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Fracasso-Verner stops loss-side challenge by Souto to claim Ocean State 9-Ball Championship

Jonas Souto, Lukas Fracasso-Verner and Jared Demalia

Lukas Fracasso-Verner’s victory at the 34th Annual Ocean State 9-Ball Championships, held under the auspices of the Joss Northeast 9-Ball Tour at Snooker’s in Providence, RI this past weekend (Nov. 12-13), put him over the top, making 2022 his best earnings year since his recorded earnings began seven years ago. Though he didn’t have to face the event’s defending champion and winner of the previous stop (#8) on the Joss Tour, Bucky Souvanthong, he did have to contend with Spain’s Jonas Souto, who was defeated by Souvanthong in a winners’ side quarterfinal and came back to challenge Fracasso-Verner in the finals. Souto was looking for his first reported (to us) win, anywhere, even though entering the tournament, he’d already earned (primarily in Europe) over three times the amount that Fracasso-Verner has earned in 2022. The $5,000-added event ($500 to a Second Chance Tournament) drew a full field of 128 entrants to Snooker’s.

Fracasso-Verner’s seven-match trip to the winners’ circle got him by Ashley Benoit, Derek Cunningham, Ray McNamara (double hill), Barry Hetherington and Mhet Vergara, before coming up against Bob Forchilli in one of the winners’ side semifinals. Jared Demalia, in the meantime, defeated Mike Zhu, Mike Crema, Chad Bazinet, Moritz Neuhausen and Matt Jarrell to arrive at his winners’ side semifinal versus defending champ, Souvanthong, who had just sent the eventual runner-up, Souto, to the loss side 7-4.

Fracasso-Verner gave up just one rack to Forchilli in advancing to the hot seat match. Demalia gave up four to Souvanthong and joined him. In the first of two straight double hill matches that he faced to claim the title, Fracasso-Verner first claimed the hot seat over Demalia.

On the loss side, Souvanthong ran into Germany’s Neuhausen, who, earlier in the month, had finished 9th in both the American 14:1 Straight Pool Championships and the following week’s International Open, before packing his bags and heading north to New England. Neuhausen had followed his loss to Demalia with victories over four opponents by an aggregate score of 20-4; Beau Powers (5-2), Frank Hernandez (1), Mhet Vergara (1) and Suad Kantarevic (1). 

Jonas Souto had followed his loss to Souvanthong with victories over Jaydev Zaveri (1) and Tom Zippler (2) to pick up Forchilli. He downed Forchilli 5-1 to draw Neuhausen, who’d battled Souvanthong to double hill before spoiling the potential Souto/Souvanthong rematch. . 

There was a bit of an exclamation point to the two matches that eventually put Souto into the finals against Fracasso-Verner. He arrived at the final match having not given up a single rack to either of his previous two opponents, shutting out Neuhausen in the quarterfinals and Jared Demalia in the semifinals. 

He battled to double hill in the finals but Fracasso-Verner dropped the last 9-ball and claimed the event title, his second of the Joss NE Tour’s 2022 season.

Tour director Mike Zuglan thanked Regina and Steve Goulding, along with their Snooker’s staff for their hospitality, ongoing support of the tour and the live stream that was provided for this event. He also noted the continuing support of title sponsor Joss Cues, Turning Stone Resort Casino, Simonis Cloth, Poolonthenet.com, AZBilliards, Aramith, Billiards Press, and World Class Cue Care.

The 34th Annual Ocean State 9-Ball Championships were the last 2022 event of the ‘22/’23 season. The next stop on the tour, scheduled for the weekend of January 5-8, 2023 will be Turning Stone Classic XXXVI, as always, hosted by the Turning Stone Resort & Casino in Verona, NY. The field for this event is full, but Mike Zuglan is taking names on the waiting list, for players interested in competing in this Matchroom Pool Nineball Ranking event. Zuglan can be reached at 518-356-7163.

