Daniel Dagotdot Wins/Jeremy Sossei Takes the Pro

Daniel Dagotdot Wins the Amateur event while Jeremy Sossei Takes the Pro 10-ball at the
1st Annual Reverend Clarence Keaton Memorial
By Alison M. Fischer, NYCgrind.com

(photo: Mariah Carey & "The Rev")

On September 11-12, Tony Robles spearheaded the $1,000, added 1st Annual Reverend Clarence
Keaton Memorial Tournament, as the 14th stop on the Ozone Billiards Predator Tour 2010 season.  Reverend Clarence Keaton, known as “The Rev” by many players, frequented Master Billiards (where the memorial event was held), along with many other New York pool rooms. Well-loved by many members of the pool community, Reverend Clarence Keaton lost his battle against cancer last year.  Reverend Keaton was a close friend of tour founder Tony Robles, and would regularly drive to the US Open and The Super Billiards Expo with Tony and his son Shawn Keaton, who is one of New York’s top emerging talents.

Along with Shawn, a number of other up-and-coming players competed in the A/B/C/D 9-ball event in this memorial, including John Alicea, Noel Bensurto, Daniel Dagatdot, Jerry Tarantola, Mike Panzerella, and Stewart Warnock. In total, 70 of New York’s top players came out to help memorialize “The Rev’s” presence and influence on pool in NYC.

(photo: ABCD Event L-R 2nd Place: Andrew Kane, 3rd Place: Arturo Reyes & 1st Place Winner Daniel Dagotdot)

The story of the Amateur event of the Ozone Billiards Predator Tour 9-ball championships was centered around the transition of Daniel Dagotdot from a B player to an A player. Daniel has been playing progressively stronger, and building confidence in his game and tournament play. This up-and-coming
Fil-Am pool player has been impressive in a combination of dominant and clutch wins, helping him pull all of the pieces of his game together in a way that is a threat to any pool player in the NY landscape.

Daniel went through the field undefeated with wins over Tony Liang 7-5, Ed Culhane 7-4, John Alicea 7-4, Alex Gilvarg 7-4, Steve Wright 7-2, and ultimately Andrew Kane 7-4. Andrew Kane bounced back with a “W” over Arturo Reyes 7-5, giving him the re-match opportunity. In the final match, Daniel capped off an impressive tournament with a dominant performance, which led to a dominant 7-2 win for his first Ozone Billiards Predator Tour 9-ball win. In July’s tour stop at Amsterdam Billiards, Daniel had finished second
to John Alicea in the finals, and showed the field in this event that his close loss in the finals fueled him to take his game to the next level.

Other stand-out players in this event were Gail Glazebrook, who won a total of four matches, but lost one round before the money, along with Arturo Reyes and Steve Wright, who both showcased heart and explosive play.

Final Results
1st: Daniel Dagotdot $1,000
2nd: Andrew Kane $600
3rd: Arturo Reyes $400
4th: Steve Wright $300
5/6th: Patrick Meyers, Alex Gilvarg $200
7/8th: Luis Novas, Stewart Warnock $150
9-12th: Alberto Estevez
Willie Santiago, Mike Hertz, Juan Guzman $100

Open/Pro Event L-R, 2nd Place: Tony Robles, 3rd Place: Sean Morgan and 1st Place Winner: Jeremy Sossei

Kicking off late Saturday afternoon, the Open/Pro 10-ball event featured top-level talent such as Hunter Lombardo, Holden Chin, Jeremy Sossei, George Sansouci, Mike Miller, Sean Morgan and Zion Zvi.  Top NY female player “Snooky” Diana Rojas showed a lot of heart to tangle with the big boys in
this event as well.

Top Florida pro player Hunter Lombardo stayed around NY long enough after the Seminole Empire State 10-Ball Championships to participate in this 10-ball event. Hunter opened with an impressive 8-3 win over Holden Chin, as well as a clutch hill-hill victory over Mhet Vergara, before losing to Tony
Robles 8-6 and Ginky 8-5.

Tony Robles brought his “A” game, and was determined to honor his late friend Clarence Keaton by showing the heart that “The Rev”, as he is known by his friends, always brought to the table. Tony defeated Phil Davis 8-5, Jeremy Sossei 8-6, Hunter Lombardo 8-6, and “Alaska” Sean Morgan 8-3… earning a spot in the finals undefeated.  Meanwhile, Sean Morgan had been turning heads with gritty play, defeating Zion 8-4, Mike Wong 8-7, and Jerry Tarantola 8-6, before losing to Tony Robles 8-3, then Jeremy Sossei 8-7.

