First-Place Score for Saez
Blaze 9-Ball Tour / West Hempstead, NY
by Jerry Tarantola
Robb Saez came to the March 8 stop of the Blaze 9-Ball Tour to prepare for the upcoming pro event at the Super Billiards Expo and walked away with first place. Held at Raxx Pool Room in West Hempstead, NY, this event brought out 43 of the Northeast’s finest players, including Mika Immonen, Matt Krah, Shaun WIlkie, and Ignacio Chavez.
One of the surprises of this event was that the current number-one-ranked Immonen did not make it to the money rounds. Although he played well, Immonen took two losses to Wilkie 7-4 and Chavez 7-3. A less-common face on the Blaze Tour, Jamie Gremmo, ended up with a seventh-place finish after being eliminated by Saez.
Current Blaze Tour number-one-ranked player Eddie Abraham looked to be the dominant player throughout the event, running through the winners’ side bracket before things turned around quickly as he ran into a brick wall in 21-year-old Adam Kielar of Quakertown, PA, in the hot seat match, who played near flawless in putting together a perfect 7-0 score.
This win marked Kielar’s fourth consecutive appearance in the finals of the Blaze Tour. On Kielar’s road to the hot seat, he also impressively defeated Mike Boyles, Greg McAndrews, Bobby Blackmore, and Wilkie.
In the semifinal match, Saez avenged his winner’s side loss to Eddie Abraham, winning by 7-5 to move him into the finals. In the finals, it was a match-up between the up-and-coming phenom versus the battle-tested road warrior. In the true double-elimination format, Saez had to defeat Kielar two sets, both races to 6.
In the first set, Saez pulled out a strong 6-3 win to close the gap to one final race to 6 to determine the winner. In the first game of the second set, Saez made a error in misjudging the rails as he made the 3 ball and sent the cue ball three rails around the table before scratching. This gave Kielar ball in hand, which he took advantage of to run out and take a 1-0 lead in the short race to 6. Kielar and Saez then traded games back and forth until Saez reached the hill 5-3. Kielar won the following game, and with the score 5-4, Saez scratched on the break, but Kielar then had an uncharacteristic miss on the 4 ball, and Saez scooped the win.
1st Robb Saez $1,325
2nd Adam Kielar $725
3rd Eddie Abraham $475
4th Ignacio Chavez $200
5th Shaun Wilkie $150
7th Kenny Rutman $100