Bernie Takes AWBT Tour Stop

Susan Williams and Bernie Store

After her second place finish at the Arizona Women’s Billiard Tour’s season opener last month at Bullshooters, Bernie Store did that finish one better with an undefeated run through the field of twenty five players on the bar tables at Stinger’s Sports Bar & Grill on April 20th - 21st. 

With the event on bar tables, no points were to be awarded for this event. That meant that the usual influx of out-of-state players was not in attendance for this one, but the field still included such notables as Store, Susan Williams, Sara Miller, Leandrea Gaff, Tracie Hamman, Veronica Poore, Justine Bishop and New Mexico’s Terri Johnson-McCauley; all dangers on the bar box.
Some of the top players would find themselves facing an uphill battle early in this one as Gaff, Bishop and Poore all lost first round matches. Sara Miller would quickly join them in a power packed one loss side after a second round loss to Tracie Hamman.
On the winner’s side, Saturday play left just four players without a loss. Store, Williams, Hamman and Maria Simonson. Simonson surprised some in attendance with her play on Saturday as she put together a combined score for the day of twelve wins and four losses. By means of comparison, Bernie was the only player to have a better record after day one with her 12-2 record.
On the one loss side, Claudia Morado, Prescott’s Stephanie Sterling, Sara Miller and Leandrea Gaff all kept their tournament hopes alive and would come back to play on Sunday.
Winner’s side matches on Sunday saw two hill-hill matches with Maria sending Tracie Hamman to the one loss side, and Bernie scoring a 4-3 win over Susan Williams.
Stephanie Sterling ended Claudia Morado’s tournament in 7th place and Sara Miller had it easy as her opponent, Leandrea Gaff, could not make it to Sunday play.
Miller would go on to eliminate Tracie Hamman in 5th place 4-0, while Susan Williams ended Sterling’s tournament with a 4-3 win.
The match for the hot-seat could have been missed if you went outside for a long smoke break as Bernie ran over Maria 4-1 in under fifteen minutes - easily the quickest match of the event. By contrast, Susan Williams ground out a 4-2 win over Sara Miller on the one loss side to earn the right to play Maria in the semi-finals.
Maria’s Cinderella run finally came to an end in the semi-finals as she had no answer for Susan’s ball making and pattern play. Williams calmly ran out from any opportunity she had and took the match 4-0. Still, a great finish and the best finish in Simonson’s AWBT career so far.
The final race to six saw Susan still on fire as she raced out to an early 4-1 lead, but that only seemed to get Bernie’s attention as she quickly regained control of the match and knotted the score at 4-4. Williams would get to the hill at 5-4, but was quickly joined there by Store at 5-5. Bernie had the break in the last rack and would break dry as she had done multiple times in the finals. Williams eyed an open table, but would choose a makeable combination to get her run started. After missing the combination, Susan could only sit and watch Bernie run the rack for the 6-5 win and first place.
The AWBT Would like to thank Dale Hanson and his staff at Stingers for hosting the event and adding $300. Thanks to the friends of the AWBT who added $300 and to Jose Gonzalez of Las Glorias Grille for adding another $100 to the ladies prize fund.