Archive Page

James goes undefeated to win Joe Brown Memorial, Stop #15 on New England 9-Ball Series

(l to r) Xhuljiano Kamxhiu, Justin Myers & Geoff James

Geoff James and Xhuljiano Kamxhiu (known to friends, acquaintances and for the purposes of this report, as Julio) battled twice in their quest to claim title to the Joe Brown Memorial Tournament, held under the auspices of the New England 9-Ball Series on Saturday, March 7. James won them both to win the $500-added event that drew 43 entrants to Buster’s Billiards to Somersworth, NH.

As ‘residents’ of the event’s upper bracket, they met first in a winners’ side semifinal. James had advanced through Ramildo Brakaj, Tyler Campbell, Chad Avallone and Roger Vivier. After an opening round bye, Julio’s path went through an opening round, double hill battle against Daniel Simoneau, and then, Walter Kelly and Brett Chansky. From the lower bracket, Justin Myers and Junnel Balofinos squared off in the other winners’ side semifinal.

James downed Julio 7-2 (Julio racing to 5), as Myers and Balofinos locked up in a double hill fight that eventually advanced Myers to the hot seat match against James. James gave up just a single rack and sat in the hot seat, awaiting Julio’s return.

On the loss side, Julio picked up Anthony Petruzzelli, who’d lost his opening round match and won six matches on the loss side, including recent victories over Roger Vivier 4-1 and Brett Chansky, double hill. Balofinos drew a rematch against Sydney Dupont, whom he’d defeated in the winners’ side third round, and who went on to win four, loss-side matches, including a 4-1 victory over Neal Katz and double hill win over Jarryd Boyd.

Julio advanced to the quarterfinals with a 5-2 win over Petruzzelli and was joined by Dupont, who’d shut Balofinos out. Julio downed Dupont in those quarterfinals, double hill and earned his second shot against James with a 5-1 victory over Myers in the semifinals.

Julio began the true double elimination finals with ‘two on the wire,’ racing to 7. He added two to reach the hill, but James had his 6 and won the deciding game to claim the event title.

Tour director Marc Dionne thanked the ownership and staff at Buster’s, as well as sponsors Predator, BCAPL, 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 with Lease Fundings, Master Billiards, OTLVISE Billiard Mechanics of America and Piku Tips. The next stop on the NE 9-Ball Series (#16), scheduled for the weekend of March 28-29, will be the $1,000-added Players Championship, to be hosted by Yale Billiards in Wallingford, CT.

Souza stops loss-side bid by Kazalski to go undefeated on New England 9-Ball Series stop #14

(l to r): Paul Kazalski, Dominick Souza & Joe Callaluca

Dominick Souza came into the February 29 stop on the New England 9-Ball Series looking for his second win on the tour since he went undefeated at a stop in Tyngsboro, MA (Maxamilian’s Billiards) in April, 2018. His opponent in the hot seat match at this most recent event, Joe Callaluca, finished fourth at that 2018 stop, and settled for 3rd place this past weekend, when he was defeated by Paul Kazalski in the semifinals. Souza went on to defeat Kazalski in the finals to claim title to the $500-added event that drew 30 entrants to Strokers Bar and Billiards in Pelham, NH.

Working in the upper bracket with a FargoRate of 640, Souza got by Jose Concepcion 5-3, David Ty 6-3 and survived a double hill fight against Mark Morgan to draw TK Marshall in one of the winners’ side semifinals. Callaluca, in the meantime, sporting a FargoRate of 500 and working in the lower bracket, defeated Owen Gomez 3-1, and chalked up two straight shutouts, over Mike Felix and Doug Walker to draw Eli Davenport (502) in the other winners’ side semifinal. Davenport was fresh off a winners’ side quarterfinal victory over Kazalski (421).

Souza and Marshall battled to double hill before Souza advanced to the hot seat match. Callaluca recorded his third straight shutout, downing Davenport 3-0. With Callaluca racing to 4, Souza claimed the hot seat 6-2 and waited on what turned out to be the return of Kazalski.

