Watanabe comes from the loss side to take down Figueroa on Tri-State stop

Max Watanabe, Mike Figueroa and Dennis Quinn
Mike Figueroa, who finished the 2015-2016 Tri-State season ranked third in the tour's C++ division got into the hot seat at the Tri-State Tour's fourth 2016-2017  stop on Saturday, August 6, having defeated Max Watanabe in a winners' side semifinal, and Dennis Quinn in the battle for the hot seat. Watanabe, who finished the 2015-2016 Tri-State season ranked sixth in the tour's B+ division, came back from the loss side to meet and defeat Figueroa in the finals. The event drew 20 entrants to Clifton Billiards in Clifton, NJ.
In their first of two, Figueroa sent Watanabe to the loss side 7-4, as Dennis Quinn was busy defeating Bob Toomey (2015-2016's top-ranked C player) 6-4. Figueroa claimed the hot seat 7-5 over Quinn and waited on Watanabe.
On the loss side, Watanabe picked up Mike Panzarella, who'd gotten by Aurelio Romero 7-4, and Eddie Manlulu 7-2 to reach him. Toomey drew James Pasciolla, who'd defeated Adrian Daniel 6-3 and survived a double hill fight versus Allison LaFleur. Watanabe downed Panzarella 7-3, and in the quarterfinals, faced Toomey, who'd eliminated Pasciolla 6-2. 
In what was the event's first money round, Watanabe defeated Toomey 8-6, and earned his second shot against Figueroa with a 6-3 win over Quinn in the semifinals. Watanabe completed his run with a commanding 9-2 win over Figueroa in the finals.
Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Clifton Billiards, as well as sponsors Ozone Billiards, Sterling-Gaming, Kamui Tips, Ron Vitello, Phil Capelle, BlueBook Publishing, Human Kinetics, and Bloodworth Ball Cleaners. The next stop on the Tri-State Tour, scheduled for Saturday, August 20, will be hosted by Steinway Billiards in Astoria (Queens), NY.