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Hoke and Gaetani split top prizes on the NE 9-Ball Series

Frank Gaetani, Kenny Hoke & Antero Taveres

The two winners of the 6th stop on the NE 9-Ball Series, held this past weekend on Saturday, Nov. 14, drove to the event together and thanks (presumably) to an agreement at the end to split the top two prizes, they drove back together amicably. As the undefeated occupant of the hot seat at the time, Kenny Hoke became the official winner, while rideshare companion, Frank Gaetani, took the runner-up title. The $500-added event drew 36 entrants to Straight Shooters Family Billiards in Fall River, MA.

Both working in the lower bracket in the early going, they met first in a winners’ side semifinal. Hoke had gotten by Rich Ferrell 4-2 (Ferrell racing to 6) before running into two straight double hill matches that he won, against Sandra Kostant and Jared Forsberg. A subsequent 5-2 win over Ed Murray put him into the winners’ side semifinal against Gaetani. Gaetani, in the meantime, had been awarded an opening round bye, after which he defeated Ryan McCrum and Rob Rogan, both 5-1. A double hill win over Joe Arruda put him into the winners’ side semifinal against Hoke. Antero Tavares squared off against Matthew Rezendes in the other winners’ side semifinal.

In a straight-up race to 6, Tavares downed Rezendes 6-4. The one match Hoke and Gaetani did play went double hill before Hoke prevailed to challenge Tavares for the hot seat. He did so, convincingly. With Tavares racing to 8, Hoke played what proved to be his final match and shut him down 4-3.

Gaetani and Rezendes got right back to work on the loss side, playing in the first money round and handing Mark Ruzzano and Johnny Robles, respectively, their second straight loss. Ruzzano had eliminated Ed Murray 7-1 and Joe Arruda 5-3 to reach Gaetani. Robles had defeated Mike DeMarco, double hill, Roger Vivier 5-4 (Vivier racing to 7). Gaetani downed Ruzzano 5-2, as Rezendes was busy defeating Robles 6-2.

In the quarterfinals that followed, Gaetani made Rezendes’ loss-side trip a short one, winning the straight-up race to 6, 6-2. In a second straight-up race to 6 in the semifinals that followed, Gaetani eliminated Tavares 6-4.

Hoke and Gaetani then opted out of the final. As the undefeated occupant of the hot seat, Hoke claimed the official event title. 

Tour director Marc Dionne thanked the ownership and staff at Straight Shooters Family Billiards, as well as Predator, Poison, Arcos II, BCAPL, USAPL New England, Fargo Rate, AZBilliards, Inside English, Professor Q-Ball’s National Pool and 3-Cushion News, Bob Campbell, MJS Construction, Master Billiards, OTLVISE Billiard Mechanics of America, Piku Tips and Just the Tip Cue Repair and Custom Accessories.

The next stop on the New England 9-Ball Series, scheduled for Saturday, November 28, will be a $500-added event, hosted by Strokers Billiards in Pelham, NH.