By Jerry Tarantola, NYCgrind.com
On June 26-27, 2010, the 10th tour stop of the Predator Tour season was hosted by Raxx Pool Room, Bar & Grill in West Hempstead, NY, where 70 players came out to compete in the $1,000 added Amateur A/B/C/D event and the Open/Pro 10-ball event.
In the amateur event, strong performances were seen from Diana Rojas, Pam Ogarek, Stewart Warnock, Neslihan Gürel, Pete Ziemak, Christian Smith, Scott Murphy, John Hacsi, and Matthew Harricharan.
However, John Hacsi, one of the oldest players on the tour, would be the player to go through the winner’s bracket unscathed, grinding through several tough matches. John defeated Joe Morace 7-5, Gene Hartnell 7-1, Neslihan “Ness” Gürel 7-6, Meshak Daniel 7-2, and Christian Smith 7-4 to earn a spot in the hot seat.
Another strong showing was put on by “Queen B” Borana Andoni as she showed a lot of heart, with two big comebacks. Borana grinded back from trailing 6-3 in the first round against Sam Li, showing heart and grit in her game early on. “Queen B” then went on to defeat Carlos Alvardo 7-5 and Pam Ogarek 7-3, before losing to Meshak Daniel 7-5.
Borana then bounced back in her first one-loss side match from another 6-3 deficit, earning her a spot in the second day of the two-day event. On Sunday, Borana defeated Neslihan Gürel in a close hill-hill 7-6 nail biter. Ness had an opportunity to get out of the set to claim the win, but her display of focus, smart play, and willingness to bounce back only barely failed her. As Neslihan continues on her journey as an aspiring pro in the US, her solid foundation shows a promising future.
Following up her win against Ness, Borana avenged her winner’s side loss in dominant fashion, defeating Meshak Daniel 7-3 before losing to Stewart Warnock 7-5. This 4th place finish makes “Queen B” the highest finishing female in the tour history. This is also another very notable finish for Stewart Warnock, who currently holds the #1 position in the “A” Class on the Predator Tour.
After defeating Borana, Stewart Warnock moved onto the semifinal, where he would have to settle for third place after a 7-3 loss to Christian Smith. In the final match, John Hacsi soundly beat Christian Smith 7-4 to claim the win, undefeated. Had Christian made it to seven games first, the race would have been extended to nine games.
Congratulations to John Hacsi on his dominant win, taking home the $1,000 first prize, along with Christian Smith for a strong runner-up finish. John, who only recently made a return to the game after a 40 year hiatus, has been proving on the Predator Tour that he still has what it takes… he currently holds the #2 position in the points standings for the “C” class.
Despite having to deal with some pain during this event, John Hacsi pushed through the tournament undeterred. Also, if you noticed a renewed spring in John Hacsi’s step, it is because he has found a new love in his life in his baby grandaughter, Brooke who visited him during the tournament! And as John has mentioned, this joy has definitely been reflecting in his pool game!
1st: John Hacsi – $1,000
2nd: Christian Smith – $650
3rd: Stewart Warnock – $450
4th: Borana “Queen B.” Andoni – $350
5th/6th: Tony Liang, Meshak Daniel – $250
7th/8th: Neslihan Gurel, Scott Murphy – $150
9th-12th: Chuck Giallorenzo, Thomas Wan, Matthew Harricharan, Pete Ziemak – $100
The Ozone Billiards Predator 9-Ball Tour also attracted top players from the NY area to participate in the Open/Pro event that ran along side the Amateur event. Top players such as Shaun “Get Some” Wilkie, George SanSouci, Zion Zvi, Tony Robles, Evan Broxmeyer, and reigning Empire State Amateur 9-Ball Champion Kevin Guimond filled up a strong field.
“Get Some” Shaun Wilkie, who just came off a great 2nd place finish at last weekend’s Maryland State 14.1 Championships, went through the winner’s bracket with wins over George “Ginky” SanSouci 8-4, Kevin Guimond 8-7, and Tony Robles 8-7, earning him a spot in the finals undefeated.
Ginky bounced back from his second-round loss to catch a major gear with a series of dominant wins. The top NY player rolled over Evan Broxmeyer 8-0, Raphael Dabreo 8-1, and Wali Muhammad 8-1 before losing to Zion Zvi 8-3. In the match between Ginky and Zion, Ginky jumped out to a 2-0 lead, and was in complete control… before an unlucky kiss led the cue ball to scratch. That would end up to be the turning point of the set, as Zion turned the tables and took control of the set to win 8-3.
Zion continued his hot hand to edge out a close win against Predator Tour founder Tony Robles 8-7, earning him a spot in the finals to play Shaun Wilkie. In the final match, Shaun Wilkie capped off an impressive tournament with a close 9-7 win over Zion Zvi, trumping his finish in Maryland, making this his first win for the 2010 Predator season.
1st: Shaun Wilkie – $800
2nd: Zion Zvi – $500
3rd: Tony Robles – $210
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 the Amsterdam Billiard Club on July 24-25th.