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Bausch, Akaloo and McNamara win Joss Tour Titles

Ron Casanzio with room owner Andrea Duvall and Alex Bausch

The Joss NE 9-Ball Tour is on a roll with a new winner each week. Different than previous seasons where one or two players dominated the season with multiple title wins, the 2022 / 2023 Joss NE 9-Ball Tour has seen a different winner at each stop. That record continued through October with Alex Bausch winning his first career tour stop at Utica Billiards on the Boulevard on October 15th – 16th, Kyle Akaloo earning his first career tour stop win at Brickhouse Billiards in N. Syracuse on October 22nd – 23rd, and then Ray McNamara winning his first title of the year at American Pool & Billiards on October 29th – 30. 

Alex Bausch’s win on October 15th – 16th kicked off with an undefeated run to the hot-seat match, where he beat Dan Sharlow 9-5. Sharlow would not make it back to face Bausch in the finals, as Ron Casanzio was tearing through the one loss side and defeated Sharlow 7-5 in the semi-final match. 

Casanzio had lost to Bausch early in the day on Saturday, but won seven straight matches to get to the double elimination finals. Casanzio quickly extended that run of wins to eight, with a 9-2 win over Bausch in the first set of the finals, but Bausch took control in the second set and scored a 7-2 win for his first career Joss Tour Stop. 

Ron Casanzio, Brickhouse Billiards Manager Chloe Romanyk and Kyle Akaloo

The October 22nd – 23rd tour stop at Brickhouse Billiards looked a lot like the event a week before. This time, it was South Africa’s Kyle Akaloo who defeated Casanzio on Saturday as part of his run to the hot-seat match. Akaloo defeated Qays Kolee for the hot-seat 9-6, and Kolee found Casanzio on another winning streak on the left side of the board. This time, Casanzio’s run was only five consecutive wins, including a 7-2 win over Kolee, to put Casanzio in his second final match in as many weeks. 

Casanzio won the first set of the finals 9-7, but faltered again in the second set, dropping that match 7-3 for Akaloo’s first career Joss Tour win. 

Dave Hall, American Pool & Billiards Owner Jerry Giutard and Ray McNamara

The October 29th – 30th tour stop at American Pool & Billiards in Portland Maine saw Dave Hall run through the right side of the brackets and score a 9-3 win over Shane Cote to take the hot-seat. 

Cote, then dropped a heart-breaking 7-6 match against tour regular Ray McNamara, who had lost his Saturday match against Hall 9-8. McNamara strung together five straight wins on the left side of the board and got the finals underway with a 9-4 win over hot-seat holder Hall. While two players had been unable to complete the double dip the previous two events, McNamara was successful in his attempt this time, with a 7-5 win over Hall in the second set of the finals for McNamara’s first win on the tour since June of last year. 

The Joss NE 9-Ball Tour will be at Diamond Billiards in Rochester, NY this weekend for tour stop number 8, with another $1500 added main event and $500 added second chance tournament. 

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Joss NE 9-Ball Tour Returns to Rochester This Weekend

Congratulations to stop # 7 winners Ray McNamara ($1,000 – main event), Bob Darigis ($300 – second chance) & $1,900 Joss Cue raffle winner Gene Carey.

Stop # 8 of our 2022/2023 (26th) season will be held at Diamond Billiards Bar & Grill in Rochester NY on Sat. & Sun. Nov. 5 & 6. Diamond Billiards boasts all Diamond tables that will be used for our event, leagues and open play. There is also a full bar and kitchen to take care of all of our needs. Our generous host, Fran Imburgia deserves much thanks for hosting our event once again. So lets give Fran and Diamond Billiards Bar & Grill a warm Joss Tour welcome by coming out to play in or just watch another great 9-ball tournament. While you are there, you could even win a gorgeous, custom engraved, Joss Cue, valued at $1,900 in their raffle. Anyone can participate in the raffle and you do not have to be present to win!

For more info about Diamond Billiards, look them up at diamondbilliardsbarngrill.com or on Facebook or call them at 585-491-6261.

For those of you needing motel info, please call Diamond Billiards at 585-491-6261

This event at Diamond Billiards will consist of a $1,500 added Saturday and Sunday Main Event (entry Fee $120 for pro level or $70 for non pro level) and a $500 added second chance event on Sunday ($20 Entry Fee) for those non pro level players eliminated from the main event on Saturday. All of our events are open to players of all skill levels. Our main event format remains true double elimination with races to 9 on the winners side and races to 7 on the one loss side.

