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Souvanthong over Casanzio for fifth Joss Tour Win

Ron Casanzio, Mike Zuglan and Bucky Souvanthong

While the main storyline all year on the Joss NE 9-Ball Tour has been the performance of Bucky Souvanthong, winning four tour stops and competing in the finals of two others, one other storyline has been the rivalry between Souvanthong and Ron Casanzio. Casanzio won the first stop on the tour this season at East Ridge Billiards, defeating Souvanthong in the finals. Souvanthong returned the favor, defeating Casanzio in the finals of stop 4 at Diamond Billiards in Rochester. These two competitors renewed their rivalry, facing off against each other three times at the Brickhouse Billiards tour stop on March 19th and 20th.

Souvanthong and Casanzio made it through the field of 50 players undefeated on Saturday. Casanzio had wins over Ryan Smith, Mike Armstrong, Geoff Montgomery, and Sean Zeng, while Souvanthong had wins over Dennis Gaetano, Bill Goodman, Aaron Greenwood, and Len Gianfrate. Casanzio’s day one performance was notable for the dominating fashion in which he put away his opponents. Two of Casanzio’s four wins were 9-0 shutouts, and the three racks he gave up to Zeng was the most anyone got against him on day one.

Sunday kicked off with Souvanthong and Casanzio facing off in their first matches of the day. It was another battle between these two players, won by Souvanthong this time, 9-7. Souvanthong then defeated Mark Creamer for the hot-seat 9-6.

On the one-loss side, Casanzio ran into familiar opponents as he handed Greenwood and then Zeng their second losses of the day. He went on to send Creamer home in 3rd place with a 7-3 semifinal loss.

If Souvanthong thought the finals would be easy, he received a quick reminder that Casanzio had other plans, as Casanzio crushed Souvanthong 9-1 in the first set of the double-elimination finals. The second set was a different matter though, with Souvanthong scoring a quick 7-2 win for his fifth win on the Joss Tour season.

Sunday’s second chance tournament saw Bill Goodman turn in an undefeated run through the field of 13 players. Goodman had wins over John Reardon, Dave Copperwheat, Nick Coppola, Ron Ince, and then Josh Welsh in the finals. In addition to the $300 first prize that Goodman won in the second chance tournament, he also won the cue raffle for the weekend, winning a custom engraved Joss Cue.

The Joss NE 9-Ball Tour will be at Utica Billiards on the Boulevard for the next stop on April 2nd and 3rd.

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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.

11th NE Pool & Billiard Hall Of Fame 9-Ball Open at Snookers on March 7-8

Congratulations to stop 9 winners, Qays Kolee (Northeast 9-Ball Open XXXII Champion, $1,150), Geoff Montgomery (Second Chance Event, $320) & Kayla Riccio , ($1,600 Joss Cue Raffle Winner)

Snookers Billiards Sports Bar & Grill (Providence R.I.) and Mike Zuglan“s Joss Northeast 9-Ball Tour are proud to present the 11th Annual New England Pool & Billiards Hall Of Fame Ray Desell Memorial 9-Ball Open. In addition to the actual tournament which will take place on Saturday March 7 & Sunday March 8, there will also be a Hall of Fame presentation ceremony on Friday evening March 6 at 6pm. Congratulations to this years inductees, David Wright, Chris Leal, Mike Rinella, Jay Stevens, Cleiton Rocha, Pete Genovese & Ivan Lee. All inductees will receive plaques in the New England Pool & Billiards Hall Of Fame located at, maintained by, and funded by Snookers. This is just one more way that our hosts Regina & Steve Goulding continue to show their devotion and generosity to our sport. Also, Tom McGonagle deserves much credit for his time and effort in gathering the information, pictures and supervising the inductee process. You will be able to view the entire weekend’s events via a free live stream for the Hall Of Fame ceremony on Friday and the tournament on Saturday & Sunday on Facebook at snookers live.

Snookers is also one of the best restaurants in the Providence area. Check them out at www.snookersri.com and thanks again to Steve & Regina for putting up the $3,000 added, and once again allowing us the use of their great room for our event. Trophies will be awarded to the top finishers in the main event. Also, Whether you come to play, or just watch, you will have the opportunity to win a gorgeous, custom, engraved Joss Cue, valued at $1,600, by participating in Snookers cue raffle. Anyone can participate  and you don’t have to be present to win! The drawing will be just prior to the final match of the main event on Sunday. So come on down and play and win, watch for free, have some great food and drink, and take a chance at a $1,600 Joss Cue.

