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Webster double dips Fortin to take NE 9-Ball Series title

(l to r): Eli Davenport, Ross Webster & Troy Fortin

In something of an end-of-the-year dash to an imagined finish line, Ross Webster had already made 2019 his best earnings year to date, when he came back from a hot seat loss to double dip Troy Fortin in the finals of a November 30-December 1 stop on the New England 9-Ball Series. Webster’s only (recorded) cash finishes in 2019 began in September when he finished in the tie for 9th place at the New England 9-Ball Series’ Tour Championships. Two weeks later, he finished in 3rd place at the Joss Northeast 9-Ball Tour’s Maine Event XXIII, behind Jeremy Sossei and Joe Dupuis (Webster has won three Joss Tour Second Chance events since 2017). Separated by two weeks in October, he finished in the tie for 5th place at two more stops on the New England 9-Ball Series. According to our records, his win this past weekend marked his first major regional tour victory. The $1,000-added event drew 52 entrants to Legends Billiards in Auburn. ME.
After an opening round bye, Webster downed Jason Richard, Scott Martel and Dana Oulette to arrive at a winners’ side semifinal match against Tyler Campbell. Fortin, in the meantime, working in the lower bracket, defeated Gerry Gross, Bradley Nichols, Bob Lussier and Eli Davenport to reach his winners’ side semifinal matchup versus Jozy Vienneau.
Webster gave up just a single rack in a 7-1 victory over Campbell that put him in the hot seat match. Fortin joined him after surviving a double hill fight against Vienneau (7-4). Fortin locked up in a second straight double hill fight, battling for the hot seat and won it.
On the loss side, Campbell picked up Keith Trafton, who’d lost an opening round match to Stan Rupard and embarked on an eight-match, loss-side winning streak that would take him as far as the quarterfinals. He’d picked up loss-side wins #6 & #7 against Oulette (5-0) and Samoth Sam (5-2) to arrive at the battle for 5th/6th against Campbell. Vienneau drew Eli Davenport, who’d been sent to the loss side by Fortin and defeated Jason Seavey, double hill and Nathan Johnson 5-2 to reach Vienneau.
Trafton eliminated Campbell 5-2 and in the quarterfinals, faced Davenport, who’d defeated Vienneau 6-2. Davenport ended Trafton’s loss-side streak, double hill in those quarterfinals (4-5). Webster, in turn, ended Davenport’s four-match, loss-side streak with an 8-2 win in the semifinals.
With the wind at his back (so to speak), Webster sailed into the finals and claimed the opening set over Fortin without giving up a rack. Fortin was able to muster three of the four racks he needed to win the second rack and force a 12th, deciding game. Webster closed it to claim the event title.
Tour director Marc Dionne thanked the ownership and staff at Legends, as well as sponsors Predator, BCAPL, 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, Master Billiards and OTLVISE Billiard Mechanics of America. The next stop on the New England 9-Ball Series, scheduled for Sunday, December 15, will be a Partners 9-Ball Tournament, hosted by Crow’s Nest in Plaistow, NH.

Kyle Pepin Wins First Joss NE 9-Ball Tour Fargorate Event

Phil Harju (Union Station owner), Kyle Pepin, Ben Savoie and Tyler Dunbar

With the popularity of Fargo, more and more tournaments are converting to a handicapped system based on those Fargo ratings. While this format allows lower rated players to compete against more experienced opponents, it can sometimes be daunting for those better players to “outrun the handicap” in these handicapped matches. While some of the results were close, Kyle Pepin outran them all to win the Joss NE 9-Ball Tour’s Fargorate Handicapped event at Union Station Billiards in Portland, Maine on March 23rd – 24th. 
Pepin (653 Fargo) made his way through the winner’s side with three match wins on Saturday (Marc Dionne, Justin Grant and Josh Lerner). The handicaps (8-6, 9-5 and 8-5 were manageable, although Pepin did go hill-hill with Lerner in his last match of the day. 
Sunday play for Pepin started with a 9-5 race against Jerry Guitard that Pepin won 9-3. That was followed by the biggest spot that Pepin had to give up all weekend. His match against Tyler Dunbar (465 Fargo) was a 10-4 race that Pepin won 10-3. Pepin commented after the event on the format for this event. “The handicapped format was tough, a lot of tough spots and close matches, but I think it was pretty fair and made me play pretty honest. I didn’t have many chances to make mistakes.” he said. 
Ben Savoie (570 Fargo) was making this way through the one loss side after a loss to Guitard late on Saturday. Savoie had wins over Dave Hall, Josh Lerner and Samoth Sam before earning his revenge over Guitard 7-2. Savoie then sent Dunbar home in third place with an 8-3 win in the semi-final match. 
The final match between Pepin and Savoie was an 8-6 race, where Pepin won 8-4 in the first set for first place and his second career Joss NE 9-Ball Tour win. Pepin was complimentary of the event after the win. “I think the format is great for lower ranked players and the more people people play in events that are reported to Fargo, the more accurate everyone’s handicap will be.” he said. 
Sunday’s second chance tournament was the regular race to three format where Jim Hayden bounced back from a loss in the hot-seat match and double dipped Lindsey Monto in the finals for first place. 

