Tri-State Tour / Parsippany, NJ
by Lea Andrews
On May 16, Comet Billiards in Parsippany, NJ, hosted a $500-added A-D Tri-State Tour event that drew 37 players. After tearing up the one-loss side, Christian Smith clinched first and $750.
In the winners’ side quarterfinals, Jose Cruz, having just won two hill-hill matches, found himself in another. Ahead 6-1, Cruz seemed destined for a quick win, but a steady-shooting Guy Iannuzzi won five straight games to tie the score at 6. Cruz wrapped it up, though, and moving on to the hot seat match, sent Pam Ogarek, who’d just bested Jason Egeln 6-5, to the left side of the bracket with a score of 8-3.
On the one-loss side, Smith and T.J. Smithers were both working on 7-5 wins over Gary Murgia and Juan Guzman, respectively, placing the two in a tie for seventh. Smith and Smithers were then ready for Iannuzzi and Elgen. In the final rack of the hill-hill match between Smith and Iannuzzi, it looked as though Iannuzzi would emerge the victor, but a jawed 9 ball gave Smith the game he needed to move on to face Smithers, who’d put Elgen in fifth with a score of 6-4.
Smith was not going to let anyone come as close to the win as Iannuzzi had come, though, and he had his eye on the finals as he moved through Smithers 7-3, putting him in fourth, and Ogareck 8-4, dropping her in third.
The final match, a single race to 9, demonstrated Smith’s skillful position play, and having gained momentum in the past couple of matches, Smith did not stop. With a final score of 9-5, Smith claimed the cash.
1st Christian Smith $750
2nd Jose Cruz $450
3rd Pam Ogareck $310
4th T.J. Smithers $190
5th Guy Iannuzzi $100
7th Gary Murgia $65