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Chen gets by Duddy twice to go undefeated on Tri-State Tour

Emily Duddy and Quin Y Chen

Though he finished undefeated, at around 4 a.m. on a Sunday morning, Quin Y Chen’s journey to the winner’s circle of the Tri-State Tour stop on March 3, was not without its challenges; specifically, Emily Duddy, who met him, first, in the hot seat, and chalked up as many racks in the double hill battle against him as three of Chen’s four previous opponents combined. She’d return to challenge him again in the finals, and again, he prevailed to capture the event title. The $500-added, A-D handicapped event drew 55 entrants to Castle Billiards in East Rutherford, NJ.

After an opening round bye, Chen (racing to 6) faced four opponents to get into the hot seat match against Duddy, and didn’t give up more than three racks against any of them. He gave up two each to Eddie Perez and Cory Sohlman, before Michael Rodriguez managed three against him. He gave up two more among the winners’ side final four versus William Zarzour and moved into the hot seat match. Duddy, by contrast, (racing to 7, and in one case, 8) opened strong with a 7-1 victory over Chris Peralta, but got locked up in a second round, double hill fight against Bogie Uzdejcyzk. She survived that battle and then downed two Tri-State regulars, Ed Culhane (7-4) and Scott Simonetti (8-4), to join Chen among the winners’ side final four. She survived a second double hill fight against Steve Way 7-6 to face Chen in the battle for the hot seat. They faced each other for the first time, with an aggregate score total of 24-9 (Chen, 72%) to 36-21 (Duddy, 63%). 

Chen took an early lead in the hot seat battle, but Duddy fought back to knot things at double hill. A fateful decision on a 6-ball in the final game (difficult bank, or safe; she chose safe), left Chen with a difficult shot. A kick-bank dropped the 6-ball, and he ran out from there to claim the hot seat.

On the loss-side, Michael Rodriguez was in the midst of a four-game winning streak that would propel him into the semifinals versus Duddy. He got by George Osipovitch and Eddie DaCosta, both double hill, to draw Zarzour, coming over from the winners’ side final four. Steve Way drew Joe Palone, who’d defeated Culhane 7-3 and Simonetti 8-6. Rodriguez downed Zarzour 6-4, as Palone was eliminating Way 7-5. Rodriguez got his shot against Duddy with a 7-5 victory over Palone in the quarterfinals.

Rodriguez got off to a quick start in the semifinals against Duddy, advancing to the hill at six games, before Duddy mounted a comeback that eventually tied the match and then, won it. It was already 3 a.m. on Sunday morning, but Chen and Duddy opted to tough it out and play the final match. Chen won it 7-4 to take top honors.

Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Castle Billiards, as well as sponsors Sterling-Gaming, Ozone Billiards, Ron Tarr Cues, Kamui Tips, Phil Capelle, BlueBook Publishing, and Human Kinetics.