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Savoie goes undefeated to win Stop #10 on New England 9-Ball Series

Chad Bazinet, Ben Savoie, and Samantha Barrett

Samantha Barrett downs a much higher-rated Chad Bazinet to face Savoie a second time

Though Ben Savoie gets primary accolades for going undefeated on the New England 9-Ball Series’ 10th stop this past weekend (Sunday, May 3), runner-up Samantha Barrett has earned a bit of press for facing him in the hot seat, meeting and defeating a much higher-rated challenger in the semifinals and taking a second shot at Savoie in the finals. The $500-added event drew 34 entrants to House of Billiards in Hampton Falls, NH.

What was surprising about Barrett’s finish was not the fact that she faced and was defeated twice by the eventual winner, but that she faced and defeated a much higher-rated competitor in the semifinals, Chad Bazinet, whose 653 Fargo rate was the third highest at this tournament, behind only Kerry McAuliffe at 665 and Bob Lewis at 657. Winner Ben Savoie at 611 was #7 on that list of top-rated competitors. Samantha Barrett came into the tournament with a 577 Fargo rate.

Barrett was not, however, just ‘off the boat,’ so to speak. She’d recorded some history at the tables which had not reached us here at AZBilliards. She had reportedly competed a lot when she was in college, but stopped when she entered the working world. She hadn’t been competing very much recently, although she did place 5th at the Super Billiards Expo’s Amateur women’s event in 2015, did finish 3rd in an APA’s Women’s amateur event and 1st in a BCA Northeast Regional Partners 8-Ball event. As a matter of perspective, she was and presumably still is a ‘7’ in APA 8-Ball competition. She is also, along with Stacey Tonkin and Catherine Fiorilla, one of the co-founders of the recently-launched Women’s Pool Alliance, which will hold its second event in about three weeks (May 23) at Amazin’ Billiards in Malden, MA.

Working, at the start, in the lower bracket, Barrett got by two male (Jason Seavey & Andy Downs) and one female competitor (Rachelle Rainey) to arrive at a winners’ side semifinal against Dorothy Gauvin. Savoie, in the meantime, in the upper bracket, downed his first two opponents, Mike Nicoloro & Michael Barbagallo by a combined score of 12-2, and then, defeated Beau Powers 6-4 to draw the aforementioned Kerry McAuliffe in the other winners’ side semifinal.

Savoie and McAuliffe battled to double hill before Savoie prevailed 5-5 (McAuliffe racing to 6). Barrett, in the meantime, racing to 7, gave up only a single rack sending Gauvin, racing to 4, to the loss side. Savoie took the first of their two matches 7-3 (Barrett racing to 5), claiming the hot seat and awaiting her return.

On the loss side, McAuliffe picked up Bazinet, who was wending his way to a fateful meet-up with Barrett in the semifinals. Bazinet had lost his second round, upper bracket match and was working on an eight-match, loss-side winning streak that would end in those semifinals. He’d recently eliminated Beau Powers and Dan Simoneau, both 6-1. Gauvin drew Fred Gilis, Jr., who was working on a six-match, loss-side streak that had included recent wins over the competitor who’d sent him to the loss side, Kyle King 5-1 and Rachelle Rainey 6-1.

In a straight-up race to 6, Bazinet downed McAuliffe 6-4, as Gilis, Jr. was defeating Gauvin 6-1. Bazinet ended Gilis, Jr.’s loss-side streak rather dramatically, shutting him out in the quarterfinals that followed and advancing to face Bassett in the semifinals.

The Fargo Rate Web site, given Bazinet and Barrett’s respective rates (653/537), calculated that the odds were heavily in favor of Bazinet; 62.5% to 37.5%. But in a clear representation of what, in football, is known as the ‘any given Sunday’ rule, Barrett beat the odds, battling Bazinet to double hill before prevailing in the deciding game for a second shot at Savoie, waiting for her in the hot seat.

