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Sossei at Sharpshooters Again

Joey Cicero and Jeremy Sossei

It’s sort of a February tradition at Sharpshooters Billiards in Amsterdam, NY. The Joss NE 9-Ball Tour comes to visit, and Jeremy Sossei ends up standing in the winner’s circle. For the fifth straight year (and sixth time in seven years), Jeremy Sossei finished in first place on February 16th and 17th. Even with his winning streak there, it wasn’t easy this year. 
 
Sossei remained undefeated all day Saturday and started Sunday with a 9-3 win over Rick Kravetz. While Sossei was getting that win, Joey Cicero was sending BCA Hall of Famer Pat Fleming to the one loss side 9-6. Cicero then sent Sossei to join Fleming on the left side of the board as he took the hot-seat match 9-7.
 
On the one loss side, Jorge Teixeira was on a roll. After losing to Ron Casanzio on Saturday morning, Teixeira had won nine straight matches culminating in a 7-3 win over Bruce Nagle for 4th place. Teixeira gave Sossei almost all he could handle but ended up dropping the semi-final match 7-5.
 
That win left Sossei with the task of beating Cicero twice in a row, which he did in two hard-fought matches. Sossei scored a 9-6 win in the first set, followed by a 7-5 win in the second. 
 
Sunday’s second chance tournament saw Ben Werblow dominate the field of nineteen players. Werblow went undefeated with wins over Bob Merkert, Greg Bombard, Nate Marshall and then Demian Provost for the hot-seat. In those four matches, Werblow lost a total of one game (to Bombard). Bruce Carroll eliminated Provost 3-0 in the semi-final match but was only able to manage one rack against Werblow in the finals. 

Sossei takes two out of three over Auigbelle to claim Joss Tour title and top spot on the tour

(l to r): Spencer Auigbelle, Kayla (Manager of Shooters) & Jeremy Sossei

It’s been just over 10 years (November, 2007) since Jeremy Sossei chalked up his first win on the Joss Northeast Open 9-Ball Tour. That first win, at what was the Ocean State 9-Ball Championships, saw him win five on the loss side, including a semifinal victory over George “Ginky” Sansouci to double dip Tony Robles in the finals, with the second set going double hill. On the weekend of February 17-18, at the 30th Northeast 9-Ball Open, Sossei recorded his 18th victory on the tour, going undefeated through the field. Though he would enter the event as the #2 player on the tour and face #1 (Matt Tetreault; 10 points ahead) in the hot seat match, it would be a four-years-in-the-making finals rematch against Canadian Spencer Auigbelle that would decide it. The win, combined with Tetreault’s third place finish, moved Sossei 65 points ahead of Tetreault and into the top spot in the tour standings. The $2,000-added ($500 for Second Chance) event drew 40 entrants to Sharpshooter’s Billiards & Sports Pub in Amsterdam, NY.
 
Four years ago, they’d met in the hot seat match and finals, with Sossei winning them both. This past weekend, they met first in a winners’ side quarterfinal, each having downed three opponents to get there. Sossei defeated Auigbelle 9-6 in that winners’ side quarterfinal and advanced to a winners’ side semifinal against Bucky Souvanthong (who finished third in the event four years ago). Tetreault, in the meantime, squared off against Dave Giner in the other winners’ side semifinal.
 
Sossei sent Souvanthong to the loss side 9-7, and in the hot seat match, faced Tetreault, who’d defeated Giner 9-2. The tour’s #2 player (Sossei) claimed the hot seat from the #1 player (Tetreault) 9-5 and waited on the return of (at the time) a player (Auigbelle) with only 60 ranking points chalked up over two events.
 
Auigbelle began his trip back to the finals with a 7-4 win over Mike Hurley, and then defeated Jorge Teixeira 7-2, to draw Giner. Souvanthong picked up Bruce Carroll, who’d been defeated in the opening round of play, and was in the midst of a seven-match, loss-side winning streak that would end when he finally ran into Auigbelle. A double hill win over Nick Brucato, and a 7-2 victory over Bruce Nagle, set Carrol up against Souvanthong.
 
Carroll advanced to the quarterfinals 7-2 over Souvanthong, while Auigbelle defeated Giner 7-1 to join him. Auigbelle ended Carroll’s loss-side streak 7-4 in those quarterfinals, and then, defeated Tetreault in the semifinals 7-3.
 
With momentum as a bit of a tail wind, Auigbelle won the opening set of the true double elimination final 9-3. Sossei came back and won the second 9-6 to claim the event title.
 
A 16-entrant Second Chance Tournament saw Jared Zimmerman go undefeated through the field, but not before Mark Stewart, who lost his opening round match and won seven on the loss side, challenged him in the finals. Zimmerman took that final 3-1 to claim the Second Chance title, and its $300 first prize. Stewart took home $200 as the runner-up, whiLe Mike Hurley finished third ($140). Josh Scheff finished fourth ($100), while Greg Bombard and Nick Brucato finished in the tie for fifth ($40 each). Ryan Smith was the raffle winner of a $1,200 Joss Cue.
 
The next stop on the Joss Northeast Open 9-Ball Tour, scheduled for the weekend of February 24-25, will be hosted by East Ridge Billiards in Rochester, NY.