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Borodack and Lavigne go undefeated to win 8-ball/9-ball Scotch Doubles on NE 9-Ball Series

Kevin Kiely, Alvin Lan, Tim Lavigne, and Gary Borodack

The game of 8-ball is generally considered to be an easier pool game than 9-ball. Not that it requires any less skill to play well, it’s just that when a shooter steps to the table, especially in the early moments of a game, there are a lot more options available. Granted, there are more balls that are ‘in the way’ of one’s varied options to consider (six of them, at the outset), but there are usually more balls you can shoot at than balls that you can’t shoot at. In 9-ball, of course, when you step to the table at any given point in a game, you have to strike and hopefully, pocket just one of the balls on the table.

The New England 9-Ball Series’ Stop #14, held this past weekend – Saturday, July 17 – was a $500-added Scotch Doubles Tournament that drew 20 teams (40 players) to Yale Billiards in Wallingford, CT. Its format dictated that players would begin their quest for an event title in successive games of 8-ball, until such time as they were sent to the loss side of the double elimination bracket, at which point, they would play, from that point on, 9-ball. In other words, the 20 teams started out with the ‘easier’ game of 8-ball and more or less doubled the jeopardy of loss-side efforts by having to play the presumably tougher 9-ball game on that side of the bracket. The true double elimination final was to have featured 8-ball in the first set and 9-ball in the second set, if necessary.

It proved to be unnecessary as Gary Borodack and Tim Lavigne (Fargo Rate 545), initiating their campaign in an upper bracket, went undefeated, playing only 8-ball, and claimed the event title after winning the opening set of the finals. There were nine (of the 20 teams) in that upper bracket and while there was one team with the same Fargo Rate of 545, every other team in that upper bracket had a higher rating, up to and including the team of Ben Savoie and Jordan Emerson, who sported the highest-in-the-event rate of 624, and finished in the tie for 7th/8th place.

Borodack & Lavigne ran into them in the winners’ side quarterfinal, defeated them 4-2 and advanced to a winners’ side semifinal versus Jim Gravel and Einar Gudjohnsen, the other team with the 545 Fargo Rate. From the lower bracket, Kevin Kiely and Alvin Lam (499) squared off against Rachelle and Stuart Rainey (505).

Borodack/Lavigne got into the hot seat match with a 4-1 victory over Gravel/Gudjohnsen and were joined by Kiely/Lam, who sent the Raineys over 4-2 for a few games of 9-ball. Borodack/Lavigne claimed the hot seat 4-2 and waited for Kiely & Lam to get back from the semifinals.

On the loss side, the Raineys drew Stephen Rowe & Oscar Deleon, who’d eliminated Jim Vollhardt & William Aley, as well as Michaels Allard & Utley, both teams, 4-1. Gravel/Gudjohnsen picked up Derek Hart & Tim Hurley, who’d eliminated Darren Jevons & Ashley Benoit 4-2, and the top-Fargo-rated Savoie and Emerson 4-1.

Gravel/Gudjohnsen and Hart/Hurley battled to double hill for the right to advance to the first money round; the quarterfinals. Gravel/Gudjohnsen won it and were joined by Rowe/Deleon, who’d defeated the Raineys 4-1.

Gravel/Gudjohnsen downed Rowe/Deleon 4-1 in those quarterfinals and had their three-match, loss-side streak ended by the same score in the semifinals against Kiely & Lam. Borodack and Lavigne completed their undefeated run with a 4-2 victory in the only set necessary in the finals.

Tour director Marc Dionne thanked the ownership and staff at Yale Billiards 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, Salotto, Outsville and Just The Tip Cue Repair and Custom Accessories. The next stop (#15) on the NE 9-Ball Series, scheduled for July 31-August 1, will be a $750-added event, hosted by American Pool & Billiards.

Lewis and Staples split top prizes on NE 9-Ball Series Stop #10 at Yale Billiards

Stop #11 to offer chance to win two all-expenses paid trips to BCAPL World Championships

(l to r): Ken Stopa, Bob Lewis & Josh Staples

Last January, Bob Lewis chalked up his first and most recent cash finish on the New England 9-Ball Series. It was also, according to our records, his first cash finish in anything since 2011, when he finished 5th on a Joss Tour stop and 17th at Turning Stone XVII. He was runner-up to Lukas Fracasso-Verner in the event last January and it appears as though it whetted his appetite for more competition, because this past weekend (Saturday, Jan. 4), he competed again on the New England 9-Ball Series and won*. As the undefeated occupant of the hot seat at the end, he became the official winner when he and Josh Staples opted out of playing a final match. The $500-added event drew 23 entrants to Yale Billiards in Wallingford, CT.

