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Souvanthong over Casanzio for fifth Joss Tour Win

Ron Casanzio, Mike Zuglan and Bucky Souvanthong

While the main storyline all year on the Joss NE 9-Ball Tour has been the performance of Bucky Souvanthong, winning four tour stops and competing in the finals of two others, one other storyline has been the rivalry between Souvanthong and Ron Casanzio. Casanzio won the first stop on the tour this season at East Ridge Billiards, defeating Souvanthong in the finals. Souvanthong returned the favor, defeating Casanzio in the finals of stop 4 at Diamond Billiards in Rochester. These two competitors renewed their rivalry, facing off against each other three times at the Brickhouse Billiards tour stop on March 19th and 20th.

Souvanthong and Casanzio made it through the field of 50 players undefeated on Saturday. Casanzio had wins over Ryan Smith, Mike Armstrong, Geoff Montgomery, and Sean Zeng, while Souvanthong had wins over Dennis Gaetano, Bill Goodman, Aaron Greenwood, and Len Gianfrate. Casanzio’s day one performance was notable for the dominating fashion in which he put away his opponents. Two of Casanzio’s four wins were 9-0 shutouts, and the three racks he gave up to Zeng was the most anyone got against him on day one.

Sunday kicked off with Souvanthong and Casanzio facing off in their first matches of the day. It was another battle between these two players, won by Souvanthong this time, 9-7. Souvanthong then defeated Mark Creamer for the hot-seat 9-6.

On the one-loss side, Casanzio ran into familiar opponents as he handed Greenwood and then Zeng their second losses of the day. He went on to send Creamer home in 3rd place with a 7-3 semifinal loss.

If Souvanthong thought the finals would be easy, he received a quick reminder that Casanzio had other plans, as Casanzio crushed Souvanthong 9-1 in the first set of the double-elimination finals. The second set was a different matter though, with Souvanthong scoring a quick 7-2 win for his fifth win on the Joss Tour season.

Sunday’s second chance tournament saw Bill Goodman turn in an undefeated run through the field of 13 players. Goodman had wins over John Reardon, Dave Copperwheat, Nick Coppola, Ron Ince, and then Josh Welsh in the finals. In addition to the $300 first prize that Goodman won in the second chance tournament, he also won the cue raffle for the weekend, winning a custom engraved Joss Cue.

The Joss NE 9-Ball Tour will be at Utica Billiards on the Boulevard for the next stop on April 2nd and 3rd.

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Souvanthong Wins Third Joss NE 9-Ball Tour Stop of the Season

Room Owner Andrea Duvall, Bucky Souvanthong and Jamie Garrett

The Joss NE 9-Ball Tour returned from its mid-season “Turning Stone” break over the weekend of February 5th – 6th and things looked pretty similar at Utica Billiards on the Boulevard in Utica, NY as they did before the break. Once again, it was tour points leader Bucky Souvanthong turning in an undefeated performance to add another tour stop win to his impressive resume.

Souvanthong has a perfect record in the five Joss Tour Stops he has played in this season, competing in the finals of all five. This week, it was Jamie Garrett stepping up from the field of 41 players to try to stop Souvanthong. Garrett had Saturday wins over Jed Jecen, Dave Copperwheat, and Tyler Arnold. He came back on Sunday and won a tough 9-7 match with Damon Sobers to get to the hot-seat match.

Souvanthong had wins over Bob Merkert, Maury Cotter, Sam Marranca, and Jason Reese on Saturday, and then kicked off Sunday with a 9-3 win over Len Gianfrate. The hot-seat match was a well disputed one, with Souvanthong coming out on top 9-7.

Garrett wasn’t going to go down without a fight on this weekend, as he eliminated Gianfrate 7-6 to earn another shot at Souvanthong in the finals.

While Bucky was the story going into the finals, Garrett has had a great season on the tour himself. With two fourth-place finishes on tour already, combined with a seventh-place finish back in October, Garrett knew he already had his best career finish in the bag. That would have to be enough for him this time, as Souvanthong won the first set of the finals 9-4 for his third tour win this season.

Sunday’s Second Chance tournament saw Aaron Greenwood with an undefeated win of his own. Greenwood had a hill-hill scare against Mike Armstrong in his first match of the day but followed that win up with another four match wins by a combined score of 12-2. The hot-seat match was a 3-0 win over Glen Van Court and the finals were a 3-1 win over Bill Goodman for first place.

