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D’Alfonso and Ruzzano split top prizes on New England 9-Ball Series stop in Fall River, MA

Adam Blair, Tom D’Alfonso & Mark Ruzzano

It’s rare on the New England 9-Ball Series, but splits of the top prizes do happen. Case in point:  Stop #7 (2019-2020), hosted by Straight Shooters’ Family Billiards in Fall River, MA on Saturday, November 23. Tom D’Alfonso and Mark Ruzzano battled in the hot seat and were scheduled to meet again in the finals. They allowed their hot seat result to stand as the definitive answer to ‘who won,’ split the top two prizes, and left the undefeated D’Alfonso as the official winner. The $500-added event drew 48 entrants to Straight Shooters.

D’Alfonso was far and away the highest FargoRated player at the tables on this particular day. At 737, he was 102 points ahead of the next highest-ranked player in the field; Dennis Levesque at 635 and he didn’t play against him. In his six matches (to include Ruzzano twice), he faced an opponent-average FargoRate of 552.8. His highest-ranked opponent through six matches was Roarke Dickson (588) in a winners’ side quarterfinal, in which Dickson was awarded ‘four beads on the wire’ in a race to 8 and only added two, for an 8-2 actual score, or 8-6 handicap victory for D’Alfonso.

D’Alfonso advanced to face Antero Tavares (560) in one of the overall winners’ side semifinals (the tour keeps upper and lower rated players separated in the early matches). Mark Ruzzano, in the meantime, squared off against Adam Blair (505). D’Alfonso moved on to the hot seat (and what proved to be his final) match with his only double hill win of the day, 8-3, arriving at the hot seat match having given up only six racks through 39 games. Ruzzano, in a straight-up race to 5 sent Blair to the loss side 5-1. D’Alfonso claimed the hot seat 9-2.

On the loss side, two long loss-side streaks were about to come to an end. Tavares picked up Jim Prather, who, in the lower bracket, had been defeated in the opening round by Mark Ransom and was in the midst of a seven-match, loss-side winning streak that would take him as far as the overall quarterfinals. Along the way, he’d wreaked his vengeance on Ransom with a double hill win that left Ransom in the tie for 13th. Prather then downed Roarke Dickson and Matthew Rezendes, both 5-1, to meet Tavares.

Blair drew Mourad Idrais, who’d also been defeated in the event’s opening round (he was shut out by Mike Negrelli) and was on his own six-match, loss-side winning streak that was about to end. He’d recently defeated Souheil Muraby, double hill, and in a serious ‘vengeance is sweet’ scenario, returned the shut out ‘favor’ to Negrelli to meet Blair.

Prather downed Tavares, double hill (5-3) and in the quarterfinals, faced Blair, who’d ended Idrais’ loss-side streak 4-2. Blair then ended Prather’s run 4-2 (Prather racing to 6).

In a straight-up, race-to-5 semifinal, which proved to be the final match of the night, Ruzzano ended Blair’s short loss-side visit 5-3. He and D’Alfonso opted out of the final and as the undefeated occupant of the hot seat, D’Alfonso claimed the official event title.

Tour director Marc Dionne thanked the ownership and staff at Straight Shooters, as well as sponsors Predator Cues, BCAPL, 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, Master Billiards and OTLVISE Billiard Mechanics of America. The next stop on the New England 9-Ball Series, scheduled for Thanksgiving weekend (November 30 – December 1), will be a $1,000-added event, hosted by Legends Billiards in Auburn, ME.

Minichello spoils Boudreau bid for third win on the New England 9-Ball Series

(l to r): Tyler Boudreau, Josh Caesar & Mike Minichello

Chances are, Tyler Boudreau is not going to have a 496 FargoRate for long. On Sunday, November 3, he missed, by a game, picking up his third win on the New England 9-Ball Series; his 4th, if you include his win with Tom D’Alfonso in a Partners Tournament. Boudreau made it to a winners’ side semifinal before being sent to the loss side, from where he mounted a campaign that set him up in the finals against Michael Minichello (703). He took the opening set, and battled to double hill, before Minichello won the second set to claim the title. The $500-added event (#6) drew 42 entrants to Bo’s Billiards in Warwick, RI.
 
