Tri-State Tour / Queens, NY
Duane Toney took hold of the reins at the Tri-State Tour’s August 15 stop, wresting the final match from Mike Panzarella to earn first place. This B-D handicapped 9-ball event was hosted by Master Billiards in Queens, NY, and attracted a 30-player field.
Toney enjoyed an undefeated run through the tournament. Reaching the winners’ side final four, he sent Chris Laz to the one-loss side with a strong 7-5 win to reach the hot seat match. Meeting him there was Andrew Kane, who had just notched a hill-hill win over Kris Karp 7-6. In another close match, Toney triumphed 7-6 to take the hot seat and await a finals opponent.
The west side was whittling down to its top competitors as well. Dave Shlemperis went up against TJ Smithers but was turned aside 6-3, while Tony Eglasias was sent packing by Mike Panzarella 7-4. Smithers advanced to meet Karp, who ousted him 7-4, and Panzarella continued his winning streak by eliminating Laz in a hill-hill nail-biter. In the quarterfinals, a determined Panzarella sent Karp home in fourth place with another hill-hill victory, and then Panzarella went on to best Kane in the semifinals in yet another 7-6 win to advance to the finals.
In the modified race to 7, Panzarella needed to reach 7 to extend the race to 9. With Toney ranked a C+ and Panzarella a B+, Toney started with a two-game advantage. Panzarella drew first blood, but Toney asserted himself and reached the hill in short order 6-1. However, Panzarella regained control of the table and brought the score to hill-hill, making this his fourth double-hill bout in four rounds. Nevertheless, it was Toney who broke and ran out the final rack, earning the title and top honors.
1st Duane Toney $600
az2nd Mike Panzarella $300
3rd Andrew Kane $170
4th Kris Karp $100
5th Chris Laz $60