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Ramirez stops strong loss-side bid by Klein to take home his first 2019 Predator Pro Am title

(l to r): Lidio Ramirez, Luis Carrasco, Hannah Fields, Matt Klein

They are two of the New York Tri-State area’s heavyweights, so to speak, and they clashed in the finals of the Predator Pro Am Tour’s September 21-22 stop at Steinway Billiards. Lidio Ramirez, the tour’s second-ranked A+ player (behind Miguel Laboy, who won the stop last weekend) was looking to chalk up his first 2019 victory, having finished as runner-up twice; once, on the Predator Tour (April) and once, on the Tri-State Tour (July). Matt Klein, the tour’s #1-ranked B+ competitor (ahead of Jaydev Zaveri) and in the midst of his best earnings year to date, by far, entered the tournament with three wins on the 2018-2019 Tri-State Tour, and two runner-up finishes on the Predator Pro Am, including the Empire State Championships. He’s been 1st, 2nd or 3rd in seven of the 11 tournaments in which he’s cashed in 2019.
 
They didn’t meet until the finals. Ramirez advanced to the hot seat, while Klein lost his opening round match and chalked up 10 loss-side wins to face Ramirez in the finals. Ramirez completed an undefeated run with a victory in the finals of the $1,000-added event that drew 71 entrants to Steinway in Astoria (Queens), NY.
 
With Klein at work on the loss side of the bracket, Ramirez advanced to a winners’ side semifinal against Ricky Geronimo. The other winners’ side semifinal matched Luis Carrasco against Hannah Fields, who was making only her second appearance on the Predator Pro Am Tour.
 
Ramirez and Geronimo fought to double hill before Ramirez prevailed and moved on to the hot seat match. He was joined by Fields, who’d defeated Carrasco 8-6 in what she described (via Facebook) as “the most challenging and exhausting match (she’d) ever had.
 
“It was fun, we both played smart and neither of us backed down,” she went on to say. “He made me work for every ball but eventually I capitalized and won by a hair.”
 
She described the subsequent hot seat match versus Ramirez as “humbling.” She watched Ramirez (as she put it) “run her (posterior) over,” as he claimed the hot seat 11-8 (she started the match with seven on the wire).
 
Over on the loss side, Klein chalked up wins # 6 and #7 against John Stiles (7-4) and Bryan Toolsee (7-3) to draw Geronimo. Carrasco picked up his second straight female opponent, Debra Pritchett, who’d defeated KC Clayton 6-1 and Jason Goberdhan (the tour’s #2-ranked C+ player, just behind Tony Ignomirello) 7-5.
 
Carrasco downed Pritchett 7-4, as Geronimo ended up on the wrong side of his second straight double hill fight, losing to Klein 7-6. Klein then ended Carrasco’s short, loss-side run 7-4 in the quarterfinals.
 
Hannah Fields would describe her semifinal meetup with Klein as “an amazingly fun match.” She noted in her FB report that his “personality” made the beating she received at his hands feel like “less of an ass-kicking” than it was. Klein’s 10-7 victory (Fields started with five on the wire, racing to the 10), gave him the chance to chalk up his first 2019 Predator Pro Am Tour title.
 
Ramirez had other ideas, like chalking up his first 2019 victory, period. And he did it. He downed Klein 7-5 to claim the event title.
 
A full-field, 16-entrant Second Chance event saw Ray Feliciano and Gary Bozigian battle to double hill in the finals, before Feliciano prevailed to take home the $160 first-place prize. Bozigian was the $100 runner-up. Tenzin Jorden and Suzzie Wong each won $30 for their 3rd place tie.
 
Tour director Tony Robles thanked Manny Stamatakis and his staff at Steinway Billiards for their hospitality, as well as 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 Predator Pro Am Tour will return to Steinway Billiards in a little less than a month, when they host the $7,000-added Steinway Classic from October 15-17. Two days later, on the weekend of October 19-20, Robles’ Silent Assassin Productions, with the sponsorship of Dr. Michael Fedak, will bring the 6th Annual NYC 8-Ball Championships to Steinway Billiards.