The Joss NE 9-Ball Tour will take this weekend off, but will be back in action on February 19th – 20th for the Northeast 9-Ball Open XXXIII at Sharpshooters Billiards & Sports Pub in Amsterdam, NY.

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Souvanthong Wins Second Joss Tour Stop of the Season

Bucky Souvanthong, Diamond Billiards owner Fran Imburgia and Ron Casanzio

In the first three Joss NE 9-Ball Tour stops of the young season, Bucky Souvanthong has played in the finals of all three, and won one. He kept that record intact over the weekend at stop four at Diamond Billiards Bar & Grill in Rochester, NY. 

Souvanthong had Saturday wins over Joe Wysocki, Marco Kam and Rohit Aggarwal to qualify as one of the finale four undefeated players. He came back on Sunday to face Dan Sharlow on one side of the winner’s bracket, while Ron Casanzio took on Nick Coppola on the other. Souvanthong and Casanzio both scored 9-3 wins to earn themselves each a spot in the hot-seat match. Casanzio then went on to take the hot-seat, sending Souvanthong to the one loss side, by the score of 9-7. 

Souvanthong found Nate Marshall waiting on the left side of the board. Marshall had dropped a hill-hill decision to Sharlow in the first round on Saturday, but then went on to win seven straight on the one loss side. Any hopes of extending that streak to eight was quickly extinguished by Souvanthong in a 7-2 semi-final match. 

The Souvanthong / Casanzio final match was not only a rematch of the hot-seat match, but also a rematch of the finals from stop one at East Ridge Billiards back on October 3rd. In that event, Casanzio double dipped Souvanthong and Bucky would get his revenge this time, by double dipping Casanzio 9-8 and 7-2 for his second tour stop win of the season. 

In Sunday’s second chance tournament, it was George Lashoff coming back from the one loss side to double dip the hot-seat occupant in the finals. That hot-seat winner was Joe Wysocki, who had sent Lashoff to the one loss side in the quarter finals. Wysocki went on to defeat Marco Kam for the hot-seat 3-2, while Lashoff had wins over Fran Imburgia, Mike Renshaw and Kam on the left side. Lashoff won the first set of the finals 3-0 and the second set by a score of 3-2. The win was Lashoff’s first win (and first cash) on the Joss NE 9-Ball Tour. 

The Joss NE 9-Ball Tour will be at American Pool and Billiards in Portland, Maine this weekend for another $1500/$500 added event.

Souvanthong Cruises at Joss NE 9-Ball Tour Stop 2

Bucky Souvanthong, Brickhouse Billiards Owner Brian Holmes and Len Gianfrate

At the first stop on the Joss NE 9-Ball Tour back on October 2nd and 3rd, Ron Casanzio came through the one loss side to steal first place from Bucky Souvanthong. On the second stop of the season, at Brick House Billiards in Syracuse, Casanzio was no where in sight and no one could stop Souvanthong. 

Souvanthong was one of the few players to miss an opening round bye in the field of 38 players, and he kicked things off with a 9-5 win over Tim Davis. He followed that up with another 9-5 win over Ray Ortiz, and he pretty much cruised from there. A 9-0 win over Mike Houppert and a 9-4 win over Nick Coppola finished off Saturday play for Souvanthong.

Sunday dawned with Souvanthong facing Jamie Garrett on one side of the brackets, and Len Gianfrate taking on Nick Brucato on the other. Gianfrate won a tight 9-7 match over Brucato and Souvanthong scored a much more comfortable 9-4 win over Garrett. Souvanthong then went on and took the hot-seat with a 9-3 win over Gianfrate.

On the one loss side, Rohit Aggarwal was a “man on a mission”. He had dropped his first round match to Tim Feathers hill-hill, but fought back with five straight wins on the left side of the board, three of those wins being hill-hill affairs. Aggarwal came back on Sunday for a forfeit win over Bryan McDaniel and then another hill-hill win, this time over Brucato. Aggarwal then defeated Garrett 7-4 to earn his shot against Gianfrate in the semi-finals.

Any momentum that Aggarwal had gained with his run of nine straight match wins was stifled immediately, with Gianfrate ending Aggarwal’s run with a 7-0 whitewash. 

