Parica Leads the Way at Jay Swanson Memorial
14th Annual Jay Swanson Memorial Tournament / Hollywood, CA
by Lea Andrews
While some people may be feeling the heat of Valentine’s Day evening, Jose Parica is feeling the heat of the hot seat of the 14th Annual Jay Swanson Memorial 9-Ball Tournament. The $4,000-added event, which features a $15,520 total prize purse, drew 192 players to Hollywood Billiards in Hollywood, CA, February 13-14.
Parica, who finished fourth in last year’s event, plowed his way into the hot seat match with wins over Louis Ulrich 8-4, Greg Gerado 8-4, and hill-hill over Marshall Young, who was coming off an 8-5 win over Bernardo “King Kong” Chavez. Waiting for Parica in the hot seat match was Wayne Pullen, who’d notched back-to-back hill-hill victories over Sal Butera and Butch Carba to meet up with Marcus Rodriguez, who’d notched his own hill-hill win over Bryan Parks. But after sailing past Rodriguez 8-1, Pullen found himself on the wrong end of another 8-1 match as Parica tossed him over to the semis.
Still alive on the left side of the bracket is Butera, who rebounded from his loss to Pullen by ousting his own protégé, 14-year-old CSI Junior Master Brenden Crockett. After backing that win up with a 7-3 victory over Ulrich, Butera flew by Parks 7-2 and last year’s runner-up Oscar Dominguez 7-4. Dominguez, who’d just knocked out Abe Lim 7-2 and Carba 7-1, landed in seventh this year. Meanwhile, Gerado was making a run for a rematch with Parica, winning 7-3 over Dane Elmstead, who’d just edged out Corey Harper 7-6, to face Chavez, who’d taken care of Nick Spano 7-6. Gerado flipped that score on Chavez, putting him in seventh 7-6, but then the score got flipped on him, and his hopes of meeting back up with Parica ended as he landed in fifth courtesy of Rodriguez. Rodriguez will battle it out in the quarterfinals with Butera, who got past Young 7-5, and the winner will earn the rematch with Pullen in the semifinals.