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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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Fracasso-Verner goes undefeated to claim NE 9-Ball Series ‘20/’21 Tour Championship (Finale)

Paul Kazalski, Robert Lewis, and Lukas Fracasso-Verner

The winner and runner-up of the New England 9-Ball Series’ Tour Championships, held this past weekend (Jan. 15-16), were returning to the tables after distinctly different amounts and kinds of time away. Lukas Fracasso-Verner, who went undefeated to claim the event title, has been working his way back up the ‘earnings’ ladder for the past couple of years, following what had been, to date, his best earnings year (2019), when he won two stops on the tour and was also that year’s Empire State 9-Ball champion. The following year, thanks to the pandemic, he cashed in only three (recorded) events, finishing as runner-up on the NE 9-Ball Series three times. In 2021, he cashed in nine events, including a victory at a 2nd Chance event on the Joss Tour, and an undefeated run to claim the MD State 10-Ball title; his first major win in almost two years. Fracasso-Verner has started 2022 with this most recent undefeated run on the $5,000-added Tour Championships, which drew 55 entrants to Crow’s Nest in Plaistow, NH.

Coming from the loss-side, where he won five straight for the right to face Fracasso-Verner in the finals, was 68-year-old Robert Lewis, aka Chelsea Grinder and also aka Machine Gun Bobby, who reportedly “hasn’t been competing much lately.” He came back to the tables for this Tour Championship event, at which his runner-up finish has led to his first (recorded) cash finish in an event, anywhere.

Fracasso-Verner (704) and Lewis (629) both emerged from the event’s upper bracket, where they met for the first of two matches in a winners’ side quarterfinal. Lewis had benefited from a first-round forfeit, a 6-3 win over Daniel Simoneau and a shutout of Joe Meuse before running into Fracasso-Verner, who sent him to the loss side 7-1. Fracasso-Verner advanced to a winners’ side semifinal matchup versus Chad Bazinet. From the lower brackets, it was Paul Kazalski and Tiffany Vuong who advanced to their face-off in the other winners’ side semifinal.

Fracasso-Verner defeated Bazinet 6-3, and in the hot seat match, faced Kazalski, who’d sent Tiffany Vuong west 5-3. To his credit, Kazalski made the best of a (Fargo Rated) hot seat match that favored Fracasso-Verner by almost 70 percentage points (84.6 to 15.4). Kazalski battled Fracasso-Verner to double hill (9-3) before Fracasso-Verner closed it out to claim the hot seat. 

Meanwhile, “Chelsea Grinder” (Lewis) had opened his loss-side campaign with a double hill win over Steve Sutton and backed it up with a 6-3 win over John Vitale, to draw Bazinet, coming over from the winners’ side semifinal. Vuong drew Curtis Wright, who’d lost his opening match to David Ty and was working on a six-match, loss-side winning streak that had recently eliminated Adam Blair 5-2 and in a rematch, Ty 5-3.

Wright advanced one more step, downing Vuong 6-1, while Lewis was working on advancing to the quarterfinals with a 6-3 win over Bazinet. Lewis then ended Wright’s run 7-3 in those quarterfinals. 

Kazalski came into the semifinals versus Lewis with a similar handicap to the one he’d been able to employ against Fracasso-Verner in the hot seat match. In the semifinals, as Lewis was racing to 8, Kazalski was racing to 4. Kazalski came one rack short of forcing a second straight, double hill, deciding game for himself, but in the end, Lewis edged out in front to win it 8-2.

The second Fracasso-Verner/Lewis meeting proved to be an exact replica of their first meeting in a winners’ side quarterfinal. For the second time, Fracasso-Verner downed Lewis 7-1 to claim the 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 kick off their 2022 schedule at Straight Shooters in Fall River, Ma. this coming weekend (Sunday, Jan. 23) for the tour’s 2022, $600-added season opener.  

Lower-bracket Jacobs gets by upper-bracket Sutton to win Stop #15 on NE 9-Ball Series

Steve Sutton, Jeremiah Jacobs and Chad Bazinet

The theory of split brackets at the start of tournaments, as regularly practiced by the New England 9-Ball Series, is that blending all players into a single bracket from the start leads to higher-rated players eliminating lower-rated players early in the process and creating an all-higher-rated-players series of matches near the end of a tournament. With split brackets, so the theory goes, the early process allows lower-rated players to face opponents closer to their skill level for most of the tournament, and only near the end, do the best of the lower-bracket field have to face higher-rated opponents. The ‘pudding’ that’s the proof that this theory does actually create a more equitable experience for all occurs when a lower-rated player, having advanced to the lower bracket hot seat, ends up facing the higher-rated player in the event’s hot seat match and finals and defeats that higher-rated player twice. 

