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Dreidel, Zen and Brucato win Western New York tour’s four-event marathon

It looked good on paper.
 
In planning, well in advance, for a four-event weekend, the Western New York Tour's director, Nick Brucato, looked at potential dates and seeing very little happening elsewhere on the weekend of April 23-26, he made his decision. His event would follow the Super Billiards Expo in Pennsylvania and he calculated a decent turnout would spill over from that event. As it turned out, though, a variety of other events popped up on the pool calendar after he'd made his decision, and the turnout wasn't "anything like (he) expected."
 
A total of 68 players (with duplication) filled out four events that began on Thursday April 23 with a bar box 8-ball tournament (22) and concluded with a big table 9-ball tournament (16) on Sunday, April 26. In between, were a bar box 10-ball event (15) and a triple elimination bracket 8-ball event (15). By the time the final match in the 9-ball event was scheduled to begin, it was 6:30 a.m. on Monday morning, April 27. The competitors (Brucato and room owner, Sean Zen) opted out of a final match and split the top two prizes. The entire event was hosted by Eastridge Billiards in Rochester, NY.
 
In addition to prize money awarded to each of the winners in four events (three players; Dave Dreidel won two), there was a $250-added Master of the Table award, won by Dreidel. The award was based on a combination of participation and performance, with each player assigned 100 points at the outset, three points per match played, and assigned points for place finish; from 10 for a win, down to 2 for a 10th place finish. This encouraged participation in all four events; a top player who opted out of any of the events would, in effect, be down 100 points, which would be hard to make up, thereby incentivizing players to participate in all four. Dreidel, Brucato, Melissa Spade and Sean Zen picked up the top four cash prize awards in this Master of the Table competition.
 
Dreidel got things rolling on Thursday with an undefeated win in the first of two 8-ball events, a short race (to 2) standard, double elimination tournament. The event's final four matches were shutouts. Dreidel got by Bruce Prince, Jr. 2-0 in the hot seat match. On the loss side, it was Luis Recio emerging to shut out both Junie Gelako in the quarterfinal match and Prince in the semifinal. Dreidel sealed the deal with a shutout over Recio in the finals. Melissa Spade picked up $40 as the event's top female finisher.
 
Dreidel went undefeated in the 10-ball event, as well. He got by Angelo Inness twice; once for the hot seat 7-4 and again (7-5) in the finals. The loss-side contender in this one was Tito Ortiz, who downed Bob Simmons 6-4 in the quarterfinals, only to be stopped by Inness 6-2 in the semifinals. Mindy Hagar picked up $20 as the top female finisher.
 
Dreidel played in the triple elimination 8-ball tournament, too, making it as far as a winners' side semifinal against room owner Sean Zen, who defeated him, double hill and then went on to win the event. Zen defeated Chris Bassett 3-1 to claim the hot seat, and downed Jerry Sullivan by the same score in the finals. Sullivan had emerged from a mind-boggling, triple elimination scenario to defeat Basset in the quarterfinals, and Melissa Spade in the semifinals. Normally, the loser of the hot seat match (Bassett, in this case) is guaranteed at least a third place finish, but a third two-loss bracket affords players the opportunity to emerge and challenge one-loss players. Spade was the final player out of that two-loss bracket, before being eliminated, with a third defeat, by Sullivan. Women were awarded a game on the wire for all matches in this event.
 
Nick Brucato and room owner Sean Zen split the top two prizes in the weekend's final event, a 'big table,' double elimination 9-ball tournament, and given the sheer volume of effort they put forth, along with Brucato's assistants, Bruce Prince, Sr. and Bob Simmons, they certainly earned it. Brucato defeated Bassett 9-3 to claim the hot seat. As with the triple elimination 8-ball event, women were awarded a game on the wire, which worked to Melissa Spade's advantage, though not for long enough. She was defeated by Sean Zen 7-4 in the quarterfinals. Zen moved on to defeat Bassett 7-3 in the semifinals, before, at 6:30 a.m., he and Brucato opted out of playing a final match. As the undefeated hot seat occupant, Brucato was declared the official winner.
 
In addition to profuse thanks to his assistants, Bob Simmons and Bruce Prince, Sr., Brucato thanked room owner Sean Zen, as well as sponsors Ozone Billiards, Kamui Tips, McGinny's Pub, and Mooney's Mac and Cheese of Leroy, NY (donors of the $250 added to the Master of the Table awards). In addition, he thanked Premier Sunroom Solutions of Rochester, NY, for their donation of a patio set, valued at $800, that was raffled off and won by Pamela Goodfriend.

Grau goes undefeated on Western New York Tour stop

Dave Grau took down two different opponents in a hot seat battle and finals to capture the top prize in a Western New York Tour stop on Saturday, September 14. The event drew 24 entrants to Camelot Billiards in Rochester, NY.
 
Grau's hot seat opponent was tour director Nick Brucato. Grau had sent Cory Gray west 8-5, while Brucato was sending Ron Casanzio over 8-4. Grau defeated Brucato 8-5 and waited in the hot seat for what turned out to be the return of Casanzio.
 
Gray moved and ran into Mark Creamer, who'd defeated Don Purdy and Rich Fontinez, both 6-4. Costanzio drew Kyle Bova, who'd eliminated Joe Herring 8-3 and Tito Ortiz 8-4. Creamer advanced to the quarterfinals 6-4 over Gray and was met by Casanzio, who'd defeated Bova 8-1. 
 
Casanzio stopped Creamer's loss-side ambitions 8-3 in those quarterfinals, and then ended Brucato's hopes for a finals re-match with Gray, winning the semifinal matchup 8-6. Grau, though, stopped Casanzio, winning the final contest 8-4 to claim the event title.

Mirabelle double dips Ortiz to win Western New York Tour

Jose Mirabelle won three on the loss-side and beat Tito Ortiz twice in the finals of the Saturday, July 14 stop on the Western New York Tour. The event drew 10 entrants Six Pockets in Rochester, NY.

Mirabelle was among the final four on the winners’ side where he met up with Don Perdy. Tour director Nick Brucato, in the meantime, squared off against Ortiz. Perdy downed Mirabelle 5-3, as Ortiz was sending Brucato over 6-5. Ortiz got into the hot seat with a 5-2 victory over Perdy, who moved to the semifinals for a re-match against Mirabelle.

Mirabelle had moved over to meet Jerry Sullivan, who’d been awarded a loss-side bye and defeated Roger Jackson 5-4. Brucato picked up Louis Riccio, who’d gotten by Kyle Berry 5-2 and Dennis Hobbins 5-3. It was Mirabelle and Brucato in the quarterfinals, once Mirabelle had eliminated Sullivan 5-3 and Brucato had dispatched Riccio 6-2.

Mirabelle then dropped Brucato into fourth place 6-4 to earn his re-match against Perdy; a re-match that in the short field would move the winner into the money. Mirabelle prevailed 5-2 and turned to face Ortiz in the hot seat. Mirabelle won the opening set 5-3 and went one better in the second set, winning it 5-2 to secure the event title.