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Casanzio goes undefeated to capture his first Al Conte Memorial title

(l to r): Andrea Duvall (owner of Hippo’s), John McConnell, Ron Casanzio, & Matt Tetreault

Ron Casanzio has had several shots at the Joss Northeast 9-Ball Tour’s Al Conte Memorial over the years. He’s cashed in seven of the nine, to date. He was runner-up to Dennis Hatch in the first one (2009) and Shaun Wilkie in the fifth (2013). On the weekend of November 4-5, he became the event’s seventh winner, following in the footsteps of (in order) Hatch, Shane Winters, Mike Davis, Jeremy Sossei (three-time winner; ’12, ’14 and ‘15), Wilkie and Nelson Oliveira. The $1,500-added, 9th Annual Al Conte Memorial, the fourth stop on the 2017-2018 Joss NE 9-Ball Tour, drew 33 entrants to Hippo’s House of Billiards in Yorkville, NY.
Casanzio was one of three competitors at this event, along with Bucky Souvanthong and Angelo Hilton, who cashed in the first Al Conte Memorial. He became the only one of the three to do so in this one. Match by match, until the finals, Casanzio’s opponents steadily closed the margin of victory against him. He got by Bruce Nagle in the opening round 9-1, then Aaron Greenwood 9-3, and Marko Clarke 9-4 to join Matt Tetreault in one of the winners’ side semifinals. John McConnell, in the meantime, who’d sent Frank Cartani (9-4), Jerry Crowe (9-3), and Dwight Dixon (9-4) to the loss side, squared off against Mike Donnelly in the other winners’ side semifinal.
Casanzio got into the hot seat match with a continuation of the ‘reduced margin of victory’ phenomenon, downing Tetreault 9-5. McConnell joined him with a 9-5 victory over Donnelly. Casanzio claimed the hot seat 9-7 over McConnell and waited on his return.
On the loss side, Tetreault picked up Joe Darigis, who’d been sent over by Donnelly in a winners’ side quarterfinal and then defeated Nick Brucato 9-4 and Dwight Dixon 9-6. Donnelly drew Jose Mendez, who was on a modest four-match, loss-side winning streak that was about to end and had included recent wins over Norm Vernon 9-3 and Marko Clarke 9-5.
Tetreault advanced to the quarterfinals with a 9-6 win over Darigis, and was joined by Mendez, who’d handed Donnelly his second straight loss 9-7. Tetreault eliminated Mendez in that quarterfinal 9-3, but had his hopes for a re-match against Casanzio eliminated when McConnell defeated him 9-5 in the semifinals.
In their second of two, Casanzio broke the ‘margin of victory’ chain. He defeated McConnell 9-5 to claim his first Al Conte Memorial title.
A $500-added Second Chance tournament saw Willie Oney finish in the top spot, downing Mark Creamer in the finals. Aaron Greenwood finished third and Bruce Carroll took the fourth spot. Pete Khudc took home a $1,200 Joss Cue in the event’s raffle.  
The fifth stop on the Joss NE 9-Ball Tour will be the 29th Ocean State 9-Ball Championship. Scheduled for the weekend of November 11-12, the $5,000-added event will be hosted by Snooker’s Billiards, Bar and Grill in Providence, RI.

Wilkie wins NE 9-Ball Open 28

Shaun Wilkie

Shaun Wilkie proved that he can dominate multiple tours, as he took a break from his current six tournament winning streak on the Action Pool Tour, to win the Joss NE 9-Ball Tour's NE 9-Ball Open XXVIII at Golden Cue Billiards in Albany, NY on March 28th – 29th.


Wilkie made his way through the field of fifty three players and captured the hot-seat with a 9-4 win over Ron Casanzio.


Casanzio then fell to Yesid Garibello on the one loss side 9-6. Garibello was on a roll, after a second round loss to Rick Sleeper early on Saturday afternoon. Eight matches later, Garibello was gearing up to play Wilkie in the finals.


