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New England 9-Ball Series Cancels Remainder of Season

Greetings to all the members and fans of The New England 9 Ball Series. We hope you and your families are doing well and everyone is staying healthy.
 
Due to the uncertainty concerning when pool halls will be re-opening and in what form businesses will be allowed to operate in all the states in which the tour runs we will unfortunately be cancelling the remainder of the 2019-2020 season.
 
We currently plan to start the 2020-2021 season in September. However, this will be dependent on in what capacity businesses will be allowed to start resuming operations as well as how comfortable players feel about returning to pool halls for tournaments. We all love and miss pool and we are committed to resuming events as soon as it is feasible and relatively safe for the staff and players. Hopefully we will have more information later in the summer as states begin to re-open.
 
Anyone who has pre-paid for events this season will receive a credit for the 2020-2021 season. If a refund is preferred please contact Marc Dionne directly.
 
All prize money already collected for the Tour Championship ($5 per player per event) will be added the 2020-2021 Winter Classic and Tour Championship events.
 
We appreciate your continued support and hope to see everyone again soon. As always if there are any questions please contact:
 
Marc Dionne
 

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.

Dupuis double dips Kantaravic to win Lucky Stop #13, Mark Young Memorial, on NE 9-Ball

(l to r): Suad Kantaravic, Bill O’Mara & Joe Dupuis

Joe Dupuis and Suad Kantaravic, winner and runner-up at the Mark Young Memorial, Stop #13 on the New England 9-Ball Series this past weekend (Feb. 15-16), have long pool resumes; Kantaravic, with recorded cash winnings dating back to 2000 and Dupuis, a little shorter, going back (in our records) to 2005. Dupuis’ record, however, is substantially more active, with three cash finishes this year alone and more in the past two years (7) than Kantaravic has recorded since 2000. This disparity, however, did not interfere with Kantaravic’ march to the hot seat, to include an early victory over Dupuis, although it may have had something to do with Dupuis’ return from the loss side and his two-set victory over Kantaravic in the finals. The $1,000-added event drew 49 entrants to Straight Shooters Family Billiards in Fall River, MA.

Dupuis was just cruising along in the early going of this event. In the upper bracket, he faced three opponents (Carlo Cifiello, Saba Khundadze and Ed “Corky” Courtney) and gave up only four racks, total, to all three of them in his first 28 games. Then, in a winners’ side quarterfinal, he ran into Kantaravic for the first time. Kantaravic, at that point, had, following an opening round bye, played 18 games and given up five racks to two opponents (Rich Senna and Derek Cunningham). This time, it was Dupuis who was held to a single rack. Kantaravic advanced 6-1 to a winners’ side semifinal against Henry Leighton. From the lower bracket, Bill O’Mara and Paul Soucy emerged to face off in the other winners’ side semifinal.

Kantaravic and O’Mara, each gave up only a single rack to their respective opponents. Kantaravic, in a straight up race to 6, gave up the one to Leighton, while O’Mara, in a straight up race to 5, gave one up to Soucy. O’Mara, sporting a Fargo Rate nearly 200 points lower than Kantaravic (518/702) began the hot seat match with five ‘beads on the wire’ in a race to 9. He added three to those five to tie the score at 8-8, before Kantaravic chalked up the final rack to claim the hot seat.

On the loss side, Dupuis (699) opened up his five-match, loss-side trip back to the finals with a double hill win (5-3) over Rich Senna, followed that up with a 5-2 win over Paul Laverdiere and drew Leighton, coming over from the winners’ side semifinal. Soucy picked up Scott Reynolds, who’d defeated Tyler Boudreau 4-2 and leapfrogged to Soucy when Andrew DeChristopher forfeited a match.

Dupuis and Reynolds handed Leighton and Soucy their second straight loss; Dupuis over Leighton 5-1 and Reynolds over Soucy 4-1. Reynolds opened the quarterfinals with four ‘beads on the wire’ in a race to 8. Dupuis defeated him 8-4 and then, shut out Bill O’Mara in the semifinals.

With the wind of momentum from his semifinal win over O’Mara continuing to fill his sails (so to speak), Dupuis took the opening set of the true double elimination final 6-3. Trading racks back and forth, they battled to double hill in the second set before Dupuis dropped the final 9-ball to win the set and claim the event title.

