Mike Dechaine, who won the inaugural Gotham
City Billiard Club 9-Ball Pro Classic in 2015, and finished
fourth in 2016, came back to the event on the weekend
of October 14-15, and went undefeated to win the 3rd
Annual Gotham City Classic, held under the auspices
of the Predator Pro Am Tour. Also known as the Sharon
“Sam” Fagnoni Memorial, to commemorate Gotham
City Billiards’ owner, Kevin Buckley’s sister,
who passed away in May of 2015, the $21,500-added event
drew a surprisingly low (given the added money and total
prize pool involved) 39 entrants to Gotham City Billiards.
Dechaine had to go through Taiwan’s Yu Lung Chang
to complete his undefeated run. They met first in the
hot seat match. Dechaine had sent Marc Vidal to the
loss side 10-2 in one of the winners’ side semifinals,
while Chang downed Lee Vann Corteza, double hill, in
the other. Dechaine claimed the hot seat, double hill,
over Chang and waited on his return.
On the loss side, Vidal picked up Alex Kazakis, who’d
gotten by defending Classic champion, Poland’s
Konrad Juszczyszyn 10-3 and Hunter Lombardo 10-6. Vann
Corteza drew Taiwan’s Pin Yi Ko, who’d eliminated
Kai Lun Hsu 10-6 and John Morra 10-4.
Kazakis and Ko handed Vidal and Vann Corteza their second
straight loss; Kazakis, 10-6 over Vidal and Ko, in a
double hill win over Vann Corteza. Kazakis advanced
another step with a 10-6 win over Ko in the quarterfinals,
only to have his loss-side streak ended by Chang 10-6
in the semifinals.
Dechaine and Chang locked up in a second double hill
fight in the extended race-to-13 finals. Dechaine completed
his undefeated run by sinking the last 9-ball and claiming
his second Gotham City Classic title.
Tour director Tony Robles made note of the fact that
while relatively small, the entire field was “humbled
and appreciative” of Gotham City Billiards’
owner Kevin Buckley’s sponsorship of this annual
event, which has included the addition of increasingly
large amounts of money into the prize pool ($11,000
in the first year, $15,000 last year, and $21,500 this
“I want to send out a HUGE thank you to Kevin
and Isabel Buckley for putting this event together,”
Robles also thanked a roster of sponsors, including
Predator Cues, Ozone Billiards, The NAPL, The DeVito
Team, and PoolOnTheNet.com. The next stop on the Predator
Pro Am Tour, scheduled for October 28-29, will be a
$1,000-added, Double Points event, hosted by Spin City
Billiards in Woodside, NY.
Story by Skip Maloney AZBilliards