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Empire State Cup To Crown Tri State’s Top Room

The battle for Tri-state area pool room supremacy, cash prizes, trophies and bragging rights will be settled on September 12-13th, 2020 at Raxx Pool Room. If you think you can put together the strongest team of your pool rooms' top players, then this event is for you. Formatted to allow open/pro players and amateurs to all compete and have fun, this $2,000+ guaranteed added event (based on full field) will spark a new level of competition.
 
Players interested in getting involved in this event can contact Stephen Motilal at 516-693-4106 for more information and to get signed up. 

Laboy wins seven on the loss side, downs Toolsee in finals to claim Predator Pro Am title

(l to r): Zain Sunderam, Bryan Toolsee, Kanami Chau & Miguel Laboy

Miguel Laboy, like a lot of players in the New York City tri-state area, splits his tournament time between the Predator Pro Am Tour and the Tri-State Tour. Over the past five years, including his best earnings year (2014), a majority of his event victories have come on the Tri-State Tour; a total of seven in those five years. Having chalked up his first victory on the Predator Pro Am Tour this past September, Laboy backed it up on the weekend of October 26-27, by recording his second Predator Pro Am win. The $1,000-added event drew 62 entrants to Steinway Billiards in Astoria (Queens), NY.
 
He’d gone undefeated in his earlier win on the Predator Pro Am Tour, but on this weekend, he had to come from fairly deep on the loss side to secure the win. It was Brooke Meyer who sent him to the loss side and from where Laboy launched a seven-match, loss-side winning streak that brought him to the finals and the eventual win. Meyer, in the meantime, advanced to a winners’ side semifinal against Bryan Toolsee. Kanami Chau and Zain Sundaram squared off in the other one.
 
Meyer failed to arrive on time for his winners’ side semifinal match and forfeited to Toolsee. Chau sent Sundaram to the loss side 7-4 and joined Toolsee in the battle for the hot seat. They battled to double hill before Toolsee prevailed and Chau moved west to meet Laboy in the semifinals.
 
Laboy, after winning his third and fourth loss-side match against Ernesto Gomez 8-4 and George Poltorak 8-6, picked up a rematch against Meyer, who’d returned to the competition. Sundaram drew Mark Joseph, who’d recently picked up a forfeit win from Stephen Motilal and eliminated Debra Pritchett 7-4.
 
Laboy and Sundaram advanced to the quarterfinals; Laboy with a successful 7-2 rematch against Meyer and Sundaram downing Mark Joseph 7-5. Laboy then ended Sundaram’s weekend with a 9-4 win in the quarterfinals.
 
Laboy and Kanami Chau locked up in a semifinal bout that almost came to double hill. Laboy, though, edged out in front at the end and defeated her 11-9.
 
Coincidentally, both Laboy and hot seat occupant,  Bryan Toolsee were looking to record their second Predator Pro Am Tour victory. Toolsee’s first had come almost exactly a year ago (November 18), when he’d gone undefeated at a Cue Bar event to make 2018 his official best earnings year. Laboy completed his loss-side run and claimed the event title with a 9-3 victory in the finals.
 
A Second Chance event drew eight entrants. KC Clayton and Duc Lam fought to double hill in the finals, with Clayton prevailing to take home the $100 first-place prize. Lam took home $50 as the runner-up.
 
Tour director Tony Robles, who’s been making something of a living lately of thanking Manny Stamatakis and his Steinway Billiards staff for their hospitality, did so again. He also thanked title sponsor Predator Cues, Ozone Billiards, PlayNAPL.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 this weekend, November 2-3, will be hosted by The Spot in Nanuet.

