Tarantola Storms Castle Billiards for First Predator Tour Win
Predator 9-Ball Tour / East Rutherford, NJ
by Alison M. Fischer, NYCGrind
The Predator 9-Ball Tour held its first ever stop at Castle Billiards in East Rutherford, NJ, November 7-8, where nearly a full field of 61 players came out to compete in this A-D event. Some of the top names who came out for this event include Lionel Rivera, John Alicea, WPBA pro Megan Smith, and top NJ player Scott Simonetti, but it was Jerry Tarantola who walked away with the ultimate prize.
On Sunday at noon, eight players returned on the one-loss side. Borana “Queen B” Andoni continued her fight, but her run was ended by Shawn Sookhai 7-3, and she took home fifth place. After his win there, Sookhai moved on to face Scott Simonetti in the quarterfinals. However, Simonetti didn’t give Sookhai a chance and easily won the match 7-2.
In the semifinal match, Jonathan Castillo was spotted one game on the wire in a race to seven against Simonetti. The two battled back and forth, with Simonetti reaching the hill first. But up 6-5, he couldn’t retain position on the 9 ball, and he missed and left a long shot for Castillo, which he duly fired in to go hill-hill. After trading a couple of innings in the final rack, Castillo missed a risky bank on the 8, and Simonetti took the win to move on to the finals.
In the final match with Tarantola, Simonetti got one game on the wire going to 9. Tarantola jumped out to a 3-1 lead, but Simonetti came back with the next two racks to tie at 3 apiece. From there, Jerry kept an edge over Simonetti until the match reached hill-hill. All eyes were on the final table when Tarantola broke in the last rack. A ball dropped on the break, and a cluster was narrowly avoided, and Tarantola ran out the rack to win.
On Sunday, the Predator Tour held their Second Day B-D tournament, which drew 14 players. Once again, B-class player Ariel Rivera landed in the finals, this time on the winners’ side. However, Dave Ascolese did not give up easily after his second-round loss. He came back on the one-loss side to win three more matches, besting Romeo Singh to meet Rivera in the finals, where he defeated Rivera 7-4 to win the event.
1st Jerry Tarantola $1,000
2nd Scott Simonetti $600
3rd Jonathan Castillo $400
4th Shawn Sookhai $300
5th Borana Andoni $200
7th Justin Muller $175
9th Redgie Cutler $125
13th Jeff Firester $100
Second Day Results:
1st Dave Ascolese $140
2nd Ariel Rivera $90
3rd Romeo Singh $50