Joss NE 9-Ball Tour’s Kevin Ketz Memorial Open This Weekend

Players & Fans,
Congratulations to Stop # 10 winners, Raphael Dabreo ($1,450 & 10th New England Pool & Billiard Hall Of Fame 9-Ball Open Champion), Ben Werblow ($300 second chance), Samoth Sam ($1,500 Joss cue raffle winner), Bruce Nagle (entry into the Super Billiards Expo pro event provided by Allen Hopkins for being our 2017/2018 Tour Point Champion) & all of this years New England Pool & Billiard Hall Of Fame Inductees!
On March 9 & 10, stop # 11 of The Joss Northeast 9-Ball Tour, the "Kevin Ketz Memorial Open" will be at Trick Shot Billiards & Sports Pub in Clifton Park (near Albany) NY. Our hosts Tim & Julie Berlin deserve many thanks from all of us for their continuing support and having already hosted 3 events this season at their other room, Sharp Shooters Billiards & Sports Pub!!! Thanks again Tim & Julie!! Trick Shot is a full service room with everything needed for a great time of pool and fun anytime. It is complete with a delicious full food menu and a separate full service bar where you can watch all of your favorite teams in action. Trick Shot has also become one our areas premier places for bands and entertainment with a recently completed major addition allowing for outside as well as inside gatherings. So come on over to Trick Shot Billiards & Sports Pub to play in or just watch yet another of our great events. While there, you could even win a gorgeous, custom, engraved, Joss Cue valued at $1,500 by participating in Trick Shot's cue raffle. Anyone can participate  and you don't have to be present to win! The drawing will be just prior to the final match of the main event on Sunday. This amazing cue that will be given away at Trick Shot can be viewed here:
For more info about Trick Shot Billiards & Sports Pub, or to get directions and nearby motel info, please call them directly at 518-383-8771. Or visit their site at
This event at Trick Shot will consist of a $1500 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.
For those of you coming to play, you must arrive on Saturday March 9, BEFORE 11:30 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  
Lastly, I can't stress enough how important it is for all of you to please frequent your local billiard parlors and utilize the services of our most generous sponsors who are the backbone of our sport. These are the ones who keep our sport alive. So get out and play! 
Mike Zuglan
The Joss Northeast 9-Ball Tour Is Proudly Sponsored By;
Joss Cues –
Turning Stone Resort Casino – 
Simonis Cloth – – –
Aramith –
Billiards Press –                 
World Class Cue Care –
FargoRate –