Tour director Marc Dionne thanked the ownership and staff at Straight Shooters Family Billiards, as well as title sponsor 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 NE 9-Ball Series (#14), scheduled for Saturday, February 22, will be a $500-added event, hosted by Legends Sports Bar in Lewiston, ME.

Caesar double dips Fracasso-Verner to capture NE 9-Ball Series’ 2020 Winter Classic

(l to r): Lukas Fracasso-Verner, TD Marc Dionne, Josh Caesar & Ryan Lineham

Until this past weekend (Jan. 25-26), Josh Caesar had cashed in exactly five events on the New England 9-Ball Series. His name started cropping on our database (generally indicative of cash winnings) in January of 2018, when he finished 9th in that year’s Winter Classic. He cashed in only one other event that year (that we know about), the 2018 Tour Championship in September. Last year, he cashed in three of the tour’s events, winning one of them in February and tripling his recorded cash earnings from the year before.
 
In the finals of this year’s Winter Classic, held this past weekend, Caesar faced an opponent who’d cashed in three times as many events as he (Caesar) did last year and earned nearly six times as much money. Lukas Fracasso-Verner had won two stops on last year’s tour, was runner-up in the Player’s Championship and overall, had cashed in seven tour events. He’d also won the Predator Pro Am Tour’s Empire State Championship and was third at the Ocean State 9-Ball Championship, held under the auspices of the Joss NE 9-Ball Tour. All in all a prodigious resume for a player with somewhat limited experience to be facing in the finals of an event.
 
Caesar faced Fracasso-Verner three times in this event; battling for the hot seat and twice in the finals. He took the last two of those three to claim the 2020 Winter Classic title. The $2,000-added Winter Classic drew 127 entrants (15 more than it did last year) to Snooker’s in Providence, RI.
 
Working initially from the lower (FargoRate) bracket, Caesar opened his trek to the hot seat match with three, straight-up races to 5 in which he defeated Matt Caissie 5-2, shut out Mike Zingarella and sent Dennis Boucher to the loss side 5-3. He then downed three straight opponents, double hill, to get into that hot seat match – Kyle King, Phil Walton, and in the winners’ side semifinal, Bob Campbell. Fracasso-Verner, in the meantime, got by Billy Lanna 6-3, Jay Duffin 8-2, Beau Powers 6-2 and then, like Caesar, won two straight double hill matches against Kerry McAuliffe and Roarke Dickson to get into his winners’ side semifinal against Derrick Cunningham. Unlike Caesar, though, Fracasso-Verner shut Cunningham out in his winners’ side semifinal, and then, claimed the hot seat 8-2 over Caesar, who was racing to 4.
 
On the loss side, which was still featuring separated upper and lower bracket matches, Cunningham drew RYan Lineham, who’d eliminated Roarke Dickson 5-2 and Chad Avallone 6-1 to reach him. Campbell picked up Scott Reynolds, who’d recently defeated Ed Cortney, double hill and Philip Walton 4-2. Lineham and Reynolds advanced to the quarterfinals, after handing Cunningham and Campbell their second straight loss; Lineham 5-1 over Cunningham and Reynolds, shutting out Campbell.
 
Lineham, who battled and defeated Fracasso-Verner in the finals of a Second Chance 10-Ball event at last year’s Classic, was in the midst of a six-match, loss-side winning streak that he no doubt assumed would give him a shot at Fracasso-Verner in the hot seat and potentially, the 2020 Winter Classic title. He won his sixth loss-side match in the quarterfinals, surviving a double hill battle against Reynolds, but the much-lower-handicapped Caesar ended the streak 4-2 in the semifinals (Reynolds racing to 8).
 
Caesar started and would play the true double elimination final with four ‘beads on the wire’ in a race to 8. He chalked up his first four racks while holding Fracasso-Verner to two and claimed the opening set. Fracasso-Verner put up a hell of a fight in the second set, forcing an 11th and deciding game. Caesar won it to claim his second NE 9-Ball Series title and his first Winter Classic.
 
Tour director Marc Dionne thanked the ownership and staff at Snooker’s, as well as title sponsor 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 (#13), scheduled for Feb. 15-16, will be the $1,000-added Mark Young Memorial, hosted by Straight Shooters in Fall River, MA.

