On the weekend of November 28-29, warming
up for the Predator Tour's season finale, a $7,000-added
event, scheduled for December 12-13 at Raxx Billiards
in West Hempstead, NY, Earl Strickland and Steve Dempsey
went undefeated through their respective Open/Pro and
Amateur fields. The $500-added Open/Pro event drew 10
entrants to Steinway Billiards in Astoria, Queens, NY.
The Amateur event drew 58 to the same location.
Strickland's path to the winners' circle went through
Lee Kang twice; once in the hot seat match and again,
in the finals. Strickland had sent Zion Zvi (the tour's
top-ranked Pro class player) to the loss side 7-5, as
Kang sent Sean Morgan over 7-4. Strickland gave up a
single rack in the battle for the hot seat, and waited
on Kang's return.
On the loss side, Zvi drew Ron Mason, who'd picked up
a loss-side bye and defeated Ryan Boursse 7-4. Morgan
drew the tour's top-ranked Open class player, Jorge
Rodriguez, who'd defeated tour director Tony Robles
7-1 and Mike Wong 7-5. Zvi downed Mason 7-2, as Rodriguez
was eliminating Morgan 7-4.
Rodriguez took the quarterfinal match 7-5 over Zvi,
and was then eliminated 7-4 by Kang. In their second
of two, Strickland claimed the Open/Pro title over Kang
In the Amateur event, Steve Dempsey faced separate opponents
in the hot seat match and finals; Ramilo Tanglao in
the former, Juan Guzman (whom he'd sent to the loss
side) in the latter. Dempsey sent Raphael DaBreo to
the loss side 7-2 in a winners' side semifinal, as Tanglao
sent Paul Wilkens over, double hill. Dempsey claimed
the hot seat 9-6 and waited on Guzman's return.
On the loss side, Guzman got by Tony Liang and Shawn
Sookhai, both 7-5, to pick up DaBreo. Wilkens drew Mike
Figueroa, who'd eliminated Lukas Srancasso-Verner 7-5
and Erick Carrasco 7-4. Guzman downed DaBreo 7-2, and
in the quarterfinals, faced Wilkens, who'd defeated
Guzman won two straight double hill matches for a shot
at Dempsey in the hot seat. he got by Wilkens in the
quarterfinals, and Tanglao in the semifinals. Dempsey,
though, shut Guzman down in the finals, allowing him
only a single rack to claim the event title.
by Skip Maloney AZB