Thursday, February 28

Turning Stone X

Moi! = Thats Finnish and it means "Hi!".

Yep Yep, anyways I am in the west coast for a couple weeks escaping the cold from the Northeast of the country. As a matter of fact, not too long ago I was freezing my ass Upstate New York. It was the Turning Stone Classic X. 10th Anniversary tournament.
Just for you to know, I won the inaugural event in 2000. It was a 32 player invitational then, now it has grown into a 128 open field. First come, first serve. The tournament site has changed too, It used to be a ballroom in the old section of the Casino. Now its played in the Concert hall. Mike Zuglan does a wonderful job putting this tournament together. It is a beautiful Venue, really. The next tournament will be in Mid-August, by the way. So if anyone wants to see fine pool in fine surroundings, be sure to check this one out. (PGA Tour stop golf course by Turning Stone at your convenience!)

OK, so into the last event:

I was able to win two matches on the winners side before I fell to Ray McNamara. I was up 3-0 and missed an easy 6-ball to go up 4-0. Ray fought back, really played good and put me in a coma. thats pretty good. I mean it sucks for me. Oh well...So I knew it was going to be a long way back to finals if ever I was to win this one again. I started my path winning the next match against Holmes. The following match was against my friend Tony Robles. He is always a tough one. This time I managed to beat him. I came back from trailing a few racks but then "caught a gear"!. I would then dismantle the next 5 guys including Louis Ulrich 9-3 and a tighter match with Ronnie Wiseman 9-7. Then it was time to play Dennis Hatch. This match was the first time in the whole tournament I was simply incabable of making balls on the break. Dennis kept making 1-3 balls on the break. I really have to commend Dennis on his racking skills. He ranks to the top ten worse rackers I have seen. Not only that but while 1-1 I had to make a long shot on the 2 he was sanding his shafts in the corner of my eyes. That happened 3 times during the match. Well, some players have a hard time staying still. On top of that, he played great firing balls in as if it was a bar table. No, wait! He did miss maybe 5 shots of which I was hooked every time. So I was beginning to wonder, He must run out of luck soon. At least from a statistical point of view. It was a race to 9, so i ended loosing 9-6. I was actually happy to get that many games considering how many things I had going against me that set. Trust me.

So I ended finishing 4th. I heard Jeremy Sossei got some rolls against Hatch in semifinals so Dennis had to settle for 3rd.
Archer outlasted Sossei in the finals which apparently was taking a bit long to finish. I heard people were yaning a little. Might wanna put a shot-clock on these guys sometimes. Sorry for brutal honesty. But thats the way I roll.

Take care


Friday, February 15

World Pool Masters

Hi everybody!

I am super excited; I just got invited to the World Pool Masters. It's cool because they are holding it in conjunction with the BCA amateur tournament in Las Vegas. It will replace the traditional Men's and Women's pro tournament, BCA decided to move that one for June Recreation Expo in Charlotte, NC.

I know I have been away from Masters for a couple of years it’s a nice boost of confidence to get this invitation. Looks like some people have restored their confidence in me. I will definitely make sure I am in top form for that event—Vegas is always an exciting venue. Having Matchroom organizing it just adds an extra element to it. They are the best in the business.

So whoever is going to Vegas in May, you might want to check this thing out! It's one hell of a field.

Sorry I could not make the link work for now. You just have to copy/paste in your browser.

Feel free to add comments.

Yours Truly,


Tuesday, February 12

Tony's Tour stop II

Well, its seems like the popularity is still soaring for the Predator tour. It was 83 players, which was improvement from last weeks 75. Cool. Again, it was a very strong field with most of the Tri-states best. In addition we also had Chuck Altomare and Jeremy Sossei who recently won the Ocean State Championships. 

Unfortunately the house pro for Masters, Shin Park, got sick. Also Ginky got the flu. I hope they get better soon.

Ok, so I started out good, at as far as the the player auction was concerned. I went for a a crazy 450 dollars. I guess somebody had real good faith in me. Ha ha ha. The next two blind bids was Thorsten(250$) and Tony(200$) which were also worthy investments. It turned out to be all three of us in the Final three.

Anyways I am just going to fast forward to sunday where I had to play Jorge Rodriguez first. I came out of the gate strong running out the first couple racks. Of course its still alternating breaks but Rodriguez, on his turn, was unable to capitalize and gave me a couple of presents. So I just kept a good lead and used my opportunities well. 9-3.

Then it was time to play the young gun Jeremy Sossei. I was observing some of his play earlier and knew that I had to be sharp for this one. He has a very powerful break for one. He also has a very good pace around the table. Seems just calm and collected.
So in the beginning again I was able to break and run. I want to really stress the importance of an opening run-out with alternating break. It really can put a lot of pressure on the opponent to run the next rack. Because if he doesn't it can potentially be 3-0 without really blinking an eye. Well thats pretty much what happened, I kept the lead and kept the pressure on him the whole match and finished 9-1. For me it was an excellent match, I have to say.

Time for the winners bracket final. I was playing Tony. I had an early lead like 2-1,3-2,4-3. I had in all these situations a chance to make a 2-rack deficit, but failed each time. It was really disappointing. Tony came and evened the game and eventually cruised by me. Then it just typical: If you don't use the early opportunities, later the rolls will go the other way.
Tony played well and deserved the match.

I now had to just wait and see who would make it through the one-loss side to the b-semi's.
Looks like Thorsten was showing good stamina and cruising through. I knew I had to prepare for a strong match. And one hell of a match it was. Thorsten was breaking super strong. I managed to make a come-back after being down 4-1.

on courtesy of Thorsten you can see how the match went exactly:

My friend Wei from recorded the match hopefully we can make it available for public soon.

The final was really one-way traffic in favor of Tony. He was really playing well and breaking with control. He showed a good stamina considering that he has to do all the work to make the tour successful.
I, on the other hand, could not even make a good rack for myself and the match started to remind me of the earlier one on the winners side.
At 9-5, I had a chance to safe him, but it looked like the table drifted of a bit, and I sold out an easy safe. So instead of 6-9 my break, it was 5-10 my break. Big difference.
I think I managed to save a little face and ran out, but the next rack I lost a safety battle and Tony cleared the table ending with a kiss shot of the 8 to the 9. I knew he had it so I shook his hand already. The score:11-6. Congrats buddy! You deserved it.

Yeah, second place again. Grrr! But at least I am consistant.

For another angle to the story click on:

Monday, February 4

Tony Robles New Tour and Super Bowl Sunday

Wow, I have to say that it was an exciting opener for all of the New York billiard fans as 75 players made their way to Raxx Billiards in Long Island, New York. Luckily, Holden Chin's Raxx had enough tables to accommodate such a field without a problem.

All the heavy hitters from New York area was present : Tony Robles of course, Thorsten Hohmann, Park-Shin Young, George San Souci and finally, me. One player that not many knew of, was Joey Testa from Atlantic City. But they will know now. In fact, I knocked him to the one-loss side but he wasn't deterred. he would make the long route to the finals.

Here is the link for the story at Azbilliards:

I just wanted to Congratulate my friend Joey Testa for making the smart choice and coming to New York to play and he got a free bonus getting to check out all the craziness that goes along with Giants winning the Super Bowl!

Also special thanks to another good friend of my mine, Tony Robles. Thank you for making all the efforts to run this new tour. Its about time we have something like this in tri-state area.

Last but not least, thank you Giants for putting the icing on the cake there for the weekend!



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