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Journeyman Belliveau wins last NE 9-Ball series stop before Tour Championship

Joe Callaluca, Daren Belliveau, and Mike Selig

Daren Belliveau is what is often referred to as a ‘journeyman.’ The word originated centuries ago, when a ‘journey’ was something you accomplished in a day. Craft guilds, growing in the development of independent cities, identified three classes in their rank and file; the apprentice (still learning a craft/skill), the journeyman (practicing the craft/skill) and the master (the head of a craft guild, with a number of apprentices and travelling journeymen under his wing). The assumption was that a journeyman would travel for a day, practice his craft (masonry, woodworking, blacksmith, etc.) and be gone the next day. On to a new village where he’d use those skills there as part of a select group, under the ‘banner’ of a Master.

The pool world is organized (loosely) in much the same way, with a vaguely-defined path for an apprentice to become a journeyman and only through many years of dedicated service to the craft (pool), a Master. In pool, you could think of the top-ranked professional players as the Masters, those playing in smaller regional tours as the apprentices, and players like Daren Belliveau as the journeymen, who, in old-school craft guild language, were fully-qualified, competent and authorized to work in the field.

Until this past weekend, at the 19th stop on the 2021 New England 9-Ball Series (Sat., Nov. 20), the only entries in Daren Belliveau’s AZBilliards’ profile page were from appearances, dating back to the turn of the century, on the Joss Northeast 9-Ball Tour. In his 13 cash finishes on that tour (that we know about), he finished outside of the top 10 only once. As a result of his undefeated run at this most recent NE 9-Ball series event, he now has a regional tour win on his journeyman resume. The $500-added NE 9-Ball Series event drew 20 entrants to Crow’s Nest in Plaistow, NH.

As befitting his journeyman status, Belliveau emerged from the upper bracket of the tour stop’s separated (upper and lower) brackets at the start. He benefited from two straight forfeits at the start of his winning campaign and as a result, advanced without effort to a winners’ side semifinal against Roy Morgridge. Belliveau would eventually win the event, having played only three matches. Emerging from the lower bracket were Michael Selig and Joe Callaluca, who faced each other in the other winners’ side semifinal.

Belliveau downed Morgridge 5-2, as Selig was surviving a double hill battle against Callaluca. Selig began the hot seat match with three ‘beads on the wire’ in a race to 6. He added only one more ‘bead,’ as Belliveau claimed the first of two against him 6-1 to claim the hot seat.

On the loss side, Morgridge picked up Daren’s Belliveau’s father, Everett, who was working on the possibility of a father/son final. He’d recently defeated John Askew 4-1 and shut out Dan Simoneau in his ongoing attempt to make that happen. Joe Callaluca drew Rebecca Welch, who’d recently eliminated Jeffrey Sheehan and Michelle Haddock, both double hill, to reach him.

Between them, Morgridge and Callaluca gave up only a single rack to Belliveau (1) and Welch (0). Callaluca then gave up none at all against Morgridge in the quarterfinals.

Selig put a stop to Callaluca’s brief but dominating two-match, loss-side winning streak 4-2 in the semifinals for a second shot at Daren Belliveau, waiting for him in the hot seat. Belliveau downed Selig a second time in the finals, rounding out the event’s final six matches, in which the winners outscored their opponents by an aggregate score of 21-4. In the final, Belliveau duplicated his hot seat effort against Selig (6-1) to claim the NE 9-Ball Series’ last 2021 event title.

Tour director Marc Dionne thanked the ownership and staff at Crow’s Nest for their hospitality, as well as 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 New England 9-Ball Series will return to Crow’s Nest for its next event. Scheduled for the weekend of Jan. 15-16, the venue will host the Series’ $5,000-added Tour Championship.

Boudreau and D’Alfonso go undefeated to take NE 9-Ball Series partners tournament

