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Fracasso-Verner Beats Souvanthong and Casanzio For First Joss Tour Win

Ron Casanzio, room owner Andrea Duvall and Lukas Fracasso-Verner

Lukas Fracasso-Verner cruised through a field of fifty five other players to earn his first career Joss NE 9-Ball Tour title at Utica Billiards on the Boulevard in Utica, New York on April 2nd and 3rd. 

The story of the season has been the dominating play of Bucky Souvanthong, but Fracasso-Verner made an early statement on Saturday at this event, as he sent Souvanthong to the one loss side with a convincing 9-2 beating. Fracasso-Verner then went on to end his Saturday with an even more convincing 9-1 win over Marko Clarke.

Aside from Souvanthong, the second most dominating player on tour this season has been Ron Casanzio. Fracasso-Verner drew Casanzio in their first match on Sunday and didn’t miss a beat with a 9-6 win to remain undefeated. All that stood between Fracasso-Verner and the hot-seat was Nate Marshall, and that match didn’t last long, with Fracasso-Verner scoring a 9-4 win. 

On the one loss side, Souvanthong and Casanzio ran into each other on Sunday and it was Casanzio coming away with the win this time, by a 7-5 scoreline. A 7-4 win over Aaron Greenwood was followed up with a 7-0 drubbing of Marshall to earn Casanzio another shot at Fracasso-Verner in the finals. 

The double elimination final only went one set with Fracasso-Verner scoring a come-from-behind hill-hill win over Casanzio for what will undoubtedly be the first of many Joss NE 9-Ball Tour titles for the up and coming champion. 

Sunday’s second chance tournament was guaranteed a first time winner before the finals even got underway with local favorites Peter Servello and Brandon Fletcher both turning their first Joss Tour appearance into a match against each other in the finals. Servello had already beaten Fletcher once in the final four 3-2, and he won again with a 3-1 score in the finals. 

The Joss NE 9-Ball tour will be back in action this weekend with another $1500 added main event and $500 added second chance tournament at Yale Billiards in Wallingford, CT.

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Sossei over Souvanthong at Northeast 9-Ball Open XXXIII

Jeremy Sossei and Bucky Souvanthong

The biggest story on the Joss NE 9-Ball Tour this season has been the dominant run by tour points leader Bucky Souvanthong. Souvanthong has four first place finishes this season and has competed in the finals of every tour stop that he has played in. While he kept his string of finals appearances intact at the Northeast 9-Ball Open XXXIII held at Sharp Shooters Billiards and Sports Pub in Amsterdam, NY on February 19th – 20th, first place went to Jeremy Sossei instead of Souvanthong. 

Souvanthong and Sossei found themselves on the same side of the brackets in this 54 player event. Sossei had Saturday wins over Jason Collins, Jim Kearney, Tito Ortiz and Dawn Fox, while Souvanthong defeated Chris Tiru and Pat Fleming before being handed a lopsided 9-3 loss by Damon Sobers. 

Souvanthong came back on Sunday and took out his vengeance on the left side of the board. Tom Acciavatti fell 7-2, Bud Robideau lost 7-0 and Bruce Carroll took a 7-0 loss to Souvanthong. 

Back on the right side of the board, it was smooth sailing for Sossei with a 9-3 win over Sobers and then a 9-4 win over Marko Clarke for the hot-seat. Souvanthong had wins over Ron Casanzio and Clarke to earn his spot in the finals against Sossei but Sossei ended things before Souvanthong had any chance to get things going with a 9-2 win in the first (and only) set of the finals. 

Sundays second chance event saw Jim Kearney face off against Greg Bombard three times before a winner was declared. Kearney had a 3-0 win over Bombard for the hot-seat, but after a hill-hill battle with Joe Wysocki in the semi-finals, Bombard came back and handed Kearney a 3-0 loss in the first set of the double elimination finals. The rubber match went to Kearney by that same 3-0 scoreline for first place. 

