Fracasso-Verner comes from deep on the loss side to win Predator stop at Steinway

Predator Tour Director Tony Robles had to scour his tour archives to determine whether 15-year-old Lukas Fracasso-Verner had become the youngest competitor to ever win a stop on the tour. He was not. As Robles discovered, Fracasso-Verner was the second oldest competitor to win a stop on the tour; the youngest being Thomas Rice, who at the age of 14, won a Predator stop in September, 2013. Fracasso-Verner's victory, which came at a Predator Tour stop on the weekend of January 28-29, was made all that more dramatic by the teenager's 13-match winning streak on the losers' side of the bracket. The $1,000-added event drew 80 entrants to Steinway Billiards, in Astoria (Queens), NY.

With Fracasso-Verner already at work on the loss side (he'd lost his opening match in a double hill fight against Eugene Ok), his eventual finals' opponent - Atif Khan - advanced to a winners' side semifinal match against Nick Liberatos. John Cullen faced Kanami Chau in the other winners' side semifinal. Cullen and Khan moved into the hot seat match, following Cullen's 8-6 win over Chau and Khan's 7-5 victory over Liberatos. Khan claimed the hot seat, double hill, over Cullen.

On the loss side, Fracasso-Verner edged past the halfway mark in his 13-match, loss-side odyssey and into the money rounds. He then got by Kevin Shin 7-3, and Junior Singh 7-1, to pick up Chau. Liberatos drew Duc Lam, who'd defeated Matthew Harricharan and Tom Hagan, both 7-4. Two double hill fights advanced Fracasso-Verner and Lam over Chau and Liberatos to the quarterfinals.

Fracasso-Verner eliminated Lam 8-5 in those quarterfinals, and then finished Cullen's weekend 7-3 in the semifinals. Khan and Fracasso-Verner were each looking for their first win on the Predator Tour, though Khan had two wins on the Tri-State Tour in his resume. Khan completed his unlikely, but strong loss-side run with a 9-6 win in the finals.

Story by Skip Maloney AZBilliards

 
L-R John Cullen (3rd), Lukas Fracasso-Verner (1st), Atif Khan (2nd)
L-R Elvis Rodriguez (3rd/4th), Shawn Sookhai (2nd), Dave Callaghan (1st), Jerry Almodovar (3rd/4th)
L-R Dwight Dixon (2nd) and Jud Parker (1st)
Complete Payouts ABCD
1 USA FRACASSO-VERNER Lukas 1,750
2 KHAN Atif 1,000
3 USA CULLEN John 700
4 USA LAM Duc 500
5 USA CHAU Kanami 300
5 USA LIBERATOS Nick 300
7 USA HAGAN Tommy 200
7 SINGH Junior 200
9 USA GUTZMANN Matthias 140
9 USA SHIN Kevin 140
9 USA HARRICHARAN Matthew 140
9 USA FITZSIMMON Tim 140
13 USA SOOKHAI Shawn 80
13 WATANABE Max 80
13 USA ROSARIO Abel 80
13 USA DEOCHARRAN Troy 80
2nd Chance Finishers
1st: Dave Callaghan
2nd: Shawn Sookhai
3rd/4th: Elvis Rodriguez, Jerry Almodovar
3rd Chance Finishers
1st: Jud Parker
2nd: Dwight Dixon
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