Upscale Bayside, NY pool room Cue Bar was host to the Predator Pro/Am Tour’s fifteenth stop of the 2013 season on the weekend of October 5-6. Of the forty-five competitors at Cue Bar, a number of the tour’s regular top performers were vying to capture the win…but it would be Yonkers, NY-based player Bogie Uzdejczyk who would emerge from the one-loss side to make it to the top.
While Bogie Uzdejczyk has had a number of wins on the Tri-State Tour and finished close in third place at the Predator Tour’s stop at Raxx in June, this would be his breakthrough win on the tour. Uzdejczyk has had a strong season in 2013, and currently stands in the #1 spot in the tour’s ‘A’ level division.
Uzdejczyk had a strong start at Cue Bar, with wins over Tony Cosenza 7-2, Lidio “Rasta” Ramirez 7-3, Frank Jimenez 9-5, and Keith Adamik 7-4, but had a setback after his 7-4 loss to Tom Hagan, who is currently ranked #7 in the tour’s ‘A’ division standings.
Hagan, who had prior wins against Tommy Gray 7-3, Joe Sanchez 7-6, Stewart Warnock 7-6, and Dinko Busanich 7-3, would continue on past Uzdejczyk to take the hot seat after a close fight versus Marco Dy that ended at 7-5. This win would set Tom Hagan up for an appearance in the final. In his appearance in the tour’s previous stop (also at Cue Bar), Hagan had ended in third, and making it to the hot seat guaranteed him an improved finish.
In the meantime, Bogie Uzdejczyk moved on from his loss to Hagan to defeat Stewart Warnock 7-5 in the final four of the one-loss side. Likewise, veteran NYC area player John Hacsi also rebounded after his loss to Marco Dy, and got past Dinko Busanich 7-6 to meet Uzdejczyk in the quarterfinal. Uzdejczyk came out ahead by two games against Hacsi, with the quarterfinal score ending at 7-5.
In the semifinal against Marco Dy, Uzdejczyk stayed strong to win by the same close score, 7-5, and gain a place in the final for a rematch against Tom Hagan. This third place finish was very solid for Dy, who only recently returned to playing competitively, with his first appearance back on tour being the Ginky Memorial in August.
Dy’s break began in 2009, as he took a hiatus from the game to focus on competing in two basketball leagues, the Park Boys New York and the PIBNA (Philippine Basketball Ministry New York Association)…but now frequently practices at Steinway Billiards and competes on the Predator and Tri-State Tours.
The final match between hot seat occupant Tom Hagan & Bogie Uzdejczyk would be a close one. In the extended-race format featured in all Predator events, Hagan would win if he got to seven games first, but if Uzdejczyk got to seven first, the race would be extended to nine.
Uzdejczyk got out to an early 3-1 lead, which would prove to set the tone for the remainder of the match. He then pushed the lead to 6-3, but Hagan gained some momentum and won the next two, getting within one game (6-5). Uzdejczyk nailed the next rack and got to seven, extending the race to nine, but Hagan fired back to go 7-6.
The next game secured the hill for Uzdejczyk at 8-6, but Hagan fired back to put it 8-7. In the following rack, Hagan had a good shot to run out and tie it double-hill. But, things got out of line when Hagan missed the eight. He was fortunate to make eight in an unintended pocket, but ended up with bad position on the nine, and missed the shot. The final nine ball was left open for Uzdejczyk, who took it down to capture his first win on the Predator Pro/Am Tour.
In speaking about his experience winning the event, Bogie commented: “It’s so hard to win a tournament, considering you have so many things working against you, like adjusting to different tables, your opponents, the rolls, and staying focused…so when it all comes together, and you see that final nine ball rolling into the pocket, that is the greatest feeling. To make it happen in a Predator event makes it all worthwhile. I’d like to thank Tony Robles and Bill Finnegan for running such a great event, and give a shout out to my home room Diamond Jim’s in Nanuet, NY.”
Congratulations to Bogie Uzdejczyk on his first tour win, and to Tom Hagan for another top finish for the second week in a row.
Top Finishers & Payouts:
1st: Bogie Uzdejczyk – $1,000
2nd: Tom Hagan – $700
3rd: Marco Dy – $500
4th: John Hacsi – $300
5th/6th: Dinko Busanich, Stewart Warnock – $200
7th/8th: Keith Adamik, Scott Murphy – $125
The Predator Pro/Am Tour would like to give special thanks to their sponsors for their support: Predator Cues, The National Amateur Pool League, Delta-13, NYCgrind, PoolOnTheNet.com, and host room Cue Bar and their staff.