Imm family competes, daughter Jane wins NE 9-Ball Series’ Bangor Bash

Room Owner Corey Hanson, Claude Poitras, Jane Imm, Greg Murray and Chad Bazinet

Not only did Jane Imm advance to the hot seat in her first pool tournament, she took two out of three against a much higher-ranked opponent to seal the deal and claim her first event title. The occasion was the $3,000-added New England 9-Ball Series’ Bangor Bash (Stop #8), held on the weekend of December 1-2 at Rack City in Bangor, ME. Jane worked her way through a field of 81 entrants, winning six in a row (including back-to-back double hill wins) to get into the hot seat, losing the opening set of a true double elimination final and fighting back to take the second set and win it all.
Assisting her in the moral support department were her father, Samoth Sam, a long-time ‘A’ player on the tour, who finished in the tie for 9th place, and her brother Sam, who competed, but finished out of the money. Standing in her way, towards the end, was Greg Murray, boasting a FargoRate 200 points above hers (550-350), giving Jane six ‘on the wire’ in what proved to be their three races to 9. He almost got there in their hot seat battle and allowed her only a single rack in their first of two in the double elimination final.
Coming out of the lower bracket in the early stages of the tournament, Jane, after an opening round bye, defeated Amandas Soucy and Macdonald, Mark Pulsifer and Fred Gillis to arrive at a winners’ side semifinal against Jason Richards. Murray, in the meantime, having defeated Mike Gagne, Ron Ricard, Kyle Pepin, Stan Rupard, and Jeff Furness, squared off against Ben Harvey in the other winners’ side semifinal.
Murray, in a straight-up race to 7, got into the hot seat match 7-5 over Harvey. Imm joined him after a double hill (3-7) win over Richards. In her second straight double hill fight, Imm claimed the hot seat 3-8 over Murray and waited for him to get back from the semifinals.
On the loss side, Harvey picked up Michael Verducci, who’d been sent to the loss side by Jane Imm’s Dad, Samoth Sam and won six in a row, including most recent victories over Steve Smith 7-4 and Jeff Furness 7-2. Richards drew a re-match against Claude Poitras, who, after being sent to the loss side by Richards, downed four in a row, including Fred Gillis 4-2 and Jenn Brown 5-1.
Verducci advanced to the quarterfinals with an 8-2 win over Harvey, and was joined by Poitras, who’d eliminated Richards 4-4 (Richards racing to 6). Pointras’ FargoRate was 169 points lower than Verducci’s (420-589), which gave Poitras five ‘on the wire’ in a race to 8. Poitras, as it turned out, didn’t need any of them. He shut out Verducci out in the quarterfinals 3-0, and turned for a shot against Murray in the semifinals.
Poitras only got four ‘on the wire’ in the semifinal race to 8. He chalked up two more, but fell to Murray 8-2, setting up the finals re-match.
With six ‘on the wire’ in a race to 9, Imm chalked up only one more, before Murray won the opening set 9-1. In the second set, Murray got to six racks before Imm collected her first event title with a 3-6 win.
Tour director Marc Dionne thanked the owner Corey Hanson and his Rack City staff 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, Bourgeois Farms and OTLVISE Billiard Mechanics of America. The next stop on the New England 9-Ball Series (Stop #9), scheduled for Sunday, December 9, will be a Partners Tournament (Maximum Fargo Rate of 1200), hosted by Crow’s Nest in Plaistow, NH.

Pepin Wins First Career Joss Tour Stop

Mike Zuglan, Daren Belliveau, Kyle Pepin, and room owner Phil Harju

Kyle Pepin won his first ever Joss NE 9-Ball Tour stop by the narrowest of margins on November 3rd and 4th at Union Station Billiards in Portland, Maine.

Pepin cruised through the right side of the board with wins over Brian Wheel, Wayne Faherty, Jim Hayden, Samoth Sam and Dave Hall. His 9-8 win over Hall put Pepin in the hot-seat, waiting for an opponent in the finals.

Hall found Darren Belliveau waiting on the one loss side, itching for a fight. Belliveau had lost to Ivaylo Petrov late on Saturday, but hadn’t lost since then. Hall was Belliveau’s fifth match on the one loss side, and he became the fifth player to be eliminated by Belliveau.

Belliveau didn’t stop there though, as he then handed Pepin his first loss 9-5 in the first set of the finals. The second set couldn’t have been any closer, tied at hill-hill, when Belliveau scratched on an 8-ball leaving Pepin the easiest of shots for Joss Tour stop victory #1.

The 11 player second chance tournament on Sunday saw Ross Webster win his second stop of the season with an undefeated run. Webster defeated Tyler Campbell 3-2 for the hot-seat and then 3-1 in the first set of the finals.

The Joss NE 9-Ball Tour will be back in action on November 17th – 18th for the 30th Ocean State 9-Ball Championship. This event features $4500 in added money, with a $500 added second chance event on Sunday.

