Alicea and Murgia Share Tri-State Win
Tri-State Tour / Parsippany, NJ
by Skip Maloney
A field of 41 competitors pushed the Tri-State Tour stop to the edge of its host venue’s closing time December 15, so John Alicea and Gary Murgia, who were set to face each other in the event finals, opted to share first-place honors and split the prize money rather than return Sunday to finish the battle. The $500-added, A-D handicapped event was hosted by Comet Billiards in Parsippany, NJ.
It’s hard to know which of the two finalists benefited most from the shared finish. Alicea had clawed his way into the finals with three back-to-back double-hill contests. From among the final four on the winners’ side, he’d sent Jason Egeln west 9-8 before meeting Murgia in the hot seat match. Murgia had gotten past George Osipovich 7-5 to meet Alicea. Alicea gained the hot seat 7-6 and waited for a return that never happened.
In the meantime, over on the one-loss side, Ben Sadowski was working on his own double-hill set of performances; three of them, to be precise. He dropped Bob Perkins into the tie for ninth place with a hill-hill win, sent Bob Kight packing 7-2 and then defeated Egeln 6-5 and Osipovich in the quarterfinals by the same score. Sadowski took a 5-0 lead in the semifinals against Murgia, but in a “live by the (double-hill) sword, die by the (double-hill) sword” scenario, he gave up seven of the next eight racks and settled into third place.
The question as to whether the warmed-up-by-a-recent-hill-hill-win Murgia would have prevailed over the three-hill-hill-wins-to-get-there Alicea was never answered. The two split top honors and the $1,220 that went with it.
1st John Alicea $610
2nd Gary Murgia
3rd Ben Sadowski $285
4th George Osipovich $175
5th Pam Ogarek $199
7th Scott Bannon $80
9th Guy Iannuzzi