Bozigian goes undefeated to capture Eastern States Amateur Championships

(l to r): Tony Ignomirello, Gary Bozigian, Matt Klein & Ryan Dayrit

He came in search of his first 2019 event victory and found it. Gary Bozigian, making only his fourth appearance on the 2019 Predator Pro Am Tour, went undefeated in the Amateur division of the Eastern States Championships over Labor Day weekend (August 31-Sept. 2). With limited points in the tour standings as a B player (#24 on the list), Bozigian defeated the tour’s top-ranked B+ player, Matt Klein, twice to claim the title. The $1,500-added Amateur event drew 83 entrants to Steinway Billiards in Astoria (Queens), NY.
 
Bozigian and Klein clashed first in a winners’ side semifinal, as Tony Ignomirello, the tour’s top-ranked C+ player (11 appearances) and Ryan Dayrit, the tour’s 3rd-ranked C player (12 appearances), met in the other one. Bozigian and Klein locked up in a double fight that eventually sent Klein to the loss side. Tony “Iggy” sent Dayrit to the loss side 7-4 and joined Bozigian in the hot seat match. Bozigian claimed the hot seat 7-2 over Ignomirello and waited on the return of Klein.
 
On the loss side, Klein and Dayrit met up with the Estevez brothers. Klein drew Alberto Estevez, who’d defeated Yomaylin “Smiley” Feliz, double hill, and Max Watanabe 7-4 t reach him. Dayrit picked up Ambi Estevez, who’d recently eliminated Jonathan Martinez 7-2 and Amanda Andries 7-3.
 
The brothers Estevez went down to identical 7-4 defeats to Klein and Dayrit, who advanced to the quarterfinals. Klein then eliminated Dayrit 8-3 and got a second shot at Bozigian with a 7-4 victory over Ignomirello in the semifinals.
 
Klein may have had the momentum from loss-side action, but it didn’t improve his game play in the finals against Bozigian. Bozigian downed him a second time, this time 7-4 to claim the Amateur Eastern States Championship title.
 
Tony Robles thanked Manny Stamatakis and his Steinway Billiards staff for their hospitality, as well as sponsors 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. Robles also acknowledged the work of UpstateAl and his AZBTv crew for the streaming of selected matches throughout the event weekend. The next stop on the Predator Pro Am Tour, scheduled for the weekend of Sept. 14-15, will be a $1,000-added, double points event, hosted by Cue Bar in Bayside (Queens), NY.

Lee goes undefeated to take Predator Pro Am Amateur stop at Gotham City Billiards

(l to r): Andrew Lee, Zain Sundaram & John Morrison

Hernandez takes Open/Pro event
 
Andrew Lee got by John Morrison twice during the Predator Pro Am Tour’s visit to Gotham City Billiards on the weekend of May 18-19, and finished undefeated to claim the event title. According to tour director Tony Robles, the event was something of an experiment, designed to divide the normal crowds that show up for the tour’s A/B/C/D amateur events and lead to seriously late night/early morning finishes. Robles isolated the C/D players and invited them to the $1,800-added amateur event that drew 39 entrants to Gotham City Billiards.
 
Of arguably more ‘human interest’ in the amateur event was a match between husband and wife, Monika and Mike Callaghan. They ended up battling for the right to advance to the amateur event’s first money round. More on this when we get to the loss-side activities of the event.
 
On Sunday, May 19, a $700-added Open/Pro event drew 16 entrants and saw Frankie Hernandez claim that title, by winning the semifinals. More on this when we get to the Open/Pro event.
 
In the Amateur event, Andrew Lee and John Morrison met first in a winners’ side semifinal as Zain Sundaram and Juan Melendez squared off in the other one. Sundaram survived a double hill battle versus Melendez to earn his spot in the hot seat match. Lee joined him after sending Morrison to the loss side 7-3. Lee claimed the hot seat 7-1 and waited for Morrison to complete his three-match, loss-side winning streak.
 
