Whether defined by Fargo ratings or individual
tour formulas, handicapped match play is designed to
level the playing field so that lower-ranked players
can be encouraged to participate. Without handicaps,
and a few tours don’t use them (the Action Pool
Tour, the J. Pechauer Northeast Women’s Tour,
and the Midwest 9-Ball Tour, among others), lower-ranked
competitors would have little or no incentive to drop
their hard-earned money into competition against obviously
superior players. By the same token, players are often
encouraged to enter non-handicapped tournaments (to
play ‘without a net,’ so to speak), because
exposure to straight-up races against superior opponents
is one of the many ways that players improve their own
According to our records, Jason Goberdhan has cashed
in a total of 10 events in the Tri-State New York city
area; three on the Tri-State Tour and the other seven
on the Predator Pro Am Tour. Until this past weekend
(April 6-7), he’d finished as high as 3rd place
in both, once. Going into the 6th stop on the 2019 Predator
Pro Am Tour, he was rated 6th among the tour’s
“C” players. Goberdhan ended up going undefeated
through a field of 93 entrants, defeating a B+ player
(Shawn Sookhai) to claim the hot seat and an A+ player
(Lidio Ramirez) in the finals to claim his first event
title. The $1,000-added event was hosted by Steinway
Billiards in Astoria (Queens), NY.
Goberdhan and Ramirez almost met in the hot seat match.
Goberdhan faced off against Nick Croce in one of the
winners’ side semifinals, as Ramirez met up with
Sookhai in the other one. Goberdhan sent Croce to the
loss side 7-2, while Sookhai and Ramirez locked up in
a double hill fight, eventually won by Sookhai 7-6 (handicap
advantages are figured into the score). Goberdhan then
sent Sookhai to the semifinals 8-5 to claim the hot
On the loss side, Ramirez picked up Russell Masciotti,
who recorded a forfeit win over John Stiles and downed
Jimmy Acosta 7-3 to reach him. Croce drew Jim Guttierez,
who’d chalked up two straight double hill wins
over Ryan Dayrit and Romero Tanglao.
Gutierrez eliminated Croce 7-3 to advance to the quarterfinals.
Ramirez joined him after defeating Masciotti 8-6. Ramirez
took that quarterfinal match 11-8 for a second shot
against Sookhai in the semifinals.
A 7-4 win in that rematch gave Ramirez a first shot
at Goberdhan. A somewhat predictable double hill fight
ensued, eventually won by Goberdhan 10-9 to claim his
first event title.
A Second Chance event drew 13 entrants and was won by
Jose Kuilan ($130), who survived a double-hill fight
against Ashley Burrows ($90) in the finals. Naoko Saiki
and Duc Lam pocketed $20 each for their 3rd place tie.
Tour director Tony Robles thanked Manny Stamatakis and
his Steinway Billiards staff, as well as title sponsor
Predator Cues, Ozone Billiards, PlayNAPL.com, The DeVito
Team, PoolOnTheNet.com, Cappelle (Billiards Press),
AZBilliards, Pool & Billiards Magazine, and Billiards
Digest. The Predator Pro Am Tour will return to Steinway
Billiards for its next stop (#7), this coming weekend
(April 13-14), with a $1,000-added ABCD event.
Story by Skip Maloney AZBilliards