To the Players, Sponsors, Room Owners & Spectators,
Never in our wildest dreams did we see 2020 ending up the way it
has. January and February tournament turnouts brought big numbers
and we had high hopes for the 2020 season being the best season
yet. The economy was booming and tours, leagues & lessons were
in high demand. Then March hit and like everyone else, the rug was
pulled out from under us.
First and foremost, we truly hope you and your loved ones have weathered
these difficult times as best as possible. Like so many, we have
lost players, teammates, captains, mentors, friends, and even family.
It’s been a devastating turn of events. With our health intact,
we count ourselves blessed despite the trying business times.
The pandemic has affected all of us in a variety of ways, and the
Predator Pro/Am Tour is no exception. Now six months without a tournament
and no real end in sight, Gail and I have asked ourselves some tough
questions. Will the tour come back this year at all? Will players
feel safe playing in large participation events any time soon? Will
‘WE’ feel safe hosting large, indoor events? When will
NYC even open pool rooms again, let alone to full capacity? Will
we ever be the way we were before?
After speaking with several local room owners and industry leaders,
we feel the timeline for being “back to normal” is years
long and filled with uncertainty.
And so, it is with a very heavy heart that Gail & I have decided
to no longer run the Predator Pro/Am Tour. This was an incredibly
hard decision for us to make. We love our tour. We love the players,
the room owners and sponsors, the atmosphere and the joy we felt
seeing our contribution to the pool world. We mourn the loss every
Many tears and hard conversations led to this decision and we know
it won’t be easy for some to accept, but ethically, we don’t
feel comfortable hosting the large events we’re known to run
given the health risks. Economically, pool rooms cannot afford to
host our events in lieu of recovering their own financial losses.
Financially, we cannot afford to wait for New York to recover. We
have begun the process of selling our home and will be moving out
of state by year’s end.
We have a lot of people to thank for the 12+ years we had the tour
so bear with us.
Predator Cues. Thank you for trusting us since day one. Representing
your brand helped propel our tour to one of the best in the country.
Players from all over the world came to play in our events because
you believed in us and they believed in you. Thank you from the
bottom of our hearts for being the backbone of all we do on the
Ozone Billiards, Blatt Billiards, The Devito Team, Pool on the Net,
Billiard Press, & Delta-13. Thank you for helping us grow and
for supporting the tour all these years. You have been an integral
part in the success of our events.
Our room owners. Amsterdam Billiards, Cue Bar, Gotham City Billiards,
Raxx Pool Room, The Spot, Steinway Billiards. And past rooms: Boardwalk
Billiards, BQE, Castle, Carom Café, Comet, Corner Pocket
Café, Cue Nine, Eastside Billiards, Master Billiards, Mr.
Cue, Park Slope, Rack n Roll, Sandcastle, Snookers, and Spin City.
Thank you for hosting us and the players and helping grow the sport
in our area. Thank you for sacrificing tables so players could compete
comfortably. Thank you for offering table time so players could
practice before matches. Thank you for funding these tournaments.
Thank you to your staff for taking such good care of us and the
players during long tournament days. Thank you for caring. Amsterdam
Billiards, Cue Bar, Steinway Billiards & Raxx Pool Room; thank
you for being with us from the beginning and hosting over half of
all the events in the tour’s history. We are eternally grateful
for your belief in us and your generosity over the years.
To those that helped behind the scenes. William Finnegan, who started
the tour with us back in 2008. You are, and always will be, an icon
in the history of NYC pool tournaments. Irene Kim, who always kept
us in line and organized from the day she came on board. Julie Ha,
Tommy Schreiber, Marisol Palacios, Ambi Estevez, Henry Chan, Mandy
Wu, Dan Faraguna, Alison Fischer and Jerry Tarantola; thank you
for all your help running the charts and assisting wherever you
could to make the tour such a great success. Rob Omen, thank you
for maintaining and revamping our website and charts over the years.
Erwin Dionisio, who elevated the social reach of the tour by leaps
and bounds with his beautiful photography work. Thank you. Billiards
Digest, AZ Billiards and all the media outlets; thank you for advertising
and reporting on all our events. Skip Maloney, you’re one
of a kind. And thank you to Upstate Al, Joey & Chris Leon for
the countless hours of live-streaming and advertising you've done
over the years. You truly are a blessing for the pool community.
To our fellow tours. The Tri-State Tour, Mezz Tour, Ride the 9 &
New England 9-ball Series. We wish you all the best and hope you
continue promoting and supporting the sport in this area. Your work
and dedication will always be revered by us. John Leyman, collaborating
with you on so many different events was a true pleasure. Thank
Last, and perhaps the most important, THE PLAYERS! Your commitment
to excel in the sport, your determination to achieve goals like
winning a tour stop, winning Player of the Year, and for some, just
having the guts to step up and play the strong players on the tour
are qualities we have treasured witnessing. We cannot tell you the
number of times we have looked over a packed room at one of our
events and marveled at you. The friends, great conversations, life
lessons, and learning to love each of you has brought us so much
happiness. It is overwhelming and adds to the sadness of this decision.
We will miss seeing you so often and hope to see you at other competitions
along the way.
Also, we recognize that most players paid a $40 annual membership
expecting a full 2020 season. While no one could have predicted
the events that unfolded, we still wanted to offer a partial refund
of these fees. Any player that paid the $40 registration, we are
offering a $20 refund of dues. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org
with your name and address and we will mail you a refund check.
We sincerely thank everyone for the many memories we have had with
our Predator Pro/Am Tour family. We will miss you all very much
and wish nothing but the best for yourselves, your families and
your future pool goals.
With love and gratitude,
Tony & Gail Robles