As Jeremiah Jacobs (504), working at first in the lower bracket, did to Steve Sutton (594) from the upper bracket on the NE 9-Ball Series Stop #15, held this past Saturday, July 31. Jacobs went undefeated in the $750-added event that drew 21 entrants to America Pool & Billiards in Portland, ME.

Jacobs opened his undefeated campaign against an opponent separated by almost 200 Fargo-Rate points. At the start of their opening match, the differential gave Steve Miner (310) five beads on the wire in a race to 9 and he almost chalked up the four more he needed to win. Jacobs, though, tallied the nine he needed and advanced. In a straight-up race to 5, Jacobs then downed Shane Ryan 5-3 and in a 6-4 race versus Jozy Vienneau, won 6-1 to draw San Im in one of the winners’ side semifinals.

After an opening round bye, Steve Sutton faced three straight-up, race-to-6 opponents, winning the first two, against Steve Smith 6-2 and Jerry Guitard 6-3, to draw Cody Porter in the other winners’ side semifinals. 

Two double hill matches decided the opponents in the hot seat match would be. Sutton downed Porter 6-5, while Jacobs sent Im to the loss side 5-4. With Sutton racing to 7, Jacobs claimed the hot seat 5-5.

On the loss side, Im picked up Jozy Vienneau, who’d followed his loss to Jacobs with victories over Stephanie Rickett 5-3 and Eriq Manson 4-4 (Manson racing to 6). Porter drew Chad Bazinet, who, at 661, was the highest-rated player in the tournament. Bazinet (racing to 8) got off to a shockingly slow start, shut out by Soel Quinones Vargas (racing to 4) in the opening round. He then embarked on a seven-match, loss-side winning streak that would take him as far as the semifinals. He had recently eliminated Jerry Guitard 7-2 and then, in turn-about-is-fair-play fashion gave up only a single rack in his rematch versus Vargas.

Im shut Viennea out for advancement to the first money round; the quarterfinals. Bazinet joined him by winning his 6th loss-side match, over Porter 6-2. Bazinet was racing to 9 in the quarterfinals that followed against Im, who was racing to 4. Im got two of the four he needed, but Bazinet got the nine he needed and prevailed in what proved to be the end of his loss-side winning streak.

Bazinet and Sutton, both looking for a shot against Jacobs, waiting in the hot seat for one of them, battled to double hill in the semifinals. Sutton prevailed for his second and potentially necessary third chance against Jacobs in the finals. 

Jacobs made a second set unnecessary. And made a statement in the process. He shut Sutton out to claim the event title.

Tournament director Marc Dionne thanked the ownership and staff at American Pool & Billiards, 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 Accesories. The next stop on the New England 9-Ball Series (Stop #16), scheduled for August 7-8, will be the $2,000-added Summer Sizzler, to be hosted by Snookers in Providence, RI.

Mike “Bads” wins Iwan Simonis Ride The 9 Tour entry in the ‘ghost’ tournament phenomenon

Mike Badsteubner (Erwin Dionisio)

Mike Badstuebner won the four matches he needed to win to emerge as the Iwan Simonis Ride the 9 Tour’s fourth champion in the first ‘virtual’ 9-ball ghost challenge that the opted to call The Hunger Games. Alex Bausch was the event’s runner-up.

A total of 21 players played in qualifiers, which began on June 7, to get down to a final 16-players. Larry Steele and Francisco Cifuentes III finished (June 13) as the top two players to advance to the 16-player, single elimination field that eventually crowned Badstuebner. Badstuebner and Bausch both qualified with 110 points.

The qualifying rounds (for entrants with Fargo ratings of 710 or below) featured four sets of five games for each player. The lowest score of the four sets was dropped and a qualification score was derived from the sum of the other three sets. Each pocketed ball in a given rack was worth a single point and the 9-ball was worth two points; points could be deducted for a variety of ‘foul’ reasons. Steele entered the final stage having chalked up 128 points (a little less than 43 points for each of his best three-of-four sets). Cifuentes qualified with a score of 121 (40 +/ points).