Sossei over Charette for Joss Tour Season Opener Win

Nicolas Charette, TJs manager Steve Claude and Jeremy Sossei

Mike Zuglan’s Joss NE 9-Ball Tour kicked off their 2018-1019 season at TJ’s Classic Billiards on September 22nd – 23rd for “The Maine Event XXII”, and this event came down to a Joss Tour veteran against a player in their first ever regular season Joss Tour stop.
The veteran player was Jeremy Sossei, winner of over sixteen Joss Tour titles, who has been winning tour stops for over 10 years. Sossei has been away from the game for most of this year, with a win at the NE 9-Ball Open XXX back in February as his only appearance on the AzBilliards money list. Sossei has been spending his time on a new business that he opened, but hopes to be getting out to regularly compete again very soon. 
The newcomer was Quebec’s Nicolas Charette, who got his Joss Tour feet wet at the Turning Stone Classic XXIX, but was in Waterville Maine for his first regular tour stop. Charette credited his appearance on this weekend to his love for the game. “I just enjoy playing tournaments, competing, traveling, experiencing different conditions. But really, I love the game” he said. 
The players kept pace with each other all weekend until the hot-seat match. Sossei scored wins over Bill Cote, Steve Reynolds, Joe Darigis, Cody Francis and Kyle Pepin on his way to the match, while Charette had wins over Samoth Sam, Emily Cady, Jorge Teixeira, Chad Bizinet and Rich Kravitz. 
The first meeting between Sossei and Charette went to the veteran 9-7 and he waited to see who he would play in the finals. Charette would face off against fellow countryman Tom Theriault in the semi-finals, but he would score a quick 7-3 win to earn another shot at Sossei in the finals.
Anyone expecting another close match between these two competitors was shocked to see the Canadian cueman score a decisive 9-2 win over Sossei in the first set of the finals. With the players now tied at one set each, a third set was played to determine a winner and Sossei pulled out a tight 7-5 win for Joss Tour Stop title #17. 
Nine players came back on Sunday to compete in the second chance tournament where Dan Couture defeated Steve Reynolds two sets out of three for first place. 
The Joss NE 9-Ball tour will be back in action on October 6th – 7th for the Hudson Valley Fall Classic at The Spot in Nanuet, New York. 

Turning Stone Classic XXX Day One Complete

Petri Makkonen (Photo courtesy of Erwin Dionisio)

Day one at the Turning Stone Classic XXX is complete, with all 128 players having competed in one match. 


Different than past events, there were really no major upsets on day one of this event. The closest the fans came to seeing a first round upset was "Cue Picker" Greg Antonakos being tied with five time Turning Stone Champion Jayson Shaw at 7-7 early on Thursday. The upset was not meant to be though, as Shaw dug down and won the final two racks for the 9-7 win. As of the writing of this article, Shaw had already defeated Brandon Shuff on day two of the event. 


All of the other top players in the field advanced to Friday play undefeated, including returning champion Billy Thorpe, Shane Van Boening, Earl Strickland, Mika Immonen, Johnny Archer, Loree Jon Hasson and Finland's Petri Makkonen. Makkonen opened the eyes of some fans in attendance late Thursday night with his 9-0 win over Samoth Sam on the streaming table.


AzBilliards has online brackets and real time scoring for the duration of the event, and Upstate Al is streaming select matches on his Facebook page. Links to all of this coverage are available on our live page for the event.

Turning Stone Classic XXX Underway

The Turning Stone Classic XXX is underway with a full field of 128 players. Returnng champion Billy Thorpe is joined by notables such as Jayson Shaw, Shane Van Boening, Earl Strickland, Mika Immonen, Johnny Archer, Brandon Shuff and Loree Jon Hasson


AzBilliards will have online brackets and real time scoring for the duration of the event, and Upstate Al is streaming select matches on his Facebook page. Links to all of this coverage are available on our live page for the event. 


