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Sossei takes two out of three over Kiamco to win Joss NE 9-Ball Tour stop on Long Island

Warren Kiamco, Raxx Owner Holden Chin and Jeremy Sossei

It was Jeremy Sossei’s third, and second straight, win in four attempts on the 2021-22 Joss Northeast 9-Ball Tour this past weekend (May 14-15). It was Warren Kiamco’s first appearance on the tour this year, and with it being a long way from the man’s ‘first rodeo,’ he got as close to winning it as possible; facing Sossei three times, battling to double hill twice, but winning only the first set of the true double elimination final. The $1,500-added event drew 42 entrants to Raxx Pool Room, Sports Bar & Grill in West Hempstead, NY.

Going into Stop #14, Bucky Souvanthong and Ron Casanzio were the tour’s top two points leaders (#1 & #2), way out in front of the field, based on the number of times they’ve competed in the 2021-22 season and on their finish positions each time they did so. They didn’t compete in Stop #14, which left a door open for Sossei, who obligingly walked in, won his second straight stop on the tour and promptly moved himself into third place in the tour-point standings. Kiamco was probably a ‘wild card’ that Sossei had not expected in the deck.

Sossei ran into some immediate trouble when he opened his run in a double hill battle against Ron Piontkowski. Once over that hurdle, he downed Chuck Allie 9-5 and shut out Chris Lazaravitch, before facing Mhet Vergara in a match that came within a game of double hill. He survived that to draw John Francisco in one of the winners’ side semifinals. Kiamco drew a bye in his opening round and went on to send Troy Deocharran (4), Alex Osipov (2) and Ray Lee (2) to the loss side, picking up Mike Renshaw in the other winners’ side semifinal.

Kiamco got into the hot seat match with a shutout over Renshaw, while Sossei sent Francisco to the loss side 9-4. In his first of three versus Kiamco and the first of two straight double hill matches, Sossei claimed the hot seat.

On the loss side, Francisco drew a rematch against Yesid Garibello, whom he’d sent to the loss side in a third-round, double hill fight. Garibello moved over to engage in a four-match winning streak that had recently eliminated Lazaravitch 7-2 and Caroline Pao, double hill. Renshaw drew Mhet Vergara, who’d followed his winners’ side quarterfinal loss to Sossei with wins over Jay Plonski and Mike Salerno, both 7-4.

Garibello wreaked his vengeance on Francisco 7-5, while Vergara was eliminating Renshaw by the same score, and, as it turned out, by the same score that Vergara eliminated Garibello in the subsequent quarterfinals.

Vergara was one step away from a rematch against Sossei, who’d sent him to the loss side, five matches ago. Unfortunately, for him, it was Warren Kiamco who was in his way in the semifinals that followed. Kiamco was the one who earned the rematch, downing Vergara 7-4.

For the second time, Sossei and Kiamco locked themselves up in a double hill fight, in the opening set of the true double elimination final. This time, though, it was Kiamco who won. The ‘wild card’ was on the table and very much in play. Sossei, though, had his own hand to play and did so in the second set, defeating Kiamco 7-3 to claim title to the 14th stop on the 2021-22 Joss NE 9-Ball Tour.

A $500-added Second Chance tournament drew eight entrants and was won by Raxx Pool Room, Sports Bar & Grill’s owner, Holden Chin. Chin shut out Sly Vachiro in the hot seat match and in the true double-elimination final, faced Mike Callaghan, who’d lost his opening match to Vachiro, won two straight double hill matches to begin his four-match trip back to the finals and then shut out Vachiro in their semifinal rematch. He then took the opening set of the true double elimination final, before Chin came back to shut him out in the second set. 

The next stop on the Joss NE 9-Ball Tour, scheduled for the weekend of June 4-5, will be a $1,500-added event, hosted by Snookers Sports Billiards, Bar & Grill in Providence, RI. The season finale of the 2021-22 season – Turning Stone Classic XXXV 9-Ball Open – is scheduled for September 1-4 at the Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, NY.

