Zippler wins first Action Pool Tour event at season opener; Malm takes Ladies title
Skip Maloney - AzB Staff
Jan. 17, 2017
Tom Zippler
Tom Zippler
The Action Pool Tour opened its 2017 season at the Magic 8 Cue Club in Cockeysville, MD on the weekend of Jan. 14-15. It featured the first of a season-long series of ladies tournaments, a new rule governing the calculations for rankings (lowest event score, previously eliminated from calculations, now counted in rankings), and, in the persons of Tom Zippler and Tina Malm, new visitors to the tour's winners' circle. The 40-entrant Open event saw Zippler return from a loss in the hot seat match to defeat its occupant, Brett Stottlemyer, in the finals. In the 7-entrant ladies tournament, Tina Malm did the same thing, downing Lai Li in the finals.
 
Zippler's trip to the finals went through Steve Fleming, Phillip LaPorta, Justin Powers and the eventual winner of the Ladies tournament, Tina Malm, before coming up against Andy Lincoln in a winners' side semifinal. Stottlemyer defeated Mike Slagle, and Bill Woods before almost having his winners' side run derailed by Dave Hunt in a double hill fight. Stottlemyer moved on, though, to defeat Doug Hornsby, before meeting up with Clint Clayton in the other winners' side semifinal.
 
A 7-4 victory by Zippler over Lincoln and a 7-3 win by Stottlemyer over Clayton set the two up for their first of two in the hot seat match. It came within a game of double hill, with Stottlemyer winning 7-5 to claim the hot seat.
 
On the loss side, Clayton picked up Malm, who, following her defeat at the hands of Zippler, had defeated Garrett Waechter 6-3 and Will Moon 6-4. Lincoln drew Trevor Dentz, who'd squeaked by Doug Hornsby 6-5, and defeated Tom Helmstetter 6-2. Lincoln and Malm advanced to the quarterfinals; Lincoln 6-4 over Dentz and Malm, with a shutout over Clayton. 
 
There were a couple of "ifs" on the line in the quarterfinal match that followed. If Malm had defeated Lincoln, she'd have guaranteed herself more prize money in the Open match than she eventually earned winning the Ladies tournament. In addition, if Malm had gone on to face Zippler in a re-match, she might have fared better than Lincoln did in his re-match against Zippler. Lincoln and Malm went double hill in that quarterfinal match before Lincoln advanced. Lincoln was then shut out by Zippler in the semifinal.
 
One can only surmise that the APT veteran Stottlemyer lost a degree of momentum in waiting for the potential newcomer to the winners' circle (Zippler's) return. In any case, Zippler took the final match 9-5 over Stottlemyer to claim the APT season opener title.
 
Tina Malm claimed the Ladies title with a 4-1 record. She downed Judie Wilson 6-2, and just did get by Kia Sidbury, double hill, in a winners' side semifinal, before being defeated by Lai Li, double hill, in the hot seat match. Li had won her two opening matches 6-2, against Jenny Acot and Terri Stovall (in the other winners' side semifinal), before winning the double hill hot seat match against Malm. 
 
On the loss side, Nicole Fleming, after losing her opening match to Sidbury, got by Judie Wilson, and Terri Stovall, to earn herself a re-match against Sidbury in the quarterfinals. Fleming successfully wreaked her vengeance on Sidbury 6-1 to face Malm in the semifinals. Malm downed her 6-3 to get her second shot at Li in the hot seat. Again, one can only surmise that the downtime between hot seat match and finals had its effect on Li. The result was an 8-2 victory by Malm, which earned her the first ladies title of the APT season.