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
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