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Zvi takes two of three against Dupuis to win 8th Annual NE Hall of Fame/Ray Desell Memorial

Joey Dupuis and Zion Zvi

Zion Zvi backed up an undefeated victory at the 10th Annual Empire State Championships last week (Feb. 25-26), with a single-loss win at the 8th Annual New England Pool & Billiards Hall of Fame/Ray Desell Memorial Tournament on the weekend of March 4-5. Zvi faced a former champion of the event, Joe Dupuis, who won it in 2014, three times; once in the hot seat and twice in the double elimination finals. Zvi came back from a loss in the first meeting to double dip Dupuis in the last two. The $2,500-added event, held under the auspices of the Joss Northeast 9-Ball Tour, drew 86 entrants to Snooker's in Providence, RI.
Dupuis got into the hot seat of this event after a dramatic comeback in a winners' side semifinal against RYan Lineham. Down 6-0, and five racks behind when Lineham reached the hill, Dupuis came back to tie, before simultaneously taking his first lead of the match and winning it. Zvi joined him in the hot seat match following a 9-5 victory over Bruce Nagle. Dupuis has something of a reputation for thriving in fast-paced games. "When he's on his game, racing around the table," noted an AZ report from the 5th Annual Hall of Fame victory in 2014, "he's a sight to behold." He recreated that "sight to behold" phenomenon in the battle for the hot seat, as he allowed Zvi only three racks in the battle to win it.
On the loss side at the time, there were still a few potential winners of this event, including Jorge Rodriguez and Tom "Shorty" D'Alfonso. Rodriguez had been sent to the loss side by Dupuis (9-6) and was in the midst of a six-match, loss-side winning streak that would take him as far as Zvi and the semifinals. He and D'Alfonso met up in one of the four 9/12 matches, with Rodriguez winning it 7-1 (this was the first time that the Joss NE Tour arranged for loss-side matches to be races to 7). Rodriguez went on to defeat Rick Sleeper 7-3 to draw Lineham. Nagle picked up Dave Fernandez, who'd defeated Francisco Cabral 7-4 and Mike Minichello 7-3 to reach him.
Rodriguez and Fernandez handed Lineham and Nagle their second straight loss, both 7-4, before locking up in a double hill quarterfinal that eventually sent Rodriguez to face Zvi in the semifinals. Zvi ended Rodriguez' loss-side run 7-5 in those semifinals, and got the shot he was looking for against Dupuis in the hot seat.
They fought tooth and nail to double hill in the opener, before Zvi finished it, forcing a second set. They came within a game of forcing a second double hill encounter. Zvi pulled ahead late to claim the title 9-7.
"How are you feeling about this second straight win?" asked Upstate AL, commentator on the AZBTv stream.
"Like Jayson Shaw," said Zvi, referencing Shaw's victory at this event in 2016. "It's been a crazy week.
"I missed a lot of shots," he acknowledged. "I was grinding it, because I wasn't used to these tables. I couldn't make a ball on the break, and (Dupuis) kept getting the momentum."
A record-breaking number of entrants (33) signed on to a $500-added Second Chance tournament, available to "non-pros eliminated from the main event." Like the main event, the Second Chance finals went two sets. With Al McGuane in the hot seat, John Francisco (who'd been sent to the loss side by McGuane in a winners' side semifinal) took the opening set 3-2. By the same score, McGuane won the second set to claim the title.  Dave Shlemperis, downed by McGuane in the hot seat match 3-1, finished third, when Francisco followed loss-side victories over Brent Boemmels (3-2) and Bob Madenjian 3-1, and defeated him 3-1.
Joss NE 9-Ball Tour director Mike Zuglan thanked Steve Goulding and his Snooker's staff for their hospitality, as well as sponsors Joss Cues, Simonis, Aramith,, Heidrich Custom Cues, AZBilliards, Billiards Press, and Turning Stone Resort and Casino. The next stop on the Joss Northeast 9-Ball Tour, scheduled for March 11-12, will be a $1,500-added event ($500-added to Second Chance) – The Northeast 9-Ball Open XXIX – hosted by Trick Shot Billiards and Sports Pub in Clifton Park, NY. Zuglan also reminded prospective players about the Turning Stone Finale, set for August 31-September 3, which at present is about two-thirds full. Interested players should communicate with Zuglan soon.

