All Hail Caesar: Official winner of the 13th stop on the New England 9-Ball Series
Skip Maloney
Feb. 20, 2019
(l to r): Ben Savoie, Josh Caesar & Rick Faggioli
(l to r): Ben Savoie, Josh Caesar & Rick Faggioli
Josh Caesar navigated his way through a field of 42, on-hand for the 13th stop on the New England 9-Ball Series (February 16-17) and chalked up his first win on the tour. It came with the somewhat standard asterisk, indicating that an agreement was reached between the finalists (Caesar and Rick Faggioli) to not play a deciding match and award the event title to the hot seat occupant at the time. Faggioli had won the opening set of a true double elimination final before the agreement was reached. The $750-added event was hosted by Straight Shooter’s Family Billiards in Fall River, MA.
 
In the lower bracket, Josh Caesar won his opening round match against Josh Christian, and followed it with victories over Matt Solis, Nathan Camara and Sandy Kostant, before arriving at a winners’ side semifinal matchup against Phil Russo. Faggioli, in the meantime, after an opening round bye in the upper bracket, had defeated Rick Ferrell, Mark Ruzzano and Ben Savoie. Faggioli then sent Kevin Bauccio to the upper bracket’s loss side. Bauccio won a single match on the loss side of that bracket and joined Faggioli in an immediate, overall winners’ side semifinal rematch.
 
In a straight-up race to 5, Caesar downed Russo, double hill. Faggioli joined him in the hot seat match with a 6-2 victory over Bauccio. Caesar claimed the hot seat over Faggioli 6-5 (Faggioli racing to 7).
 
Bauccio and Russo moved to the loss side and ran right into their second straight defeat. Bauccio drew Ben Savoie, who’d defeated Henry Leighton 6-1 and Mike Cote 7-4 to reach him. Russo picked up Adam Blair, who’d eliminated Sandy Kostant 6-2 and Rob Rogan, double hill. In a straight-up race to 7, Savoie downed Bauccio 7-4. Blair joined him in the quarterfinals, after picking up a forfeit win over Russo.
 
In a straight-up race to 6, Ben Savoie survived the double hill quarterfinal match against Blair. In what was his third straight-up race in a row (another to 6), Savoie gave way to Faggioli, who earned his rematch against Caesar with a 6-4 semifinal win.
 
Faggioli took the opening set of the true double elimination final 7-4. The agreement was reached to split the top two prizes, and Caesar marched home victorious.
 
The New England 9-Ball Series raffled off a Predator Cue at this event. The $1400 raised was donated to the family of long-time tour member, Mark Young from New Bedford, MA, who passed away on February 2 at the age of 63.
 
Tour director Marc Dionne thanked the ownership and staff of Shooter’s Family Billiards, as well as 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 (#14), scheduled for Saturday, February 23, will be a $500-added event, hosted by Yale Billiards at its new location (169 N. Plains Industrial Rd.) in Wallingford, CT.