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Kolee and Bova split top prizes at 6th Annual Jingle Grind Christmas Classic

Spencer Auigbelle, Qais Kolee, Nick Brucato & Kyle Bova

Possibly forgoing the inevitable march of procrastinators searching for gifts three days before Christmas, a hearty crew of 28 entrants braved near-freezing temperatures in Rochester, NY to attend the Western New York Pool Tour’s 6th Annual Jingle Grind Christmas Classic, hosted by Diamond Billiards Bar & Grill in Rochester. At the end of the evening, Qais Kolee, sitting in the hot seat, and Kyle Bova, who’d won five on the loss side to get a shot at him, decided against a final match and split $1,650 in prize money, a decent ‘Merry Christmas’ money for the both of them.

Kolee had chalked up three straight 6-3 wins over Luis Bani, Jake Miosi and Geoff Montgomery to arrive at a winners’ side semifinal match against Brad Wesley. Spencer Augbelle, in the meantime, had downed Dave Ricci 6-4, and then survived two straight double hill matches, sending Mark Hadley and Kyle Bova to the loss side. Bova, like Jacob Marley, would return to haunt Augbelle in the semifinals, but for the moment, Augbelle advanced to face Jeremiah Imburgia in the other winners’ side semifinal.

Kolee got into the hot seat match with a 6-4 victory over Wesley, and met up with Auigbelle, who’d defeated Imburgia 6-2. Kolee claimed the hot seat and his last victory of the day, 6-4.

On the loss side, Wesley picked up Bova, who, following his defeat at the hands of Augbelle, had shut out Nick Cappolla and given up four to Adam Smith. Imburgia drew tour director Nick Brucato, who never did get a chance for a re-match against Wesley, who’d sent him over, but was working on a modest, three-match, loss-side winning streak that included recent wins over Jerry Sullivan 6-3 and Geoff Montgomery 6-4.

Brucato’s hopes for a re-match were spoiled by Bova, who shut Wesley out. Brucato joined him in the quarterfinals with a 6-2 win over Imburgia. Bova ended Brucato’s day (competing) with a 6-4 quarterfinal win.

Bova and Augbelle’s semifinal re-match proved to be the last match of the event. Bova won it 6-4, and as the undefeated occupant of the hot seat, claimed the event title. The decision to split the final two cash prizes was made, and everybody went home to their respective holiday revels.

Buckley wins seven on the loss side to take Pro division title on Sunshine State Pro Am tour

Jason Sheerman, Donny Branson & Benji Buckley

Adams goes undefeated in Amateur event
Stop # 9 on the Sunshine State Pro Am Tour featured separate tournaments held on the weekend of November 18-19. A $1,000-added Open 10-Ball event drew 57 entrants, and saw Benji Buckley win seven on the loss side to meet and defeat hot seat occupant Donny Branson in the finals. On the Amateur side, in a $500-added, 9-ball event, James Adams went undefeated through a field of 43. Both events were hosted by Capone’s in Spring Hill, FL.
Buckley’s trip to the finals was moving along on the winners’ side of the bracket, commencing with a victory over the Amateur event winner, James Adams, and then, through James Sandaler, before coming up against Rodney Morris. Morris sent Buckley to the loss side 7-3, before following him over on the heels of a 6-4 win by Jason Sheerman in a winners’ side quarterfinal. Sheerman moved on to a winners’ side semifinal against Jerry Sullivan, while Branson faced Murbarak Sulaiman.
Sheerman and Branson advanced to the hot seat match without giving up a single rack to either Sullivan or Sulaiman. Branson then defeated Sheerman 7-3 and sat in the hot seat, waiting for Buckley to complete his loss-side campaign.
Buckley began his loss-side work battling in one of the matches that determined the eight-way tie for 17th place. He got by Travis Croft, Mark Wathen, Nathan Rose, and Donny Mills to draw Sullivan. Sulaiman drew Anthony Meglino, who’d been defeated in the second winners’ side round by Sheerman (double hill) and set out on his own seven-match, loss-side winning streak that included wins over Joseph Remos, Jason Richko, Bill Bloom, Tommy Kennedy, Jessica Human and Rodney Morris, before drawing Sulaiman.
Buckley advanced to the quarterfinals 7-3 over Sullivan, as Sulaiman ended Meglino’s loss-side streak the way his winners’ side streak had been ended by Sheerman, in a double hill match. Buckley then defeated Sulaiman 7-2 in the quarterfinals, and got his shot at Branson in the hot seat with a 7-4 win over Sheerman in the semifinals.
Buckley and Branson battled back and forth through the finals. Buckley edged ahead at the end to claim the event title 11-9.
Adams goes undefeated in Amateur event
James Adams faced separate opponents in the hot seat and finals of the Amateur event. He advanced to a winners’ side semifinal against Moe Fattah, as Estel Walton faced Ricardo Rodriguez in the other one. Adams downed Fattah 7-5, and in the hot seat match, faced Walton, who’d sent Rodriguez west 7-4. Adams claimed the hot seat 7-5 over Walton and waited on what turned out to be the return of Adams.
On the loss side, Rodriguez and Fattah got right back to winning. Rodriguez defeated Sam Kantar 5-1, as Fattah advanced to meet him in the quarterfinals with a double hill win over Jeremy Bell.
Rodriguez defeated Fattah in the quarterfinals 5-2, and then shut out Walton in the semifinals. Adams put an end to Rodriguez’ short, loss-side winning streak 9-7 in the finals to claim the event title.
In addition to the prize money awarded to the finishers in each tournament, the Amateur event awarded $20 each to the top Junior finisher – Kodi Allen – and top female finisher – Kelly Cavanaugh. The Open event awarded $40 to the top female finisher, Jessica Human.
Tour director Janene Phillips offered special thanks to Rocky McElroy, owner of Capone’s, and his staff, as well as McDermott Cues for donating a cue for an event raffle. The next stop on the Sunshine State Pro Am Tour, scheduled for December 16-17, will be the tour’s Season Finale, which will be hosted by Park Avenue Billiards in Orange Park, FL.

