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DeMarco and Harnois go undefeated (*) to win NE 9-Ball Series partners’ tournament

l to r: Chris Benoit, Mike Uttley, Mike DeMarco, Jeff Harnois, Scott Reynolds, Lukas Fracasso-Verner

The generally congenial atmosphere of Scotch Doubles competition lends itself to the idea that the journey itself is more significant, and fun, than the destination of winning or losing. In that spirit, at Stop #17 on the New England 9-Ball Series, the last three teams standing at the end of the tournament on Sunday, April 7, apparently expressed a desire to be considered co-champions of the event.
Simple enough. So, Mike Demarco/Jeff Harnois, Chris Benoit/Mike Uttley and Lukas Fracasso-Verner/Scott Reynolds became co-champions of the NE 9-Ball Series Partners Tournament. that drew 60 teams of two to Snookers in Providence, RI.
Now here’s what happened. By the end of a no-doubt long Sunday, when the event came down to its final two matches (possibly three, with a double elimination final), those three teams opted out of further play and split the top three cash prizes. As the only undefeated team at that point, DeMarco and Harnois would technically be granted the official status as winners, with Benoit/Uttley as runners-up and Fracasso-Verner/Reynolds finishing in third.
It was a four-match march to the winners’ side semifinals for DeMarco/Harnois and Benoit/Uttley. Two of DeMarco/Harnois’ matches in that march went double hill. In those winners’ side semifinals, DeMarco/Harnois defeated Tour Director Marc Dionne and Dominick Souza 5-1, as Benoit/Uttley squared off and downed Justin Cunningham and Jordan Stevens 4-2. DeMarco/Harnois claimed the hot seat 4-1 in what proved to be the final match for both partnerships.
On the loss side, Dionne/Souza and Cunningham/Stevens ran right into their second straight loss. Dionne/Souza met up with the team they’d sent to the loss side in the winners’ side quarterfinals – Fracasso-Verner/Reynolds, who’d defeated Adam Blair and Kerry McAuliffe 5-3 and Jason Platt and Ran Tamba 4-1. Cunningham/Stevens faced Daniel Nizeul and Paul Fontaine, who’d recently defeated Ned McConnell and Lida Mullendore, double hill, and Jason D’Angelo and Bill O’Mara 4-1.
Fracasso-Verner/Reynolds wreaked their rematch vengeance on Dionne/Souza, though not before Dionne/Souza took them to the brink of elimination by putting up a double hill fight. Nizeul/Fontaine eliminated Cunningham/Stevens by shutting them out 3-0.
In what proved to be the last match of the night, Fracasso-Verner/Reynolds defeated Nizeul/Fontaine 4-1 in the quarterfinals. It would no doubt have been interesting to see what might have happened had two teams with a combined FargoRate separated by only five points met up in the finals (588 for Fracasso-Verner/Reynolds and 583 for DeMarco/Harnois), but that didn’t happen. Benoit/Utley (510), in the never-happened semifinals, might have had something to say about that potential matchup, but we’ll never know. Any more than we’ll likely ever know why the event format is called “Scotch Doubles,” instead of Lithuanian Doubles or Japanese Doubles. Just one of those things we’ll never know.
Tour director Marc Dionne, rallying from his and his partner Souza’s loss, though no doubt soothed by the cash they split for finishing in the tie for 5th place, thanked the ownership and staff at Snooker’s for their hospitality, as well as sponsors Predator Cues, 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, Bourgeois Farms and OTLVISE Billiard Mechanics of America.
Dionne also notified potential participants at the next stop on the New England 9-Ball Series (#18) that the posted date has changed. Scheduled for this Saturday, April 13, the event has been re-scheduled to occur on Saturday, April 20, at the same location, Legends Sports Bar in Auburn, ME.