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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.

Levesque goes undefeated in unhandicapped stop on the NE 9-Ball Series

(l to r): Charlie Matarazzo, Dennis Levesque & Lukas Fracasso-Verner

For stop #21 on the New England 9-Ball Series, the ‘training wheels,’ known as handicaps, were removed. The 24 entrants who signed on for the Saturday, March 31 event, hosted by Straight Shooters in Fall River, MA, were, as usual, split into upper and lower brackets at the start; B or higher players in an upper bracket, racing to 6, and C+ or lower players, in a lower bracket, racing to 5. The brackets came together in the hot seat match and quarterfinals. Dennis Levesque, working in the upper bracket, went undefeated through the field to claim the event title.
Levesque faced separate opponents in the hot seat and finals of this event. He won three straight 6-4 victories to advance to a winners’ side semifinal against Mike Cote, as Charlie Matarazzo and Derek Oliveira squared off in the other winners’ side semifinal. Levesque downed Cote 6-3, and in the hot seat match, faced Matarazzo, who’d sent Oliveira to the loss side 5-3. Levesque gave up only a single rack to Matarazzo in the race-to-5 battle for the hot seat.
On the loss side, Levesque’s opponent in the finals, Lukas Fracasso-Verner, was working on a seven-match, loss-side winning streak that started when John Ferreira sent him to the loss side 6-4 in the event’s opening round. Fracasso-Verner was awarded a bye in his first loss-side round, and after his first two loss-side wins, he ran into Ferreira for a re-match. He eliminated Ferreira 6-4, and survived a double hill battle against Rich Senna to draw Cote, coming over from the winners’ side semifinal. Oliveira drew David Melancon, who’d defeated Anthony Petruzelli 5-2 and Buddy Oldham 5-3 to reach him.
Fracasso-Verner and Melancon handed Cote and Oliveira their second straight losses, both by shutout. In the now-joined brackets in the quarterfinals, Fracasso-Verner downed Melancon 5-2, and then, defeated Matarazzo 5-1 in the semifinals. In what would have been a straight-up race to 5 in any event, the two A players, Fracasso-Verner and Levesque squared off in the finals. Levesque won the first, and only set necessary 5-2 to claim the event title.
Tour director Marc Dionne thanked the ownership and staff at Straight Shooters, 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 (#22), scheduled for April 8, will be a Partners Tournament, hosted by Snookers in Providence, RI.