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Lower-bracket Downs holds off upper-bracket Emerson loss-side challenge on NE 9-Ball Series

Jordan Emerson, Andy Downs and Justin Bertrand

Jordan Emerson, initially competing in an upper bracket, almost made it back from a long loss-side run to win stop #11 on the New England 9-Ball Series, but Andy Downs, who began the tournament in the lower bracket, completed an undefeated run with two double hill victories in the hot seat match and finals to claim the event title. The $500-added event drew 36 entrants to Run ‘Em Racks in Johnston, RI on Saturday, May 8.

Downs began his title run the way he ended it, with a double hill win. He survived his opening match 5-4 over William Aley and then, defeated Joel Smith 5-3 and Ed Murray 7-2 to arrive at a winners’ side semifinal match against Heidi Rezendes. Meanwhile, Billy Lanna got by John Vitale 6-3 and then sent Jordan Emerson to the loss side 7-2 to draw Beau Powers in the other winners’ side semifinal.

Bertrand defeated Lanna, double hill (5-6), while Downs gave up only a single rack to Rezendes to join Betrand in the hot seat match. In a straight-up race to 6, Downs won his second double hill match of the tournament and claimed the hot seat over Bertrand.

On the loss side, Emerson had opened his journey back to the finals with 5-3 wins over Channing Thompson and Samantha Barrett. He then eliminated Clyde Matta, double hill, and Keith Platt 5-2, to draw Lanna, coming over from the winners’ side. Rezendes, in the meantime, drew Chuck Sampson, who’d defeated Ed Murray 5-3 and Kacey Devine 4-2 to reach her.

Over the next three matches, which would put him into the finals, Emerson gave up only four racks in 22 games. He gave up the first of those against Lanna, which put him in the quarterfinals against Rezendes, who’d survived a double hill bout versus Sampson.

Emerson gave up one more rack sending Rezendes to the proverbial showers in those quarterfinals and then, in his final hurdle to the finals, gave up two against Bertrand in the semifinals. 

Fargo Rate calculations would tell you that if Downs and Emerson faced off in a race to 6, 10 times, Emerson (with the higher Fargo rate; 575-527) would win seven times. They were apparently involved in one of the three percentage-hypothetical matches, because while Emerson battled him to double hill, Downs hung on to win the final game, set and match to claim the event title.

Tour director Marc Dionne thanked the ownership and staff at Run ‘Em Racks, as well as title sponsor Predator, Poison, Arcos II, BCAPL, USAPL New England, Fargo Rate, AzBilliards, Professor Q-ball’s National Pool and 3 Cushion News, MJS Construction, Master Billiards, OTLVISE, Piku Tips and Just The Tip Cue Repair and Custom Accessories. The next stop on the NE 9-Ball Series (#12), scheduled for Sunday, May 16th, will be a $500-added Partners Tournament, hosted by House of Billiards in Hampton Falls, NH.

Emerson comes from the loss side to down DeMarco in 8-ball event on the NE 9-Ball Series

Mike DeMarco, Jordan Emerson and William Aley

In a gritty come-from-the-loss side performance that belied his pool career resume, Jordan Emerson worked his way through a short field of 24 entrants at the April 25 stop (#9) on the New England 9-Ball Series. He returned from a three-match campaign on the loss side to down Mike DeMarco twice in the true double elimination final that earned him his first NE 9-Ball Series and tournament-anywhere title.

Our records indicate that Emerson and DeMarco have both competed on the same tours and New England-oriented events since about 2013. The difference, though, is that while they both came into this recent event with the exact same Fargo Rate of 575 and had joined the AZBilliards’ player database in the same year (2013), DeMarco had cashed in a total of 14 events since that time, while Emerson had cashed in only two. The last time Emerson brought cash home from a tournament before this past weekend (that we know about) was in 2013, when he finished 9th at the 25th Annual Ocean State 9-Ball Championships (won that year by Mike Dechaine, defeating Jayson Shaw in the finals). The $500-added 8-Ball event that earned Emerson his first major victory drew its 24 entrants to Straight Shooters in Fall River, MA.

