Two relatively new Tri-State Tour competitors battled twice to claim the event title during a tour stop on Sunday, April 8. Jowen Pichardo won both of his encounters with Jason Decker, going undefeated to claim his first Tri-State title. He had previously placed 5th in two Tri-State events, two years apart (2105 & 2017). Decker’s runner-up finish put him in our AZBilliards database for the first time. The $1,000-added, 8-ball tournament drew 21 entrants to Shooter’s Billiards in Wayne, NJ.
The two advanced through the field to meet for the first time in the hot seat match. Pichardo had downed Jim Gutierrez 5-3 in one winners’ side semifinal, while Decker had defeated Mac Jankov, double hill, in the other one. Pichardo claimed his first hot seat with a 5-3 win over Decker.
On the loss side, Jankov picked up Matt D’Errico, who’d gotten by Paul Madonia and Qian Chen, both 6-3. Guttierez drew Michelle Brotons, who entered this event as the tour’s #2-ranked female, and eliminated Marc Lamberti 5-1 and Frank Sieczka 6-4 to reach Gutierrez.
Brotons and Jankov advanced to the quarterfinals; Brotons 4-2 over Gutierrez and Jankov 7-4 over D’Errico. Jankov and Brotons battled to double hill in the quarterfinals, before Jankov finished it. Decker then ended Jankov’s short, loss-side trip 5-2 in the semifinals.
Pichardo and Decker were, of course, both looking for their first Tri-State title in the finals that followed. With a 5-3 win, Pichardo was the one who earned it.
Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Shooter’s Billiards, as well as sponsors Ozone Billiards, Sterling-Gaming, Kamui Tips, Phil Capelle, BlueBook Publishing, Human Kinetics, Pool & Billiards, Professor Q Ball, Bender Cues, and DIGICUE OB. The next stop on the Tri-State Tour, scheduled for Sunday, April 22 (one week after the Super Billiards Expo, April 12-15), will be hosted by Clifton Billiards, in Clifton, NJ.