2021 SNOOKERS AMATEUR 9-BALL CLASSIC
The highly anticipated 11th Annual Snookers Amateur 9 Ball Classic returned in 2021 with a bang, boasting it’s notable $5000 guaranteed first place prize! After 7 weeks and 21 qualifying tournaments in total, the stage was set for the New England Pool community to explode with excitement! Both qualifiers and the main event were hosted by Ship The Cash’s Mike DeMarco, dictating the brackets and delivering a professional live broadcast.
This year’s returning champion from 2019 was Brian Chase of New Bedford, Massachusetts. In addition to Chase, the event had three other past champions competing for another title. Ray McNamara (2011 & 2015), Francisco ‘5K’ Cabral (2016), and Jared DeMalia (2017). With all of these previous winners, the odds were looking to their favor. Standing in their way were some new talented players and familiar top amateur competitors.
Saturday’s day one brought remarkable entertainment to arrive at the final 12 players. The action would come to a halt though, as a potential direct hit from a hurricane caused many local businesses including Snookers to close on Sunday, August 22, 2021. The event would eventually continue on Saturday, September 11, to finalize the competition and declare a champion.
2019 Runner-up Robert Piersa representing Wallingford Connecticut’s Yale Billiards was a promising contender for the title. He came out strong, but after a day one loss to this year’s second place finisher Bob “Doctor Bob” Madenjian (10-9) and a day two loss from Massachusetts’ Derek Cunningham (9-8), Piersa would end in 7/8th and take home $350. The local scene also had their eyes on another top competitor from Lynn Massachusetts, Francisco Salas. Salas had been pummeling opponents this year cashing and even winning numerous times at events like Snookers’ WNA Tournament, his home room Amazin Billiards’ 10 Ball events, and even a runner-up finish in the prestigious Ocean State 9-ball Championship.
The final 4 undefeated players brought us two great opening matches to kick things off. On table one, Jared DeMalia (MA) took his first loss of the event (10-8) from Bob Madenjian (CT). On table two we saw Snookers‘ own Ray McNamara (RI) take his first loss (10-8) from the soon to be crowned Francisco Salas (MA). Madenjian would lose to Salas in the hot seat match (10-8), but Doctor Bob wasn’t finished fighting! Madenjian would eliminate Ray McNamara (10-6) in the semi finals for another swing at the hot shooting Salas.
With the pressure building and the cash and title hanging in the balance, Salas would show some humility. As the finals continued, Salas would clearly struggle with the break and miss some routine run-outs leaving the door open for Madenjian to surge ahead and win the set (10-8). Fortunately for Salas, the true double elimination format of the event would give him one more chance to close the deal. The second set of the finals began in a similar tone as the previous round with Doctor Bob leading until 5-4 up. That’s when it all changed. Madenjian took a swing at a difficult 1 ball shot after a dry break from Salas, and would allow the match to tie at 5-5. It was at this point in the match where Salas would seem to say “that’s it”! andthe momentum would swing in his favor and never return to the Doc. Salas would win all of the remaining games ending the match 10-5, claiming the $5000 prize and the title. “El Rey” is crowned.