Powers goes undefeated on NE 9-Ball Series, splits top prizes with Bausch

Alex Bausch, Beau Powers and Rich Minichello Jr.

Looking for his first win on the New England 9-Ball Series (according to our records) and his first cash payout in 2020, Beau Powers got both. The first came with an asterisk, when he and Alex Bausch opted out of a final match and Powers, as the undefeated occupant of the hot seat, was declared the official winner, while the second had to be split (by an undisclosed amount) with Bausch. The $500-added event, Stop #4 on the NE 9-Ball Series, drew 41 entrants to Amazin’ Billiards in Malden, MA.

Working in the upper bracket, Powers opened up his campaign with a double hill fight against Ricardo Diaz. He prevailed and went on to send Daniel Simmons (6-4), Tom Comerford (6-1) and Brian Tierney (6-4) to the loss side, drawing Suad Kantarevic in one of the winners’ side semifinals. Bausch, in the meantime, in the lower bracket, worked his way through Justin Cunningham 5-3, Ed Murray 7-1, Alvin Lam 5-2 and Robert Lucas 5-1 to arrive at his winners’ side semifinal match versus Curtis Wright.

With Kantarevic racing to 8, Powers advanced to the hot seat match, double hill (4-7). Bausch joined him after shutting Wright out. With the lower Fargo Rate (528), Bausch started the hot seat match with a single bead on the wire in a race to 6 against Powers (595). Powers claimed the hot seat and, as it turned out, the only match he’d play against Bausch 6-2.

On the loss side, Kantarevic and Wright stepped right into their second straight loss. Kantarevic drew Rich Minichello, Jr., who’d lost his opening round match against Brian Tierney, double hill, and embarked on an eight-match, loss-side winning streak that would end with some controversy in the semifinals. He’d recently been the beneficiary of a forfeit by his brother, Michael and eliminated Clyde Matta 6-2. Wright picked up William Aley, who’d been defeated in his second winners’ side round and went on a six-match winning streak that would take him to the quarterfinals. He’d just defeated Robert Lucas 5-1 and Alvin Lam 5-3.

With Kantarevic racing to 6, against his 5, Minichello, Jr. advanced to the quarterfinals 5-2. Aley joined him with a 5-3 win over Wright. Minchello chalked up win #8, downing Aley 8-2 in those quarterfinals (Aley racing to 4).

The semifinal between Bausch and Minichello, Jr. was a close one that was live-streamed. At the end of their 10th game, with Bausch racing to 4 and Minichello racing to 8, Minichello was acting on the assumption that they had just reached double hill at 3-7. What was assumed to be the match’s 11th rack was assembled and when it was done, broken and played out, Bausch had won with what was assumed to be a 4-7 score. However, Bausch knew and the live stream confirmed that somewhere along the line, Minichello had failed to move a bead on the wire, and at what Minichello assumed was the match’s deciding 11th rack, he’d already won 8-3. It was the 12th rack that Bausch won and claimed the win. Minichello agreed that the $200+ mistake (depending on how the finalists split the top two prizes) and responsibility for it was his and Bausch advanced to the semifinals.

Bausch did not play again. He and Powers agreed to the split and the 4th stop on the NE 9-Ball Series was, as they say, in the books.

Tour director Marc Dionne thanked the ownership and staff at Strokers Billiards, as well as Predator, Poison, Arcos II, BCAPL, USAPL New England, Fargo Rate, AZBilliards, Inside English, Professor Q-Ball’s National Pool and 3-Cushion News, Bob Campbell, MJS Construction, Master Billiards, OTLVISE Billiard Mechanics of America, Piku Tips and Just the Tip Cue Repair and Custom Accessories.

The next stop on the NE 9-Ball Series (#5), scheduled for this weekend (Oct. 24-25), will be a $750-added event, hosted by American Pool & Billiards (formerly Union Station Billiards) in Portland, ME.