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
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
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