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Souvanthong Continues Joss Tour Dominance With Ocean State Win

Steve Goulding (owner), Frankie Hernandez, Bucky Souvanthong, Mike Zuglan and Ray McNamara manager

To say that Bucky Souvanthong has dominated the Joss NE 9-Ball Tour this year would be an understatement. Souvanthong has two tour stop wins for the season, and two second place finishes. He has competed in the four out of five tour stops on the 2021/2022 season so far, and competed in the finals of all four. Over the weekend of November 20th – 21st, Souvanthong added to his list of Joss Tour titles as he earned his name in the rafters of Snooker’s Sports Billiards, Bar & Grill in Providence, RI at the 33rd Ocean State 9-Ball Championship. 

Souvanthong kicked off his run through the field of 91 players with a first round bye and then a 9-5 win over Todd Ottilige. A 9-3 win over Dominick Souza was then followed up with a 9-8 match with Ray McNamara for Souvanthong to earn his place in Sunday’s matches. 

With a field this large, it was eight players that came back on the winners side on Sunday. Souvanthong started the day with a 9-5 win over Frankie Hernandez, Kerry McAuliffe won a one sided match over Trystan Speedwell 9-3, Bob Madenjian and Samoth Sam both won hill-hill matches over Alex Bausch and Paul Dryden respectively. 

The final four on the winners side saw Madenjian over Sam and Souvanthong over McAuliffe by the same 9-4 score. The hot-seat match was another 9-4 affair, with Souvanthong over Madenjian.

On the left side of the board, Bausch put together three straight match wins as he eliminated McNamara, Derrick Burnham and McAuliffe. In his next match, Bausch ran into Hernandez, who had a three match winning streak of his own. One of these players had to go home, and it was Bausch as Hernandez won the match 7-3. Hernandez then stretched his winning streak to five with a win over Madenjian in the semi-final match. 

The five match winning streak of Hernandez’s was of no use in the finals, as Souvanthong ran away with a 9-3 victory in the first set. It was Souvanthong’s third win on the Joss tour in just two months. 

The second chance tournament on Sunday was a contrast from the main event as Francisco Cabral dropped an early match to Ben Savoie and then built a seven match winning streak that included back to back wins over Pete Genovese in the finals to win the event.

The next stop on the Joss NE 9-Ball Tour is the Turning Stone Classic XXXIV at the Turning Stone Casino on January 6th – 9th, 2022.

2021 Ocean State 9-Ball – Mark Creamer vs Francisco Cabral

 

Lin Leads Chinese Taipei Contingent at Ocean State 9-Ball Championship

Mike Zuglan, Fu Che-Wei, Lin Ta-Li and Snookers owner Steve Goulding

The team of players from Chinese Taipei did not have a good trip to the United States for the International 9-Ball Open, with Ko Ping-Chung’s 5th place finish as the best performance by one of the group’s players. Their results at the Joss NE 9-Ball Tour’s Ocean State 9-Ball Championship on November 9th – 10th at Snookers in Providence RI, was much better. Five of the six Chinese Taipei players cashed in the Ocean State event, with four of them in the top six spots. 
 
Saturday matches narrowed the field of seventy-three players down to just twelve. The winner’s side came down to Fu Che-Wei, Lin Ta-Li, Suad Kantaravic, and recent Junior Invitational 9-Ball Champion Lukas Fracasso-Verner. Both players from Chinese Taipei then advanced with Fu beating Verner 9-2 and Lin over Kantaravic 9-6. Lin then defeated Fu 9-3 for the hot-seat. 
 
Sunday matches on the one-loss side saw Hsu Kai-Lun eliminating Mike Giurleo and Frankie Hernandez before losing a 7-3 decision to Kantaravic. The other half of the one-loss side saw Chang Yu-Lung over Ron Casanzio and Chiang Chen-Yu before being eliminated in 5th place by Verner. Verner sent Kantaravic to the seats in 4th place with a hill-hill win but then dropped the semi-final match to Fu 7-2.
 
The all Chinese Taipei final match went one set with Lin repeating his hot-seat win over Fu 9-5 for first place. 
 
Sunday’s second chance tournament was won by Francisco Cabral, who went undefeated and didn’t allow an opponent more than one rack against him all day. Cabral defeated Mike Salerno 3-1 for the hot-seat and 3-1 again in the finals. 
 
