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Sossei over Fleming for Joss Tour Fourpeat

Jeremy Sossei, Pat Fleming and Snookers Owner Steve Goulding

While Jeremy Sossei has won the last three Joss NE 9-Ball Tour stops, he has had to win the last two with one loss. That was what he did again at Snookers Billiards in Providence, RI on June 1st – 2nd for the final regular season stop on the tour. 
Sossei cruised through Saturday’s matches undefeated with wins over Lida Mullendore, Jim Prather, Ranulf Tamba and Dev Bhattacharya. The closest any opponent got to Sossei on Saturday was Tamba at 9-4. Sossei’s undefeated run came to an end on Sunday morning, as he dropped his first match of the day to Pat Fleming 9-6. After that match, Fleming went on to defeat Tom D’Alfonso 9-5 for the hot-seat. 
Sossei got by Francisco Cabral 7-4 and Jared Demalia 7-2, to earn the match against D’Alfonso in the semi-finals. That match would go hill-hill before Sossei pocketed the final nine ball. The time in the hot-seat might have proved to be a negative for Fleming, as Sossei proceeded to win the first set of the finals 9-4 and then the second set 7-3. The win was Sossei’s 6th of the season and his 4th in a row. 
Sunday’s “Second Chance” tournament saw Bob Madenjian with a 3-1 win over Ray Buthe for the hot-seat and then facing Nick Coppola in the finals. Coppola won the first set of the finals 3-2, but Madenjian came back to take the second set 3-2 for the win. 
The stop at Snookers was the final regular season tour stop and players will now prepare for the Turning Stone Classic XXXII on August 22nd – 25th at the Turning Stone Casino in Verona, NY. That event is full, but fans are invited to watch the action in person with free admission on all four days of the event. 

Savoie, Zieminski and Cullen run out of time and split top prizes on NE 9-Ball Series

(l to r): Kevin Zieminski, Ben Savoie & Ryan Cullen

It’s not difficult enough that pool players have to battle each other, or their own interior mental processes as a tournament advances toward a conclusion. In many cases, involving a variety of factors – number of tables in a room, number of entrants and enforcement of legally established closing times – pool players are in a race against the clock, which sometimes, they lose. On Saturday, February 23, at a stop on the New England 9-Ball Series (#14), Ben Savoie, Kevin Zieminski and Ryan Cullen lost their clock race, opted out of the event’s final two matches (semifinals, finals) and split the top three prizes. It was likely most painful for Ryan Cullen, who, at decision time, was in the midst of an eight-match, loss-side winning streak that ended with his quarterfinal victory. Savoie, in the hot seat at the time, was awarded the official event title, with Zieminski, his vanquished hot seat opponent and Cullen’s potential semifinal opponent, in second place. Cullen had to settle for the official third place. The $500-added event drew 69 entrants to Yale Billiards in Wallingford, CT.
Savoie’s upper-bracket path to the hot seat went through Ray Buthe, Gene Hunt, Mario Argentino and Bart Rivezzi, before arriving at a winners’ side semifinal match against Tito Montalvo. Zieminski, in the meantime, worked his way through the lower bracket, defeating David Colbeth, Sr., Troy Fortin, Mike Felix and Joanne Corbett to arrive at his winners’ side semifinal matchup against Josh Christian. Cullen, following victories over Greg Madar and Sal Midolo, had been sent to the loss side by Montalvo, and would earn his right to a rematch, seven loss-side matches later.
In a straight-up race to 7, Savoie advanced to the hot seat match 7-3 over Montalvo. Ziemenski joined him after winning his straight-up race to 5 against Christian, double hill. Savoie claimed the hot seat, winning what proved to be his last match 6-1.
On the loss side, Cullen eliminated Frank Celedita, Darron Jevens and picked up a forfeit win over Mario Argentino, before downing Frank Porto and moving into the first money round, where he defeated Bobby Hilton 6-1 and Tom D’Alfonso, double hill (5-6; D’Alfonso racing to 7). This earned him his re-match against Montalvo. Christian drew Joanne Corbett, who’d eliminated Anthony Petruzelli 4-2 and in a straight-up race to 4, shut out John Kirwan to reach him.
Cullen downed Montalvo 7-3 and moved into his last match, the quarterfinals, against Christian, who’d given Corbett a taste of her own ‘shutout’ medicine, by eliminating her 4-0. Cullen gave up only a single rack to Christian in those quarterfinals, and for all concerned, the night was over. Savoie was the official winner, Zieminski was the runner-up and Cullen would never know whether he could have won the two more necessary to give him the title.
Tour director Marc Dionne thanked the ownership and staff at Yale Billiards, 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. The next stop on the New England 9-Ball Series (#15), scheduled for Saturday, March 9, will be the $500-added Joe Brown Memorial Tournament, hosted by Buster’s Billiards in Somersworth, NH.
Dionne has also notified potential competitors that following the event at Buster’s Billiards, the New England 9-Ball Series will host its $1,000-added Players Championships, scheduled for the week after the event at Buster’s Billiards, on the weekend of March 16-17. Pre-registration is recommended for the event, which will be hosted back at Yale Billiards, and restricted to 128 players. There will be an additional $250-added 10-Ball event, scheduled for Sunday, March 17 (maximum Fargo Rate of 675, races to 5), which will be limited to 32 players.