They came within two, single games of playing for the hot seat. Working from the upper (higher FargoRate) bracket, Minichello got by Ricardo Diaz, Jay Duffin, Rick Gatta and Mike Demarco to draw Vashon Robinson in the upper bracket’s winners’ side final (the overall winners’ side semifinal). Boudreau, working in the lower bracket in the meantime, got an opening round bye and defeated Tracey Duffin, Justin Bertrand and Adam Blair, to draw Josh Caesar in the lower bracket’s winners’ side final (overall winners’ side semifinal).
 
Minichello and Caesar both won double hill fights; Minichello over Robinson 8-3 (Robinson racing to 4) and, in a straight up race to 5, Caesar over Boudreau. Minichello had to win another double hill fight against an opponent racing to 4 (Caesar) and did so to claim the hot seat.
 
On the loss side, Boudreau picked up Mark Ruzzano, who’d defeated Adam Blair 4-2 and survived a double hill battle versus Phil Walton to reach him. Robinson drew Keith Platt, who, in straight up races to 5, had recently eliminated Kevin Bauccio 5-2 and Mike DeMarco 5-1.
 
Platt and Robinson, both racing to 5, battled to double hill before Platt prevailed and advanced to the quarterfinals. Boudreau joined him after defeating Ruzzano 4-2. Boudreau then ended Platt’s day by shutting him out in those quarterfinals.
 
The loss-side rematch between Boudreau and Caesar lacked the double hill drama of its winners’ side semifinal predecessor. Boudreau allowed Caesar only a single rack and advanced into the finals.
 
The handicap arrangement gave Boudreau ‘five on the wire’ against Minichello in a race to 9. They both chalked up four racks in the opening set, but the handicap gave Boudreau the victory. Minichello got out ahead in the second set, but gave up three racks to Boudreau, leading to a 12th and deciding rack. Minichello won it to claim the event title, his first recorded victory since he won the tour’s Joe Brown Memorial in February, 2018.
 
Tour director Marc Dionne thanked the ownership and staff at Bo’s Billiards, as well as sponsors Predator Cues, USAPL New England, BCA Pool League, 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, Master Billiards and OTLVISE Billiard Mechanics of America. The next stop (#7) on the NE 9-Ball Series, scheduled for Saturday, November 23, will be a $500-added event, hosted by Straight Shooters in Fall River, MA.

Argentino and Lisciotti dominate Summer Sizzler Partners Event on NE 9-Ball Series

(l to r): S. Ahmed, A. Petruzzelli, M. Argentino, L. Lisciotti, J. Concepcion, and A. Gonzalez

One doesn’t toss out the word ‘dominate’ lightly, no matter what the circumstances, because as anyone familiar with pool will tell you, a wide score disparity doesn’t always reflect how close any given match may have been. That said, Mario Argentino and Lance Lisciotti went undefeated through a field of 39 teams of two, on-hand for the New England 9-Ball Series’ $500-added (8-Ball on the winners’ side and 9-Ball on the loss side) Summer Sizzler Partners Event, hosted by Yale Billiards in Wallingford, CT on  Sunday, August 4. The victory encompassed six matches in all and over those six matches, the Argentino/Lisciotti partnership allowed a total of only six racks to be recorded against them, culminating in back-to-back shutouts in the hot seat match and finals.
 
Following an opening round bye, Argentino and Lisciotti, who would never compete in 9-Ball in this event, embarked on their arguably dominant performance giving up a single rack to their first two partnered opponents and then running into a pair of players in a winners’ side quarterfinal who brought them to the double hill brink of a loss – Ricardo Diaz and Beau Powers. Argentino/Lisciotti survived the scare and advanced to a winners’ side semifinal versus Tyler Boudreau and Tom D’Alfonso, who were the closest matched competitors in terms of Fargo Rates that the two faced all weekend. Argentino/Lisciotti came to the tables with a 587 (combined, averaged) Fargo Rate. Boudreau/D’Alfonso were three points away at 584. In the other winners’ side semifinal, Jose Concepcion and Angel Gonzalez met up with Jay Cunningham and Jordan Stevens.
 