This gorgeous raffle cue can be viewed here: https://josscues.com/product/joss-northeast-9-ball-tour-cue-model-2019-20/ 

Snookers has arranged a special rate of $149 + Tax  at the Marriott Downtown (across the street), 1 Orms St, Providence RI 02904 401-272-2400. OR $89 + Tax (1 bed), $99 + Tax (2 beds) at Woodspring Suites, 181 Corliss St, Providence RI 02904, 401-519-9641.Mention Snookers to get these rates. All are based strictly on availability!

This event at Snookers will consist of a $2,500 added Saturday and Sunday Main Event (entry Fee $120 for pro level or $70 for non pro level) and a $500 added consolation event on Sunday ($20 Entry Fee) for those non pro players eliminated from the main event on Saturday

For those of you coming to play, please arrive on Saturday March 7 Before 11:30 AM, and in proper dress please. Yes, jeans and sneakers are permitted in our billiard parlor events. But please, NO T-shirts, tanks, shorts or sweats. Complete tour info can be found on our site www.joss9balltour.com

Our season finale, the $25,000 Added Turning Stone Classic XXXIV 9-Ball Open, scheduled for September 3-6, 2020 is Full. If you would like to be placed on my waiting list, please call me at 518-356-7163 or email me at mzjosstour@aol.com with your current phone number. Then if a spot opens up for you, I will call you immediately. Our Turning Stone Classic XXXV 9-Ball Open is scheduled for January 7-10, 2021. I will begin taking entries for that event at our September 2020 Turning Stone event and not before!

Lastly, I can’t stress enough how important it is for all of you to please frequent your local billiard parlors and utilize the services of our most generous sponsors who are the backbone of our sport. These are the ones who keep our sport alive. So get out and play!

Mike Zuglan
The Joss Northeast 9-Ball Tour Is Proudly Sponsored By;

Joss Cues – http://www.josscues.com
Turning Stone Resort Casino – http://www.turningstone.com 
Simonis Cloth – http://www.simoniscloth.com
Poolonthenet.com – http://www.poolonthenet.com
AzBilliards.com – http://www.azbilliards.com
Aramith – http://www.aramith.com
Billiards Press – http://www.billiardspress.com
World Class Cue Care – http://www.jnj-industries.com

Sossei Wins at Brickhouse Billiards

Brickhouse Billiards Owner Brad Rees, Jeremy Sossei and Hendrik Drost

Jeremy Sossei earned his third Joss NE 9-Ball Tour stop win of the year (and second in as many stops) on April 27th – 28th at Brickhouse Billiards in North Syracuse, NY. While he would eventually get to the finals and pull off the win, it wasn’t smooth sailing like it has been for at earlier event this season. 
 
Sossei started out the event with wins over Len Gianfrate, Tony Antone and Jesse Docalavich, but had his Saturday spoiled late by Nate Marshall, who scored a hill-hill win to send Sossei to the one loss side. Sossei bounced back from that loss in style and beat Steve Lamontagne 7-1 to close out the day. 
 
Sunday play saw Marshall drop his first match of the day to Hendrick Drost 9-5, while Geoff Montgomery was sending Dwight Dixon to the one loss side 9-4. Drost would then go on to take the hot-seat over Montgomery 9-2.
 
Sossei scored wins over Bruce Carroll (7-0) and Dixon (7-5) to reach the final four on the one loss side. Sossei would not get a chance to avenge his loss to Marshall as Len Gianfrate eliminated Marshall 7-4 in 5th place. The opponent didn’t matter to Sossei though, as he then eliminated Gianfrate 7-5. The only person left standing between Sossei and the finals was Montgomery, and Sossei ended that opposition quickly with a 7-2 win. 
 
The final match between Drost and Sossei was true double elimination, where Sossei scored a 9-4 win in the first set and then a 7-3 win in the second (and deciding) set for first place. 
 
Sunday’s second chance tournament saw Aaron Greenwood lose his first match of the day, but come back with seven straight match wins (including both sets of the finals against Nick Coppola) for first place. 
 
The Joss NE 9-Ball Tour is back in action this weekend (May 4th – 5th) at Raxx Pool Room in West Hempstead, NY. 

