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Eklent Kaci and Jim Hayden win Joss Tour Stop at Union Station Billiards

Nelson Oliviera, Union Station Owner Phil Harju, Guy Bouthot and Eklent Kaci

Albanian youngster Eklent Kaci added another win to his American resume with an undefeated run through the field of 36 players at the Joss NE 9-Ball Tour stop at Union Station Billiards in Portland, Maine on April 29th – 30th. 

 

Fresh off his win at the World Pool Series' Aramith Masters in early April, the 18 year old sensation swept through the winner's side on Saturday with four straight dominating wins. Kaci beat Dave Fernandez, Mike Bourque, Bruce Nagle and Jim Hayden by a combined score of 36-13. Matching Kaci on the right side of the board was American Guy Bouthot. Bouthot took advantage of a first round bye, but then scored wins over Sarah Preston, Paul Cormier and Mark Stewart

 

Kaci started his Sunday with a 9-6 win over Nelson Oliveira (the closest he had allowed an opponent to get to beating him all weekend), while Bouthot scored a 9-2 win over Samoth Sam. From there, Kaci scored a 9-2 win over Bouthot to take the hot-seat. 

 

After defeating Oliveira 9-6, Bouthot was right back looking for another shot at Kaci in the finals. In the first set of the finals, Bouthot was able to double his number of games won against Kaci the first time they played. Unfortunately, the was still just four games. Kaci took that first set 9-4 for the undefeated win. 

 

In the second chance tournament, Jim Hayden bounced back from a 3-0 loss to Steve Lillis for the hot-seat, to eliminate Jamie Garrett 3-2 and then double dip Lillis 3-1 and 3-1 in the finals. 

 

The lucky winner of the $1500 custom engraved Joss Cue was Darrell Heroux.

 

The next stop on the Joss NE 9-Ball Tour will be another $1500/$500 added event, at Snookers in Providence, RI on June 3rd – 4th. That stop will be the last regular season stop before the Turning Stone Classic XXVIII on August 31st – September 3rd.

Nagle goes undefeated to claim Joss Tour stop #13

Adam Devoe (room owner), Bucky Souvanthong, Bruce Nagle and Mike Zuglan

Last week's quarterfinal match on the Joss Northeast Open 9-Ball Tour (stop #12) turned into this past week's finals (stop #13), as Bruce Nagle completed an undefeated run through a field of 39 entrants, defeating Bucky Souvanthong in the finals, to claim the title. The $1,500-added event ($500-added to Second Chance tournament), held on the weekend of March 18-19, was hosted by King Smiley Billiards in Fort Edward, NY. 
 
Nagle and Souvanthong advanced through the bracket to the winners' side semifinals. Nagle made it out of them, Souvanthong did not. Nagle sent Nick Brucato to the loss side 9-2, as Steve Lillis downed Souvanthong, double hill. Nagle claimed the hot seat 9-5 over Lillis and waited for Souvanthong to complete a three-match, loss-side trip.
 
On the loss side, Souvanthong picked up Noah Wells, who, after being awarded a bye, was defeated by Brucato in the event's second round, and was in the midst of a five-match, loss-side winning streak that was about to end. Wells had most recently downed Fred Gokey and Dave LeBrun, both 9-5. Brucato drew a re-match against Brent Boemmels, whom he'd defeated on the winners' side, just after sending Wells over. Boemmels was in the midst of a four-match, loss-side winning streak, having recently defeated Ben Werblow, double hill, and Dave Fernandez 9-5.
 
Souvanthong and Boemmels advanced to the quarterfinals; Boemells successfully wreaking his vengeance on Brucato, in a tightly contested match, 9-7, and Souvanthong sending Wells home 9-4. Souvanthong then defeated Boemmels 9-6 and Lillis, in the semifinals, 9-5.
 
In the finals, Souvanthong chalked up more racks against Nagle than any of Nagle's previous opponents, but it wasn't enough. Nagle hung on to complete his undefeated run 9-6, and though he's chalked up two wins on Second Chance tournaments on this year's tour (2016-2017), according to our records, this was his first Joss Tour main event win.
 
In the $500-added Second Chance Tournament, which drew 20 entrants, Frank Sorriento, who was runner-up in the March 11-12 Second Chance Tournament, won five on the loss side,  to challenge and eventually double-dip hot seat occupant Dave LeBrun.  Sorriento had survived a double hill battle versus Mike Shoemaker in the 5/6 matches, and over the next four matches, including the double set final gave up only one rack; to Mike Verducci in the semifinals. He finished with two shutouts over LeBrun.
 
In addition to the prize winners in both events, David Dumas was the raffle winner of a $1,500 Joss Cue. Players are reminded that the site for the next stop on the tour (#14), scheduled for April 8-9, has been changed from Salt City Billiards in Syracuse to Hippo's House of Billiards in Utica. Salt City Billiards was destroyed in an early morning fire last month (Feb. 8). No one was injured in the blaze, and though owners are optimistic about rebuilding, no final decisions have been made. 
 
