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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. 

Caesar double dips Fracasso-Verner to capture NE 9-Ball Series’ 2020 Winter Classic

(l to r): Lukas Fracasso-Verner, TD Marc Dionne, Josh Caesar & Ryan Lineham

Until this past weekend (Jan. 25-26), Josh Caesar had cashed in exactly five events on the New England 9-Ball Series. His name started cropping on our database (generally indicative of cash winnings) in January of 2018, when he finished 9th in that year’s Winter Classic. He cashed in only one other event that year (that we know about), the 2018 Tour Championship in September. Last year, he cashed in three of the tour’s events, winning one of them in February and tripling his recorded cash earnings from the year before.
 
In the finals of this year’s Winter Classic, held this past weekend, Caesar faced an opponent who’d cashed in three times as many events as he (Caesar) did last year and earned nearly six times as much money. Lukas Fracasso-Verner had won two stops on last year’s tour, was runner-up in the Player’s Championship and overall, had cashed in seven tour events. He’d also won the Predator Pro Am Tour’s Empire State Championship and was third at the Ocean State 9-Ball Championship, held under the auspices of the Joss NE 9-Ball Tour. All in all a prodigious resume for a player with somewhat limited experience to be facing in the finals of an event.
 
Caesar faced Fracasso-Verner three times in this event; battling for the hot seat and twice in the finals. He took the last two of those three to claim the 2020 Winter Classic title. The $2,000-added Winter Classic drew 127 entrants (15 more than it did last year) to Snooker’s in Providence, RI.
 
Working initially from the lower (FargoRate) bracket, Caesar opened his trek to the hot seat match with three, straight-up races to 5 in which he defeated Matt Caissie 5-2, shut out Mike Zingarella and sent Dennis Boucher to the loss side 5-3. He then downed three straight opponents, double hill, to get into that hot seat match – Kyle King, Phil Walton, and in the winners’ side semifinal, Bob Campbell. Fracasso-Verner, in the meantime, got by Billy Lanna 6-3, Jay Duffin 8-2, Beau Powers 6-2 and then, like Caesar, won two straight double hill matches against Kerry McAuliffe and Roarke Dickson to get into his winners’ side semifinal against Derrick Cunningham. Unlike Caesar, though, Fracasso-Verner shut Cunningham out in his winners’ side semifinal, and then, claimed the hot seat 8-2 over Caesar, who was racing to 4.
 
On the loss side, which was still featuring separated upper and lower bracket matches, Cunningham drew RYan Lineham, who’d eliminated Roarke Dickson 5-2 and Chad Avallone 6-1 to reach him. Campbell picked up Scott Reynolds, who’d recently defeated Ed Cortney, double hill and Philip Walton 4-2. Lineham and Reynolds advanced to the quarterfinals, after handing Cunningham and Campbell their second straight loss; Lineham 5-1 over Cunningham and Reynolds, shutting out Campbell.
 
Lineham, who battled and defeated Fracasso-Verner in the finals of a Second Chance 10-Ball event at last year’s Classic, was in the midst of a six-match, loss-side winning streak that he no doubt assumed would give him a shot at Fracasso-Verner in the hot seat and potentially, the 2020 Winter Classic title. He won his sixth loss-side match in the quarterfinals, surviving a double hill battle against Reynolds, but the much-lower-handicapped Caesar ended the streak 4-2 in the semifinals (Reynolds racing to 8).
 
Caesar started and would play the true double elimination final with four ‘beads on the wire’ in a race to 8. He chalked up his first four racks while holding Fracasso-Verner to two and claimed the opening set. Fracasso-Verner put up a hell of a fight in the second set, forcing an 11th and deciding game. Caesar won it to claim his second NE 9-Ball Series title and his first Winter Classic.
 
Tour director Marc Dionne thanked the ownership and staff at Snooker’s, 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 New England 9-Ball Series (#13), scheduled for Feb. 15-16, will be the $1,000-added Mark Young Memorial, hosted by Straight Shooters in Fall River, MA.

Furness and Campbell split top Partner prizes with Rupard and Coates on NE 9-Ball Series

(l to r): Ricardo Diaz, Souheli Muraby, Jeff Furness, Bob Campbell, Elliot Coates & Josh Rupard

In what proved to be the only time they met and the match that decided the winning team, Jeff Furness and Bob Campbell, sporting a FargoRate of 520, defeated Josh Rupard and Elliot Coates, with a FargoRate of 593, in the hot seat match of the New England 9-Ball Series’ Partners’ Tournament, held on Sunday, December 15. The event drew 55, two-person teams to Crow’s Nest in Plaistow, NH.
 
As with all NE 9-Ball Series events, the 55 teams were split into separate upper and lower FargoRated brackets at the outset. Rupard and Coates advanced through their first four matches and gave up only a total of five racks; two, in their opening match and one each in the other three. This set them up to face Beau Powers and Ben Savoie, also FargoRated at 593, in the Upper Bracket’s winners’ side semifinal. Powers and Savoie were challenged in their four opening matches and came to the winners’ side semifinal with an aggregate score of 20-13 and having survived two double hill matches.
 
The lower bracket winners’ side semifinal featured eventual winners Furness and Campbell, who’d opened their campaign with a shutout and then had to battle to double hill twice (4-3 both times) and 5-3 once to meet Shawn Ingham and Michael Beauchesne in their winners’ side semifinal.
 
