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Grau goes undefeated, winning sudden death final game on Western New York Pool Tour

(l to r): Jake Miosi, Dave Grau & Nick Brucato

It’s been a couple of years since the Western New York Pool Tour (WNYPT) has been in what could be described as full swing, or ‘stroke,’ if you prefer the pool analogy. Tour director Nick Brucato hasn’t been idle, but with children entering and proceeding through elementary school, his time was restricted somewhat, and what time he did have, he spent playing instead of organizing and directing tournaments. There have been a few here and there, unreported, over the past couple of years, but with a tournament held this past weekend, February 29, at Diamond Billiards Bar & Grill in Rochester, NY, Brucato is announcing the return, hopefully, the robust return of the Western New York Pool Tour.

“We’re going to start having two stops a month,” he said, literally still working on the precise schedule and sponsorships for the tour. “We’ll be back at Diamonds in Rochester in a couple of weeks.”

It’s perhaps fitting that this ‘return’ of the Western New York Tour was won by one of its strongest competitors, Dave Grau, who’s won a number of its stops over the year, while also competing and winning on the Joss Tour and a number of New England-based events. He won a Joss Tour stop in February last year and finished 9th at the 10th Annual New England Pool & Billiards Hall of Fame 9-Ball Open. His last recorded cash finish on the Western New York Tour came three years ago, when he finished as runner-up to Nick Brucato. They almost met in the finals at this most recent event; almost, as in . . . Brucato came from the loss side and was defeated by Grau in the semifinals. Grau and hot seat occupant, Jake Miosi, played a single deciding-game final, won by Grau.

The worked their way through the short field, facing two opponents to arrive at a winners’ side semifinal. Grau downed Dan Miosi 6-1 and survived a double hill fight against Geoff Montgomery to draw Qais Kolee in one of the winners’ side semifinals. Miosi opened with a double hill win over Fran Imburgia and then, shut out Brucato to pick up Sourith Thammavong in the other winners’ side semifinal.

With something of a pattern emerging, Miosi followed his double hill win and shutout with a second double hill win, over Thammavong. Grau sent Kolee to the loss side 6-3. Miosi broke the pattern with a 6-4 win over Grau to claim the hot seat.

On the loss side, Thammavong picked up Montgomery, who, following his defeat at the hands of Grau, chalked up loss side wins over Fran Imburgia 4-1 and a double hill win over Sean Zen. Kolee got Brucato, who was working on a modest two-match, loss-side streak in which he’d given up only a single rack; giving up none to Cory Welfare and the one, to Nick Cappolla.

Thammavong downed Montgomery 4-1, as Brucato gave up more racks in his third loss-side match than he’d given up against his previous two opponents combined. Kolee battled him to double hill, but Brucato prevailed, advancing to the quarterfinals and then, downing Thammavong 4-2.

Grau and Brucato battled to a somewhat predictable double hill juncture before Grau prevailed for a second shot at Miosi in the hot seat. It was decided that their second meetup would be a single game for the title. Grau won it to claim the first WNYPT pool title in quite a while.

Brucato thanked Diamond Billiard owners Fran and Jeremiah Imburgia and Cinder Ziegler and the staff for their hospitality. Stay tuned to these spaces for information about upcoming events on the tour and its sponsors.

