Sandcastle Billiards hosts Blaze Tour

Shaun Wilkie 2nd Mike Miller 3rd Joey Landi and Owner Ed  Liddawi

Shaun Wilkie 2nd Mike Miller 3rd Joey Landi and Owner Ed Liddawi

The Blaze Tour Stop, made their first visit to Sandcastle Billiards in Edison NJ. Room owner and pool enthusiast “Sandman” welcomed 26 of the Northeast’s best pool players to the one day Pro/Am event. The Blaze Tour is known for having the strongest one day field in the Northeast, but players didn’t expect so many heavy hitters to be in attendance.

“Ginky” George Sansouci, Joey Testa, Shane Winters, Mike Miller, Matt Krah, John Alicia, Dave Grau, Randy Schwager, Shaun Wilkie, Dan Cintron, Joey Landi. and “Kid Delicious” Danny Basavich all came out to battle., The last Blaze stop at Sandcastle, Mike Sigel was dominant, and it was
clear that several of the top up and coming players were hungry to stir up some buzz around their game.

To the delight of the knowledgeable NJ crowd, Kid Delicious came did not disappoint his fans through impressive play, but came short of cashing after losing a “Hill-Hill” set to Shaun Wilke.

Top regional player Mike Miller was in dead gear, as he defeated Erin McManus 7-2, Shaun Winters, 7-5, Ginky 7-5, John Alicea 7-6 lining up a Winners side “Hot Seat” match with Joey Landi.

On the bottom half of the Winners bracket, Joey Landi  went through Duane Toney “Wu Tang” 7-6, Derek Schwager 7-3, Ben Sadowski  7-0 and Randy Schwager 7-2 on the bottom half of the winners side bracket.

Joey Landi was impressive in bouncing back to top form, after a long break from the game. Joey mentioned that he is playing well because of putting in a lot of hours on the table at Sandcastle, which is his home room.

In the match between Mike and Joey… Mike Miller jumped quickly out to a 5-2 lead, which proved to be too much for Joey to handle on this day knocking Joey out of the tournament 7-4.

On the One Loss Side you had impressive performances from a combination of players including John Alicea, Dave Grau, Danny Basavich, Randy Schwager and Shane Winters… but no player could constantly bring the heat like Shaun Wilke was bringing on this day.

Shaun edged Raj Vannala 7-6, Shaun had a tough well played battled with Dave Grau 7-3 before losing to top North East player Randy Schwager 7-5. and then Shaun shifted into a higher gear. Shaun Wilke defeated Shane Winters 7-2 and overcame an impressive performance against Kid Delicious Danny Basavich 7-6, then beating John Alicea 7-2 and Randy Schwager 7-3.

Now Shaun was lined up with Joey Landi, who at one time was consistently a threat to win on the Florida Pro Tour. It was clear that Shaun was hungry to make a statement at this event and payed near flawless to defeat Joey 7-3.

The Blaze Tour uses a true double elimination format, which meant that Shaun Wilkie had to defeat Mike Miller 2x, which he went on to do in two consecutive sets. The first set was a 7-6 nail biter, where Shaun clutched out a gritty run, and the second set Shaun’s momentum and swagger was too much for Mike to fade on this day.

The Blaze Tour Staff would like to thank Sandcastle Billiards and it’s Sponsors for their support.

The Tour’s next stop will be at Skyline Billiards, in Brooklyn NY on the 20th of December.

Congratulations on a remarkable performance by “Get Some” Shaun Wilkie. Shaun Wilkie would like to thank his sponsor Lucasi Hybrid for equipment and on going support.  I would also like to thank thank the players for coming out to play, and special thanks to Jerry Tarantola for covering the event.

Final Results:

1st: $940 Shaun Wilke
2nd: $550 Mike Miller
3rd: $325 Joey Landi
4th: $200 Randy Schwager
5th: $130 George “Ginky” Sansouci
5th: $130 John Alicea

Nagle Tops Rockaway Field

The Blaze Tour rolled through Rockaway Billiards in Rockaway, NJ on November 22nd, 2009. While the host room Rockaway Biliards is a tour favorite location, the event drew fewer players than expected..

Winner Bruce Nagle owner Bob Geurra and runner up Mike Miller

Winner Bruce Nagle owner Bob Geurra and runner up Mike Miller

Several of the top players on the grind came out to try to take advantage of the lack of other top players who went to to the Snookers event. Mike Miller, Spanky Kaba, Wali Muhammad and Jerry Tarantola all were looking to make a statement. NY area aspiring women’s professional “Snookie” Diana Rojas, made the trip to Jersey as well. “Snookie” has been recently tearing it up in the NYC area, while consistently showing heart and determination. Snookie was joined in the tournament by another aspiring female player who has been breaking through lately, Sandy Paterino.

Junior Champion Jonathan Castillo continues impress the Tri-State Area as his game continues to rise. Jonathan ran into a brick wall in Nick Kos who played a near flawless set and had Jonathat 6-1 before battling back to 6-5 before Nick was able to capture his seventh game.

Rockaway Billiards has 18 Gold Crown I Billiard Tables, which played similar to the way the tables played in the legendary pool hall, Golden Q in Queens, NY. Hosts Bob and Karen Guerra were tremendous hosts and Bob was impressive in bouncing back from a 1st round loss to win two consecutive sets 7-1, 7-2.

The mix between old school equipment and mistique as well as new school talent and energy was enjoyable to see unfold. Early in the tournament Spanky Kaba and Bruce Nagle were impressive with gritty early victories staying on the Winners Bracket, while Jerry Tarantola upset Mike Miller by a 7-5 score to earn two consecutive wins.

Snookie was impressive in bouncing back from a first round loss to shut out Frank Rosa 7-0, while Mike Miller was stirring it up on the one loss side. Mike caught a gear and went through Paul Johnson 7-2, Yusef Khan 7-3, Jerry T 7-2, Nick Kos 7-5 and Spanky 7-2… earning him a spot in the finals.

Nick Kos was solid in battling back from 4-0 in one match before coming back from 6-1 to almost tie it 6-6. Nick had a long shot on the nine ball with a slight angle and misjudged it as he scratched in the corner pocket after pocketing the nine ball to tie the score at 6-6.

Mike Miller was matched up against Spanky Kaba who couldn’t fade Mike Millers effective break and run out gear, which led to a 7-2 score.

In the finals it was a a match up of the two hottest players in the tournament… Mike Miller blazing his way through the one loss side, as well as Bruce Nagle’s who’s play has been remarkable.

Bruce went through Scott Abramowitz, Frank Rosa, Mike Watson, Jerry T, Spanky in impressive fashion. Bruce has been in dead gear as he has settled into his new pool room newly opened in January called Bankshot Bililards in Luzerne,PA.

Mike Miller won the flip, and from his first inning at the table, Bruce took control of the match. Jumping out to a 2-0 lead, then 4-2 lead… which surprised most players which pegged Mike as the favorite.

Mike missed a key 8-ball to close the gap to 5-3, allowing Bruce to extend his lead and to 5-2. Bruce never looked back as he sailed to a final score of 7-2.

Congratulations to Bruce Nagel who’s agressive play and fast tempo stormed the the tournament in impressive fashion.

The Blaze Tour’s Next Stop is at Drexline Billiard Club in Drexel Hill, PA on November 29.

Final Results:

1st: Bruce Nagle $620

2nd: Mike Miller $300

3rd: Spanky Kaba $215

4th: Jerry Tarantola $70