Casanzio and Kam win double events on Western New York Tour

Ron Casanzio went undefeated in a single elimination 10-ball event, while Marco Kam came from the loss side to win a concurrently-run triple elimination 8-ball tournament, under the auspices of the Western New York Tour. It all happened on Saturday, December 12, at Eastridge Billiards in Rochester, NY. With some duplication, the 10-ball event drew 12 entrants, while the 8-ball tournament drew 19.
In the 8-ball, triple elimination tournament, which has more twists and turns-of-event than your average fun house of mirrors, Jose Mirabel worked his way into the hot seat. He had defeated tour director Nick Brucato 3-2, as Jerry Sullivan downed Ron Casanzio 3-1 in the winners' side semifinals. Mirabel claimed the hot seat 3-2 over Sullivan, and waited on what turned out to be the fateful return of Marco Kam.
On the loss side, which, in a triple elimination format, sees players who lose, move to a third bracket to potentially re-appear in the second (normal) loss-side bracket, Sullivan and Brucato ended up battling in what amounted to the third bracket final; a single game, won by Sullivan, who advanced to the semifinals against Kam.
Kam defeated Sullivan 2-1, in what was a more or less normal losers' side final, and got a shot at Mirabel in the hot seat. He took full advantage, downing Mirabel in the final race-to-6, 6-3.
In the single elimination 10-ball event, a single round of play, with four byes, resulted in four matchups, moving toward a final. Casanzio downed Dave Grau 8-4. Dan Veinot defeated Andy Gibson 8-5. Nick Brucato avenged his loss in the 8-ball event by defeating Sullivan 8-3 in 10-ball. Marco Kam rounded out the tournament's reduction to four players with an 8-4 victory over Chris Braiman, owner of Eastridge Billiards.
Casanzio then defeated Veinot 8-4, as Brucato advanced to the finals with an 8-5 victory over Kam. Casanzio claimed the 10-ball title with an 8-5 win over Brucato in the finals.
The next stop on the Western New York Tour, scheduled for January 23, 2016, will again be hosted by Eastridge Billiards in Rochester.

Casanzio and Wishwanick win 8-Ball Amateur and 9-Ball Open-Pro on Western New York Tour

