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Ray Cruz wins in Rochester

Stop #6 on Mike Zuglan's Joss Northeast 9-Ball Tour was held this weekend at the Classic Billiards Club in Rochester, NY. Owner Jacky Vaccaro and GM Rich Warren added $2500 to the purse and 49 Players showed.

Play all weekend was nothing short of spectacular and almost every match was a nail biter. Saturdays action started right off great matches. Steve Tavernier and Dan Kolacz went toe to toe to the wire when Tavernier over stocked a safety on the 7 ball leaving Kolacz with a tough table length shot that he split the pocket with to win. Canadians Paul Thornley, Jeff Pillon and Ray Cruz went through the day untouched along with Dan Kolacz. On the one Loss side of the chart we had Ron Casansio, Lyn Wechsler, Frank Piasecki, Dan Smith, Rich Difulio, Rey Rendon, Mike Zuglan and Ted Garrahan.
Sunday came and the play really became intense for the day. Mike Zuglan came out smoking and drilled Teddy Garrahan 9-3 then Rey Rendon 9-3, then Jeff Pillon fell to Zuglan 9-5. Ron Casansio better know to all as "Julio" beat Wechsler, Smith and Kolacz to set up one of the greatest matches of the year so far against Zuglan. Back and forth all the way to the hill these two guys butted heads and in the 17th game Julio missed a makable 3 only to leave Zuglan with no shot. After making a great kick and a good hit Zuglan returned to the chair while Julio did it again on the next ball. Missing the four, he left Mike again with no shot. Ron only missed few balls in this entire match. Fortunately he missed them very well and was able to win the set 9-8 leaving Zuglan with a respectable 4th place. Casansio went on to beat up on Paul Thornley to get the right to meet Cruz in the finals. But this day belonged to Ray Cruz. This quiet unassuming fellow from Toronto showed all his talent and class for two days. Great shot making and good sportsmanship are the ways of this guy. Sitting in his chair when not shooting, never making any noise of movements, giving every player he played the best racks they could get was what he did all weekend long. And it really paid off for him.
In the finals after being close 5-4 Cruz, Raymond seemed to shift into high gear and get out from everywhere. When the dust settled it was 9-6 Cruz and his first Joss northeast tour victory.
It is hard to imagine a better place to play pool and socialize in the Northeast. Great equipment, knowledgeable fans and the friendliest people you could meet. Our thanks to them and our sponsors Joss Cues, Webb Custom Cues, Capone cues, Giuseppe cases and Simonis cloth for helping make this tour as successful as it is.