By NYC Grind founder & contributor, Jerry Tarantola
While legendary New York pro and Predator Tour owner Tony Robles has been busy building his amateur league the NAPL (National Amateur Pool League), and working towards growing the billiards industry in new and positive ways, it is clear that he still knows how to win.
Although he doesn’t have much time to practice or even teach as much as he would like, Tony broke through to earn his first win of the 2013 season at the Predator Pro/Am Tour’s seventh stop, held at Cue Bar in Bayside, NY on May 4-5.
The one-day Open/Pro 10-Ball division of the event was held on Sunday, May 5, and featured several stand-out players such as former World Champion Mika Immonen, and top New York area players Zion Zvi, Jonathan Smith, and Joey Korsiak.
NYC Grind contributor Brian Leong was on site for the event for both days of the event, check out his photos at the links below.
Mika Immonen has been playing really strong as of late, and is in-form and hungry to win. Mika started off with three consecutive 7-1 wins over Qi Liu, Jerry Tarantola, and Zion Zvi before being handed a 7-2 upset loss by Lee Kang. Lee Kang is a player from Seongnam, South Korea who has been mentored by Shin “Godzilla” Park since he was a junior player, and is currently visiting New York.
Kang is making the most of his trip by earning bragging rights of defeating one of the most dominant players of our generation in impressive fashion. Lee Kang won four consecutive matches on the winner’s side to take the hot seat… before being matched up against Tony Robles in the final. Robles had battled back on the one-loss side after losing to Joey Korsiak 7-2 in the second round to make his way into the final.
In that final match, Tony Robles and Lee Kang were going blow for blow for the first 4 games… but with a 2-2 scoreline, Tony came alive and won the next six consecutive games unanswered to set the tone of the match. Lee had brought out exceptional play throughout the event, but Tony’s game proved to be too much for Lee to contain in the finals. Tony ended up with an 11-5 win to capture the win at Stop #7, and help close the gap between him and tour points leader Mika Immonen.
Throughout the season thus far, the Predator Pro/Am Tour has continued to bring together an international player and fan base… helping people better understand the different cultures and styles of play which are unified through this great game.
Congratulations to both Tony Robles and Lee Kang for showcasing the heart of competition, while embodying character and the ability to communicate through this art form that we have come to love and appreciate.
1st: Tony Robles $600
2nd: Lee Kang – $300
3rd: Mika Immonen – $200
4th: Joey Korsiak – $100
The next Predator Pro/Am Tour event will be stop #8, held on June 1-2 at Raxx Pool Room in West Hempstead, NY on Long Island.
The Amateur 9-Ball event will begin Saturday at Noon, while the Open/Pro 10-Ball will begin Sunday at Noon, with a total of $1,500-Added.
For the entire 2013 season schedule and other tour information, visit www.predatorproamtour.com.