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Castillo goes undefeated, downs Laboy twice to win 1st Predator Pro Am Tour title

(l to r): Euryel Castillo, Mike Callaghan & Miguel Laboy

The nature of pool lends itself to showdowns between long-time veterans and so-called ‘young guns,’ although not all of them are necessarily young. The finals of this past weekend’s (Feb. 15-16) stop on the Predator Pro Am Tour was a case in point, when newcomer Euryel Castillo, with only six cash finishes and one event victory (*) on his ‘resume,’ all recorded within the past year, faced off against Miguel Laboy, with cash finishes and multiple event victories, dating back 15 years, to his first appearance at the 2005 US Open 9-Ball Championships, at which he finished 33rd (along with Tony Robles, by the way). The ‘young gun’ Castillo came out on top in this one, going undefeated and taking Laboy down twice at the $1,000-added event that drew 84 entrants to Raxx Billiards in West Hempstead, NY.

Their first get-together was in the battle for the hot seat. Castillo had defeated Monika Callaghan (whose husband was already toiling away on the loss side) 7-3, while Laboy was involved dispatching George Poltorak to the loss side 9-5. In their first of two, they battled to double hill before Castillo prevailed to claim the hot seat.

On the loss side, George Poltorak picked up Eli Trajceski, who’d recently defeated Jaydev Zaveri 7-3 and survived a double hill battle against Troy Deocharran. Monika Callaghan drew her husband, Michael, which is always the kind of match that draws speculation about how their relationship will proceed immediately after one of them wins; the standard speculation which follows a husband victory is usually about the husband spending at least one night sleeping on a couch. Michael had defeated Katie Baker 6-3 and Mikhail Kim 7-3 to reach his wife.

Poltorak and Trajceski locked up in a double hill fight that eventually sent Poltorak to the quarterfinals. He was joined by Michael Callaghan, who’d sent his wife home (figuratively) 6-3, his assumed night on the couch possibly avoided by the eventual $1,000 in cash they managed to bring home as a team.

Michael advanced a step further, downing Poltorak in the quarterfinals 7-4. His loss-side run was stopped by Laboy who downed him 11-9 in the semifinals, to earn a second shot at Castillo in the hot seat.

The odds in the final match were likely on Laboy’s side. Castillo, though, did not apparently get that memo, as he defeated Laboy 10-4 to capture his first non-asterisk (meaning, played a final match) title.

A Second Chance event which drew 16 entrants was won John Francisco, who pocketed $160 for the win. Sean DaCosta was runner-up ($100), with Debbie Buyukdeniz and Erick Toledo finishing in the tie for 3rd ($30 each).

Tour director Tony Robles thanked Josh and Holden Chin and their Raxx Billiards staff for their hospitality, as well as title sponsor Predator Cues, Ozone Billiards, PlayNAPL.com, The DeVito Team, PoolOnTheNet.com, Cappelle (BilliardsPress.com), AZBilliards, Pool & Billiard Magazine and Billiards Digest. He also thanked his own Predator Pro Am staff to include his lovely wife, Gail. The next stop on the Predator Pro Am Tour, scheduled for March 14-15, will be hosted by Steinway Billiards in Astoria (Queens), NY.

Dufresne wins seven on the loss side to down Dayrit and win Amateur Tour Championship

(l to r): Alberto Estevez, Ryan Dayrit, Jose Kuilan & Pascal Dufresne

It’s been a good year for Pascal Dufresne, his best to-date, capped this past weekend (December 14-15) with a come-from-the-loss-side win at the 2019, $9,930-added Predator Pro Am Amateur Tour Championships, which drew 93 entrants to the event’s annual host, Raxx Billiards in West Hempstead, NY. Dufresne cashed in seven events this year; three on the Tri-State Tour, including two wins (April and September) and four on the Predator Pro Am Tour, including victories in March and this most recent event in the tour’s season finale. He also made an appearance at the 14:1 American Straight Pool Championships in October and though he failed to cash in the event, he was responsible for a computer program, utilized by the Billiards Sports Network that ran the event’s live stream that analyzed the performance of the event’s competitors.
 
