Raxx Hosts Predator Stop

By Jerry Tarantola, NYCgrind.com

(Photo: ABCD Amateur Event Winners L-R 3rd Place: Stewart Warnock, 4th Place: Borana Andoni, 2nd Place: Christian Smith & 1st Place winner John Hacsi)

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.

L-R 1st Place Winner: Shaun "Get Some" Wilkie, 3rd Place: Tony Robles & 2nd Place winner: Zion Zvi

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!

Final Results:
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.
Final Results:
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.

Kevin Guimond and Wellington Reyes Storm the Tour

Kevin Guimond and Wellington Reyes Storm the Predator Tour at BQE Billiards & Cafe

By Jerry Tarantola, NYCgrind.com

(photo: L-R Amateur Division 1st Place Wellington Reyes, Tony Robles & 2nd Place Melvin Aguilera)

On May 8th & 9th, Tony Robles welcomed 51 of the strongest players in the Tri-State area for the 7th stop of the Ozone Billiards Predator Tour. This tour stop was hosted by BQE Billiards in Queens NY. Special thanks to BQE owners and staff Nick, John, Theo & Gus for adding $1,000 and letting us use their beautiful room. Top amateur players like Victor Nau, Michael Yednak, John Alicea, Mike Wong, Lionel Rivera, and Scott Simonetti topped off a strong field.

In the amateur event, Melvin Aguilera made a strong statement coming in as a D player… knocking off several top guns. Melvin went straight through the winner’s bracket, defeating Travis Walker (7-4), John Hacsi (7-4), Alberto Estevez (7-4), Sam Li (7-5), and Brent Boemmels (7-5), earning a spot in the hot seat. Before the hot seat match began, Tony Robles raised Melvin from a D to a C player for his much-improved speed.

Brent Boemmels, who was rated an A in this event, also made a strong statement. Brent grinded out W’s over John Ortiz (7-6), Mike Wong (7-3), Alex Gonzalez (7-2), Scott Simonetti (7-3), and Wellington Reyes (7-4)… before losing to Melvin Aguilera (7-5).

L-R Open Pro Division Winner 1st Place Kevin Guimond & 2nd Place Winner Jeremy Sossei

In the one-loss bracket, Brent was lined up with a rematch against Wellington Reyes. Wellington bounced back from that loss to Brent to defeat John Alicea (7-6) and Sam Li (7-4).  Sam had an impressive run on that day, winning four consecutive matches, before losing to Melvin Aguilera (7-5) and Wellington Reyes (7-4).

In the hot seat match, Brent came out strong, but a combination of a few bad rolls and costly errors shifted the momentum. Wellington capitalized and took over the flow and control of the set… leading to a 7-3 final score.

The stage was set for a final match up between Wellington Reyes, who came in on the one-loss side, versus Melvin Aguilera in the hot seat. Wellington had come from the one-loss side to win the tournament… capping off a stand out day with a 9-8 victory in the finals.

Final Results:

1st: Wellington Reyes $800

2nd: Melvin Aguilera $600

3rd: Brent Boemmels $400

4th: Sam Li $300

5/6th: John Hacsi, John Alicea $200

7-8th: Alberto Estevez, Wali Muhammad $125

9-12th: Mike Wong, Ramilo Tanglao, Scott Simonetti, Steve Way $85

In the Open/Pro field, things got shaken up by Kevin Guimond.  Kevin, who had won the Empire State Amateur Championships in March, stormed through Oscar Bonilla 8-6, Zion Zvi 8-6, and George “Ginky” Sansouci 8-7 to make it to the finals. Jeremy Sossei came from the one-loss side to meet Kevin in the finals, but was unsuccesful, and Kevin claimed the case game to win the final match. Congratulations to Kevin Guimond for an impressive first win in the Open/Pro Predator field.

Open/Pro:

1st: Kevin Guimond $600

2nd: Jeremy Sossei $300

3rd: George “Ginky”  Sansouci $100

Tony Robles and the Predator 9-ball 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, Digital Ink Printing, Billiards Press, RJH Custom Cues, Jim Murnak Cue Cases, Go4Pool.net, and NYCgrind.com.

For more information on the Ozone Billiards Predator 9-Ball Tour, please log on to: www.predator9balltour.com

The next event on the Predator Tour will be held at Master Billiards on May 29-30.