Joss Tour director Mike Zuglan is continuing to remind players that entries for Turning Stone XXVIII, scheduled for Aug. 31- Sept 3 are filling up fast, with nearly three-quarters of the field already registered. Visit the Turning Stone Web site (http://www.turningstone.com), or contact Zuglan, for further information. 

Zvi takes two of three against Dupuis to win 8th Annual NE Hall of Fame/Ray Desell Memorial

Joey Dupuis and Zion Zvi

Zion Zvi backed up an undefeated victory at the 10th Annual Empire State Championships last week (Feb. 25-26), with a single-loss win at the 8th Annual New England Pool & Billiards Hall of Fame/Ray Desell Memorial Tournament on the weekend of March 4-5. Zvi faced a former champion of the event, Joe Dupuis, who won it in 2014, three times; once in the hot seat and twice in the double elimination finals. Zvi came back from a loss in the first meeting to double dip Dupuis in the last two. The $2,500-added event, held under the auspices of the Joss Northeast 9-Ball Tour, drew 86 entrants to Snooker's in Providence, RI.
 
Dupuis got into the hot seat of this event after a dramatic comeback in a winners' side semifinal against RYan Lineham. Down 6-0, and five racks behind when Lineham reached the hill, Dupuis came back to tie, before simultaneously taking his first lead of the match and winning it. Zvi joined him in the hot seat match following a 9-5 victory over Bruce Nagle. Dupuis has something of a reputation for thriving in fast-paced games. "When he's on his game, racing around the table," noted an AZ report from the 5th Annual Hall of Fame victory in 2014, "he's a sight to behold." He recreated that "sight to behold" phenomenon in the battle for the hot seat, as he allowed Zvi only three racks in the battle to win it.
 
On the loss side at the time, there were still a few potential winners of this event, including Jorge Rodriguez and Tom "Shorty" D'Alfonso. Rodriguez had been sent to the loss side by Dupuis (9-6) and was in the midst of a six-match, loss-side winning streak that would take him as far as Zvi and the semifinals. He and D'Alfonso met up in one of the four 9/12 matches, with Rodriguez winning it 7-1 (this was the first time that the Joss NE Tour arranged for loss-side matches to be races to 7). Rodriguez went on to defeat Rick Sleeper 7-3 to draw Lineham. Nagle picked up Dave Fernandez, who'd defeated Francisco Cabral 7-4 and Mike Minichello 7-3 to reach him.
 
Rodriguez and Fernandez handed Lineham and Nagle their second straight loss, both 7-4, before locking up in a double hill quarterfinal that eventually sent Rodriguez to face Zvi in the semifinals. Zvi ended Rodriguez' loss-side run 7-5 in those semifinals, and got the shot he was looking for against Dupuis in the hot seat.
 
They fought tooth and nail to double hill in the opener, before Zvi finished it, forcing a second set. They came within a game of forcing a second double hill encounter. Zvi pulled ahead late to claim the title 9-7.
 
"How are you feeling about this second straight win?" asked Upstate AL, commentator on the AZBTv stream.
 
"Like Jayson Shaw," said Zvi, referencing Shaw's victory at this event in 2016. "It's been a crazy week.
 
"I missed a lot of shots," he acknowledged. "I was grinding it, because I wasn't used to these tables. I couldn't make a ball on the break, and (Dupuis) kept getting the momentum."
 
A record-breaking number of entrants (33) signed on to a $500-added Second Chance tournament, available to "non-pros eliminated from the main event." Like the main event, the Second Chance finals went two sets. With Al McGuane in the hot seat, John Francisco (who'd been sent to the loss side by McGuane in a winners' side semifinal) took the opening set 3-2. By the same score, McGuane won the second set to claim the title.  Dave Shlemperis, downed by McGuane in the hot seat match 3-1, finished third, when Francisco followed loss-side victories over Brent Boemmels (3-2) and Bob Madenjian 3-1, and defeated him 3-1.
 
Joss NE 9-Ball Tour director Mike Zuglan thanked Steve Goulding and his Snooker's staff for their hospitality, as well as sponsors Joss Cues, Simonis, Aramith, PoolOnTheNet.com, Heidrich Custom Cues, AZBilliards, Billiards Press, and Turning Stone Resort and Casino. The next stop on the Joss Northeast 9-Ball Tour, scheduled for March 11-12, will be a $1,500-added event ($500-added to Second Chance) – The Northeast 9-Ball Open XXIX – hosted by Trick Shot Billiards and Sports Pub in Clifton Park, NY. Zuglan also reminded prospective players about the Turning Stone Finale, set for August 31-September 3, which at present is about two-thirds full. Interested players should communicate with Zuglan soon.

