Fracasso-Verner wins nine on the loss side, double dips Matta to claim NE 9-Ball Series title

Rafael Ortiz Jr, Clyde Matta and Lukas Fracasso-Verner

It’s been a relatively good year for Lukas Fracasso-Verner. He started it off in January by winning a stop on the NE 9-Ball Series and a month later, won the Empire State Championships, which, combined, has so far accounted for just under 80% of his cash at the tables this year. He’s a little over halfway to his 2018 cash earnings, which were the best of his still-young career. He took a step in the right direction on the weekend of August 9-11 by winning nine on the loss side of a NE 9-Ball Series bracket (Stop #24) to double dip hot seat occupant Clyde Matta and win the event title. The event drew 60 entrants to Snooker’s in Providence, RI.

As the event wound down to its final 12 competitors, Fracasso-Verner had the remaining field’s highest Fargo Rate (648). He was sent to the loss side in a double hill, second-round battle versus Jason Platt, who was sent over to join him by Mike Demarco in the next round. DeMarco would join both of them, when defeated by Clyde Matta, who advanced to a winners’ side semifinal against Ran Tamba. Rafael Ortiz, Jr., in the meantime, squared off against Phillip Medeiros in the other one.
In a straight-up race to 6, Matta (with the final 12’s second-highest Fargo Rate; 615) downed Tamba 6-3, as Ortiz, Jr. was busy surviving a double hill straight-up race to 5 against Medeiros. Matta claimed the hot seat with an exclamation point, shutting Ortiz, Jr. out.
Over on the loss side, Fracasso-Verner was edging his way back. With four down and five to go, he navigated his way through two straight double hill matches, against Mike DeMarco and Jim Prather, to draw Tamba. Medeiros picked up Jose Concepcion, who’d also chalked up two straight double hill matches, against Angel Gonzalez and Ed Courtney, to reach him.
Fracasso-Verner won a third double hill match, eliminating Tamba and advancing to the quarterfinals, where he was joined by Concepcion, who’d defeated Medeiros 4-2. Apparently tired of facing elimination in double hill scenarios, Fracasso-Verner gave up only one rack to Concepcion in those quarterfinals.
In a straight-up race to 7, Fracasso-Verner defeated Ortiz, Jr. in the semifinals 7-3 and turned to Matta in a true double elimination final. Fracasso-Verner took the opening set in a straight-up race to 6, 6-2. Matta fought back fiercely in the second race-to-5 set, forcing a deciding 9th game. Fracasso-Verner won it to claim his second 2019 NE 9-Ball Series title.
Tour director Marc Dionne thanked the ownership and staff at Snooker’s, as well as sponsors Predator, USAPL New England, Fargo Rate, Bert Kinister, AZBilliards, Inside English, Professor Q-ball’s National Pool and 3-Cushion News, Delta 13 Racks, MJS Construction, Bob Campbell with Lease Fundings, Master Billiards and OTLVISE Billiard Mechanics of America. The next stop (#25) on the NE 9-Ball Series, scheduled for the weekend of August 24-25, will be a special added event, an All-Around Championship, featuring competition in 8-ball, 10-ball and straight pool, to be hosted by Crow’s Nest in Plaistow, NH.