Argentino/Lisciotti gave up their sixth (and unbeknownst to the assembled, their final) rack, defeating Boudreau/D’Alfonso 4-1. Concepcion/Gonzalez joined them in the hot seat match following a 3-2 win over Cunningham/Stevens. In what was one of only two handicapped matches among the event’s final 14 matches, Argentino/Lisciotti shut the Concepcion/Gonzalez team out (the Concepcion/Gonzalez team began the match with a single ‘bead on the wire’ in a race to 4) and sat in the hot seat, awaiting their return.
 
On the loss side, Boudreau/Alfonso picked up Jason D’Angelo and Joey Dupuis, who’d recently defeated the Diaz/Powers duo that had double-hill challenged Argentino/Lisciotti in the 4th winners’ side round. D’Angelo/Dupuis double-hill challenged and eliminated them, before advancing to defeat Gene Hunt and Ruben Sepulveda 4-1 to pick up Boudreau/D’Alfonso. Cunningham/Stevens drew Shiekh Ahmed and Anthony Petruzzelli, who’d eliminated Adam Blair and Josh Caesar 3-1 and survived a double hill match against Bobby and Rebecca Hilton.
 
In the first of the money rounds, Ahmed/Petruzzelli handed Cunningham/Stevens their second straight loss 3-1 and were joined in the quarterfinal match by Boudreau/D’Alfonso, who’d survived a double hill battle against D’Angelo/Dupuis. Another double hill fight ensued in those quarterfinals, with Ahmed/Petruzzelli eventually advancing to the semifinals over Boudreau/D’Alfonso.
 
Concepcion/Gonzalez, no doubt eager for a second shot against the hot seat’s Argentino/Lisciotti team, gave up only a single rack to Ahmed/Petruzzelli in the semifinals and got that chance. Argentino/Lisciotti, though, doubled down on the dominance angle, shutting Concepcion/Gonzalez out in the second handicapped match of the event’s final 14 and claiming the Summer Sizzler Partners title.
 
Tour director Marc Dionne thanked the ownership and staff at Yale 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 with Lease Fundings, Master Billiards and OTLVISE Billiard Mechanics of America. The next stop on the New England 9-Ball Series, scheduled for this weekend (August 11), will be hosted by Snooker’s in Providence, RI.

DeMarco and Harnois go undefeated (*) to win NE 9-Ball Series partners’ tournament

l to r: Chris Benoit, Mike Uttley, Mike DeMarco, Jeff Harnois, Scott Reynolds, Lukas Fracasso-Verner

The generally congenial atmosphere of Scotch Doubles competition lends itself to the idea that the journey itself is more significant, and fun, than the destination of winning or losing. In that spirit, at Stop #17 on the New England 9-Ball Series, the last three teams standing at the end of the tournament on Sunday, April 7, apparently expressed a desire to be considered co-champions of the event.
 
Simple enough. So, Mike Demarco/Jeff Harnois, Chris Benoit/Mike Uttley and Lukas Fracasso-Verner/Scott Reynolds became co-champions of the NE 9-Ball Series Partners Tournament. that drew 60 teams of two to Snookers in Providence, RI.
 
Now here’s what happened. By the end of a no-doubt long Sunday, when the event came down to its final two matches (possibly three, with a double elimination final), those three teams opted out of further play and split the top three cash prizes. As the only undefeated team at that point, DeMarco and Harnois would technically be granted the official status as winners, with Benoit/Uttley as runners-up and Fracasso-Verner/Reynolds finishing in third.
 
It was a four-match march to the winners’ side semifinals for DeMarco/Harnois and Benoit/Uttley. Two of DeMarco/Harnois’ matches in that march went double hill. In those winners’ side semifinals, DeMarco/Harnois defeated Tour Director Marc Dionne and Dominick Souza 5-1, as Benoit/Uttley squared off and downed Justin Cunningham and Jordan Stevens 4-2. DeMarco/Harnois claimed the hot seat 4-1 in what proved to be the final match for both partnerships.
 