Fargo Rate calculations actually gave Barrett a better chance at winning the final; a 39.7% chance versus Savoie’s 60.3%. Savoie, apparently did not get the memo. He gave up only a single rack, completed his undefeated run and claimed the event title.

Tour director Marc Dionne thanked the ownership and staff at House of Billiards, 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, Piku Tips and Just The Tip Cue Repair and Custom Accessories. The next stop on the New England 9-Ball Series (#11), scheduled for this weekend (Saturday, May 8), will be a $500-added event, hosted by Run ‘Em Racks in Johnston, RI.

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.

Kyle Pepin Wins First Joss NE 9-Ball Tour Fargorate Event

Phil Harju (Union Station owner), Kyle Pepin, Ben Savoie and Tyler Dunbar

With the popularity of Fargo, more and more tournaments are converting to a handicapped system based on those Fargo ratings. While this format allows lower rated players to compete against more experienced opponents, it can sometimes be daunting for those better players to “outrun the handicap” in these handicapped matches. While some of the results were close, Kyle Pepin outran them all to win the Joss NE 9-Ball Tour’s Fargorate Handicapped event at Union Station Billiards in Portland, Maine on March 23rd – 24th. 
 
Pepin (653 Fargo) made his way through the winner’s side with three match wins on Saturday (Marc Dionne, Justin Grant and Josh Lerner). The handicaps (8-6, 9-5 and 8-5 were manageable, although Pepin did go hill-hill with Lerner in his last match of the day. 
 
Sunday play for Pepin started with a 9-5 race against Jerry Guitard that Pepin won 9-3. That was followed by the biggest spot that Pepin had to give up all weekend. His match against Tyler Dunbar (465 Fargo) was a 10-4 race that Pepin won 10-3. Pepin commented after the event on the format for this event. “The handicapped format was tough, a lot of tough spots and close matches, but I think it was pretty fair and made me play pretty honest. I didn’t have many chances to make mistakes.” he said. 
 
Ben Savoie (570 Fargo) was making this way through the one loss side after a loss to Guitard late on Saturday. Savoie had wins over Dave Hall, Josh Lerner and Samoth Sam before earning his revenge over Guitard 7-2. Savoie then sent Dunbar home in third place with an 8-3 win in the semi-final match. 
 
The final match between Pepin and Savoie was an 8-6 race, where Pepin won 8-4 in the first set for first place and his second career Joss NE 9-Ball Tour win. Pepin was complimentary of the event after the win. “I think the format is great for lower ranked players and the more people people play in events that are reported to Fargo, the more accurate everyone’s handicap will be.” he said. 
 
Sunday’s second chance tournament was the regular race to three format where Jim Hayden bounced back from a loss in the hot-seat match and double dipped Lindsey Monto in the finals for first place. 
 
 

Savoie, Zieminski and Cullen run out of time and split top prizes on NE 9-Ball Series

(l to r): Kevin Zieminski, Ben Savoie & Ryan Cullen

It’s not difficult enough that pool players have to battle each other, or their own interior mental processes as a tournament advances toward a conclusion. In many cases, involving a variety of factors – number of tables in a room, number of entrants and enforcement of legally established closing times – pool players are in a race against the clock, which sometimes, they lose. On Saturday, February 23, at a stop on the New England 9-Ball Series (#14), Ben Savoie, Kevin Zieminski and Ryan Cullen lost their clock race, opted out of the event’s final two matches (semifinals, finals) and split the top three prizes. It was likely most painful for Ryan Cullen, who, at decision time, was in the midst of an eight-match, loss-side winning streak that ended with his quarterfinal victory. Savoie, in the hot seat at the time, was awarded the official event title, with Zieminski, his vanquished hot seat opponent and Cullen’s potential semifinal opponent, in second place. Cullen had to settle for the official third place. The $500-added event drew 69 entrants to Yale Billiards in Wallingford, CT.
 