Lewis’ five-match march to the winners’ circle in the event’s upper bracket (FargoRate of 643) went through Ben Archer 6-3, Paul Soucy 7-2 and Tim Lavigne 7-1, to arrive at a winners’ side semifinal matchup against Ryan Cullen. In the lower bracket, Ken Stopa (525), in the meantime, on his way to a hot seat match against Lewis, had defeated David Longo 5-1 and survived a double hill fight versus Anthony Petruzelli. Stopa now faced Mike Zingarella, who’d just sent Josh Staples (495) to the loss side 5-3, in the other winners’ side semifinal.

In a straight-up race to 6, Lewis downed Cullen 6-4. In a straight-up race to 5, Stopa defeated Zingarella, double hill, sending him to the loss side and an immediate rematch against Staples.  Lewis and Stopa battled to double hill before Lewis prevailed 7-3 (Stopa racing to 4) to claim the hot seat.

On the loss side, Zingarella ran right into his rematch against Josh Staples, who’d defeated Ryan McCrum 4-2 and Anthony Petruzelli 4-1 to reach him. Cullen picked up a rematch, as well, against Jim Gravel. They’d met in a winners’ side quarterfinal, won, double hill, by Cullen. Gravel then eliminated Lukas Fracasso-Verner (no small feat) 4-4 (Fracasso-Verner racing to 6) and Tim Lavigne 5-2.

Staples and Gravel handed Zingarella and Cullen their second straight loss; Staples executing a successful rematch, downing Zingarella, double hill, and Gravel eliminating Cullen 4-3 (Cullen racing to 6). In a 4-5 race, Staples won the quarterfinal match over Gravel 4-1.

Staples and Stopa then faced each other in a straight-up race to 4 semifinal that was the final match of the event. Staples prevailed 4-2. Staples and Lewis agree to the split and the day was done.

Tour director Marc Dionne thanked the ownership and staff at Yale Billiards, 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 (#11), scheduled for January 11, will feature two separate events; one for FargoRates of 525 and above and another for FargoRates of 524 and below (players must qualify to compete). The winner of each event will win an all-expenses paid trip to the BCAPL World Championships in Las Vegas in March.

Piersa goes undefeated to take down Stop #4 on the New England 9-Ball Series

Nick Bousquet, Robert Piersa, and Michael Matthieu

Robert Piersa chalked up his first win on the New England 9-Ball Series, going undefeated on the tour’s fourth stop. Piersa was challenged by Michael Mathieu twice; once in the hot seat match and again in the finals. The $500-added event, held on Sunday, October 21, drew 42 entrants Yale Billiards in Wallingford, CT.
Piersa (A+) was the winner of the event’s upper bracket, while Mathieu (C+) picked up the lower bracket win. Piersa had downed Nick Bousquet (B) 8-1 in the finals of the upper bracket, while Mathieu was busy sending Anthony Petruzzelli (C+) to the loss side 5-3 in the winners’ side final of the lower bracket. Piersa claimed the hot seat with a 9-1 victory over Mathieu and waited on his return.
On the loss side, Petruzzelli picked up Ryan Hemingway, recent winner over Eddie Estep and, in the first money round, Bruce Evens, both 5-3. Bousquet drew William Gibbs, who’d gotten by Lazar Gurevich 6-1 and Tim Lavigne 6-3.
Hemingway advanced to the quarterfinals 5-2 over Petruzzelli, and was met by Bousquet, who’d eliminated Gibbs 6-2. Bousquet won the quarterfinal 7-3, but had his three-match, loss-side winning streak stopped by Mathieu, who, racing to 5 against Bousquet’s 6, gave up only a single rack in the semifinals.
Mathieu double his hot seat score, but it wasn’t nearly enough. Piersa chalked up his requisite 9 to win the match and claim the event title.
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 Pool and 3-Cushion News, Delta 13 Racks, MJS Construction, Bob Campbell, Championship Cloth, and OTLVISE Billiard Mechanics of America.
The next stop (#5) on the New England 9-Ball Series will be the Don Clemons Memorial Tournament. Scheduled for November 4, the $500-added event will be hosted by Buster’s Billiards in Somersworth, NH.