Lewis and Staples split top prizes on NE 9-Ball Series Stop #10 at Yale Billiards

Stop #11 to offer chance to win two all-expenses paid trips to BCAPL World Championships

(l to r): Ken Stopa, Bob Lewis & Josh Staples

Last January, Bob Lewis chalked up his first and most recent cash finish on the New England 9-Ball Series. It was also, according to our records, his first cash finish in anything since 2011, when he finished 5th on a Joss Tour stop and 17th at Turning Stone XVII. He was runner-up to Lukas Fracasso-Verner in the event last January and it appears as though it whetted his appetite for more competition, because this past weekend (Saturday, Jan. 4), he competed again on the New England 9-Ball Series and won*. As the undefeated occupant of the hot seat at the end, he became the official winner when he and Josh Staples opted out of playing a final match. The $500-added event drew 23 entrants to Yale Billiards in Wallingford, CT.

Lewis’ five-match march to the winners’ circle in the event’s upper bracket (FargoRate of 643) went through Ben Archer 6-3, Paul Soucy 7-2 and Tim Lavigne 7-1, to arrive at a winners’ side semifinal matchup against Ryan Cullen. In the lower bracket, Ken Stopa (525), in the meantime, on his way to a hot seat match against Lewis, had defeated David Longo 5-1 and survived a double hill fight versus Anthony Petruzelli. Stopa now faced Mike Zingarella, who’d just sent Josh Staples (495) to the loss side 5-3, in the other winners’ side semifinal.

In a straight-up race to 6, Lewis downed Cullen 6-4. In a straight-up race to 5, Stopa defeated Zingarella, double hill, sending him to the loss side and an immediate rematch against Staples.  Lewis and Stopa battled to double hill before Lewis prevailed 7-3 (Stopa racing to 4) to claim the hot seat.

On the loss side, Zingarella ran right into his rematch against Josh Staples, who’d defeated Ryan McCrum 4-2 and Anthony Petruzelli 4-1 to reach him. Cullen picked up a rematch, as well, against Jim Gravel. They’d met in a winners’ side quarterfinal, won, double hill, by Cullen. Gravel then eliminated Lukas Fracasso-Verner (no small feat) 4-4 (Fracasso-Verner racing to 6) and Tim Lavigne 5-2.

Staples and Gravel handed Zingarella and Cullen their second straight loss; Staples executing a successful rematch, downing Zingarella, double hill, and Gravel eliminating Cullen 4-3 (Cullen racing to 6). In a 4-5 race, Staples won the quarterfinal match over Gravel 4-1.

Staples and Stopa then faced each other in a straight-up race to 4 semifinal that was the final match of the event. Staples prevailed 4-2. Staples and Lewis agree to the split and the day was done.

Tour director Marc Dionne thanked the ownership and staff at Yale Billiards, 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 and OTLVISE Billiard Mechanics of America.

The next stop on the New England 9-Ball Series (#11), scheduled for January 11, will feature two separate events; one for FargoRates of 525 and above and another for FargoRates of 524 and below (players must qualify to compete). The winner of each event will win an all-expenses paid trip to the BCAPL World Championships in Las Vegas in March.

Furness and Campbell split top Partner prizes with Rupard and Coates on NE 9-Ball Series

(l to r): Ricardo Diaz, Souheli Muraby, Jeff Furness, Bob Campbell, Elliot Coates & Josh Rupard

In what proved to be the only time they met and the match that decided the winning team, Jeff Furness and Bob Campbell, sporting a FargoRate of 520, defeated Josh Rupard and Elliot Coates, with a FargoRate of 593, in the hot seat match of the New England 9-Ball Series’ Partners’ Tournament, held on Sunday, December 15. The event drew 55, two-person teams to Crow’s Nest in Plaistow, NH.
 
As with all NE 9-Ball Series events, the 55 teams were split into separate upper and lower FargoRated brackets at the outset. Rupard and Coates advanced through their first four matches and gave up only a total of five racks; two, in their opening match and one each in the other three. This set them up to face Beau Powers and Ben Savoie, also FargoRated at 593, in the Upper Bracket’s winners’ side semifinal. Powers and Savoie were challenged in their four opening matches and came to the winners’ side semifinal with an aggregate score of 20-13 and having survived two double hill matches.
 
