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D’Alfonso comes back from a loss to win Joe Brown Memorial on New England 9-Ball Series

(l to r): TD Marc Dionne, Dave Morrison, Tom D’Alfonso, Mike Verducci and Jen Brown, daughter of Joe

Going into the finals, there had been three distinct phases to Tom D’Alfonso’s victory on the New England 9-Ball Series’ tour stop #15 – The Joe Brown Memorial – on Saturday, March 9. In his opening three matches, he won 90% of the games he played (29-4). During a three-match trip on the loss side, he chalked up 92% of the games he played (24-2). In one match, a winners’ side semifinal, double hill loss, he won only 61.5% of the games he played (5-8; D’Alfonso was racing to 9). He returned from that defeat to face Dave Morrison in a double elimination final and over 20 games, gave up only two racks (90%, exactly). The single loss left D’Alfonso with a deceptively low, although admittedly good 85% overall win percentage in games played. The $500-added event drew 49 entrants to Buster’s Billiards in Somersworth, NH.
After an opening round bye in the event’s upper bracket, D’Alfonso gave up a surprising (only in hindsight) three racks to Jeff Provencher in a 9-3 win. Over the next 21 games in two matches, he gave up only one, to Matt Gagne, first, and then, none at all to Fred White, which set D’Alfonso up to face Mike Verducci in a winners' side semifinal. Morrison, in the meantime, working in the lower bracket following a bye, had defeated Catherine Ong 5-3, Walter Kelly 4-4 (Kelly racing to 6) and shut out Carlton Gagnon, to face Jason Seavey in the other winners’ side semifinal.
In a straight-up race to 5, Morrison advanced to the hot seat match over Seavey 5-1. Verducci started his winners’ side semifinal match against D’Alfonso with four on the wire in a race to 9. He chalked up the five he needed and sent D’Alfonso to the loss side, double hill 5-8.
On the loss side, D’Alfonso picked up Fred White, who, in a straight-up race to 6, defeated Carlos Aguilar 6-3 and then, with three games on the wire in a race to 7, beat Ben LeBlanc 4-1. Seavey drew Fred Gillis, who’d eliminated Carlton Gagnon, double hill (4-3) and Walt Kelly 4-2.
In a straight-up race to 4, Seavey advanced to the quarterfinals 4-2 over Gillis. D’Alfonso, giving White four on the wire in a race to 8, shut him out to join Seavey in the quarterfinals. Also giving both Seavey and later, in the semifinals, Verducci, four on the wire in races to eight, D’Alfonso defeated them both 8-1.
Giving Morrison in the hot seat five on the wire in races to 9, D’Alfonso took the opening set of the true double elimination final 9-2. He didn’t give up a single rack in the second set and claimed the Joe Brown Memorial title.
Tour director Marc Dionne thanked the ownership and staff at Buster’s Billiards for their hospitality and support for the Joe Brown Memorial, 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 (#16) will be the $1,000-added Players Championship, scheduled for this weekend (March 16-17) at Yale Billiards in Wallingford, CT.

