Only one week after Tony's season opener in Hempstead, this time Master Billiards in Queens opened their doors for the second stop of the Predator 9-Ball Tour. 80 players from the Tri-State area including my good friend and top player from West Palm Beach/Florida Hunter Lombardo showed up to support the tour.
I wanna mention that tournament director Bill Finnegan is always doing a great job and if I ever run my own tour I will strongly consider hiring him :-)
The saturday went by without any big upsets. I had some good matches where I was showing a lot of heart and I had some struggles. The "favorites" like Mika, Tony, Hunter and myself all came through undefeated.
On sunday I lost to Tony in the morning but came back with a few wins among others over Tony "Flaco" Rodriguez to get to the semi-final. Here the last 2-9 combo I had to shoot to win that match...
Here a short "what happened in my semi-final match against Mika"...
1. I broke and ran out (1:0)
2. Mika broke, didn't make a ball. I ran out (2:0)
3. I broke and ran out (3:0)
4. Mika broke and ran out (3:1)
5. I broke and ran out (4:1)
6. Mika broke and ran out (4:2)
7. Didn't make a ball. Mika cleared the table (4:3)
8. Mika didn't make a ball, but I hooked myself on an easy wide open table (the crucial mistake of the game) and he ended up winning the rack. (4:4)
9. I broke and ran out (5:4)
10. Mika broke, cueball and one-ball very close. He tried to thin-cut the one downtable into an in front of the corner hanging ball, but instead time-shot the ball in the side, made another one at the same time and had a medium difficult bank shot next, which he made and ran out (5:5)
11. I broke, no shot, played push for a jump, but left a funny angle. He let me shoot, but because the angle was to the wrong side I attemped a jump-safe which failed. (5:6)
12. Mika broke and ran out (5:7)
Very high performance from both of us. Mika showed a lot of heart and had luck when he needed it. I came out strong in the beginning, but made one mistake and one silly decision...
In the following final Tony took an early lead and never looked back. With 11:6 our host himself conquered the first place of tour stop number two. Mika finished once again second but has proven his consistency.
Here is a tricky situation that came up in one of my matches. At first I thought about the agressive way and cutting the 7 in the corner, making sure I would hit the objectball first and not the rail to make the cueball travel along the path as shown on page 2.
I know that hitting the rail first is much easier but would also send the cueball towards the corner pocket for a possible scratch, so I would have to play just the right speed as shown on page 3. I finally decided to play a safety as shown on page 4 and it worked out perfectly...
What would you have done ?
I wanna encourage everybody to come and play in Tony's tour in the future. Joey has shown us last week that the tour gives new faces the opportunity to prove their skills and win and with the pro's supporting the tour the level of play will raise in the New York and Tri-State area.