Fracasso-Verner comes from the loss side to win 14th Annual Robert Dionne Memorial
Skip Maloney
Jan. 14, 2019
Richard Comeau, Lukas Fracasso-Verner, Bobby Lewis, and Marc Dionne
Richard Comeau, Lukas Fracasso-Verner, Bobby Lewis, and Marc Dionne
At the age of 17, Lukas Fracasso-Verner has already chalked up an enviable number of regional tour victories. Most recently, in what was, to date, his best earnings year (2018), he added victories on the Predator Pro Am Tour (March) and The New England 9-Ball Series (October),  in the middle of which, on Memorial Day weekend, he became the youngest player (at 16) to ever win the Georgy “Ginky” Sansouci Memorial Amateur Tournament in New York City. He won the 8th Annual “Ginky” Memorial by emerging from a field of 143 competitors, winning 12 on the loss side (after being defeated in the opening round of play), and downing hot seat occupant, Chuck Allie, in the finals. On the weekend of January 12-13, Fracasso-Verner signed on to compete in the New England 9-Ball Series’ 14th Annual Robert Dionne Memorial (commemorating tour director Marc Dionne’s father), and trodding what would appear to be a comfortable path for himself, he came from deep on the loss side to challenge hot seat occupant, Bobby Lewis, and win his second NE 9-Ball Series title. The $750-added event drew 31 entrants to Crow’s Nest in Plaistow, NH.
 
Lukas (easier to type repeatedly than Fracasso-Verner) opened what would prove to be his winning campaign with a 7-3 (upper, higher-ranked bracket) win over Jeff Furness. In the next round, he was defeated, double hill, by Jason Richard (they would come within a single match of meeting a second time). Lukas began a seven-match, loss-side winning streak that would take him to the finals, and then, conclude with a title-earning victory over Lewis.
 
Richard would advance to a winners’ side quarterfinal against Lewis, who would send him to the loss side 7-3, and then meet Joe Lynch in one of the winners’ side semifinals. Richard Comeau and Emily Cady, in the meantime, emerging from the lower bracket, met in the other winners’ side semifinal.
 
Lewis shut out Lynch to get into the hot seat match, where he was joined by Comeau, who’d sent Cady to the loss side, double hill. Comeau would force an 11th, deciding game in that hot seat match by chalking up two of the three racks he needed against the much higher-rated Lewis (614 Fargo Rate, compared to Comeau’s 434), who was racing to 9. Lewis though dropped the 9-ball in the 9th game he needed to claim the hot seat.
 
On the loss side, Lukas was working his way toward the money rounds and an eventual meet-up in the first money round against Lynch. He’d recorded two victories on the loss side, when he chalked up two straight shutouts, over Tom Hood and Geoff James, to meet up with Lynch. Cady, in the meantime, drew Chris Ouimette, who’d defeated Jason Seavey 3-2 (Seavey racing to 4) and Juan White, double hill, 4-2.
 
Lukas downed Lynch 6-2, as Cady, in a straight-up race to 4, shut Ouimette out to join Lukas in the quarterfinals. Over the next 18 games that put Lukas into the finals, he’d give up only two racks; one each to Cady in the quarterfinals, and Comeau in the semifinals.
 
Going into the finals, Lukas, needing to win two matches to claim the title, had given up only 10 racks in his last 53 loss-side games (81% win average). With hot seat occupant Bobby Lewis racing to 5 in the opening set (Lukas to 6), Lukas took the opener 6-2. They reduced the ‘races’ in the second set; Lukas to 5, and Lewis to 4 (Lukas with the higher Fargo Rate/642-614). Lukas chalked up his third shutout, finishing with the same win average of 81% with which he went into the finals and claimed the event title.
 
Tour director Marc Dionne thanked everyone who participated in the event, to which a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the March of Dimes in memory of his father. He also thanked the ownership and staff of Crow’s Nest, and sponsors Predator Cues, USAPL New England, Fargo Rate, Bert Kinister, AZBilliards, Inside English, Professor Q-Ball’s National Pool and 3-Cushion News, Delta 13 Racks, MJS Construction, Bob Campbell, Bourgeois Farms and OTLVISE Billiard Mechanics of America. The next stop on the New England 9-Ball Series (#12), will be the $2,000-added Winter Classic, scheduled for the weekend of January 26-27, at Snookers, in Providence, RI.