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Emerson comes from the loss side to down DeMarco in 8-ball event on the NE 9-Ball Series

Mike DeMarco, Jordan Emerson and William Aley

In a gritty come-from-the-loss side performance that belied his pool career resume, Jordan Emerson worked his way through a short field of 24 entrants at the April 25 stop (#9) on the New England 9-Ball Series. He returned from a three-match campaign on the loss side to down Mike DeMarco twice in the true double elimination final that earned him his first NE 9-Ball Series and tournament-anywhere title.

Our records indicate that Emerson and DeMarco have both competed on the same tours and New England-oriented events since about 2013. The difference, though, is that while they both came into this recent event with the exact same Fargo Rate of 575 and had joined the AZBilliards’ player database in the same year (2013), DeMarco had cashed in a total of 14 events since that time, while Emerson had cashed in only two. The last time Emerson brought cash home from a tournament before this past weekend (that we know about) was in 2013, when he finished 9th at the 25th Annual Ocean State 9-Ball Championships (won that year by Mike Dechaine, defeating Jayson Shaw in the finals). The $500-added 8-Ball event that earned Emerson his first major victory drew its 24 entrants to Straight Shooters in Fall River, MA.

The aforementioned “grit” that characterized Emerson’s trip to the winners’ circle this time was exemplified in his nine matches, all but two of which went either double hill or one game shy of becoming double hill. One of his three double hill matches was won by DeMarco. One of the matches he won by a wide margin (5-1) was his quarterfinal match against Phillip Russo, while the other wide-margin win, same margin, came against DeMarco in the first set of the double elimination final.

Following victories over Dave Soule 5-3, Jim Prather, double hill, and Derek Cunningham 5-3, Emerson faced DeMarco for the first time in a winners’ side semifinal. From the lower bracket, William Aley and Phillip Russo squared off in the other one.

A harbinger of things to come, Emerson and DeMarco battled to double hill before DeMarco dropped the last 8-ball and advanced to the hot seat match. He was joined by Aley, who’d defeated Russo 4-1. DeMarco shut Aley out and claimed the hot seat.

Emerson began his trip back to the finals against Francisco Cabral, sporting a 68-point higher Fargo rate (643-575), who was working on a modest, four-match, loss-side winning streak that had recently sent Justin Bertrand home after a double hill fight and defeated Matthew Rezendes 5-2. Russo picked up Barrett Ridley, who’d shut out both Amanda Reynolds and Sandra Kostant to reach him. 

Russo won a double hill fight versus Ridley and advanced to the quarterfinals. Emerson joined him after defeating Cabral 4-3 (Cabral racing to 5). In a straight-up race to 5, Emerson gave up only a single rack to Russo in their quarterfinal match, and then downed William Aley 5-3 in the semifinals for a shot at DeMarco in the hot seat.

Emerson opened his necessary two-match, last campaign against DeMarco by allowing him only a single rack in the opening set of their true double elimination final. DeMarco rose to the challenge and battled him to double hill in the second set before Emerson finished it to claim his first event title.

Tour director Marc Dionne thanked the ownership and staff at Straight Shooter’s 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, Piku Tips and Just The Tip Cue Repair and Custom Accessories. The next stop on the NE 9-Ball Series (#10), scheduled for this weekend (May 2), will be a $500-added event, hosted by House of Billiards in Hampton Falls, NH.

Powers goes undefeated on NE 9-Ball Series, splits top prizes with Bausch

Alex Bausch, Beau Powers and Rich Minichello Jr.

Looking for his first win on the New England 9-Ball Series (according to our records) and his first cash payout in 2020, Beau Powers got both. The first came with an asterisk, when he and Alex Bausch opted out of a final match and Powers, as the undefeated occupant of the hot seat, was declared the official winner, while the second had to be split (by an undisclosed amount) with Bausch. The $500-added event, Stop #4 on the NE 9-Ball Series, drew 41 entrants to Amazin’ Billiards in Malden, MA.

Working in the upper bracket, Powers opened up his campaign with a double hill fight against Ricardo Diaz. He prevailed and went on to send Daniel Simmons (6-4), Tom Comerford (6-1) and Brian Tierney (6-4) to the loss side, drawing Suad Kantarevic in one of the winners’ side semifinals. Bausch, in the meantime, in the lower bracket, worked his way through Justin Cunningham 5-3, Ed Murray 7-1, Alvin Lam 5-2 and Robert Lucas 5-1 to arrive at his winners’ side semifinal match versus Curtis Wright.

With Kantarevic racing to 8, Powers advanced to the hot seat match, double hill (4-7). Bausch joined him after shutting Wright out. With the lower Fargo Rate (528), Bausch started the hot seat match with a single bead on the wire in a race to 6 against Powers (595). Powers claimed the hot seat and, as it turned out, the only match he’d play against Bausch 6-2.

On the loss side, Kantarevic and Wright stepped right into their second straight loss. Kantarevic drew Rich Minichello, Jr., who’d lost his opening round match against Brian Tierney, double hill, and embarked on an eight-match, loss-side winning streak that would end with some controversy in the semifinals. He’d recently been the beneficiary of a forfeit by his brother, Michael and eliminated Clyde Matta 6-2. Wright picked up William Aley, who’d been defeated in his second winners’ side round and went on a six-match winning streak that would take him to the quarterfinals. He’d just defeated Robert Lucas 5-1 and Alvin Lam 5-3.

With Kantarevic racing to 6, against his 5, Minichello, Jr. advanced to the quarterfinals 5-2. Aley joined him with a 5-3 win over Wright. Minchello chalked up win #8, downing Aley 8-2 in those quarterfinals (Aley racing to 4).

The semifinal between Bausch and Minichello, Jr. was a close one that was live-streamed. At the end of their 10th game, with Bausch racing to 4 and Minichello racing to 8, Minichello was acting on the assumption that they had just reached double hill at 3-7. What was assumed to be the match’s 11th rack was assembled and when it was done, broken and played out, Bausch had won with what was assumed to be a 4-7 score. However, Bausch knew and the live stream confirmed that somewhere along the line, Minichello had failed to move a bead on the wire, and at what Minichello assumed was the match’s deciding 11th rack, he’d already won 8-3. It was the 12th rack that Bausch won and claimed the win. Minichello agreed that the $200+ mistake (depending on how the finalists split the top two prizes) and responsibility for it was his and Bausch advanced to the semifinals.

Bausch did not play again. He and Powers agreed to the split and the 4th stop on the NE 9-Ball Series was, as they say, in the books.

Tour director Marc Dionne thanked the ownership and staff at Strokers Billiards, as well as Predator, Poison, Arcos II, BCAPL, USAPL New England, Fargo Rate, AZBilliards, Inside English, Professor Q-Ball’s National Pool and 3-Cushion News, Bob Campbell, MJS Construction, Master Billiards, OTLVISE Billiard Mechanics of America, Piku Tips and Just the Tip Cue Repair and Custom Accessories.

The next stop on the NE 9-Ball Series (#5), scheduled for this weekend (Oct. 24-25), will be a $750-added event, hosted by American Pool & Billiards (formerly Union Station Billiards) in Portland, ME.