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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.

Sossei Picks Up Where He Left Off On Joss NE 9-Ball Tour

Jeremy Sossei, Room Owner Lenore Chen and Bruce Nagle

Jeremy Sossei closed out last season on the Joss NE 9-Ball Tour with four straight regular season tour stop wins. He picked up right where he left off over the last two weeks with back to back wins in the first two tour stops of the new season. 
The new season kicked off on September 21st and 22nd at TJ’s Classic Billiards in Waterville, Maine. Sossei ran through the winner’s side on Saturday, dropping his final match of the day to Ross Webster 9-5. Sossei bounced back with Sunday wins over Michael Yednak and Jim Hayden before taking out his revenge on Webster 7-0 in the semi final match. Joey Dupuis was in the hot-seat after beating Webster and Sossei proceeded to double dip him 9-2 and 7-6 for his fifth straight regular season win. 
Sossei wasn’t done though, as he cruised through the field at stop two on September 28th – 29th at The Spot in Nanuet, New York. Sossei went undefeated and pretty much unchallenged. His 9-3 win over Bucky Souvanthong in the winner’s side final four was his closest match before the finals. He defeated Bruce Nagle for the hot-seat 9-1 and again 9-5 in the first set of the finals. 
The second chance tournament at TJ’s saw Robert Lee go undefeated with wins over Leroy Bedard for the hot-seat and Mark Ransom in the finals. The second chance tournament at The Spot featured another undefeated winner as Tom Acciavatti defeated Suzzie Wong for the hot-seat 3-2 and again 3-1 in the finals. 
Joss NE 9-Ball Tour director Mike Zuglan has been taking entries for the Turning Stone Classic XXXIII on January 9th – 12th and he urges interested players to get with him as soon as possible. The event (like all other Turning Stone Classic Events) will fill up with 128 players. 

White double dips Collins to win Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour in Myrtle Beach

(l to r): Billy Fowler & Hunter White

In its first visit to Shore Thing Billiards in Myrtle Beach, SC, the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour drew 54 entrants for a $500-added stop on the weekend of August 10-11. Billy Fowler worked his way through the field to claim the hot seat over former junior player Hunter White, but White came back from the semifinals to double dip Fowler in the finals and claim the event title.
Fowler had defeated Marty Free 8-2 to get into the hot seat match, as White was at work downing Zach Collins 8-4 to join him. Fowler claimed the hot seat over White 8-6 and waited on his return.
On the loss side, Collins picked up Collin Hall, who’d defeated BJ Hucks 7-4 and Jason Evans 7-7 (Evans racing to 9) to reach him. Free drew Anthony Vallario, who’d recently eliminated Donnie Stewart 6-2 and Mark Ransom 6-5 (Ransom racing to 7).
Vallario downed Free 6-6 (Free racing to 8) and was joined in the quarterfinals by Collins, who’d defeated Hall 6-5 (Hall racing to 7). Collins took the quarterfinal match over Vallario 6-2 to earn himself a rematch against White in the semifinals.
White, though, duplicated his effort against Collins in the winners’ side semifinal with an 8-4 win in the event semifinal. White and Fowler battled to double hill in the opening set of the true double elimination final. White took that opening set and then downed Fowler a second time 8-4 to claim the event title.
Tour directors Herman and Angela Parker thanked the ownership and staff at Shore Thing Billiards for their hospitality, as well as title sponsor Viking Cues, Bar Pool Tables, Delta 13 Racks, AZ Billiards and Professor Q-Ball. The next stop on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour, scheduled for this weekend (August 17-18), will be hosted by Shotmaker’s in Garner, NC.

Davis comes from the loss side to recapture NC State 10-Ball title

Mike Davis, Jr.

Mike Davis, Jr. won the first North Carolina State 10-Ball Open in 2015, going undefeated to claim that first NC State 10-Ball title. The following year, though he made it to the hot seat, he was defeated in the finals by Shannon Fitch. Last year, Davis won four on the loss side before he was met and defeated in the semifinals by Reymart Lim, who went on to capture the title. This year, on the weekend of July 13-14, Davis once again came from the loss side, and in a re-match against Lim in the finals, he re-captured the NC State title. Held under the auspices of the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour, the $500-added event drew 30 entrants to Brass Tap in Raleigh, NC.
The four competitors who squared off against each other in the two winners’ side semifinals ended up as the event’s top four finishers. Two of them, of course (the hot seat competitors), were guaranteed to be among the top three. The other two spots, especially given the competition on the loss side of this event, were up for grabs. Davis and defending champion Lim were two of the winners’ side semifinalists, while Justin Martin and the Q City 9-Ball Tour’s top winner over the past five years (JT Ringgold with 12 tour victories, including his latest, one week ago) squared off in the other one.
Lim sent Davis to the loss side 7-4, as Justin Martin gave up only a single rack to Ringgold. Lim claimed the hot seat 7-3 over Martin and waited on Davis’ return.
There were some familiar Southeast faces lurking on the loss side. Davis moved over and picked up one of them; BJ Ussery, who’d defeated Scott Roberts 7-2 and (another familiar competitor) BJ Hucks 7-5. Ringgold drew Jason Evans, who’d just eliminated Mark Ransom 7-1 and Kelly Farrar 7-2.
Davis and Ringgold advanced to the quarterfinals; Davis, 7-1 over Ussery and Ringgold, 7-3 over Evans. Ringgold’s effort to chalk up win #13 on this year’s Q City 9-Ball Tour was stopped by Davis, who defeated him 7-4. Davis then defeatEd Martin in the semifinals 7-2.
With one NC State 10-Ball title each to their credit, Davis and Lim met for a second time in the finals. The single race to 9 was characterized by some back and forth play that led to a number of tied scores, before Davis edged out in front to eventually win it 9-6.
Tour directors Herman and Angela Parker thanked the ownership and staff at Brass Tap for their hospitality, as well as title sponsor Viking Cues, Delta 13 Racks, AZBilliards and Professor Q Ball. The next stop on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour, scheduled for this weekend (July 20), will be hosted by the Clubhouse in Lynchburg, VA.