The next Joss NE 9-Ball Tour stop will be the Turning Stone Classic XXXIII on January 9th – 12th. That event is now full. Any player who didn’t get their entry paid can contact Mike Zuglan to get on the waiting list. 

Sossei over Fleming for Joss Tour Fourpeat

Jeremy Sossei, Pat Fleming and Snookers Owner Steve Goulding

While Jeremy Sossei has won the last three Joss NE 9-Ball Tour stops, he has had to win the last two with one loss. That was what he did again at Snookers Billiards in Providence, RI on June 1st – 2nd for the final regular season stop on the tour. 
 
Sossei cruised through Saturday’s matches undefeated with wins over Lida Mullendore, Jim Prather, Ranulf Tamba and Dev Bhattacharya. The closest any opponent got to Sossei on Saturday was Tamba at 9-4. Sossei’s undefeated run came to an end on Sunday morning, as he dropped his first match of the day to Pat Fleming 9-6. After that match, Fleming went on to defeat Tom D’Alfonso 9-5 for the hot-seat. 
 
Sossei got by Francisco Cabral 7-4 and Jared Demalia 7-2, to earn the match against D’Alfonso in the semi-finals. That match would go hill-hill before Sossei pocketed the final nine ball. The time in the hot-seat might have proved to be a negative for Fleming, as Sossei proceeded to win the first set of the finals 9-4 and then the second set 7-3. The win was Sossei’s 6th of the season and his 4th in a row. 
 
Sunday’s “Second Chance” tournament saw Bob Madenjian with a 3-1 win over Ray Buthe for the hot-seat and then facing Nick Coppola in the finals. Coppola won the first set of the finals 3-2, but Madenjian came back to take the second set 3-2 for the win. 
 
The stop at Snookers was the final regular season tour stop and players will now prepare for the Turning Stone Classic XXXII on August 22nd – 25th at the Turning Stone Casino in Verona, NY. That event is full, but fans are invited to watch the action in person with free admission on all four days of the event. 

Morganelli goes undefeated through field of 112 to win NE 9-Ball Series Winter Classic

(l to r): Clyde Matta, Dave Morganelli & Robert Piersa

Lineham wins second-tier 10-ball event
 
There were two distinctly different events at the 12th stop on the New England 9-Ball Series; its annual Winter Classic held on the weekend of January 26-27 and hosted by Snooker’s in Providence, RI. The main event was a $2,000-added 9-ball tournament that was traditionally handicapped with the use of FargoRates to determine the matches and drew 112 entrants. There was also a $500-added, non-handicapped 10-ball tournament with 21 entrants, which was billed as something of a Second Chance event, but offered $1,570 worth of cash prizes for the top four finishers.
 
Dave Morganelli went undefeated through the field of 112 to take the 9-ball event, downing Rob Piersa twice. RYan Lineham did likewise through the shorter-field 10-ball tournament, defeating Corey Avallone in the hot seat match and Lukas Fracasso-Verner in the final. It took Morganelli seven matches to claim the 9-ball title. Lineham grabbed the 10-ball title in five.
 
Morganelli was one of 12 competitors in the 9-ball tournament’s lower bracket that was awarded an opening round bye, after which he got by Justin Grant, Chuck Sampson, Mourad Idrais, and Phil Medeiros to arrive at a winners’ side semifinal match against Bob Lucas. Rob Piersa, in the meantime, without a bye in the upper bracket, defeated Rich Senna, Ryan Lineham (the eventual winner of the 10-ball event), Brian Chase and Bill Cote to arrive at his winners’ side semifinal matchup against Kevin Bauccio.
 
In a straight-up race to 5, Morganelli advanced to the hot seat match 5-3 over Lucas. Piersa joined him after downing Bauccio 7-4 (Bauccio racing to 6). Morganelli, with a FargoRate of 539, started the hot seat match with three on the wire in a race to 7 against Piersa, with his FargoRate of 651. They split the actual games 4-4, but with the handicap, Morganelli claimed the hot seat.
 
On the loss side, Lucas picked up Adam Blair, who’d defeated Emily Cady 5-2 and Rich Ferrell 5-3 to reach him. Bauccio drew Clyde Matta, who’d eliminated Bill Cote, double hill (7-6) and Mike Demarco 7-4.
 
In straight-up races to 5 (Lucas/Blair) and 7 (Matta/Bauccio), Blair and Matta handed Lucas and Bauccio their second straight loss; Blair 5-3 over Lucas and Matta 7-5 over Bauccio. Matta took the subsequent quarterfinal match over Blair 7-3.
 