Meyer survives strong, double-hill challenge to go undefeated on Predator Pro Am Tour

(l to r): Jose Kuilan, Max Watanabe, Brooke Meyer & Stephen Motilal

As James Aranas was busy working on an undefeated run to qualify for the upcoming 10-Ball Championships in Las Vegas (see separate story), Brooke Meyer was at work trying to secure (according to our records) his first victory on the Predator Pro Am Tour since April of 2016. Three years ago, in what would prove to be his best earnings year to-date, Meyer spoiled the party that might have celebrated a first-ever victory for New York’s Alison Fischer (not to be confused with English Pro Allison Fisher), downing her twice to take that title. On the weekend of June 22-23, Meyer, sitting in the #8 slot amongst the tour’s A players, went undefeated again, this time downing Jose Kuilan (#13 among C players) twice to capture the $1,000-added, A/B/C/D event that drew 80 entrants to Raxx Billiards in West Hempstead, NY.
 
Meyer and Kuilan met in the hot seat match, once Meyer had sent Jay Vapanta to the loss side 7-2 and Kuilan had dispatched Stephen Motilal to that side of the bracket 7-4. Meyer claimed the hot seat in a double hill fight and waited on what would prove to be another one in the finals.
 
On the loss side, Motilal picked up Bob Toomey, who’d defeated Michelle Brotons 6-3 and Debby Buyukveniz 7-5 to reach him. Vapanta drew Max Watanabe, who’d recently eliminated Miguel Laboy 7-1 and Chulo Castro 7-4.
 
Watanabe, who sits at #9, one spot below Meyer among the A players, defeated Vapanta 7-2, as Motilal ended Toomey’s weekend 7-5. Watanabe took the quarterfinal match that followed, 8-6 over Motilal, before he was eliminated, double hill, in the semifinals by Kuilan 9-8.
 
It looked, for a while, as though Kuilan was going to cash in on his semifinal momentum to snatch the event title out of Meyers’ hands. He was on the hill ahead of Meyer, but watched as Meyer, slowly, but surely closed the gap. At 10-9, Kuilan attempted a good-looking 6-9 combo that would have ended it, but instead, when it failed, allowed Meyer to tie it up and forced the deciding game. Meyer ‘pushed’ on the last break, and for a few minutes, both players benefited from sequential lucky rolls that put their opponent in tough shape. Meyer broke out of the pattern to finish the rack, winning the game, match and event.
 
Matt Klein took the Second Chance event, which drew 16 entrants, downing Ambi Estevez in the final. Abel Rosario and Marisol Palacio shared third place in the single-elimination event. The Third Chance drew 13 players and was won by Miguel Laboy, following a double hill final against Bob Toomey. Joe Wilson Torres and Shashi Hajaree shared third place honors in this one.
 
Tour director Tony Robles thanked Holden Chin and his Raxx Billiards staff, as well as title sponsor Predator Cues, Ozone Billiards, PlayNAPL.com, The DeVito Team, PoolontheNet.com, Cappelle (BilliardsPress.com), AZBilliards, Pool & Billiards Magazine and Billiards Digest. The next stop on the Predator Pro Am Tour (#11), scheduled for July 13-14, will be hosted by Amsterdam Billiards in Manhattan, NY. 

Watanabe, DaBreo come from the loss side to win Predator Pro Am Amateur, Pro events

(l to r): Raphael Dabreo & Joey Korsiak (Photo courtesy of Erwin Dionisio)

Three days after downing their share of Thanksgiving cheer in whatever form it took for them, Max Watanabe and Raphael Dabreo had cause to give further thanks for their respective victories on the Predator Pro Am Tour. During the tour’s annual Thanksgiving Day weekend get-together, Watanabe navigated his way through a 76-entrant field, in the $750-added Amateur event, winning five on the loss side to meet and defeat Jose Estevez in the finals. Raphael DaBreo in the 14-entrant, $250-added Open/Pro event, recovered from a double hill loss in the hot seat match and returned to defeat Joey Korsiak. Both events, as well as a Second and a Third Chance event were hosted, as they are every year, by Steinway Billiards in Astoria (Queens), NY.
 