The match between the married Callaghans would not normally appear in a report, because only one of them advanced beyond the 9/12 matches. They battled for the right to make it to the amateur event’s first money round. It was a double hill match, 6-5, won by Monika, at the end of which, according to Robles, she stuck her tongue out at husband, Mike, who was reportedly only partially amused. Her elation didn’t last because in the first money round, Mac Jankov, who’d eliminated Bob Toomey 6-3, defeated her double hill to advance and meet Melendez. Morrison picked up Joe Wilson Torres, who’d defeated Keith Jawahir 7-4 and survived a double hill fight against Tony Ignomirello to reach him.
 
Melendez advanced to the quarterfinals with a double hill win over Jankov. Morrison downEd Torres 7-4 to join him. Morrison took the quarterfinal match over Melendez 7-4 and then, defeated Sundaram 7-3 in the semifinals, to earn a shot at Lee in the hot seat.
 
Lee completed his undefeated run by allowing Morrison only a single rack in the finals. The 7-1 victory earned Lee the tour’s first-ever, strictly C/D amateur title.
 
Hernandez downs Sim in semifinals to claim Open/Pro title
 
The one time they did meet, in a winners’ side semifinal of the Open/Pro event, Jorge Rodriguez and Frankie Hernandez battled to double hill before Rodriguez prevailed to get into the hot seat match. He was joined by Del Sim, who had also survived a double hill match, against Alex Osipov. Rodriguez claimed the hot seat 7-4 over Sim, and unable to continue, forfeited the final match. This elevated the status of the event semifinals, allowing its winner, Hernandez, to claim the event title.
 
On the loss side, Frankie Hernandez picked up Pat Fleming, who’d shut out Jennifer Baretta and eliminated Mike Salerno 7-4. Osipov drew Mhet Vergara, who’d defeated Ashley Burrows 7-4 and survived a double hill fight against tour director Tony Robles.
 
Vergara downed Osipov 7-3, as Hernandez had his hands full surviving a double hill fight against Fleming. Hernandez moved on to defeat Vergara 7-3 in the quarterfinal match, and then, in what in effect was the event final, defeated Del Sim 7-4 to claim the event title.
 
Robles thanked Kevin and Isabel Buckley and their Gotham City Billiards staff for their continuing support as well as title sponsor Predator Cues, Ozone Billiards, PlayNAPL.com, The DeVito Team, PoolOnTheNet.com, Cappelle (Billiards Press), AZBilliards, Pool & Billiards Magazine, and Billiards Digest. Robles also thanked his always-supportive cast of assistants, to include his lovely wife, Gail.
 
The next stop on the Predator Tour, scheduled for this coming Memorial Day Weekend (May 25-27), will be the 9th Annual George “Ginky” Sansouci Memorial Tournament. As always, the $4,000-added event will be held under the combined auspices of the Predator Pro Am, Tri-State and Mezz Tours, and will be hosted by Steinway Billiards in Astoria (Queens), NY.

Ragoonanan comes from the loss side to win Predator Pro Am Amateur title

(l to r): Joe Morace, Carlos Duque, Matt Klein & Rikki Ragoonanan

Hernandez downs Korsiak twice to claim Predator Pro Am Open title
 
Rikki Ragoonanan arrived at the Predator Pro Am Tour’s stop on the weekend of March 16-17, looking for his first win on the tour since last June. That victory was Ragoonanan’s first on the Predator Pro Am Tour and came eight years after winning his first major at a stop on the Tri-State Tour in 2010. Apparently looking to reduce the gaps between his winning efforts, Ragoonanan had to come from the loss side in this one and down Matt Klein twice to claim the title. The $750-added Amateur event drew 91 entrants to Cue Bar in Bayside (Queens), NY.
 
In a concurrently-run event, the tour played host to a short, 12-entrant field in a $250-added Open-Pro event that saw Frankie Hernandez defeat Joey Korsiak twice to claim that title.
 
Ragoonanan and Klein met first in a winners’ side semifinal, as Carlos Duque and Joey Morace squared off in the other one. Klein sent Ragoonanan to the loss side 7-4, as Duque gave up only a single rack to Morace and faced Klein in the hot seat match. Duque and Klein battled to double hill before Duque prevailed to claim the hot seat. It was one of nine double hill or near-double-hill (7-5) matches among the event’s final 12 players and 14 matches.
 