The aforementioned “grit” that characterized Emerson’s trip to the winners’ circle this time was exemplified in his nine matches, all but two of which went either double hill or one game shy of becoming double hill. One of his three double hill matches was won by DeMarco. One of the matches he won by a wide margin (5-1) was his quarterfinal match against Phillip Russo, while the other wide-margin win, same margin, came against DeMarco in the first set of the double elimination final.

Following victories over Dave Soule 5-3, Jim Prather, double hill, and Derek Cunningham 5-3, Emerson faced DeMarco for the first time in a winners’ side semifinal. From the lower bracket, William Aley and Phillip Russo squared off in the other one.

A harbinger of things to come, Emerson and DeMarco battled to double hill before DeMarco dropped the last 8-ball and advanced to the hot seat match. He was joined by Aley, who’d defeated Russo 4-1. DeMarco shut Aley out and claimed the hot seat.

Emerson began his trip back to the finals against Francisco Cabral, sporting a 68-point higher Fargo rate (643-575), who was working on a modest, four-match, loss-side winning streak that had recently sent Justin Bertrand home after a double hill fight and defeated Matthew Rezendes 5-2. Russo picked up Barrett Ridley, who’d shut out both Amanda Reynolds and Sandra Kostant to reach him. 

Russo won a double hill fight versus Ridley and advanced to the quarterfinals. Emerson joined him after defeating Cabral 4-3 (Cabral racing to 5). In a straight-up race to 5, Emerson gave up only a single rack to Russo in their quarterfinal match, and then downed William Aley 5-3 in the semifinals for a shot at DeMarco in the hot seat.

Emerson opened his necessary two-match, last campaign against DeMarco by allowing him only a single rack in the opening set of their true double elimination final. DeMarco rose to the challenge and battled him to double hill in the second set before Emerson finished it to claim his first event title.

Tour director Marc Dionne thanked the ownership and staff at Straight Shooter’s for their hospitality, as well as sponsors Predator, Poison, Arcos II, BCAPL, USAPL New England, Fargo Rate, AzBilliards, Professor Q-ball’s National Pool and 3 Cushion News, MJS Construction, Master Billiards, OTLVISE, Piku Tips and Just The Tip Cue Repair and Custom Accessories. The next stop on the NE 9-Ball Series (#10), scheduled for this weekend (May 2), will be a $500-added event, hosted by House of Billiards in Hampton Falls, NH.

Wright wins eight on the loss-side to take J. Pechauer Ride the 9 Tour stop

Over his final seven matches on the J.Pechauer Ride the 9 Tour stop on Sunday, February 12, David Wright won (on average) over three out of every four games he played. All but two of those matches were recorded on the loss-side of the tournament bracket. The final two were the two sets of a double elimination final, in which he defeated Mike Selig to capture the event title. The $600-added event, named in the honor of Cleiton Rocha, drew 54 entrants (including Rocha) to Snookers, in Providence, RI.

Wright, a C+ player, was moved to the west bracket early in this one; by Dave Bowden, who eventually followed him over, though he managed to dodge Wright’s revenge, when he was knocked out during the matches that decided the tie for seventh place. Moving among the winners’ side final four were Selig, Jordan Emerson, Rob Ragusa and Billy Lanna. Selig sent Emerson to the loss side with a handicapped 4-4 win, as Ragusa did likewise to Lanna 3-3. Selig got into the hot seat with a shutout over Ragusa.

It was Emerson who moved over and ran into a streaking Wright, already with five notches on his loss-side belt, including wins over Bill Bassi and Josh Lerner, both 5-2. Lanna picked up Ty Speedwell, who’d defeated Josh Gormly 5-1 and shut out Bowden to reach him. Wright shut out Emerson to move into the quarterfinals and was joined by Lanna, who’d downed Speedwell 5-2.

Wright had six, loss-side wins behind him at this point. He chalked up # 7 with a 4-2 victory over Lanna, and completed his trip to the finals with a 5-2 victory over Ragusa in the semifinals. Over the next 13 games, which comprised the two sets of the double elimination final, Wright gave up only two racks (one in each set) over Selig to secure the event victory.

Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff of Snookers in Providence for their hospitality, as well as new players who joined the tour for this event. They also offered thanks to Narragansett Beer for sponsorship of the event and their contributions to the prize money, as well as co-sponsors J. Pechauer Cues, CueShark, Muellers, and Magic Rack (CSI).