Tri-State Tour / East Rutherford, NJ
by Lea Andrews
At 14, Jonathan Castillo may not be old enough to be dubbed the king of Castle Billiards, but his undefeated run through the July 18 Tri-State Tour event surely gives him at least prince status. Castillo was among the 29 players who gathered for the $500-added B-D event in East Rutherford, NJ.
C-ranked Castillo, whose father proudly cheered him on all day, met D+-ranked Nick Verducci in the winners’-side final four, sending him west 6-4 to land in the hot seat match. Joining him was B-ranked Andrew Kane, who was coming off a 7-5 win over B+-ranked Michael Seas. The score got reversed on Kane in the hot seat match, though, as Castillo put him to the left 7-5.
On the one-loss side, B+-ranked Christian Smith moved through B-ranked Ed Manlulu 7-6 and B+-ranked Rajesh Vanalla 7-2, while C+-ranked T.J. Smithers blew by B-ranked Phil Carr 7-1 and C-ranked Ray Marisette 6-3. The two then met up with Verducci and Seas, with Smithers putting Seas in fifth 7-4 and Smith doing the same to Verducci 9-5. When the two then met up themselves, it was Smithers who moved on 7-6 to the semifinal match, but Kane, fresh off his run-in with Castillo, was fighting to get right back where he’d been, and he succeeded, putting Smithers in third 7-2.
The final match, as was every other match he’d been in all day, was Castillo’s all the way. Having played better than C-level throughout the event, he kept it up in this most crucial match, earning with his 7-4 win the rewarding news that his rank had just gone up.
1st Jonathan Castillo $620
2nd Andrew Kane $370
3rd T.J. Smithers $190
4th Christian Smith $100
5th Michael Seas $75
7th Ray Marisette $50
Jonathan Castillo shows Vanessa de la Cuetara of Inside POOL Magazine what’s in his case.