Mike Zuglan's Joss Northeast 9-Ball Tour
Current 2017-18 Season

Kazakis wins his first major US title, going undefeated at 29th Ocean State 9-Ball Championship
Mike Zuglan, Jeremy Sossei, Alex Kazakis
and Steve Goulding (room owner)

For the first time in six years, the annual Ocean State 9-Ball Championship has been won by someone not named Shaw or Dechaine. On the weekend of November 11-12, the title went, for the third straight time, to a European – Alexandros (Alex) Kazakis. In the absence of the two-time defending champion (Shaw), and three-time champion Dechaine (’12, ’13 & ’14), Kazakis went undefeated through a field of 87 entrants at the $5,000-added, 29th Annual Ocean State Championship, held under the auspices of the Joss Northeast 9-Ball Tour, and hosted by Snooker's in Providence, RI.

Though well known in European circles, dating back to his days as a European Junior Champion in 2009, and subsequent appearances on the International Billiard Promotion Foundation (IBPF) and European Pocket Billiard Federation’s (EPBF) EuroTour, Kazakis entered the Ocean State Championship without a US title on his resumé. He’d come close, though. In January of this year (his best recorded earnings year, to date), he was runner-up to Jayson Shaw in the Derby City Bigfoot 10-Ball Challenge, and the week before the Ocean State ‘challenge,’ he’d been runner-up to Jorge Rodriguez in the Grand Masters division of the NYC 8-Ball Championships.

At the very start, it seemed as though Kazakis and Albanian teenager Eklent (Klenti) Kaci were destined to knock heads. Kaci, who, in the past year, had already won the Aramith Masters Division and Predator Grand Finale of the 8-Ball World Pool Series (April and November, respectively), two stops on the Joss Tour, one on the Predator Tour and was runner-up to Shaw in the US Open, was poised to add a sixth US title to his growing list. In back-to-back matches, Kazakis and Jeremy Sossei kept the youngster out of the Ocean State Championship winners’ circle.

Kazakis and Kaci met first, predictably, in the hot seat match. Kazakis had sent Sossei to the loss side 9-7 in one winners’ side semifinal, as Kaci was busy shutting out Tom D’Alfonso (winner of the Ocean State title in 2011). Kazakis prevailed in the hot seat match 9-7, sending Kaci to the semifinals from which he would not return.

On the loss side, a number of potential ‘threats’ lay in wait. Sossei picked up one of them; Jorge Rodriguez, who’d been sent to the loss side by Kaci in a winners’ side quarterfinal, and defeated Stevie Mack 7-4 and Zion Zvi 7-3. In a battle of Joss Tour veterans, D’Alfonso drew Ron Casanzio (recent winner of the Al Conte Memorial earlier this month), who’d most recently defeated Rich Kravetz 7-5 and Paul Dryden, double hill.

Sossei gave up only one rack to Rodriguez and advanced to the quarterfinals. He was joined by D’Alfonso, who’d eliminated Casanzio 7-5. Sossei moved on to defeat D’Alfonso 7-4, and then, in what had to have come as a surprise to many (except Sossei), Sossei dashed Kaci’s hopes for a sixth US title with a 7-5 win in the semifinals.

In the finals that followed, Kazakis, in pursuit of his first US title, was facing an opponent, Sossei, who was vying for his 39th US title in 10 years. The two came within a game of having to play a single, deciding game, but in the end, Kazakis pulled out in front 9-7 to win the 29th Annual Ocean State 9-Ball Championship.

Tour director Mike Zuglan thanked Steve Goulding and his Snooker’s staff for their hospitality, as well as regular tour sponsors Joss Cues, Turning Stone Resort & Casino, Simonis Cloth, Poolonthenet.com, AZBilliards, Aramith, Billiards Press and World Class Cue Care. Stop #6 on the Joss Northeast 9-Ball Tour, scheduled for November 18-19, will be a $1,500-added main event with a $500 added second chance event on Sunday, hosted by Union Station Billiards in Portland, ME. That event will be the last reguilar season event before the Turning Stone Classic XXIX at the Turning Stone Casino in Verona, Ny on January 4th - 7th.

