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Chestna goes undefeated to win his second NE 9-Ball Series stop

Chris Ouimette, Ronny Chestna, and James Smith

In only his first year with an AZBilliards Player Profile, Ronny Chestna has cashed in two events on the New England 9-Ball Series. He shared an event title with Paul Kazalski back in February at the conclusion of the Dave Marcus Memorial (Stop #2) and this past weekend (Nov. 28), he went undefeated in Stop #7 on the tour to claim his first, no-asterisk event title.

Chestna was challenged in the finals by James Smith, who, after benefiting from an opening round forfeit, lost his opening match and went on an eight-match, loss-side winning streak that took him all the way to the finals and included a double hill victory over the aforementioned Paul Kazalski. The $500-added event drew 38 entrants to Stroker’s Billiards in Pelham, NH.

Working in the upper bracket of the two employed by the NE 9-Ball Series in their tour stops, and the recipient of an opening round bye, Chestna won three straight 6-2 matches, against Brandon Coley, Dana Mackenzie and Steven Smith. This put him into a winners’ side semifinal against Mark Ruzzano. Chris Ouimette, in the meantime, working in the lower bracket, was also awarded an opening round bye, before defeating Tony Mendonca and Curtis Wright, both 5-3, and then, in a double hill fight, Bob Campbell. Ouimette drew Troy Fortin in the other winners’ side semifinal. 

Chestna and Ouimette each gave up only a single rack to their opponent in advancing to the hot seat match; Chestna, 6-1 over Ruzzano and Ouimette 5-1 over Fortin. Chestna put a bit of an exclamation point on his battle for the hot seat, shutting Ouimette out to claim it.

On the loss side, Smith had chalked up five of his eight wins against Mae Paonessa 8-2, Michelle Haddock 6-3 and Josh Turransky 8-3 before running into Paul Kazalski. He eliminated Kazalski, double hill, before defeating Bob Campbell 5-1 and drawing Troy Fortin, fresh from the winners’ side, in the first money round. Ruzzano picked up a rematch against Xhuljano Kamxhiu, whom he’d sent to the loss side in a winners’ side quarterfinal and had defeated Tyler Boudreau, double hill and Daniel Simoneau 6-2 for a second shot at him.

The last three matches of Smith’s loss-side run all went double hill. He and Kamxhiu handed Fortin and Ruzzano their second straight loss; Smith in the first of his three straight double hill fights, as Kamxhiu, in the meantime, successfully wreaked his vengeance on Ruzzano 6-2.

Smith then defeated Kamxhiu in the subsequent quarterfinal match and completed his loss-side trip to the finals against Ouimette in the semifinals. Smith locked up in his fourth double hill match in the finals against Chestna, but Chestna hung on to win it.

Tour director Marc Dionne thanked the ownership and staff at Stroker’s, as well as Predator, Poison, Arcos II, BCAPL, USAPL New England, Fargo Rate, Salotto, AZBilliards, Inside English, Professor Q-Ball’s National Pool and 3-Cushion News, MJS Construction, Master Billiards, OTLVISE Billiard Mechanics of America, Piku Tips and Just the Tip Cue Repair and Custom Accessories.

The next stop on the New England 9-Ball Series (#8), scheduled for the weekend of December 12-13, will be a $500-added Partners event, hosted by Crow’s Nest in Plaistow, NH.