Hernandez and Ok win Open-Pro, Amateur events on Predator Pro Am Tour

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 event.

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 past weekend.

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’ side semifinal.

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 Dayrit 7-5.

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 place.

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 Digest.

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

 
L-R Del Sim (3rd), Mhet Vergara (4th), and Frankie Hernandez (1st)
Not pictured: Jorge Rodriguez (2nd)
L-R Andrew Lee (1st), Zain Sundaram (3rd), and John Morrison (2nd)
Not pictured: Juan Melendez (4th)
Complete Payouts Amateur
1 USA OK Eugene 1,300
2 USA BOURSSE Ryan 950
3 USA JANKOV Mac 700
4 SOTO Omar 500
5 ALTAMIRANO Alfredo 300
5 DUFRESNE Pascal 300
7 USA MEYER Brooke 200
7 USA DAYRIT Ryan 200
9 USA APRA Benjamin 150
9 USA LIO Ada 150
9 USA JIMENEZ Luis 150
9 USA MULLER Justin 150
13 SAFRANOV Kirill 100
13 USA PARKER Jud 100
13 ENG WONG Suzanna 100
13 USA FEDAK Michael 100
17 USA LEE Ray 60
17 DANIELE Marco 60
17 USA ESTEVEZ Ambi 60
17 USA JEFFERSON Marcus 60
17 USA MANCUSO Joe 60
17 USA YERO Ed 60
17 ALBERTO Rafael 60
17 USA MCDANIEL Gordon 60
Complete Open Payouts
1 USA HERNANDEZ Frankie 850
2 USA ROBLES Tony 600
3 USA LAM Duc 400
4 USA SMITH Jonathan 250
2nd Chance
1 Ambi Estevez 160
2 Jorge Collado 100
3/4 Luis Jimenez & Ray Lee 20 ea.
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