Matches scheduled to be streamed on Thursday are…

4pm – Bruce Nagle vs Shaun Wilkie

6pm – Frankie Hernandez vs Randy Labonte

8pm – Steve Lillis vs Hunter Lombardo

10pm – Samoth Sam vs Petri Makkonen

Dany Normandin Wins Joss NE 9-Ball Tour Stop

Mike Yednak, Dany Normandin and Union Station Owner Phil Harju

Sometimes, getting that first match win is the key to tournament success. That looked to be the case on April 7th – 8th at Union Station Billiards in Portland Maine where Dany Normandin earned his first career Joss NE 9-Ball Tour win.
Normandin’s first match was against the always dangerous Kyle Pepin. Pepin approaches the table with a confidence that can affect many opponent’s games and this match was a close one with Normandin pulling out a 9-7 win. After that win though, no opponent would put up much of a challenge to keep Normandin from the winner’s circle. Xavier Libby, Jim Hayden and Samoth Sam all fell to Normandin on Saturday, by a total score of 27-11. 
Normandin picked up where he left off when Sunday play got underway, as he took the hot-seat with a 9-4 win over Ivaylo Petrov
On the one loss side, Pepin had made it through five straight matches on Saturday and opened Sunday play with a 9-2 win over Josh Rupard. Pepin’s run would finally be brought to a close by Michael Yednak in the next round as Yednak scored a 9-7 win to earn his spot in the semi-final match against Petrov. Yednak’s only loss in the event up to this point had been a loss to Petrov mid-day on Saturday, but he would avenge that loss with a 9-5 win over Petrov to send Petrov to the seats in 3rd place.
The finals would go only one set and would continue Normandin’s dominant play as he beat Yednak 9-3 for first place and $1000 in prize money. 
Sundays second chance tournament saw Ross Webster drop his second match to Xavier Libby, but come back with five match wins for first place. After the win over Webster, Libby then dropped the hot-seat match to Gary Bryant 3-0. After eliminating Libby 3-0, Webster came out of the one loss side to defeat Bryant 3-0 and 3-1 in the finals for first place and $300 in prize money. 
The Joss NE 9-Ball Tour will be back in action on April 28th – 29th at Raxx Pool Room, Sports Bar and Grill in West Hempstead, NY.

Parsons and Conner split top prizes on NE 9-Ball Series

(l to r): Carlton Gagnon, John Parsons & Nick Conner

By the time John Parsons and Nick Conner reached the finals of the March 24 stop on the New England 9-Ball series, they’d played a total of 56 games, and won 41 of them. Parsons (the C+ player) had been a little stingier than Conner (the A player), giving up only five racks in his 25 games. Conner went 21-10. It was to have been a true double elimination final, but when Conner took the opening set (chalking up more racks against Parsons in that single set than all of Parsons’ previous opponents combined), the two opted out of a final match and split the event’s top two prizes. The $500-added event drew 43 entrants to Legends Sports Bar & Grill in Auburn, ME.
The first of their two matches played out in the battle for the hot seat. Conner had defeated Samoth Sam (as an A+, racing to 5) 4-4. Parsons shut out his ‘C’ opponent, Carlton Gagnon, to join him. With Conner racing to 6 in the hot seat match, Parsons sent him to the semifinals 3-2, and waited on his return.
On the loss side, Sam drew an immediate re-match against Tyler Campbell, whom he’d defeated in a winners’ side quarterfinal, and then downed Josh Rupard 3-5 (Rupard racing to 6), and Steve Smith, double hill. Gagnon picked up Gary Columbie, who’d eliminated Roland Beaulieu 3-1, and Josh Edmonds, double hill.
Campbell defeated Sam 3-3 (Sam racing to 6), and was joined in the quarterfinals by Gagnon, who’d eliminated Columbie, double hill (3-3). By the same score, Gagnon defeated Campbell in those quarterfinals, and then had his short, loss-side streak ended by Conner, who shut him out for a second shot at Parsons in the hot seat.
Conner gave up only a single rack in the opening set of the true double elimination final. There wasn’t a second set. The event title and relevant cash was split between them.
Tour director Marc Dionne thanked the ownership and staff at Yale Billiards, as well as sponsors Ozone Billiards, Molinari, Bert Kinister, AZBilliards, Inside English, Professor Q-Ball’s National and 3-Cushion News, Delta 13 Racks, MJS Construction, Bob Campbell, Championship Cloth, and OTLVISE Billiard Mechanics of America. The next stop on the New England 9-Ball Series (#21), scheduled for Saturday, March 31, will be an ‘A and below’ event, hosted by Straight Shooters in Fall River, MA.