Shaw comes back from semifinals to win Open/Pro division of Eastern States Championship

Jayson Shaw

On Labor Day weekend, to a growing list of 2015 victories that has included two Turning Stone events (XXIII, XXIV), the Ginky Memorial, two events on the Predator Tour, a Joss Tour win and a challenge match versus Corey Deuel, Jayson Shaw added a win in the Eastern States Championships, held under the auspices of the Predator Tour, the New England 9-Ball series and the Ride the 9 Tour. The $2,000-added Open/Pro event of the championships drew 27 entrants to Snooker's in Providence, RI. A concurrently-run, $1,000-added Amateur championship (separate story) drew 98.
Shaw's journey to the winners' circle took a little left hand turn in the battle for the hot seat against Nelson Oliviera, and he was forced to play a loss-side opponent in the semifinals – Sylvain Grenier – who'd won seven on the loss side to reach those semifinals. He took both circumstances in stride to claim the victory. He'd sent Jorge Rodriguez to the loss side in a winners' side semifinal 8-2, while Oliviera sent Tony Robles over 8-5. Oliviera claimed the hot seat 8-6.
On the loss side, it was Rodriguez who had the misfortune of running into Grenier, who was five wins into his seven-match, loss-side streak, that had included wins over Brent Boemmels 8-2 and Tom D'Alfonso 8-6. Robles picked up Kevin Guimond, who'd gotten by Peter Bowman 8-4 and Rick Sleeper 8-6 to reach him.
Grenier downed Rodriguez and Guimond eliminated Robles, both 8-6. Grenier then defeated Guimond in the quarterfinals 8-5. Then, he ran into Shaw, who was, to put it mildly, anxious to get back into things for a second shot at Oliviera in the hot seat. Shaw gave up a single rack to Grenier in the semifinals, and put an exclamation point on his event victory by giving up only two to Oliviera in their re-match.
Predator Tour Director Tony Robles thanked his fellow TDs from the New England 9-Ball Series (Marc Dionne) and Ride the 9 Tour (Gloria Magnano), as well as Snooker's owners, Stephen and Regina Goulding and sponsors, Predator Cues, Ozone Billiards, and Delta 13 racks. 

Wilkie wins NE 9-Ball Open 28

Shaun Wilkie

Shaun Wilkie proved that he can dominate multiple tours, as he took a break from his current six tournament winning streak on the Action Pool Tour, to win the Joss NE 9-Ball Tour's NE 9-Ball Open XXVIII at Golden Cue Billiards in Albany, NY on March 28th – 29th.


Wilkie made his way through the field of fifty three players and captured the hot-seat with a 9-4 win over Ron Casanzio.


Casanzio then fell to Yesid Garibello on the one loss side 9-6. Garibello was on a roll, after a second round loss to Rick Sleeper early on Saturday afternoon. Eight matches later, Garibello was gearing up to play Wilkie in the finals.


Just prior to the finals getting underway, the drawing was held to see who would win the $1200 Joss Custom Cue at this event. Sure enough, that winner would be Garibello. Wilkie must have thought the pool gods had it in for him as Garibello went on to win the first set of the double elimination finals 9-5. Wilkie finally cooled off Garibello and scored a 9-5 win of his own in the second set of the finals.


The second chance event on Sunday drew a field of thirty one players looking for their share of over $1000 in prize money. Bruce Carroll would earn the lion's share of that prize money with an undefeated run through the field. Carroll defeated Brent Boemmels 3-1 for the hot-seat, and then defeated Angelo Hilton 3-1 in the first set of the finals.


Joss NE 9-Ball Tour director Mike Zuglan mentioned that he still has spots open for August's Turning Stone Classic XXIV. Interested players should contact Zuglan as soon as possible.

2014 Steinway Classic – Jeanette Lee vs Rick Sleeper