Andrew Lee got by John Morrison twice
during the Predator Pro Am Tour’s visit to Gotham
City Billiards on the weekend of May 18-19, and finished
undefeated to claim the event title. According to tour
director Tony Robles, the event was something of an
experiment, designed to divide the normal crowds that
show up for the tour’s A/B/C/D amateur events
and lead to seriously late night/early morning finishes.
Robles isolated the C/D players and invited them to
the $1,800-added amateur event that drew 39 entrants
to Gotham City Billiards.
Of arguably more ‘human interest’ in the
amateur event was a match between husband and wife,
Monika and Mike Callaghan. They ended up battling for
the right to advance to the amateur event’s first
money round. More on this when we get to the loss-side
activities of the event.
On Sunday, May 19, a $700-added Open/Pro event drew
16 entrants and saw Frankie Hernandez claim that title,
by winning the semifinals. More on this when we get
to the Open/Pro event.
In the Amateur event, Andrew Lee and John Morrison met
first in a winners’ side semifinal as Zain Sundaram
and Juan Melendez squared off in the other one. Sundaram
survived a double hill battle versus Melendez to earn
his spot in the hot seat match. Lee joined him after
sending Morrison to the loss side 7-3. Lee claimed the
hot seat 7-1 and waited for Morrison to complete his
three-match, loss-side winning streak.
The match between the married Callaghans would not normally
appear in a report, because only one of them advanced
beyond the 9/12 matches. They battled for the right
to make it to the amateur event’s first money
round. It was a double hill match, 6-5, won by Monika,
at the end of which, according to Robles, she stuck
her tongue out at husband, Mike, who was reportedly
only partially amused. Her elation didn’t last
because in the first money round, Mac Jankov, who’d
eliminated Bob Toomey 6-3, defeated her double hill
to advance and meet Melendez. Morrison picked up Joe
Wilson Torres, who’d defeated Keith Jawahir 7-4
and survived a double hill fight against Tony Ignomirello
to reach him.
Melendez advanced to the quarterfinals with a double
hill win over Jankov. Morrison downEd Torres 7-4 to
join him. Morrison took the quarterfinal match over
Melendez 7-4 and then, defeated Sundaram 7-3 in the
semifinals, to earn a shot at Lee in the hot seat.
Lee completed his undefeated run by allowing Morrison
only a single rack in the finals. The 7-1 victory earned
Lee the tour’s first-ever, strictly C/D amateur
Hernandez downs Sim in semifinals to claim Open/Pro
The one time they did meet, in a winners’ side
semifinal of the Open/Pro event, Jorge Rodriguez and
Frankie Hernandez battled to double hill before Rodriguez
prevailed to get into the hot seat match. He was joined
by Del Sim, who had also survived a double hill match,
against Alex Osipov. Rodriguez claimed the hot seat
7-4 over Sim, and unable to continue, forfeited the
final match. This elevated the status of the event semifinals,
allowing its winner, Hernandez, to claim the event title.
On the loss side, Frankie Hernandez picked up Pat Fleming,
who’d shut out Jennifer Baretta and eliminated
Mike Salerno 7-4. Osipov drew Mhet Vergara, who’d
defeated Ashley Burrows 7-4 and survived a double hill
fight against tour director Tony Robles.
Vergara downed Osipov 7-3, as Hernandez had his hands
full surviving a double hill fight against Fleming.
Hernandez moved on to defeat Vergara 7-3 in the quarterfinal
match, and then, in what in effect was the event final,
defeated Del Sim 7-4 to claim the event title.
Robles thanked Kevin and Isabel Buckley and their Gotham
City Billiards staff for their continuing support as
well as title sponsor Predator Cues, Ozone Billiards,
PlayNAPL.com, The DeVito Team, PoolOnTheNet.com, Cappelle
(Billiards Press), AZBilliards, Pool & Billiards
Magazine, and Billiards Digest. Robles also thanked
his always-supportive cast of assistants, to include
his lovely wife, Gail.
The next stop on the Predator Tour, scheduled for this
coming Memorial Day Weekend (May 25-27), will be the
9th Annual George “Ginky” Sansouci Memorial
Tournament. As always, the $4,000-added event will be
held under the combined auspices of the Predator Pro
Am, Tri-State and Mezz Tours, and will be hosted by
Steinway Billiards in Astoria (Queens), NY.
Story by Skip Maloney AZBilliards