The final match, a rematch between Souvanthong and Gianfrate, looked a lot like their first meeting with Souvanthong winning it by a comfortable 9-4 margin. 

Sundays second chance tournament saw Aaron Greenwood take the hot-seat with wins over Jason Reese, Doug Wells, Nick Coppola and Nate Marshall. Marshall earned a hill-hill win over Coppola in the semi-finals to earn another shot at Greenwood in the finals. Marshall handed Greenwood his first loss of the day in the first set of the finals with a 3-1 scoreline, but Greenwood bounced back to take the second set 3-2, for first place. 

The Joss NE 9-Ball Tour is back in action this weekend with another $1500/$500 added event at Utica Billiards on the Boulevard in Utica, NY. 

Sean Zeng Breaks Through For First Joss Tour Win

Len Gianfrate and Sean Zeng

Sean Zeng has made a habit of cashing in one Joss NE 9-Ball Tour stop per year. He finished in 7th place at Eastridge Billiards in 2018, 2nd in the second chance tournament at Diamond Billiards in 2019 and 4th at Sharpshooters early last year. Each finish was progressively better each year as far as prize money, but if you are only going to cash in one tour stop a year, you may as well shoot for the moon. He hit the moon at the Joss NE 9-Ball Tour stop at Brickhouse Billiards in Syracuse, NY on June 26th and 27th.

Zeng was one of the forty eight players who competed in this, the second “post covid” stop on the tour. He kicked things off with a win over Jordan Turner and then turned in back to back hill-hill wins over Mike Lally and Bucky Souvanthong. A must less stressful 9-4 win over Tony Antone sent Zeng into Sunday play undefeated.

Zeng kept up his winning ways on Sunday with a 9-4 win over Rohit Aggarwal. On the opposite side of the board, Len Gianfrate had a little more of a problem with Marko Clarke, but won the match 9-7. Zeng would then beat Gianfrate by that same 9-7 scoreline.

On the one loss side, two early tournament favorites were heading towards a showdown. Both Ron Casanzio and Souvanthong had lost their third round matches on Saturday. Souvanthong to Zeng and Casanzio to Dave Grau in a 9-1 match he would likely prefer to forget.

Casanzio and Souvanthong both had five straight match wins on the left side of the board, and faced off against each other for third place. As expected, that match was a close one, that went to Casanzio 7-6. Casanzio would have to settle for second place though, as he then lost to Gianfrate in the semi-final match 7-5.

The rematch between Zeng and Gianfrate only went one set, with Zeng scoring another 9-7 win for his first Joss NE 9-Ball Tour victory.

Sunday’s second chance tournament saw nineteen players looking for their share of $500 in added prize money. The winner’s side came down to Dan Sharlow and Dave Ricci, with Ricci taking the hot-seat 3-1. After Sharlow eliminated Jim Kearney on the one loss side, he came back and avenged his earlier loss with a 3-1 win over Ricci in the first set of the finals. The second set went to Ricci with another 3-1 scoreline for first place.

The Joss NE 9-Ball Tour will take the 4th of July weekend off, and get back to their next event at Utica Billiards on the Boulevard in Utica, NY on July 10th – 11th.

WPBA Stars Continue Success at Turning Stone Classic XXXIII

Caroline Pao, Jennifer Barretta and Jia Li (Erwin Dionisio)

For three of the match winners from day one at the Turning Stone Classic XXXIII, it is just a continuation of the success they had a week earlier at the WPBA Ashton Twins Classic in Calgary.

Jennifer Barretta, Jia Li and Caroline Pao all turned in top 10 finishes in Canada and will enter day two of this week’s Turning Stone Classic on the winner’s side.

Barretta, currently ranked #1 on the WPBA tour, was in prime position to win the Canadian event after she took the hot-seat from Allison Fisher, but she would settle for second place after dropping the final match to Fisher. Barretta started out her Turning Stone campaign with a dominating 9-3 win over Eric Cloutier.

Jia Li survived a hill-hill battle with Randy Labonte on day one at Turning Stone, but the path won’t get any easier as she faces Johnny Archer in her first match of the day on Friday.

Caroline Pao scored a convincing 9-5 win over Devin Buttle on Thursday and will face Len Gianfrate in her first match of the day on Friday.