Dufresne’s path to the winners’ circle began with back-to-back wins over Hector Torres and Chris Kelly, both 7-3, before he ran into Julie Ha, who moved his trip to the loss-side of the tracks with a 7-4 win. Ha moved on to a double hill win over Matthew Harricharan, which brought her to a winners’ side semifinal match against Alberto Estevez. Meanwhile, Ryan Dayrit, who’d gotten by Erick Carrasco 7-3, Brandonne Alli 7-1 and Ray Lee 7-4, chalked up two straight double hill wins over Pauls Carpenter and Lyons to arrive at a winners’ side semifinal match against Jim Gutierrez.
 
Ha locked up in a second straight double hill fight, against Estevez, but it was Estevez who moved on to the hot seat match. He was joined by Dayrit, who’d defeated Gutierrez 7-3. Dayrit claimed the hot seat and what proved to be his last win 7-4 over Estevez.
 
Ha moved to the loss side and ran into an immediate rematch against Dufresne, who’d chalked up loss side wins #3 and #4 against Matthew Harricharan, double hill, and Dave Shlemperis 7-2 to reach her. Gutierrez drew a rematch, as well, against Jose Kuilan, whom he’d sent to the loss side in a double hill, third round battle and who’d subsequently gone on to win three, almost four straight, loss-side double hill matches; against Irene Kim (6-5), Chris Ganley (6-5), Corey Avallone (6-5) and Ray Lee (6-4).
 
Dufresne and Kuilan mounted successful rematch campaigns and eliminated Ha and Gutierrez; Dufresne 7-3 over Ha and Kuilan 6-3 over Gutierrez. Dufresne then won the subsequent quarterfinal battle against Kuilan 7-4.
 
A double hill semifinal followed, with Dufresne prevailing over Estevez to earn his spot in the finals against Dayrit. In the extended race-to-9 battle, Dufresne reached his target ‘7’ ahead of Dayrit, extending the race, and added the two he needed to win it.
 
Robles thanked Holden Chin, Matthew Harricharan, Troy Deocharran, and Joshua Friedberg’s Raxx staff for their hospitality, his own Predator Pro Am staff (to include his lovely wife, Gail) and title sponsor Predator Cues, Ozone Billiards, PlayNAPL.com, The DeVito Team, PoolOnTheNet.com, Cappelle (BilliardsPress.com), AZBilliards, Pool & Billiard Magazine and Billiards Digest. The Predator Pro Am Tour will open its 2020 season at Steinway Billiards with an event scheduled for the weekend of January 18-19, 2020. 
 

The Iceman goes undefeated to win Predator Pro Am Open/Pro Championships

Robles wins 7 on the loss side and is runner-up for second straight year 

(l to r): Mike Salerno, Jorge Rodriguez, Mika Immonen & Tony Roble

Ten years ago, in what was reportedly his best earnings year ever, Finland’s Mika Immonen (aka The Iceman) cashed in a total of 29 events all over the world, 21 of which he finished as either the winner (13), the runner-up (4; to include his appearance on Europe’s Mosconi Cup team) or in third place (4). Six of his 13 victories that year were chalked up in the state of New York; he won a stop on the Tri-State Tour, two on the Joss NE 9-Ball Tour, and three on the Predator Pro Am Tour. Many of the cash winners in those three 2009 Predator events were present for the 2019 Tour Championships held on the weekend of December 14-15 at the event’s traditional location, Raxx Billiards in West Hempstead, NY. They included Jorge Rodriguez, Frankie Hernandez, Mhet Vergara and Tour Director Tony Robles, who, in the 2009 events won by Immonen, finished third in February, 5th in July and 9th in October. Notable, as always, in his absence from this year’s event was George “Ginky” Sansouci, who was 5th in that 2009 February event, 13th in July and tied with Robles for 9th in October.

The Predator Pro Am Tour’s defending Open/Pro Tour Champion and the 2018 runner-up met in this year’s semifinal; Jorge Rodriguez and Tony Robles, respectively. It was, though, Mika Immonen who became the 2019 champion, going undefeated through a field of 24 entrants, on-hand for the $1,000-added, 10-ball event at Raxx Billiards.

