Winters defeats Hatch twice for second Joss Northeast win

The winners of the first two stops on the 2009-2010 Joss Northeast 9-Ball Tour met and battled in the finals of the third stop on the weekend of October 10-11, with Shane Winters emerging undefeated. Hosted by the alliterative Bison Billiards in Buffalo, NY, the $2,000-added event drew 36 entrants.

Winters, who'd won the opening tour stop on the last weekend in September, first met Hatch, who'd won the second stop on the weekend of October 3-4, among the winners' side final four. Winters sent Hatch west 9-7, moving into the hot seat match versus Hendrik Drost, who'd sent Derek Williams to the one-loss side by the same score. Winters gained the hot seat with a decisive 9-2 victory and waited for what turned out to be Hatch's return.

Meanwhile, on the one-loss side, Dennis Hatch's uncle, Mark Hatch, was making moves of his own. He got by J.B. Brotherton 9-4 and Dan See 9-5 to meet Williams, as Bucky Souvanthong defeated Jim Hoffstetter 9-4 and shutout Dan Kolacz to meet Dennis. Uncle Mark defeated Williams 9-6 as his nephew was at work surviving a hill-hill match against Souvanthong. Uncle and nephew met in the quarterfinals, where nephew Dennis dropped Uncle Mark into fourth place 9-1 and turned to face Drost.

A 9-5 win over Drost put Hatch back into the finals for the second straight week, where he got a second chance at Winters. The two battled back and forth, one game at a time, to a 5-5 tie, before Winters pulled ahead, winning four of the next five games and capturing the first place prize.

It was only the third time in five years that Hatch had been beaten in the finals of a major event. He chalked up five wins on the 2008-2009 Joss Northeast Tour and was the runner-up to Ralf Souquet in the Turning Stone Classic XII in February of this year. Prior to that, dating back to October of 2004, Hatch had won the Joss Northeast Tour 15 times, and had placed second only twice; once in 2007 and once in October 2004.