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Furness and Campbell split top Partner prizes with Rupard and Coates on NE 9-Ball Series

(l to r): Ricardo Diaz, Souheli Muraby, Jeff Furness, Bob Campbell, Elliot Coates & Josh Rupard

In what proved to be the only time they met and the match that decided the winning team, Jeff Furness and Bob Campbell, sporting a FargoRate of 520, defeated Josh Rupard and Elliot Coates, with a FargoRate of 593, in the hot seat match of the New England 9-Ball Series’ Partners’ Tournament, held on Sunday, December 15. The event drew 55, two-person teams to Crow’s Nest in Plaistow, NH.
 
As with all NE 9-Ball Series events, the 55 teams were split into separate upper and lower FargoRated brackets at the outset. Rupard and Coates advanced through their first four matches and gave up only a total of five racks; two, in their opening match and one each in the other three. This set them up to face Beau Powers and Ben Savoie, also FargoRated at 593, in the Upper Bracket’s winners’ side semifinal. Powers and Savoie were challenged in their four opening matches and came to the winners’ side semifinal with an aggregate score of 20-13 and having survived two double hill matches.
 
The lower bracket winners’ side semifinal featured eventual winners Furness and Campbell, who’d opened their campaign with a shutout and then had to battle to double hill twice (4-3 both times) and 5-3 once to meet Shawn Ingham and Michael Beauchesne in their winners’ side semifinal.
 
Furness/Campbell advanced to the hot seat match with a 6-2 win over Ingham/Beauchesne. They were joined by Rupard/Coates, who’d sent Powers and Savoie to the loss side 5-3. The 73-point differential in their FargoRates gave Furness/Campbell a single rack on the wire in a race to 5. They won it, downing Rupard/Coates 4-2.
 
On the loss side, Powers/Savoie picked up Lukas Fracasso-Verner and Scott Reynolds, a team with a FargoRate a scant six points ahead of their own (599-593), which created a straight-up race to 4. Fracasso-Verner/Reynolds had defeated the teams of Paulie Kazalski/Dominick Souza and Everett Belliveau/Dan McCaie, both 4-2 to reach Powers/Savoie. Ingham/Beauchesne drew Ricardo Diaz and Souheli Muraby, who’d eliminated the team of Troy Fortin/Dave Morrison, double hill (4-3) and then shut out Jay Cunningham and Mike Negrelli.
 
Powers/Savoie, in their straight-up race to 4, downed Fracasso-Verner/Reynolds 4-2 and in the quarterfinals, faced Diaz/Muraby, who’d ended Ingham/Beauchesne’s day 6-1. Two straight-up races to 4 followed. In the first, the quarterfinals, it was Diaz/Muraby advancing past Powers/Savoie 4-2.
 
In the second, which proved to be the final match of the event – the semifinals – Rupard/Coates downed Diaz/Muraby 4-1. The last two teams standing – Rupard/Coates and Furness/Campbell – agreed to split the top two prizes, leaving the undefeated Furness/Campbell team as the event’s official winners.
 
Tour director Marc Dionne thanked the ownership and staff at Crow’s Nest for their hospitality, as well as sponsors Predator Cues, BCAPL 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 with Lease Fundings, Master Billiards and OTLVISE Billiard Mechanics of America. The NE 9-Ball Series will commence the 2020 portion of its schedule with a $500-added event, scheduled for Saturday, January 4, at Yale Billiards in Wallingford, CT.

Fracasso-Verner comes from the loss side to win 14th Annual Robert Dionne Memorial

Richard Comeau, Lukas Fracasso-Verner, Bobby Lewis, and Marc Dionne

At the age of 17, Lukas Fracasso-Verner has already chalked up an enviable number of regional tour victories. Most recently, in what was, to date, his best earnings year (2018), he added victories on the Predator Pro Am Tour (March) and The New England 9-Ball Series (October),  in the middle of which, on Memorial Day weekend, he became the youngest player (at 16) to ever win the Georgy “Ginky” Sansouci Memorial Amateur Tournament in New York City. He won the 8th Annual “Ginky” Memorial by emerging from a field of 143 competitors, winning 12 on the loss side (after being defeated in the opening round of play), and downing hot seat occupant, Chuck Allie, in the finals. On the weekend of January 12-13, Fracasso-Verner signed on to compete in the New England 9-Ball Series’ 14th Annual Robert Dionne Memorial (commemorating tour director Marc Dionne’s father), and trodding what would appear to be a comfortable path for himself, he came from deep on the loss side to challenge hot seat occupant, Bobby Lewis, and win his second NE 9-Ball Series title. The $750-added event drew 31 entrants to Crow’s Nest in Plaistow, NH.
 