On the loss side, Dionne/Souza and Cunningham/Stevens ran right into their second straight loss. Dionne/Souza met up with the team they’d sent to the loss side in the winners’ side quarterfinals – Fracasso-Verner/Reynolds, who’d defeated Adam Blair and Kerry McAuliffe 5-3 and Jason Platt and Ran Tamba 4-1. Cunningham/Stevens faced Daniel Nizeul and Paul Fontaine, who’d recently defeated Ned McConnell and Lida Mullendore, double hill, and Jason D’Angelo and Bill O’Mara 4-1.
 
Fracasso-Verner/Reynolds wreaked their rematch vengeance on Dionne/Souza, though not before Dionne/Souza took them to the brink of elimination by putting up a double hill fight. Nizeul/Fontaine eliminated Cunningham/Stevens by shutting them out 3-0.
 
In what proved to be the last match of the night, Fracasso-Verner/Reynolds defeated Nizeul/Fontaine 4-1 in the quarterfinals. It would no doubt have been interesting to see what might have happened had two teams with a combined FargoRate separated by only five points met up in the finals (588 for Fracasso-Verner/Reynolds and 583 for DeMarco/Harnois), but that didn’t happen. Benoit/Utley (510), in the never-happened semifinals, might have had something to say about that potential matchup, but we’ll never know. Any more than we’ll likely ever know why the event format is called “Scotch Doubles,” instead of Lithuanian Doubles or Japanese Doubles. Just one of those things we’ll never know.
 
Tour director Marc Dionne, rallying from his and his partner Souza’s loss, though no doubt soothed by the cash they split for finishing in the tie for 5th place, thanked the ownership and staff at Snooker’s for their hospitality, 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.
 
Dionne also notified potential participants at the next stop on the New England 9-Ball Series (#18) that the posted date has changed. Scheduled for this Saturday, April 13, the event has been re-scheduled to occur on Saturday, April 20, at the same location, Legends Sports Bar in Auburn, ME. 

All Hail Caesar: Official winner of the 13th stop on the New England 9-Ball Series

(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.

Morganelli goes undefeated through field of 112 to win NE 9-Ball Series Winter Classic

(l to r): Clyde Matta, Dave Morganelli & Robert Piersa

Lineham wins second-tier 10-ball event
 
There were two distinctly different events at the 12th stop on the New England 9-Ball Series; its annual Winter Classic held on the weekend of January 26-27 and hosted by Snooker’s in Providence, RI. The main event was a $2,000-added 9-ball tournament that was traditionally handicapped with the use of FargoRates to determine the matches and drew 112 entrants. There was also a $500-added, non-handicapped 10-ball tournament with 21 entrants, which was billed as something of a Second Chance event, but offered $1,570 worth of cash prizes for the top four finishers.
 
Dave Morganelli went undefeated through the field of 112 to take the 9-ball event, downing Rob Piersa twice. RYan Lineham did likewise through the shorter-field 10-ball tournament, defeating Corey Avallone in the hot seat match and Lukas Fracasso-Verner in the final. It took Morganelli seven matches to claim the 9-ball title. Lineham grabbed the 10-ball title in five.
 
Morganelli was one of 12 competitors in the 9-ball tournament’s lower bracket that was awarded an opening round bye, after which he got by Justin Grant, Chuck Sampson, Mourad Idrais, and Phil Medeiros to arrive at a winners’ side semifinal match against Bob Lucas. Rob Piersa, in the meantime, without a bye in the upper bracket, defeated Rich Senna, Ryan Lineham (the eventual winner of the 10-ball event), Brian Chase and Bill Cote to arrive at his winners’ side semifinal matchup against Kevin Bauccio.
 
