Oliveira takes two out of three against Casanzio to claim Joss Tour stop #12

After 15 years of competing on the Joss Northeast Open 9-Ball Tour, Nelson Oliveira had his two best (recorded) earnings years in 2015/2016. He chalked up a Joss Tour victory in 2015, and finished among the top five in six of the seven events in which he competed. In 2016, he chalked up two Joss Tour victories and finished among the top five in seven of nine events. On the weekend of March 11-12, at a $1,500-added stop (#12) on the Joss Tour (aka The Northeast 9-Ball Open XIX, and the 1st Annual Kevin Ketz Memorial), Oliveira claimed his first event title of the year, working his way through a field of 42 at Trick Shot Billiards Sports Bar & Club in Clifton Park, NY.
A $500-added Second Chance event drew 24 entrants, and saw Jeff Smolen take home the top prize. Frank Sorriento shut Smolen out in the first set of a true double elimination final. The second set went double hill, before Smolen closed it out to claim the Second Chance title.  
Oliveira came within a match of going undefeated in the main event, and it was fellow Joss Tour veteran, Ron Casanzio, who challenged him in the hot seat match and finals for the title. It was a quartet of Joss Tour veterans who squared off against each other in the two winners' side semifinals. After four rounds of play,  Oliveira came up against Dave Grau in one, as Casanzio met up with Bucky Souvanthong in the other. Oliveira sent Grau to the loss side 9-5, while Casanzio sent Souvanthong packing 9-6. Oliveira took the first of three against Casanzio 9-6 and waited in the hot seat for him to return from the semifinals.
Over on the loss side, Grau and Souvanthong ran into Spencer Auigbelle and Bruce Nagle, respectively. Auigbelle had survived a double hill battle against Tom Acciavatti, and eliminated John Babravich 9-4 to draw Grau. Nagle had gotten by Mark Creamer 9-3 and Steve Lillis 9-4 to draw Souvanthong. Auigbelle and Nagle handed Grau and Souvanthong their second straight loss; Auigbelle 9-5 over Grau and Nagle 9-4 over Souvanthong.
Auigbelle downed Nagle 9-4 in the quarterfinals, but had his four-match, loss-side winning streak ended by the man who'd defeated him earlier, Ron Casanzio. Casanzio took the semifinal match over Auigbelle 9-6 for a shot at Oliveira in the hot seat. 
Casanzio took the opening set of the true double elimination final 9-7. Oliveira, though, rallied in the second set to take it 9-6 and claim his first 2016 title.
In addition to the prize winners in both events, Melissa Tour was the raffle winner of a $1,500 Joss Cue. The next stop on the Joss Tour (#13), a $1,500-added event ($500-added Second Chance), scheduled for this weekend (March 18-19), will be hosted by King Smiley Billiards in Fort Edward, NY. Players are reminded that the site for Stop #14 on the tour, scheduled for April 8-9, has been changed from Salt City Billiards in Syracuse to Hippo's House of Billiards in Utica. Salt City Billiards was destroyed in an early morning fire last month (Feb. 8). No one was injured in the blaze, and though owners are optimistic about rebuilding, no final decisions have been made. 
Joss Tour director Mike Zuglan is continuing to remind players that entries for Turning Stone XXVIII, scheduled for Aug. 31- Sept 3 are filling up fast, with, as of this weekend, nearly three-quarters of the field already registered. Visit the Turning Stone Web site (http://www.turningstone.com), or contact Zuglan, for further information.