Savoie’s upper-bracket path to the hot seat went through Ray Buthe, Gene Hunt, Mario Argentino and Bart Rivezzi, before arriving at a winners’ side semifinal match against Tito Montalvo. Zieminski, in the meantime, worked his way through the lower bracket, defeating David Colbeth, Sr., Troy Fortin, Mike Felix and Joanne Corbett to arrive at his winners’ side semifinal matchup against Josh Christian. Cullen, following victories over Greg Madar and Sal Midolo, had been sent to the loss side by Montalvo, and would earn his right to a rematch, seven loss-side matches later.
 
In a straight-up race to 7, Savoie advanced to the hot seat match 7-3 over Montalvo. Ziemenski joined him after winning his straight-up race to 5 against Christian, double hill. Savoie claimed the hot seat, winning what proved to be his last match 6-1.
 
On the loss side, Cullen eliminated Frank Celedita, Darron Jevens and picked up a forfeit win over Mario Argentino, before downing Frank Porto and moving into the first money round, where he defeated Bobby Hilton 6-1 and Tom D’Alfonso, double hill (5-6; D’Alfonso racing to 7). This earned him his re-match against Montalvo. Christian drew Joanne Corbett, who’d eliminated Anthony Petruzelli 4-2 and in a straight-up race to 4, shut out John Kirwan to reach him.
 
Cullen downed Montalvo 7-3 and moved into his last match, the quarterfinals, against Christian, who’d given Corbett a taste of her own ‘shutout’ medicine, by eliminating her 4-0. Cullen gave up only a single rack to Christian in those quarterfinals, and for all concerned, the night was over. Savoie was the official winner, Zieminski was the runner-up and Cullen would never know whether he could have won the two more necessary to give him the 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, Bourgeois Farms and OTLVISE Billiard Mechanics of America. The next stop on the New England 9-Ball Series (#15), scheduled for Saturday, March 9, will be the $500-added Joe Brown Memorial Tournament, hosted by Buster’s Billiards in Somersworth, NH.
 
Dionne has also notified potential competitors that following the event at Buster’s Billiards, the New England 9-Ball Series will host its $1,000-added Players Championships, scheduled for the week after the event at Buster’s Billiards, on the weekend of March 16-17. Pre-registration is recommended for the event, which will be hosted back at Yale Billiards, and restricted to 128 players. There will be an additional $250-added 10-Ball event, scheduled for Sunday, March 17 (maximum Fargo Rate of 675, races to 5), which will be limited to 32 players.

All Hail Caesar: Official winner of the 13th stop on the New England 9-Ball Series

(l to r): Ben Savoie, Josh Caesar & Rick Faggioli

Josh Caesar navigated his way through a field of 42, on-hand for the 13th stop on the New England 9-Ball Series (February 16-17) and chalked up his first win on the tour. It came with the somewhat standard asterisk, indicating that an agreement was reached between the finalists (Caesar and Rick Faggioli) to not play a deciding match and award the event title to the hot seat occupant at the time. Faggioli had won the opening set of a true double elimination final before the agreement was reached. The $750-added event was hosted by Straight Shooter’s Family Billiards in Fall River, MA.
 
In the lower bracket, Josh Caesar won his opening round match against Josh Christian, and followed it with victories over Matt Solis, Nathan Camara and Sandy Kostant, before arriving at a winners’ side semifinal matchup against Phil Russo. Faggioli, in the meantime, after an opening round bye in the upper bracket, had defeated Rick Ferrell, Mark Ruzzano and Ben Savoie. Faggioli then sent Kevin Bauccio to the upper bracket’s loss side. Bauccio won a single match on the loss side of that bracket and joined Faggioli in an immediate, overall winners’ side semifinal rematch.
 
In a straight-up race to 5, Caesar downed Russo, double hill. Faggioli joined him in the hot seat match with a 6-2 victory over Bauccio. Caesar claimed the hot seat over Faggioli 6-5 (Faggioli racing to 7).
 