In a straight-up race to 5, Morganelli advanced to the hot seat match 5-3 over Lucas. Piersa joined him after downing Bauccio 7-4 (Bauccio racing to 6). Morganelli, with a FargoRate of 539, started the hot seat match with three on the wire in a race to 7 against Piersa, with his FargoRate of 651. They split the actual games 4-4, but with the handicap, Morganelli claimed the hot seat.
 
On the loss side, Lucas picked up Adam Blair, who’d defeated Emily Cady 5-2 and Rich Ferrell 5-3 to reach him. Bauccio drew Clyde Matta, who’d eliminated Bill Cote, double hill (7-6) and Mike Demarco 7-4.
 
In straight-up races to 5 (Lucas/Blair) and 7 (Matta/Bauccio), Blair and Matta handed Lucas and Bauccio their second straight loss; Blair 5-3 over Lucas and Matta 7-5 over Bauccio. Matta took the subsequent quarterfinal match over Blair 7-3.
 
In a straight-up race to 6, Piersa (651) downed Matta (611) 6-1 in the semifinals to earn himself a second (and potentially, third) shot against Morganelli, waiting for him in the hot seat. Morganelli took the opening and only set necessary 5-2 to claim the NE 9-Ball Series Winter Classic title.
 
Lineham becomes second person on the weekend to eliminate Fracasso-Verner
 
[photo id=50706|align=right]
Lukas Fracasso-Verner, 17, has made something of a dangerous habit out of coming from the loss side to claim a number of event titles, including a 12-match, loss-side trip to win last year’s “Ginky” Memorial, and a seven-match, loss-side winning streak to win the NE 9-Ball Series’ Robert Dionne Memorial, two weeks ago. On the weekend of January 26-27, the habit got the best of him at the NE 9-Ball Series’ Winter Classic. He was sent to the loss side in the third round of the main event, and won only one match on the loss side, before being eliminated, out of the money. He rallied a bit in the 10-ball tournament, advancing to a winners’ side semifinal, and then, winning three on the loss side for a shot against Ryan Lineham in the hot seat. Lineham prevailed.
After an opening round bye, Lineham had defeated Kerry McAuliffe and Mike Hurley to arrive at his winners’ side semifinal match against Chad Bazinet. Fracasso-Verner, in the meantime, faced Chad Avallone.  Lineham downed Bazinet 7-5, as Avallone was sending Fracasso-Verner to the loss side 7-4. Lineham claimed the hot seat 7-2 over waited on what turned out to be the return of Fracasso-Verner.
 
On the loss side, Fracasso-Verner shut out Jon Leandro and in the quarterfinals, faced Bazinet, who’d eliminated Francisco Cabral 5-1. Fracasso-Verner downed Bazinet in those quarterfinals 5-3, for a rematch against Avallone in the semifinals. A double hill fight ensued that eventually sent Fracasso-Verner to the finals.
 
They could have played a modified race to 5 in the finals, but Fracasso-Verner and Lineham opted to play it out to the normal race to 7. Fracasso-Verner survived the double hill, opening set of the true double elimination final 7-6, but Lineham grabbed the second set 7-5 to claim the 10-ball event title.
 
Tour director Marc Dionne thanked the ownership and staff at Snooker’s for their hospitality, as well as sponsors Predator Cues, USAPL New England, FargoRate, 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 (#13), will be a $750-added event, scheduled for the weekend of February 16-17 and hosted by Straight Shooters Family Billiards in Fall River, MA.

Perrino and Chase go undefeated to win Partners stop on the NE 9-Ball Series

(l to r): TJ Perrino, Brian Chase, Charlie Matarazzo & Rick Gatta

Partners tournaments are not a main item on anyone’s pool calendar menu, although as the industry has begun to notice the increased-interest advantages of team competitions, they may be a harbinger of things to come. The New England 9-Ball Series hosts them fairly regularly, and while they present something of a narrative challenge, as descriptions of the event require lengthy and repetitive use of the double names, which defy any shorthand means of reducing the overall words-per-report average. Its most recent partners tournament (Stop #9 on the tour), held on Sunday, December 9 at Crow’s Nest in Plaistow, NH, drew 64 sets of partners, which, if nothing else, managed to increase the tour’s entrants-per-event average.
 