Kazalski opened his loss-side campaign with two straight 3-1 victories, over John Mills and Tiffany Vuong and picked up a rematch versus Davenport. Marshall drew David Ty, who, following his defeat at the hands of Souza on the winners’ side, had won three straight on the loss side, downing Brian Tierney and Xhuljano Kamxhiu, both 4-2 and surviving a double hill battle against Roger Vivier to reach Marshall.

Ty and Kazalksi eliminated Marshall and Davenport; Ty shutting Marshall out and Kazalski successfully navigating his rematch against Davenport 3-1. Kazalski then took the quarterfinal match over Ty 4-3 (Ty racing to 6).

With Fargo Rates separated by 79 points (Callaluca, 500 and Kazalski, 421), the semifinal was a straight up race to 4 for both of them. They battled to double hill before Kazalski prevailed to earn a shot against Souza in the hot seat and a chance to chalk up his first regional tour victory.

Souza put a stop to that chance by giving up only a single rack in the only set necessary in a true double elimination final. Souza sealed the victory 8-1 and claimed the title.

Tour director Marc Dionne thanked the ownership and staff at Strokers, as well as sponsors Predator Cues, BCAPL, 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 with Lease Fundings, Master Billiards, OTLVISE Billiard Mechanics of America and Piku Tips. The next stop on the New England 9-Ball Series (#15), scheduled for Saturday, March 7, will be the $500-added Joe Brown Memorial, to be hosted by Buster’s Billiards in Somersworth, NH.

Minichello spoils Boudreau bid for third win on the New England 9-Ball Series

(l to r): Tyler Boudreau, Josh Caesar & Mike Minichello

Chances are, Tyler Boudreau is not going to have a 496 FargoRate for long. On Sunday, November 3, he missed, by a game, picking up his third win on the New England 9-Ball Series; his 4th, if you include his win with Tom D’Alfonso in a Partners Tournament. Boudreau made it to a winners’ side semifinal before being sent to the loss side, from where he mounted a campaign that set him up in the finals against Michael Minichello (703). He took the opening set, and battled to double hill, before Minichello won the second set to claim the title. The $500-added event (#6) drew 42 entrants to Bo’s Billiards in Warwick, RI.
 
They came within two, single games of playing for the hot seat. Working from the upper (higher FargoRate) bracket, Minichello got by Ricardo Diaz, Jay Duffin, Rick Gatta and Mike Demarco to draw Vashon Robinson in the upper bracket’s winners’ side final (the overall winners’ side semifinal). Boudreau, working in the lower bracket in the meantime, got an opening round bye and defeated Tracey Duffin, Justin Bertrand and Adam Blair, to draw Josh Caesar in the lower bracket’s winners’ side final (overall winners’ side semifinal).
 
Minichello and Caesar both won double hill fights; Minichello over Robinson 8-3 (Robinson racing to 4) and, in a straight up race to 5, Caesar over Boudreau. Minichello had to win another double hill fight against an opponent racing to 4 (Caesar) and did so to claim the hot seat.
 
On the loss side, Boudreau picked up Mark Ruzzano, who’d defeated Adam Blair 4-2 and survived a double hill battle versus Phil Walton to reach him. Robinson drew Keith Platt, who, in straight up races to 5, had recently eliminated Kevin Bauccio 5-2 and Mike DeMarco 5-1.
 
Platt and Robinson, both racing to 5, battled to double hill before Platt prevailed and advanced to the quarterfinals. Boudreau joined him after defeating Ruzzano 4-2. Boudreau then ended Platt’s day by shutting him out in those quarterfinals.
 
The loss-side rematch between Boudreau and Caesar lacked the double hill drama of its winners’ side semifinal predecessor. Boudreau allowed Caesar only a single rack and advanced into the finals.
 