In a straight-up race to 6, Piersa (651) downed Matta (611) 6-1 in the semifinals to earn himself a second (and potentially, third) shot against Morganelli, waiting for him in the hot seat. Morganelli took the opening and only set necessary 5-2 to claim the NE 9-Ball Series Winter Classic title.
 
Lineham becomes second person on the weekend to eliminate Fracasso-Verner
 
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Lukas Fracasso-Verner, 17, has made something of a dangerous habit out of coming from the loss side to claim a number of event titles, including a 12-match, loss-side trip to win last year’s “Ginky” Memorial, and a seven-match, loss-side winning streak to win the NE 9-Ball Series’ Robert Dionne Memorial, two weeks ago. On the weekend of January 26-27, the habit got the best of him at the NE 9-Ball Series’ Winter Classic. He was sent to the loss side in the third round of the main event, and won only one match on the loss side, before being eliminated, out of the money. He rallied a bit in the 10-ball tournament, advancing to a winners’ side semifinal, and then, winning three on the loss side for a shot against Ryan Lineham in the hot seat. Lineham prevailed.
After an opening round bye, Lineham had defeated Kerry McAuliffe and Mike Hurley to arrive at his winners’ side semifinal match against Chad Bazinet. Fracasso-Verner, in the meantime, faced Chad Avallone.  Lineham downed Bazinet 7-5, as Avallone was sending Fracasso-Verner to the loss side 7-4. Lineham claimed the hot seat 7-2 over waited on what turned out to be the return of Fracasso-Verner.
 
On the loss side, Fracasso-Verner shut out Jon Leandro and in the quarterfinals, faced Bazinet, who’d eliminated Francisco Cabral 5-1. Fracasso-Verner downed Bazinet in those quarterfinals 5-3, for a rematch against Avallone in the semifinals. A double hill fight ensued that eventually sent Fracasso-Verner to the finals.
 
They could have played a modified race to 5 in the finals, but Fracasso-Verner and Lineham opted to play it out to the normal race to 7. Fracasso-Verner survived the double hill, opening set of the true double elimination final 7-6, but Lineham grabbed the second set 7-5 to claim the 10-ball event title.
 
Tour director Marc Dionne thanked the ownership and staff at Snooker’s for their hospitality, as well as sponsors Predator Cues, USAPL 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, Bourgeois Farms and OTLVISE Billiard Mechanics of America. The next stop on the New England 9-Ball Series (#13), will be a $750-added event, scheduled for the weekend of February 16-17 and hosted by Straight Shooters Family Billiards in Fall River, MA.

Shaw Cruises Through Ocean State Championship

Shawn Wilkie, Steve Goulding and Jayson Shaw

Jayson Shaw looks to be in prime Mosconi Cup form, as he crushed a field of 87 players to win his third Ocean State 9-Ball Championship at Snookers in Providence RI on November 17th – 18th. 
 
Shaw cruised through the winner’s side with wins Tony Masi, Pat Fleming, Pete Bowman, Raphael Dabreo and Ryan Lineham. Over those five matches, Shaw lost only 9 out of 54 racks. 
 
After a late Saturday loss to Zion Zvi, Shawn Wilkie was cruising through the one loss side. Wilkie had wins over Matt Krah, Lucas Fracasso-Verner, Pete Bowman and Kyle Pepin before getting revenge against Zvi 7-5. Wins over Dabreo and Lineham lead to a match with Shaw in the finals. 
 
While Wilkie would fair better against Shaw than any other opponent all day, he would only get to 5 in the first set of the finals. 
 
A field of nineteen players came back on Sunday to compete in the $500 added second chance tournament, where Ryan Urso went undefeated including a 3-2 hot-seat win over Mike Demarco and a 3-1 final match win over Francisco Cabral
 
The Joss NE 9-Ball Tour will now take a break until the Turning Stone Classic XXXI on January 10th – 13th at the Turning Stone Casino in Verona, NY. That tournament is full and players are urged to contact Mike Zuglan if they want to be added to the waiting list. 
 

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. 

Cabral/Murphy & Benson/Eline opt to split top prizes on NE 9-Ball Partners Tournament

l to r: Jessie Murphy, Francisco Cabral, Ben Benson, Matt Eline, Ned McConnell, and Lida Mullendore

Francisco Cabral and Jessie Murphy, sitting in the hot seat, opted out of a second and final match against Ben Benson and Matt Meline during the Saturday, April 8 Partners Tournament, stop (#22) on the New England 9-Ball Series. The event drew 53 teams of two to Snookers in Providence, RI.