For those of you coming to play, please arrive on Saturday November 5 Before 11:00 AM, and in proper dress please. Yes, jeans and sneakers are permitted in our billiard parlor events. But please, NO T-SHIRTS, TANKS, SHORTS OR SWEATS. Complete tour info can be found on our site www.joss9balltour.com

Please note that our $25,000 Added Turning Stone Classic XXXVI 9-Ball Open on January 5-8, 2023 is Full at 128 Paid players. If you would like to be put on the waiting list, please contact Mike Zuglan at 518-356-7163. FYI, I am currently in negotiations for our $25,000 Added Turning Stone Classic XXXVII in the Summer of 2023. I will let everyone know when it is finalized and I will begin taking entries for that event at the January 2023 event and not before.

Please remember to spread the word to frequent your local billiard parlors and utilize and promote the world class products of our most generous sponsors. They are the backbone of our sport and deserve our support now more than ever!!

Thanks and I hope to see you all at Diamond Billiards.

Mike Zuglan

The Joss Northeast 9-Ball Tour Is Proudly Sponsored By;

Joss Cues – http://www.josscues.com
Turning Stone Resort Casino – http://www.turningstone.com 
Simonis Cloth – http://www.simoniscloth.com
Poolonthenet.com – http://www.poolonthenet.com
AzBilliards.com – http://www.azbilliards.com
Aramith – http://www.aramith.com
Billiards Press – http://www.billiardspress.com
World Class Cue Care – http://www.jnj-industries.com

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Kevin Guimond Scores First Career Joss Tour Win

Kevin Guimond

With two events in the books for the 2022/2023 Joss NE 9-Ball Tour season, the tour has now crowned two first time event winners. Kevin Guimond avenged a hot-seat match loss to local young gun Lukas Fracasso-Verner to set him up for the double dip win in the finals of the September 24-25 tour stop at Yale Billiards.

Guimond went undefeated on Saturday with comfortable wins over Joe Raccio, Mike Toohig, Marc Dionne and Rick Matarazzo. Coming back on the winners side on Sunday were Guimond, Ray McNamara, Aaron Greenwood and Fracasso-Verner. Guimond scored a 9-5 win over McNamara and Fracasso-Verner scored a 9-2 win over Greenwood. The hot-seat match went to Fracasso-Verner by the score of 9-4.

Alex Bausch was waiting for Guimond on the left side of the board. Bausch had lost to Fracasso-Verner in the last round of matches on Saturday, but put together a three match winning streak to get to the semi-final matchup with Guimond. This match would be the end of the run for Bausch, with Guimond scoring a 7-3 win. 

Guimond won the first set of the double elimination finals by the same 9-4 scores from his earlier match with Fracasso-Verner and then finished off the double dip with a 7-5 win in the second set to earn his first career Joss NE 9-Ball Tour win.

Sundays second chance tournament also saw a double dip in the finals, with Steve Mack coming back from a second round loss to Mike Renshaw to score a total of seven straight wins, including back to back 3-2 wins over Steve Sutton in the finals. 

The Joss NE 9-Ball Tour is back this coming October 1 – 2 weekend at Raxx Pool Room in West Hempstead, New York. 

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Dave Hall Wins First Joss Tour Title at Maine Event XIV

TJ’s Classic Billiards owner Steve Reynolds, Alex Osipov, Dave Hall and GM Howard Fogg Jr.

The Joss NE 9-Ball Tour kicked off their 2022/2023 season with The Maine Event XIV at TJ’s Classic Billiards in Waterville, Maine on September 17th – 18th, and crowned a first time tour stop winner in local favorite Dave Hall. 

Hall, from nearby Portland Maine, is one of the top players in the area and always does well when the Joss Tour comes to town. With all of that success though, he still had yet to win a tour stop. Hall kicked the weekend off with a hill-hill win over Doug Brown, and then got comfortable with wins over Mike Perry (9-1), Cody Porter (9-4) and Ray McNamara (9-5) to finish undefeated for the day. 

Sunday kicked off with Hall taking on Alex Osipov for the hot-seat. In another hill-hill thriller, Osipov sent Hall to the left side of the board 9-8. 

Ray McNamara was waiting for Hall on the one the loss side but was still unable to win more than five racks in their rematch, and lost the semi-final match to Hall 7-5. That set up Hall and Osipov for a rematch in the finals. 