On the loss side, Ragoonanan picked up Pascal Dufresne, who’d recently defeated Tommy Schreiber 7-5 and Miguel Laboy 8-3 to reach him. Morace drew Greg Matos, who’d defeated Tony Ignomirello, double hill and Darrin Schmidt 7-5. In identical 7-5 wins, Morace and Ragoonanan advanced to the quarterfinals over Matos and Dufresne.
 
Ragoonan took that quarterfinal match 8-5 over Morace and then, in a semifinal rematch against Klein, defeated him double hill for a shot at Duque in the finals. Duque began that final match with four on the wire in an extended race-to-9. Ragoonanan punctuated his return from the loss side by not allowing Duque to chalk up a single rack. Ragoonanan reached his ‘9’ racks, added two and claimed the event title 11-4.
 
[photo id=50934|align=right]Hernandez follows up Empire State runner-up finish to Jayson Shaw with undefeated run
 
Three weeks ago, on the weekend of February 23-24, Frankie Hernandez was battling Jayson Shaw in the finals of the 11th Annual Empire State Championships. He’d already defeated him once, in an exciting double hill battle for the hot seat. At approximately 2 a.m. on Sunday morning, Shaw pulled out in front to claim that event title over Hernandez 9-4.
 
At this most recent stop on the Predator Pro Am Tour, Hernandez’ nemesis in the hot seat and finals was long-time Joss Tour (and many others) veteran, Joey Korsiak, who’s in the midst of his 20th year at cashing in on major tournaments, including the US Open, Derby City Classic and tour stops in (among other states) Florida, including the J. Pechauer Southeast 9-Ball Open and Sunshine State Pro Am tours.
 
The two of them chalked up identical scores in both the hot seat match and finals. Hernandez got into the hot seat match after downing Elvis Rodriguez 7-1. Korsiak joined him following a 7-2 victory over Tour Director Tony Robles. Hernandez claimed the hot seat 7-3.
 
On the loss side, Robles picked up Turkish competitor Sami Koylu, who’d defeated Raphael Dabreo 7-2 and Dominic Gauthier 7-1 to reach him. Rodriguez drew Mike Salerno, who’d shut out KC Clayton and eliminated Stephen Molital 7-2. Suzzie Wong (eliminated by Gauthier) and Dave Callaghan (eliminated by Motilal) rounded out the complete roster at this event).
 
Koylu and Robles battled to double hill before Koylu advanced to the quarterfinals. He was joined by Salerno, who’d defeated Rodriguez 7-2. Koylu then eliminated Salerno 7-2, before being eliminated himself 7-3 by Korsiak in the semifinals. Duplicating their hot seat match score, Hernandez downed Korsiak 7-3 in the finals.
 
A 16-entrant Second Chance event was won by Tommy Schreiber, who collected $160 for his 7-5 win over Brooke Meyer in the finals. Lidio Ramirez and Jimmy Acosta took home $30 each for their tie in third place. An 8-entrant Third Chance event was won Miguel Laboy, who took home $100, following his victory over Russell Masciotti in the finals.
 
Tour director Tony Robles thanked the ownership and staff at the Cue Bar, as well as title sponsor Predator Cues, Ozone Billiards, NAPL, The DeVito Team, PoolontheNet.com, Billiards Digest, AZBilliards, Pool & Billiards Magazine and his entire staff, including his lovely wife, Gail. The next stop on the Predator Pro Am Tour, scheduled for the weekend of April 6-7, will be hosted by Steinway Billiards in Astoria (Queens), NY.

Dufresne, from the loss side, breaks through to win his first stop on the Predator Pro Am Tour

(l to r): Nick Croce, Tony Ignomirello, Pascal Dufresne & Dave Shlemperis

Though he’d been runner-up on the Tri-State Tour twice and cashed in a number of tri-state New York area tournaments over the past couple of years, Pascal Dufresne came to the March 2-3 stop on the Predator Pro Am Tour in search of his first event title. He found it. He came back from a winners’ side semifinal loss to down the man, Dave Shlemperis, who sent him to the loss side and claim his first title. The $1,000-added event drew 55 entrants to The Spot in Nanuet, NY.
 