The lower bracket winners’ side semifinal featured eventual winners Furness and Campbell, who’d opened their campaign with a shutout and then had to battle to double hill twice (4-3 both times) and 5-3 once to meet Shawn Ingham and Michael Beauchesne in their winners’ side semifinal.
 
Furness/Campbell advanced to the hot seat match with a 6-2 win over Ingham/Beauchesne. They were joined by Rupard/Coates, who’d sent Powers and Savoie to the loss side 5-3. The 73-point differential in their FargoRates gave Furness/Campbell a single rack on the wire in a race to 5. They won it, downing Rupard/Coates 4-2.
 
On the loss side, Powers/Savoie picked up Lukas Fracasso-Verner and Scott Reynolds, a team with a FargoRate a scant six points ahead of their own (599-593), which created a straight-up race to 4. Fracasso-Verner/Reynolds had defeated the teams of Paulie Kazalski/Dominick Souza and Everett Belliveau/Dan McCaie, both 4-2 to reach Powers/Savoie. Ingham/Beauchesne drew Ricardo Diaz and Souheli Muraby, who’d eliminated the team of Troy Fortin/Dave Morrison, double hill (4-3) and then shut out Jay Cunningham and Mike Negrelli.
 
Powers/Savoie, in their straight-up race to 4, downed Fracasso-Verner/Reynolds 4-2 and in the quarterfinals, faced Diaz/Muraby, who’d ended Ingham/Beauchesne’s day 6-1. Two straight-up races to 4 followed. In the first, the quarterfinals, it was Diaz/Muraby advancing past Powers/Savoie 4-2.
 
In the second, which proved to be the final match of the event – the semifinals – Rupard/Coates downed Diaz/Muraby 4-1. The last two teams standing – Rupard/Coates and Furness/Campbell – agreed to split the top two prizes, leaving the undefeated Furness/Campbell team as the event’s official winners.
 
Tour director Marc Dionne thanked the ownership and staff at Crow’s Nest for their hospitality, as well as sponsors Predator Cues, BCAPL 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 with Lease Fundings, Master Billiards and OTLVISE Billiard Mechanics of America. The NE 9-Ball Series will commence the 2020 portion of its schedule with a $500-added event, scheduled for Saturday, January 4, at Yale Billiards in Wallingford, CT.

Webster double dips Fortin to take NE 9-Ball Series title

(l to r): Eli Davenport, Ross Webster & Troy Fortin

In something of an end-of-the-year dash to an imagined finish line, Ross Webster had already made 2019 his best earnings year to date, when he came back from a hot seat loss to double dip Troy Fortin in the finals of a November 30-December 1 stop on the New England 9-Ball Series. Webster’s only (recorded) cash finishes in 2019 began in September when he finished in the tie for 9th place at the New England 9-Ball Series’ Tour Championships. Two weeks later, he finished in 3rd place at the Joss Northeast 9-Ball Tour’s Maine Event XXIII, behind Jeremy Sossei and Joe Dupuis (Webster has won three Joss Tour Second Chance events since 2017). Separated by two weeks in October, he finished in the tie for 5th place at two more stops on the New England 9-Ball Series. According to our records, his win this past weekend marked his first major regional tour victory. The $1,000-added event drew 52 entrants to Legends Billiards in Auburn. ME.
 
After an opening round bye, Webster downed Jason Richard, Scott Martel and Dana Oulette to arrive at a winners’ side semifinal match against Tyler Campbell. Fortin, in the meantime, working in the lower bracket, defeated Gerry Gross, Bradley Nichols, Bob Lussier and Eli Davenport to reach his winners’ side semifinal matchup versus Jozy Vienneau.
 
Webster gave up just a single rack in a 7-1 victory over Campbell that put him in the hot seat match. Fortin joined him after surviving a double hill fight against Vienneau (7-4). Fortin locked up in a second straight double hill fight, battling for the hot seat and won it.
 
On the loss side, Campbell picked up Keith Trafton, who’d lost an opening round match to Stan Rupard and embarked on an eight-match, loss-side winning streak that would take him as far as the quarterfinals. He’d picked up loss-side wins #6 & #7 against Oulette (5-0) and Samoth Sam (5-2) to arrive at the battle for 5th/6th against Campbell. Vienneau drew Eli Davenport, who’d been sent to the loss side by Fortin and defeated Jason Seavey, double hill and Nathan Johnson 5-2 to reach Vienneau.
 
