Jeannie Seaver wins her first WPBA Regional Tour Championship
Skip Maloney - AzB Staff
Jan. 18, 2017
Jan. 18, 2017
After 17 years as a recognized pro, and a long string of victories that began about three years after she'd picked up a pool cue for the first time, Jeannie Seaver has chalked up a win on the WPBA's annual Regional Tour Championships (RTC). Held on the weekend of January 12-15, the event was the first of three RTC's to be hosted by Zingale's Billiards in Tallahassee, FL, who hosted the 2016 RTC, as well. The event drew 64 entrants, who competed in a combination of round robin and double elimination brackets for $11,000 in prize money.
"I don't know what made it different this year," said Seaver, who competed in her first WPBA event, the WPBA US Open, in 1999 (finishing 17th), and finished fifth in last year's RTC. "I ran out when I could and played safe when I could.
"I never think I'm going to win," she added. "I just go in trying. I know when I hit a gear, though, and when it happens, it happens."
It happened for her at this year's RTC. By the time the field of 64 completed the round robin phase of the event, half of the competitors were gone, leaving a field of in-the-money 32, Seaver among them, to compete in the double elimination phase. Seaver got by Tam Trinh, Kimberly Pierce, and Ricki Casper to move into a winners' side semifinal match against Betty Lea. Gail Eaton, whose career goes back as far as Seaver's, with a number of previous head-to-head matchups, had defeated Angela Garza, Denise Berlanger (double hill), and Michell Monk, and faced Leslee Blaikie in the other winners' side semifinal.
Seaver and Eaton moved into the hot seat match with identical 7-3 scores over Lea and Blaikie. Seaver's 'gear' slipped a little in the winners' side final, as she managed only a single rack against Eaton and with Eaton in the hot seat, moved west to the semifinals.
On the loss side, Autumn Duncan, who'd lost her opening round match, double hill, to Debbie Teichert, was in the midst of a six-match winning streak that would take her as far as the quarterfinals. She downed Michell Monk 7-3 and Windy Tang 7-4 (loss-side wins # 4 and #5) to face Betty Lea. Ricki Casper, who'd been sent to the loss side by Seaver in a winners' side quarterfinal, defeated Krista Walsh 5-4 and Jessica Human 7-1, to draw Blaikie.
Duncan and Casper advanced to the quarterfinals; Casper with a double hill win over Blaikie, and Duncan 7-4 over Lea. Casper ended Duncan's loss-side streak 7-5, and then had her own four-match, loss-side effort ended by Seaver 7-4 in the semifinals.
Eaton jumped out to an early, slim lead in the finals, taking a 2-0 lead, before Seaver responded with two racks to create the first of four ties in the match. They traded racks to a 3-3 tie, before Eaton chalked up three in a row. Seaver came right back with three to tie it again. They traded racks to the last tie of the match at 7-7, but Seaver's 7th win was the first of three in a row that gave her the 9-7 win and her first RTC title.