Eugene Ok and Frankie Hernandez both went
undefeated to claim respective Amateur and Open/Pro
titles in the July 13-14 stop on the Predator Pro Am
Tour. Ok worked his way through a field of 83 entrants
on-hand for the $1,000-added Amateur event, hosted by
Amsterdam Billiards in Manhattan. Hernandez, the tour’s
current #1-ranked Open/Pro competitor, went undefeated
through the Open/Pro field of 21 entrants in the $500-added
In the ‘almost’ department with two losses,
the second of which occurred in the event final, were
Ryan Boursse in the Amateur event and Tour Director
Tony Robles in the Open/Pro, who won five on the loss
side to get into the final match. Robles couldn’t
remember the last time he’d been in an event final,
which, according to our records, had been last September,
when he downed Max Watanabe twice. Prior to that, it
had been five years (2014) since he won two events and
was runner-up in three others on the tour. He won four
matches to win the 2018 event at Cue Bar in Bayside,
Queens. It took nine matches to be the runner-up this
Jimmy Rivera sent Robles to the loss side in a winners’
side quarterfinal that went double hill before Robles
gave him ball-in-hand to close out the 13th rack (7-6).
Rivera advanced to meet eventual winner Frankie Hernandez,
while Duc Lam and Sean Morgan met in the other winners’
Lam downed Morgan, double hill, and in the hot seat
match, faced Hernandez, who’d sent Rivera to the
loss side 7-3. Hernandez claimed the hot seat 7-2 over
Lam and waited for The Silent Assassin to come back
from his five-match, loss-side trip.
Robles would play five matches on the loss side and
the one match in the final. Three of those six matches
went double hill, including the only one he lost, in
the final. He opened his loss-side trip with his first
double hill win, over Dominic Gauthier. He then eliminated
John Messina 7-2 to draw Morgan, coming over from the
winners’ side semifinal. Rivera drew Jonathan
Smith, who’d recently eliminated Raphael Dabreo
and Pat Fleming, both 7-5.
Robles downed Morgan 7-2. Smith spoiled the potential
Robles/Rivera rematch by downing Rivera 7-5 to join
Robles in the quarterfinals.
Robles won the next two matches, double hill, to meet
Hernandez in the finals. He downed Smith in the quarterfinals
and then, Lam in the semifinals, both 7-6. He ended
up on the wrong side of his third straight double hill
match and had to settle for runner-up, as Hernandez
completed his undefeated run to claim the event title.
Ok moves up the tour’s B+ ladder with undefeated
victory in the Amateur event
Eugene Ok’s trip through the 83-entrant Amateur
field ended in his second victory on the Predator Pro
Am Tour, his first since May of 2017, a year in which
he finished among the top five in five events on the
Predator and Tri-State Tours.
Ok had to get by Ryan Boursse twice in this event and
the first, was in a winners’ side semifinal match.
Mac Jankov, in the meantime, squared off against Alfredo
Altamirano in the other one. Ok got into the hot seat
match, downing Boursse 7-5 and was joined by Jankov,
who’d sent Altamirano over 7-4. Ok claimed the
hot seat 8-6 over Jankov and waited for Boursse to get
back from the loss side.
In his opening loss-side match, Boursse drew Pascal
Dufresne, who’d defeated Luis Jimenez and Brooke
Meyer, both 7-5, to reach him. Altamirano picked up
Omar Soto, who’d gotten by Ada Lio 7-2 and Ryan
Boursse and Soto advanced to the quarterfinals; Boursse
7-5 over Dufresne and Soto 7-3 over Altamirano. Boursse
then eliminated Soto 7-4 in the quarterfinals and Mac
Jankov 9-5 in the semifinals. Boursse was able to chalk
up one more rack in the finals than he had in the winners’
side semifinal, forcing a 13th and deciding game in
the final against Ok. Ok, though, closed it out to claim
the Amateur event title.
A single elimination Second Chance event drew 15 entrants.
Ambi Estevez claimed that title, with Jorge Collado
as runner-up. Ray Lee and Luis Jimenez tied for third
Tour director Tony Robles thanked the ownership and
staff at Amsterdam Billiards, as well as title sponsor
Predator Cues, Ozone Billiards, PlayNAPL.com, The DeVito
Team, PoolontheNet.com, Cappelle (BilliardsPress.com),
AZBilliards, Pool & Billiards Magazine and Billiards
On the weekend of August 3-4, Robles’ Silent Assassin
Productions will present a non-tour event at Steinway
Billiards – The 4th Annual NYC 8-Ball Scotch Doubles
Championships. The following weekend, August 10-11,
Steinway Billiards will host the next Predator Pro Am
Tour stop; a $1,000-added, double points event.
Story by Skip Maloney AZBilliards