A concurrently-run, $9,930-added A/B/C/D Amateur event (separate story), which drew 93 entrants, was won by Pascal Dufresne, one of the tour’s 18 event winners this year. Sent to the loss side early, Dufresne won seven in a row before meeting and defeating hot seat occupant Ryan Dayrit in the finals.

For the second year in a row at the Open/Pro Championships, Rodriguez battled for the hot seat; last year, versus Robles, this year, against The Iceman. This year, Robles was sent to the loss side by Frankie Hernandez and like Dufresne in the Amateur event would win seven on that side of the bracket for the right to face Immonen in the finals.

Immonen advanced through the field to draw Joey Korsiak in one of the winners’ side semifinals. Rodriguez, in the meantime, faced Mike Salerno in the other one. Immonen gave up only a single rack to Korsiak and moved on to the hot seat match. He was joined by Rodriguez, who’d sent Salerono west 7-4. The Iceman and Rodriguez battled to a somewhat predictable double hill battle that eventually sent Rodriguez to the semifinals.

On the loss side, Robles chalked up wins #3 and #4 against John Francisco (7-2) and Mhet Vergara (double hill) to draw Korsiak. Salerno picked up Frankie Hernandez, who’d eliminated Jimmy Conn 7-2 and Jonathan Smith 7-3 to reach him. A potential rematch between Hernandez and Robles loomed in the shortly-distant quarterfinals.

Robles did what he could to affect that rematch with a 7-5 victory over Korsiak in the event’s first money round. Salerno, though, ended Hernandez’ weekend 7-4.

Robles downed Salerno 7-5 in the quarterfinals, setting up a repeat of the 2018 hot seat match and final; Robles versus Rodriguez. They split those two matches last year. Robles, winning the first one and Rodriguez, claiming the title in the finals. Robles earned his shot against The Iceman with a 7-2 win over Rodriguez in that semifinal matchup, guaranteeing himself at least a repeat, runner-up finish and a certainly possible finish as the Open/Pro Champion.

According to Robles, he lost that final matchup, early. He missed an early shot that he says he shouldn’t have missed and The Iceman used the resultant momentum to move on and win the match 7-4.

“I made one mistake in that final match,” said Robles later, “and it cost me.”

Robles thanked Holden Chin, Matthew Harricharan, Troy Deocharran, and Joshua Friedberg’s Raxx staff for their hospitality, his own Predator Pro Am staff (to include his lovely wife, Gail) and title sponsor Predator Cues, Ozone Billiards, PlayNAPL.com, The DeVito Team, PoolOnTheNet.com, Cappelle (BilliardsPress.com), AZBilliards, Pool & Billiard Magazine and Billiards Digest. The Predator Pro Am Tour will open its 2020 season at Amsterdam BIlliards with an event scheduled for the weekend of January 18-19, 2020

Harricharan comes back from hot seat loss to down Carrasco on Predator Pro Am

(l to r): Luis Carrasco, Matthew Harricharan, Troy Deocharran & Mac Jankov

Robles and Reyes battle in exhibition at Amsterdam Billiards
 
Tony Robles took a brief break from his duties as tour director of the Predator Pro Am Tour on the weekend of Oct. 20-21, and welcomed Efren Reyes to the Big Apple, on the occasion of what has been dubbed his Farewell Tour. As a field of 44 amateur competitors began their battles at a Predator Pro Am Tour stop at The Spot in Nanuet, NY, Robles and Reyes squared off in a series of exhibition matches at Amsterdam Billiards in lower Manhattan.
 
With hundreds of spectators on hand to watch and bid a bond farewell to the man who, for good reason, is known as The Magician, Reyes and Robles played three matches, one each in 9-Ball, 8-Ball and 10-Ball. Robles took the opening 9-ball series, double hill (9-8), but Reyes flexed his muscles a bit in the 8-ball series, 8-3.
 
“He crushed me,” said Robles, with more than just a hint of admiration for Reyes, who might well have been spending his last weekend in New York.
 
