By NYC Grind Editor, Alison M. Fischer
The sixth stop of the Predator Pro/Am Tour’s 2013 season was held at Astoria, NY’s Steinway Billiards on the weekend of April 13-14. Out of the field of seventy-two players in the Amateur 9-Ball division, regular Steinway player Tony Liang came out swinging to go undefeated.
On his way to the top of this event, Liang went through the bracket by taking wins over Lidio Rasta 7-3, Stewart Warnock 7-6, Rhys Chen 7-3, and narrowly escaped Phil Davis 7-6 to finish off day one in the final four of the winner’s bracket. Meeting Liang in the final four on the second day was Dave Shlemperis, who would then be to the one-loss side after Liang came out on top at 7-4.
The lower half of the bracket featured dominant play from two of the tour’s ladies, as Rhio Anne Flores and Anna Grintsuk went undefeated on day one to play one another in the other final four match. Flores, who is a longtime Tri-State area tour player, would defeat Grintsuk in this match at 7-4 to move on and take on Tony Liang in the match for the hot seat. Liang would continue on his run and take the hot seat with a 7-4 win.
On the one-loss side of the bracket, yet another one of the tour’s female players played tough to make a strong comeback, as Yomaylin Feliz followed up her loss to Anna Grintsuk by winning five matches on the one-loss side, defeating James Park 7-2, Mike Panzarella 7-2, Thomas Rice 7-3, and Meshak Daniel 7-6. However, Feliz was then matched up against Anna Grintsuk for the second time in the event, and would lose by the same score of 7-6 and finish in 5th place.
Bob Schlott and Pablo Sanz were two other players to play tough on the one-loss side, each winning six matches after their first losses…and end up on a collision course to meet one another in the final four of the one-loss side, where Sanz would win 7-2 and go on to beat Dave Shlemperis 7-6. Sanz then moved on to the quarterfinal, where he matched up against Anna Grintsuk to win 7-4. Grintsuk, who recently moved to New York from Estonia, would finish in fourth place in only her second appearance on the tour.
Pablo Sanz then moved on to play the semifinal against Rhio Anne Flores, who would end his run with a strong win in the semi at 7-2. This win earned Flores a rematch with Tony Liang in the finals, where she started out with an early 6-3 lead. However, in the tenth rack Flores would make an error on the five ball, and as Liang won the next rack, the momentum shifted in his favor…and he went on to break and run the next two racks and tie 6-6. With Liang needing one more rack to win, Flores left him a shot after attempting a safety, and opened the door for him to win the match at 7-6. Congratulations to Tony Liang on his first tour win of the season, as well as to Rhio Anne on a strong 2nd place finish.
1st: Tony Liang – $1,000
2nd: Rhio Anne Flores – $800
3rd: Pablo Sanz – $600
4th: Anna Grintsuk – $400
5th/6th: Yomaylin Feliz, Dave Shlemperis – $275
7th/8th: Bob Schlott, Meshak Daniel – $175
9th-12th: Phil Davis, Vincent Rochefort, Thomas Rice, Mike Hertz – $130
13th-16th: Kevin Falco, Rhys Chen, Steve Solano, Mike Panzarella – $100