The final 16-entrant event, which began on June 14 and finished on Monday, June 22, featured single races to increasing numbers (5, 8, 11 & 13). Steele, in the opening round’s race to 5, fell to Euryel Castillo 25-22 (one of three matches in the opening eight with a score differential of three or less points). Castillo advanced to face Vinny Crescimanno in one of the quarterfinal matches. Badstuebner, in the meantime, fell three balls short of reaching the five-rack potential of 50 points in the opening round by defeating Kevin Burris 47-20. He advanced to face Casey Olivieri in another of the event’s quarterfinal matches.

Second-highest qualifier Francisco Cifuentes III defeated Steve Sutton 43-24 in the opening round, which set him up against Douglas Arcadi in a third quarterfinal. Eventual runner-up Alex Bausch got by Bob Dargis 47-40 in the opening round, which put him against Frank Porto in the remaining quarterfinal.

“Bads” and Castillo advanced to the semifinals; “Bads,” with an 53-0 victory over Olivieri and Castillo downing Crescimanno 53-40 in their races to 8. Bausch and Cifuentes III became the other semifinal ‘team,’ as “Bads” eliminated Castillo 83-56 and Bausch disposed of Cifuentes 96-70.

“Bads” and Bausch finished this event on Gloria Jean’s Iwan Simonis Ride the 9 Tour with a nail biting race to 13. “Bads” claimed the event title and its $600 first prize with a single-point victory over Bausch 104-103.

Tour director Gloria Jean thanked all of the players who participated in this event, as well as feature commentators Melissa Little, Mike Badstuebner, Upstate Al, Mary Avina and Ivan Lee, President & CEO of Iwan Simonis. She thanked all of her sponsors to include title sponsor Simonis Billiard Cloth. Jean is planning more virtual events and is running a “virtual break and run pot.” Further information is available on the Iwan Simonis Ride the 9 Tour page on Facebook.

Hunt goes undefeated, downs Kirshnitz twice to claim NE 9-Ball Series title

(l to r):George Palmer, Gabriel Kirshnitz & Gene Hunt.

According to our records, while Gene Hunt has been competing at the tables for about a decade now, he hasn’t had a payout at a regional tournament since May of 2016, when he finished 9th at a stop on the Predator Pro Am Tour. Those same records now indicate that on Saturday, June 1, Hunt chalked up an undefeated win on the New England 9-Ball Series, downing Gabriel Kirshnitz twice to claim the event title. The event (stop #21) drew 56 entrants to Crow’s Nest Pub and Grill in Plaistow, NH.
 
On his way to his first meetup versus Kirshnitz in the hot seat match, Hunt, working in the event’s upper bracket, dispatched Phil Russo and Javier Fantauzzi to the loss side, before facing one of the event’s two highest Fargo-rated players, Kerry McAuliffe (648). The highest Fargo-rated player at this event was Ryan Cullen (673), who’d show up later on the loss side. Hunt (559) battled McAuliffe to double hill before sending him to the loss side 5-6. He then defeated Soel Quinones 6-2 to arrive at a winners’ side semifinal match against Steve Sutton.
 
Kirshnitz (488), in the meantime, working in the lower bracket got by Don Roy, Kim Orr, Mark Pulsifer and shut out Chris Richard to draw George Palmer in the other winners’ side semifinal.
 
Both of the winners’ side semifinals went double hill with Hunt, in a straight-up race to 6, downing Sutton and Kirshnitz, in a straight-up race to 5, sending Palmer to the loss side. The battle for the hot seat went double hill, as well. With Hunt racing to 6 and Kirshnitz to 5, Hunt claimed the hot seat 6-4.
 
On the loss side, it was Sutton who drew the event’s top Fargo-rated player, Cullen, who was in the midst of a six-match, loss-side winning streak that was about to end. He’d recently shut out Quinones and picked up a forfeit win from Eric Lim. George Palmer drew Mark Small, who, like Cullen, was in the midst of a six-match, loss-side winning streak that was about to end. He’d most recently defeated Chris Richards, double hill and shut out Catherine Ong. Small’s elimination of Ong and Cullen’s forfeit over Lim sent Ong and Lim, who are married, home at the same time, with the same $80 payout for the two-way tie for 7th place.
 
Sutton and Palmer got right back to work. Sutton downed Cullen 4-4 (Cullen racing to 6) and Palmer eliminated Small, double hill (4-3). With Sutton racing to 5, Palmer then defeated him 4-2 in the quarterfinals.
 
In a straight-up race to 4 in the semifinals, Kirshnitz earned himself a second shot at Hunt in the hot seat with a 4-1 victory over Palmer. In a repeat of their hot seat match, Hunt and Kirshnitz battled to double hill a second time, with the same result. Hunt claimed his first NE 9-Ball Series title.
 