The Joss NE 9-Ball Tour will take this weekend off and the come back on March 5th – 6th for the 12th N.E. Pool & Billiard Hall of Fame 9-Ball Open at Snookers Billiards Bar & Grill in Providence, Rhode Island. 

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Dabreo Earns First Career Joss Tour Win

Mike Zuglan, Raphael Dabreo, Tom D’Alfonso and Snookers Owner Steve Goulding

Raphael Dabreo earned his first career Joss NE 9-Ball Tour win over the weekend of March 2-3 with an undefeated run at the 10th New England Hall of Fame 9-Ball Open at Snookers Billiards in Providence, RI. 
 
After a hill-hill tester against Steve Mack in his second match of the day on Saturday, Dabreo finished day one of this event with a 9-5 win over Qais Kolee and then a 9-3 win over Marko Clarke. Joining Dabreo on the winner’s side on Sunday were Tom D’Alfonso, Austin Ross and Zion Zvi. Dabreo sent Zvi to the one loss side Sunday morning 9-6 and then took the hot-seat with a 9-3 win over D’Alfonso.
 
Ivaylo Petrov had lost to Pat Fleming midway through Saturday play, but bounced back nicely with six straight match wins on the left side of the board. Petrov would settle for third place though, as he finally lost to D’Alfonso 7-3 in the semi-final match. 
 
Dabreo came out on fire in the first set of the finals, taking a quick 3-0 lead. D’Alfonso then came back to win five straight racks for a 5-3 lead. After Dabreo tied things back up at 5-5, the match would be tied at 6-6 and 7-7. D’Alfonso got to the hill at 8-7, but a scratch on the break led to Dabreo running that rack to tie things again at 8-8. Dabreo came up dry on the break at hill-hill, but a D’Alfonso safety on the 1-ball left Dabreo the opening he needed and he ran that rack for the 9-8 win in one set. 
 
Sunday’s second chance tournament saw Ben Werblow go undefeated with wins over Joe Darigis for the hot-seat and again in the finals for the victory. 
 
The Joss NE 9-Ball Tour will be back in action this weekend (March 9-10) at Trick Shot Billiards in Clifton Park, NY. 

Casanzio goes undefeated to capture his first Al Conte Memorial title

(l to r): Andrea Duvall (owner of Hippo’s), John McConnell, Ron Casanzio, & Matt Tetreault

Ron Casanzio has had several shots at the Joss Northeast 9-Ball Tour’s Al Conte Memorial over the years. He’s cashed in seven of the nine, to date. He was runner-up to Dennis Hatch in the first one (2009) and Shaun Wilkie in the fifth (2013). On the weekend of November 4-5, he became the event’s seventh winner, following in the footsteps of (in order) Hatch, Shane Winters, Mike Davis, Jeremy Sossei (three-time winner; ’12, ’14 and ‘15), Wilkie and Nelson Oliveira. The $1,500-added, 9th Annual Al Conte Memorial, the fourth stop on the 2017-2018 Joss NE 9-Ball Tour, drew 33 entrants to Hippo’s House of Billiards in Yorkville, NY.
 
Casanzio was one of three competitors at this event, along with Bucky Souvanthong and Angelo Hilton, who cashed in the first Al Conte Memorial. He became the only one of the three to do so in this one. Match by match, until the finals, Casanzio’s opponents steadily closed the margin of victory against him. He got by Bruce Nagle in the opening round 9-1, then Aaron Greenwood 9-3, and Marko Clarke 9-4 to join Matt Tetreault in one of the winners’ side semifinals. John McConnell, in the meantime, who’d sent Frank Cartani (9-4), Jerry Crowe (9-3), and Dwight Dixon (9-4) to the loss side, squared off against Mike Donnelly in the other winners’ side semifinal.
 
