The missing link had a way of influencing
the outcome. On Labor Day weekend, at Steinway Billiards
in Astoria, Queens, one of the remaining 12 competitors,
out of 63 that had registered to compete in the $1,000-added
stop on the Predator Tour, forfeited a winners’
side semifinal match. The ripple effect gave Greg Matos
a pass into the hot seat match, and later, gave Troy
Deocharran a pass into the quarterfinals. Benefiting
in one way or another from both of those matches, Gary
O’Callaghan, whose last known tour victory was
on the Tri-State Tour, four years ago, went undefeated
to claim the event title.
As noted above, the ‘missing link,’ (Paul
Lyons) forfeited his winners’ side semifinal match
to Greg Matos, while O’Callaghan was busy sending
Basdeo “Shawn” Sookhai to the loss side
8-3 in the other one. As an Amateur event, all of the
matches were handicapped, including the hot seat match,
which, in a race to 10, gave Matos five racks to start
with. He chalked up three more, but O’Callaghan
reached 10, claimed the hot seat and waited there for
Matos to get back from the semifinals.
On the loss side, Troy Deocharran, who’d survived
a double hill encounter versus Jessica Lynn, and defeated
Jason Carandan 7-4, drew Lyons, whose forfeiture, advanced
Deocharran to the quarterfinals. He was joined by Basdeo
“Shawn” Sookhai, who’d drawn Duc Lam,
fresh off victories over Rhio “Annie” Flores
8-6 and Max Watanabe 7-4. Sookhai took the quarterfinal
match 7-3 over Deocharran, only to have his own loss-side
effort for a re-match against O’Callaghan derailed
by Matos in the semifinals 8-6.
With the same handicap in place, Matos opened the finals
with five on the wire, and didn’t add any. O’Callaghan
chalked up his 10, and grabbed the event title.
The Labor Day weekend tour stop offered two Second Chance
tournaments. The first, which drew 16 entrants was won
by Robert Pole, who downed Cristobal Tiru 9-7 in the
finals. The second (which, of course, would technically
be the third) drew a smaller crowd of 10 and was won
by Mike Salerno, who beat Bob Toomey 11-9 in those finals.
Competitors in the Second Chance events boosted the
total entrants at the tour stop to 89.
Tour director Tony Robles thanked Manny Stamatakis and
his staff at Steinway Billiards, as well as title sponsor
Predator Cues, the NAPL, Ozone Billiards, PoolOnTheNet.Com,
Cappelle Publishing, and Delta-13 Racks. Robles also
acknowledged the continuing support and assistance of
Mandy Wu (ass’t TD), Irene Kim, and his “lovely
wife,” Gail Robles. The next stop on the Predator
Tour, scheduled for September 16-17, will be a $1,000-added
Amateur event, hosted by Cue Bar in Bayside, Queens.
Story by Skip Maloney AZBilliards