Dufresne advanced to the winners’ side semifinal against Shlemperis, while Nick Croce squared off against Naoko Faiki, a relative newcomer to the ranks of female Predator Pro Am competitors. Shlemperis sent Dufresne off 7-2 to a three-match trip on the loss side. Croce joined him in the hot seat match after sending Faiki over 7-5. Shlemperis and Croce fought back and forth to a double hill, deciding game, which eventually sent Croce off to the semifinals.
 
Dufresne opened his loss-side trip against Thomas Schreiber, who’d defeated Ocheign Carlos 7-3 and survived a double hill fight against James Stevens. Faiki faced Tony Ignomirello, who’d eliminated Carlos Duque 7-4 and Juan Melendez 7-2.
 
Three straight double hill matches (and almost a fourth) ensued. Tony Iggy and Dufresne forced deciding games against Faiki and Schreiber, respectively, and won them both to advance to the quarterfinals. Then they locked up in a double hill quarterfinal that eventually sent Dufresne to the semifinals.
 
Dufresne and Croce came within a single game of a fourth straight double hill match on the loss side. Dufresne, though, edged out in front at the end to win it 7-5 to earn a second shot against Shlemperis, sitting in the hot seat waiting for him.
 
In spite of what Heinz Ketchup tried to tell us in a campaign advertising slogan from the 1980s and Guinness Stout tried to tell us in their own advertisements a decade later, good things don’t always come to those who wait. Just ask Dave Shlemperis, waiting to chalk up his first win on the Predator Pro Am Tour since February of 2017. Pascal Dufresne denied him that title with a 9-6 win in the finals that gave him his first title.
 
Tour director Tony Robles thanked the ownership and staff at The Spot, as well as title sponsor Predator Cues, Predator Cues, Ozone Billiards, NAPL, The DeVito Team, PoolontheNet.com, Billiards Digest, AZBilliards, Pool & Billiards Magazine and his entire staff, including his lovely wife, Gail. The next stop on the Predator Pro Am Tour, scheduled for the weekend of March 16-17 will be an ABCD, Double Points Amateur event, hosted by Cue Bar in Bayside (Queens), NY.

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, PoolOnTheNet.com, NAPL, Cappelle (BilliardsPress.com), 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. 
 

Guzman goes undefeated, downing Pichardo twice, to win his first 2018 Tri-State Tour event

Juan Guzman and Jowen Pichardo

Going into the season finale of the Tri-State Tour’s 2017-2018 season, there were  32 players among the Tri-State Tour’s A/A+ division, the highest division below the Pro (11 players) and Open (10 players) divisions of the tour’s ranking system. The top 16 in each of six divisions (with a minimum of participation in four events) will or have already been informed of their eligibility for the tour’s season finale, the annual Tri-State Invitational, scheduled for June 30-July 1 at Steinway Billiards in Astoria (Queens), NY. Among those who will not receive an invitation will be Juan Guzman, who, on Saturday, June 16, chalked up his first win in only his third appearance on the 2017-2018 tour. He went undefeated at the $1,000-added event that drew 30 entrants to Clifton Billiards in Clifton, NJ. Guzman’s opponent, in both the hot seat match and finals – Jowen Pichardo – will receive an invitation as one of the top 16 players in the tour’s C-class (40 players in the division).
 
For reasons unknown, Guzman’s participation in both of the area’s major pool tours (the Tri-State and Predator Pro Am) has dropped precipitously since 2016; a year in which he won two events on both tours and was runner-up to Tony Liang in the George “Ginky” Sansouci Memorial Tournament, run by both tours. On the basis of this most recent appearance on the Tri-State Tour, it does not appear as if his skill level has been affected by the absence.
 
