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.

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.