Dupuis wins seven on the loss side and double dips Perry to win 9th NE Hall of Fame 9-Ball

l to r: Joe Dupuis, Steve Goulding (owner of Snooker’s) and Tim Perry

Last year at the 8th Annual New England Pool & Billiard Hall of Fame Open 9-Ball tournament, Joe Dupuis advanced to the hot seat, only to be double-dipped by Zion Zvi in the finals. This year, Dupuis opted for the loss-side route at the 9th annual event and achieved better results. Sent to the loss side by the man he’d later (much later) face in the finals, Tim Perry, Dupuis won seven on the loss side to earn the re-match, win both sets of the double elimination final and claim the title he’d last won in 2014. The $2,500-added event drew 48 entrants to its regular venue, Snooker’s in Providence, RI.
Dupuis and Perry met first in the third round of play. They locked up in a double hill fight, that eventually sent Dupuis to the loss side. Perry advanced to a winners’ side quarterfinal against Ivaylo Petrov, which he won 9-6, moving him into a winners’ side semifinal against the Joss NE Tour’s current #4-ranked player, Bruce Nagle. Kyle Pepin and Jason Michas, in the meantime, squared off in the other winners’ side semifinal.
Perry downed Nagle 9-4, and in the hot seat match, faced Michas, who’d sent Pepin west 9-5. Perry got into the hot seat 9-5 over Michas, and waited on Dupuis’ return.
On the loss side, Dupuis’ trip back to the finals began against the Joss NE 9-Ball Tour’s #1-ranked player, and all-around tough draw, Jeremy Sossei. Sossei had been awarded a bye in the event’s opening round, and dropped his first match to Mark Ransom. On the loss side, he’d gotten by Bill Cote and Chuck Sampson before running into Dupuis, who ended his weekend with a 7-5 win. Things didn’t get any easier, either. Mike Minichello put up a double hill fight against Dupuis in the next loss-side round. Dupuis eliminated him and moved into the first money round.
Dupuis then defeated Mike Demarco 7-3 and in another double hill battle, Frank Hernandez, to draw Nagle, coming off his defeat in a winners’ side semifinal. Pepin, in the meantime, picked up Petrov, who, after his defeat at the hands of Perry in the winners’ side quarterfinal, had downed Clyde Matta 7-1 and Francisco Cabral 7-5.
Pepin advanced to the quarterfinals 7-5 over Petrov and was joined by Dupuis, who’d defeated Nagle 7-2. Dupuis got by Pepin 7-5 and then denied Michas a second shot at Perry in the hot seat with a 7-4 win in the semifinals.
Dupuis took the opening set of the double elimination final against Perry 9-6. Racing to 7 in the second set, Dupuis and Perry battled to 6-6, forcing a deciding game. Dupuis won it to claim his second New England Pool & Billiard Hall of Fame title.
A $500-added Second Chance event that drew 11 entrants saw another competitor, Mike Minichello, come from deep on the loss side to double dip the hot seat occupant, Mike Pettit. Minichello won four on the loss side, and was denied an opportunity to face the opponent who’d sent him there, Mark Ransom, when Ransom was defeated in the quarterfinals by Kevin Bauccio. Minichello went on to defeat Bauccio in the quarterfinals, Ranulf Tamba in the semifinals, and Mike Pettit, twice, in the finals; 3-1, 3-2.
Joss NE 9-Ball Tour director Mike Zuglan thanked Steve Goulding and his Snooker's staff for their hospitality, as well as sponsors Joss Cues, Simonis, Aramith,, Heidrich Custom Cues, AZBilliards, Billiards Press, and Turning Stone Resort and Casino. The next stop on the Joss Northeast 9-Ball Tour, scheduled for March 10-11, will be the $1,500-added Kevin Ketz Memorial ($500-added to Second Chance event), hosted by Trick Shot Billiards & Sports Club in Clifton Park, NY. Players are reminded that the following week’s event (March 17-18), originally scheduled to be hosted by King Smiley, will now be held at Hippo’s House of Billiards, in Yorkville, NY.