Predator 9-Ball Tour / New York City, NY
by Alison Fischer, NYCGrind
The Predator 9-Ball Tour’s eighth stop of the season went to Zion Zvi, who triumphed over the 44-player field to notch his first tour win. The June 13-14 event was hosted by Eastside Billiards in New York City, NY, and featured a $1,500-added prize purse.
Two newcomers to the tour had standout performances. Qi Liu, a player from North Carolina, came out to the Predator for the first time and had a solid run through the winners’ bracket until he hit the tour’s other newbie, Zvi, in the quarterfinals of the winners’ bracket.
Although Zvi may be a new name to some, this player from Tel Aviv, Israel, pulled off convincing wins over Trevor Heal, Jonathan Smith, Tony Robles, Jason Hunt, Liu, and Marc Vidal, which landed him in the hot seat.
After a first-round loss to Tony Robles, George San Souci displayed heart with a gritty performance, going straight through the one-loss side to defeat Jason Trager, Trevor Heal, Brian Hunter, “Alaska” Sean Morgan, Gail Glazebrook, and then Robles.
Jerry Tarantola also bounced back from an early loss to Brian Hunter to grind back to fourth place, with notable wins over Jeremy Sossei, Oscar Bonilla, and Bobby Blackmore, before he was eliminated by San Souci in a one-sided 9-2 match.
This win landed San Souci a shot in the semifinals against Vidal, who had just finished a run through the winners’ bracket before he was stopped by Zion Zvi. This match showed a strong display of kicking, banking, and safety battles, with the players staying in line with one another, landing in a hill-hill tie. A critical kick-safe that locked up the cue ball allowed Vidal to take control over the set to move to the finals.
In the finals, Vidal returned to take another shot against Zion in the single race-to-11 finals. Zion remained the dominant force, keeping a steady edge over “Spain,” who wasn’t able to control the cue ball as well as in previous matches. Zvi presented a calm, controlled game, looking fearless as he moved around the table with ease. The match ended with a final score of 11-6 in favor of Zvi, capping off a breakout performance.
The Predator Tour also held the second-day handicapped BCD tournament Sunday with 16 players stopping for this event. Teddy Cook rose to the top of the winners’ bracket after a win over David Weinstein.
Weinstein came back to land in the finals after a win against Alison Fischer, who had bested Luis Novas and Wilfredo Albay on the one-loss side. In the final, Weinstein avenged his loss to Cook with a 7-3 win.
1st: $1,000 Zion Zvi
2nd: $700 Marc Vidal
3rd: $525 George San Souci
4th: $400 Jerry Tarantola
5th: $250 Bobby Blackmore, Qi Liu
7th: $200 Oscar Bonilla, Tony Robles
9th: $100 Joey Kong, Gail Glazebrook, Jason Hunt, William Finnegan
1st: David Weinstein
2nd: Teddy Cook
3rd: $30 Alison Fischer