- by AzB staff
AZBilliards.com
Complete Results:
Main Event Payouts
1 GRE KAZAKIS Alexandros 2,600
2 USA SOSSEI Jeremy 1,900
3 ALB KACI Eklent 1,500
4 USA D'ALFONSO Tom 1,100
5 USA RODRIGUEZ Jorge 800
5 USA CASANZIO Ron 800
7 USA DRYDEN Paul 600
7 ISR ZVI Zion 600
9 USA BELLIVEAU Everett 400
9 USA DUPUIS Joe 400
9 USA MACK Steve 400
9 USA KRAVETZ Rich 400
13 USA PETROV Ivaylo 250
13 USA DEMALIA Jared 250
13 USA DAVIS Phil 250
13 USA FRACASSO-VERNER Lukas 250
17 USA TEIXEIRA Jorge 150
17 USA MCKELVEY Ian 150
17 USA WALL Josiah 150
17 USA SOUVANTHONG Bucky 150
17 USA MCGUANE Al 150
17 USA SAVOIE Ben 150
17 USA PETTIT Mike 150
17 USA NAGLE Bruce 150
L-R Andrea Duvall (owner), John McConnell, Ron Casanzio, & Matt Tetreault
Casanzio goes undefeated to capture his first Al Conte Memorial title

Ron Casanzio has had several shots at the Joss Northeast 9-Ball Tour’s Al Conte Memorial over the years. He’s cashed in seven of the nine, to date. He was runner-up to Dennis Hatch in the first one (2009) and Shaun Wilkie in the fifth (2013). On the weekend of November 4-5, he became the event’s seventh winner, following in the footsteps of (in order) Hatch, Shane Winters, Mike Davis, Jeremy Sossei (three-time winner; ’12, ’14 and ‘15), Wilkie and Nelson Oliveira. The $1,500-added, 9th Annual Al Conte Memorial, the fourth stop on the 2017-2018 Joss NE 9-Ball Tour, drew 33 entrants to Hippo’s House of Billiards in Yorkville, NY.

Casanzio was one of three competitors at this event, along with Bucky Souvanthong and Angelo Hilton, who cashed in the first Al Conte Memorial. He became the only one of the three to do so in this one. Match by match, until the finals, Casanzio’s opponents steadily closed the margin of victory against him. He got by Bruce Nagle in the opening round 9-1, then Aaron Greenwood 9-3, and Marko Clarke 9-4 to join Matt Tetreault in one of the winners’ side semifinals. John McConnell, in the meantime, who’d sent Frank Cartani (9-4), Jerry Crowe (9-3), and Dwight Dixon (9-4) to the loss side, squared off against Mike Donnelly in the other winners’ side semifinal.

Casanzio got into the hot seat match with a continuation of the ‘reduced margin of victory’ phenomenon, downing Tetreault 9-5. McConnell joined him with a 9-5 victory over Donnelly. Casanzio claimed the hot seat 9-7 over McConnell and waited on his return.

On the loss side, Tetreault picked up Joe Darigis, who’d been sent over by Donnelly in a winners’ side quarterfinal and then defeated Nick Brucato 9-4 and Dwight Dixon 9-6. Donnelly drew Jose Mendez, who was on a modest four-match, loss-side winning streak that was about to end and had included recent wins over Norm Vernon 9-3 and Marko Clarke 9-5.

Tetreault advanced to the quarterfinals with a 9-6 win over Darigis, and was joined by Mendez, who’d handed Donnelly his second straight loss 9-7. Tetreault eliminated Mendez in that quarterfinal 9-3, but had his hopes for a re-match against Casanzio eliminated when McConnell defeated him 9-5 in the semifinals.

In their second of two, Casanzio broke the ‘margin of victory’ chain. He defeated McConnell 9-5 to claim his first Al Conte Memorial title.

A $500-added Second Chance tournament saw Willie Oney finish in the top spot, downing Mark Creamer in the finals. Aaron Greenwood finished third and Bruce Carroll took the fourth spot. Pete Khudc took home a $1,200 Joss Cue in the event’s raffle.

The fifth stop on the Joss NE 9-Ball Tour will be the 29th Ocean State 9-Ball Championship. Scheduled for the weekend of November 11-12, the $5,000-added event will be hosted by Snooker’s Billiards, Bar and Grill in Providence, RI.