With the overall series of matches tied at 1-1, they played a short, race-to-3 series of 10-ball games. Robles won that short series, double hill, and with the gathered spectators and stream viewers on the Facebook page of Michael Yednak, they bid something of a ceremonial goodbye to one of the best players the sport has ever seen.
 
Meanwhile, up in Nanuet, NY, about 25 miles north on the west side of the Hudson River, the 44 amateurs were busy with their own quests for pool fame and fortune at the $1,000-added event, hosted by The Spot in Nanuet. Matthew Harricharan and Luis Carrasco battled twice to claim the event title; Carrasco taking the hot seat, with Harricharan coming back from a semifinal win to defeat Carrasco in the finals.
 
Carrasco advanced to the hot seat match with a 7-2 win over Mac Jankov. Harricharan advanced to the hot seat without sinking a ball as his scheduled opponent, Chris Kelly, failed to make it back to the second day of competition. Carrasco claimed the hot seat 8-5 over Harricharan and waited on his return from the semifinals.
 
On the loss side, Jankov picked up Amy Yu (the tour’s #3-ranked female player), who’d defeated Irene Kim 7-3 and Ambi Estevez 7-2 to reach him. Jankov defeated Yu 7-5 and advanced to the quarterfinals. Troy Deocharran, who’d defeated Rikki Ragoonanan 7-4 and Abel Rosario 7-3 to enter the races for the 5th place tie, leapfrogged to meet Jankov in the quarterfinals, as a result of Chris Kelly’s forfeiture of that match.
 
Jankov downed Deocharran in those quarterfinals 8-5, but had his run ended by Harricharan 9-7 in the semifinals. Harricharan squared off against Carrasco a second time in the finals and snatched the event title away from him 10-8.
 
Tour director Tony Robles thanked Rhys Chen and his staff at The Spot 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. 27-28, will be hosted by Spin City Café and Billiards in 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. 
 

Osipov finishes 5th in Amateur event, goes undefeated to take Open/Pro division of Predator Pro Am

John Francisco, Ehmunrao Toocaram, Ron Bernardo, and Han Park

Francisco comes from the loss side to win Amateur division event
 
Alex Osipov had quite a weekend on the Predator Pro Am Tour. He made it to a winners’ side semifinal in the $1,000-added, 80-entrant Amateur event of the July 7-8 stop on the tour, before being sent to the loss side. He lost his first match on that side of the bracket and finished in the tie for 5th place. He moved on to compete in the $500-added Open/Pro event, with 18 presumably tougher opponents, and proceeded to go undefeated through the field to claim that event title. Both events were hosted by the Amsterdam Billiard Club in Manhattan.
 
Osipov advanced through the Open/Pro field to arrive at a winners’ side semifinal match against Matthew Harricharan. Raphael Dabreo, in the meantime, squared off against Jonathan Smith in the other winners’ side semifinal. Osipov defeated Harricharan 7-5 and in the hot seat match, faced DaBreo, who’d sent Smith to the loss side 7-2. Osipov claimed the hot seat 7-4 over DaBreo and waited on his return from the semifinals.
On the loss side, Smith picked up one of the New York Tri-State area’s hottest players at the moment, Joey Korsiak, who’d defeated Duc Lam and Michael Yednak, both 7-5 to reach him. Harricharan drew Hunter Lombardo, who’d recently eliminated Troy Deocharran 7-4 and Zion Zvi 7-5.
 
Korsiak and Lombardo advanced to the quarterfinals; Korsiak 7-5 over Smith and Lombardo 7-3 over Harricharan. Lombardo took the quarterfinal fight 7-4, but by the same score, had his loss-side streak ended by DaBreo in the semifinals. In their re-match DaBreo managed one rack more than he scored against Osipov in the hot seat match, but it wasn’t enough. Osipov completed his undefeated run 7-5 to claim the title.
 
Francisco wins five on the loss side to meet and defeat Toocaram in Amateur finals
 
Sent to the loss side by the eventual occupant of the hot seat, Ehmunrao Toocaram, John Francisco defeated five opponents on the loss side, including Alex Osipov, before meeting Toocaram a second time, in the finals. He defeated him to claim the Amateur event title.
 
