Strickland and Dempsey go undefeated on the Predator Tour

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 7-4.

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 Figueroa 7-5.

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.

Story by Skip Maloney AZB

 
L-R: 2nd Place: Lee Kang, 4th Place: Zion Zvi, 1st Place: Earl Strickland & 2nd Place: Jorge Rodriguez
L-R: 4th Place: Paul Wilkens, 1st Place: Stephen Dempsey, 2nd Place: Juan Guzman & 3rd Place: Ramilo Tanglao
Complete Payouts Open/Pro
1 USA STRICKLAND Earl 600
2 USA KANG Lee 350
3 USA RODRIGUEZ Jorge 200
Complete Payouts ABCD
1 USA DEMPSEY Stephen 1,000
2 USA GUZMAN Juan 700
3 USA TANGLAO Ramilo 500
4 USA WILKENS Paul 325
5 USA DABREO Raphael 200
5 USA FIGUEROA Mike 200
7 USA CARRASCO Eric 150
7 USA SOOKHAI Shawn 150
9 USA LIANG Tony 100
9 USA RAMIREZ Lidio 100
9 USA ROSARIO Abel 100
9 USA FRACASSO-VERNER Lukas 100
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