Fracasso-Verner comes from the loss side to win his first-ever event of the NE 9-Ball Series

(l to r): James Pasciolla and Lukas Fracasso-Verner

Though in 2018, he’d won a stop on the Predator Tour and won the 8th Annual Ginky Memorial’s Amateur Tournament, held under the auspices of the Predator and Tri-State Tours, a win on the New England 9-Ball Series had eluded him. Former Junior National Champion Lukas Fracasso-Verner, in the midst of his best earnings year to date, had finished as runner-up three times this year before entering the Saturday, Oct. 13 stop (#3) on the tour and coming from the loss side to down James “Doc” Pasciolla to claim the title. The $500-added event drew 42 entrants to Yale Billiards in Wallingford, CT.
The early going in this event was split evenly into upper and lower brackets of 21 players each, out of which emerged Sal Midolo from the upper bracket and Pasciolla from the lower bracket. Fracasso-Verner had advanced through four opponents to run into Midolo in one of the winners’ side semifinals, as Pasciolla was meeting Jason D’Angelo in the other one.
Midolo squeaked by Fracasso-Verner, double hill (5-6), and in the hot seat match, faced Pasciolla, who’d sent D’Angelo west 5-2. Midolo claimed the hot seat in his second straight double hill match and waited for Fracasso-Verner to get back from a three-match, loss-side winning streak to meet him in the finals.
Fracasso-Verner opened the loss-side segment of his winning run against Ray Buthe, who’d defeated Gene Hunt 5-3 and Mario Argentino, double hill, to reach him. D’Angelo drew Shane Bansrupan, who’d eliminated Kelly Hodder and Darryl Helm, both 4-1.
Over his next three matches, earning him a spot in the finals, Fracasso-Verner gave up a total of only three racks in 22 games. He shut out Buthe to get into the quarterfinals against D’Angelo, who’d defeated Bansrupan, double hill. He gave up only a single rack to D’Angelo in those quarterfinals (8-1) and then denied Midolo a second shot against Pasciolla with a 6-2 victory over him in the semifinals.
In the finals, the difference in their Fargo Rates (632/492) gave Pasciolla four on the wire at the outset. To his credit, Pasciolla chalked up as many racks against Fracasso-Verner in those finals as all three of the youngster’s previous opponents combined (3). Fracasso-Verner chalked up his requisite eight racks to claim the event title.
Tour director Marc Dionne thanked the ownership and staff at Yale Billiards, as well as sponsors Predator, 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. The next stop (#4) on the New England 9-Ball Series, scheduled for the weekend of October 20-21, will be a $1,000-added event, hosted by Legends Sports Bar in Auburn, ME.