Trafton eliminated Campbell 5-2 and in the quarterfinals, faced Davenport, who’d defeated Vienneau 6-2. Davenport ended Trafton’s loss-side streak, double hill in those quarterfinals (4-5). Webster, in turn, ended Davenport’s four-match, loss-side streak with an 8-2 win in the semifinals.
 
With the wind at his back (so to speak), Webster sailed into the finals and claimed the opening set over Fortin without giving up a rack. Fortin was able to muster three of the four racks he needed to win the second rack and force a 12th, deciding game. Webster closed it to claim the event title.
 
Tour director Marc Dionne thanked the ownership and staff at Legends, 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 and OTLVISE Billiard Mechanics of America. The next stop on the New England 9-Ball Series, scheduled for Sunday, December 15, will be a Partners 9-Ball Tournament, hosted by Crow’s Nest in Plaistow, NH.

D’Alfonso and Ruzzano split top prizes on New England 9-Ball Series stop in Fall River, MA

Adam Blair, Tom D’Alfonso & Mark Ruzzano

It’s rare on the New England 9-Ball Series, but splits of the top prizes do happen. Case in point:  Stop #7 (2019-2020), hosted by Straight Shooters’ Family Billiards in Fall River, MA on Saturday, November 23. Tom D’Alfonso and Mark Ruzzano battled in the hot seat and were scheduled to meet again in the finals. They allowed their hot seat result to stand as the definitive answer to ‘who won,’ split the top two prizes, and left the undefeated D’Alfonso as the official winner. The $500-added event drew 48 entrants to Straight Shooters.

D’Alfonso was far and away the highest FargoRated player at the tables on this particular day. At 737, he was 102 points ahead of the next highest-ranked player in the field; Dennis Levesque at 635 and he didn’t play against him. In his six matches (to include Ruzzano twice), he faced an opponent-average FargoRate of 552.8. His highest-ranked opponent through six matches was Roarke Dickson (588) in a winners’ side quarterfinal, in which Dickson was awarded ‘four beads on the wire’ in a race to 8 and only added two, for an 8-2 actual score, or 8-6 handicap victory for D’Alfonso.

D’Alfonso advanced to face Antero Tavares (560) in one of the overall winners’ side semifinals (the tour keeps upper and lower rated players separated in the early matches). Mark Ruzzano, in the meantime, squared off against Adam Blair (505). D’Alfonso moved on to the hot seat (and what proved to be his final) match with his only double hill win of the day, 8-3, arriving at the hot seat match having given up only six racks through 39 games. Ruzzano, in a straight-up race to 5 sent Blair to the loss side 5-1. D’Alfonso claimed the hot seat 9-2.

On the loss side, two long loss-side streaks were about to come to an end. Tavares picked up Jim Prather, who, in the lower bracket, had been defeated in the opening round by Mark Ransom and was in the midst of a seven-match, loss-side winning streak that would take him as far as the overall quarterfinals. Along the way, he’d wreaked his vengeance on Ransom with a double hill win that left Ransom in the tie for 13th. Prather then downed Roarke Dickson and Matthew Rezendes, both 5-1, to meet Tavares.

Blair drew Mourad Idrais, who’d also been defeated in the event’s opening round (he was shut out by Mike Negrelli) and was on his own six-match, loss-side winning streak that was about to end. He’d recently defeated Souheil Muraby, double hill, and in a serious ‘vengeance is sweet’ scenario, returned the shut out ‘favor’ to Negrelli to meet Blair.

Prather downed Tavares, double hill (5-3) and in the quarterfinals, faced Blair, who’d ended Idrais’ loss-side streak 4-2. Blair then ended Prather’s run 4-2 (Prather racing to 6).

In a straight-up, race-to-5 semifinal, which proved to be the final match of the night, Ruzzano ended Blair’s short loss-side visit 5-3. He and D’Alfonso opted out of the final and as the undefeated occupant of the hot seat, D’Alfonso claimed the official event title.

Tour director Marc Dionne thanked the ownership and staff at Straight Shooters, 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 and OTLVISE Billiard Mechanics of America. The next stop on the New England 9-Ball Series, scheduled for Thanksgiving weekend (November 30 – December 1), will be a $1,000-added event, hosted by Legends Billiards in Auburn, ME.

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.