Lukas (easier to type repeatedly than Fracasso-Verner) opened what would prove to be his winning campaign with a 7-3 (upper, higher-ranked bracket) win over Jeff Furness. In the next round, he was defeated, double hill, by Jason Richard (they would come within a single match of meeting a second time). Lukas began a seven-match, loss-side winning streak that would take him to the finals, and then, conclude with a title-earning victory over Lewis.
 
Richard would advance to a winners’ side quarterfinal against Lewis, who would send him to the loss side 7-3, and then meet Joe Lynch in one of the winners’ side semifinals. Richard Comeau and Emily Cady, in the meantime, emerging from the lower bracket, met in the other winners’ side semifinal.
 
Lewis shut out Lynch to get into the hot seat match, where he was joined by Comeau, who’d sent Cady to the loss side, double hill. Comeau would force an 11th, deciding game in that hot seat match by chalking up two of the three racks he needed against the much higher-rated Lewis (614 Fargo Rate, compared to Comeau’s 434), who was racing to 9. Lewis though dropped the 9-ball in the 9th game he needed to claim the hot seat.
 
On the loss side, Lukas was working his way toward the money rounds and an eventual meet-up in the first money round against Lynch. He’d recorded two victories on the loss side, when he chalked up two straight shutouts, over Tom Hood and Geoff James, to meet up with Lynch. Cady, in the meantime, drew Chris Ouimette, who’d defeated Jason Seavey 3-2 (Seavey racing to 4) and Juan White, double hill, 4-2.
 
Lukas downed Lynch 6-2, as Cady, in a straight-up race to 4, shut Ouimette out to join Lukas in the quarterfinals. Over the next 18 games that put Lukas into the finals, he’d give up only two racks; one each to Cady in the quarterfinals, and Comeau in the semifinals.
 
Going into the finals, Lukas, needing to win two matches to claim the title, had given up only 10 racks in his last 53 loss-side games (81% win average). With hot seat occupant Bobby Lewis racing to 5 in the opening set (Lukas to 6), Lukas took the opener 6-2. They reduced the ‘races’ in the second set; Lukas to 5, and Lewis to 4 (Lukas with the higher Fargo Rate/642-614). Lukas chalked up his third shutout, finishing with the same win average of 81% with which he went into the finals and claimed the event title.
 
Tour director Marc Dionne thanked everyone who participated in the event, to which a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the March of Dimes in memory of his father. He also thanked the ownership and staff of Crow’s Nest, and sponsors Predator Cues, USAPL New England, Fargo Rate, 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 (#12), will be the $2,000-added Winter Classic, scheduled for the weekend of January 26-27, at Snookers, in Providence, RI.

Imm family competes, daughter Jane wins NE 9-Ball Series’ Bangor Bash

Room Owner Corey Hanson, Claude Poitras, Jane Imm, Greg Murray and Chad Bazinet

Not only did Jane Imm advance to the hot seat in her first pool tournament, she took two out of three against a much higher-ranked opponent to seal the deal and claim her first event title. The occasion was the $3,000-added New England 9-Ball Series’ Bangor Bash (Stop #8), held on the weekend of December 1-2 at Rack City in Bangor, ME. Jane worked her way through a field of 81 entrants, winning six in a row (including back-to-back double hill wins) to get into the hot seat, losing the opening set of a true double elimination final and fighting back to take the second set and win it all.
 
Assisting her in the moral support department were her father, Samoth Sam, a long-time ‘A’ player on the tour, who finished in the tie for 9th place, and her brother Sam, who competed, but finished out of the money. Standing in her way, towards the end, was Greg Murray, boasting a FargoRate 200 points above hers (550-350), giving Jane six ‘on the wire’ in what proved to be their three races to 9. He almost got there in their hot seat battle and allowed her only a single rack in their first of two in the double elimination final.
 
