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Drago Prevails at Predator 10-Ball
May 19, 2008, 10:33 AM

Drago was the unlikely winner in his first 10-ball tournament. (Photo by JP Parmentier, kozoom.com)
LAS VEGAS, Nev. - The first 10-ball tournament Tony Drago ever entered will be a memorable one. In the final of the Predator International 10-Ball Championship on Saturday, the former snooker pro from Malta cruised past Francisco Bustamante in a match that saw both players struggle from the get-go.

In the first rack, both players missed multiple shots on the 8, before a Bustamante scratch gave the rack to Drago. Bustamante never found a comfort zone at the TV table. Even when the Filipino managed to string balls together, he often had to come with difficult shots after losing shape.

Tied at 2-2, Drago pulled away by winning five of the next six for a 7-3 lead. Bustamante would fight back to tie the match, 9-9, but he faulted again. On the break, Bustamante popped the cue ball off the table, giving Drago an easy 1-10 combo.

From there, Drago was in complete control. On the hill, Drago ran through the final rack of the tournament, often taking only a few seconds to line up and fire the next shot. In both the semifinal and final matches, Drago never once heard the official's ten-second warning on the 30-second shot clock.

The Predator title is Drago's second among the bright lights of Las Vegas. At the Mosconi Cup in December, he was voted Most Valuable Player on the victorious European squad.

Drago took home $17,000 for the win; Bustamante collected $7,500; and Marcus Chamat and Jeremy Jones each received $4,000 for third.