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Turning Stone Classic XXXII – – Jennifer Barretta vs Jerry Crowe

Casanzio goes undefeated to capture his first Al Conte Memorial title

(l to r): Andrea Duvall (owner of Hippo’s), John McConnell, Ron Casanzio, & Matt Tetreault

Ron Casanzio has had several shots at the Joss Northeast 9-Ball Tour’s Al Conte Memorial over the years. He’s cashed in seven of the nine, to date. He was runner-up to Dennis Hatch in the first one (2009) and Shaun Wilkie in the fifth (2013). On the weekend of November 4-5, he became the event’s seventh winner, following in the footsteps of (in order) Hatch, Shane Winters, Mike Davis, Jeremy Sossei (three-time winner; ’12, ’14 and ‘15), Wilkie and Nelson Oliveira. The $1,500-added, 9th Annual Al Conte Memorial, the fourth stop on the 2017-2018 Joss NE 9-Ball Tour, drew 33 entrants to Hippo’s House of Billiards in Yorkville, NY.
Casanzio was one of three competitors at this event, along with Bucky Souvanthong and Angelo Hilton, who cashed in the first Al Conte Memorial. He became the only one of the three to do so in this one. Match by match, until the finals, Casanzio’s opponents steadily closed the margin of victory against him. He got by Bruce Nagle in the opening round 9-1, then Aaron Greenwood 9-3, and Marko Clarke 9-4 to join Matt Tetreault in one of the winners’ side semifinals. John McConnell, in the meantime, who’d sent Frank Cartani (9-4), Jerry Crowe (9-3), and Dwight Dixon (9-4) to the loss side, squared off against Mike Donnelly in the other winners’ side semifinal.
Casanzio got into the hot seat match with a continuation of the ‘reduced margin of victory’ phenomenon, downing Tetreault 9-5. McConnell joined him with a 9-5 victory over Donnelly. Casanzio claimed the hot seat 9-7 over McConnell and waited on his return.
On the loss side, Tetreault picked up Joe Darigis, who’d been sent over by Donnelly in a winners’ side quarterfinal and then defeated Nick Brucato 9-4 and Dwight Dixon 9-6. Donnelly drew Jose Mendez, who was on a modest four-match, loss-side winning streak that was about to end and had included recent wins over Norm Vernon 9-3 and Marko Clarke 9-5.
Tetreault advanced to the quarterfinals with a 9-6 win over Darigis, and was joined by Mendez, who’d handed Donnelly his second straight loss 9-7. Tetreault eliminated Mendez in that quarterfinal 9-3, but had his hopes for a re-match against Casanzio eliminated when McConnell defeated him 9-5 in the semifinals.
In their second of two, Casanzio broke the ‘margin of victory’ chain. He defeated McConnell 9-5 to claim his first Al Conte Memorial title.
A $500-added Second Chance tournament saw Willie Oney finish in the top spot, downing Mark Creamer in the finals. Aaron Greenwood finished third and Bruce Carroll took the fourth spot. Pete Khudc took home a $1,200 Joss Cue in the event’s raffle.  
The fifth stop on the Joss NE 9-Ball Tour will be the 29th Ocean State 9-Ball Championship. Scheduled for the weekend of November 11-12, the $5,000-added event will be hosted by Snooker’s Billiards, Bar and Grill in Providence, RI.

Kurt England Of Mansfield OH Finishes On Top In Tri-State Series under “No Conflict” Rules

A full field of 64 players gathered at Gold Crown Billiards in Erie PA for the summer version of the quarterly Tri-State Open Nine-Ball Series on Saturday, August 30th. This was the 19th event in the series and the 15th tournament in a row in which the field was full. It took a mere 13 hours inside one day to run 231 matches and determine a champion. Many players used this event as a warm-up to get ready for Turning-Stone.

Short Nine-Ball races on 9’ Gold Crowns were the recipe for many exciting matches.  The rules for the tournament included, fouls on all balls, no short games, and the No Conflict Rules for racking and breaking.  Under the rules, players are not required to pocket a ball on the break in order to get their first shot.  Players alternate breaks and shoot what they break. The rules are designed to remove the motivation and opportunity to manipulate the rack. The net result is a smoother and faster tournament.  The author of the rules, Paul Schofield, owner and proprietor of Gold Crown Billiards, equates rack manipulation to “stacking the deck” in a card game. Schofield further explains “The rules for our event heavily favor the better player.”  A full set of rules are posted on the Gold Crown Billiards website.

The top 4 finishers also happened to be 4 past Tri-State Champions.  Kurt England (Mansfield OH) went 4-1 in the qualifying rounds, advancing him to the sudden-death Championship Bracket. Kurt began his trek to the finals by disposing Al McGuane (Rochester NY) by the score of 6-4. In the quarter-finals, he trounced Jim Doran (Buffalo NY) 6-1.  Brian Alfredo (Masury OH) faired a little better, going down 6-2 in the semis.   Finalist Shayne Morrow (Erie PA), fresh off a runner-up finish in a BCA Masters event, went undefeated (4-0) in the qualifying rounds. Shayne faced local rival, Carmen Pruvedenti in the 1st round in the Championship Bracket. Carmen went down 6-4 and it was on to Lyn Wechsler Rochester(NY) where Shayne battled to another 6-4 victory. Ben Jones (Willowick OH) fell victim to Shayne 6-5 in the semi-finals, setting the stage for the England-Morrow finals.