Tour director Marc Dionne thanked the ownership and staff at Crow’s Nest 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, Master Billiards and OTLVISE Billiard Mechanics of America. The next stop on the New England 9-Ball Series (#22), scheduled for July 14, will find the tour back at Crow’s Nest in Plaistow, NH.

Campbell stops loss-side bid by Senna to take NE 9-Ball Series Tour Championships

(l to r): Tyler Campbell & Rich Senna

 

Tyler Campbell, a C+ player from Portland, ME, picked the New England 9-Ball Series Championships to record his first major win anywhere. He lost only one match, the first set in a true double elimination final against B+ player, Rich Senna. The $10,000-added Tour Championships, held on the weekend of September 9-10, drew 110 entrants to Bo’s Billiards in Warwick, RI.
 
Campbell advanced to the hot seat match with a 5-2 win over fellow C+ player Bill O’Mara, while Al McGuane sent Campbell’s eventual finals opponent, Senna, to the loss side in a double hill win. Campbell claimed the hot seat 5-5 over McGuane (racing to 7) and waited on Senna’s return.
 
On the loss side, Senna began his trek back to the finals against Steve Sutton, who’d eliminated Tony Ruzzano 6-4 and Phillip Davis 5-6 (Davis racing to 8). O’Mara drew David Ty, recent winner over Joanne Vienneau, double hill, and Jay Cunningham 5-2.
 
Omara and Senna went right back to work; O’Mara downing Ty 5-2 and Senna eliminating Sutton, double hill. Senna took the quarterfinal match 8-2 over O’Mara, and spoiled McGuane’s bid for a second shot against Campbell  6-2 in the semifinals.
 
Campbell kept it close in the opening set of the true double elimination final, forcing a deciding game at the 7-4 mark (Campbell racing to 5, Senna to 8). Senna won it to force a second set, which came within a single game of being a second double hill match. Campbell, though, pulled ahead near the end and won the second set 5-6 to claim his first NE 9-Ball Series victory.
 
Tour director Marc Dionne thanked the ownership and staff at Bo’s Billiards for their hospitality, 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, Bob Campbell, Championship Cloth, OTLVISE Billiard Mechanics of America.
 
The opening event of the New England 9-Ball Series’ 2017-2018 season, scheduled for Sunday, September 24, will be hosted by Crow’s Nest in Plaistow, NH.
 

Dechaine goes undefeated to win Robert Dionne Memorial

Paul Coorey, Francisco Cabral and Mike Dechaine

When a professional pool player appears in a handicapped tournament, he (or she), in any matchup, is often expected to win twice, and in some cases, three times as many games as his/her lower-handicapped opponents. The intent is to level the playing field, to give the lower-ranked opponent an opportunity to win the match by having to win significantly fewer games. In many cases, the professional handicap of having to win more games is not enough to offset the wide disparity in levels of skill.
 
On the weekend of Jan. 7-8, 42 players signed on to compete in the 11th Annual Robert Dionne Memorial Tournament, held under the auspices of the New England 9-Ball Series, to commemorate tour director Marc Dionne's father, who passed away in 2006. Among the 42 entrants at the $1,500-added event, hosted by The Crow's Nest in Plaistow, NH, was Mosconi Cup competitor, Mike Dechaine, who went undefeated through the field, and in his final 34 games, gave up only a single rack (total) to his last three opponents.
 
According to Dechaine, it wasn't all as easy as indicated by the aggregate score of his last three matches.
 
"I went hill-hill twice in the tournament," he said. "Francisco Cabral, who finished third, almost got me, and so did Tony Ruzzano (who finished in the tie for 9th place)."
 
"It wasn't too far from home," he said of his reasons for signing on, "and I just decided to participate."
 
To regular competitors on the New England 9-Ball Series, it must have been akin to joining a pick-up basketball game and seeing LeBron James show up to play on the opposing team, with predictable results. From Dechaine's perspective, the handicap system (akin, say, to forcing LeBron James To play one-handed) worked well; creating some predictable blowouts and the two double-hill matches.
 
"There might be some slight adjustments needed," he said of the system, "but I think it's pretty spot on."
 
By the time Dechaine had reached the winners' side semifinals (with his two, double-hill matches behind him), he was facing opponents with narrower margins of error. Facing Kerry McAuliffe, racing to 6, Dechaine had to win nine games. He did so, giving up the one rack he'd relinquish from that point on. He was joined in the hot seat match by C+ player, Paul Coorey, who'd defeated Dan Martis, double hill. In that hot seat match, Coorey had to win four, before Dechaine chalked up 12. Dechaine shut him out.
 
