Idrais wins two out of three against Gatta to win New England 9-Ball Series stop in Tyngsboro

(l to r): Rick Gatta, Mourad Idrais & Joe Callaluca
During the New England 9-Ball Series stop (#7) on Sunday, November 26, Mourad Idrais and Rick Gatta played 20 games of 9-ball over three matches. While none of the individual matches went double hill, the aggregate score did. With Gatta (a B player) racing to 6 and Idrais (C+) racing to 5 in those matches, they split the games evenly at 10-10, which would translate into a win for Idrais were they to have played a single race-to-11 match. Idrais backed up the aggregate score win by winning two out of the three matches, including the final one that broke their 1-1 match tie and earned him the event title. The $500-added event drew 34 entrants to Maxamillian’s Billiards in Tyngsboro, MA.
Idrais and Joe Callaluca (both C+) emerged from the event’s lower bracket to appear in one of the winners’ side semifinals. Gatta and Lozar Gurevich (both B) from the upper bracket appeared in the other one. Idrais sent Gallaluca to the loss side 5-1 and was joined in the hot seat match by Gatta, who’d defeated Gurevich 6-1. Idrais sent Gatta to the semifinals 5-3 in their first of three and waited on his return.
On the loss side Callaluca picked up fellow C+ player Bill Phillips, who’d defeated two other C+ players, George Morgan, double hill, and Eli Davenport 5-3. Gurevich drew A-player Mark Morgan, who’d eliminated Ryan Stevens 7-4 and Mike Nicoloro 7-3.
In a straight-up race to 5, Callaluca advanced to the quarterfinals, double hill, over Phillips. Gurevich joined him with a 5-2 win over the higher handicapped Morgan. Callaluca went on to win the quarterfinal match 5-2 over the higher handicapped Gurevich.
The semifinal match between two players (Gatta & Gallaluca) who’d already lost to Idrais once went double hill, with Gatta eventually earning the right to face Idrais a second, and, as it turned out, a third time. Gatta came into the opening set of the finals with proverbial ‘guns a-blazing’ and promptly shut him out. Idrais almost returned the favor. He allowed Gatta only a single rack in a 5-1, second set win that earned him the event title.
Tour director Marc Dionne thanked the ownership and staff at Maxamillians Billiards, 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. Stop #8, scheduled for Saturday, December 2, will be a $500-added event, hosted by World Championship Billiards in Manchester, CT.