Trobiano Captures Tri-State Tour Invitational
Tri-State Tour / East Rutherford, NJ
by John Leyman
The Thirteenth Annual Tri-State Tour Invitational Tournament took place July 10-11 and 17 at Castle Billiards in East Rutherford, NJ, bringing together highly skilled amateurs hoping to sharpen their game and ambitious upstarts looking to advance in class. Castle Billiards was this year’s host location, where 10 A and A+ players, 32 B and B+ players, 32 C and C+ players, and 12 D and D+ players participated for their chance to be crowned the Tri-State Tour Invitational champion.
Organizers John Leyman, Todd Fleitman, and Bill Focaccia congratulated the players on reaching the top of their classes for the season and handed out awards to the top players of the year in each class. Awards were presented to the top three players in each class and to the most improved player of the year. This year the tour also presented one player with a special award: Scott Simonetti, who has played on the Tri-State Tour for more than a decade, was recently stricken with a life-threatening illness that forced doctors to amputate Simonetti’s left hand and foot. He was awarded “Outstanding Player of the Year” for his amazing achievements over the last year. The other top players of the year were Daniel Cintron in the A+/A class, Tony Eglesias, Duane Toney, Antonio Navarro, and Dave Fitzpatrick. The top female player and the most improved player of the year was Sandie Patarino. The pro/open class was won by Mhet Vergara. Also, this year’s Sportsman of the Year award went to Daniel Cintron.
In the B+ class, Simonetti played strong and consistent and dominated all opponents. In the finals against Scott Bannon, Simonetti battled back and won the set 9-7. Geoffrey Bauer made it to the B-class finals undefeated. John Trobiano, who lost his first match of the event to Jacob Schwartz, went on to best five players to reach the final match, where he exacted his revenge on Schwartz by winning 7-5. Trobiano went on to defeat Simonetti in the B+/B playoffs, where he won 7-2.
In the C+ class Mike Harrington arrived in the finals undefeated. Ryan McCarthy lost to Jason Egeln and moved over to the one-loss side. He fought back to earn another chance at Egeln, whom he defeated 6-1. In the finals the rolls just seemed to escape Harrington, and McCarthy took advantage and won 8-5. The C class was simply dominated by Ramilo Tanglao, who played Scott Abramowitz in the finals and won 6-4. McCarthy, having watched some of the Tanglao matches, took no chances and played Tanglao tight and cautious to win their finals 6-4.On July 17 the A+/A class and D+/D class players arrived early to do battle while Trobiano and McCarthy waited in the wings. Daniel Cintron lost his first match of the day to Michael Wong but went on to defeat four players to earn a rematch in the finals with Wong. The match was a tough back-and-forth battle that went double-hill, with Cintron winning 7-6. The D+/D class had saw Rick Shellhouse and William Zarzour meet in the hot seat match, where Zarzour’s game came together and he won the match. Nick Verducci defeated Shellhouse on the one-loss side 7-1 and went on to play Zarzour in the finals. Zarzour’s game seemed to deteriorate, while Verducci’s game solidified, and Verducci won 7-3.
This left Cintron battling Trobaino and McCarthy versus Verducci for the honor of playing in the event finals. Trobiano and Cintron’s match saw Trobiano triumph 8-6, while Verducci played well and won his match 7-4. In the final match, Trobiano wouldn’t be stopped, shutting Verducci down at every turn to win the finals 9-5 and earning the Tri-State Tour Invitational title.