When Rene Villalobos stepped to the tables
during the Oct. 27-28 stop on the Predator Pro Am Tour,
he hadn’t cashed in a Predator event in over two
and half years. In his last previous outing (March,
2016), he finished as runner-up to Arturo Reyes, who
came within two matches of meeting him in this most
recent semifinal. He had also yet to win a stop on the
tour since he began competing in 2009. Villalobos’
battle for the hot seat in this most recent event was
spoiled by the tour’s #2-ranked female and #2-ranked
C+ player, Amy Yu. He returned from the semifinals to
down Yu in the finals and claim the title. The $1,000-added
event drew 76 entrants to Spin City Billiards in Queens,
Villalobos and Yu advanced to the winners’ side
semifinals, with Villalobos pitted against Elvis Rodriguez,
and Yu facing Paul Carpenter. Yu sent Carpenter to the
loss side 7-5, as Villalobos sent Rodriguez over 8-2.
Yu claimed the hot seat 7-2 and waited on Villalobos’
On the loss side, Carpenter and Rodriguez met up with
Paul Lyons and Arturo Reyes, respectively. Lyons had
downed Bob Toomey 7-4 and Ryan Dayrit 7-3 to reach Carpenter.
Reyes had eliminated last week’s tour stop winner,
Matthew Harricharan 7-4 and in a double hill battle,
Carpenter and Lyons locked up in double hill fight that
eventually sent Carpenter to the quarterfinals. Rodriguez
downed Reyes 7-2 to join him. At the start of those
quarterfinals, a handicap advantage for Rodriguez gave
Carpenter ‘five on the wire’ in a race to
10. Carpenter added two to his initial five, while Rodriguez
chalked up the 10 he needed to advance to the semifinals.
Villalobos duplicated his effort against Rodriguez in
the winners’ side semifinal and defeated him again
8-2. Villalobos, in a potentially extended race-to-11
final, chalked up the nine he needed to defeat Yu 9-4
and claim the event title.
A Second Chance event drew 11 entrants and saw Max Watanabe
down Duc Lam in the finals to claim that title. Matthew
Klein downed Marisol Palacios in the finals of a Third
Chance event that drew eight entrants.
Tour director Tony Robles thanked the ownership and
staff of Spin City Billiards for hosting the event,
as well as title sponsor Predator Cues, Ozone Billiards,
PlayNAPL.com, The DeVito Team, PoolOnTheNet.com, Cappelle
(BilliardsPress.com), AZBilliards, Pool & Billiard
Magazine, Billiards Digest and offered special thanks,
as well, to tour assistants Thomas Schreiber, Marisol
Palacios and Ambi Estevez.
Though not an official stop on the Predator Pro Am Tour,
Robles’ Silent Assassin Productions will present
the $12,000-added, 5th Annual NYC 8-Ball Championships,
sponsored by Michael Fedak on the weekend of Nov. 3-4.
The event will feature five divisions of play –
Men’s Leisure, Women’s Leisure, Mixed Open,
Mixed Advanced, Mixed Masters and Grand Masters (Pro).
The $12,000-added will be divided proportionately among
the five divisions. The next regular stop on the Predator
Pro Am Tour, scheduled for the weekend of Nov. 17-18,
will be hosted by Cue Bar in Bayside, Queens.
Story by Skip Maloney AZBilliards