Guzman and Pichardo advanced through the field on Saturday into a winners’ side semifinal; Guzman, facing Sabrina Sherman and Pichardo, squaring off against Matt Klein. Guzman downed Sherman 10-6, as Pichardo was sending Klein to the loss side 6-4. Guzman claimed the hot seat 10-8 and waited for Pichardo to get back from the semifinals.
 
On the loss side, Sherman picked up Amy Yu (the tour’s #5-ranked female player; a C+), who’d survived a double hill battle against Rick Rodriguez and eliminated Nes Jakanovic 8-6. Klein drew a re-match against Michelle Brotons (the #2-ranked female; a D+), whom he’d defeated in a winners’ side quarterfinal. Brotons downed Teddy Lapadula 6-2 and shut out Tony Ignomirello to earn the re-match.
 
Two of the three ladies in those first money-round battles advanced to the quarterfinals. Sherman (the #9-ranked female; a C) defeated Yu 6-1, and in those quarterfinals, met Brotons, who’d eliminated Klein 7-3. Brotons took the quarterfinal match 6-3, only, by the same score, to have her loss-side run ended by Pichardo in the semifinals. Guzman completed his undefeated run with a 10-6 victory and claimed his first 2018 Tri-State title.
 
Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Clifton Billiards, as well as sponsors John Bender Custom Cues, Ozone Billiards, Sterling Billiards, Kamui, DigiCue, Billiards Digest, Human Kinetics, Blue Book Publishing, Phil Cappelle Publications, and Joe Romer Trophies. The next stop on the Tri-State Tour, as noted at the outset, will be the annual Tri-State Invitational, scheduled for June 30-July 1 at Steinway Billiards.

Tony “Iggy” and Thomas Schreiber split top prizes on Tri-State Tour

(l to r): Tony Ignomirello & Thomas Schreiber

Tony Ignomirello and Thomas Schreiber came to the Sunday, May 6 stop on the Tri-State Tour, looking for their second 2018 Tri-State win. Schreiber had won in January and Tony “Iggy” had chalked one up in March. Schreiber was actually looking for his third win on the 2017-2018 tour schedule, which begins and ends mid-summer in each year. Ignomirello made it to the hot seat, as Schreiber was at work on a five-match loss side streak that would afford him the opportunity to challenge Ignomirello in the finals. The two opted out of a final match, which gave Ignomirello, in the hot seat, the official match title and his second win of the year. The $1,000-added event drew 36 entrants to BQE Billiards in Jackson Heights (Queens), NY.
 
Following victories over Dementhriss Hudson and Ambi Estevez, Ignomirello played his first, and what proved to be, only match against Schreiber, defeating him 7-5 and advancing to a winners’ side semifinal against Shweta Zaveri. Amy Yu, in the meantime, squared off against Tri V Chau in the other one. Ignomirello downed Zaveri 8-6 and was joined in the hot seat match by Yu, who’d sent Chau west 7-3. Ignomirello won what proved to be his last match, getting into the hot seat, double hill, over Yu.
 
On the loss side, Schreiber opened his trek back to the finals with a 7-4 win over Iilia Trajceski, and followed it with a 9-4 victory over Marisol Palacios, which set him up to face Zaveri. Chau drew Max Watanabe, who’d defeated Dave Shlemperis (official winner of the previous week’s Tri-State stop) 7-3 and Matt Klein 8-6.
 
Both battles for advancement to the quarterfinals went double hill, with Watanabe downing Chau and Schreiber eliminating Zaveri. A third double hill match in those quarterfinals advanced Schreiber over Watanabe into the semifinals.
 
Schreiber completed his loss-side run with a 7-4 victory over Yu. He and Ignomirello made the choice not to play a final, and it was over, with Ignomirello claiming the official event title.
 
Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at BQE Billiards, as well as 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, a $1,000-added event, scheduled for Saturday, May 12, will be hosted by Steinway Billiards in Astoria (Queens), NY.

Gupta goes undefeated, downing Zaveri twice to take Clifton Billiards stop on Tri-State Tour

Jaydev Zaveri & Shivam Gupta

Shivam Gupta has finally added a ‘non-asterisk’ win on the Tri-State Tour to his resumé. Following two victories in which he was the ‘official’ winner because he was in the hot seat when his finals opponent and he opted out of a final match (in 2013, and this past February), Gupta went undefeated (final match included this time) through a field of 28 at the most recent stop on the Tri-State Tour. The $1,000-added 10-ball event, held on Sunday, April 22, was hosted by Clifton Billiards in Clifton, NJ.
 