Toocaram had advanced through the field of 80 to meet up with Osipov in one of the winners’ side semifinals. Ron Bernardo faced Corey Avallone in the other one. Toocaram sent Osipov to the loss side in a double hill battle, and in the hot seat, faced Bernardo, who’d given up only a single rack to Avallone (6-1). Toocaram won his last match, downing Bernardo 8-5 to claim the hot seat.
 
On the loss side, Osipov picked up what proved to be his final opponent in the Amateur event; the eventual winner, Francisco, who, following his defeat at the hands of Toocaram, had eliminated Chickie Romero, double hill, and Robert Mendoza 9-5. Avallone drew Han Clark, who’d defeated the recently-crowned Tri-State Tour Invitational Champion, Erick Carrasco 7-5, and Kunami Chau 7-4.
 
The loss-side opponents in the battle for advancement both prevailed. Clark downed Chau 7-4, as Francisco sent Osipov to the Pro event with a 9-5 win. In two straight 7-4 victories, Francisco then eliminated Han Clark in the quarterfinals, and Ron Bernardo in the semifinals.
 
Toocaram had sent Francisco to the loss side 7-4 in a winners’ side quarterfinal. In their battle for the event title, they went double hill before Francisco dropped the final ball to claim it.
 
A Second Chance event that drew 16 entrants saw Greg Myer defeat Rene Villalobos, double hill, to claim the $160 first-place prize. Duc Lam finished in third place, with Jay Choi, in fourth. Ambi Estevez took the 10-entrant Third Chance event, claiming the $130 first-place prize after defeating Chickie Romero 7-2 in the finals.
 
Tour director Tony Robles thanked the ownership and staff at the Amsterdam Billiard Club, as well as sponsors Predator Cues, Ozone Billiards, PlayNAPL.com, The DeVito Team, PoolOnTheNet.com, Billiards Press.com, AZBilliards, Pool&Billiards Magazine, and Billiards  Digest. The next stop on the Predator Pro Am Tour, scheduled for the weekend of August 11-12, will be hosted by Boardwalk Billiards in Brooklyn, NY. Robles also reminded potential players that the 2nd Annual New York City 8-Ball Scotch Doubles Championships, to be held under the auspices of his Silent Assassin Productions company, will be hosted by Steinway Billiards in Astoria (Queens), NY on the weekend of August 4-5.
 

Korsiak wins seven on the loss side, downs Zvi in finals of Predator Pro Am

Joey Korsiak and Zion Zvi

Ragoonanan goes undefeated to claim Amateur title
 
Joey Korsiak, back in the Tri-State New York area, following his tie-for-13th finish in the first Doug Beasley Custom Cues 9-Ball Open in Raleigh, NC last weekend (June 13-17), came from the loss side to down Zion Zvi in the finals of the Pro event, at a stop on the Predator Pro Am Tour on the weekend of June 23-24. The $500-added event drew 16 entrants to Raxx Billiards in West Hempstead, NY. In a concurrently-run, $1,000-added Amateur tournament at the same location, Rikki Ragoonanan went undefeated through a field of 68 entrants to claim the Amateur title.
 
Sent to the loss side in a double hill fight against Raphael Dabreo, Korsiak won seven in a row to earn his spot in the finals. Like the match that sent him over, his final two matches on the loss side went double hill.
 
DaBreo, in the meantime, advanced to a winners’ side semifinal against tour director Tony Robles. Zvi faced Holden Chin in the other winners’ side semifinal. Robles downed DaBreo 7-4. Zvi joined him in the battle for the hot seat with a double hill win over Chin. Zion claimed the hot seat by ‘effectively defeating’ Robles (not the words that Robles used) 7-3.
 
On the loss side, it was Chin who ran into Korsiak, three matches into his loss-side streak to the finals. Korsiak had defeated Troy Deocharran 7-5, Steve Kalloo 7-2, and Roberto Mendoza 7-4 to reach him. DaBreo drew Frankie Hernandez, who’d defeated Shawn Sookhai 7-1 and Mike Fingers 7-5. Korsiak advanced himself into a potential re-match against DaBreo with a 7-4 win over Mendoza. Hernandez, though, spoiled the re-match with a double hill win over DaBreo.
 
