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Park Nabs First Predator Tour Win
Mar 26, 2008, 4:09 PM

Nevermind that it was Easter weekend, the Predator 9-Ball Tour still drew a strong field of 84 players to its fourth stop of the season. The regular stars like Shin Park, George Sansouci and tour founder Tony Robles gathered at SoHo Billiards in the heart of Manhattan, March 22-23.

For Park, who has posted second- and third-place finishes on tour, this was his chance to grab that first victory. Park strung together a few wins in the early rounds, then faced Frankie Hernandez, who won the last tour stop, in the hot-seat match.

Hernandez couldn't keep his winning streak alive, and Park sent him to the left. Tony Robles awaited, looking to avenge an earlier loss to Hernandez.

This time around, Robles was in complete control. His break, which cost him in the first match against Hernandez, was in perfect form. Robles cruised to a 9-3 victory, earning him a spot in the final.

The single-set final was a study in extremes for Robles. He scratched five times in the alternate-break race-to-11. Astonishly, he still managed to even the score at 8-8. Despite his problems with the break, Robles played flawlessly to overcome his self-imposed handicap.

On the hill, 10-9, Park broke for the match. He sank two balls, but had no shot on the 2. He pushed out, and Robles played safe. Park responded with an unbelievable two-rail kick that sent the 2 ball into the corner pocket, while offering perfect shape on the 3. Park coolly ran out the rack for an 11-9 final victory.

Predator 9-Ball Tour
March 22-23
SoHo Billiards
1. Shin Park $1,600
2. Tony Robles $1,050
3. Frankie Hernandez $750
4. Jorge Rodriguez $450
5. (Tie) Chuckie Altomare, Jeremy Sossei $300
7. (Tie) Eddie Vazquez, Joe Pierce $200