Watson comes from the one-loss side to win first Tri-State event

Jason Critelli, Mike Watson and Scott Simonetti

Mike Watson came from the one-loss side and got by Tri-State veteran Scott Simonetti twice to win the Tri-State Tour stop on Saturday, May 14. The $500-added, A-D handicapped event drew 55 entrants to Castle Billiards in East Rutherford, NJ.

In effect, by sending him to the one-loss side 7-3 from among the winners' side final four, Simonetti added a single match to Watson's day. Simonetti moved on to the hot seat match, where he faced Jason Critelli, who'd just sent Mike Harrington west 6-4. Simonetti, winner of three Tri-State Tour Stops in 2010 (and a Predator Tour stop, as well), found himself in the Tri-State hot seat for the first time in 2011, after sending Critelli to the semifinals 9-5.

Meanwhile, in the west bracket, Watson, who'd chalked up three wins before moving over, began a second three-match journey back to the finals. First up was Gary Murgia, who'd defeated Dave Shlemperis 7-3 and Paul Raval 7-4. Harrington drew Kyle Bubet, who'd advanced past Scott Abramowitz and Chuck Giallorenzo, both 6-3. Watson moved on to the quarterfinals with a 7-5 victory over Murgia. Bubet joined him, following a 6-5 win over Harrington.

Watson got into the semifinals versus Critelli with a 7-4 victory over Bubet, and then sat Critelli down 7-5.  Watson and Simonetti entered the finals, each with six wins behind them. Watson finished at 7-1, with a 9-6 victory over Simonetti that gave him his first Tri-State win. Tour representatives noted a 'solid performance' by Critelli, who had also chalked up six wins, on his way to a third place, 6-2 record.

Thanks were extended to John Trobiano for providing 'beautiful playing conditions, and a wide selection of terrific food' at Castle Billiards, as well as sponsors Sterling-Gaming, Ozone Billiards, Ron Tarr Cues, Phil Capelle, BlueBook Publishing, Human Kinetics, and Dr. Dave's Billiards Instructional Products.