Nickerson follows 7th place Joss NE 9-Ball finish with a win on the New England 9-Ball Series
Skip Maloney
Oct. 19, 2017
(l to r): Kyle Pepin, Dan Small (Legends owner), Carlton Chagnon & Dillon Nickerson
(l to r): Kyle Pepin, Dan Small (Legends owner), Carlton Chagnon & Dillon Nickerson
Recognition as a contender in the world of pool usually begins with a player’s first finish ‘in the money,’ from which it will proceed (hopefully) to higher and higher finishes and larger amounts of money to show for the efforts. To have that first (recorded) payout occur on the Joss Northeast 9-Ball Tour isn’t unheard of, but it’s a significant radar blip on a pool career screen that suggests the player might be someone to watch. Dillon Nickerson finished 7th in the Joss NE 9-Ball’s season opener last month (The Maine Event XI in September) and the radar blip of that finish put his name into the AZBilliards database for the first time. A month later, on the weekend of October 14-15, a slightly stronger blip appeared on Nickerson’s career screen when he navigated his way through a field of 52, on-hand for the third stop on the New England 9-Ball Series, and chalked up his first event title. It should be noted that occasionally, a player’s victory or a number of them might not, for a variety of reasons, show up in the extensive AZBilliards database, because that one or those victories might not have been reported to the site’s administrators. That said, as the blip on the career screen is recorded for posterity, Nickerson has now won a regional tour title, and the money that it represents. The $1,500-added event was hosted by Legends Sports Bar & Grill in Auburn, ME.
 
At the start of an event, players on The New England 9-Ball Series are divided into two brackets that initially separate higher and lower-ranked players. Without delving too deeply into the minute details, this creates two hot seat matches (winners’ side finals), one each for the initially separate upper and lower brackets. In a single bracket, these two separate hot seat matches would be identified as the two winners’ side semifinals, leading to one hot seat match. So it was, that Nickerson, after being awarded an opening round bye and defeating three opponents faced Al McGuane in this recent event’s upper bracket hot seat match, while Charlton Chagnon (winner of four matches) faced Charles Rosco in the lower bracket’s hot seat match. Nickerson downed McGuane 6-4, as Chagnon sent Rosco to the loss side 5-1. Nickerson claimed the overall event hot seat with a double hill (8-4) win over Chagnon.
 
On the loss side, McGuane ran into an immediate re-match against Kyle Pepin, whom he had defeated earlier. Pepin’s loss-side trip in the upper bracket amounted to a single match, which he won, over Derick Burnham 8-4. This advanced him to the loss side of a single, merged bracket, where he survived a double hill fight against George Morgan to draw the re-match against McGuane. Rosco picked up Mike Pepin (Kyle Pepin’s uncle), recent winner over Kevin Lank (forfeit) and Josh Edmonds 5-3.
 
Uncle and nephew Pepin moved on to face each other in the quarterfinals; Nephew Kyle, defeating McGuane, double hill and UncLe Mike, 5-2 over Rosco. Kyle chalked up the quarterfinal win over his uncle 9-2 (Mike racing to 5). Kyle then defeated Chagnon 10-5 in the semifinals to earn a spot in the finals against Nickerson.
 
Pepin battled Nickerson to a deciding game in the opening set of the true double elimination final and won it to force a second set. Nickerson, though, came back to win the second set 6-5 (Pepin racing to 8) and claim his first recorded tour victory.
 
Tour director Marc Dionne thanked the ownership and staff at Legends, as well as sponsors Ozone Billiards, Molinari, Bert Kinister, AZBilliards, Inside English, Professor Q-Ball’s National Pool and 3-Cushion News, Delta 13 Racks, MJS Construction, Bob Campbell, Championship Cloth and OTLVISE Billiard Mechanics of America. The next stop (#5) on the New England 9-Ball Series, scheduled for October 21, will be a $500-added event, hosted by Yale Billiards in Wallingford, CT.