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Borodack and Lavigne go undefeated to win 8-ball/9-ball Scotch Doubles on NE 9-Ball Series

Kevin Kiely, Alvin Lan, Tim Lavigne, and Gary Borodack

The game of 8-ball is generally considered to be an easier pool game than 9-ball. Not that it requires any less skill to play well, it’s just that when a shooter steps to the table, especially in the early moments of a game, there are a lot more options available. Granted, there are more balls that are ‘in the way’ of one’s varied options to consider (six of them, at the outset), but there are usually more balls you can shoot at than balls that you can’t shoot at. In 9-ball, of course, when you step to the table at any given point in a game, you have to strike and hopefully, pocket just one of the balls on the table.

The New England 9-Ball Series’ Stop #14, held this past weekend – Saturday, July 17 – was a $500-added Scotch Doubles Tournament that drew 20 teams (40 players) to Yale Billiards in Wallingford, CT. Its format dictated that players would begin their quest for an event title in successive games of 8-ball, until such time as they were sent to the loss side of the double elimination bracket, at which point, they would play, from that point on, 9-ball. In other words, the 20 teams started out with the ‘easier’ game of 8-ball and more or less doubled the jeopardy of loss-side efforts by having to play the presumably tougher 9-ball game on that side of the bracket. The true double elimination final was to have featured 8-ball in the first set and 9-ball in the second set, if necessary.

It proved to be unnecessary as Gary Borodack and Tim Lavigne (Fargo Rate 545), initiating their campaign in an upper bracket, went undefeated, playing only 8-ball, and claimed the event title after winning the opening set of the finals. There were nine (of the 20 teams) in that upper bracket and while there was one team with the same Fargo Rate of 545, every other team in that upper bracket had a higher rating, up to and including the team of Ben Savoie and Jordan Emerson, who sported the highest-in-the-event rate of 624, and finished in the tie for 7th/8th place.

Borodack & Lavigne ran into them in the winners’ side quarterfinal, defeated them 4-2 and advanced to a winners’ side semifinal versus Jim Gravel and Einar Gudjohnsen, the other team with the 545 Fargo Rate. From the lower bracket, Kevin Kiely and Alvin Lam (499) squared off against Rachelle and Stuart Rainey (505).

Borodack/Lavigne got into the hot seat match with a 4-1 victory over Gravel/Gudjohnsen and were joined by Kiely/Lam, who sent the Raineys over 4-2 for a few games of 9-ball. Borodack/Lavigne claimed the hot seat 4-2 and waited for Kiely & Lam to get back from the semifinals.

On the loss side, the Raineys drew Stephen Rowe & Oscar Deleon, who’d eliminated Jim Vollhardt & William Aley, as well as Michaels Allard & Utley, both teams, 4-1. Gravel/Gudjohnsen picked up Derek Hart & Tim Hurley, who’d eliminated Darren Jevons & Ashley Benoit 4-2, and the top-Fargo-rated Savoie and Emerson 4-1.

Gravel/Gudjohnsen and Hart/Hurley battled to double hill for the right to advance to the first money round; the quarterfinals. Gravel/Gudjohnsen won it and were joined by Rowe/Deleon, who’d defeated the Raineys 4-1.

Gravel/Gudjohnsen downed Rowe/Deleon 4-1 in those quarterfinals and had their three-match, loss-side streak ended by the same score in the semifinals against Kiely & Lam. Borodack and Lavigne completed their undefeated run with a 4-2 victory in the only set necessary in the finals.

Tour director Marc Dionne thanked the ownership and staff at Yale Billiards for their hospitality, as well as sponsors Predator, Poison, Arcos II, BCAPL, USAPL New England, Fargo Rate, AZBilliards, Professor Q-ball’s National Pool and 3-Cushion News, MJS Construction, Master Billiards, OTLVISE, Salotto, Outsville and Just The Tip Cue Repair and Custom Accessories. The next stop (#15) on the NE 9-Ball Series, scheduled for July 31-August 1, will be a $750-added event, hosted by American Pool & Billiards.