Joss Northeast 9-Ball Tour / Lathan, NY
by Skip Maloney
Dennis ”The Hatchetman” Hatch picked up his fifth win on the current Joss Northeast 9-Ball tour on the weekend of January 17-18. Hatch has been the only multiple winner on the tour since it started in September of last year. He’s won all of the Joss Northeast tour stops in which he’s competed, going undefeated in each of his five wins on the nine-stop tour to date. The $2,000-added event in Lathan, NY, drew 43 entrants to Diamond Eight Billiards.
Three steps away from his fifth win, Hatch sent Jim Yonge west with a 9-4 victory and faced Justin Hall in the hot seat match. Hall had sent Dave Grau to the one-loss side 9-5. Hall gave Hatch his toughest challenge but headed to the semifinals on the heels of a 9-7 defeat that left Hatch in the hot seat awaiting Hall’s return.
It was Jason Michas and John Morra emerging from the one-loss side to meet Yonge and Grau, Morra having dropped tour director Mike Zuglan into the tie for seventh place as Michas was doing the same to Reggie Cutler. It was Grau and Yonge who then advanced to the quarterfinals, with Grau defeating Michas 9-5 and Yonge surviving a double-hill battle versus Morra. Grau, who’s finished among the top four in five of the tour’s nine stops to date, including two second-place finishes behind Hatch, advanced a step closer with a commanding 9-3 win over Yonge. He settled into third place, however, when a determined Hall moved back for a second chance against Hatch with a 9-6 win in the semifinals.
In the true double-elimination finals, Hall needed to win twice to deny Hatch his fifth win. Hatch made a second set unnecessary and completed his undefeated weekend with a 9-4 win.
1st Dennis Hatch $1,440
2nd Justin Hall $1,000
3rd Dave Grau $800
4th Jim Yonge $600
5th Jason Michas $400
7th Reggie Cutler $200
9th Bucky Souvanthong $100