While for many, New York’s famed Amsterdam Billiards in Union Square is a fun place to relax and meet up with friends…it’s leagues are home to many of NYC’s top amateur and professional competitors.
At the end of each of Amsterdam’s league seasons, the session is capped off with the playoffs, where teams and individual competitors fight to earn bragging rights and the top cash prizes. For the 2013 Winter season, all of Amsterdam’s leagues are now midway through their playoffs, and competition is heating up.
The most popular league at Amsterdam each season is the Team 9-Ball league, which features many of the area’s top pro/am tour players. Each team averages six players total, and four players per session are put up to compete in each match. A total of 24 teams from this league made it through to the playoffs, and in each session of action, another group of teams is eliminated. Thus far, two rounds of competition have been completed.
2012 Fall season runner-up ‘Monkey Steals Peach‘, the top team in their division, has stayed on par to have another successful showing in the playoffs. With a strong team made up of Mika Immonen, Gregg McAndrews, Foster Stevenson, Nicholas Chan, Jay Chiu, and Linda Cheung, they have made it through the first two rounds, defeating ‘Stroke Me Don’t Poke Me’ and ‘King of the Castle’.
However, other favorites going into the playoffs made an early exit in the first round, held on Thursday, May 2. The team with the best record in the league ‘More Rolls than a Bakery’ was eliminated by wild card team ‘I Rack, I Ran’, while other upsets included ‘Let’s Go’ (featuring Earl Strickland, Archie Wong, Manny Stamatakis, and Jorge Vicanco) and #2-ranked ‘Yipee Ki Yay’ (featuring Jimmy Rivera & Wanlop Chantarakolkit) losing out as well. In round two, the defending Team 9-Ball champions ‘Cobra Kai’ were knocked out of the running by ‘Without Warning’.
Team ‘Start the Car‘, which went into the playoffs in the #1 spot in their division, has thus far stayed on track to win the first two rounds of the playoffs. Top area amateur tour players Scott Simonetti, Rhio Anne Flores, Dave Shlemperis, John Lazo, Dan Faraguna, Joei Huang, and Andrew Cleary comprise the team, which will go on to play ‘Stop Ya SHH!’ next.
Complete Round 2 Results – Sunday, May 5:
Inside English def. Shut Up & Shoot
Monkey Steals Peach def. King of the Castle
Stop Ya SHH def. Eww High
NYPT def. I Rack, I Ran
Without Warning def. Cobra Kai
Start the Car def. You Chalk Too Much
Round 3 Lineup – Thursday, May 9:
Monkey Steals the Peach! vs. BYE
NYPT vs. Inside English 6:30pm
Without Warning vs. BYE
Stop YA SHH!!! vs. Start the Car 6:30pm
The winners of Round 3 will move on to the semifinals.
The finals of all of Amsterdam’s leagues including the Straight Pool League, Team 8-Ball, and Individual 9-Ball are set to be held on Monday, May 13.
Stay on the NYC Grind for the final results and photos to come, and check out Amsterdam Billiards on Facebook for more updates and photos.