Casanzio got into the hot seat match with a continuation of the ‘reduced margin of victory’ phenomenon, downing Tetreault 9-5. McConnell joined him with a 9-5 victory over Donnelly. Casanzio claimed the hot seat 9-7 over McConnell and waited on his return.
 
On the loss side, Tetreault picked up Joe Darigis, who’d been sent over by Donnelly in a winners’ side quarterfinal and then defeated Nick Brucato 9-4 and Dwight Dixon 9-6. Donnelly drew Jose Mendez, who was on a modest four-match, loss-side winning streak that was about to end and had included recent wins over Norm Vernon 9-3 and Marko Clarke 9-5.
 
Tetreault advanced to the quarterfinals with a 9-6 win over Darigis, and was joined by Mendez, who’d handed Donnelly his second straight loss 9-7. Tetreault eliminated Mendez in that quarterfinal 9-3, but had his hopes for a re-match against Casanzio eliminated when McConnell defeated him 9-5 in the semifinals.
 
In their second of two, Casanzio broke the ‘margin of victory’ chain. He defeated McConnell 9-5 to claim his first Al Conte Memorial title.
 
A $500-added Second Chance tournament saw Willie Oney finish in the top spot, downing Mark Creamer in the finals. Aaron Greenwood finished third and Bruce Carroll took the fourth spot. Pete Khudc took home a $1,200 Joss Cue in the event’s raffle.  
 
The fifth stop on the Joss NE 9-Ball Tour will be the 29th Ocean State 9-Ball Championship. Scheduled for the weekend of November 11-12, the $5,000-added event will be hosted by Snooker’s Billiards, Bar and Grill in Providence, RI.

Casanzio goes undefeated to take his second 2013 Joss Tour stop

Paul Enslin, Room Owner Tim Berlin and Ron Casanzio

Were it not for the intervention of one Nelson Oliveira, the finals of Stop # 2 on the 2013-2014 Joss Northeast Tour, held on the weekend of October 12-13, would have been a repeat of Stop #10 on the 2012-2013 tour back in March, pitting Ron Casanzio against Jason Michas. Casanzio defeated Michas in that earlier matchup, and defeated him in a winners' side semifinal in this event. Casanzio had to get by Paul Enslin twice to capture this event title. The $1,500-added main event drew 51 entrants to Sharpshooter's Billiards & Sports Pub in Amsterdam, NY, while a Second Chance event, with an $800 total prize fund and won Marko Clarke, drew 15.

 
 As Casanzio was busy sending Michas west 9-2 in one of the winners' side semifinals, Enslin was at work against Sourith Thammavong in the other. Enslin sent Thammavong after Michas 9-6 to meet up with Casanzio in the hot seat match. Over 21 games in their two meetings, Casanzio gave up only three racks to Enslin; one of them in their first meeting, which left Casanzio in the hot seat.
 
Michas moved over and met up with Phil Davis, who'd gotten by Dave Shlemperis and Greg Antonakos, both 9-5. Thammavong ran into Oliveira, who, after being defeated by Michas among the winners' side final eight, had defeated Chance Chin 9-1 and Matt Tetreault 9-6. A quarterfinal re-match was set up when Oliveira shut out Thammavong and Michas downed Davis 9-7.
 
Oliveira ended Michas' hopes for a finals re-match against Casanzio with a 9-6 win in the quarterfinals, and had his own bid foiled by Enslin, 9-6 in the semifinals.  Casanzio completed his undefeated run with a 9-2 victory in the opening set of the true double elimination final.
 
Marko Clarke's victory in the Second Chance tournament went through Aaron Greenwood twice. He shut him out in the hot seat match. Greenwood came back from a 3-1 victory over Demian Provost in the semifinals and battled Clarke to double hill before Clarke prevailed to finish an undefeated day. 
 
Stop # 3 on the Joss Northeast Tour, a $1,500-added event with a $500-added Second Chance tournament, is scheduled for October 26-27 at Premium Billiards in Syracuse, NY.