In the Amateur division, Watanabe, who pretty much evenly splits his time between the Predator and Tri-State Tours, was looking for his first victory in five attempts on the 2018 Predator Pro Am Tour. He’d been defeated in the finals of an Open/Pro event by Tour Director Tony Robles in September and had chalked up a win on the Tri-State Tour back in June. In this event, he worked his way through to a winners’ side quarterfinal before running into Eddie Kunz, who sent him to the loss side 7-5. Kunz advanced to a winners’ side semifinal against Estevez. Jonathan Martinez, in the meantime, squared off against Joe Morace. Estevez sent Kunz to an immediate re-match against Watanabe with a 7-4 win, as Martinez downed Morace 7-4. Estevez claimed the hot seat 8-5 and waited on Watanabe’s return.
 
On the loss side, Watanabe had survived a double hill match against Marco Dy and one game shy of double hill, defeated Jaydev Zaveri 7-5 to earn his re-match against Kunz. Morace picked up Erick Carrasco, who’d eliminated Nick Croce 7-5 and Debra Pritchett, double hill, to reach him.
 
Carrasco got through a second straight double hill match, downing Morace, and advanced to the quarterfinals. Watanabe joined him after giving up only a single rack to Kunz in their re-match. Watanabe then leap-frogged over the quarterfinals when work-related commitments forced Carrasco to forfeit.
 
Watanabe had his hands full in the semifinals, as Martinez put up a double hill fight for a second shot against Estevez. Watanabe prevailed, and then, in the finals, won the extended race to 9 to claim the event title.
 
DaBreo and Korsiak replay March matchup with the same result
 
Squaring off in the finals of the Open/Pro event, Raphael DaBreo and Joey Korsiak replayed a scene that had played out for the both of them in March. In that event, DaBreo had to win three on the loss side, two of which went double hill, to face Korsiak in the finals. He did so to chalk up his first Open/Pro victory on the tour. This time, they battled in the hot seat and finals.
 
Korsiak had downed Tony Robles 7-4 to get in to the hot seat match, while DaBreo had sent Alfredo Albay over 7-3. They battled to double hill in the hot seat match, until Korsiak prevailed.
 
On the loss side, Robles picked up Gary O’Callaghan, who’d defeated Jud Parker 7-2 and benefited from a double hill, deciding-game miss at the 10-ball by Joe Torres to advance. Albay drew Frankie Hernandez, who’d eliminated Zion Zvi 7-3 and Stephen Motilal 7-4.
 
Robles had sent O’Callaghan to the loss side in an earlier double hill match, but it was O’Callaghan who came out on top 7-4 in their re-match. Hernandez shut Albay out to advance to the quarterfinals against O’Callaghan. Hernandez then eliminated O’Callaghan 7-4.
 
In the semifinals, Hernandez and DaBreo battled to double hill before DaBreo three-fouled Hernandez to earn his second shot against Korsiak. In another modified race-to-9 final, DaBreo claimed the event title over Korsiak 9-3.
 
A 15-entrant Second Chance event was won Abel Rosario, with Jose Kuilan as runner-up. Duc Lam and Nick Croce finished in the tie for 3rd place. An 8-entrant Third Chance event, saw Miguel Laboy take home the top prize with Julia Ha in second place.
 
Tour director Tony Robles thanked Manny Stamatakis and his Steinway staff for their Thanksgiving Day weekend hospitality, as well as his own Predator Pro Am staff and sponsors Predator Cues, Ozone Billiards, PlayNAPL.com, The DeVito Team, PoolontheNet.com, Cappelle (Billiards Press), AZBilliards, Pool & Billiard Magazine and Billiards Digest. The final stop of the Predator Pro Am Tour’s 2018 season will be its annual Tour Championships. Open to players who’ve participated in a minimum of five events during the year, the potentially $11,000-added, 2018 Predator Tour Championships will be hosted by Raxx Sports Bar & Grille in West Hempstead, NY. 

