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Lucas and Nou split top prizes on New England 9-Ball Classic

Jimmy Nou, Robert Lucas, and Ricardo Diaz

Robert Lucas and Jimmy Nou were to have played each other twice at Stop #5 of the New England 9-Ball Series this past weekend (Sunday, May 1). They played their first, battling for the hot seat, with Lucas winning. They opted out of the second, which would have been the finals,  and split the top two prizes, leaving Lucas as the official winner. The $2,000-added New England 9-Ball Classic drew 48 entrants to Snooker’s in Providence, RI.

Lucas worked his way through progressively tough opponents in the lower bracket, shutting out Sandra Kostant, for starters, then allowing Joey Arruda to chalk up two racks against him. William Aley battled him to double hill, before Lucas advanced to a winners’ side semifinal against Fred Soulliere. Nou, on the other hand, opened with a double hill win over Francisco Cabral, before downing his next three opponents 6-2 (Dave Morganelli), 6-3 (Mark Ruzzano), 6-3 (Mark Tringali). Nou turned to face Ricardo Diaz in the other winners’ side semifinal.

In the two, straight-up races to 6, Lucas defeated Soulliere 6-4 and Nou sent Diaz west 6-2. In what would prove to be the official title-winning matchup, Fargo Rate gave Lucas a 40-60 chance of defeating Nou in the battle for the hot seat. Playing with three ‘beads on the wire’ in a race to 7, Lucas claimed the hot seat by adding the four he needed, while giving up only one to Nou.

On the loss side, Diaz picked up a rematch against Russell Bellisle, whom he’d sent to the loss side in the third winners’ side round. Bellisle won four on the loss side, including two straight double hill wins over Dave Morganelli and Steve Sutton, before eliminating Mark Tringali 5-1 and Mark Ruzzano 5-3 to earn the rematch. Soulliere drew Rob Simonetti, who’d lost a double hill match to Joey Arruda on the winners’ side before mounting a six-match, loss-side winning streak that had recently eliminated William Aley 4-2 and Dalica Shatee 4-1 (whom he’d sent to the loss side in the opening round of play).

Diaz got back into the swing of things with a second win over Bellisle 5-2. Simonetti, though he only had a Fargo-calculated, slightly better than one-in-four chance of defeating Soulliere (27-73), he did just that. With Soulliere racing to 8, Simonette moved on to the quarterfinals against Diaz 4-3.

Diaz put a stop to that right off in the quarterfinals, downing Simonetti 9-1 and then, in what proved to be the final match of the New England 9-Ball Classic, Nou gave up only one rack to Diaz. The split was negotiated and the New England 9-Ball Classic was in the books.

Tour director Marc Dionne thanked the ownership and staff at Snooker’s for their hospitality along with sponsors Predator, Poison, Arcos II, BCAPL, USAPL New England, Fargo Rate, AZBilliards, Professor Q-ball’s National Pool and 3-Cushion News, MJS Construction, Master Billiards, OTLVISE, Outsville, Salotto and Just The Tip Cue Repair and Custom Accessories.

The next stop on the New England 9-Ball Series (#6), a $500-added event, originally scheduled for Sunday, June 12, has been postponed until a to-be-determined date, sometime before Stop #7 in August.

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