Young gun Jeremy Sossei opened up with an 8-6 win over Diana Rojas before losing to Tony Robles 8-6. However, Jeremy dug deep to grind back from the one-loss side to eventually meet Tony Robles in the finals for a rematch. Jeremy’s road to the finals led him through Zion Zvi 8-6, Mike Miller 8-2,
Jerry Tarantola 8-6 and Ginky 8-7. Jeremy followed the semifinal up with another hill-hill match in the finals to capture top honors in the 1st Annual Clarence Keaton Memorial.

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, www.pool.bz, 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.

Open/Pro Final Results:
1st: Jeremy Sossei $800
2nd: Tony Robles $500
3rd: Sean Morgan $345
4th: George Sansouci $200

Safba Breaks Through

Zee Shan Safba Breaks Through at Mr. Cue Billiards

By Alison M. Fischer, NYCgrind.com

(photo: L-R 1st Place ABCD Winner Zee Shan Safba, 3rd Place Charlie Lentini & 2nd Place Scott Murphy)

The Ozone Billiards Predator 9-ball Tour was hosted by Mr. Cue Billiards in Lindenhurst, NY on August 14-15th. This $1,000-added event was worth double points as this 12th stop of the season was a warm-up for the upcoming Seminole Tribe of Florida Empire State Championships.

A total field of 52 players came out to take a shot at the $1,000 first prize, including Scott Simonetti, Stewart Warnock, Michael Yednak, Charlie Lentini, Jerry Tarantola, John Alicea and Mike Panzarella. Four of the tour’s lady players, Gail Glazebrook, Linda Cheung, Borana Andoni, and Diana Rojas also came out to battle.  Diana would be the eventual highest-finishing female, placing tied for 9th.

The tournament bracket for this event was split up between the A/B players the C/D players. Rene Villalobos  was impressive in grinding out several tough wins over Taran Gunness 7-4, Anthony Zoccolillo 7-5, and Bob Schlott 7-6, before losing a nail-biter to Zee Shan Safba 7-6.

Zee Shan fought through the C/D bracket with wins over Linda Cheung 7-4, Pat Dibuono 7-6, Al Frances 7-3, and ultimately Rene. This run set up a hot seat match against Mr. Cue veteran house player, Charlie Lentini… which ended in Zee Shan’s favor at 7-4.

Several C/D players were also putting together impressive performances on the one-loss side, including Diana Rojas, Anthony Zoccolillo, Al Frances, and Bob Schlott.  After losing to Zee Shan Safba on the winner’s side, Rene squeaked out a close 7-6 win over Bob Schlott, lining up the quarterfinal match against Scott Murphy, who was grinding through the A/B west side of the bracket.

Scott Murphy is the owner of Mr. Cue Billiards, and proved that the house room advantage can definitely come into play. Scott, who is rated a B, lost his first round to one of the favorites, John Alicea (7-6), then began an impressive comeback. Scott battled through the one-loss side with wins over Chris Laz 7-6, Bob Mammarella 7-2, Michael Yednak 7-6, Ryan Klett 7-2, T.J. 7-3, Scott Simonetti 7-4, Stewart Warnock 7-5, Jerry Tarantola 7-3 and ultimately Rene Villalobos 7-3.

This long battle set Scott up for the semifinal match against house man Charlie Lentini, who had previously lost to Zee Shan Safba in the hot seat match.  Before losing to Zee Shan, Charlie has been the player to beat, having wins over Darren DeFilippis 7-3, Raphael Dabreo 7-0, T.J. 7-3, Stewart Warnock 7-0, and Jerry Tarantola 7-3.

In the semifinal match between the two house players, Scott Murphy emerged victorious with a dominant 7-3 score.  The final match was then set between Scott and Zee Shan Safba. When the dust settled, it was Bellerose, Queens player Zee Shan Safba who edged out a hill-hill 9-8 victory, breaking through for his first Predator Tour win.

This stop on the Predator Tour also featured a $300 added second day, single elimination event.  Ten players participated, and rising to the top of the bracket were Tony Sinacore & Scott Murphy, who split in the final, each taking $180. Coming in tied for 3rd/4th were Shawn Sookhai & Geoff Conway, winning $60.

The top finishing players in this event enjoyed earning double points, which boosted up their season ranking status as they prepare for the upcoming Seminole Tribe of Florida Empire State Championship. This banner event will take place at Raxx Pool Room over the weekend of September 4-5, and boasts an $8,000-added prize fund.  The added funds are made possible in part by the Seminole Tribe of Florida.

Final Results:
1st: Zee Shan Safba – $1,000
2nd: Scott Murphy – $600
3rd: Charlie Lentini – $450
4th: Rene Villalobos – $300
5th/6th: Bob Schlott, Jerry Tarantola – $225
7th/8th: Stewart Warnock, Anthony Zoccolillo -$150
9th-12th: Diana Rojas, Frankie Cologne, Scott Simonetti, Al Frances – $100