The handicap arrangement gave Boudreau ‘five on the wire’ against Minichello in a race to 9. They both chalked up four racks in the opening set, but the handicap gave Boudreau the victory. Minichello got out ahead in the second set, but gave up three racks to Boudreau, leading to a 12th and deciding rack. Minichello won it to claim the event title, his first recorded victory since he won the tour’s Joe Brown Memorial in February, 2018.
 
Tour director Marc Dionne thanked the ownership and staff at Bo’s Billiards, as well as sponsors Predator Cues, USAPL New England, BCA Pool League, Fargo Rate, 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 next stop (#7) on the NE 9-Ball Series, scheduled for Saturday, November 23, will be a $500-added event, hosted by Straight Shooters in Fall River, MA.

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.

Savoie, Zieminski and Cullen run out of time and split top prizes on NE 9-Ball Series

(l to r): Kevin Zieminski, Ben Savoie & Ryan Cullen

It’s not difficult enough that pool players have to battle each other, or their own interior mental processes as a tournament advances toward a conclusion. In many cases, involving a variety of factors – number of tables in a room, number of entrants and enforcement of legally established closing times – pool players are in a race against the clock, which sometimes, they lose. On Saturday, February 23, at a stop on the New England 9-Ball Series (#14), Ben Savoie, Kevin Zieminski and Ryan Cullen lost their clock race, opted out of the event’s final two matches (semifinals, finals) and split the top three prizes. It was likely most painful for Ryan Cullen, who, at decision time, was in the midst of an eight-match, loss-side winning streak that ended with his quarterfinal victory. Savoie, in the hot seat at the time, was awarded the official event title, with Zieminski, his vanquished hot seat opponent and Cullen’s potential semifinal opponent, in second place. Cullen had to settle for the official third place. The $500-added event drew 69 entrants to Yale Billiards in Wallingford, CT.
 
Savoie’s upper-bracket path to the hot seat went through Ray Buthe, Gene Hunt, Mario Argentino and Bart Rivezzi, before arriving at a winners’ side semifinal match against Tito Montalvo. Zieminski, in the meantime, worked his way through the lower bracket, defeating David Colbeth, Sr., Troy Fortin, Mike Felix and Joanne Corbett to arrive at his winners’ side semifinal matchup against Josh Christian. Cullen, following victories over Greg Madar and Sal Midolo, had been sent to the loss side by Montalvo, and would earn his right to a rematch, seven loss-side matches later.
 
In a straight-up race to 7, Savoie advanced to the hot seat match 7-3 over Montalvo. Ziemenski joined him after winning his straight-up race to 5 against Christian, double hill. Savoie claimed the hot seat, winning what proved to be his last match 6-1.
 
On the loss side, Cullen eliminated Frank Celedita, Darron Jevens and picked up a forfeit win over Mario Argentino, before downing Frank Porto and moving into the first money round, where he defeated Bobby Hilton 6-1 and Tom D’Alfonso, double hill (5-6; D’Alfonso racing to 7). This earned him his re-match against Montalvo. Christian drew Joanne Corbett, who’d eliminated Anthony Petruzelli 4-2 and in a straight-up race to 4, shut out John Kirwan to reach him.
 
Cullen downed Montalvo 7-3 and moved into his last match, the quarterfinals, against Christian, who’d given Corbett a taste of her own ‘shutout’ medicine, by eliminating her 4-0. Cullen gave up only a single rack to Christian in those quarterfinals, and for all concerned, the night was over. Savoie was the official winner, Zieminski was the runner-up and Cullen would never know whether he could have won the two more necessary to give him the title.
 
Tour director Marc Dionne thanked the ownership and staff at Yale Billiards, 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 (#15), scheduled for Saturday, March 9, will be the $500-added Joe Brown Memorial Tournament, hosted by Buster’s Billiards in Somersworth, NH.
 
