The North Jersey 14.1 Straight Pool Pro-Am Quarterly held its second quarter event for 2009 the weekend of June 6-7 at Comet Billiards in Parsippany, NJ, and even with a short field of eight players there was a lot of action and heated battling, especially in the final match between Carmen Lombardo and Jason Michas.
Lombardo was in the hot seat and had been waiting over two hours before the final match had been called, which was at 11:00 p.m. Saturday evening. The tournament director, at the request of the two finalists, allowed the final match to be contested that same day immediately after the semifinal match, believing the match would conclude at about 1:00 a.m., which prevented that match from being streamed live online Sunday by Accu-Stats.
Lombardo needed 110 points for a victory, while Michas, playing at one skill level below Lombardo and coming to the final match from the one-loss side, needed to get 90 match points before Lombardo got to his 110 match points in order to cause the final match to go into “extend play,” which Michas did. Michas now needed to get to 120 points before Lombardo got to his extend match points of 145. Nevertheless, in this final battle Lombardo legally pocketed 177 balls to Michas’ 120 and still lost the match—Lombardo had been penalized twice for (unintentionally) having executed three consecutive fouls, thus losing 22 points (20% of his starting match points) on each occurrence, plus the lost 6 points also penalized for each foul.
The second three-foul penalty happened just when Lombardo had fought back to regain his losses from his first three-foul penalty and had taken the lead by the score of 97-90 after the 16th rack (23 racks were played in this contest). This second penalty was clearly an error on Carmen’s part, scratching into a corner pocket at the head of the table after attempting to make a safety play into the kitchen from a cluster of balls located within the rack area.
The first three-foul penalty however was really a sight to see. Lombardo was shooting while on two fouls, and Michas was on one foul. The cue ball was buried within an almost-full-rack cluster, providing no apparent shot and only one difficult safety that could possibly leave Michas an opening. Lombardo was just behind by 8 points (48-40). Lombardo found a four-ball combination into the side pocket but had to shoot away from the direction of the targeted pocket by almost 170 degrees. Well, after about two minutes of studying the shot, Lombardo fired away—two non-called object balls had been pocketed before the called ball made its way to the called pocket, only to have been eclipsed by the pocketing of a fourth ball—the cue ball.
Overcoming a 20-point handicap, two 22-point penalties, and 13 lost points from fouls was just too much for Lombardo—Michas took the victory by a score of 120-133.
During the final match, Lombardo had 27-, 25-, 19-, and 22-ball runs; Michas had 17-, 28-, and 14-ball runs. Michas also distinguished himself with tournament-high run of 49 balls playing against Pat Fleming, just 2 balls shy of a mandatory promotion to skill level 3. Lombardo’s high run for the tournament was 39 balls, which he obtained in his win against Gobind Daryanani.
Finishing in third place was John McCole, a skill level 3 player who was eliminated from the tournament by Michas by a score of 90-50. During the first round of the tournament McCole bested Michas by a score of 110-77.
Hall of Fame inductee Pat Fleming dusted off his cue stick to help round out the field to eight players but was clearly not in a fighting mood that day. He was defeated handily by Michas and Lombardo.
Player statistics and tournament flow chart for this tournament and prior events and tournament info can be viewed at NorthJerseyStraightPoolProAm.com. For those who are interested in playing in a North Jersey 14.1 Straight Pool Pro-Am Quarterly event please contact tournament Producer/Director Scott Abramowitz at 973-736-3435 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sponsors for this tournament were Jacoby Custom Cues (jacobycue.com) and the Blaze Pro-Am 9-Ball Tour (blazetour.com).
1st Jason Michas $325
2nd Carmen Lombardo $150
3rd John McCole $50
Tournament-High Run (49 balls) – Jason Michas $50