(l to r): Josh Rupard, Elliot Coates, Tyler Boudreau & Tom D’Alfonso

For its third and final Partners Tournament of the 2018/2019 season, the New England 9-Ball Series went with 8-ball as the game and though some of the partners who appeared in the previous two tournaments (playing 9-ball) were on-hand for this one, no two repeated as champions. It should be noted, as well, that the last partners tournament, held in April at Snooker’s in RI, ended up with three teams sharing the title, because those three teams preferred to be considered co-champions of the event. One of that trio of teams, Mike Demarco & Jeff Harnois, finished in the four-way tie for 9th place in this most recent tournament.
It was Tyler Boudreau and Tom D’Alfonso who went home with this most recent partners title. They went undefeated through a field of 45 teams that competed on the weekend of May 18-19 at Buster’s Billiards in Somersworth, NH. Boudreau/D’Alfonso, with a Fargo Rate of 582, had to get by Elliot Coates and Josh Rupard (same Fargo Rate) twice; once in a winners’ side semifinal and again, in the finals.
In their first meeting, Boudreau/D’Alfonso shut Coates/Rupard out. In the other winners’ side semifinal, Greg Andrecyk & CK Anousavanh defeated Paul Kazalski & Frank Porto in a double hill fight. Boudreau/D’Alfonso claimed the hot seat 4-1 over Andrecyk/Anousavanh and waited for Coates/Rupard to complete a three-match trip on the loss side to get into the finals.
Coates/Rupard picked up PJ Nicolosi & JT Thompson, who’d shut out Roy Morgridge & Mark Small and eliminated George Morgan & Mike Olcott 4-2. Kazalski/Porto drew Jason Cheng & Fred Watson, who’d defeated Jose Concepcion & Ben Hernandez in a double hill fight and Tony Deliso & Pam Fialho 3-1.
Coates/Rupard downed Nicolisi/Thompson 4-1 and in the quarterfinals, faced Cheng/Watson, who’d defeated Kazalski/Porto, double hill. Coates/Rupard then defeated Cheng/Watson 4-1 and followed it with a double hill, 4-2 victory over Andrecyk/Anousavanh in the semifinals, to earn a second shot at Boudreau/D’Alfonso in the finals.
Coates/Rupard improved on their earlier meeting against Boudreau/D’Alfonso; the shutout in the winners’ side semifinal. The final turned out to be a double hill fight, but Boudreau/D’Alfonso prevailed a second time to claim the partners 8-ball tournament.
Tour director Marc Dionne thanked the ownership and staff at Buster’s for their hospitality, 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 with Lease Fundings, Bourgeois Farms and OTLVISE Billiard Mechanics of America. The next stop (#21) on the New England 9-Ball Series, scheduled for Saturday, June 1, will be hosted by Crow’s Nest in Plaistow, NH.  

Dupuis goes undefeated to take NE 9-Ball Series Tour Championship

Ryan Urso and Joey Dupuis

Capping what’s been a pretty good year for him that included his second victory at the annual New England Pool & Billiards Hall of Fame Open 9-Ball event in March, Joe Dupuis went undefeated at the New England 9-Ball Series invitational Tour Championships on the weekend of September 8-9. The $10,000-added event drew 111 entrants to Bo’s Billiards in Warwick, RI.
In the earlier rounds of the upper bracket, Dupuis, competing as an Open player, won three matches in which, on average, he’d given up between three and four racks per match. In his fourth match, against Rich Howard, Dupuis picked up the pace a bit and gave up only a single rack in a 10-1 victory that advanced him to an overall winners’ side quarterfinal match against Sam Samoth. He sent Samoth to the loss side 8-5 to draw Dillon Nickerson in one of the winners’ side semifinals. From the lower bracket, Ryan Urso and Kevin Rodrigues had worked their way through a separate set of lower-ranked opponents giving up, on average, between two and three racks per match, to arrive and face each other in the other winners’ side semifinal.
In a straight-up race to 6, Urso downed Rodrigues 6-3 and advanced to the hot seat match. Dupuis stepped up the pace a second time, and though Nickerson had three games on the wire, in a race to 9, Dupuis made that point moot by shutting him out to join Urso in the hot seat match. Urso started the hot seat match with five games on the wire in a race to 10, and though he chalked up three on his own, Dupuis chalked up his 10 and sat in the hot seat, waiting for Urso to get back from the semifinals.
On the loss side, A player Ryan Cullen, who’d been defeated by Nickerson in a winners’ side quarterfinal, defeated Ben Savoie, double hill (7-4) and Roy Morgridge 7-5 to draw a re-match versus Nickerson. Rodrigues drew Ben Benson (B), who’d eliminated C+ players Lindsey Monto 6-2 and Anthony Petruzelli, double hill.
In their re-match, the two A players, Cullen and Nickerson battled to double hill, before Cullen finished it, advancing to the quarterfinals. Rodrigues joined him, downing fellow B player Benson 6-3.
Cullen gave up only a single rack in his quarterfinal match against Rodrigues and faced Urso in the semifinals. With two games on the wire at the start, Urso downed Cullen, double hill (5-6).
Joe Dupuis took his ‘foot off the gas’ a bit in the opening set of the true double elimination final against Urso. As in the hot seat match, Urso started with five games on the wire in a race to 10, and earned his requisite five more, before Dupuis had reached his third (5-2). The two battled to double hill in the second set, with Dupuis winning the deciding 14th game to claim the Tour Championship title.
Tour director Marc Dionne thanked the ownership and staff at Bo’s Billiards, as well as sponsors Ozone Billiards, Molinari, Bert Kinister, AZBilliards, Inside English, Professor Q-Ball’s National Pool and 3-Cushion News, Delta 13 racks, MJS Construction, Bob Campbell, Championship Cloth, and OTLVISE Billiard Mechanics of America.
The New England 9-Ball Series will open its 2018-2019 season on Sunday, September 23, with an event to be hosted by Crow’s Nest in Plaistow, NH.