The Turning Stone Classic XXXIII takes place at the Turning Stone Resort & Casino in Verona, NY with 128 players competing for over $40,000 in prize money. Fans can watch select matches as part of the online streaming coverage presented by Upstate Al, and AzBilliards is providing online brackets and real time scoring for the duration of the event.

Casanzio Takes Joss NE 9-Ball Tour Win Undefeated

Ron Casanzio, Room Owner’s Son Jeremiah Imburgia and Bruce Nagle

As it turns out, building a sizable winning stream of Joss NE 9-Ball Tour stops is a difficult proposition. Bucky Souvanthong came into Diamond Billiard Bar & Grill in Rochester NY, on November 2nd and 3rd looking to add to his two stop winning streak. Lyn Wechsler and Jeremiah Imburgia had other plans though, as they eliminated Souvanthong from play on day one of the event. 
 
Having more success on this weekend were Len Gianfrate, Dave Mills, Bruce Nagle and Ron Casanzio, who all escaped Saturday play undefeated. On Sunday, Gianfrate defeated Mills 9-5 and Casanzio beat Nagle 9-6. Casanzio then went on to send Gianfrate to the one loss side in the hot-seat match 9-3.
 
On the one loss side, both players coming over from the right side on Sunday won their matches with Nagle over Imburgia and Mills over Wechsler. Nagle then went on to eliminate Mills 7-4 and Gianfrate 7-6.
 
The finals went one set with Casanzio staying unbeaten and defeating Nagle 9-4 for first place. 
 
Sunday’s second chance tournament saw Qais Kolee in the hot-seat with a 3-0 win over Dan Sharlow. Sharlow then dropped the semi-final match to Sean Zeng. Zeng won the first set of the finals 3-2, but Kolee won the second set 3-0 for first place. 

Turning Stone Classic XXXII – – Loree Jon Hasson vs Len Gianfrate

Strickland’s Win Over Van Boening highlights Turning Stone Classic Day Three

Earl Strickland (Erwin Dionisio)

Earl Strickland proved that he has more than enough firepower to compete with the top players in the game, with his 9-5 win over Shane Van Boening on the streaming table Saturday night at the Turning Stone Classic XXXII in Verona, NY. 
 
The crowd was anticipating a battle, but they might not have been ready for the intensity and focus that Strickland brought to the match. Strickland took an early 5-0 lead, and the players exchanged multiple table runs, capitalizing on any opportunity that the other player allowed them. Strickland’s last obstacle before the hot-seat match will be Thorsten Hohmann, who has been (as he usually does) quietly winning matches. Hohmann already has wins over Billy Thorpe and Shaun Wilkie in this event, and a win over Strickland would leave him facing either Jayson Shaw or Brandon Shuff for the hot-seat. 
 
Meanwhile, on the one loss side, Thorpe will face Frankie Hernandez. Hernandez has been away from the big stage for a while, but his stroke appears to still be the same. He lost a third round match to Shaw hill-hill, but has already won five straight matches on the left side of the board, including wins over Donnie Mills, Qais Kolee and Loree Jon Hasson. The other match on the one loss side will see Van Boening face Rafael Dabreo. Van Boening came back from his loss to Strickland with a 9-4 win over Len Gianfrate, but Dabreo has been having a great tournament with wins over Danny Hewitt and Wilkie to his credit. 
 
All of the action gets underway at 11:00 Eastern Time and we have complete coverage of the event with Upstate Al providing a free stream, while we provide online brackets and real time scoring for the event. 

Turning Stone Classic XXXII Underway

Jayson Shaw (File photo courtesy of Dave Thomson – Medium Pool)

The Turning Stone Classic XXXII kicks off today at the Turning Stone Casino in Verona, NY. 
 
Reigning champion Jayson Shaw is once again in attendance, along with four time winner Shane Van Boening, six time winner Johnny ArcherMika Immonen, Earl Strickland, Thorsten Hohmann, Brandon Shuff, Danny Hewitt, Frankie Hernandez and Erik Hjorleifson.
 
Brackets are online and we will be covering this event with real time scoring all weekend long. For those who can’t make it to Turning Stone, Upstate Al will be providing a free live stream of feature matches for the entire event. 
 
Today’s streaming matches are:
4:00 PM Matt Tetreault vs Zion Zvi
6:00 Chris Pyle vs Earl Strickland
8:00 Frankie Hernandez vs Matt Krah
10:00 Len Gianfrate vs Loree Jon Jones