Gandy Valle Wins Ocean State 9-Ball Championship

Mike Zuglan, Gandy Valle and Steve Goulding

The Ocean State 9-Ball Championship is always a big event on the Joss NE 9-Ball Tour schedule, and this year's 18th running of the event was no exception. A field of 76 players threw their names in the hat to take their shot at $12,600 in prize money ($5000 added).

As a testament to the talent on display at this event, top players including Karen Corr, Mike Zuglan, Joey Korsiak and Dave Fernandez didn't even make it into the cash rounds.

On the winners side Sunday, Gandy Valle started his day with a 9-4 win over Joe Tucker and Kevin Guimond started with a 9-8 win over Tom McGonagle. Valle's win earned him his second straight hot-seat match on the Joss Tour and this time, he made sure there would be no close calls as he rolled over Guimond 9-2 to take the hot-seat.

On the one loss side, Tucker bounced back from his loss to Valle with a 9-6 win over Eddie Vazquez while McGonagle dropped a 9-3 match to Santos Sambajon. Sambajon went on to score a 9-5 win over Tucker, sending Tucker home in 4th place.

Sambajon's didn't have much time to celebrate his win over Tucker as Guimond scored a quick 9-3 win over Sambajon to set up a rematch between Guimond and Valle in the finals.

The first match of the double elimination finals started close at 2-2, with Guimond taking a brief lead at 3-2. Five straight racks won by Valle put him ahead 7-3 before Guimond won another rack to get back to 7-4. Valle won the next two games to win the match and tournament.

Valle earned $2500 for first place, while Guimond settled for $1900 in second place prize money.

Tour director Mike Zuglan is still taking entries for the Turning Stone Classic VIII 9-Ball Open scheduled for February 22nd - 25th, 2007. Interested players can reach Zuglan at 518-356-7163.

Photo courtesy of Mitch Heydt