Bauccio and Russo moved to the loss side and ran right into their second straight defeat. Bauccio drew Ben Savoie, who’d defeated Henry Leighton 6-1 and Mike Cote 7-4 to reach him. Russo picked up Adam Blair, who’d eliminated Sandy Kostant 6-2 and Rob Rogan, double hill. In a straight-up race to 7, Savoie downed Bauccio 7-4. Blair joined him in the quarterfinals, after picking up a forfeit win over Russo.
 
In a straight-up race to 6, Ben Savoie survived the double hill quarterfinal match against Blair. In what was his third straight-up race in a row (another to 6), Savoie gave way to Faggioli, who earned his rematch against Caesar with a 6-4 semifinal win.
 
Faggioli took the opening set of the true double elimination final 7-4. The agreement was reached to split the top two prizes, and Caesar marched home victorious.
 
The New England 9-Ball Series raffled off a Predator Cue at this event. The $1400 raised was donated to the family of long-time tour member, Mark Young from New Bedford, MA, who passed away on February 2 at the age of 63.
 
Tour director Marc Dionne thanked the ownership and staff of Shooter’s Family 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, Bourgeois Farms and OTLVISE Billiard Mechanics of America. The next stop on the New England 9-Ball Series (#14), scheduled for Saturday, February 23, will be a $500-added event, hosted by Yale Billiards at its new location (169 N. Plains Industrial Rd.) in Wallingford, CT.

Rezendes and Hemingway split top prizes on NE 9-Ball Series

(l to r): Mike Negrelli, Matt Rezendes & Ryan Hemingway

The last time Matt Rezendes and Ryan Hemingway cashed in stops on the New England 9-Ball Series, they both finished in third place; Hemingway in August and Rezendes, a month later. On Saturday, November 24, at a $500-added event (Stop #7), that drew 46 entrants to Stix & Stones in Abington, MA, they moved up a notch. Matt Rezendes claimed the official title by going undefeated, although he and Hemingway opted out of a final match, choosing to let the double hill hot seat match stand as the defining contest between them.
 
Coming out of the upper bracket, Rezendes (FargoRate – 543) advanced through George Morgan, Ryan Stevens, Jim Prather and Bill Gallagher, to arrive at a winners’ side semifinal match against Andy Maynard (513). Hemingway (484), working initially in the lower bracket with an opening round bye, defeated Kyle Downey, Cameo Moy and Mark Pulsifer to face Mike Nigrelli (438) in the other winners’ side semifinal.
 
In a straight-up race to 5, Rezendes shut Maynard out to get into the hot seat match. Hemingway joined him with a double hill (4-2) victory over Nigrelli. With Hemingway starting with a single game ‘on the wire,’ the hot seat match went double hill before Rezendes won what proved to be his last match 5-3.
 
On the loss side, Maynard picked up Ben Savoie, who’d gotten by Jim Prather 4-1 (Prather racing to 6), and, in a straight-up race to 5, Bill Gallagher 5-2. Nigrelli drew Mark Pulsifer, who’d eliminated Dave Morrison, double hill, in a straight-up race to 4 and Bob Lucas 4-2 in another straight-up race to 4. Savoie downed Maynard 5-3, as Nigrelli and Pulsifer locked up in a double hill fight that eventually sent Nigrelli to join Savoie in the quarterfinals (3-3).
 
Racing to 6 (Nigrelli starting with three ‘on the wire’), Nigrelli advanced to the semifinals 3-4. Nigrelli started the semifinals with a single rack ‘on the wire’ and battled Hemingway to double hill, before Hemingway concluded the event’s final match. Rezendes and Hemingway made the decision to forego a final match and opted to split the top two prizes, while the undefeated Rezendes claimed the official event title. 
Tour director Marc Dionne thanked the ownership and staff at Stix and Stones, 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 (#8) on the New England 9-Ball Series, scheduled for this weekend (Dec. 1-2), will be the $3,000-added Bangor Bash, hosted by Rack City in Bangor, ME.