Dionne has also notified potential competitors that following the event at Buster’s Billiards, the New England 9-Ball Series will host its $1,000-added Players Championships, scheduled for the week after the event at Buster’s Billiards, on the weekend of March 16-17. Pre-registration is recommended for the event, which will be hosted back at Yale Billiards, and restricted to 128 players. There will be an additional $250-added 10-Ball event, scheduled for Sunday, March 17 (maximum Fargo Rate of 675, races to 5), which will be limited to 32 players.

Minichello goes undefeated to win Joe Brown Memorial on NE 9-Ball Series

(l to r): Carlos Aguilar, Richard Comeau, Mike Minichello & Jenn Brown (daughter of Joe Brown)

 

Mike Minichello was the only Open player to compete in the Joe Brown Memorial, held under the auspices of the New England 9-Ball Series on Saturday, February 25. As such, he was racing to 10 in five of his seven matches against B players, and to 12, twice, against the eventual runner-up, Richard Comeau (D+, racing to 4). He went undefeated through the field of 49 entrants, winning 75 of the 91 games he played. The $500-added Joe Brown Memorial Tournament (Stop #17 on the tour) was hosted by Buster’s Billiards in Somersworth, NH.
 
Minichello faced primarily B players, racing to 5, and only one of them – Rick Bergevin – challenged him with a double hill match in the event’s second round. Minichello advanced to a  winner’ side semifinal against Ben Benson, while, from the lower bracket, two D+ players, Richard Comeau and Mike Negrelli, squared off in the other one.
 
Minichello moved into the hot seat match with a 10-3 victory over Benson, and was joined by Comeau, who’d sent Nigrelli west (straight-up race to 4) 4-1. Minichello claimed the hot seat 12-2 over Comeau and waited for him to get back from the semifinals.
 
On the loss side, where races were shortened by one game, Nigrelli picked up Eric Newell (C), who’d defeated Andrew Nash (D+), double hill, and then shut out Jay Cunningham (C+) to reach him. Benson drew Carlos Aguilar (C), who’d been defeated in the third round of winners’ side play and was working on a six-match, loss-side winning streak that would take him as far as the semifinals. Moving into the money rounds, he’d gotten by Sam Samoth (A+) 4-5 (Samoth racing to 8), and Eli Davenport 4-1, in a straight-up race to 4.
 
Nigrelli shut out Newell, and in the quarterfinals, faced Aguilar, who’d eliminated Benson 4-1. Aguilar chalked up his last win downing Nigrelli 5-1. Comeau then ended Aguilar’s loss-side streak 3-2 in the semifinals (Aguilar racing to 5). Minichello completed his undefeated run with a 12-1 victory over Comeau to claim the event title.
 
Tour director Marc Dionne thanked the ownership and staff at Buster’s Billiards, as well as sponsors Ozone Billiards, Molinari, Bert Kinister, AZBilliards, Inside English, Professor Q-Ball’s National and 3-Cushion News, Delta 13 Racks, MJS Construction, Bob Campbell, Championship Cloth, and OTLVISE Billiard Mechanics of America. The next stop on the New England 9-Ball Series, scheduled for Saturday, March 10, will be hosted by Straight Shooter’s in Fall River, MA.

Mathieu takes two out of three against Brule to win NE 9-Ball Series Stop #16

Joann Cobbett, Kevin Brule, Michael Mathieu, & Ali Raza

Michael Mathieu and Kevin Brule played three times to determine the winner of the February 17 stop (#16) on the New England 9-Ball Series. In each of the three matches, the winner gave up only a single rack. Mathieu won two of the three, including the critical second set of a true double elimination final to claim the event title. The $500-added event drew 47 entrants to Yale Billiards in Wallingford, CT.
 
They met first in the hot seat match. Mathieu had defeated fellow B player, Ryan Urso 6-2, as Brule was downing fellow C Player, Joann Cobbett, in a match that went double hill. Mathieu gave up the single rack to Brule in this first encounter and sat in the hot seat, waiting for rounds two and three.
 