Coming out of the lower bracket in the early stages of the tournament, Jane, after an opening round bye, defeated Amandas Soucy and Macdonald, Mark Pulsifer and Fred Gillis to arrive at a winners’ side semifinal against Jason Richards. Murray, in the meantime, having defeated Mike Gagne, Ron Ricard, Kyle Pepin, Stan Rupard, and Jeff Furness, squared off against Ben Harvey in the other winners’ side semifinal.
 
Murray, in a straight-up race to 7, got into the hot seat match 7-5 over Harvey. Imm joined him after a double hill (3-7) win over Richards. In her second straight double hill fight, Imm claimed the hot seat 3-8 over Murray and waited for him to get back from the semifinals.
 
On the loss side, Harvey picked up Michael Verducci, who’d been sent to the loss side by Jane Imm’s Dad, Samoth Sam and won six in a row, including most recent victories over Steve Smith 7-4 and Jeff Furness 7-2. Richards drew a re-match against Claude Poitras, who, after being sent to the loss side by Richards, downed four in a row, including Fred Gillis 4-2 and Jenn Brown 5-1.
 
Verducci advanced to the quarterfinals with an 8-2 win over Harvey, and was joined by Poitras, who’d eliminated Richards 4-4 (Richards racing to 6). Pointras’ FargoRate was 169 points lower than Verducci’s (420-589), which gave Poitras five ‘on the wire’ in a race to 8. Poitras, as it turned out, didn’t need any of them. He shut out Verducci out in the quarterfinals 3-0, and turned for a shot against Murray in the semifinals.
 
Poitras only got four ‘on the wire’ in the semifinal race to 8. He chalked up two more, but fell to Murray 8-2, setting up the finals re-match.
 
With six ‘on the wire’ in a race to 9, Imm chalked up only one more, before Murray won the opening set 9-1. In the second set, Murray got to six racks before Imm collected her first event title with a 3-6 win.
 
Tour director Marc Dionne thanked the owner Corey Hanson and his Rack City staff for their hospitality, as well as sponsors Predator Cues, USAPL New England, Fargo Rate, 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 (Stop #9), scheduled for Sunday, December 9, will be a Partners Tournament (Maximum Fargo Rate of 1200), hosted by Crow’s Nest in Plaistow, NH.
 

Hunt goes undefeated to take New England 9-Ball Series Stop #7

Eric Hunt, Cameo Moy and Jeff Furness

Eric Hunt took two matches over Cameo Moy to complete an undefeated run during the seventh stop on the New England 9-Ball Series. The event drew 29 entrants on the weekend of November 19-20 to Maxamilian's Billiards in Tyngsboro, MA.
 
 
They met first in the hot seat match. Hunt had downed Luca Bares 7-2, while Moy was busy dispatching Frank O'Malley to the loss side in a double hill win (4-5, with O'Malley racing to 6).
Hunt (a B+ player) claimed the hot seat over Moy (a C- player), double hill, which, with their respective handicaps, was a 9-3 win for Hunt.
 
 
On the loss side,  O'Malley picked up Bobby Hooker, who'd gotten by Andrew Tankerly and Edgar Acosta, both 6-1. Bares drew Jeff Furness, who'd defeated Dana Mackenzie and Steve Sutton, both 6-4. O'Malley and Bares got handed their second straight loss with Hooker shutting out O'Malley and Furness eliminating Bares 7-3.
 
 
Furness took the quarterfinal match over Hooker 7-3, before having his loss-side streak ended by Moy in a double hill semifinal (4-8, Moy, with Furness, a B+ player, racing to 9).
 
 
In their second matchup, Moy and Hunt came within a game of duplicating their double hill hot seat match in the opening set of the true double elimination final. Hunt, though, pulled ahead to claim the event title in a single 9-2 set.
 
 
Stop # 8 in the New England 9-Ball Series, scheduled for Saturday, November 26, will be a $500-added event, hosted by Towne Billiards in Hamden, CT.