Dechaine and Vannala Take Titles at Inaugural SanSouci Memorial
First Annual George “Ginky” SanSouci Memorial / New York City, NY
Full fields gathered at Amsterdam Billiards and Bar in New York City, NY, to pay homage to one of New York’s finest pool players, George “Ginky” SanSouci, the weekend of June 25-26. The $5,000-added tournament featured two divisions—the amateur event won by Raj Vannala and the pro/open won by Mike “The Fireball” Dechaine.
In the handicapped amateur event, Vannala went undefeated through the full 96-player field to face Mike Panzarella for the first time in the winners’ side final four. After sending his opponent to the one-loss side 7-5, Vannala advanced to the hot seat match. There he met Jimmy Martinez, who was fresh off a 7-4 victory over Nicholas Chan. Vannala remained unscathed with a narrow 7-5 win, and Martinez went to the west side.
On the one-loss side, Panzarella was making his move—he matched up with Phil Davis, who had just ousted Chris Giannokouros 8-6, and overpowered him 7-4. At the same time, Frank Ramos eliminated Diana Rojas 7-4 in seventh place to tie with Giannokouros and then did the same to Chan 7-5. However, Ramos’ tournament ended in fourth place after a close 8-6 match with Panzarella.
Panzarella went on to the semifinals to meet Martinez and triumphed 8-6 to advance to the final match with Vannala. There, though, Vannala took control of the match and took home the title 7-5.
“The Fireball” was unassailable as he scorched the 32-player field in the open/pro division. He met Jeremy Sossei in the winners’ side final four and delivered him to the left side 7-3, as Joey Testa defeated Zion Zvi 7-5. The two met in the hot seat match that followed, with Dechaine searing Testa 7-2 to await a finals opponent.
Meanwhile, Dennis “The Hatchetman” Hatch was blazing through the west side of the chart, eliminating Sean Morgan at seventh place 7-2. Tying with Morgan was Jorge Rodriguez, who suffered a double-hill loss to Shaun “Get Some” Wilkie. Zvi was the next victim of Hatch’s, who sent him packing 7-3. Wilkie fought another hill-hill bout, this time with Sossei, who ended up in fifth place tied with Zvi.
Once the final four players were left, the race changed to 8. In his third consecutive hill-hill match of the event, Wilkie and Hatch fought in the quarterfinals, but it was Hatch this time who triumphed 8-7. With the finals in sight, Hatch breezed through his semifinal match with Testa and sent him home in second with an 8-2 victory.
In the extended final match, as the undefeated player, Dechaine was racing to 11, while Hatch had to reach 13 to claim the victory. The players were neck and neck the entire match, with Dechaine reaching the hill first with Hatch at 8. Hatch put one more game under belt before it came down to the last rack. Dechaine got out of line after a bank on the 7 and had to jack up and shoot the 8 ball, drawing back for shape on the 9. He executed the shot perfectly to win the game and claim the title.
1st Raj Vannala $2,000
2nd Mike Panzarella $1,400
3rd Jimmy Martinez $1,000
4th Frank Ramos $700
5th Phil Davis $400
7th Diana Rojas $250
9th Steve Way $175
13th Raphael DaBreo $100
17th Ramilo Tanglao $75
1st Mike Dechaine $2,000
2nd Dennis Hatch $1,400
3rd Joey Testa $850
4th Shaun Wilkie $500
5th Jeremy Sossei $350
7th Sean Morgan $225