Archive Page

Francisco Diaz Snags First Joss Tour Title

Francisco Diaz, Room Owner Andrea Duvall and Bucky Souvanthong

Last week’s stop on the Joss NE 9-Ball Tour (see report here) saw Francisco “Frankie” Diaz drop his first match of the event to Mike Donnelly. After that 9-6 loss, Diaz put away his cue and left, forfeiting his match on the one loss side. Apparently, one of the keys to winning a tour stop is winning that first match. That seemed to be the lesson this week when the tour visited Utica Billiards on the Boulevard in Utica, NY. 

Diaz won his first match this week (9-2 over Jason Hall), and that win helped springboard him to success. Diaz finished up Saturday play with a 9-3 win over Aaron Greenwood and an impressive 9-2 win over Qais Kolee. 

Diaz came back on Sunday and proved that Saturday play was no fluke, starting the day off with a 9-1 win over Tim Davis to get to the hot-seat match. It was that match that gave Diaz his biggest challenge of the event, going hill-hill before beating Dan Sharlow. 

On the one loss side, last week’s winner Bucky Souvanthong was making up for an early Saturday loss to Mike Rash. Souvanthong won three straight matches on the left side (Jason Reese, Seth Delvillano and Kolee) to qualify for Sunday play. 

Souvanthong started Sunday play with a tester, as he went hill-hill with Len Gianfrate before dispatching Hendrik Drost (7-2), Jamie Garrett (7-2) and then Sharlow (7-4) to qualify for his third straight appearance in the finals of a Joss Tour stop. 

The finals went one set with Diaz scoring a 9-6 win to remain undefeated and capture his first title on the Joss NE 9-Ball Tour. 

Sunday’s second chance tournament saw Redgie Cutler on a tear. Cutler took the hot-seat with five match wins by a combined record of 15-3, beating Joe Wysocki 3-1 in the hot-seat match. One of Cutler’s wins on his way to the hot-seat was a 3-0 match over Aaron Greenwood, and it was Greenwood coming from the one loss side to challenge Cutler in the finals. Greenwood would take Cutler to hill-hill but would not be able to stop him, losing in the first set of the finals 3-2 for the Cutler win. 

The Joss NE 9-Ball Tour will be in action again this weekend with a $1500 added main event and $500 added second chance tournament at Diamond Billiards Bar & Grill in Rochester, NY.

Sean Zeng Breaks Through For First Joss Tour Win

Len Gianfrate and Sean Zeng

Sean Zeng has made a habit of cashing in one Joss NE 9-Ball Tour stop per year. He finished in 7th place at Eastridge Billiards in 2018, 2nd in the second chance tournament at Diamond Billiards in 2019 and 4th at Sharpshooters early last year. Each finish was progressively better each year as far as prize money, but if you are only going to cash in one tour stop a year, you may as well shoot for the moon. He hit the moon at the Joss NE 9-Ball Tour stop at Brickhouse Billiards in Syracuse, NY on June 26th and 27th.

Zeng was one of the forty eight players who competed in this, the second “post covid” stop on the tour. He kicked things off with a win over Jordan Turner and then turned in back to back hill-hill wins over Mike Lally and Bucky Souvanthong. A must less stressful 9-4 win over Tony Antone sent Zeng into Sunday play undefeated.

Zeng kept up his winning ways on Sunday with a 9-4 win over Rohit Aggarwal. On the opposite side of the board, Len Gianfrate had a little more of a problem with Marko Clarke, but won the match 9-7. Zeng would then beat Gianfrate by that same 9-7 scoreline.

On the one loss side, two early tournament favorites were heading towards a showdown. Both Ron Casanzio and Souvanthong had lost their third round matches on Saturday. Souvanthong to Zeng and Casanzio to Dave Grau in a 9-1 match he would likely prefer to forget.

Casanzio and Souvanthong both had five straight match wins on the left side of the board, and faced off against each other for third place. As expected, that match was a close one, that went to Casanzio 7-6. Casanzio would have to settle for second place though, as he then lost to Gianfrate in the semi-final match 7-5.

The rematch between Zeng and Gianfrate only went one set, with Zeng scoring another 9-7 win for his first Joss NE 9-Ball Tour victory.

Sunday’s second chance tournament saw nineteen players looking for their share of $500 in added prize money. The winner’s side came down to Dan Sharlow and Dave Ricci, with Ricci taking the hot-seat 3-1. After Sharlow eliminated Jim Kearney on the one loss side, he came back and avenged his earlier loss with a 3-1 win over Ricci in the first set of the finals. The second set went to Ricci with another 3-1 scoreline for first place.

The Joss NE 9-Ball Tour will take the 4th of July weekend off, and get back to their next event at Utica Billiards on the Boulevard in Utica, NY on July 10th – 11th.