Kolee and Bova split top prizes at 6th Annual Jingle Grind Christmas Classic

Spencer Auigbelle, Qais Kolee, Nick Brucato & Kyle Bova

Possibly forgoing the inevitable march of procrastinators searching for gifts three days before Christmas, a hearty crew of 28 entrants braved near-freezing temperatures in Rochester, NY to attend the Western New York Pool Tour’s 6th Annual Jingle Grind Christmas Classic, hosted by Diamond Billiards Bar & Grill in Rochester. At the end of the evening, Qais Kolee, sitting in the hot seat, and Kyle Bova, who’d won five on the loss side to get a shot at him, decided against a final match and split $1,650 in prize money, a decent ‘Merry Christmas’ money for the both of them.

Kolee had chalked up three straight 6-3 wins over Luis Bani, Jake Miosi and Geoff Montgomery to arrive at a winners’ side semifinal match against Brad Wesley. Spencer Augbelle, in the meantime, had downed Dave Ricci 6-4, and then survived two straight double hill matches, sending Mark Hadley and Kyle Bova to the loss side. Bova, like Jacob Marley, would return to haunt Augbelle in the semifinals, but for the moment, Augbelle advanced to face Jeremiah Imburgia in the other winners’ side semifinal.

Kolee got into the hot seat match with a 6-4 victory over Wesley, and met up with Auigbelle, who’d defeated Imburgia 6-2. Kolee claimed the hot seat and his last victory of the day, 6-4.

On the loss side, Wesley picked up Bova, who, following his defeat at the hands of Augbelle, had shut out Nick Cappolla and given up four to Adam Smith. Imburgia drew tour director Nick Brucato, who never did get a chance for a re-match against Wesley, who’d sent him over, but was working on a modest, three-match, loss-side winning streak that included recent wins over Jerry Sullivan 6-3 and Geoff Montgomery 6-4.

Brucato’s hopes for a re-match were spoiled by Bova, who shut Wesley out. Brucato joined him in the quarterfinals with a 6-2 win over Imburgia. Bova ended Brucato’s day (competing) with a 6-4 quarterfinal win.

Bova and Augbelle’s semifinal re-match proved to be the last match of the event. Bova won it 6-4, and as the undefeated occupant of the hot seat, claimed the event title. The decision to split the final two cash prizes was made, and everybody went home to their respective holiday revels.

Rodriguez goes undefeated to take Joss Tour’s Hudson Valley Fall Classic

Jorge Rodriguez

Though he’d been among the top 10 finishers in 14 major events since January of 2016, an event victory had eluded Jorge Rodriguez since he won the season opener of the 2016 Predator Pro Am Tour. Rodriguez changed that at the second stop on the Joss Northeast 9-Ball Tour’s 2017-2018 season. Rodriguez went undefeated through a field of 59, on hand for the $1,500-added Hudson Valley Fall Classic, hosted by The Spot in Nanuet, NY on the weekend of September 30-October 1.
 
Rodriguez faced separate opponents in the hot seat and finals of the event. Following victories over Geovanni Hosang, and Ron Casanzio, Rodriguez gave up only one rack to his next two opponents, shutting out Thomas Haas, and giving up the single rack to Geoff Montgomery. This set Rodriguez up in a winners’ side semifinal against Matt Tetreault. In the meantime, Zion Zvi, who’d just sent Rodriguez’ eventual opponent in the finals, Jeremy Sossei to the loss side, squared off against Lee Van Corteza in the other winners’ side semifinal.
 
Rodriguez sent Matt Tetreault to the loss side 9-3, as Zvi downed Van Corteza 9-6. Rodriguez claimed the hot seat over Zvi 9-7 and waited for Sossei to complete a five-match, loss-side run that would put him into the finals.
 
Sossei opened his loss-side run with a 9-5 win over Jason Michas, and a 9-3 win over Carmen Lombardo, which set him up to face Tetreault. Van Corteza drew Rhys Chen, who was in the midst of his own six-match, loss-side run that had most recently included wins over Geoff Montgomery 9-5 and Olli Turkulainen 9-7.
 
Van Corteza ended Chen’s run in a double hill match, while Sossei was eliminating Tetreault 9-3. The Sossei/Van Corteza quarterfinal came within a game of going double hill, but Sossei advanced 9-7. The Sossei/Zvi semifinal rematch did go double hill, and when it was over, Sossei had earned himself a shot at Rodriguez in the hot seat.
 
Rodriguez completed his undefeated run with a 9-7 win over Sossei in the finals. The win put Rodriguez at the top of early tour rankings, alongside Nelson Oliveira who had won the season opener in September, but did not compete in Nanuet.
 