Furness/Campbell advanced to the hot seat match with a 6-2 win over Ingham/Beauchesne. They were joined by Rupard/Coates, who’d sent Powers and Savoie to the loss side 5-3. The 73-point differential in their FargoRates gave Furness/Campbell a single rack on the wire in a race to 5. They won it, downing Rupard/Coates 4-2.
 
On the loss side, Powers/Savoie picked up Lukas Fracasso-Verner and Scott Reynolds, a team with a FargoRate a scant six points ahead of their own (599-593), which created a straight-up race to 4. Fracasso-Verner/Reynolds had defeated the teams of Paulie Kazalski/Dominick Souza and Everett Belliveau/Dan McCaie, both 4-2 to reach Powers/Savoie. Ingham/Beauchesne drew Ricardo Diaz and Souheli Muraby, who’d eliminated the team of Troy Fortin/Dave Morrison, double hill (4-3) and then shut out Jay Cunningham and Mike Negrelli.
 
Powers/Savoie, in their straight-up race to 4, downed Fracasso-Verner/Reynolds 4-2 and in the quarterfinals, faced Diaz/Muraby, who’d ended Ingham/Beauchesne’s day 6-1. Two straight-up races to 4 followed. In the first, the quarterfinals, it was Diaz/Muraby advancing past Powers/Savoie 4-2.
 
In the second, which proved to be the final match of the event – the semifinals – Rupard/Coates downed Diaz/Muraby 4-1. The last two teams standing – Rupard/Coates and Furness/Campbell – agreed to split the top two prizes, leaving the undefeated Furness/Campbell team as the event’s official winners.
 
Tour director Marc Dionne thanked the ownership and staff at Crow’s Nest for their hospitality, as well as sponsors Predator Cues, BCAPL 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 with Lease Fundings, Master Billiards and OTLVISE Billiard Mechanics of America. The NE 9-Ball Series will commence the 2020 portion of its schedule with a $500-added event, scheduled for Saturday, January 4, at Yale Billiards in Wallingford, CT.

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.

Benson double dips Felix to take Stop #22 on the New England 9-Ball Series

(l to r): Tom D’Alfonso, Ben Benson & Mike Felix

By the time the 22nd stop on the New England 9-Ball Series had worked its way down to its final 12 competitors on Sunday, July 14, the range of Fargo Rates stretched from 735 to 357, due in part to the fact that the tour initially separates higher and lower Fargo Rated players into upper and lower brackets, keeping them apart until the final matches of the event. Demonstrating that the handicapping system does tend to level the competitive playing field and make it possible for lower-ranked players to effectively compete against higher-ranked opponents, the player who eventually claimed the hot seat had one of the three lowest Fargo Rates among the remaining 12 players. That hot seat occupant turned out to be Mike Felix (485), but the competitor he had sent to the semifinals, Ben Benson (554) came back from those semifinals to defeat Felix twice and claim the event title. The event drew 66 entrants to Crow’s Nest in Plaistow, NH.
 
Benson had advanced in the upper bracket to arrive at a winners’ side semifinal against Tom D’Alfonso, who had the highest Fargo Rate among the event’s final 12 (735). Felix, in the meantime, squared off against Buffy Oldham (468) in the other winners’ side semifinal.
 
Benson started the match against D’Alfonso with five ‘beads on the wire’ in a race to 8. D’Alfonso chalked up five of the eight he needed, but not before Benson had won the three he needed to advance to the hot seat match. In a straight-up race to 4, Felix downed Oldham, double hill, to meet Benson in the hot seat match. Felix started the hot seat match with a single ‘bead on the wire’ in a race to 5. He and Benson battled to double hill (3-4), before Felix chalked up his fourth rack and claimed the hot seat.
 
On the loss side, D’Alfonso picked up Geoff James, who’d shut out Beau Powers and eliminated Josh Rupard, double hill (3-3; Rupard racing to 4) to reach him. Oldham drew Gabriel Kirshnitz, who’d only given up a single rack in his previous two matches; that one to Mark Pulsifer and none at all to Troy Fortin.
 
D’Alfonso and Oldham advanced to the quarterfinals; D’Alfonso giving up a single rack to James in a 5-1 win, as Oldham gave up none at all to Kirshnitz in a 3-0 win. The quarterfinal match was yet another shutout, as D’Alfonso eliminated Oldham 8-0 to earn himself a rematch against Benson in the semifinals.
 
D’Alfonso was able to chalk up an additional rack beyond the five he’d managed in the winners’ side semifinal against Benson. But for the second time, Benson won the three he needed to win the semifinal 3-6 and advance to the final rematch against Felix.
 
Same situation; Felix began the final match with a single ‘bead on the wire’ in a race to 5. Benson gave up only a single rack in the opening set of the true double elimination final. He gave up two in the second set, but scored the five he needed to claim the event title.
 
Tour director Marc Dionne thanked the ownership and staff at Crow’s Nest for their hospitality, as well as sponsors Predator, 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 event originally scheduled for July 28, to be hosted by Stix and Stones in Abington, MA, has been cancelled. The next stop on the New England 9-Ball Series, now scheduled for the weekend of August 3-4, will be a $500-added Summer Sizzler Partners Tournament, hosted by Yale Billiards in Wallingford, CT.