West battles dominate Tri-State, though winners Uzdejczyk and Hanna prevail

In the end, which occurred at around 4:15 a.m. on a Sunday morning, Bogie Uzdejczyk and Ra Hanna, who'd battled for the hot seat and were set to face each other in a true double elimination final, flipped a coin to determine the official winner of the March 5 stop on the Tri-State Tour. Uzdejczyk won the toss and the trophy and the two split the first and second place prize money. The $500-added, B-D handicapped event drew 50 entrants to Castle Billiards in East Rutherford, NJ.

Uzdejczyk got into the hot seat match with a 7-4 victory over Luis Garchitorena. Hanna arrived on the heels of a 7-3 win over Brian Hunter. Hanna gained the hot seat with a 7-3 victory in what would prove to be his last match of the day.

Meanwhile, on the one-loss side, Raphael DaBreo and Annie Flores were both engaged in win streaks that would propel them to a head-to-head battle in the quarterfinals. In the midst of seven in a row, Flores got by Neshlian Gurel 7-2, and  Joei Huang 7-3 to pick up Garchitorena. DaBreo, in the midst of a 9-game streak to the semifinals, defeated George Osipovitch and Jason Egeln, both 7-5, to draw Hunter.

Dabreo and Flores advanced to the quarterfinals with identical 7-4 victories over Hunter and Garchitorena, and then, not surprisingly, locked up into a double hill battle against each other. DaBreo ended Flores' seven game streak with the win and had his own nine-game streak ended by Uzdejczyk 7-3 in the semifinals.

It proved to be the final match of the event. Uzdejczyk and Hanna tossed the coin and split the $1,000 prize money.

Tour representatives thanked sponsors Sterling-Gaming, Ozone Billiards, Viking Cues, Ron Tarr Cues, Phil Capelle, BlueBook Publishing, and Dr. Dave Billiards Instructional Products.