- by AzB staff
AZBilliards.com
Complete Results:
Main Event Payouts
1 USA CASANZIO Ron 1,000
2 USA MCCONNELL John 700
3 USA TETREAULT Matt 550
4 USA MENDEZ Jose 400
5 USA DONNELLY Mike 250
5 USA DARIGIS Joe 250
7 USA CLARKE Marko 125
7 USA DIXON Dwight 125

Second Chance Payouts
1st Willie Oney - $300
2nd Mark Creamer - $210
3rd Aaron Greenwood - $150
4th Bruce Carroll - $100
Zach Hemendinger Wins 12 & Under Joss Junior 9-Ball Championship while
Thomas Haas Wins 18 & Under Joss Junior 9-Ball Championship
18 & Under Winners
Thomas Haas, Jim Romanowski and Brenden Croft
12 & Under Winners
2nd Kailey Bombard, Tim Berlin, 1st Zach Hemendinger

Congratulations to our 2017 Joss Junior 9-Ball Champions, Thomas Haas won the 18 & under division and Zach Hemendinger prevailed in the 12 & under division.

Thomas Haas made it to the finals undefeated rather easily but it was no easy task from there. Canadian Brenden Croft who had lost his first match to last years 12 & under champ Ivo Linkin 9-7, eventually avenged that loss by besting Ivo 9-8 to make it to the finals. As the event was played just like our regular Joss Northeast 9-Ball Tour events, it was true double elimination in the finals. Brenden, with the momentum on his side took the first set 9-5 forcing another to determine the winner. Thomas was not deterred however and came back strong for the win by a 9-4 margin. Great play was witnessed by all of the 18 & under players and you will definitely be seeing their names rising to the top soon.

In the 12 & under division, it was Zach Hemendinger prevailing over Kailey Bombard 7-4. This division had a small field and it was decided to play a round robin format followed by single elimination. Each play had a chance to play every other player at least once until the single elimination rounds. Everyone seemed to enjoy the day playing some pool.

I would once again like to thank the many people and companies who generously donated products and their time to help. I would like to acknowledge and thank them all as it is because of them that each participant received some of their items. There were also 6 free raffles for the players for the larger items. Our generous sponsors were, in no particular order: Sharp Shooters Billiards & Sports Pub (Tim & Julie Berlin, owners), Dan, Debbie & Stephen Janes (Joss Cues), James Sinclair (Rhythm Custom Cues), CJ & Peggi Wilkinson (Baltimore City Cues), Don Kerns, Iwan Simonis, Aramith, Bruce Barthelette, Phil Capelle (Billiards Press), Mark Kulungian, Steve Lillis, Andrea Duvall, Matt Tetreault & John Babravich (RIP). A special thanks to Mike Renshaw & Jim Romanowski for filling in for me as I was unable to attend due to health reasons. And thank you to everyone else, who was involved.

Our next regular season event will be Nov 4 & 5 at Hippo's The House Of Billiards for the "Al Conte Memorial". Also, I am currently taking entries for our $25,000 Added, "Turning Stone Classic XXIX 9-Ball Open" to be held on January 4-7, 2018. The event is now over 1/2 full so I suggest contacting me soon if you would like to enter this BCA, WPA, Mosconi Cup ranking event. I can be reached by calling 518-356-7163.

- by AzB staff
AZBilliards.com
L-R Tom Acciavatti, Sharpshooters Rep. Kayla Riccio and Danny Hewitt
Hewitt Undefeated at John Babravich Memorial

Danny Hewitt was the man to beat at the Joss NE 9-Ball Tour's John Babravich Memorial, held at Sharpshooters Billiards in Amsterdam, NY on October 14th and 15th.

After an opening round bye and a 9-4 win over Ron Casanzio, Hewitt faced his toughest oppoent all weekend, Jeremy Sossei. Hewitt won that match 9-6, and cruised through the event from there. Hewitt remained undefeated Saturday, and started Sunday with a 9-4 win over Jose Mendez. Meanwhile, Bruce Nagle was sending Mark Creamer to the one loss side by a 9-6 scoreline. Hewitt then sent Nagle to join Creamer on the one loss side, 9-3.

While it was Nagle that Hewitt sent to the left side of the board, it was Tom Acciavatti who came back from the left side of the board to face Hewitt in the finals. Acciavatti defeated Nagle 9-7 on the left side of the board to earn that match with Hewitt. The final would go one set, and would be quick as Hewitt scored a one sided 9-2 win over Acciavatti.

