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Dupuis double dips Kantaravic to win Lucky Stop #13, Mark Young Memorial, on NE 9-Ball

(l to r): Suad Kantaravic, Bill O’Mara & Joe Dupuis

Joe Dupuis and Suad Kantaravic, winner and runner-up at the Mark Young Memorial, Stop #13 on the New England 9-Ball Series this past weekend (Feb. 15-16), have long pool resumes; Kantaravic, with recorded cash winnings dating back to 2000 and Dupuis, a little shorter, going back (in our records) to 2005. Dupuis’ record, however, is substantially more active, with three cash finishes this year alone and more in the past two years (7) than Kantaravic has recorded since 2000. This disparity, however, did not interfere with Kantaravic’ march to the hot seat, to include an early victory over Dupuis, although it may have had something to do with Dupuis’ return from the loss side and his two-set victory over Kantaravic in the finals. The $1,000-added event drew 49 entrants to Straight Shooters Family Billiards in Fall River, MA.

Dupuis was just cruising along in the early going of this event. In the upper bracket, he faced three opponents (Carlo Cifiello, Saba Khundadze and Ed “Corky” Courtney) and gave up only four racks, total, to all three of them in his first 28 games. Then, in a winners’ side quarterfinal, he ran into Kantaravic for the first time. Kantaravic, at that point, had, following an opening round bye, played 18 games and given up five racks to two opponents (Rich Senna and Derek Cunningham). This time, it was Dupuis who was held to a single rack. Kantaravic advanced 6-1 to a winners’ side semifinal against Henry Leighton. From the lower bracket, Bill O’Mara and Paul Soucy emerged to face off in the other winners’ side semifinal.

Kantaravic and O’Mara, each gave up only a single rack to their respective opponents. Kantaravic, in a straight up race to 6, gave up the one to Leighton, while O’Mara, in a straight up race to 5, gave one up to Soucy. O’Mara, sporting a Fargo Rate nearly 200 points lower than Kantaravic (518/702) began the hot seat match with five ‘beads on the wire’ in a race to 9. He added three to those five to tie the score at 8-8, before Kantaravic chalked up the final rack to claim the hot seat.

On the loss side, Dupuis (699) opened up his five-match, loss-side trip back to the finals with a double hill win (5-3) over Rich Senna, followed that up with a 5-2 win over Paul Laverdiere and drew Leighton, coming over from the winners’ side semifinal. Soucy picked up Scott Reynolds, who’d defeated Tyler Boudreau 4-2 and leapfrogged to Soucy when Andrew DeChristopher forfeited a match.

Dupuis and Reynolds handed Leighton and Soucy their second straight loss; Dupuis over Leighton 5-1 and Reynolds over Soucy 4-1. Reynolds opened the quarterfinals with four ‘beads on the wire’ in a race to 8. Dupuis defeated him 8-4 and then, shut out Bill O’Mara in the semifinals.

With the wind of momentum from his semifinal win over O’Mara continuing to fill his sails (so to speak), Dupuis took the opening set of the true double elimination final 6-3. Trading racks back and forth, they battled to double hill in the second set before Dupuis dropped the final 9-ball to win the set and claim the event title.

Tour director Marc Dionne thanked the ownership and staff at Straight Shooters Family Billiards, as well as title sponsor 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, OTLVISE Billiard Mechanics of America and Piku Tips. The next stop on the NE 9-Ball Series (#14), scheduled for Saturday, February 22, will be a $500-added event, hosted by Legends Sports Bar in Lewiston, ME.