Hatchet Man Cuts Through Joss Billiards Field
Joss Northeast 9-Ball Tour / Clifton Park, NY
by Lea Andrews
Dennis “The Hatchet Man” Hatch took a brief hiatus from the winner’s circle at the last stop of the Joss Northeast 9-Ball Tour, coming in second to Steve Moore’s first, but he reclaimed his regular spot on top at the March 13-14 stop. The $2,000-added event, held at trick shot Billiards in Clifton Park, NY, marked Hatch’s fifth number-one finish on the tour this season.
Hatch cruised past Dwight Dixon 9-5 to reach the hot seat match against Bucky Souvanthong, who’d gotten past Jason Michas 9-6. Souvanthong found himself in another 9-6 match against Hatch, but his was the short end of the stick, and he moved over to the semifinals.
On the left side of the bracket were two men making a strong bid for the finals. Dave Grau, who’d taken a first-round hit from Jeff Smolen, edged out Bruce Carroll 9-8 to meet Chance Chin, who’d just ousted Smolen 9-7. Taking care of Chin 9-5, Grau moved on to Dixon. Meanwhile, tour director Mike Zuglan, a third-round 9-7 victim of Hatch’s, was plowing a steady path, notching a 9-6 win over Angelo Hilton and a 9-4 win over Dave Valano, who’d just squeezed past Jim Yonge 9-8. Next up was Michas, who managed to reach the hill, but the final game went to Zuglan, and he advanced to the quarterfinals against Grau, who’d breezed past Dixon 9-3. Though both fought hard in their hill-hill battle, it was Grau who marked up the last game to move on to the semifinals against Souvanthong, but it was there that Grau’s journey ended, and he landed in third 9-6.
In the true double-elimination final match, a second set seemed to be a possibility, as Souvanthong kept pace with Hatch, tying it up at six games apiece. But then Hatch made his move, taking three straight racks to earn his victory 9-6. The tournament wasn’t his only victory, though—his name was drawn in the raffle, earning him a custom-engraved Joss Cue valued at $1,200.The tour’s next stop is March 27-28 at Salt City Billiards in Syracuse, NY. For an updated schedule, please visit www.insidepoolmag.com/calendar or joss9balltour.com, and for questions, call Mike Zuglan at 518-356-7163.
1st Dennis Hatch $1,170
2nd Bucky Souvanthong $900
3rd Dave Grau $700
4th Mike Zuglan $450
5th Dwight Dixon $250
7th Chance Chin $100