Bova stops McCreesh charge to win Western New York Tour stop

Kyle Bova dropped the opening set of a true double elimination final to Ryan McCreesh, who'd won seven on the loss side for the right to face him, but came back to win a second set and claim the Saturday, August 10 event title at a stop on the Western New York Tour. The event drew 28 entrants to Camelot Billiards in Rochester, NY.
It was Bova who'd sent McCreesh west, in the second round of play, and with McCreesh at work on the loss side, Bova advanced among the winners' side final four for a match against Jerry Sullivan. Tour director Nick Brucato and T. Tamovan squared off in the other winners' side semifinal. Bova downed Sullivan, double hill, as Tamovan was sending Brucato to the loss side 7-5. Bova took the hot seat match 7-5 over Tamovan and waited on the return of McCreesh.
Brucato moved to the loss side and picked up Jose Mirabelle, who'd defeated Dan Miosi 6-4 and Mark Creamer 6-2 to reach him. Sullivan drew McCreesh, who'd survived a double hill match against Angelo Inness and defeated Brian Dickinson 8-3. McCreesh and Mirabelle handed Sullivan and Brucato their second straight losses; McCreesh surviving a second double hill battle, over Sullivan, while Mirabelle eliminated Brucato 7-5.
McCreesh took the quarterfinal match against Mirabelle 8-5 and then downed Tamovan in the semifinals by the same score. With momentum on his side, and vengeance on his mind, McCreesh took the opening set of the true double elimination final 8-4 over Bova. Bova, though, came back to win the second set 8-2 to claim  the event title. 

Grau downs Hatch family to win stop on Western New York Tour

Dave Grau went undefeated to win the July 1 stop on the Western New York Tour, and had to defeat an uncle (Mark Hatch) and his nephew (Dennis) to get it done. The event drew 14 entrants to Bison Billiards in Buffalo, NY.

The Hatches met twice; once in the first round, with nephew Dennis sending Uncle Mark to the loss side, and later, in the semifinals, where the result was reversed. Dennis moved among the winners’ side final four to face tour director Nick Brucato. Grau, in the meantime, squared off against Corey Welfare. Dennis survived a double hill match against Brucato, and in the hot seat match, met up with Grau, who’d defeated Welfare 7-2. Grau sent Dennis to meet his uncle in the semifinals, and waited for a Hatch to return, one way or another.

On the loss side, Brucato picked up uncle Mark Hatch, who’d shut out both John Grant and Seth Pfudelus to reach him. Welfare drew Bobby Schrader, who’d gotten by Dan Miosi 5-3 and . Shawn McCluskey 5-2. Hatch and Schrader advanced to the quarterfinals; Hatch with a 6-3 victory over Brucato (first time in what Brucato described as “a long time” in numerous meetings between the two) and Schrader with a 5-3 victory over Welfare.

Hatch chalked up his third, loss-side shutout with a 6-0 victory over Schrader in the quarterfinals, and turned to exact some revenge on nephew Dennis. Dennis went down 8-2 and it was Uncle Mark that Grau had to face. Uncle Mark got served a taste of his own loss-side medicine, as Grau shut him out to secure the event victory.

Hatch and Miosi split top prizes on Western New York Tour stop

Mark Hatch and Dan Miosi met in the finals of the January 28 stop on the Western New York Tour.  Miosi had come back from the loss-side to challenge Hatch, who was in the hot seat. At the time they met, Hatch, through three matches, had yet to give up a single rack. In what was to have been a true double elimination final, Miosi battled to double hill and prevailed in the opening set. They opted, at that point, to split the top two prizes, with Miosi as the official ‘winner’ of the event that had drawn 11 entrants to Bison Billiards in Buffalo, NY.

They both opened the short field tournament with shutouts; Miosi picked up a ‘bye’ and then shut out Brian Vaughn. Hatch had shut out Vicky Sharen. Both were now among the winners’ side final four with Hatch facing Shawn McCluski and Miosi squaring off against Ed Gearheart. Hatch shut out McCluski, while Gearheart sent Miosi west 5-3. Hatch then won what proved to be his last victory with a third straight shutout, against Gearhead, and sat in the hot seat, awaiting Miosi’s return.

On the loss side, Miosi picked up Bobby Schrader, who’d just defeated tour director Nick Brucato in a double hill match. McCluski drew Roger Jackson, who’d downed Corey Bailey, also double hill. Miosi got into the quarterfinals with a 5-3 win over Schrader and in the subsequent quarterfinals faced McCluski, who’d eliminated Jackson 4-3.

Miosi defeated McCluski and then, Gearhart in the semifinals by identical 5-2 scores. He battled to double hill in the opening set of the finals that followed against Hatch, at which point, the two declared a ‘truce’ of sorts, and opted to split the top two prizes, with Miosi assigned the role of official winner.