Ron Casanzio went undefeated, while Mike Wishwanick came from the loss side, and benefited from a forfeit in the finals of a two-event stop on the Western New York Tour, held on Saturday, August 8. Casanzio's victory was in a 9-Ball Open-Pro event that drew 14 entrants,  while Wishwanick competed in an 8-Ball Amateur event that drew 15, both to Eastridge Billiards in Rochester, NY.
Casanzio's five-match march to the Open-Pro 9-Ball winners' circle went through Tour Director Nick Brucato twice. They met first in the hot seat match. Casanzio had sent Dave Dreidel to the loss side 6-2, while Brucato defeated Wishwanick 6-1. Casanzio and Brucato locked up in a double hill battle that eventually sent Brucato to the loss side, leaving Casanzio in the hot seat.
On the loss side, every match played from the 9/12 slots to the semifinals finished with a 4-2 score. Dreidel joined up in the 5/6 slots and picked up Kyle Bova, recent winner over Dan Veinot and Dave Johnson. Wishwanick drew Jerry Sullivan, who'd eliminated Tracy Rothe and Ro Kam. Wishwanick took the quarterfinals over Dreidel (they would later be finalists in the 8-Ball event), but was eliminated by Brucato in the semifinals.
Fortunes were reversed somewhat in the finals. Casanzio and Brucato had fought a double hill, hot seat match, but the finals were a bit of a rout. Casanzio gave up only a single rack to complete his undefeated day and claim the 9-Ball Open-Pro title.
In the 8-Ball event, the eventual winner (Wishwanick) was sent to the loss side in the opening round by Jerry Sullivan, who advanced to a winners' side semifinal against Dreidel. Ro Kam, in the meantime, squared off against Andrew Bellimeo. Dreidel downed Sullivan 3-1 and in the hot seat match, squared off against Kam, who'd defeated Bellimeo 3-2. Dreidel's final match of the dual tournaments saw him claim the hot seat from Kam 3-1. An injury to his teenage daughter (reportedly serious, but not life threatening) forced him to leave the tournament early, which would eventually lead to Wishwanick's claiming of the event title.
On the loss side, Wishwanick was on a six-match winning streak that would eventually earn him that title. He shut out Dave Johnson and gave up just a single rack to Tom Cronin, which set him up for a re-match against Sullivan. Bellimeo drew Fran Imburgia, who'd eliminated Shane Longest and Charlie Kelly, both 3-1.
Wishwanick succesfully navigated his re-match against Sullivan, winning it 3-1, as Imburgia downed Bellimeo 3-2. Wishwanick finished Imburgia 3-1 in the quarterfinals, and in what proved to be his last hurdle, defeated Kam in the semifinals 3-1. Dreidel had left at that point, and the event title went to Wishwanick.

Dreidel, Zen and Brucato win Western New York tour’s four-event marathon

It looked good on paper.
In planning, well in advance, for a four-event weekend, the Western New York Tour's director, Nick Brucato, looked at potential dates and seeing very little happening elsewhere on the weekend of April 23-26, he made his decision. His event would follow the Super Billiards Expo in Pennsylvania and he calculated a decent turnout would spill over from that event. As it turned out, though, a variety of other events popped up on the pool calendar after he'd made his decision, and the turnout wasn't "anything like (he) expected."
A total of 68 players (with duplication) filled out four events that began on Thursday April 23 with a bar box 8-ball tournament (22) and concluded with a big table 9-ball tournament (16) on Sunday, April 26. In between, were a bar box 10-ball event (15) and a triple elimination bracket 8-ball event (15). By the time the final match in the 9-ball event was scheduled to begin, it was 6:30 a.m. on Monday morning, April 27. The competitors (Brucato and room owner, Sean Zen) opted out of a final match and split the top two prizes. The entire event was hosted by Eastridge Billiards in Rochester, NY.
In addition to prize money awarded to each of the winners in four events (three players; Dave Dreidel won two), there was a $250-added Master of the Table award, won by Dreidel. The award was based on a combination of participation and performance, with each player assigned 100 points at the outset, three points per match played, and assigned points for place finish; from 10 for a win, down to 2 for a 10th place finish. This encouraged participation in all four events; a top player who opted out of any of the events would, in effect, be down 100 points, which would be hard to make up, thereby incentivizing players to participate in all four. Dreidel, Brucato, Melissa Spade and Sean Zen picked up the top four cash prize awards in this Master of the Table competition.
Dreidel got things rolling on Thursday with an undefeated win in the first of two 8-ball events, a short race (to 2) standard, double elimination tournament. The event's final four matches were shutouts. Dreidel got by Bruce Prince, Jr. 2-0 in the hot seat match. On the loss side, it was Luis Recio emerging to shut out both Junie Gelako in the quarterfinal match and Prince in the semifinal. Dreidel sealed the deal with a shutout over Recio in the finals. Melissa Spade picked up $40 as the event's top female finisher.
Dreidel went undefeated in the 10-ball event, as well. He got by Angelo Inness twice; once for the hot seat 7-4 and again (7-5) in the finals. The loss-side contender in this one was Tito Ortiz, who downed Bob Simmons 6-4 in the quarterfinals, only to be stopped by Inness 6-2 in the semifinals. Mindy Hagar picked up $20 as the top female finisher.
Dreidel played in the triple elimination 8-ball tournament, too, making it as far as a winners' side semifinal against room owner Sean Zen, who defeated him, double hill and then went on to win the event. Zen defeated Chris Bassett 3-1 to claim the hot seat, and downed Jerry Sullivan by the same score in the finals. Sullivan had emerged from a mind-boggling, triple elimination scenario to defeat Basset in the quarterfinals, and Melissa Spade in the semifinals. Normally, the loser of the hot seat match (Bassett, in this case) is guaranteed at least a third place finish, but a third two-loss bracket affords players the opportunity to emerge and challenge one-loss players. Spade was the final player out of that two-loss bracket, before being eliminated, with a third defeat, by Sullivan. Women were awarded a game on the wire for all matches in this event.
Nick Brucato and room owner Sean Zen split the top two prizes in the weekend's final event, a 'big table,' double elimination 9-ball tournament, and given the sheer volume of effort they put forth, along with Brucato's assistants, Bruce Prince, Sr. and Bob Simmons, they certainly earned it. Brucato defeated Bassett 9-3 to claim the hot seat. As with the triple elimination 8-ball event, women were awarded a game on the wire, which worked to Melissa Spade's advantage, though not for long enough. She was defeated by Sean Zen 7-4 in the quarterfinals. Zen moved on to defeat Bassett 7-3 in the semifinals, before, at 6:30 a.m., he and Brucato opted out of playing a final match. As the undefeated hot seat occupant, Brucato was declared the official winner.
In addition to profuse thanks to his assistants, Bob Simmons and Bruce Prince, Sr., Brucato thanked room owner Sean Zen, as well as sponsors Ozone Billiards, Kamui Tips, McGinny's Pub, and Mooney's Mac and Cheese of Leroy, NY (donors of the $250 added to the Master of the Table awards). In addition, he thanked Premier Sunroom Solutions of Rochester, NY, for their donation of a patio set, valued at $800, that was raffled off and won by Pamela Goodfriend.

