Kirkwood Continues Winning Streak
Predator 9-Ball Tour / Parsippany, NJ
by Jerry Tarantola
The Predator 9-Ball Tour, presented by Tony Robles and Predator Cues, made its fifth stop of the season in Parsippany, NJ. Held April 12-13, this event drew 64 players, with Jason “The Dark Horse” Kirkwood continuing his winning streak by making a crash-landing at Comet Billiards.
On a road trip from Grand Rapids, MI, Kirkwood has won the hearts of pool fans in the Northeast with his incredible play and humble attitude over the past few weeks. Coming off a first-place finish on the Joss Northeast 9-Ball Tour the previous weekend, Kirkwood defeated Greg Hecht, Michael Yednak, Mike Wong, Eddie Abraham, Marc Vidal, and Bucky Souvanthong to earn the hot seat position.
On Sunday Kirkwood rolled over Marc “Spain” Vidal in the first winners’-side match 9-2. Eddie Abraham defeated Joey Kong 9-5 then Ron Piontkowsi 9-7 in a gritty battle before being defeated by Tony Robles 9-7.
Bucky Souvanthong continued his impressive play as he grinded out notable wins over Frankie Hernandez and Robles, who he bested 9-8 after trailing “The Silent Assassin” 5-8.
Robles had another strong showing in this event. After the loss to Souvanthong, Robles bounced back with wins over Abraham and Shane Winters, both 9-6. Souvanthong and Robles met again, and this time Robles brought his “A” game, winning 9-6 and earning a spot in the finals.
In the end, it was all Kirkwood, as he dominated in control, tempo and momentum. Robles played strong but was again unable to pocket balls on the break. The combination of Kirkwood’s strong break, pin-point position play, and clutch shot-making allowed him to run through his second consecutive tournament in a row, defeating Robles 11-3. Towards the end of the match, Kirkwood happened to miss a ball and Robles joked to the crowd, “Jason Kirkwood missed a ball!!” Kirkwood simply smiled and stated, “Yeah, but I came so close to making it.”
1st Jason Kirkwood
2nd Tony Robles
3rd Bucky Souvanthong
4th Shane Winters
5th Marc Vidal
7th Bobby Blackmore
9th Reggie Cutler