Thomas Wan & Tony Robles Cool Down the Competition on the Predator Tour

By Jerry Tarantola, NYCgrind.com

(Photo L-R ABCD 1st Place Winner, Thomas Wan & 2nd Place Winner, Dinko Busanich)

On June 5-6, 2010, The Ozone Billiards Predator Tour held its 9th stop of the season at Master Billiards in Sunnyside, Queens, NY. Sixty-six of the strongest players in the NY tri-state area headed to Sunnyside, Queens for the $1,000 added event to show they have the grit to fight through the tough field.

In the amateur event, players such as Wali Muhammed, Phil Davis, Noel Bensurto, John Alicea, Thomas Wan, Mike Wong, Lionel Rivera, Stewart Warnock, and Jerry Tarantola highlighted the tough field.

The field also featured some standout women’s players including WPBA board member Cristina De La Garza, “The Other” Alison Fischer, Borana Andoni, and “Snooky” Diana Rojas.

Dinko Busanich showed a lot of heart in this event, going through several gritty matches as he fought through the winner’s bracket to earn a spot in the finals. Dinko went through Carl Yusef Khan (7-3), Mike Panzarella (7-6), Jerry Tarantola (7-6), Daniel Dagotdot (7-5), Thomas Wan (7-4), and Mike Hertz (7-5).

On the one-loss side, there were a lot of warriors battling for the chance to come from behind to make a statement. While there were stand-out performances by Raphael DaBreo, John Hacsi, Dave Shlemperis, Arturo Reyes, Lionel Rivera, Michael Hertz, and Daniel Dagotdot… there would be only one player who reached the finals unscathed.

Long-time tour player Thomas Wan was impressive by defeating Mike Wong (7-3), Lionel Rivera (7-5), Stewart Warnock (7-6), Lionel Rivera again (7-5), Dave Shlemperis, and Michael Hertz (7-4) to get a shot at Dinko Busanich in the finals.

In the final match, Thomas was dominant by putting up a solid 9-5 score over Dinko Busanich to capture his first Ozone Billiards Predator Tour win. Congratulations to Tom Wan on this breakthrough performance!

Final Results:

1st: Thomas Wan – $900

2nd: Dinko Busanich – $600

3rd: Michael Hertz – $400

4th: Dave Shlemperis – $300

5/6th: Lionel Rivera, Chuck Giallorenzo – $200

7th/8th: Raphael DaBreo, Arturo Reyes – $150

9th-12th: Daniel Dagotdot, Asif Mustafa, Stewart Warnock, John Hasci – $90

Open Pro:

L-R Open/Pro 1st Place Winner, Tony Robles & 2nd Place Winner, Jeremy Sossei

In the Open/Pro 10-ball event, the headlining players were Mika Immonen, Zion Zvi, Mhet Vergara, “Ginky” George SanSouci, Jeremy Sossei, Mike Miller, Frankie Hernandez, Tony Robles, Swiss pro player Marco Tschudi, and Marc “Spain” Vidal.

Early on in this event, Master house pro and NY legend, George “Ginky” SanSouci made a big statement by playing near-flawless pool in a dominant 8-2 victory over reigning US Open champion Mika “The Iceman” Immonen. Mika won his next match 8-6 against a very game Arturo Reyes before getting bumped out of the event by Marc “Spain” Vidal.

Up-and-coming phenom Jeremy Sossei then defeated Ginky (8-4), to win his first three matches, looking to be the favorite to win, the way he was playing.

On the lower half of the bracket Tony Robles was silently taking down his competition going through Ron Mason, Zion Zvi, and Marc Vidal… then was impressive with a 8-4 win over Jeremy to get to the hot seat.

Jeremy bounced back from the loss to Tony by defeating visiting player Marco Tschudi of Switzerland (8-3) to set up a rematch with Tony. Marco was turning heads with his fast-paced game with wins over Mike Miller (8-4), Zion Zvi 8-5, Ginky 8-3 and Marc Vidal 8-6 before losing to Jeremy.

In the finals, Ozone Billiards Predator Tour founder and battle-tested veteran Tony Robles defeated Jeremy Sossei 8-4 for his second win of the season.

1st: Tony Robles – $850

2nd: Jeremy Sossei – $500

3rd: Marco Tschudi – $335

4th: Marc “Spain” Vidal – $200

Tony Robles and the Predator Tour would like to thank their sponsors: Predator Cues, Poison Cues, Ozone Billiards, Delta-13 Racks, The Seminole Tribe of Florida, The Seminole Pro Tour, Poolonthenet.com, AZBilliards.com, Digital Ink Printing, Billiards Press, Cuetable.com, Master Chalk, RJH Custom Cues, Webb Custom Cues, Jim Murnak Cue Cases, Go4Pool.net, NYCgrind.com, Billiards Digest, Inside Pool Magazine, Pool & Billiards Magazine, Maxim Billiards & The Tournament Guide.

For more information on the Ozone Billiards Predator Tour, please log on to: www.predator9balltour.com

The next stop on the tour’s schedule will be held at Raxx Pool Room, Bar & Grill on June 26-27.

WPBA Fills Seats

WPBA board finds value in old and new

The WPBA is pleased to announce that it has filled three open seats on the WPBA board of directors. The board appointed Dawn Hopkins, Stuart Mattana and Cristina De La Garza.

Hopkins, former WPBA President and currently a WPBA exempt player, is also a successful entrepreneur. She is busy organizing her first billiards expo in Atlanta this fall. “My time these days is restricted, but I want to help this new board succeed, which is why I volunteered to serve in a limited and temporary role,” Hopkins said.

Known to many in the billiards industry, Stuart Mattana returns to the board for a third time. Mattana has been around professional pool as a fan and in official capacities for more than thirty years. Now retired, this time Mattana has been specifically asked to bring his 28 years of experience in the financial industry to the WPBA. “His command of accounting and financial issues in these tough economic times is crucial as we move forward,” noted WPBA Vice-President Tamre Geene’ Rogers.

The Board also appointed newcomer Cristina De La Garza, a newly exempt WPBA player. De La Garza works with Inside Pool magazine and is an experienced commentator on streamed pool events. More importantly, De La Garza has non-profit experience in her former role as Associate Director for a local non-profit in Austin. She currently works as a program coordinator for the State Bar of Texas. “I’m looking forward to doing my part to bring more events to the WPBA and my fellow players,” De La Garza said.

The board thanks each of these individuals for their commitment to the WPBA. The WPBA is especially grateful to players Hopkins and De La Garza, who are sacrificing personal time by putting the organization ahead of their own professional billiards goals.