Lower-bracket Downs holds off upper-bracket Emerson loss-side challenge on NE 9-Ball Series

Jordan Emerson, Andy Downs and Justin Bertrand

Jordan Emerson, initially competing in an upper bracket, almost made it back from a long loss-side run to win stop #11 on the New England 9-Ball Series, but Andy Downs, who began the tournament in the lower bracket, completed an undefeated run with two double hill victories in the hot seat match and finals to claim the event title. The $500-added event drew 36 entrants to Run ‘Em Racks in Johnston, RI on Saturday, May 8.

Downs began his title run the way he ended it, with a double hill win. He survived his opening match 5-4 over William Aley and then, defeated Joel Smith 5-3 and Ed Murray 7-2 to arrive at a winners’ side semifinal match against Heidi Rezendes. Meanwhile, Billy Lanna got by John Vitale 6-3 and then sent Jordan Emerson to the loss side 7-2 to draw Beau Powers in the other winners’ side semifinal.

Bertrand defeated Lanna, double hill (5-6), while Downs gave up only a single rack to Rezendes to join Betrand in the hot seat match. In a straight-up race to 6, Downs won his second double hill match of the tournament and claimed the hot seat over Bertrand.

On the loss side, Emerson had opened his journey back to the finals with 5-3 wins over Channing Thompson and Samantha Barrett. He then eliminated Clyde Matta, double hill, and Keith Platt 5-2, to draw Lanna, coming over from the winners’ side. Rezendes, in the meantime, drew Chuck Sampson, who’d defeated Ed Murray 5-3 and Kacey Devine 4-2 to reach her.

Over the next three matches, which would put him into the finals, Emerson gave up only four racks in 22 games. He gave up the first of those against Lanna, which put him in the quarterfinals against Rezendes, who’d survived a double hill bout versus Sampson.

Emerson gave up one more rack sending Rezendes to the proverbial showers in those quarterfinals and then, in his final hurdle to the finals, gave up two against Bertrand in the semifinals. 

Fargo Rate calculations would tell you that if Downs and Emerson faced off in a race to 6, 10 times, Emerson (with the higher Fargo rate; 575-527) would win seven times. They were apparently involved in one of the three percentage-hypothetical matches, because while Emerson battled him to double hill, Downs hung on to win the final game, set and match to claim the event title.

Tour director Marc Dionne thanked the ownership and staff at Run ‘Em Racks, as well as title sponsor Predator, Poison, Arcos II, BCAPL, USAPL New England, Fargo Rate, AzBilliards, Professor Q-ball’s National Pool and 3 Cushion News, MJS Construction, Master Billiards, OTLVISE, Piku Tips and Just The Tip Cue Repair and Custom Accessories. The next stop on the NE 9-Ball Series (#12), scheduled for Sunday, May 16th, will be a $500-added Partners Tournament, hosted by House of Billiards in Hampton Falls, NH.