Just prior to the finals getting underway, the drawing was held to see who would win the $1200 Joss Custom Cue at this event. Sure enough, that winner would be Garibello. Wilkie must have thought the pool gods had it in for him as Garibello went on to win the first set of the double elimination finals 9-5. Wilkie finally cooled off Garibello and scored a 9-5 win of his own in the second set of the finals.


The second chance event on Sunday drew a field of thirty one players looking for their share of over $1000 in prize money. Bruce Carroll would earn the lion's share of that prize money with an undefeated run through the field. Carroll defeated Brent Boemmels 3-1 for the hot-seat, and then defeated Angelo Hilton 3-1 in the first set of the finals.


Joss NE 9-Ball Tour director Mike Zuglan mentioned that he still has spots open for August's Turning Stone Classic XXIV. Interested players should contact Zuglan as soon as possible.

Hewitt Holds Off Souvanthong for Joss Tour Win

Danny Hewitt held off a red hot Bucky Souvanthong in the double elimination finals to win the Joss NE 9-Ball Tour stop at Trick Shot Billiards & Sports Bar in Clifton Park, NY on February 21st and 22nd. 


Hewitt & Souvanthong were joined by Dave Fernandez and Angelo Hilton in the winners side final four on Sunday, where Hewitt defeated Souvanthong 9-8, and Fernandez beat Hilton 9-7. Hewitt went on to then defeat Fernandez 9-3 for the hot-seat.


On the one loss side, Souvanthong made his way back through the brackets to eliminate Fernandez 9-2 in the semi-final match.


Souvanthong rode his hot-streak for a quick 9-4 win over Hewitt in the first set of the finals, but Hewitt took control of the second set and scored a 9-3 win for first place.


The second chance tournament on Sunday saw James Chemaly score his first second chance tournament win of his career. Chemaly took the hot-seat with a 3-1 win over Dave Dimeo, but then lost 3-1 to Frank Delconte in the first set of the double elimination finals. Like Hewitt, Chemaly came back to take control of the second set of the finals and scored a 3-1 victory for first place.


The Joss NE 9-Ball Tour will be at Snookers in Providence, RI on February 28th – March 1st for their next event; the 6th New England Pool and Billiard Hall of Fame 9-Ball Open. This event will feature a $2500 added main event and a $500 added second chance event on Sunday.

Hewitt double dips Fernandez to win second consecutive Joss NE Tour stop

Canadian Danny Hewitt chalked up his second consecutive and third overall win on the current Joss Northeast 9-Ball Tour with a come-from-the-loss-side win on the weekend of February 22-23. He defeated Ron Casanzio in the finals of the third stop on the tour, back in October, and two weeks ago, defeated Jeremy Sossei in the finals of the February 8-9 stop in Amsterdam, NY. Hewitt played three matches against Dave Fernandez, winning the last two to claim the $1,500-added event title that had drawn 43 entrants to Trick Shots Billiards and Sports Club in Clifton Park, NY. 
They met first in a heated battle to claim the hot seat. In the winners' side semifinals, Hewitt had sent Greg Antonakos to the losers' bracket 9-3, as Fernandez was busy sending Keith Lauer over 9-5. Fernandez prevailed in the double hill hot seat match, and waited for Hewitt to come back.
On the loss side, Antonakos met up with Jeff Smolen, who'd survived a double hill fight against Yesid Garibello and eliminated Matt Tetreault 9-5. Lauer drew Esbon Worden, who, after being sent to the loss side by Hewitt, had defeated Jed Jecen 9-8 and Angelo Hilton 9-4. Antonakos defeated Smolen 9-6, and in the quarterfinals, met Worden, who'd shut out Lauer.
Antonakos took the quarterfinal match 9-7, but was stopped by Hewitt in the semifinals 9-2. In all, Hewitt gave up only three racks in the two-set final; two in the opening to force the second set, and only one in the second set to claim his second consecutive Joss Northeast 9-Ball title.