By NYC Grind Editor, Alison M. Fischer
At the Predator Pro/Am Tour’s fifth stop of their 2013 season, Rob Piersa would make his way to an undefeated win in the Amateur 9-Ball division. The event was held over the weekend of March 16-17 at Lindenhurst, NY pool room Mr. Cue Billiards in Long Island, and drew in a field of fifty-five players vying for the $1,000 top prize. For this event, the format was altered from the typical split bracket with A/B players on one side and C/D players on the other, and all players were drawn at random.
To finish off the first day of the event, the four remaining undefeated players faced off to determine who would make it to the hot seat match on day two. Rob Piersa, who hails from East Hartford, CT would be one of the two final four winners, after winning 7-2 against “Devil Dave” Ascolese. Leading up to the final four match, Piersa had previously defeated Joe Gibbons 10-6, Borana Andoni 8-7, Eric Toledo 7-5, and Billy Santiago 7-6.
Meanwhile, it would be Piersa’s road partner Phil Davis who would make his way through the bracket to meet him in the match for the hot seat. Davis would have a trail of wins against Charlie Maletta 8-6, Meshak Daniel 8-4, Carl Yusuf Khan 7-4, and Arron Moody 9-5 before going on to the final four and defeating room owner Scott Murphy 7-5. Action in the hot seat match picked back up on the following day at 2pm, where Rob Piersa would continue his winning streak, defeating Phil Davis 7-3.
One of the prevailing forces on the one-loss side of the bracket would be Shawn Sookhai, who suffered a third-round loss to Scott Murphy 7-5, but moved on to defeat Gail Glazebrook 7-6 and Kevin Falco 7-3 on Saturday evening. As day two of competition on the one-loss side began at 11am, Sookhai won some tight battles against Bryan Toolsee 7-5, Carl Yusuf Khan 7-6, and turned around his previous result against Scott Murphy, winning this time 7-6.
His win against Murphy would put Sookhai into the quarterfinal, where he would take on Rikki Ragoonanan. After having a bye in the first round, Ragoonanan lost his first match of the event to Billy Meyer 7-3, but would make a long trek through the one-loss side to make it to the quarterfinal. Along the way, he played tough to roll over most of his opponents, defeating Dennis Lake 7-2, Andrew Cleary 7-1, Eric Toledo 7-2, Rene Villalobos 7-3, Arron Moody 7-4, Keith Adamik 7-4, and “Devil Dave” Ascolese 7-6. In the quarterfinal, Rikki Ragoonanan would lead throughout the match against Shawn Sookhai, ending with a 7-4 win. Ragoonanan then moved on to the semifinal against Phil Davis, who played strong to win the match at 7-3.
Davis was then up against his friend Rob Piersa for the second time in the event, in the final match. In this extended-race final, Piersa could win it with seven, while the race would be extended to nine if Davis got to seven first. The final was a close match, with Davis and Piersa tying at 3-3 and 4-4, before Piersa pulled away to get to the hill at 6-4. Piersa would miss the six in the next rack, and Davis ran out to go 6-5… but Piersa finished off the set in the following game to win 7-5.
Rob Piersa credited his will to keep fighting in some tough matches for his success in the event. “I never gave up even though I was down in a lot of matches. I really enjoyed playing in the Predator Tour, and thank Tony Robles for running a great event,” said Rob.
Congratulations to Rob Piersa on winning his first Predator Tour stop, along with runner-up Phil Davis, and all of the event’s top finishers.
1st: Rob Piersa – $1,000
2nd: Phil Davis – $675
3rd: Rikki Ragoonanan – $450
4th: Shawn Sookhai – $300
5th/6th: Scott Murphy, Devil Dave Ascolese – $225
7th/8th: Carl Yusuf Khan, Keith Adamik – $150
9th-12th: Bryan Toolsee, Billy Santiago, Arron Moody, Bill Meyer – $100
Tour owner Tony Robles would like to acknowledge Mr. Cue 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 March 23-24 at Steinway Billiards in Astoria, NY in Queens. This event was moved from its original date in February due to weather conditions. For more tour information, visit www.PredatorProAmTour.com.
Check out more photos from the event by Alison Fischer below. Click the “Next” to view the next page of photos.