed the hot seat 7-3 and waited on Watanabe’s return.
On the loss side, Deocharran picked up George Texiera, who’d defeated Eugene Ok 7-4 to reach him. Osipov drew Matthew Harricharan, who’d eliminated Wong 7-1.
Harricharan and Texiera handed Osipov and Deocharran their second straight loss; Harricharan 7-4 over Osipov and Texiera 7-5 over Deocharran. Harricharan shut Texiera out in the quarterfinals that followed, and then, had his short, loss-side streak ended 7-3 by Watanabe in the semifinals. Robles defeated Watanabe a second time, 7-3 in the finals to complete his undefeated run.
Rosario wins first 2018 Predator stop with a five-match, loss-side run
Though he’d won a Tri-State stop earlier this year and cashed in eight Predator stops last year, including a runner-up finish in a January Amateur event, won by Max Watanabe, Abel Rosario had not won a stop on the Predator Pro Am Tour since November, 2015. In this most recent event, a winners’ side quarterfinal defeat at the hands of Elvis Rodriguez sent him to the loss side and a five-match winning streak gave him what proved to be a successful second shot at Rodriguez in the finals.
With Rosario at work on the loss side, Rodriguez moved on to a winners’ side semifinal against Jaydev Zaveri, as Greg Matos squared off against Jody Rubin in the other one. Rodriguez and Zaveri locked up in a double hill fight that could have sent Rodriguez to an early re-match against Rosario, but didn’t. Matos downed Rubin 6-2 to join Rodriguez in the hot seat match. Rodriguez defeated Matos 10-8 and in the hot seat, waited on the return of Rosario.
On the loss side, Rosario survived a double hill battle against Chris Kelly, and then defeated Michael Luster 7-4, to draw Zaveri. Rubin picked up Paul Carpenter, who’d defeated Tony Ignomirello and Ambi Estevez, both 7-4, to reach him. 
Two double hill fights advanced Rubin and Rosario to the quarterfinals; Rubin over Carpenter (6-5) and Rosario over Zaveri (7-6). Rosario won the quarterfinal match 9-7 over Rubin, and then earned his second shot at Rodriguez with an 8-4 win over Matos in the semifinals. He completed his Amateur-title run with a strong 9-2 victory over Rodriguez in the finals.
An 11-entrant Second Chance event saw Sly Vanchiro down Esteban Morell 7-5 in the finals to claim his $130 top prize. Morell pocketed $90.
Tour director Tony Robles thanked the ownership and staff at Cue Bar for their hospitality, as well as title sponsor Predator Cues,, NAPL, Cappelle (, Ozone Billiards, the DeVito Team, and his Predator Pro Am staff. The next stop on the Predator Tour, scheduled for Oct. 13-14, will be an Amateur event, hosted by Steinway Billiards in Astoria (Queens), NY.