Following an opening round victory over Steve Kaminow, Gupta met up with his eventual opponent in the finals, Jaydev Zaveri. The two battled to double hill, before Gupta sent Zaveri on a seven-match, loss-side trip that would eventually give him a second shot at the event title. Gupta advanced to down Justin Toye, and draw Eli Trajceski in one of the winners’ side semifinals. Allison LaFleur, in the meantime, squared off against Marc Lamberti in the other winners’ side semifinal.
 
Gupta got into the hot seat match with a 6-4 win over Trajceski, as LaFleur was busy downing Lamberti 5-2 in the other one. Gupta claimed the hot seat 7-4 over LaFleur and waited on what would be his first Tri-State event final, against Zaveri.
 
With two notches on his loss-side belt, Zaveri defeated Toye 6-4 and Tony Ignomirello 6-2 to draw Trajceski. Lamberti picked up Michelle Broton, who’d gotten by Shweta Zaveri and C.J. Chey, both 5-2, to reach him.
 
Zaveri eliminated Trajceski 6-2, while Broton was handing Lamberti a shutout. Broton then came within a game of forcing Zaveri to face double hill in the quarterfinal match that followed. Zaveri, though, pulled out ahead to win it 7-5. Allison LaFleur did the same in the semifinals, but so did Zaveri, pulling out ahead near the end to win it 6-4.
 
Gupta and Zaveri shot a second double hill match to claim the event title. It duplicated their earlier effort (6-5), and Gupta concluded his first ‘official’ win on the Tri-State Tour. 
Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Clifton Billiards, as well as 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, April 29, will be hosted by Steinway Billiards in  Astoria (Queens), NY.

Romeo and Meyers split top prizes on Tri-State Tour

(l to r): Joe Romeo & Patrick Meyers

Checking in with his first (payout) entry in our player database, Joe Romeo went undefeated to win the March 25 stop on the Tri-State Tour. He was challenged in the finals by Patrick Meyers, who’d lost his opening round match to him and then won eight on the loss side for the right to face him a second time. Romeo, as the hot seat occupant, became the official winner, once he and Meyers opted out of playing a final match. The $1,000-added, Double Point event drew 29 entrants to Cue Bar in Bayside (Queens), NY.
 
After his opening round victory over Meyers, Romeo got by Mike Strassberg and Michelle Brotons to face Mike Mele in a winners’ side semifinal. Bob Toomey, in the meantime, following victories over Marc Lamberti and Jim Gutierrez, faced Allison LaFleur, looking for her second Tri-State victory of the month. With identical scores of 6-3, Romeo and Toomey advanced to the hot seat match over Strassberg and LaFleur. Romeo claimed his first hot seat 6-2  over Toomey and waited on the return of his first opponent in the tournament.
 
On the loss side, Meyers, following victories over Suzzie Wong, David Booth, and Qian Chen, shut out Tony Ignomirello and survived a double hill match against Ada Lio, to enter the first money round against Mele. LaFleur drew Frank Sieczka, who’d defeated Daniel Decker 5-3, and Jim Gutierrez 6-4 to reach him.
 
Meyers got through a second straight double hill match to advance to the quarterfinals over Mele. LaFleur joined him, following a 6-2 win over Sieczka.
 
Meyers ended LaFleur’s bid for a second March win on the tour with a 6-4 win in those quarterfinals, and then, spoiled Toomey’s hopes for a second shot against Romeo with a 5-3 victory over him in the semifinals.
 
It was late. The two assessed the option of a final match, taking into consideration that they’d already played once, and opted out. They settled for a split, with Romeo collecting 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, and DIGICUE OB. The next stop on the Tri-State Tour, scheduled for Saturday, March 31, will be a 9-ball event, hosted by Steinway Billiards in Astoria (Queens), NY.