Dupuis goes undefeated to take NE 9-Ball Series Tour Championship

Ryan Urso and Joey Dupuis

Capping what’s been a pretty good year for him that included his second victory at the annual New England Pool & Billiards Hall of Fame Open 9-Ball event in March, Joe Dupuis went undefeated at the New England 9-Ball Series invitational Tour Championships on the weekend of September 8-9. The $10,000-added event drew 111 entrants to Bo’s Billiards in Warwick, RI.
 
In the earlier rounds of the upper bracket, Dupuis, competing as an Open player, won three matches in which, on average, he’d given up between three and four racks per match. In his fourth match, against Rich Howard, Dupuis picked up the pace a bit and gave up only a single rack in a 10-1 victory that advanced him to an overall winners’ side quarterfinal match against Sam Samoth. He sent Samoth to the loss side 8-5 to draw Dillon Nickerson in one of the winners’ side semifinals. From the lower bracket, Ryan Urso and Kevin Rodrigues had worked their way through a separate set of lower-ranked opponents giving up, on average, between two and three racks per match, to arrive and face each other in the other winners’ side semifinal.
 
In a straight-up race to 6, Urso downed Rodrigues 6-3 and advanced to the hot seat match. Dupuis stepped up the pace a second time, and though Nickerson had three games on the wire, in a race to 9, Dupuis made that point moot by shutting him out to join Urso in the hot seat match. Urso started the hot seat match with five games on the wire in a race to 10, and though he chalked up three on his own, Dupuis chalked up his 10 and sat in the hot seat, waiting for Urso to get back from the semifinals.
 
On the loss side, A player Ryan Cullen, who’d been defeated by Nickerson in a winners’ side quarterfinal, defeated Ben Savoie, double hill (7-4) and Roy Morgridge 7-5 to draw a re-match versus Nickerson. Rodrigues drew Ben Benson (B), who’d eliminated C+ players Lindsey Monto 6-2 and Anthony Petruzelli, double hill.
 
In their re-match, the two A players, Cullen and Nickerson battled to double hill, before Cullen finished it, advancing to the quarterfinals. Rodrigues joined him, downing fellow B player Benson 6-3.
 
Cullen gave up only a single rack in his quarterfinal match against Rodrigues and faced Urso in the semifinals. With two games on the wire at the start, Urso downed Cullen, double hill (5-6).
 
Joe Dupuis took his ‘foot off the gas’ a bit in the opening set of the true double elimination final against Urso. As in the hot seat match, Urso started with five games on the wire in a race to 10, and earned his requisite five more, before Dupuis had reached his third (5-2). The two battled to double hill in the second set, with Dupuis winning the deciding 14th game to claim the Tour Championship title.
 
Tour director Marc Dionne thanked the ownership and staff at Bo’s Billiards, as well as sponsors Ozone Billiards, Molinari, Bert Kinister, AZBilliards, Inside English, Professor Q-Ball’s National Pool and 3-Cushion News, Delta 13 racks, MJS Construction, Bob Campbell, Championship Cloth, and OTLVISE Billiard Mechanics of America.
 
The New England 9-Ball Series will open its 2018-2019 season on Sunday, September 23, with an event to be hosted by Crow’s Nest in Plaistow, NH.

Friedberg Credits Road Partner Chin for First Joss NE 9-Ball Tour Win

Mike Zuglan, Josh Friedberg , Bucky Souvanthong and Snookers Owner Steve Goulding

Road partners Josh Friedberg and Holden Chin teamed up for first place finishes in the open and second chance event at the Joss NE 9-Ball Tour’s final regular season stop June 2nd – 3rd at Snookers Billiards in Providence, RI. 
 
