Jan. 22, 2018
For many amateur competitors, non-handicapped events can be a good news/bad news situation. It’s good news for the higher-ranked players, who don’t have to think about the possibility of being defeated by someone who’s chalked up fewer racks in a match. For the lower-ranked players, their safety net of a rack or two (or more) is gone, and they’re faced with a mano a mano battle against someone who, on paper at least, is considered to be better than they are.
In a way, George Morgan, a C+ Player, split that difference on Stop #13 on the New England 9-Ball Series tour, held on Sunday, January 20. The event drew 42 entrants to Stix and Stones in Abington, MA. It was not handicapped and restricted to players B+ and below. Morgan spent most of his time in the lower bracket (C+ and below) where he downed three fellow C+ opponents to move into an overall winners’ side semifinal. He would go on to defeat a C player and a B+ player (twice) to finish undefeated.
First up for Morgan in the winners’ side semifinal of the now-combined brackets was Tim Schroeder (C). David Soule and Keith Platt (both B+) squared off in the other winners’ side semifinal. Soule downed Platt 6-2, and in the hot seat match, faced Morgan, who’d sent Schroeder to the loss side 5-3. Morgan got into the hot seat with a first (of two) wins over Soule 5-3.
On the loss side, Schroeder and Platt walked right into their second straight loss. Platt was eliminated 5-3 by fellow B+ shooter Kevin Bauccio, who’d been defeated by Paul Laverdiere in his second, upper bracket match, and was in the midst of a five-match, loss-side winning streak that would take him to the event semifinals. Schroeder, a C player, battled to double hill before giving way to Adam Blair (C+), who’d defeated Kevin Brule 4-1 and Jiten Patel, double hill, to reach him.
Bauccio gave up only a single rack to Blair in the race-to-4 quarterfinals that followed. The semifinals – a straight-up race to 4 against the two B+ players – saw Soule earn a second shot against Morgan in the hot seat with a 4-2 win.
Morgan improved on his 5-3 hot seat performance with a 5-2 win in the finals against Soule.
Tour director Marc Dionne thanked the ownership and staff at Stix and Stones, 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 on the New England 9-Ball Series Tour (#14), scheduled for January 27-28, will be the annual $5,000-added Winter Classic, hosted by Snooker’s in Providence, RI.