Sunday saw twenty five players come back to Sharpshooters to compete in the second chance tournament. That event saw Billy Arquette cruise through the bracket undefeated for first place. Arquette defeated Joe Ziegler 3-1 for the hot-seat, and then Spencer Auigbelle 3-1 in the first set of the finals.

In addition to all of the players who cashed in one of the events, Joey Berlin was also a winner as he won the raffle for the $1200 custom Joss Cue.

The Joss NE 9-Ball Tour will be back at Sharpshooters next weekend (Oct 21-22) for the 2nd "Joss Junior 9-Ball Championship". After that event, the tour will be at Hippo's House of Billiards in Yorkville, NY on November 4th - 5th.

- by AzB staff
AZBilliards.com
Complete Results:
Main Event Payouts
1 USA OLIVEIRA Nelson 1,000
2 CAN THERIAULT Tom 700
3 USA FRANCIS Cody 550
4 USA SAM Samoth 450
5 USA LIBBY Xavier 275
5 USA TETREAULT Matt 275
7 USA NICKERSON Dillon 150
7 USA HALLOWELL Tyler 150

Second Chance Payouts
1 USA WEBSTER Ross 300
2 USA DARIGIS Joe 200
3 CAN RICHARD Kyle 140
4 USA PEPIN Kyle 100
5 USA COUTURE Dan 40
5 USA MURRAY Greg 40
Rodriguez goes undefeated to take Joss Tour's Hudson Valley Fall Classic
Jorge Rodriguez

Though he’d been among the top 10 finishers in 14 major events since January of 2016, an event victory had eluded Jorge Rodriguez since he won the season opener of the 2016 Predator Pro Am Tour. Rodriguez changed that at the second stop on the Joss Northeast 9-Ball Tour’s 2017-2018 season. Rodriguez went undefeated through a field of 59, on hand for the $1,500-added Hudson Valley Fall Classic, hosted by The Spot in Nanuet, NY on the weekend of September 30-October 1.

Rodriguez faced separate opponents in the hot seat and finals of the event. Following victories over Geovanni Hosang, and Ron Casanzio, Rodriguez gave up only one rack to his next two opponents, shutting out Thomas Haas, and giving up the single rack to Geoff Montgomery. This set Rodriguez up in a winners’ side semifinal against Matt Tetreault. In the meantime, Zion Zvi, who’d just sent Rodriguez’ eventual opponent in the finals, Jeremy Sossei to the loss side, squared off against Lee Van Corteza in the other winners’ side semifinal.

Rodriguez sent Matt Tetreault to the loss side 9-3, as Zvi downed Van Corteza 9-6. Rodriguez claimed the hot seat over Zvi 9-7 and waited for Sossei to complete a five-match, loss-side run that would put him into the finals.

Sossei opened his loss-side run with a 9-5 win over Jason Michas, and a 9-3 win over Carmen Lombardo, which set him up to face Tetreault. Van Corteza drew Rhys Chen, who was in the midst of his own six-match, loss-side run that had most recently included wins over Geoff Montgomery 9-5 and Olli Turkulainen 9-7.

Van Corteza ended Chen’s run in a double hill match, while Sossei was eliminating Tetreault 9-3. The Sossei/Van Corteza quarterfinal came within a game of going double hill, but Sossei advanced 9-7. The Sossei/Zvi semifinal rematch did go double hill, and when it was over, Sossei had earned himself a shot at Rodriguez in the hot seat.

Rodriguez completed his undefeated run with a 9-7 win over Sossei in the finals. The win put Rodriguez at the top of early tour rankings, alongside Nelson Oliveira who had won the season opener in September, but did not compete in Nanuet.

A $500-added, 19-entrant Second Chance event was won by Rob Pole, who defeated Mike Salerno in the finals. Scott Haas finished third, ahead of Jim Kearney. Brian Hunter and Ron Plontkowski finished in the tie for fifth.

The next stop on the Joss Northeast 9-Ball Tour, scheduled for the weekend of October 14-15, will be a $1,500-added event, hosted by Sharpshooter’s Billiards and Sports Pub in Amsterdam, NY. A week later (October 21-22), at the same location, the Joss Northeast 9-Ball Tour will hold its second annual Juniors Tournament, featuring separate divisional events for 18-and-under and 12-and-under competitors. The 12-and-under group will play on 7-foot Diamond tables, while the older group will face off on 9-foot Diamonds. Last year’s winner in the 18-and-under group was Lukas Fracasso-Verner, who defeated Peter Abatangelo in the finals. Ivo Linkin won the 12-and-under competition, downing Zach Hemendinger twice in a true double elimination final.