Friedberg survived hill-hill matches against Ben Savoie and Kerry McAuliffe in his first two matches and didn’t really have any non-stressful wins as his 9-5 win over Alex Morin on Sunday morning was his largest margin of victory. It was another close one for the hot-seat, where he defeated Bill Cote 9-7. 
 
On the one loss side, Bucky Souvanthong was making up for his early loss to Joe Darigis. Souvanthong won nine straight matches, including a 7-2 victory over Darigis in the final four. Souvanthong then went on to defeat Cote 7-3 in the semi-final match. 
 
The finals would go one set with Friedberg scoring a 9-6 win over Souvanthong for his first Joss Tour win. 
 
After back to back hill-hill losses for Holden Chin in the main event, he was one of the fourteen players who came back on Sunday to compete in the second chance tournament. After an opening round win over Andrew Griffin, Chin dropped a hill-hill match to Jared Demalia. That would be the last time Chin would taste defeat in this event though, as he won five straight on the left side and then double dipped Francisco Cabral in the finals. 
 
While it was Friedberg with the win in the main event, he gave all the credit to Chin. “When it comes to this game, Holden is the absolute greatest teacher. I would never ever have even come close to winning without his help.” he said. “ I think there were players there that were better than me. That had more skill and more experience than I did. (…) I just kept my head down and tried to remember all the things that Holden had taught me along the way.”
 
This event was the final regular season stop on the 2017 – 2018 season. Next up for the tour is the Turning Stone Classic XXX on August 23th – 26th at the Turning Stone Resort and Casino in Verona, NY. 

Souza goes undefeated on New England 9-Ball Series

(l to r): Keith Musto, Jodie Thompson, Dominic Souza

In the New England 9-Ball Series tournament on Saturday, April 28, eight of the event’s final 14 matches, and six of its last eight went double hill. Dominic Souza, who played in three of the event’s final 14 matches, avoided the double hill dramas to go undefeated, downing Jodie “JT” Thompson twice; hot seat and finals. The event (tour stop #24) drew 25 entrants to Maxamillian’s Billiards in Tyngsboro, MA.
 
Moving into the winners’ side semifinal stage of the proceedings, Souza was paired against Keith Musto (both from the upper-rank bracket), while Thompson met up with Joe Kaulenas (both from the lower-rank bracket). Souza gave up only a single rack to Musto and advanced to the hot seat match. Thompson joined him with a double hill win over Kaulenas. Souza went on to claim the hot seat 8-2 over Thompson.
 
On the loss side, Musto picked up Ben Savoie, who’d survived two straight double hill matches, against Craig LaCrosse and Frank Porto, to reach him. Kaulenas drew Joe Callaluca, who’d defeated Richard Comeau 6-2, and Eli Davenport, double hill. From this point on, all matches, except the finals, went double hill.
 
In a straight-up race to 6, Musto got into the quarterfinals, double hill, over Savoie. In a 6-5 race, Callaluca (racing to 6) downed Kaulenas (racing to 5) 6-4. The quarterfinal was the third straight double hill match for Callaluca, and the second for Musto. Musto won it and advanced to his third straight double hill match, against Thompson in the semifinals.
 
With Musto (B), racing to 6 and Thompson (C+) racing to 5, the two knotted things at 5-5, a win for Thompson, allowing him a second shot at Souza in the finals. One more game win for Thompson would have made for a double hill final (and forced a second set), but Souza (racing to 8) finished things at 8-3 to claim the event title.
 
Tour director Marc Dionne thanked the ownership and staff at Maxamillian’s Billiards, as well as sponsors Ozone Billiards, Molinari, Bert Kinister, AZBilliards, Inside English, Professor Q Ball’s National Pool and 3-Cushion News, Delta 13 racks, MJS Construction, Bob Campbell, Championship Cloth, and OTLVISE Billiard Mechanics of America. The next stop on the New England 9-Ball Series tour (#25), scheduled for Saturday, May 19, will be hosted by Buster’s Billiards in Somersworth, NH.