Caukin Claims First Victory on Flamingo Tour

Art Rogers, Shanelle Loraine, Helene Caukin, Jessica Barnes,Nicolle Rasmussen and Dana Rogers

May 1st brought 11 women out to Art of Billiards in Gainesville for the Flamingo Billiards Tour stop. Although a small field due to other activities going on this day, the competition was fierce and full of surprises. 

First round matches saw last month's winner, Nicolle Rasmussen face off with powerhouse Leslee Davis-Blakie, who has been absent on tour. Rasmussen won 7-4 and moved on to defeat Christie Cloke. Helene Caukin defeated newcomer Allison “Derek” Folds, sending her west with a score of 7-4. Barbara Ellis won a double-hill thriller against newcomer and pool room owner Dana Rogers to advance. 

In the round before the redraw Shanelle Lorraine sent Caukin to the one-loss side, and Rasmussen lost to Jessica Barnes. Rasmussen matched up again with Blakie, winning 7-3 and guaranteeing her spot into the redraw.  Caukin played Melissa Durkin in a tighter match but edged out the win with a 7-6 score.  

The redraw saw Caukin and Rasmussen draw their opponents, coincidentally setting up rematches of their earlier losses that day ? Caukin versus Lorraine and Rasmussen against Barnes. 

Semi-final matches 

Caukin and Lorraine started out cautiously, neither wanting to relinquish control of the table.  Caukin gained control first and just when she looked to get win the first game, she rattled the 9-ball leaving it for Lorraine to easily pocket. Caukin quickly tied the score but again hung the 9 and Lorraine went up 2-1. The match stayed close until Lorraine began a streak, taking the lead 5-3. However, the tables turned as Lorraine was about to get on the hill, as she jawed the 9-ball and Caukin pulled within one. From there, it was all Caukin as she took over the table and eventually won the match 7-5. 

In the other semi-final match, Rasmussen quickly took a 2-0 lead, but Barnes fired back and tied the match. Rasmussen pulled away taking the lead 4-2, but Barnes managed to pull within one game. When it looked that she would tie the score, Barnes missed the 8-ball and Rasmussen went up 5-3. Again Barnes found her rhythm and looked to be out when an unexpected miss on the 6-ball gave Rasmussen another game.  Now on the hill, Rasmussen ran out, closing out the match 7-3. 

Two veteran players made it to the finals ? last month's winner, Rasmussen and top competitor, Caukin. Caukin won the lag and meticulously began running out, taking a 3-0 lead before Rasmussen got on the board. However, Caukin's momentum continued as she took back control and jumped to a 5-1 lead. The next game, Caukin scratched on a tricky 8-ball and Rasmussen started closing the gap. But Caukin quickly shook off the scratch of the previous game and ran the table to reach the hill. Up 6-2, Caukin broke and began a run that would have ended the match, but left with a difficult shot on the 9- ball, the match wasn't over just yet. After an exchange of misses and safeties, Rasmussen pocketed the 9 to put the match at 3-6.  The next rack, Caukin took control and began running the table to close out the match, but missed a tough 8-ball and Rasmussen ran out.  At 6-4, Caukin broke and watched the cue ball drop in the side pocket. With ball in hand, Rasmussen made the 1 and then the 2-9 combo to put the score at 6-5. Rasmussen broke, hoping to tie the match. But a dry break would be her last chance, as a determined Caukin decided it had been long enough and ran the rack to take her first regional tour win!   

The FBT, players and fans would like to extend a special thanks to Art and Dana Rogers of Art of Billiards ( for their patronage, equipment and hospitality. The FBT also thanks the American CueSports Association, Lucasi Hybrid Cues, Nick Varner Signature Cases, and Pool Cue Guru, for co-sponsoring this event. Leslie Davis was the highest finishing ACS player, winning a paid entry into the 9-ball singles at the ASC National Championships in Las Vegas. 

Another huge thanks also goes out to our regular tour sponsors Ozone Billiards (, Boynton Billiards ( and Tweeten Fibre ( for their valued support. 

The next Flaming Billiards Tour stop is June 26 at Ultimate Billiards in Fort Pierce, Fl. ( Please check for more details and the complete schedule.