D'Alfonso goes undefeated (*) to win his second 2019 NE 9-Ball Series title
Skip Maloney
Apr. 23, 2019
(l to r): Paul Andrews, Tom D'Alfonso & John Patrick
(l to r): Paul Andrews, Tom D'Alfonso & John Patrick
The average Fargo Rate among the 53 entrants who signed on to compete for the 18th stop on the New England 9-Ball series was 501. By the time the $500-added event, held on Saturday, April 20, and hosted by Legends Sports Bar & Grill in Auburn, ME, had worked its way down to its final 12 competitors, that average had edged up to 527. At the lower end of the scale was Jennifer Lamson, who checked in with a 205 Fargo Rate. At the upper end of the scale was the event’s official winner, Tom D’Alfonso, who, after over 20 years of competition, entered the tournament with a Fargo Rate of 731. As defined by the rating system, his two closest competitors were Josh Rupard (663) and Kyle Pepin (652), both of whom he faced and defeated in winners’ side matches.
 
D’Alfonso faced separate opponents in the hot seat and finals of this event; John Patrick and Paul Andrews, respectively. He and Andrews opted out of a final match, leaving D’Alfonso, the undefeated occupant of the hot seat, as the event’s official winner.
 
Three of the six matches D’Alfonso won to claim the title required him to win twice as many games as his opponent (4-8). His first came against Bill Poland, whom he defeated 8-1. His second victory came against Rupard, who was racing to 5, against D’Alfonso’s 6. D’Alfonso defeated him 6-2 and moved on to his second 8-1 victory, over Eddie Bissonnette. D’Alfonso then sent Pepin to the loss side 7-1 (Pepin racing to 5) and faced Dennis Boucher in one of the winners’ side semifinals.
 
John Patrick, in the meantime, after an opening round bye, faced four straight opponents in even matches. He downed Elizabeth Wright 6-4 and then, in races to 5, defeated Bernie Bell 5-2 and Matt Preble 5-3. This set him up in a third straight-up race to 5 in the other winners’ side semifinal, against Gabriel Kirshnitz.
 
D’Alfonso got into the hot seat match with an 8-2 victory over Boucher. Patrick joined him after a double hill, 5-4, win over Kirshnitz. In what would prove to be his last match of the event, D’Alfonso completed his undefeated run with an 8-2 victory over Patrick. He finished with a game-winning average of 83%, having given up only nine racks over 54 games.
 
On the loss side, Boucher picked up James Stonkus, who, in a double hill battle, had eliminated Pepin 4-6 and Bissonnette 4-3 (Bissonnette racing to 5). Kirshnitz had the misfortune of running into the eventual runner-up, Paul Andrews, who was in the midst of a seven-match, loss-side winning streak that would take him to the unplayed final. He’d most recently eliminated Jozy Vienneau 5-2 and Matt Preble 4-2.
 
Two double hill battles advanced Boucher over Stonkus (5-4) and Andrews over Kirshnitz (4-3) to the quarterfinals. Over the next eight games, Andrews gave up only two racks; one each to Boucher in the quarterfinals and Patrick in the semifinals. Andrews and D’Alfonso agreed to the top-two-prizes split, leaving D’Alfonso as the event’s official winner.
 
Tour director Marc Dionne thanked the ownership and staff at Legends, 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 with Lease Fundings, Bourgeois Farms and OTLVISE Billiard Mechanics of America. The next stop on the New England 9-Ball Series (#19), scheduled for this Saturday, April 27, will be hosted by Straight Shooters in Fall River, MA.