Fracasso-Verner comes from deep on the loss side to claim 8th Ginky Memorial Amateur title

No matter how confident you might be about your skills as a pool player, amateur or seasoned pro, losing your opening-round match in a tournament fielding 143 other competitors has got to be disheartening. By the same token, coming back from that initial loss to not only get into the money rounds, but to come all that way and actually win the event has got to be a terrific thrill, especially if you’ve yet to graduate from high school.

Lukas Fracasso-Verner, 16, of Wallingford, CT accomplished this unlikely feat to become the eighth different player to capture the Amateur division of the 8th Annual George “Ginky” Sansouci Memorial Tournament, held this past Memorial Day weekend under the combined auspices of the Predator Pro Am, Tri-State and Mezz Tours at Steinway Billiards in Astoria (Queens), NY. He lost his opening round match 7-3 to Dimos Markopoulos, won nine on the loss side to get to the final board where two brackets combined, won two more to get into the event final, and then downed hot seat occupant Chuck Allie, for a total of 12 on the loss side to claim the event title.

As Fracasso-Verner was busy, early, working on the loss side, his eventual opponent in the finals, Allie, worked his way through the winners’ side bracket to face Gary Bozigian in one winners’ side semifinal. Jacqueline Rivera faced Luis Lopez in the other one. Allie downed Bozigian, double hill, while Rivera became the first woman to reach the hot seat match in the Amateur division of this annual Ginky Memorial with a 6-4 victory over Lopez. Rivera almost became the first woman to occupy a Ginky Memorial hot seat. She battled Allie to a deciding game before being sent to the semifinals, leaving Allie in the hot seat, awaiting Fracasso-Verner’s return from his lengthy trip on the loss side.

With half of that loss-side journey accomplished, Fracasso-Verner defeated Koka Davladze double hill, and Alberto Estevez 7-2 to draw Bozigian, just over from the winners’ side semifinal. Lopez picked up Pashk Gjini, who’d defeated Jody Rubin double hill and Joe Wilson Torres 6-1.

Fracasso-Verner advanced to the quarterfinals with a 7-5 win over Bozigian. He was joined by Gjini, who eliminated Lopez.

Fracasso-Verner picked up his 10th loss-side win downing Gjini 9-4 in those quarterfinals, and then spoiled Rivera’s attempt to become the first female in a Ginky Memorial final with a 9-5 win in the semifinals. Rivera did end up with the highest finish by a female in the event’s eight-year history.

And there it was. The end of an extraordinarily long loss-side journey for Fracasso-Verner, but not, to the best our records indicate, the longest. In January of 2017, he won 13 on the loss side at a Predator Pro Am Tour event and then, with a win in the finals, became the second-youngest player to win a stop on that tour. Following a 9-7 win over Chuck Allie in the finals over this past Memorial Day weekend, he became the 8th different winner and definitely the youngest player to win the Amateur division of the George “Ginky” Sansouci Memorial Tournament.

Story by Skip Maloney AZBilliards

 
L-R Lukas Fracasso-Verner, Jacqueline Rivera, Chuck Allie
and Pashk Gjini
Complete Pro Payouts
1 USA FRACASSO-VERNER Lukas 3,000
2 USA ALLIE Chuck 2,000
3 USA RIVERA Jackie 1,000
4 USA GJINI Pashk 750
5 USA LOPEZ Luis 500
5 USA BOZIGIAN Gary 500
7 USA TORRES Joe 350
7 USA ESTEVEZ Alberto 350
9 USA DAVLADZE Koka 250
9 USA MCGINNIS Dan 250
9 USA IGNOMIRELLO Tony 250
9 USA RUBIN Jody 250
13 USA DEVITO Joe 200
13 JAWAHIR Keith 200
13 DUFRESNE Pascal 200
13 USA BUSANICH Dinko 200
17 SAIKI Naoko 150
17 USA STRASSBERG Mike 150
17 USA FELICIANO Daniel 150
17 USA OSIPOV Alex 150
17 USA EVERTON Paul 150
17 USA MARLAR Chris 150
17 USA PRUITT Mike 150
17 USA MELENDEZ Juan 150
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