Levesque goes undefeated in unhandicapped stop on the NE 9-Ball Series

(l to r): Charlie Matarazzo, Dennis Levesque & Lukas Fracasso-Verner
For stop #21 on the New England 9-Ball Series, the ‘training wheels,’ known as handicaps, were removed. The 24 entrants who signed on for the Saturday, March 31 event, hosted by Straight Shooters in Fall River, MA, were, as usual, split into upper and lower brackets at the start; B or higher players in an upper bracket, racing to 6, and C+ or lower players, in a lower bracket, racing to 5. The brackets came together in the hot seat match and quarterfinals. Dennis Levesque, working in the upper bracket, went undefeated through the field to claim the event title.
Levesque faced separate opponents in the hot seat and finals of this event. He won three straight 6-4 victories to advance to a winners’ side semifinal against Mike Cote, as Charlie Matarazzo and Derek Oliveira squared off in the other winners’ side semifinal. Levesque downed Cote 6-3, and in the hot seat match, faced Matarazzo, who’d sent Oliveira to the loss side 5-3. Levesque gave up only a single rack to Matarazzo in the race-to-5 battle for the hot seat.
On the loss side, Levesque’s opponent in the finals, Lukas Fracasso-Verner, was working on a seven-match, loss-side winning streak that started when John Ferreira sent him to the loss side 6-4 in the event’s opening round. Fracasso-Verner was awarded a bye in his first loss-side round, and after his first two loss-side wins, he ran into Ferreira for a re-match. He eliminated Ferreira 6-4, and survived a double hill battle against Rich Senna to draw Cote, coming over from the winners’ side semifinal. Oliveira drew David Melancon, who’d defeated Anthony Petruzelli 5-2 and Buddy Oldham 5-3 to reach him.
Fracasso-Verner and Melancon handed Cote and Oliveira their second straight losses, both by shutout. In the now-joined brackets in the quarterfinals, Fracasso-Verner downed Melancon 5-2, and then, defeated Matarazzo 5-1 in the semifinals. In what would have been a straight-up race to 5 in any event, the two A players, Fracasso-Verner and Levesque squared off in the finals. Levesque won the first, and only set necessary 5-2 to claim the event title.
Tour director Marc Dionne thanked the ownership and staff at Straight Shooters, as well as sponsors Ozone Billiards, Molinari, Bert Kinister, AZBilliards, Inside English, Professor Q-Ball’s National and 3-Cushion News, Delta 13 Racks, MJS Construction, Bob Campbell, Championship Cloth, and OTLVISE Billiard Mechanics of America. The next stop on the New England 9-Ball Series (#22), scheduled for April 8, will be a Partners Tournament, hosted by Snookers in Providence, RI.