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Fracasso-Verner comes from the loss side to win his first-ever event of the NE 9-Ball Series

(l to r): James Pasciolla and Lukas Fracasso-Verner

Though in 2018, he’d won a stop on the Predator Tour and won the 8th Annual Ginky Memorial’s Amateur Tournament, held under the auspices of the Predator and Tri-State Tours, a win on the New England 9-Ball Series had eluded him. Former Junior National Champion Lukas Fracasso-Verner, in the midst of his best earnings year to date, had finished as runner-up three times this year before entering the Saturday, Oct. 13 stop (#3) on the tour and coming from the loss side to down James “Doc” Pasciolla to claim the title. The $500-added event drew 42 entrants to Yale Billiards in Wallingford, CT.
The early going in this event was split evenly into upper and lower brackets of 21 players each, out of which emerged Sal Midolo from the upper bracket and Pasciolla from the lower bracket. Fracasso-Verner had advanced through four opponents to run into Midolo in one of the winners’ side semifinals, as Pasciolla was meeting Jason D’Angelo in the other one.
Midolo squeaked by Fracasso-Verner, double hill (5-6), and in the hot seat match, faced Pasciolla, who’d sent D’Angelo west 5-2. Midolo claimed the hot seat in his second straight double hill match and waited for Fracasso-Verner to get back from a three-match, loss-side winning streak to meet him in the finals.
Fracasso-Verner opened the loss-side segment of his winning run against Ray Buthe, who’d defeated Gene Hunt 5-3 and Mario Argentino, double hill, to reach him. D’Angelo drew Shane Bansrupan, who’d eliminated Kelly Hodder and Darryl Helm, both 4-1.
Over his next three matches, earning him a spot in the finals, Fracasso-Verner gave up a total of only three racks in 22 games. He shut out Buthe to get into the quarterfinals against D’Angelo, who’d defeated Bansrupan, double hill. He gave up only a single rack to D’Angelo in those quarterfinals (8-1) and then denied Midolo a second shot against Pasciolla with a 6-2 victory over him in the semifinals.
In the finals, the difference in their Fargo Rates (632/492) gave Pasciolla four on the wire at the outset. To his credit, Pasciolla chalked up as many racks against Fracasso-Verner in those finals as all three of the youngster’s previous opponents combined (3). Fracasso-Verner chalked up his requisite eight racks to claim the event title.
Tour director Marc Dionne thanked the ownership and staff at Yale Billiards, as well as sponsors Predator, 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 (#4) on the New England 9-Ball Series, scheduled for the weekend of October 20-21, will be a $1,000-added event, hosted by Legends Sports Bar in Auburn, ME.