Mika Immonen Dominant in Stellar Performance at Amsterdam Billiards
Written By Jerry Tarantola, NYCgrind.com
A full field of 64 pool players quickly sold out the Predator Tour’s 10th event of the season. Even though it was a beautiful summer weekend, the field was filled in 40 minutes. The popular Manhattan local drew top local and regional players to come out to show NYC’s knowledgeable crowd that they’ve got game.
Amsterdam Billiards has a history of hosting pro events and exhibitions, as well as bringing celebrities around the game of pool. While there were no notable celebrities in attendance, each of the 64 players were looking to make a statement at the NYC hotspot.
The Predator Tour event brought back the final 8 players in a showdown beginning at High Noon. The winner’s side match ups were: Al Lapena vs. Bobby Blackmore and reining “US Open Champion” Mika Immonen vs breakthrough player Zion Zvi.
Zion has been playing tremendous as of late, including winning the 8th Stop of the Predator Tour as well as placing 3rd in the Maryland Straight Pool Championships. While Zion showed that he can hang with anyone in the world, Mika was able to clutch out the win 9-7.
Bobby Blackmore (def) Al Lapena 9-7 lining up the winner’s side “Hot Seat” with arguably the best pool player in the world…. Mika Immonen.
Mika is still fresh from snapping off the Qatar Open, and is having a remarkable year, with another recent win at the Japan Open.
Bobby wasn’t able to put the heat on the “Iceman” as Mika controlled the match en-route to a 9-4 score. The “W” left Mika in sole position in the finals on the winner’s side of the bracket.
On the one loss side the match ups were… Matt Krah vs Victor Nau and Mhet Vergara vs Joey Kong.
Matt Krah (def) Victor Nau 9-6, before losing to Al Lapena in a tough “Hill-Hill” battle (9-8).
On the bottom half of the bracket Joey Kong “King Kong” played a big game during his 1st match over local Filipino top player Mhet Vergara.
Joey followed up with another strong performance, but couldn’t overcome new player on the scene, Zion Zvi’s consistent and clutch play. Zion was able to clutch out the set “Hill-Hill” 9-8.
Zion was then matched up with a top Fil-Am player Al Lapena on the front table. This match displayed strong play by both players including outstanding shotmaking and safety play. Al jumped out to an early 5-1 lead before Zion came back with a near perfect performance to win 9-7. When the dust settled, it was Zion Zvi getting the win by way of a 9-7 score.
The stage was set in a match-up between local top player Bobby Blackmore and Zion Zvi. Bobby is known for his aggressive play, hard break and quick tempo. Zion has a more determined shot making process and controlled game. The contrast in styles coupled with the fact that both of these players wanted to have a shot at “The Iceman” built up this feature match up.
Zion was dominant in a outstanding performance allowing Bobbby to only win 3 games in the race to 9.
After a short break that seemed to spark a heavy thunderstorm, the knowledgeable NYC billiards crowd was primed for the feature matchup. The final match was one race to 11 games, determining the winner of the 10th Predator Tour Stop of the season.
Go4pool.net streamed the final match and had commentary by “Snookie” Diana Rojas, “Smitty” Dan Smith, and tournament director, William Finnegan.
Zion won the lag, and pocketed a ball on his first break, but missed a tough cut on the one ball that cost him 2 games. Mika ran that rack out, and broke and ran out the next rack as well. The players traded the next two games making the score 4-2.
Mika went on an impressive 7-2 run, en-route to a 11-4 score… capping off an impressive tournament.
“The Iceman” is preparing for the Mezz Classic which will take place in Orlando from August 6-9th. The former World Champion is looking forward to seeing the cue company that makes his cue give back to the pros. Along with playing great, Mika also mentioned that he feels that he is making a great contribution to the game through his recently-released instructional DVD, “Mastering Pool.”
The Predator Tour would like to thank all its players who came out to this event, as well as the tour’s sponsors: Blatt Billiards, Delta 13 Racks and The Seminole Tribe of Florida.
1st: Mika Immonen $1150
2nd: Zion Zvi $775
3rd: Bobby Blackmore $550
4th: Al Lapena $400
5th/6th: Matt Krah, Joey Kong $325
7/8th: Mhet Bergara, Victor Nau $250
9-12th: Tony Robles, Mike Yednek, Marc Vidal, Derek Schwager $175
13-16th: “Ginky” George Sansouci, Justin Muller, Junior Sanchez, Richard Louapre $125
There were 21 players who came out to play in the B-C tournament which took place on Sunday July 27th.
Ed Sumner plays a strong match over home player Trevor Heal defeating him 5-1 setting up a “Hot Seat Match” with Ed Hugh. Ed Hugh played solid defeating Ed Sumner 5-3, earning a shot in the finals.
On the west side of the bracket, Diana Rojas played a gritty match against Sam Islam (7-4), lining up a match between her and Ed Sumner.
Ed earned a spot in the finals by stopping the surging Rojas in a close 7-5 battle.
Ed Hugh was impressive in a 7-3 win over House player Ed Sumner, to capture the BC event.
3rd: Diana Rojas $110
4th: Sammy Islan $70
Highest Finishing C player:
There was a tie between Neslihan Gürel and Bobby Schlotz
The next event will be at Comet Billiards August 15th/16h.