Being a true double elimination tournament, Hall would have to beat Osipov twice if he wanted to win his first Joss Tour title, and he did just that. Hall won the first set 9-7 and then the second set 7-5 for the tournament win. 

Sunday’s second chance event saw Jeff Mosimann hold off an attempt by Doug Brown to duplicate Hall’s double dip. Mosimann took the hot-seat with a 3-0 win over John Francis. Brown won the first set of the final match 3-1, but dropped the second set 3-2 for Mosimann’s victory. 

The Joss NE 9-Ball Tour will be back in action this weekend with stop 2 of the 2022/2023 season at Yale Billiards in Wallingford, Ct. 

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Two tour veterans, each seeking first Joss NE 9-Ball title, battle it out in finals of season finale

Pete Bowman, Mike Zuglan, Snookers manager Paul Troxell and Ray McNamara

Oldest player to win on tour,’ Bob Darigis, wins Second Chance event

He’d be the first to tell you that it’d been a long time coming. But it did show up. This past weekend (June 4-5), after 20 years of attempts, Ray McNamara (generally known on the tour as ‘Ray Mac’) claimed his first Joss NE 9-Ball Tour title, using the last regular season event of the tour’s 2021-2022 season to do so. In an effort that began (as far as we know) with a 7th place finish at a stop in Bristol, CT in October of 2002, McNamara went on to compete regularly on the Joss and other tours, and more recently, won the 364-entrant Amateur Senior event of the Super Billiards Expo this past April. The $1,500-added, 15th stop on the 2021-2022 Joss Northeast 9-Ball Tour drew 53 entrants to Snooker’s in Providence, RI.

In addition to crowning a first-time champion, the event played host to another event champion, whom tour director Mike Zuglan described as “the oldest person (he could) think of who won any of (their) events.”  A $500-added Second Chance tournament that drew 14 entrants was won by 71-year-old Bob Darigis.

“Ray Mac and Bob were both around in the days when me, Larry Lisciotti and Joe Tucker were still playing around,” said Zuglan.

Ray Mac’s trip to the winners’ circle had to go through another Joss NE 9-Ball veteran, also looking for his first (recorded with us) win on the tour, Pete Bowman. They met twice; hot seat match and finals. Mac had gotten by Nick Coppola, Lida Mullendore, Clyde Matta and Ryan Cullen to arrive at a winners’ side semifinal match against Bob Madenjian, who, it should be noted, finished in the four-way tie for 5th place behind McNamara in the SBE’s Amateur Senior tournament in April and would end up in the same position at this event. Peter Bowman sent Aro Majumber and Brandon Coley to the loss side before encountering the later-to-be winner of the Second Chance event, Bob Darigis, who battled him tooth and nail to double hill before he sent him over, as well. Bowman then downed Darren Jevons to pick up Kerry McAuliffe in the other winners’ side semifinal.

Mac sent Madenjian west 9-2, while Bowman was defeating McAuliffe 9-3. McNamara claimed the hot seat 9-5, which was, as far as we know, his first.

On the loss side, McAuliffe picked up Steve Mack, who’d lost a winners’ side quarterfinal to Madenjian and jumped onto the loss-side wagon with victories over Rich Kravetz 7-5 and Dan Sharlow 7-3. Madenjian picked up Francisco Salas, who’d also lost to Madenjian on the winners’ side (3rd round) and was working on a seven-match, loss-side streak that would take him as far as the semifinals and include the double-hill elimination of Jeremy Sossei, followed by wins over Darren Jevons 7-2 and Frankie Hernandez 7-3.

Mack did his part to secure a rematch versus Madenjian with a 7-4 win over McAuliffe, but Salas took Madenjian out 7-5 and then eliminated Mack 7-3 in the quarterfinals. 

Bowman closed out Salas’ run with a 7-3 win in the semifinals to earn his second shot at Ray Mac, waiting for him in the hot seat. Though Salas would chalk up three more racks against Ray Mac in the finals than he had in the hot seat, Ray Mac prevailed 9-5 to claim his first Joss Northeast 9-Ball title, closing the ‘long time coming’ door behind him.

