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D’Alfonso comes back from a loss to win Joe Brown Memorial on New England 9-Ball Series

(l to r): TD Marc Dionne, Dave Morrison, Tom D’Alfonso, Mike Verducci and Jen Brown, daughter of Joe

Going into the finals, there had been three distinct phases to Tom D’Alfonso’s victory on the New England 9-Ball Series’ tour stop #15 – The Joe Brown Memorial – on Saturday, March 9. In his opening three matches, he won 90% of the games he played (29-4). During a three-match trip on the loss side, he chalked up 92% of the games he played (24-2). In one match, a winners’ side semifinal, double hill loss, he won only 61.5% of the games he played (5-8; D’Alfonso was racing to 9). He returned from that defeat to face Dave Morrison in a double elimination final and over 20 games, gave up only two racks (90%, exactly). The single loss left D’Alfonso with a deceptively low, although admittedly good 85% overall win percentage in games played. The $500-added event drew 49 entrants to Buster’s Billiards in Somersworth, NH.
After an opening round bye in the event’s upper bracket, D’Alfonso gave up a surprising (only in hindsight) three racks to Jeff Provencher in a 9-3 win. Over the next 21 games in two matches, he gave up only one, to Matt Gagne, first, and then, none at all to Fred White, which set D’Alfonso up to face Mike Verducci in a winners' side semifinal. Morrison, in the meantime, working in the lower bracket following a bye, had defeated Catherine Ong 5-3, Walter Kelly 4-4 (Kelly racing to 6) and shut out Carlton Gagnon, to face Jason Seavey in the other winners’ side semifinal.
In a straight-up race to 5, Morrison advanced to the hot seat match over Seavey 5-1. Verducci started his winners’ side semifinal match against D’Alfonso with four on the wire in a race to 9. He chalked up the five he needed and sent D’Alfonso to the loss side, double hill 5-8.
On the loss side, D’Alfonso picked up Fred White, who, in a straight-up race to 6, defeated Carlos Aguilar 6-3 and then, with three games on the wire in a race to 7, beat Ben LeBlanc 4-1. Seavey drew Fred Gillis, who’d eliminated Carlton Gagnon, double hill (4-3) and Walt Kelly 4-2.
In a straight-up race to 4, Seavey advanced to the quarterfinals 4-2 over Gillis. D’Alfonso, giving White four on the wire in a race to 8, shut him out to join Seavey in the quarterfinals. Also giving both Seavey and later, in the semifinals, Verducci, four on the wire in races to eight, D’Alfonso defeated them both 8-1.
Giving Morrison in the hot seat five on the wire in races to 9, D’Alfonso took the opening set of the true double elimination final 9-2. He didn’t give up a single rack in the second set and claimed the Joe Brown Memorial title.
Tour director Marc Dionne thanked the ownership and staff at Buster’s Billiards for their hospitality and support for the Joe Brown Memorial, 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 (#16) will be the $1,000-added Players Championship, scheduled for this weekend (March 16-17) at Yale Billiards in Wallingford, CT.