With the score tied at 2, Kurt England won the next game and never looked back, defeating Shayne Morrow 6-3, garnering the win and the 2014 Summer Tri-State Open title.  

The tournament’s success can be attributed to many factors. The unusual rules are always well received. The fall version of the Tri-State Open Nine-Ball Series will take place in November.


1) Kurt England   $600

2) Shayne Morrow $400

3-4) Brian Alfredo, Ben Jones   $250

5-8) Jim Doran, Rob Krull, Top Purich, Lyn Wechsler   $140

9-16) Don Blevins, Ron Casazio, Mark Cimperman, Jerry Crowe, Al McGuane, Carmen Pruvedenti, Dave Slovic, Tom Washington  $85

Dechaine Dominates Strong Field Under the No Conflict Rules

Dechaine (L), Bartram (R)

The Spring version of the quarterly Tri-State Open Nine-Ball Series at Gold Crown Billiards in Erie PA saw the strongest field yet in any of their events. Participating were 3 past Mosconi Cup players, not to mention 12 past winners and runners-up along with a handful of other professional players. A full field of 32 players competed in the one day, $4000 added event.

The rules for the tournament included, fouls on all balls, no short games, and the No Conflict Rules for racking and breaking. Under the rules, players are not required to pocket a ball on the break in order to get their first shot. Players alternate breaks and shoot what they break. One hundred and fifteen matches were played without incident and controversy that usually surround the racking and breaking process. The author of the rules, Paul Schofield, owner and proprietor of Gold Crown Billiards, contends the current rules poison matches and corrupt entire tournaments. Schofield further explains “The rules for our event heavily favor the better player.” A full set of the rules are posted on the Gold Crown Billiards website.

The top 4 finishers also happened to be the top 4 bids in the player auction. They finished in order from highest bid to 4th highest bid. Mike Dechaine from Waterville ME put on a clinic,winning 7 straight matches to win the event. Dechaine breezed through the qualifying rounds trouncing Ron Casanzio (Rochester NY) 6-3, Willie VanGuilder (Garland PA) 6-0, Jerry Crowe (Bathe NY) 6-2, and Shayne Morrow (Erie PA) 6-3. In the championship bracket, Dechaine picked up where he left of by putting down Jerry Crowe again 8-1 in the quarter-finals. Things got tough in the semi-finals where Alex Olinger (Dayton OH) took Mike Dechaine to the hill only to have Dechaine break and run the last game under the threat of elimination. Continuing on his reign of terror, Dechaine easily handled Chris Bartram (Columbus OH) 8-4 in the finals.

Chris Bartram fought hard, grinding through the qualifying rounds with a 6-2 record, earning a spot in the championship bracket. Bartram downed Shane Jackson (Pittsburgh PA) in the quarter-finals 8-5 and went on in the semis to defeat Shawn Putnam (Powder Springs GA) 8-5. Dechaine was on fire and proved too much for Bartram in the finals.

The tournament was a success. The unusual rules were well received. Gold Crown Billiards will look to grow this annual event in future years by picking up additional sponsors and recruiting stronger fields.

Turning Stone Classic XXI – Borana Andoni vs Jerry Crowe


Hatch and Crowe score Joss Tour Wins

Dennis Hatch (File photo courtesy of Bruce Clayton)

Dennis Hatch and Jerry Crowe won events over the weekend of March 24th – 25th at Salt City Billiards in Syracuse, NY.

The main event saw 27 players competing and Dennis Hatch scoring yet another undefeated run through the field. Hatch took the hot-seat with a very close 9-7 win over tour points leader Bucky Souvanthong.

On the one loss side, Souvanthong found Nelson Oliviera waiting. Souvanthong had had no problem with Oliviera on the winners side, defeating Nelson 9-3. Oliviera was more than happy to return the favor this time with a 9-3 win over Souvanthong.

Oliviera’s strong play in the match against Souvanthong was no match for Hatch in the finals as Dennis ran away with a dominating 9-4 win for another tournament win.

The second chance tournament on Sunday saw Jerry Crowe take the hot-seat with a 3-0 win over Ed Saur. Saur came back from the left side after a 3-1 win over Tim Parisian and the two players squared off again in the double elimination finals.

Saur won the first set of the finals 3-1, but Crowe came back to win the final set 3-2 for the tournament win.

The Joss NE 9-Ball tour will be at Raxx Billiards in West Hempstead, NY next weekend (March 31 – April 1) for a $2000 added weekend. $1500 will be added to the main event and $500 will be added to the second chance tournament.

Players are still urged to contact Mike Zuglan soon in order to reserve their spot in the season finale at Turning Stone Casino on August 23 – 26. Mike can be reached at 518-356-7163.