Korsiak the successfully navigated his way through two straight double hill matches to reach the finals, defeating Hernandez in the quarterfinals, and Robles in the semifinals. He then defeated Zvi 7-4 in the finals to claim the Pro event title.
 
Ragoonanan goes undefeated to claim his first major title since 2010
 
The money that Rikki Ragoonanan took home for his undefeated run in the Amateur event of the weekend was just $20 less than the combined total of all of his reported earnings made on a combination of the Predator Pro Am and Tri-State Tours since 2010. It was Ragoonan’s first win on the Predator Pro Am and his first win since he won a stop on the Tri-State in 2010, defeating Raphael DaBreo to complete an undefeated run through a field of 26.
 
The Amateur event this past weekend was 10 shy of triple the size of the field he faced eight years ago, and again, he went undefeated. He advanced through the field to face Michael Mathieu in a winners’ side semifinal, as Jim Gutierrez and Keith Jawahir squared off in the other one. Ragoonanan advanced to the hot seat match 7-5 over Mathieu and was joined by Gutierrez, who’d sent Jawahir west 7-2. Ragoonanan claimed the hot seat 9-5 over Gutierrez and waited on what turned out to be the return of Dave Shlemperis, who was working on a seven-match, loss-side winning streak that would bring him to the finals.
 
It was Mathieu who picked Shlemperis up on the loss side, four matches into his seven-match winning streak. Shlemperis had most recently eliminated the player who’d sent him to the loss side, Chulo Castro, double hill, and Paul Everton 7-4. Jawahir drew Jason Goberdhan, who’d gotten by Adrian Daniel 7-5 and Ryan Dayrit 6-3 to reach him.
 
Shlemperis and Goberdhan handed Mathieu and Jawahir their second straight loss; Shlemperis 7-2 over Mathieu and Goberdhan, 7-0 over Jawahir. Shlemperis then defeated Goberdhan 8-3 in the quarterfinals, and Gutierrez 9-6 in the semifinals. Ragoonanan, though, stopped Shlemperis’ winning streak 9-7 in the finals to claim his first major title in eight years.
 
A Second Chance event that drew 16 entrants, saw two semifinal matches in the single elimination format go double hill, before resulting in a final matchup between Elvis Rodriguez and Mike Salerno. In one of the semifinals, Max Watanabe was on the hill at 6-1, when Salerno won six straight to advance to the finals. In the other semifinal, Chulo Castro was one game shy of shutting out Elvis Rodriguez, when Rodriguez went on a tear to win seven straight. The final went double hill, as well, with Rodriguez coming out on top to win the Second Chance title.
 
The next stop on the Predator Pro Am will also feature both an Amateur and Pro event. Scheduled for the weekend of July 7-8, the $1,500-added events ($1,000 for Amateur, $500 for Pro) will be hosted by Amsterdam Billiards in Manhattan.

Deocharran goes undefeated to take Predator title, a week ahead of Ginky Memorial

Ambi Estevez, Matt Klein, Matt Harricharan and Troy Deocharran

Troy Deocharran and Matt Klein battled twice during the Predator Pro Am Tour’s stop on the weekend of January 19-20. Both matches were determined by a last, single game; one in the hot seat and one again, in the finals. The $1,000-added event drew 45 entrants to The Spot in Nanuet, NY.
 
They met first, once Deocharran had sent Carlos Ocheign to the loss side 7-2 in one winners’ side semifinal, and Klein had defeated Marisol Palacios 8-4 in the other one. In their first of two, racing to 7, Deocharran claimed the hot seat 7-6, and waited for Klein to return from the semifinals.
 
On the loss side, Palacios ran into Ambi Estevez, who was facing his third straight female opponent, after downing Suzzie Wong and Erin Bechner, both 7-4. Ocheign drew Matt Harricharan, who’d eliminated Abel Rosario 7-6 and Gary O’Callaghan 7-4. That segment of the loss-side bracket was running a little long, and it would cause a few delays leading up to the quarterfinals.
 
