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Bryant goes undefeated to win Lucasi Hybrid Winter Classic in Portsmouth, NH

Paul Tori, Brittany Bryant and Dan Cintron

With all due respect, it’s hard to view the finals of the Lucasi Hybrid New England 9-Ball Series Winter Classic on Sunday, February 12 as anything but a battle between Beauty and the Beast; specifically, (in reverse order) Dan Cintron, and the rising Canadian female star, Brittany Bryant.

Cintron came back from the loss-side to challenge her as the hot seat occupant, and Bryant prevailed to conclude an undefeated weekend. The $3,625-added event drew 66 entrants to Legends Billiards in Portsmouth, NH.

They almost met in the battle for the hot seat, but while Bryant successfully got by Barian Yildran in a winners’ side final four, double hill match, Cintron fell to Paul Tori 6-6 (Cintron needing to reach eight). Bryant survived a second straight double hill match, and sat in the hot seat, awaiting what proved to be Cintron’s return.

First up for Cintron on the loss-side was Ivo Petrov, who’d gotten by Scott Packard 8-1 and Tsepel Tenzin 9-7. Yildran drew Adam Vetucan, fresh off two straight double hill wins over Mike Barbagallo and Gareth Steele. Vetucan made it three straight double hill wins with a victory over Yildran, as Cintron was busy downing Petrov 10-8. 

To his credit, Vetucan made it four straight double hill matches in the quarterfinals, but this time, he came out on the wrong end of the decision to finish fourth. Cintron moved on and downed Tori 8-6 in the semifinals. In a straight-up race to eight, Bryant concluded her undefeated weekend with an 8-3 victory over Cintron.

‘Twas, as they say, Beauty that killed the Beast.

Gareth Steele Goes Undefeated Claiming his First Maine State 9 Ball Championship for 2012

A perfect 32 player turnout this year for the Maine State 2012, 9 Ball Championship. Hosted By Steve and Tammy Reynolds at Tj’s Classic Billiards, in Waterville. The event attracted most of Maine’s finest players.

Gareth Steele battled his way through a tough bracket on the winners side, taking out Bob Bourgoin, then playing multiple state championship winner, TJ LaFlamme. Steele lost his focus to Greg Murray going down 7-1. Steele thought it was all over and was set to head West when he pulled it back from the edge, grinded it out and Defeated Murray 9-8. Gareth went on and confronted Cody Francis after taking 2nd in last years Championship. Francis seemed to loose focus early on as Steele gianed on him, making Francis know that he was not being sent to the dark side this year. Steele defeated Francis 9-4, making his mark on the winners side with his eye on the hot seat. Greg Libby gave Steele a hard time, going up 3 racks in a bid for the hot seat. Steele got stuck in and showed Libby who’s boss and defeated him 9-6 for the hot seat where he would wait for his final showdown with Francis.

Francis, knowing that he had some serious work to do to get his chance at Steele again, took TJ LaFlamme head on with a focused fury, crushing LaFlamme 9-0. Francis wasn’t leaving one man standing and continued on his war path,taking no prisoners. Mike Levitt didn’t stand a chance, and made a brave bid before being sent home by Francis with 4th place. Greg Libby was the player that absorbed the shock from Francis, slowing him down on his way to the final. Francis’s focus was unweavering and eventually took Libby out 9-6, for 3rd place.

The final couln’t be more exciting with the Superbowl starting in the background and Francis vs Steele for the second year running. Francis having to defeat Steele twice for the Championship went of to a flying start leaving Steele’s head spinning. Before Steele could get his bearings he had lost the first set 9-1. Francis charged into the second set with the same fervour going 3-0 up on Steele. The road to victory seemed to be opening up before Francis when Steele seemed to wake up out of his stupor and fought back for the next six racks taking it to 6-3. The race was definitely on when Francis and Steele went head to head. Francis picked up the ball and shot Steele out for the next five racks, determined to take the Championship Double. Steele ran out the next rack to even up the score, hill-hill. Steele broke the last rack and left Francis a tricky one ball. With Madonna singing in the background the tension couldn’t be higher when Francis missed his chance and rattled the 1 ball, leaving the final opening for Steele who manuvuered his way around the table with surgeon-like precision to claim his first Maine State 9 Ball Championship.

There was some pretty amazing pool seen at this year’s Championship, one highlight match being TJ Laflamme’s 7-rack come back from 8-2 down vs up and comer Josh Rupard. It was a tough lesson in loss for Rupard that he won’t soon forget.

Now we wait with baited breath for the Maine State 8 Ball Championships on March 3rd & 4th at Schemengees in Auburn, Maine. Will Francis and Steele meet again for a repeat performance of last years 8 Ball Championship? It’s anyone’s guess. But we are certain to be in for a great weekend of pool.

Levett gets by Francis twice for Lucasi Hybrid NE 9-Ball victory

Cody Francis put up a fight in the finals of the Lucasi Hybrid New England 9-Ball Series stop on Sunday, January 29, but in the ‘double hill’ end, it was Mike Levett who chalked up the undefeated win. The handicapped event, with a total purse of $845, drew 36 entrants to Racks Billiards in Portland, ME.

They met first in the battle for the hot seat. Francis had sent Kristine Brown to the west bracket 7-2, as Levett was doing likewise to Jason D’Angelo 6-1. Levett came out strong again in the hot seat battle that followed. With Francis needing to reach seven games, Levett gave up only two racks in the 5-2 victory that left him in the hot seat.

Brown and D’Angelo moved to the loss  side to pick up two opponents with stronger handicaps, and downed them both to advance to the quarterfinals.  Brown took out Rich Britt 4-5, as D’Angelo was busy putting an end to Gareth Steele‘s day 4-7. It was Brown, with a 5-1 victory over D’Angelo, who advanced to the semifinals versus Francis.

Francis ended Brown’s bid to get into the finals with a 7-2 victory and the finals re-match against Levett was on.  Francis tripled his hot seat effort and at 4-6, forced an eleventh and final game. Levett prevailed to capture the event title.

Deroser goes undefeated on Lucasi Hybrid New England 9-Ball Series

Dale Deroser went undefeated through a field of 42 entrants, on hand for a stop on the Lucasi Hybrid New England 9-Ball Tour on Sunday, November 27. Deroser had to get by Nick Conner twice to capture the $600-added event, which was hosted by Legends Billiards in Portsmouth, NH.

The two met first among the winners’ side final four, with Deroser surviving a double hill match to send Conner to the loss-side. Joining Deroser in the battle for the hot seat was Rick Bowden, who’d also survived a double hill match; his, against Gill Stadig.  Deroser gained the hot seat with a 5-3 victory over Bowden, and waited for Conner’s return.

First up for Conner on the loss-side was Eric Firckey, who’d defeated Tim Perry 6-5 and Kevin Bauccio 6-3. Stadig picked up Eric Bourgeous, who’d defeated Ivo Petrov and Gareth Steele, both 5-3. Conner downed Firckey 6-3, as Stadig took advantage of a handicap to eliminate Bourgeous 4-4. 

Conner prevailed in the quarterfinals that followed by shutting out Stadig 8-0, and then survived a double hill semifinal versus Bowden. His three-match streak on the loss-side came to an end in the finals, where he was defeated by Deroser 4-2.