Hewitt Holds Off Souvanthong for Joss Tour Win

Danny Hewitt held off a red hot Bucky Souvanthong in the double elimination finals to win the Joss NE 9-Ball Tour stop at Trick Shot Billiards & Sports Bar in Clifton Park, NY on February 21st and 22nd. 

 

Hewitt & Souvanthong were joined by Dave Fernandez and Angelo Hilton in the winners side final four on Sunday, where Hewitt defeated Souvanthong 9-8, and Fernandez beat Hilton 9-7. Hewitt went on to then defeat Fernandez 9-3 for the hot-seat.

 

On the one loss side, Souvanthong made his way back through the brackets to eliminate Fernandez 9-2 in the semi-final match.

 

Souvanthong rode his hot-streak for a quick 9-4 win over Hewitt in the first set of the finals, but Hewitt took control of the second set and scored a 9-3 win for first place.

 

The second chance tournament on Sunday saw James Chemaly score his first second chance tournament win of his career. Chemaly took the hot-seat with a 3-1 win over Dave Dimeo, but then lost 3-1 to Frank Delconte in the first set of the double elimination finals. Like Hewitt, Chemaly came back to take control of the second set of the finals and scored a 3-1 victory for first place.

 

The Joss NE 9-Ball Tour will be at Snookers in Providence, RI on February 28th – March 1st for their next event; the 6th New England Pool and Billiard Hall of Fame 9-Ball Open. This event will feature a $2500 added main event and a $500 added second chance event on Sunday.

Hewitt double dips Fernandez to win second consecutive Joss NE Tour stop

Canadian Danny Hewitt chalked up his second consecutive and third overall win on the current Joss Northeast 9-Ball Tour with a come-from-the-loss-side win on the weekend of February 22-23. He defeated Ron Casanzio in the finals of the third stop on the tour, back in October, and two weeks ago, defeated Jeremy Sossei in the finals of the February 8-9 stop in Amsterdam, NY. Hewitt played three matches against Dave Fernandez, winning the last two to claim the $1,500-added event title that had drawn 43 entrants to Trick Shots Billiards and Sports Club in Clifton Park, NY. 
 
They met first in a heated battle to claim the hot seat. In the winners' side semifinals, Hewitt had sent Greg Antonakos to the losers' bracket 9-3, as Fernandez was busy sending Keith Lauer over 9-5. Fernandez prevailed in the double hill hot seat match, and waited for Hewitt to come back.
 
On the loss side, Antonakos met up with Jeff Smolen, who'd survived a double hill fight against Yesid Garibello and eliminated Matt Tetreault 9-5. Lauer drew Esbon Worden, who, after being sent to the loss side by Hewitt, had defeated Jed Jecen 9-8 and Angelo Hilton 9-4. Antonakos defeated Smolen 9-6, and in the quarterfinals, met Worden, who'd shut out Lauer.
 
Antonakos took the quarterfinal match 9-7, but was stopped by Hewitt in the semifinals 9-2. In all, Hewitt gave up only three racks in the two-set final; two in the opening to force the second set, and only one in the second set to claim his second consecutive Joss Northeast 9-Ball title.

Strickland Going Strong at Turning Stone

Earl Strickland

 

If anyone had been doubting the resurgence of Earl Strickland, the mighty Pearl has put the quit on those doubts this week at Turning Stone XXI. In his first three matches his opponents have scored a TOTAL of 3 racks against him. He is playing fast and deadly pool with the cue ball totally under his control and the shots just keep coming. His match last night was against a very strong Ron Cosanzio.
 
Cosanzio had shown his speed by defeating Mike Dechaine in the first round but against Strickland he was just a helpless spectator. Strickland put him down 9-2. Today Mr. Strickland faces a tough challenge when he faces Jason Klatt. Klatt has been displaying fine form (as usual) and has dispatched Larry Nevel and Randy Labonte to the left of the charts already this week, but Strickland Is a taller hill this week and the fans should be in for a great match when these two face off today.
 
One of the more dramatic races of the week happened Friday night when Karen Corr took down Dennis Hatch 9-8. The match was close throughout and had its tense moments as when Hatch requested, counter to the rules, a second bathroom break. Corr stood firm and refused the request and went on to win the match after Hatch came back from 8-6 down to tie things at 8-8.
 
Other names still alive with both bullets left include Chris Bartram, Jeremy Sossei, Martin Daigle, Greg Antonakos, Dave Fernandez and Brandon Shuff. Shuff defeated Karen Corr in the last round Friday night 9-3 so he is certainly one who bears close watching.
 
World number 1 player Thorsten Hohmann is moving undisturbed through the field. Like Strickland, no one has been a serious threat to his prowess and there are already murmurings of what will happen when he winds up facing Strickland. Both men are supremely confidant and this could be an historic match-up if and when it occurs.
 
Play continues today and you may find the Live Stream from Accu-Stats, brackets and live scoring HERE.