Bazinet and Sheehan win BCAPL trips to Vegas on NE 9-Ball Series stop

Chad Bazinet

The New England 9-Ball Series held two BCAPL qualifying events for a trip to Las Vegas last weekend (June 12-13) for competitors in separate upper and lower (Fargo rate) brackets. The upper bracket which featured 12 competitors and Fargo rates ranging from 550 to 662 was won by Chad Bazinet (662), who came back from a trip to the semifinals to earn the trip to Vegas to compete in the 9-Ball Singles Gold Division from Sept. 1-4 at the Rio Hotel in Las Vegas. The lower bracket, with 18 competitors and Fargo Rates from 344 to 536 was won by Jeffrey Sheehan (500), who went undefeated to win his trip to Vegas, competing in the 9-Ball Singles Silver Division on the same dates and at the same location. The qualifiers were hosted by House of Billiards in Hampton Falls, NH.

After an opening round bye, Bazinet downed Samantha Barrett 7-2 and faced John Askew in a winners’ side semifinal. Ben Savoie, in the meantime, shut out Rod Eastman, and survived a double hill match against Kerry McAuliffe to meet Jodie Thompson in the other winners’ side semifinal.

Bazinet got into the hot seat match 6-3 over Askew and was joined by Savoie, who’d sent Thompson west by the same 6-3 score. In a straight-up race to 6, Savoie claimed the hot seat 6-4.

On the loss side, Askew picked up Dave Morganelli, who’d defeated Kerry McAuliffe 4-4 (McAuliffe racing to 6) and advanced to meet Askew when Robert Lewis forfeited. Thompson drew Xhuljano Kamxhiu, recent winner over Samantha Barrett 5-3 and, in a double hill fight, Rod Eastman.

In straight-up races to 5, battling for advancement to the quarterfinals, Askew defeated Morganelli 5-3, as Thompson eliminated Kamxhiu 5-2. Askew gave up only a single rack to Thompson in those quarterfinals, and then had his brief, loss-side run stopped by Bazinet in the semifinals 5-3.

Bazinet followed his one and only loss-side win with his fourth and fifth overall wins to claim the Vegas trip prize. He defeated Savoie 6-4 in the opening set of the true double elimination final and 5-3 in the second set.

Jeff Sheehan

Sheehan wins three double hill matches, downs Buelvas twice to claim lower bracket Vegas trip

With his 500 Fargo Rate, Jeffrey Sheehan sits right on the edge of advancement to the upper brackets of future events. He faced four opponents, one of them twice, in the lower bracket BCAPL qualifier and won all five matches to claim the prize. All but his last two matches, against Francis Buelvas in the hot seat and finals, went to double hill.

By Fargo Rate calculations, Sheehan’s first opponent, Kasandra Lam (465), had the best chance of beating him (a 35.4% chance to Sheehan’s 64.6%) and she almost did. She was the first of three straight opponents that forced Sheehan to play a single deciding game to advance. Sheehan then downed Stacey Hamel (380, with a 20-80 chance) 6-3 (Hamel racing to 4) to face Melanie Huynh (344; 23.2% chance to Sheehan’s 76.8%) in a winners’ side semifinal. Francis Buelvas (447), in the meantime, got by Neal Katz (357) 6-2 and Kyle King (473) 5-3 to draw Andrew Diduca (461) in the other winners’ side semifinal.

Sheehan defeated Huynh 7-3 (Huynh racing to 4) and was joined in the hot seat match by Buelvas, who survived the only double hill match he played, sending Diduca to the loss side 5-4.

Sheehan claimed the hot seat 5-3 over Buelvas and awaited his return.

On the loss side, Huynh picked up Bob Campbell, who’d recently chalked up two straight double hill wins, eliminating Kasandra Lam and Kyle King. Diduca drew Stacy Hamel, who’d followed her earlier defeat versus Sheehan with victories over Stacey Tonkin (at 536, the highest-ranked competitor in the lower bracket) 4-2 and Mike Felix, double hill.

Campbell eliminated Huynh, double hill and in the quarterfinals, faced Diduca, who’d defeated Hamel 5-2. Campbell then shut out Diduca, before himself being eliminated by Buelvas 4-2 in the semifinals that followed.

Sheehan completed his undefeated run by repeating his hot seat match score against Buelvas 5-3. For winning their respective events, Sheehan and Bazinet will receive air fare, hotel accommodations and free entry to the BCAPL National Championships, scheduled for Sept. 1-4 at the Rio Hotel in Las Vegas. 

Tour director Marc Dionne thanked the ownership and staff at House of Billiards in Hampton Falls, NH, as well as sponsors Predator, Poison, Arcos II, BCAPL, USAPL New England, Fargo Rate, AZBilliards, Professor Q-ball’s National Pool and 3-Cushion News, MJS Construction, Master Billiards, OTLVISE, Outsville, Accu-Rack and Just The Tip Cue Repair and Custom Accessories. The next stop on the NE 9-Ball Series (#14) will be the $500-added Robert & Catherine Dionne Memorial, scheduled for July 10 at Crow’s Nest in Plaistow, NH.