Kelly invokes three-foul rule to win deciding game on the Predator Tour

What's known as the 'three-foul-rule' in billiards, which can be invoked in a variety of games (9-ball, 8-ball, and straight pool), is a rare occurrence. Perhaps not as rare as a full solar eclipse, perhaps, but there are so many variables involved with its application, that players are, by rule, warned of its potential invocation before it can occur, offering them the opportunity to avoid it, if they can. On the weekend of March 18-19, Xavier Romero was given the traditional two-foul warning during a stop on the Predator Tour, and what made this circumstance particularly rare was that he was warned during the last game of a double hill match and it was the finals. Romero committed the third foul, ceding the game, match and event title to Chris Kelly. The $1,000-added event drew 80 entrants to a new venue for the Predator Tour and the general public - The Spot in Nanuet, New York.

"This," said Predator Tour director Tony Robles, "is one of the most beautiful rooms, I've ever seen in my entire career."

According to Robles, The Spot, which was scheduled to open on March 23, opened on the weekend of March 18-19, specifically and only, to host the Predator Tour stop. They held what was called a 'soft opening' on St. Patrick's Day, March 17, to allow competitors on the tour to practice. Robles noted that there were 'still a few pictures to hang on the walls,' but beyond that and a few other details, the room was basically ready to go, and accommodated the tour's needs adequately. The room boasted 14 Diamond Tables, one Brunswick and eight, 7-ft. (bar box) Diamonds, along with a second, mezzanine level from which Upstate Al and the AZBilliardsTV crew streamed the event live throughout the weekend.

"The ceilings are so high in this room," said Robles, "that you can see the entire room from up there."

So the new room, unique in Robles' experience, opened especially for the Predator Tour, and hosted a tournament that ended in a unique way; with the three-foul rule.

Kelly and Romero came into the tournament looking for their first recorded victory on the Predator Tour (Kelly had won a stop on the Tri-State Tour in 2016), and battled twice to earn it. They met first in a winners' side quarterfinal, with Kelly winning that match 7-3. Kelly moved on to face Corey Avallone in one winners' side semifinal, as Mike Salerno squared off against Max Watanabe in the other. Kelly advanced to the hot seat match 8-6 over Avallone, and was joined by Salerno, who survived a double hill match versus Watanabe. Kelly claimed the hot seat over Salerno 9-5.

On the loss side, Avallone and Watanabe immediately ran into their second straight loss. Avallone had the misfortune of running into Romero, who, following his defeat at the hands of Kelly, had defeated Chickie Romero (no relation) 7-5 and Amy Yu 7-3. Watanabe picked up Elvis Rodriguez, who was on a six-match, loss-side winning streak that would take him as far as the quarterfinals, and included a most recent forfeit win over Liam Tully, and a double hill win over Chris Peralta.

Avallone fell to Romero 8-4, while Watanabe was being eliminated by Rodriguez 7-5. Rodriguez' loss-side streak would end with an 8-6 victory by Romero in the quarterfinals. Romero went on to defeat Salerno 9-4 in the semifinals for a second shot at Kelly in the hot seat.

As noted, Kelly and Romero battled this second time to double hill before Kelly played safe, creating the first foul (when Romero missed the relevant object ball, giving Kelly ball-in-hand), the second foul (ball-in-hand for Kelly again, along with a warning to Romero), and the third foul, which allowed him to claim the event title.

The tour stop included a Second and a Third Chance event. Both drew a full field of 16 entrants. The Second Chance event was won by Bob Toomey, who defeated Tom Acciavatti in the finals. Chickie Romero took home the top prize in the Third Chance event, with Stewart Warnock capturing the runner-up prize.

Tour director Tony Robles extended a special thanks to the owners of The Spot in Nanuet - Lenore Donovan, Matt and Nira Aldrich (husband and wife), Tom Schunke, and Mark Pavlicek. The next stop on the Predator Tour, scheduled for April 22-23, will be a $1,000-added, A/D, double points event, hosted by Steinway Billiards in Astoria (Queens), NY.

Story by Skip Maloney AZBilliards

 
L-R Xavier Romero (2nd), Elvis Rodriguez (4th), Mike Salerno (3rd) and Chris Kelly (1st)
L-R Tom Acciavatti (2nd) and Bob Toomey (1st)
L-R Chickie Romero (1st) and Stewart Warnock Jr (2nd)
Complete Payouts ABCD
1 USA KELLY Chris 1,800
2 USA ROMERO Xavier 1,200
3 USA SALERNO Mike 800
4 USA RODRIGUEZ Elvis 540
5 WATANABE Max 340
5 USA AVALLONE Corey 340
7 USA YUE Amy 200
7 USA PERALTA Chris 200
9 ACOSTA Jimmy 150
9 USA TULLY Liam 150
9 USA ROMERO Chickie 150
9 USA HARDJA Melanie 150
13 USA CALLAGHAN Dave 100
13 USA DAGABOT Daniel 100
13 USA TOOMEY Bob 100
13 USA RAMOS Elder 100
2nd Chance Finishers
1 Bob Toomey $160
2 Tom Acciavatti $100
3rd Chance Finishers
1 Chickie Romero
2 Stewart Warnock Jr
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