The teams of two play with an average FargoRate, which, in the case of the eventual winners – TJ Perrino and Brian Chase – happened to be the highest FargoRate (600) among the event’s final and money-earning 12 teams. The range of competition, as defined by the combined FargoRate, amounted to 150 points, with the lowest team (450; Ben Come and Nelson Perron) being eliminated in the matches that determined the four-way tie for 9th place. As with their singles tournaments, the event was initially broken up into separate upper and lower (ranked) brackets.
 
Perrino/Chase advanced through the upper bracket to arrive at a winners’ side semifinal match against John Ferreira and Kevin Rodriguez (594). Charlie Matarazzo and Rick Gatta (530), in the meantime, emerging from the lower bracket, squared off against Jason Parker and Jose Concepcion (493). Perrino/Chase survived a double hill match against Ferreira/Rodriguez and advanced to the hot seat match. Matarazzo/Gatta had a slightly easier battle, defeating Parker/Concepcion 4-1. Perrino/Chase downed Matarazzo/Gatta 5-1 (Matarazzo/Gata racing to 4) and waited in the hot seat for their return.
 
On the loss side, Ferreira/Rodriguez met up with Al McGuane and Michael Mathieu (575), who, most recently in the event’s first money round, had defeated Kerry McAuliffe and Adam Blair 4-1, and then, by the same score, Jeff Provencher and Andrew Burns. Parker/Concepion faced John Collier and Ruben Soto (537), who’d recently shut out Eli Davenport and Bill Phillips, and then got into a double hill fight, which they won 3-2, against Justin Fournier and Matt Lopes.
 
Ferreira/Rodriguez, no doubt eager to avenge their double hill loss versus Perrino/Chase in the winners’ side semifinals, got right back to work, giving up only two racks over their next 11 games. They first downed McGuane/Mathieu 4-2, as Collier/Soto were busy eliminating Parker/Concepcion 3-1. Ferreira/Rodriguez then shut out Collier/Soto in the quarterfinals and turned to the one obstacle in the way of their hoped-for rematch; Matarazzo and Gatta.
 
Both teams chalked up four racks in the semifinals. Matarazzo/Gata, however, with the lower FargoRate, were racing to four, and the Ferreira/Rodriguez bid for a shot in the finals came to an end, one game shy. Matarazzo/Gata had managed only a single rack in the hot seat match, but they mounted a more vigorous campaign in the finals. They forced Perrino/Chase (racing to 5) into an eighth deciding game. Perrino/Chase, though, won the deciding game to claim the partners title 5-3.
 
Tour director Marc Dionne thanked the ownership and staff at Crow’s Nest, along with sponsors Predator Cues, USAPL New England, FargoRate, 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 New England 9-Ball Series will move into the 2019 portion of its current season with a $500-added event (Stop #10), scheduled for Saturday, January 5, and hosted by Legends Sports Bar in Auburn, ME.

Ludy wins decisive second set of finals vs. Campbell to capture NE 9-Ball Series title

Ken Ludy, Tyler Campbell & Ryan Stevens

As an A Player, Ken Ludy was generally racing to 7 games during Stop #18 on the New England 9-Ball Series, held on Saturday, March 10. In six of the eight matches it took for him to claim the event title, Ludy’s opponents were racing to fewer games. He played one opponent, another A player, straight up, while in his winners’ side semifinal match against Joe Dupuis (an Open player), it was Dupuis who had to win more games (9 to Ludy’s 6). Ludy won all but one of his eight matches in the $500-added event that drew 44 entrants to Straight Shooter’s Family Billiards in Fall River, MA.
 
In all but two of Ludy’s matches, opponents chalked up less than five racks against him. The two opponents who chalked up five or more against him were Dupuis, who, racing to 9, managed to run up six, before Ludy hit that same number to win the match, and Tyler Campbell, who chalked up five to win the opening set of the true double elimination final. That winners’ side semifinal win against Dupuis, which finished at 6-6 put Ludy in the hot seat match against Ryan Stevens, who, in a straight-up race to 6, had sent Campbell to the loss side 6-4. With Stevens racing to 5, Ludy claimed the hot seat 7-1.
 