Bova stops McCreesh charge to win Western New York Tour stop

Kyle Bova dropped the opening set of a true double elimination final to Ryan McCreesh, who'd won seven on the loss side for the right to face him, but came back to win a second set and claim the Saturday, August 10 event title at a stop on the Western New York Tour. The event drew 28 entrants to Camelot Billiards in Rochester, NY.
It was Bova who'd sent McCreesh west, in the second round of play, and with McCreesh at work on the loss side, Bova advanced among the winners' side final four for a match against Jerry Sullivan. Tour director Nick Brucato and T. Tamovan squared off in the other winners' side semifinal. Bova downed Sullivan, double hill, as Tamovan was sending Brucato to the loss side 7-5. Bova took the hot seat match 7-5 over Tamovan and waited on the return of McCreesh.
Brucato moved to the loss side and picked up Jose Mirabelle, who'd defeated Dan Miosi 6-4 and Mark Creamer 6-2 to reach him. Sullivan drew McCreesh, who'd survived a double hill match against Angelo Inness and defeated Brian Dickinson 8-3. McCreesh and Mirabelle handed Sullivan and Brucato their second straight losses; McCreesh surviving a second double hill battle, over Sullivan, while Mirabelle eliminated Brucato 7-5.
McCreesh took the quarterfinal match against Mirabelle 8-5 and then downed Tamovan in the semifinals by the same score. With momentum on his side, and vengeance on his mind, McCreesh took the opening set of the true double elimination final 8-4 over Bova. Bova, though, came back to win the second set 8-2 to claim  the event title. 

Grau holds off Cicottie to go undefeated on Western New York Tour stop

Dave Grau advanced to the hot seat and stopped a loss-side bid by Rick Cicottie to win the Sunday, May 12 stop on the Western New York Tour. The event, initially divided into A and B players, drew 16 entrants to Camelot Billiards in Rochester, NY.

Grau met up with Terry Bulman among the winners' side final four, as Fran Imburgia, who'd just sent Cicottie to the loss side, faced off against Jerry Sullivan. Grau defeated Bulman 8-3, as Imburgia traveled west on the heels of a 4-3 victory by Sullivan. Grau got into the hot seat, giving up only a single rack to Sullivan and waited on Cicottie's return.
Cicottie, in the meantime, started back with a 4-3 win over Sunny Kemp, and followed it with a 4-2 victory over Melissa Vsitek, which set him up for a re-match against Imburgia. Bulman drew T. Tamavoughn, who'd gotten by tour director Nick Brucato 7-2 and Marc Creamer 6-4. Cicottie successfully wreaked his vengeance on Imburgia, defeating him 4-2, and was met in the quarterfinals by Bulman, who'd eliminated Tamavoughn 6-5. 
Cicottie completed his five-match, loss-side run with a 5-3 victory over Bulman in the quarterfinals and a 4-3 win over Sullivan in the semifinals. At that point, nearly 2 a.m., Grau and Cicottie opted out of a final match and split the top two prizes, with Grau, in the hot seat, declared the official winner.