Rhys Chen goes undefeated to become 2017 Predator Pro Am Tour champion

Rhys Chen, Brendan Traynor, Xavier Romero and Jerry Almodovar

 

Rhys Chen and Xavier Romero battled twice in their effort to claim the 2017 Predator Pro Am Championship title. Held on the weekend of December 2-3, the $10,500-added Championship drew 89 entrants to the invitational event, hosted by Raxx Billiards in West Hempstead, NY. Chen won both battles to claim the event title.
 
Two, $250-added Second Chance events for the lower and upper brackets (higher and lower-ranked players) were added to the proceedings, as well as a Third Chance event. All three entailed a double hill final. Jimmy Acosta took the 10-entrant, upper bracket Second Chance over Gene Hunt, while Danny Recinos downed Erik Carrasco to take the lower bracket prize. Acosta also won the Third Chance event, defeating Stephen Motilal in the finals.
 
In the main event, Chen (an A player) advanced to a winners’ side semifinal against Annie Flores (B+ winner of the tour’s season finale last week), while Romero (B) faced Andrew Cleary, who was one of two C+ players among the event’s final 12. Chen downed Flores 7-2, while Romero sent Cleary to the loss side 7-3 (scores take handicap differentials into account). Chen claimed the hot seat 7-3 over Romero and waited for him to get back from what would prove to be a tricky semifinal against Brendan Traynor (A++).
 
Traynor was on the loss side, in the midst of a six-match run that began when Duc Lam had defeated him in the third round. He got by Eddie Kunz 8-5 and Mike Panzarella 7-4 (wins #2 and #3) to draw Flores. Cleary picked up Jay Almodovar, who’d gotten by Jose Kuilan 7-3 and Abel Rosario, double hill, to reach him.
 
Traynor and Almodovar advanced to the quarterfinals; Almodovar 7-3 over Cleary, and Traynor in a double hill win over Flores. Traynor advanced one more step with a 10-7 win over Almodovar, and then locked up in a semifinal, double hill fight against Romero, which eventually ended his loss-side streak.
 
Romero stepped right into a second, double hill match in the finals against Chen, which opened with Romero taking an early lead. Chen rallied and chalked up the racks he needed to complete his undefeated run and claim the 2017 Predator Pro Am Tour Championship title.
 
In addition to the crowning of its Tour Champion, tour director Tony Robles announced Player of the Year awards in nine separate divisions, from A++ to D/D+ and a Female class. Amy Yu claimed the Female class award (with Suzzie Wong as runner-up), while Annie Flores took home the B+ Player of the Year Award. At the top of the rankings, Mike Salerno took home the A++ title, with Rob Pole as runner-up. Elvis Rodriguez won the A title, with Lidio Ramirez in second place. Max Watanabe was the A winner ahead of Brooke Meyer, while Dave Shlemperis was runner-up to Flores in the B+ division. Abel Rosario was the tour’s B-class Player of the Year, ahead of Eugene Ok. Ambi Estevez took home the C+ class award, with Tony Ignomirello as runner-up. Dave Callaghan won the C-class award, ahead of Matthias Gutzmann, while Juan Melendez claimed the D/D+ award in front of Carmine Andujar.
 
Tour director Tony Robles thanked the ownership and staff at Raxx Billiards for hosting the final event of the Predator Pro Am Tour’s 2017 season. He extended best holiday wishes to all of the players, room owners, and tour fans, as well as all tour sponsors; Predator Cues, Ozone Billiards, PlayNAPL.com, The DeVito Team, PoolontheNet.com, Capelle Billiards Press, AZBilliards, Billiards Digest and Pool & Billiard Magazine.
 
The 2018 Predator Pro Am Tour season will open with two events at Steinway Billiards in Astoria (Queens), NY. The first is scheduled for the weekend of January 6-7, while the second will be held on the weekend of January 27-28. A Double Points event at Cue Bar (Feb. 10-11) will be followed by the Empire State Championships, scheduled for the weekend of February 24-25, back at Raxx Billiards.