On the loss side, Dupuis, fresh off his victory at the New England Pool & Billiard Hall of Fame tournament a week earlier, picked up fellow Open player, Mike Minichello, who’d won the previous stop on the tour, and after being defeated by Dupuis on the winners' side of this event, defeated Sal Morgado and Antero Tavares (both B players, racing to 5), both 10-1 to get a second shot at Dupuis. Campbell drew Lida Mullendore, who’d gotten by Josh Caesar 6-2 and Adam Blair 5-3.
 
In a straight-up race to 7, Dupuis advanced to the quarterfinals over Minichello, 7-1. Campbell joined Dupuis with a 6-3 win over Mullendore. Campbell, in those quarterfinals, then chalked up his requisite five racks, before Dupuis could hit his target of 10, winning the match 5-8 to advance to a rematch against Stevens in the semifinals.
 
Campbell proceeded to shut Stevens out in those semifinals (6-0) and then, win the opening set of the true double elimination final 5-4. Ludy rallied in the second set, allowing Campbell only a single rack on his way to a 7-1 victory that secured the event title.
 
Tour director Marc Dionne thanked the ownership and staff at Shooter’s Family Billiards, as well as sponsors Ozone Billiards, Molinari, Bert Kinister, AZBilliards, Inside English, Professor Q-Ball’s National and 3-Cushion News, Delta 13 Racks, MJS Construction, Bob Campbell, Championship Cloth, and OTLVISE Billiard Mechanics of America. The next stop on the New England 9-Ball Series, scheduled for the weekend of March 17-18, will be the $2,000-added Players Championship, to be hosted by Yale Billiards in Wallingford, CT.

Hooker hangs on to win New England 9-Ball Series Winter Classic at Snookers in RI

Dennis Levesque, Bobby Hooker & Joey Dupuis

By the time that the field of 126 entrants competing for the New England 9-Ball Series’ Winter Classic had whittled down to its final 12, there was only one “Open” player left – Joey Dupuis. In one of the vagaries of a double bracket format (upper and lower brackets employed for higher and lower handicapped players), Dupuis had been sent to the loss side by Dennis Levesque in an upper bracket winners’ side semifinal, which is a winners’ side quarterfinal in the overall event. Bobby Hooker, in the meantime, a C+ player, advanced through the lower bracket and eventually claimed the overall event hot seat; last player without a loss, still standing. Though Dupuis would navigate his way through five loss-side matches and win the opening set of a true double elimination final versus Hooker, Hooker fought back in the second set, and won it to claim the event title. Held on the weekend of January 27-28, the $5,000-added Winter Classic was hosted by Snookers in Providence, RI.
 
Levesque’s 6-5 victory over Dupuis (Dupuis racing to 9) put Levesque in an overall winners’ side semifinal (two from the upper bracket) against Mike Pettit. From the lower bracket, Hooker and Adam Blair met in the other winners’ side semifinal. Levesque and Pettit (both A players), in a straight-up race to 7, went to double hill before Levesque won it to advance to the hot seat match. Hooker and Blair (both C+ players), in a straight-up race to 5, went double hill, as well, with Hooker advancing to the hot seat match. With Levesque racing to 8, and Hooker to 5, Hooker claimed the hot seat 5-6 and waited for Dupuis to complete his loss-side run.
 
Pettit’s first match on the loss side was against Dupuis, who, following his defeat at the hands of Levesque, had eliminated Rich Minichello, double hill (7-5), and Francisco Cabral 9-3. Blair drew Rob Diehl, who’d defeated Josh Ceasar, double hill, and Justin Grant 5-1.
 
Dupuis gave up only one rack to Pettit in advancing to the quarterfinals. He was joined by Blair, who’d survived a straight-up race to 5, double hill, over Diehl. The subsequent battle between the Open player (Dupuis) and the C+ player (Blair) was a 10-4 race, won by Dupuis 10-2.
 