Casanzio Takes Joss NE 9-Ball Tour Win Undefeated

Ron Casanzio, Room Owner’s Son Jeremiah Imburgia and Bruce Nagle

As it turns out, building a sizable winning stream of Joss NE 9-Ball Tour stops is a difficult proposition. Bucky Souvanthong came into Diamond Billiard Bar & Grill in Rochester NY, on November 2nd and 3rd looking to add to his two stop winning streak. Lyn Wechsler and Jeremiah Imburgia had other plans though, as they eliminated Souvanthong from play on day one of the event. 
 
Having more success on this weekend were Len Gianfrate, Dave Mills, Bruce Nagle and Ron Casanzio, who all escaped Saturday play undefeated. On Sunday, Gianfrate defeated Mills 9-5 and Casanzio beat Nagle 9-6. Casanzio then went on to send Gianfrate to the one loss side in the hot-seat match 9-3.
 
On the one loss side, both players coming over from the right side on Sunday won their matches with Nagle over Imburgia and Mills over Wechsler. Nagle then went on to eliminate Mills 7-4 and Gianfrate 7-6.
 
The finals went one set with Casanzio staying unbeaten and defeating Nagle 9-4 for first place. 
 
Sunday’s second chance tournament saw Qais Kolee in the hot-seat with a 3-0 win over Dan Sharlow. Sharlow then dropped the semi-final match to Sean Zeng. Zeng won the first set of the finals 3-2, but Kolee won the second set 3-0 for first place. 

Grau Wins Eastridge Joss Tour Stop

Dave Grau, East Ridge Billiards owner Chris Braiman and Spencer Auigbelle

Dave Grau went undefeated at Eastridge Billiards in Rochester, NY on February 23rd – 24th for his first Joss NE 9-Ball Tour stop win in over ten years. No one can say he didn’t have to fight for it though. 
 
Grau’s Saturday wins were fairly routine, with the closest competitor (Joe Mayo) losing to Grau 9-6. Sunday, on the other hand, was a different story. Grau started his Sunday campaign with a hill-hill win over Jorge Teixeira and then followed that up with another hill-hill win, this time over Spencer Auigbelle for the hot-seat. 
 
Bucky Souvanthong put together an impressive five match winning streak on the one loss side, after losing a 9-6 match to Ron Casanzio on Saturday. Souvanthong ran out of gas on Sunday though, finishing in 4th place after a loss to Teixeira. Teixeira then dropped a 7-1 decision to Auigbelle in the semi-final match. 
 
The rematch between Grau and Auigbelle in the finals was just slightly more decisive with Grau winning the first (and only) set 9-7 for first place. 
 
Sunday’s second chance tournament saw Chris Braiman run through the right side of the board, scoring a 3-0 win over Dan Sharlow for the hot-seat. Aaron Cameron had lost to Braiman in his second match of the day, but navigated the one loss side and defeated Sharlow 3-1 in the semi-final match. Cameron would get his revenge and then some, in the final match. A 3-2 win in the first set of the finals was followed up by a 3-1 win in the second set to give Cameron first place. 
 
The Joss NE 9-Ball Tour will be back in action this weekend with the $2500 added 10th NE Pool & Billiard Hall of Fame 9-Ball Open at Snookers in Providence R.I. 
 

Souvanthong holds off Casanzio for Joss Tour Win

Bucky Souvanthong (Courtesy Erwin Dionisio)

Bucky Souvanthong held off a late charge from Ron Casanzio to win the Joss NE 9-Ball Tour stop at East Ridge Billiards in Rochester NY over the October 5th – 6th weekend.
 
Souvanthong’s Saturday consisted of three wins, 9-4 over Dan Sharlow and then back to back 9-3 wins over Sean Zeng and Dave Mills
 
Joining Souvanthong on the winner’s side on Sunday were Lyn Wechsler, Casanzio and Sourith Thammavong. Casanzio made quick work of Wechsler 9-1, while Souvanthong had a slightly closer 9-4 win over Thammavong. That left Souvanthong and Casanzio to battle for the hot-seat, which Souvanthong took 9-6.
 
Thammavong had two tough 7-5 wins on the left side of the board (Brad Guthrie and Sharlow), but wasn’t ready for Casanzio as Casanzio ended Thammavong’s day in third place 7-2. 
 
The first set of the double elimination finals went to Casanzio 9-7 in another close match, but Souvanthong took control of the second set and cruised to a 7-2 win for first place. 
 
Sunday’s second chance tournament saw Mark Creamer come back from a first round loss to Marco Kam and win seven straight matches to take first. Creamer got his revenge over Kam 3-2 on the one loss side, and that match would contain the last rack he would lose in this event. He defeated Nick Coppola 3-0 and then proceeded to double dip Steve Winter 3-0 twice to take first place. 
 
The next stop on the Joss NE 9-Ball Tour will be this weekend (October 12th – 13th) at Utica Billiards on the Boulevard in Utica, NY. Tour director Mike Zuglan is busy taking entries for January’s Turning Stone Classic XXIII and players are urged to contact him to get their entries fees paid asap.