The final standings in tour points were headed up by Bucky Souvanthong, who appeared in nine of the season’s 15 events, winning five of them. Ron Casanzio finished in 2nd place, based on 10 appearances, with a single win. Jeremy Sossei was in 3rd place, having won three of his five appearances. Len Gianfrate placed fourth, just ahead of Aaron Greenwood. Rounding out the top 10 on the 2021-2022 tour were Jamie Garrett, Dan Sharlow, Frank Hernandez, Mhet Vergara and Bruce Carroll. 

Tour director Mike Zuglan thanked Regina and Steve Goulding and their Snookers’ staff for their hospitality, as well as title sponsor Joss Cues, Turning Stone Resort Casino, Simonis Cloth, Poolonthenet.com, AZBilliards, Aramith, Billiards Press and World Class Cue Care. The next event, the tour’s season finale, scheduled for Sept. 1-4, will be the $25,000-added Turning Stone Classic XXXV 9-Ball Open, hosted by the Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, NY

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Francisco Salas Wins 11th Annual Snookers Amateur 9-Ball Classic

Francisco Salas and Bob Madenjian (Mike DeMarco – Ship The Cash)

The highly anticipated 11th Annual Snookers Amateur 9 Ball Classic returned in 2021 with a bang, boasting it’s notable $5000 guaranteed first place prize! After 7 weeks and 21 qualifying tournaments in total, the stage was set for the New England Pool community to explode with excitement! Both qualifiers and the main event were hosted by Ship The Cash’s Mike DeMarco, dictating the brackets and delivering a professional live broadcast.

This year’s returning champion from 2019 was Brian Chase of New Bedford, Massachusetts. In addition to Chase, the event had three other past champions competing for another title. Ray McNamara (2011 & 2015), Francisco ‘5K’ Cabral (2016), and Jared DeMalia (2017). With all of these previous winners, the odds were looking to their favor. Standing in their way were some new talented players and familiar top amateur competitors.

Saturday’s day one brought remarkable entertainment to arrive at the final 12 players. The action would come to a halt though, as a potential direct hit from a hurricane caused many local businesses including Snookers to close on Sunday, August 22, 2021. The event would eventually continue on Saturday, September 11, to finalize the competition and declare a champion.

2019 Runner-up Robert Piersa representing Wallingford Connecticut’s Yale Billiards was a promising contender for the title. He came out strong, but after a day one loss to this year’s second place finisher Bob “Doctor Bob” Madenjian (10-9) and a day two loss from Massachusetts’ Derek Cunningham (9-8), Piersa would end in 7/8th and take home $350. The local scene also had their eyes on another top competitor from Lynn Massachusetts, Francisco Salas. Salas had been pummeling opponents this year cashing and even winning numerous times at events like Snookers’ WNA Tournament, his home room Amazin Billiards’ 10 Ball events, and even a runner-up finish in the prestigious Ocean State 9-ball Championship.

The final 4 undefeated players brought us two great opening matches to kick things off. On table one, Jared DeMalia (MA) took his first loss of the event (10-8) from Bob Madenjian (CT). On table two we saw Snookersë own Ray McNamara (RI) take his first loss (10-8) from the soon to be crowned Francisco Salas (MA).

Madenjian would lose to Salas in the hot seat match (10-8), but Doctor Bob wasn’t finished fighting! Madenjian would eliminate Ray McNamara (10-6) in the semi finals for another swing at the hot shooting Salas. With the pressure building and the cash and title hanging in the balance, Salas would show some humility. As the finals continued, Salas would clearly struggle with the break and miss some routine run-outs leaving the door open for Madenjian to surge ahead and win the set (10-8).

Fortunately for Salas, the true double elimination format of the event would give him one more chance to close the deal. The second set of the finals began in a similar tone as the previous round with Doctor Bob leading until 5-4 up. That’s when it all changed.

Madenjian took a swing at a difficult 1 ball shot after a dry break from Salas, and would allow the match to tie at 5-5. It was at this point in the match where Salas would seem to say “that’s it”! and the momentum would swing in his favor and never return to the Doc. Salas would win all of the remaining games ending the match 10-5, claiming the $5000 prize and the title. “El Rey” is crowned.

2021 Ocean State 9-Ball Championship – Ray McNamara vs Joey Dupuis