On the loss side, the two competitors who had earlier forced a deciding game in their matches against Dechaine – Cabral and Ruzzano – squared off in the matches that would determine the four-way tie for ninth place. Cabral defeated Ruzzano and then, Steve Sutton, both double hill, before picking up McAuliffe. Martis drew Charlie Matarazzo, who'd gotten by Jay Cunningham 5-3, and Rick Bergevin, double hill.
 
The lower-ranked players, Martis (C), and Cabral (A-), downed their higher-ranked opponents, Matarrazo (C+) and McAuliffe (A); Martis 4-2 over Matarazzo, and Cabral 6-3 over McAuliffe. Cabral gave up only a single rack to Martis in the ensuing quarterfinals, but had his loss-side streak ended by Coorey 5-6 in the semifinals (Cabral racing to 9).
 
Coorey got a second shot at Dechaine, but it was a repeat of the hot seat match. Dechaine shut him out a second time to claim the event title.
 
Tour director Marc Dionne thanked the ownership and staff of The Crow's Nest for their hospitality, 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, Bob Campbell, Championship Cloth, and OTLVISE Billiard Mechanics of America. The next stop on the New England 9-Ball Series, scheduled for Sunday, January 15, will be a $500-added event, hosted by Legends Sports Bar in Auburn, ME.

Hunt goes undefeated to take New England 9-Ball Series Stop #7

Eric Hunt, Cameo Moy and Jeff Furness

Eric Hunt took two matches over Cameo Moy to complete an undefeated run during the seventh stop on the New England 9-Ball Series. The event drew 29 entrants on the weekend of November 19-20 to Maxamilian's Billiards in Tyngsboro, MA.
 
 
They met first in the hot seat match. Hunt had downed Luca Bares 7-2, while Moy was busy dispatching Frank O'Malley to the loss side in a double hill win (4-5, with O'Malley racing to 6).
Hunt (a B+ player) claimed the hot seat over Moy (a C- player), double hill, which, with their respective handicaps, was a 9-3 win for Hunt.
 
 
On the loss side,  O'Malley picked up Bobby Hooker, who'd gotten by Andrew Tankerly and Edgar Acosta, both 6-1. Bares drew Jeff Furness, who'd defeated Dana Mackenzie and Steve Sutton, both 6-4. O'Malley and Bares got handed their second straight loss with Hooker shutting out O'Malley and Furness eliminating Bares 7-3.
 
 
Furness took the quarterfinal match over Hooker 7-3, before having his loss-side streak ended by Moy in a double hill semifinal (4-8, Moy, with Furness, a B+ player, racing to 9).
 
 
In their second matchup, Moy and Hunt came within a game of duplicating their double hill hot seat match in the opening set of the true double elimination final. Hunt, though, pulled ahead to claim the event title in a single 9-2 set.
 
 
Stop # 8 in the New England 9-Ball Series, scheduled for Saturday, November 26, will be a $500-added event, hosted by Towne Billiards in Hamden, CT. 

McAuliffe comes from loss side to defeat Platt in Amateur Eastern States Championships

Kerry McAuliffe came from the loss side in the finals of the Eastern States Championships on Labor Day weekend and fought through a double hill finals match against hot seat occupant, Jason Platt, to claim the event title. The $1,000-added Amateur event, run concurrently with an Open/Pro event (separate story) drew 98 entrants to Snooker's in Providence, RI.
 
McAuliffe's loss-side trip began with a 7-4 loss to Jim Prather in a winners' side semifinal, as Platt was at work, sending Adam Blaire west 7-3. Platt then took down Prather in the hot seat match 8-2, unaware that it was his last win of the weekend.
 
McAuliffe moved over and picked up Miguel Laboy, who'd survived a double hill battle versus Francisco Cabral and defeated Jaime Forcier 7-5. Blaire drew Steve Booth who'd eliminated Jessica Lynn 7-6 and Steve Sutton 7-4.
 
McAuliffe and Blaire got right back to work, defeating Laboy 7-5 and Booth 7-4. McAuliffe then defeated Blaire in the quarterfinals 7-4, and embarked on a semifinal match versus Prather that went on for over two hours. McAuliffe finally won it 7-4. In the extended-finals, McAuliffe reached eight racks ahead Platt to extend the game to 10 racks, and then, double hill, finished it to claim the event title.
 
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.