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Suad Kantarevic Earns First Career Joss Tour Win in Utica

Matt Tetreault, Andrea Duvall (room owner) and Suad Kantarevic

The Joss NE 9-Ball Tour crowned another first time tour stop winner as Suad Kantarevic won the third “Supplemental Tour Stop” at Utica Billiards on the Boulevard on July 10-11. 

Kantarevic was one of fifty three players who came out to this “Supplemental” tour stop, held before the tour officially kicks off it’s 2021/2022 season in October. Kantarevic’s best career finish on the tour was a runner-up finish in last year’s N.E. Pool & Billiard Hall of Fame 9-Ball Open, dropping his finals match to Rodney Morris. Morris was not an obstacle for Kantarevic at this event, thought it might not have mattered as well as he was playing. Kantarevic cruised through Saturday matches against Glen Van Court, Cliff Hard, Jordan Turner and Jim Kearney, without allowing an opponent more than four games in any one match. 

Sunday got started with Kantarevic still in top gear, as he sent Nick Brucato to the one loss side 9-3 in the first match of the day. That left Matt Tetreault as the last obstacle between Kantarevic and the hot-seat, after Tetreault defeated Dave Dreidel in their early Sunday match 9-8. The hot-seat match with Tetreault proved to be Kantarevic’s biggest challenge of the weekend, and he won it 9-7. 

Brucato was on a tear on the one loss side, with dominating wins over Marko Clarke and Peter Khuoc, but he had no answer for Tetreault, dropping their semi-final match 7-1.

Any momentum that Tetreault may have gained with the win over Brucato was quickly stifled as Kantarevic ran away with a 9-3 win in the first set of the finals for his first ever Joss NE 9-Ball Tour win. 

Sunday’s second chance tournament saw Bruce Carroll go undefeated, with three consecutive hill-hill wins (Christine Cockrell, Jim Kearney and Rohit Aggarwal for the hot-seat) on his way to the hot-seat. Aggarwal came from the one loss side to offer one more challenge for Carroll but Carroll won the first set of the finals 3-0 for the tournament win. 

Dupuis double dips Kantaravic to win Lucky Stop #13, Mark Young Memorial, on NE 9-Ball

(l to r): Suad Kantaravic, Bill O’Mara & Joe Dupuis

Joe Dupuis and Suad Kantaravic, winner and runner-up at the Mark Young Memorial, Stop #13 on the New England 9-Ball Series this past weekend (Feb. 15-16), have long pool resumes; Kantaravic, with recorded cash winnings dating back to 2000 and Dupuis, a little shorter, going back (in our records) to 2005. Dupuis’ record, however, is substantially more active, with three cash finishes this year alone and more in the past two years (7) than Kantaravic has recorded since 2000. This disparity, however, did not interfere with Kantaravic’ march to the hot seat, to include an early victory over Dupuis, although it may have had something to do with Dupuis’ return from the loss side and his two-set victory over Kantaravic in the finals. The $1,000-added event drew 49 entrants to Straight Shooters Family Billiards in Fall River, MA.

Dupuis was just cruising along in the early going of this event. In the upper bracket, he faced three opponents (Carlo Cifiello, Saba Khundadze and Ed “Corky” Courtney) and gave up only four racks, total, to all three of them in his first 28 games. Then, in a winners’ side quarterfinal, he ran into Kantaravic for the first time. Kantaravic, at that point, had, following an opening round bye, played 18 games and given up five racks to two opponents (Rich Senna and Derek Cunningham). This time, it was Dupuis who was held to a single rack. Kantaravic advanced 6-1 to a winners’ side semifinal against Henry Leighton. From the lower bracket, Bill O’Mara and Paul Soucy emerged to face off in the other winners’ side semifinal.

Kantaravic and O’Mara, each gave up only a single rack to their respective opponents. Kantaravic, in a straight up race to 6, gave up the one to Leighton, while O’Mara, in a straight up race to 5, gave one up to Soucy. O’Mara, sporting a Fargo Rate nearly 200 points lower than Kantaravic (518/702) began the hot seat match with five ‘beads on the wire’ in a race to 9. He added three to those five to tie the score at 8-8, before Kantaravic chalked up the final rack to claim the hot seat.

On the loss side, Dupuis (699) opened up his five-match, loss-side trip back to the finals with a double hill win (5-3) over Rich Senna, followed that up with a 5-2 win over Paul Laverdiere and drew Leighton, coming over from the winners’ side semifinal. Soucy picked up Scott Reynolds, who’d defeated Tyler Boudreau 4-2 and leapfrogged to Soucy when Andrew DeChristopher forfeited a match.

Dupuis and Reynolds handed Leighton and Soucy their second straight loss; Dupuis over Leighton 5-1 and Reynolds over Soucy 4-1. Reynolds opened the quarterfinals with four ‘beads on the wire’ in a race to 8. Dupuis defeated him 8-4 and then, shut out Bill O’Mara in the semifinals.

With the wind of momentum from his semifinal win over O’Mara continuing to fill his sails (so to speak), Dupuis took the opening set of the true double elimination final 6-3. Trading racks back and forth, they battled to double hill in the second set before Dupuis dropped the final 9-ball to win the set and claim the event title.

Tour director Marc Dionne thanked the ownership and staff at Straight Shooters Family Billiards, as well as title sponsor Predator Cues, 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, OTLVISE Billiard Mechanics of America and Piku Tips. The next stop on the NE 9-Ball Series (#14), scheduled for Saturday, February 22, will be a $500-added event, hosted by Legends Sports Bar in Lewiston, ME.

Lin Leads Chinese Taipei Contingent at Ocean State 9-Ball Championship

Mike Zuglan, Fu Che-Wei, Lin Ta-Li and Snookers owner Steve Goulding

The team of players from Chinese Taipei did not have a good trip to the United States for the International 9-Ball Open, with Ko Ping-Chung’s 5th place finish as the best performance by one of the group’s players. Their results at the Joss NE 9-Ball Tour’s Ocean State 9-Ball Championship on November 9th – 10th at Snookers in Providence RI, was much better. Five of the six Chinese Taipei players cashed in the Ocean State event, with four of them in the top six spots. 
Saturday matches narrowed the field of seventy-three players down to just twelve. The winner’s side came down to Fu Che-Wei, Lin Ta-Li, Suad Kantaravic, and recent Junior Invitational 9-Ball Champion Lukas Fracasso-Verner. Both players from Chinese Taipei then advanced with Fu beating Verner 9-2 and Lin over Kantaravic 9-6. Lin then defeated Fu 9-3 for the hot-seat. 
Sunday matches on the one-loss side saw Hsu Kai-Lun eliminating Mike Giurleo and Frankie Hernandez before losing a 7-3 decision to Kantaravic. The other half of the one-loss side saw Chang Yu-Lung over Ron Casanzio and Chiang Chen-Yu before being eliminated in 5th place by Verner. Verner sent Kantaravic to the seats in 4th place with a hill-hill win but then dropped the semi-final match to Fu 7-2.
The all Chinese Taipei final match went one set with Lin repeating his hot-seat win over Fu 9-5 for first place. 
Sunday’s second chance tournament was won by Francisco Cabral, who went undefeated and didn’t allow an opponent more than one rack against him all day. Cabral defeated Mike Salerno 3-1 for the hot-seat and 3-1 again in the finals. 
The next Joss NE 9-Ball Tour stop will be the Turning Stone Classic XXXIII on January 9th – 12th. That event is now full. Any player who didn’t get their entry paid can contact Mike Zuglan to get on the waiting list.