In two diametrically opposite ways, Harricharan and Estevez advanced to the quarterfinals. Harricharan survived a double hill fight against Ocheign, while Estevez was chalking them up, one right after another, on his way to a shutout over Palacios; the last woman standing.
 
Harricharan and Estevez then locked up in a double hill, quarterfinal battle, eventually won by Harricharan. Klein put a stop to Harricharan’s loss-side run with an 8-5 win in the semifinals.
 
The Deocharran/Klein re-match was on in a battle to claim the event title. For the second time, they fought back and forth to double hill; this time, racing just a little further, to 9. Deocharran closed it out to complete his undefeated run through the field.
 
A Second Chance tournament drew 8 entrants, with Max Watanabe defeating Rich Hourihan 7-4 in the finals.
 
Tour director Tony Robles (and yours truly, the author of this piece) thanked Rhys and Lenore Chen, owners of The Spot and their staff for their hospitality. The next stop on the Predator Pro Am Tour will be the 8th Annual George “Ginky” Sansouci Memorial Tournament, scheduled for this coming Memorial Day weekend (May 26-28). The Predator Tour will share production responsibilities for the “Ginky” Memorial with the Tri-State and Mezz Tours. The event will feature both an Amateur and Pro Tournament, each with $2,000-added.

Salerno moves into top A++ spot on Predator Pro Am Tour with ‘double points’ win

Dave Callaghan, Lidio Ramirez, Mike Salerno and Troy Deocharran

Thanks to the awarding of ‘double points’ on the Predator Pro Am Tour’s 18th stop of the season, the finalists in the event, with two stops left in the tour season, moved into the top spots in their respective ranking positions on the tour. As the winner, Mike Salerno jumped up two slots to move in front of Rob Pole for the top spot in the A++ division of the tour’s competitors, while, as runner-up, Dave Callaghan moved up a single notch ahead of Paul Carpenter in the C rankings. The $1,000-added, Double Points event drew 67 entrants to Cue Bar in Bayside (Queens), NY.
 
The two faced each other twice, once in the hot seat and again, in the finals. Callaghan had sent Ambi Estevez to the loss side, double hill, in one winners’ side semifinal, while Salerno sent Lidio Ramirez west 7-4 in the other one. This set up the hot seat match, won by Callaghan 11-8. Salerno was giving up six racks to Callaghan at the outset, which Salerno initially erased to create a 6-6 tie. Callaghan then won five of the next seven to claim the hot seat.
 
On the loss side, Estevez picked up Troy Deocharran, who was working on a six-match, loss-side winning streak and had, most recently, gotten by Frank Tonn 7-4, and Patrick Meyers 7-5. Ramirez drew Eugene Ok, who’d eliminated Justin Muller, double hill, and Annie Flores 7-3.
 
Deocharran and Ramirez advanced to the quarterfinals; Deocharran 7-5 over Estevez and Ramirez 8-5 over Ok. Deocharrran chalked up what would prove to be his last win, over Ramirez 8-3 in that quarterfinal match.
 
Salerno ended Deocharran’s loss-side run 9-6 in the semifinals, and moved into the ‘extended-race-to-13,’ second shot at Callaghan in the finals. Salerno reached the 11-win plateau that advanced the finals to a race to 13, and finished it at 13-9.
 
A Second Chance event, which drew 10 entrants, saw Chickie Romero take home the top $120 first prize. Romero and Thomas Schreiber fought to double hill in the finals, before Romero edged out in front to claim the Second Chance title.
 
Tour director Tony Robles thanked the ownership and staff at Cue Bar for their hospitality, and made note of next week’s (November 25-26) Thanksgiving Classic, which will be hosted by Steinway Billiards in Astoria (Queens), NY. The 2017 Predator Pro-Am season will conclude with its finale, the Tour Championships, on the weekend of December 2-3, and be hosted by Raxx Billiards in West Hempstead, NY. Robles also extended best wishes to all for a Happy Thanksgiving Day weekend, which he hoped would conclude, for many, with attendance at the Thanksgiving Classic on the following Saturday and Sunday.