A $500-added, 19-entrant Second Chance event was won by Rob Pole, who defeated Mike Salerno in the finals. Scott Haas finished third, ahead of Jim Kearney. Brian Hunter and Ron Plontkowski finished in the tie for fifth.
 
The next stop on the Joss Northeast 9-Ball Tour, scheduled for the weekend of October 14-15, will be a $1,500-added event, hosted by Sharpshooter’s Billiards and Sports Pub in Amsterdam, NY. A week later (October 21-22), at the same location, the Joss Northeast 9-Ball Tour will hold its second annual Juniors Tournament, featuring separate divisional events for 18-and-under and 12-and-under competitors. The 12-and-under group will play on 7-foot Diamond tables, while the older group will face off on 9-foot Diamonds. Last year’s winner in the 18-and-under group was Lukas Fracasso-Verner, who defeated Peter Abatangelo in the finals. Ivo Linkin won the 12-and-under competition, downing Zach Hemendinger twice in a true double elimination final.
 
Tour director Mike Zuglan thanked the ownership and staff at The Spot for their hospitality and asked that players be reminded of the upcoming Turning Stone XXIX, scheduled for January 4-7 at the Turning Stone Resort and Casino in Verona, NY. Players interested in competing should touch base with Zuglan as soon as possible to secure a slot in the event.

Jorge Teixeira Wins First Career Joss Tour Stop

Jorge Teixeira (Photograph by Erwin Dionisio)

They say that pool is a young man’s game, and they are right for the most part. On the other hand, after a 10-year break from the game to play online poker, Connecticut’s Jorge Teixeira says he is playing the best pool of his life and he backed that claim up with a win at the Joss NE 9-Ball Tour stop at Salt City Billiards on Jan 21st and 22nd. 
 
Teixeira, born in Portugal but now a resident of Connecticut, was just one of the 46 players to pony up their entry fees to compete in this event, but he cruised through the winner’s bracket with Saturday wins over Jason Hall, Tony Antone, Bruce Nagle and Geoff Montgomery. Teixeira came out strong in his Sunday morning match, scoring a 9-2 win over Jose Mendez. One 9-6 win over Jeremy Sossei later, and Teixeira was sitting in the hot-seat awaiting an opponent. 
 
On the one loss side, Sossei took on Spencer Auigbelle. Auigbell had dropped a match to Dave Grau late Saturday night but bounced back with four wins on the left side of the board on Sunday. Auigbelle would settle for third place, though after a quick 9-3 loss to Sossei. 
 
Sossei kept his strong play going and avenged his loss to Teixeira 9-5 in the first set of the finals. The second set was a different story, though with Teixeira scoring the 9-6 for his first career Joss NE 9-Ball Tour win. 
 
Fifty-four year old Teixeira credited his new table at home and his practice regimen for the win. “After I started back up, I learned how to practice better. Winning that tournament meant a lot to me only because of my age and the hard work paid off. It was the best pool day of my life.” said Teixeira. He continued “Right now I'm playing the best pool of my life because of my work ethic. I know I’m going to improve even at 54 because I believe I’m doing the right kind of practice. It's a challenge vs my self. That's the only reason I play pool.”
 
The second chance tournament brought back fifteen players on Sunday with Hendrick Drost taking the hot-seat with a 3-2 win over Jamie Garrett. Garrett then beat Brian Lipes 3-1 to earn another shot at Drost in the finals. Garrett would get his revenge with a 3-1 win over Drost in the first set of the finals, but it was Drost with an identical 3-1 win in the second set to earn first place. 
 
The Joss NE 9-Ball Tour will be at Sharpshooters Billiards in Amsterdam NY on February 18th – 19th for their next stop, another $1500/$500 added event. 

Souvanthong over Hewitt in Joss Tour Finals

Derrick Beckwith, room owner Frank Delconte, Danny Hewitt, Bucky Souvanthong and Jolie Delconte

It took him two sets, but Bucky Souvanthong held off Danny Hewitt to win his first Joss NE 9-Ball Tour stop of the season. 
 
Souvanthong raced through the winner's side on Saturday with impressive wins over Martin Daigle, Hendrik Drost and Geoff Montgomery. A sunday morning win over Spencer Auigbelle set Souvanthong up in the hot-seat match against Travis Salvetti. Salvetti had ended Saturday with a 9-6 win over Danny Hewitt, and then started Sunday with a tough 9-7 win over Aaron Greenwood. It would be another close match for the hot-seat, with Souvanthong winning 9-7.
 
