By NYC Grind Editor, Alison M. Fischer
On Sunday, April 14, Jayson Shaw would make his return to the Predator Pro/Am Tour in style…going undefeated while preventing Mika Immonen from claiming his fourth consecutive win on the tour. Following his win at the Predator Tour’s Empire State 10-Ball Championships, Shaw took a hiatus from the tour while he traveled to tournaments on the West Coast, but came back on top and won his second event of the season.
The event was part of the sixth stop of the Predator Tour’s 2013 season, held at Steinway Billiards in Astoria, NYC. As the tour stop was held the weekend following the Super Billiards Expo in nearby Edison, NJ, the event drew a tough field that featured touring players including Warren Kiamco, Rodney Morris, and Hunter Lombardo, along with Steinway house pro Earl Strickland.
Shaw and Immonen were the two players to charge their respective halves of the winner’s bracket, to end up facing off in the hot seat match that evening. After a first-round bye, Jayson Shaw defeated Tony Robles 7-3 and Earl Strickland 7-1, to take on Jorge Rodriguez in the winner’s side final four. Shaw would have his closest match of the event against Rodriguez, coming away with a 7-5 win.
Meanwhile, Immonen defeated John MacArthur 7-1, Ron Mason 7-4, and Warren Kiamco, to then win 7-3 against Sean “Alaska” Morgan in the final four of the lower half of the bracket. Immonen then moved on to the hot seat match, but was unable to get past Jayson Shaw, who would win it 7-4 and wait to play in the final match.
With the level of the talent at this event, there was plenty of great action on the one-loss side as well. Among them, Earl Strickland eliminated Rodney Morris at 7-4 in the upper half of the bracket, but in the next round, Zion Zvi would send Strickland packing after putting up a 7-5 win. Zvi then had a close battle with Sean Morgan, who would end up upsetting Zvi to win at hill-hill, 7-6.
Morgan was then lined up for the quarterfinal, but would be no match for his opponent Warren Kiamco, who ended the match at 7-2. Warren had come off a string of wins against Tony Robles 7-5, Keith Adamik 7-3, and Jorge Rodriguez 7-2…and his win in the quarterfinal against Morgan would match him up against Mika Immonen in the semifinal. Morgan would be eliminated, but finish strong in fourth place.
The semifinal would be a close fight between Immonen and Kiamco, tying at 2-2, 3-3, and 4-4, which was the point when Immonen pulled away to get to the hill at 6-4. In the following rack, Immonen would miss a nine ball to put away the match, and Kiamco put it to 6-5. However, Kiamco had an unsuccessful break in the next rack, and Immonen ran out to win the match 7-5.
In the final, we saw Mika Immonen match up against Jayson Shaw for the second time in the tournament… and end up with a similar result. Shaw started out with an early 5-1 lead, and would play tough to prevent Immonen from making much headway, rounding out his winning finish with a 9-4 final score.
Following the end of the finals, Jayson Shaw spoke about his showing and what he’s been doing to prepare for competing. “I played pretty good all day. Yesterday I practiced a lot, and the day before I played straight pool and ran 172 and a couple hundreds, so was hitting the ball pretty sweet,” said Jayson. “Plus, I’ve been practicing my break, which is the main part, and I broke pretty good today.”
Congrats to Jayson Shaw on a great win, and all of the event’s top finishers at Steinway!
1st: Jayson Shaw – $800
2nd: Mika Immonen – $500
3rd: Warren Kiamco – $250
4th: Sean Morgan – $150
Tour owner Tony Robles would like to acknowledge Steinway Billiards for their support of the tour, along with tour sponsors Predator Cues, The National Amateur Pool League, Delta-13, NYCgrind, and PoolOnTheNet.com.
The next Predator Pro/Am Tour stop will be held on the weekend of May 4-5 at Cue Bar in Bayside, Queens, NY. For more information, visit www.PredatorProAmTour.com.