Francisco Diaz Snags First Joss Tour Title

Francisco Diaz, Room Owner Andrea Duvall and Bucky Souvanthong

Last week’s stop on the Joss NE 9-Ball Tour (see report here) saw Francisco “Frankie” Diaz drop his first match of the event to Mike Donnelly. After that 9-6 loss, Diaz put away his cue and left, forfeiting his match on the one loss side. Apparently, one of the keys to winning a tour stop is winning that first match. That seemed to be the lesson this week when the tour visited Utica Billiards on the Boulevard in Utica, NY. 

Diaz won his first match this week (9-2 over Jason Hall), and that win helped springboard him to success. Diaz finished up Saturday play with a 9-3 win over Aaron Greenwood and an impressive 9-2 win over Qais Kolee. 

Diaz came back on Sunday and proved that Saturday play was no fluke, starting the day off with a 9-1 win over Tim Davis to get to the hot-seat match. It was that match that gave Diaz his biggest challenge of the event, going hill-hill before beating Dan Sharlow. 

On the one loss side, last week’s winner Bucky Souvanthong was making up for an early Saturday loss to Mike Rash. Souvanthong won three straight matches on the left side (Jason Reese, Seth Delvillano and Kolee) to qualify for Sunday play. 

Souvanthong started Sunday play with a tester, as he went hill-hill with Len Gianfrate before dispatching Hendrik Drost (7-2), Jamie Garrett (7-2) and then Sharlow (7-4) to qualify for his third straight appearance in the finals of a Joss Tour stop. 

The finals went one set with Diaz scoring a 9-6 win to remain undefeated and capture his first title on the Joss NE 9-Ball Tour. 

Sunday’s second chance tournament saw Redgie Cutler on a tear. Cutler took the hot-seat with five match wins by a combined record of 15-3, beating Joe Wysocki 3-1 in the hot-seat match. One of Cutler’s wins on his way to the hot-seat was a 3-0 match over Aaron Greenwood, and it was Greenwood coming from the one loss side to challenge Cutler in the finals. Greenwood would take Cutler to hill-hill but would not be able to stop him, losing in the first set of the finals 3-2 for the Cutler win. 

The Joss NE 9-Ball Tour will be in action again this weekend with a $1500 added main event and $500 added second chance tournament at Diamond Billiards Bar & Grill in Rochester, NY.