 
The two pairs of competitors met first in the hot seat match. Cabral/Murphy had defeated the team of Sal Midolo and Lance Liscotti, double hill, in one winners’ side semifinal, as the team of Benson/Eline was downing Rob Diehl and Austin Ross 5-3 in the other one. Cabral/Murphy grabbed the hot seat, and as it turned out, their final match, in a shutout over Benson/Eline.
 
On the loss side, Midolo/Liscotti picked up Josh Gormly and Ted Psarros, who’d defeated Ken Ludy/Steve Bergin, double hill, and Keith Platt/Stan McLean 4-2. Diehl and Ross drew Lida Mullendore and Ned McConnell, who’d eliminated Carlton Gagnon/Mike Olcott, double hill, and Charlie Matarazzo/Mike Negrelli 7-2.
 
Midoli/Liscotti got into the quarterfinals with a 6-3 win over Gormly/Psarros. They were joined by Mullendore/McConnell, who’d eliminated Diehl/Ross 5-3.
 
Mullendor/McConnell then shut out Midolo/Liscotti. In the subsequent, straight-up race to 5 in the semifinals, Benson and Eline earned a second shot at Cabral and Murphy with a 5-2 win over Mullendore/McConnell. The last two teams opted out of a final match, potentially two, and split the top two prizes. As occupants of the event’s hot seat, Cabral and Murphy claimed the official event title.
 
Tour director Marc Dionne thanked the ownership and staff at Snookers, as well as sponsors Ozone Billiards, Molinari, Bert Kinister, AZBilliards, Inside English, Professor Q-Ball’s National 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 (#23), scheduled for Saturday, April 21, will be a $500-added event, hosted by Yale Billiards in Wallingford, CT.

Dupuis wins seven on the loss side and double dips Perry to win 9th NE Hall of Fame 9-Ball

l to r: Joe Dupuis, Steve Goulding (owner of Snooker’s) and Tim Perry

Last year at the 8th Annual New England Pool & Billiard Hall of Fame Open 9-Ball tournament, Joe Dupuis advanced to the hot seat, only to be double-dipped by Zion Zvi in the finals. This year, Dupuis opted for the loss-side route at the 9th annual event and achieved better results. Sent to the loss side by the man he’d later (much later) face in the finals, Tim Perry, Dupuis won seven on the loss side to earn the re-match, win both sets of the double elimination final and claim the title he’d last won in 2014. The $2,500-added event drew 48 entrants to its regular venue, Snooker’s in Providence, RI.
 
Dupuis and Perry met first in the third round of play. They locked up in a double hill fight, that eventually sent Dupuis to the loss side. Perry advanced to a winners’ side quarterfinal against Ivaylo Petrov, which he won 9-6, moving him into a winners’ side semifinal against the Joss NE Tour’s current #4-ranked player, Bruce Nagle. Kyle Pepin and Jason Michas, in the meantime, squared off in the other winners’ side semifinal.
 
Perry downed Nagle 9-4, and in the hot seat match, faced Michas, who’d sent Pepin west 9-5. Perry got into the hot seat 9-5 over Michas, and waited on Dupuis’ return.
 
On the loss side, Dupuis’ trip back to the finals began against the Joss NE 9-Ball Tour’s #1-ranked player, and all-around tough draw, Jeremy Sossei. Sossei had been awarded a bye in the event’s opening round, and dropped his first match to Mark Ransom. On the loss side, he’d gotten by Bill Cote and Chuck Sampson before running into Dupuis, who ended his weekend with a 7-5 win. Things didn’t get any easier, either. Mike Minichello put up a double hill fight against Dupuis in the next loss-side round. Dupuis eliminated him and moved into the first money round.
 
Dupuis then defeated Mike Demarco 7-3 and in another double hill battle, Frank Hernandez, to draw Nagle, coming off his defeat in a winners’ side semifinal. Pepin, in the meantime, picked up Petrov, who, after his defeat at the hands of Perry in the winners’ side quarterfinal, had downed Clyde Matta 7-1 and Francisco Cabral 7-5.
 