Tour director Mike Zuglan thanked the ownership and staff at The Spot for their hospitality and asked that players be reminded of the upcoming Turning Stone XXIX, scheduled for January 4-7 at the Turning Stone Resort and Casino in Verona, NY. Players interested in competing should touch base with Zuglan as soon as possible to secure a slot in the event.

- by AzB staff
AZBilliards.com
Complete Results:
Main Event Payouts
1 USA RODRIGUEZ Jorge 1,100
2 USA SOSSEI Jeremy 800
3 ISR ZVI Zion 600
4 PHI CORTEZA Lee Vann 450
5 USA TETREAULT Matt 350
5 JAM CHEN Rhys 350
7 FIN TURKULAINEN Olli 250
7 USA LOMBARDO Carmen 250
9 RIVERA Jimmy 150
9 USA MICHAS Jason 150
9 USA MONTGOMERY Geoff 150
9 USA SOUVANTHONG Bucky 150
13 USA HAAS Thomas 100
13 USA GARIBELLO Yesid 100
13 USA GRAU Dave 100
13 USA TOOHIG Michael 100

Second Chance Payouts
1 USA POLE Robert 320
2 USA SALERNO Mike 210
3 USA HAAS Scott 150
4 USA KEARNEY Jim 100
5 USA HUNTER Brian 50
5 USA PIONTKOWSKI Ron 50
L-R Tom Theriault and Nelson Oliveira
Oliveira Kicks Off Joss Tour's 21st Season With Win

Mike Zuglan kicked off the 21st season of the Joss NE 9-Ball Tour on September 23rd and 24th, with a field of 38 players competing in The Maine Event XI at TJ’s Classic Billiards in Waterville Maine. The tournament would come down to Nelson Oliveira winning by the narrowest of margins over Canadian Tom Theriault.

Oliveira and Theriault were two of the players to emerge from Saturday matches undefeated, joined by Samoth Sam and Cody Francis. Sunday morning winner’s side matches saw Francis sneak by Sam 9-8, and Oliveira send Theriault to the one loss side by a 9-7 margin. Oliveira would then go on to defeat Francis 9-8 for the hot-seat.

On the one loss side, both Sam and Theriault would bounce back from their earlier losses, with Sam eliminating Xavier Libby 9-2 and Theriault eliminating Matt Tetreault 9-7. Theriault would then go on to defeat Sam 9-1 and then Cody Francis 9-3, to earn a rematch with Oliveira in the finals.

With the 9-7 scoreline in their earlier match, the finals were expected to be close, and they definitely were. Theriault ended Oliveira’s unbeaten streak 9-8 in the first set of the finals, and then Oliveira came back to defeat Theriault 9-8 in the second set for first place.

The end of Sunday's 16 player second chance tournament looked very similar to the end of the main event with Ross Webster defeating Joe Darigis 3-2 for the hot-seat and then Darigis coming back to force a second set of the finals 3-1 before Webster scored a 3-2 win in the second set of the finals.

Although he finished one out of the money in 9th place, Jordan Labbe was the winner of the $1200 custom Joss Cue at this event.

The Joss NE 9-Ball Tour will be back in action on Sept 30th and October 1st at The Hudson Valley Fall Classic, held at The Spot Billiards Cafe in Nanuet, NY.

- by AzB staff
AZBilliards.com
Complete Results:
Main Event Payouts
1 USA OLIVEIRA Nelson 1,000
2 CAN THERIAULT Tom 700
3 USA FRANCIS Cody 550
4 USA SAM Samoth 450
5 USA LIBBY Xavier 275
5 USA TETREAULT Matt 275
7 USA NICKERSON Dillon 150
7 USA HALLOWELL Tyler 150

Second Chance Payouts
1 USA WEBSTER Ross 300
2 USA DARIGIS Joe 200
3 CAN RICHARD Kyle 140
4 USA PEPIN Kyle 100
5 USA COUTURE Dan 40
5 USA MURRAY Greg 40


 
 
 
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