The semifinal rematch between Dupuis and Levesque was a 9-6 race, won by Dupuis 9-3. Dupuis took the opening set of the true double elimination final 10-2 over Hooker (Hooker racing to 4). In the second set, Dupuis got halfway to his 10-rack goal, but Hooker made it to his 4 first to win the second set and claim the event title.
 
Tour director Marc Dionne thanked the ownership and staff for their hospitality during the Winter Classic, as well as sponsors Ozone Billiards, Molinari, Bert Kinister, AZBilliards, Inside English, Professor Q-ball’s National Pool and 3-Cushion News, Delta 13 Racks, MJS Construction, Bob Campbell, Championship Cloth, and OTLVISE Billiard Mechanics of America. Next week’s scheduled event at Workmen’s Hall in Norwood, MA has been cancelled. The next stop (#15) on the New England 9-Ball Series, scheduled for Saturday, February 17, will be a $500-added event, hosted by Yale Billiards in Wallingford, CT.
 
The New England 9-Ball Series has announced that it is currently taking entries for the Tour Championship, scheduled for September 8-9 at Bo’s Billiards in Warwick, RI. The field will be limited to 128 players, all of whom must have played in at least four events to be eligible.

Morgan wins non-handicapped event on the New England 9-Ball Series

(l to r): George Morgan, David Soule, Kevin Bauccio and TD Marc Dionne

For many amateur competitors, non-handicapped events can be a good news/bad news situation. It’s good news for the higher-ranked players, who don’t have to think about the possibility of being defeated by someone who’s chalked up fewer racks in a match. For the lower-ranked players, their safety net of a rack or two (or more) is gone, and they’re faced with a mano a mano battle against someone who, on paper at least, is considered to be better than they are.

 

In a way, George Morgan, a C+ Player, split that difference on Stop #13 on the New England 9-Ball Series tour, held on Sunday, January 20. The event drew 42 entrants to Stix and Stones in Abington, MA. It was not handicapped and restricted to players B+ and below. Morgan spent most of his time in the lower bracket (C+ and below) where he downed three fellow C+ opponents to move into an overall winners’ side semifinal. He would go on to defeat a C player and a B+ player (twice) to finish undefeated.

 

First up for Morgan in the winners’ side semifinal of the now-combined brackets was Tim Schroeder (C). David Soule and Keith Platt (both  B+) squared off in the other winners’ side semifinal. Soule downed Platt 6-2, and in the hot seat match, faced Morgan, who’d sent Schroeder to the loss side 5-3. Morgan got into the hot seat with a first (of two) wins over Soule 5-3.

 

On the loss side, Schroeder and Platt walked right into their second straight loss. Platt was eliminated 5-3 by fellow B+ shooter Kevin Bauccio, who’d been defeated by Paul Laverdiere in his second, upper bracket match, and was in the midst of a five-match, loss-side winning streak that would take him to the event semifinals. Schroeder, a C player, battled to double hill before giving way to Adam Blair (C+), who’d defeated Kevin Brule 4-1 and Jiten Patel, double hill, to reach him.

 

Bauccio gave up only a single rack to Blair in the race-to-4 quarterfinals that followed. The semifinals – a straight-up race to 4 against the two B+ players – saw Soule earn a second shot against Morgan in the hot seat with a 4-2 win.

 

Morgan improved on his 5-3 hot seat performance with a 5-2 win in the finals against Soule.

 

Tour director Marc Dionne thanked the ownership and staff at Stix and Stones, as well as sponsors Ozone Billiards, Molinari, Bert Kinister, AZBilliards, Inside English, Professor Q Ball’s National Pool and 3-Cushion News, Delta 13 racks, MJS Construction, Bob Campbell, Championship Cloth and OTLVISE Billiard Mechanics of America. The next stop on the New England 9-Ball Series Tour (#14), scheduled for January 27-28, will be the annual $5,000-added Winter Classic, hosted by Snooker’s in Providence, RI.