After the loss to Salvetti, Hewitt eliminated Jamie Garrett 9-2 late on Saturday night. Sunday saw Hewitt defeat Ron Casanzio 9-5, Auigbelle 9-4, Daigle 9-7 and then Salvetti 9-7.
 
Hewitt rode his momentum into the double elimination finals, and scored a 9-4 win over Souvanthong in the first of two sets. The second set was a mirror of the first set though, with Souvanthong taking the match 9-4 for first place.
 
The second chance event on Sunday saw Jose Mendez defeat Dave Ricci twice in the finals to take first place. Mendez lost to Ricci 3-1 for the hot-seat, but came back to score a 3-1 and then a 3-0 win over Ricci in the finals. 
 
Derrick Beckwith was the lucky winner of the $1700 custom engraved Joss cue at this event. 
 
Players are reminded that the tournament scheduled on April 23rd and 24th at Raxx in West Hempstead had been postponed. The next Joss NE 9-Ball Tour stop will be June 4th – 5th at Snookers in Providence, RI.
 

Sossei and Davis earn Joss Tour Wins

Salt City Owner Frank Del Conte, Spencer Auigbelle and Jeremy Sossei

Jeremy Sossei turned in a dominating performance going through a field of 37 players undefeated to win the Joss NE 9-Ball Tour stop at Salt City Billiards in Syracuse NY.

 

On his way to the hot-seat match, the closest Sossei allowed an opponent was Bucky Souvanthong who managed five racks before Sossei won the match 9-5. The hot-seat match turned out to be more of the same as Sossei scored a comfortable 9-3 win over Spencer Auigbelle.

 

On the one loss side, Auigbelle and Souvanthong battled to hill-hill before Auigbelle dropped the case nine ball to earn a rematch with Sossei in the finals.

 

The finals would go one set with Auigbelle unable to better his three racks from the hot-seat match. Sossei scored another 9-3 win in the first set of the finals.

 

The second chance event on Sunday saw Phil Davis bounce back from an early loss to Lance Kellogg and not lose a match the rest of the way. Davis won five straight matches on the one loss side to get to the finals, where he defeated hot-seat holder Geoff Montgomery 3-2 and 3-2 in the two set final match.

 

Next up for the Joss NE 9-Ball Tour will be the Al Conte Memorial on November 8th and 9th at Hippos House of Billiards in Utica, NY.

Montgomery goes undefeated on Dishaw Custom Cues CNY Tour

Geoff Montgomery was one of only two, double-A players, on hand for the Saturday, March 31 stop on the Dishaw Custom Cues CNY Tour. He validated his rank with an undefeated, five-match run through a short field of 13 entrants who’d signed on for the event, hosted by Salt City Billiards in Syracuse, NY.

Opening round victories over Bud Moore and Adam Osborne put Montgomery among the winners’ side final four, matched up against John Guffey. Wayne Harding and Darryl Osborne joined them. Montgomery defeated Guffey 8-2 and moved into the hot seat match versus Harding, who’d sent Montgomery’s eventual finals opponent west 6-4. Harding put up a fight and battled Montgomery to double hill (8-5; Harding going to 6) before being sent to the semifinals.

Osborne moved over to the loss side to pick up Tim Davis, who’d defeated Brian Lipes 7-6 (Lipes going to 8), and Ron Ince 7-3. Guffey drew Joe Giancarelli, who’d shut out Moore, and eliminated the only other double-A player, J.B. Brotherton, 7-3. Guffey defeated Giancarelli 6-1 and in the quarterfinals, faced Osborne, who’d survived a straight-up, race-to-7 match, double hill against Davis.

Osborne dropped Guffey into fourth place 7-3 for a re-match against Harding in the semifinals. Harding had won a decisive match against him in the winners’ side semifinal, 6-4 (Osborne, an A-player, going to 7), but fell considerably short in the re-match. Osborne gave up only a single rack against Harding to earn a shot at Montgomery, sitting in the hot seat. Montgomery completed his undefeated day, securing the event title with an 8-4 victory.

Tour director Gary Lloyd, Jr. thanked Salt City Billiards owner, Joe Speach and his staff, as well as sponsors Dishaw Custom Cues, Cue Shark, TotalPoolInfo, and Custom Logo, USA.