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Cabral and Bellisle split top prizes on NE 9-Ball Series Stop #8

Russell Bellisle, Francisco Cabral and Kevin Kiely

It’s hard to know, and though it doesn’t really impact the reporting of an event, it does, frequently, beg the question. Why did the last two competitors in an event choose not to play a final match? The responses range between personal emergencies to lack of interest, with things like ‘late hour/long drive home,’ ‘bar curfew,’ and ‘just too pooped to pop’ in between. We don’t ask why (although generally, we’ll know) and don’t ask for specifics about the cash split, either. Both are thought of as personal enough to make asking not appropriate or necessary. The amount of money that goes into each player’s AZBilliards profile reflects the amount of the original payout, not what each took home after negotiating the split.  

This past weekend (Sun. April 28), at Stop #8 on the New England 9-Ball Series, Francisco Cabral and Russell Bellisle opted out of a final match at the event which had drawn 34 entrants to Snooker’s in Providence, RI. Cabral, the official winner (with a ‘no-final’ *), has been recording cash payouts at the tables for just over a decade now.  He has won three, second-chance events at the annual Ocean State 9-Ball Championships (’22, ’21, ‘19) and was runner-up in another (’18). He and Jesse Murphy won a Scotch Doubles tournament on the NE 9-Ball Series back in 2018.

Russell Bellisle is relatively new to the sport, having recorded only two (now, three) cash payouts with us in the last two years; a 5th place finish at a NE 9-Ball Tour Winter Classic in ’22 and a runner-up finish (to Steven Mack) last month in a Second Chance tournament of the New England Pool & Billiards Hall of Fame Open. 

So, two competitors looking for their first regional tour win. One that’s been waiting 11 years for it and the other, two years. Cabral got the official win of course, but with the ‘final’ achievement so close, it does beg that question. Bellisle won a single match on the winners’ side of the bracket and six on the loss side. And coming that far to opt out of the final begs the same question. Be that as it may, they did what they did, accepting the result, and we’re here to tell you about the effort.

Cabral worked his way through four opponents to get into the hot seat match. Downing Sandy Kostant (double hill), Jacqueline Loving (by shutout) and Choneyi Tenzin 6-4 put him into a winners’ side semifinal against Jesus Garcia. From the other end of the bracket, Kevin Kiely got by Norbert Farias (double hill) and then, Brian Berry and Jason Longo, both 6-2, to draw Justin Zelenak in the other winners’ side semifinal.

Cabral defeated Garcia 7-3, as Kiely sent Zelenak to the loss side 6-3. In what would prove to be his final match, Cabral claimed the hot seat 7-2 over Kiely.

On the loss side, meeting two opponents who’d already won nine (total) loss-side matches, Garcia and Zelenak walked right into their second straight loss. Garcia drew Norbert Farias, who’d eliminated loss-side opponents #4 and #5; Jensen Ducharme 6-1 and Jim Gould 5-3. Zelenak picked up Bellisle, whose #3 and #4 loss-side opponents were Jeff Sheehan (6-1) and Tom Schine (6-2).

Bellisle and Zelenak locked up in a double-hill fight that did, eventually, send Bellisle to the quarterfinals. Farias joined him after defeating Garcia 5-1. Bellisle, picking up a little steam at this point, shut out Farias in those quarterfinals.

In the last match on Sunday night, Bellisle earned his right to a shot against Cabral in the hot seat with a 5-3 win over Kiely. Negotiations for the split got underway, with Cabral, as the undefeated hot seat occupant, claiming the official (*) event title.

Tour director Marc Dionne thanked the ownership and staff at Snooker’s for their hospitality, along with sponsors USAPL New England, BEF, FargoRate, AZBilliards,  Professor Q-ball’s National Pool and 3-Cushion News, MJS Construction, OTLVISE, Outsville, Cue Pocket LLC, and Just the Tip Cue Repair and Custom Accessories.

The New England 9-Ball Series will return to Snooker’s for Stop #9, a Partners event, scheduled for Sunday, August 18th.

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Pavao goes undefeated on J. Pechauer Ride the 9 Tour

Ty Speedwell took Danny Pavao to double hill twice, but Pavao came out on top both times to claim the May 19 stop on the J. Pechauer Ride the 9 Tour. The $1,000-added event drew 27 entrants to Bo's Billiards in Warwick, RI.

They met first among the winners' side final four, with Pavao sending Speedwell west in their first of two double hill matches. Bill Cote defeated Bill O'Mara double hill, as well, to meet Pavao in the hot seat match. Pavao claimed the hot seat from Cote 5-1 and waited on Speedwell's return.
Speedwell moved over and picked up Tim Perry, who'd defeated Ranulf Tamba in a double hill match, and Kerry McAuliffe 5-2. O'Mara drew Choneyi Tenzin, who'd gotten by Charles Matarazzo 8-2 (Matarazzo racing to 4), and Roarke Dickson 6-1. Speedwell embarked on his three-match march back to the finals with a 5-2 win over Perry, as Tenzin was busy shutting out O'Mara.
The tour veteran quarterfinal went double hill before Speedwell prevailed to face Bill Cote. Speedwell shut Cote out in the semifinals for a second chance against Pavao. Pavao and Speedwell locked up in their second double hill match, and Pavao prevailed again to claim the event title.

Rupard stops loss-side challenge by McDermott to go undefeated on Lucasi Hybrid NE 9-Ball

Call it the pitter-patter of little feet; well, smaller anyway. Sitting in the hot seat on the June 24 stop on the Lucasi Hybrid New England 9-Ball Tour, Stan Rupard watched as Terry McDermott completed a five-match, loss-side winning streak to face him in the finals. With a D+ handicap, she had gotten by an A player (Choneyi Tenzin), a C player (Eli Davenport), an Open player (Nick Conner), a B+ player (Josh Rupard), and another A player (Dan Simoneau) to reach him. Rupard, though, held McDermott to a single rack of the three she needed for a first victory in the true double elimination finals and completed his undefeated day. The event drew 22 entrants to Legends Billiards in Portsmouth, NH.

From among the winners’ side final four, Rupard began his three-match march to the event title by sending his son, Josh to the loss side 6-3. In the hot seat match that followed, he faced Dan Simoneau, who’d sent Conner west 6-6. Rupard got into the hot seat with a 6-4 victory over Simoneau and watched as those ‘little feet’ made their way in his direction.

McDermott, who’d been sent west by Josh Rupard from among the winners’ side final eight, began her return voyage to the finals with the victory over Tenzin 3-5. She followed it with the win over Davenport 4-3, which put Conner in her path. Josh Rupard met up with Sina Brown, who’d survived two straight double hill matches against Joe Meuse and Will McDonald to reach him. McDermott ended Conner’s day in a double hill win and in the quarterfinals, got a re-match against Josh Rupard, who’d shut out Brown.

McDermott wreaked her vengeance and came out on top in the quarterfinal match against Josh Rupard, 3-1, and then, in the semifinals, with Simoneau racing to 10, she completed her loss-side streak with a 3-8 victory. She’d vanquished the son, but Dad, Stan Rupard, allowed her only a single rack in an 8-1 victory that secured the event title.