Perrino and Chase go undefeated to win Partners stop on the NE 9-Ball Series

(l to r): TJ Perrino, Brian Chase, Charlie Matarazzo & Rick Gatta

Partners tournaments are not a main item on anyone’s pool calendar menu, although as the industry has begun to notice the increased-interest advantages of team competitions, they may be a harbinger of things to come. The New England 9-Ball Series hosts them fairly regularly, and while they present something of a narrative challenge, as descriptions of the event require lengthy and repetitive use of the double names, which defy any shorthand means of reducing the overall words-per-report average. Its most recent partners tournament (Stop #9 on the tour), held on Sunday, December 9 at Crow’s Nest in Plaistow, NH, drew 64 sets of partners, which, if nothing else, managed to increase the tour’s entrants-per-event average.
The teams of two play with an average FargoRate, which, in the case of the eventual winners – TJ Perrino and Brian Chase – happened to be the highest FargoRate (600) among the event’s final and money-earning 12 teams. The range of competition, as defined by the combined FargoRate, amounted to 150 points, with the lowest team (450; Ben Come and Nelson Perron) being eliminated in the matches that determined the four-way tie for 9th place. As with their singles tournaments, the event was initially broken up into separate upper and lower (ranked) brackets.
Perrino/Chase advanced through the upper bracket to arrive at a winners’ side semifinal match against John Ferreira and Kevin Rodriguez (594). Charlie Matarazzo and Rick Gatta (530), in the meantime, emerging from the lower bracket, squared off against Jason Parker and Jose Concepcion (493). Perrino/Chase survived a double hill match against Ferreira/Rodriguez and advanced to the hot seat match. Matarazzo/Gatta had a slightly easier battle, defeating Parker/Concepcion 4-1. Perrino/Chase downed Matarazzo/Gatta 5-1 (Matarazzo/Gata racing to 4) and waited in the hot seat for their return.
On the loss side, Ferreira/Rodriguez met up with Al McGuane and Michael Mathieu (575), who, most recently in the event’s first money round, had defeated Kerry McAuliffe and Adam Blair 4-1, and then, by the same score, Jeff Provencher and Andrew Burns. Parker/Concepion faced John Collier and Ruben Soto (537), who’d recently shut out Eli Davenport and Bill Phillips, and then got into a double hill fight, which they won 3-2, against Justin Fournier and Matt Lopes.
Ferreira/Rodriguez, no doubt eager to avenge their double hill loss versus Perrino/Chase in the winners’ side semifinals, got right back to work, giving up only two racks over their next 11 games. They first downed McGuane/Mathieu 4-2, as Collier/Soto were busy eliminating Parker/Concepcion 3-1. Ferreira/Rodriguez then shut out Collier/Soto in the quarterfinals and turned to the one obstacle in the way of their hoped-for rematch; Matarazzo and Gatta.
Both teams chalked up four racks in the semifinals. Matarazzo/Gata, however, with the lower FargoRate, were racing to four, and the Ferreira/Rodriguez bid for a shot in the finals came to an end, one game shy. Matarazzo/Gata had managed only a single rack in the hot seat match, but they mounted a more vigorous campaign in the finals. They forced Perrino/Chase (racing to 5) into an eighth deciding game. Perrino/Chase, though, won the deciding game to claim the partners title 5-3.
Tour director Marc Dionne thanked the ownership and staff at Crow’s Nest, along with sponsors Predator Cues, USAPL 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, Bourgeois Farms and OTLVISE Billiard Mechanics of America. The New England 9-Ball Series will move into the 2019 portion of its current season with a $500-added event (Stop #10), scheduled for Saturday, January 5, and hosted by Legends Sports Bar in Auburn, ME.

Oliveira Holds Off Sossei For Joss Tour Win

Mike Zuglan, Jeremy Sossei, Nelson Oliveira & Room Owner Phil Harju

It looked like it was going to be smooth sailing for Nelson Oliveira on his run through the field of 40 other players at the Joss NE 9-Ball Tour's stop at Union Station Billiards in Portland Maine on November 19th – 20th, but in the end he would have to fight it out with Jeremy Sossei in a double elimination final before a winner was crowned. 


Oliveira had no problems on Saturday, as he scored wins over Jeff Mosimann, Andrew Burns and Bob Dennis to remain undefeated. Joining him on the winner's side Sunday were Jeff Provencher, Dave Hall and Josh Rupard. Sunday matches saw Oliveira beat Provencher 9-1, and Hall beat Rupard 9-4. Oliveira would then go on to defeat Hall by that same 9-4 score. 


On the one loss side. Jeremy Sossei was on a tear after a hill-hill loss to Samoth Sam on Saturday. After that loss, Sossei went on a seven match winning streak, including notable wins over Martin Daigle, Chad Bazinet, Provencher, Rupard and Hall. 


Sossei extended his streak to eight matches with a 9-5 win over Oliveira in the first set of the double elimination finals. The second set was close early, with the players tied at 3-3, before Oliveira took control and won six straight games for the 9-3 win. 


The second chance tournament on Sunday drew a field of 20 players where Brent Boemmels went undefeated to earn first place. Boemmels defeated Travis Webster 3-1 for the hot-seat and then held off Lindsey Monto 3-2 in the first set of the finals. Boemmels collected collected $320 for first, while Monto settled for $200 in second place prize money. 


In addition to a fourth place finish in the second chance event, Josh Lerner was also the winner of the raffle for the $1500 custom engraved Joss cue at this event. 


The Joss NE 9-Ball Tour now takes a break until the Turning Stone Classic XXVII on January 5th – 8th in Verona NY. This event is now full.