Pepin advanced to the quarterfinals 7-5 over Petrov and was joined by Dupuis, who’d defeated Nagle 7-2. Dupuis got by Pepin 7-5 and then denied Michas a second shot at Perry in the hot seat with a 7-4 win in the semifinals.
 
Dupuis took the opening set of the double elimination final against Perry 9-6. Racing to 7 in the second set, Dupuis and Perry battled to 6-6, forcing a deciding game. Dupuis won it to claim his second New England Pool & Billiard Hall of Fame title.
 
A $500-added Second Chance event that drew 11 entrants saw another competitor, Mike Minichello, come from deep on the loss side to double dip the hot seat occupant, Mike Pettit. Minichello won four on the loss side, and was denied an opportunity to face the opponent who’d sent him there, Mark Ransom, when Ransom was defeated in the quarterfinals by Kevin Bauccio. Minichello went on to defeat Bauccio in the quarterfinals, Ranulf Tamba in the semifinals, and Mike Pettit, twice, in the finals; 3-1, 3-2.
 
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 10-11, will be the $1,500-added Kevin Ketz Memorial ($500-added to Second Chance event), hosted by Trick Shot Billiards & Sports Club in Clifton Park, NY. Players are reminded that the following week’s event (March 17-18), originally scheduled to be hosted by King Smiley, will now be held at Hippo’s House of Billiards, in Yorkville, NY.

Hooker hangs on to win New England 9-Ball Series Winter Classic at Snookers in RI

Dennis Levesque, Bobby Hooker & Joey Dupuis

By the time that the field of 126 entrants competing for the New England 9-Ball Series’ Winter Classic had whittled down to its final 12, there was only one “Open” player left – Joey Dupuis. In one of the vagaries of a double bracket format (upper and lower brackets employed for higher and lower handicapped players), Dupuis had been sent to the loss side by Dennis Levesque in an upper bracket winners’ side semifinal, which is a winners’ side quarterfinal in the overall event. Bobby Hooker, in the meantime, a C+ player, advanced through the lower bracket and eventually claimed the overall event hot seat; last player without a loss, still standing. Though Dupuis would navigate his way through five loss-side matches and win the opening set of a true double elimination final versus Hooker, Hooker fought back in the second set, and won it to claim the event title. Held on the weekend of January 27-28, the $5,000-added Winter Classic was hosted by Snookers in Providence, RI.
 
Levesque’s 6-5 victory over Dupuis (Dupuis racing to 9) put Levesque in an overall winners’ side semifinal (two from the upper bracket) against Mike Pettit. From the lower bracket, Hooker and Adam Blair met in the other winners’ side semifinal. Levesque and Pettit (both A players), in a straight-up race to 7, went to double hill before Levesque won it to advance to the hot seat match. Hooker and Blair (both C+ players), in a straight-up race to 5, went double hill, as well, with Hooker advancing to the hot seat match. With Levesque racing to 8, and Hooker to 5, Hooker claimed the hot seat 5-6 and waited for Dupuis to complete his loss-side run.
 
Pettit’s first match on the loss side was against Dupuis, who, following his defeat at the hands of Levesque, had eliminated Rich Minichello, double hill (7-5), and Francisco Cabral 9-3. Blair drew Rob Diehl, who’d defeated Josh Ceasar, double hill, and Justin Grant 5-1.
 
Dupuis gave up only one rack to Pettit in advancing to the quarterfinals. He was joined by Blair, who’d survived a straight-up race to 5, double hill, over Diehl. The subsequent battle between the Open player (Dupuis) and the C+ player (Blair) was a 10-4 race, won by Dupuis 10-2.
 
The semifinal rematch between Dupuis and Levesque was a 9-6 race, won by Dupuis 9-3. Dupuis took the opening set of the true double elimination final 10-2 over Hooker (Hooker racing to 4). In the second set, Dupuis got halfway to his 10-rack goal, but Hooker made it to his 4 first to win the second set and claim the event title.
 
Tour director Marc Dionne thanked the ownership and staff for their hospitality during the Winter Classic, 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. Next week’s scheduled event at Workmen’s Hall in Norwood, MA has been cancelled. The next stop (#15) on the New England 9-Ball Series, scheduled for Saturday, February 17, will be a $500-added event, hosted by Yale Billiards in Wallingford, CT.
 
The New England 9-Ball Series has announced that it is currently taking entries for the Tour Championship, scheduled for September 8-9 at Bo’s Billiards in Warwick, RI. The field will be limited to 128 players, all of whom must have played in at least four events to be eligible.