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Chestna goes undefeated to win his second NE 9-Ball Series stop

Chris Ouimette, Ronny Chestna, and James Smith

In only his first year with an AZBilliards Player Profile, Ronny Chestna has cashed in two events on the New England 9-Ball Series. He shared an event title with Paul Kazalski back in February at the conclusion of the Dave Marcus Memorial (Stop #2) and this past weekend (Nov. 28), he went undefeated in Stop #7 on the tour to claim his first, no-asterisk event title.

Chestna was challenged in the finals by James Smith, who, after benefiting from an opening round forfeit, lost his opening match and went on an eight-match, loss-side winning streak that took him all the way to the finals and included a double hill victory over the aforementioned Paul Kazalski. The $500-added event drew 38 entrants to Stroker’s Billiards in Pelham, NH.

Working in the upper bracket of the two employed by the NE 9-Ball Series in their tour stops, and the recipient of an opening round bye, Chestna won three straight 6-2 matches, against Brandon Coley, Dana Mackenzie and Steven Smith. This put him into a winners’ side semifinal against Mark Ruzzano. Chris Ouimette, in the meantime, working in the lower bracket, was also awarded an opening round bye, before defeating Tony Mendonca and Curtis Wright, both 5-3, and then, in a double hill fight, Bob Campbell. Ouimette drew Troy Fortin in the other winners’ side semifinal. 

Chestna and Ouimette each gave up only a single rack to their opponent in advancing to the hot seat match; Chestna, 6-1 over Ruzzano and Ouimette 5-1 over Fortin. Chestna put a bit of an exclamation point on his battle for the hot seat, shutting Ouimette out to claim it.

On the loss side, Smith had chalked up five of his eight wins against Mae Paonessa 8-2, Michelle Haddock 6-3 and Josh Turransky 8-3 before running into Paul Kazalski. He eliminated Kazalski, double hill, before defeating Bob Campbell 5-1 and drawing Troy Fortin, fresh from the winners’ side, in the first money round. Ruzzano picked up a rematch against Xhuljano Kamxhiu, whom he’d sent to the loss side in a winners’ side quarterfinal and had defeated Tyler Boudreau, double hill and Daniel Simoneau 6-2 for a second shot at him.

The last three matches of Smith’s loss-side run all went double hill. He and Kamxhiu handed Fortin and Ruzzano their second straight loss; Smith in the first of his three straight double hill fights, as Kamxhiu, in the meantime, successfully wreaked his vengeance on Ruzzano 6-2.

Smith then defeated Kamxhiu in the subsequent quarterfinal match and completed his loss-side trip to the finals against Ouimette in the semifinals. Smith locked up in his fourth double hill match in the finals against Chestna, but Chestna hung on to win it.

Tour director Marc Dionne thanked the ownership and staff at Stroker’s, as well as Predator, Poison, Arcos II, BCAPL, USAPL New England, Fargo Rate, Salotto, AZBilliards, Inside English, Professor Q-Ball’s National Pool and 3-Cushion News, 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 New England 9-Ball Series (#8), scheduled for the weekend of December 12-13, will be a $500-added Partners event, hosted by Crow’s Nest in Plaistow, NH.

James goes undefeated to win Joe Brown Memorial, Stop #15 on New England 9-Ball Series

(l to r) Xhuljiano Kamxhiu, Justin Myers & Geoff James

Geoff James and Xhuljiano Kamxhiu (known to friends, acquaintances and for the purposes of this report, as Julio) battled twice in their quest to claim title to the Joe Brown Memorial Tournament, held under the auspices of the New England 9-Ball Series on Saturday, March 7. James won them both to win the $500-added event that drew 43 entrants to Buster’s Billiards to Somersworth, NH.

As ‘residents’ of the event’s upper bracket, they met first in a winners’ side semifinal. James had advanced through Ramildo Brakaj, Tyler Campbell, Chad Avallone and Roger Vivier. After an opening round bye, Julio’s path went through an opening round, double hill battle against Daniel Simoneau, and then, Walter Kelly and Brett Chansky. From the lower bracket, Justin Myers and Junnel Balofinos squared off in the other winners’ side semifinal.

James downed Julio 7-2 (Julio racing to 5), as Myers and Balofinos locked up in a double hill fight that eventually advanced Myers to the hot seat match against James. James gave up just a single rack and sat in the hot seat, awaiting Julio’s return.

On the loss side, Julio picked up Anthony Petruzzelli, who’d lost his opening round match and won six matches on the loss side, including recent victories over Roger Vivier 4-1 and Brett Chansky, double hill. Balofinos drew a rematch against Sydney Dupont, whom he’d defeated in the winners’ side third round, and who went on to win four, loss-side matches, including a 4-1 victory over Neal Katz and double hill win over Jarryd Boyd.

Julio advanced to the quarterfinals with a 5-2 win over Petruzzelli and was joined by Dupont, who’d shut Balofinos out. Julio downed Dupont in those quarterfinals, double hill and earned his second shot against James with a 5-1 victory over Myers in the semifinals.

Julio began the true double elimination finals with ‘two on the wire,’ racing to 7. He added two to reach the hill, but James had his 6 and won the deciding game to claim the event title.

Tour director Marc Dionne thanked the ownership and staff at Buster’s, 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, OTLVISE Billiard Mechanics of America and Piku Tips. The next stop on the NE 9-Ball Series (#16), scheduled for the weekend of March 28-29, will be the $1,000-added Players Championship, to be hosted by Yale Billiards in Wallingford, CT.