Torres bests Berdzenishvili twice to go undefeated on A-D Empire State Championship

Tom Torres used two 9-7 victories over Niko Berdzenishvili to go undefeated at the A-D handicapped event of the Empire State Championships on the weekend of February 18-19. The $2,000-added amateur event drew 100 entrants to Raxx Billiards in West Hempstead, NY.

They met first in the battle for the hot seat, once Niko had sent Tony Ignomirello west 7-2, and Torres had sent Victor Nau over 7-5. Torres chalked up his first 9-7 victory, which left him in the hot seat, awaiting Niko's return.

First up for Ignomirello in the west bracket was Gavin Lawrence, who'd defeated Rene Villalobos 7-5 and Adrian Daniel 7-3 to reach him. Nau picked up Arturo Reyes, who'd had a relatively easy time versus Dinko Busanich in a 7-1 victory and then survived a double hill struggle against Robert Mendoza

It was Nau and Ignomirello advancing to the quarterfinals; Nau with a double hill win over Reyes, and Ignomirello with a 7-5 victory over Lawrence. Nau won a second straight double hill match in his victory over Ignomirello in the quarterfinals, but fell short in his third straight double hill match, falling to Niko in the semifinals.

With Torres in the hot seat, Niko needed to reach nine games first to extend the final race to 11. Torres, though, repeated his hot seat score, completing his undefeated day with a 9-7 victory to capture the amateur side of the Empire State Championships.

Tour director Tony Robles thanked the ownership and staff of Raxx Billiards for their hospitality, and sponsors Predator Cues, The National Amateur Pool League, Delta-13 racks, Poison Cues,, and NYCGrind.