On the loss side, Urso picked up Ali Raza, who’d defeated Mike Langley, double hill, and Ryan McQuade 6-2 to reach him. Cobbett drew Marc Murphy, who’d eliminated Ed Murray, double hill and Darryl Helm, 5-1. In a straight-up race to 6, Raza advanced to the quarterfinals over Urso 6-2. By the same score, Cobbett (racing to 6) downed Murphy (racing to 5) 6-2.
 
Raza then eliminated Cobbett 6-3 in those quarterfinals. Raza then had his loss-side streak ended by Brule in the semifinals, in a match that went double hill.
 
With Mathieu (B) racing to 6, and Brule (C+) racing to 5, Brule took the double elimination final’s opening set, giving up a single rack. Mathieu returned the favor in the second set, giving up a single rack in a 6-1 win that earned him the event title.
 
Tour director Marc Dionne thanked the ownership and staff at Yale Billiards, as well as sponsors Ozone Billiards, Molinari, Bert Kinister, AZBilliards, Inside English, Professor Q-Ball’s National Pool and 3-Cushion News, Delta 13 racks, MJS Construction, Bob Campbell, Championship Cloth, and OTLVISE Billiard Mechanics of America. The next stop on the New England 9-Ball Series (#17), scheduled for February 24, will be the $500-added Joe Brown Memorial Tournament, hosted by Buster’s Billiards in Somersworth, NH.

Candy Whalen goes undefeated to take New England 9-Ball Series stop in New Hampshire

Dennis Daniels, Candy Whalen and Randy Gilbert

One day after Rachel Lang went undefeated to claim a Tri-State Tour title in New Jersey (Sat., March 4), Candy Whalen chalked one up in New Hampshire with the New England 9-Ball Series. In the end, Whalen's victory (playing as a C-) came at the expense of (B player) Dennis Daniels, who had two shots at her in the hot seat match and finals, and fell short by the same score, both times. The $500-added Joe Brown Memorial event, drew 48 entrants to Buster's Billiards in Somersworth, NH.
 
In a straight-up race to 3 against fellow C- player, Randy Gilbert, Whalen survived a double hill fight in a winners' side semifinal to get into the hot seat match. She was met by Daniels, who'd defeated Dave Marcus, also double hill, in the other winners' side semifinal. With Daniels racing to 8, Whalen claimed the hot seat 4-6 and waited for him to get back from the event semifinals.
 
On the loss side, Gilbert picked up Marc Murphy (C-), who'd gotten by Roger Bowley 4-2 and Dorothy Gauvin 5-2, which, with Gauvin racing to 3, was double hill. Marcus drew fellow C+ player Josh Edmonds, who'd shut out Robert Whalen (playing as a B-), and given up only a single rack to another B-, Martin Flagg.
 
Gilbert downed Murphy 3-1, and was met in the quarterfinals by Edmonds, who, in a straight-up race to 4, had eliminated Marcus 4-1. With Edmonds racing to 5 in those quarterfinals, it was Gilbert who advanced to the semifinals with a 3-3 win. 
 
Daniels ended Gilbert's run with a decisive 7-1 victory in the semifinals and got a second chance against Whalen. Whalen, though, repeated her hot seat performance against Gilbert, claiming the event title with a second 4-6 win.
 
Tour director Marc Dionne, who was inducted into the New England Pool & Billiards Hall of Fame during ceremonies in Rhode Island on the Friday before this event, thanked the ownership and staff at Buster's Billiards, as well as sponsors Ozone Billiards, Molinari, Bert Kinister, AzBilliards, Inside English, Professor Q-ball’s National Pool and 3-Cushion News, Delta-13 Racks, Bob Campbell, Championship Cloth, and OTLVISE Billiard Mechanics of America.  The next stop on the New England 9-Ball Series, scheduled for the weekend of March 25-26, will be the $2,000-added Players Championship, hosted by Yale Billiards in Wallingford, CT.