HOTT Takes Austin By Storm

Belinda Calhoun and Jennifer Kraber

Despite torrential thunderstorms and Father's day celebrations on Sunday, 16 players arrived at Eric's Billiards in Austin, Texas early Saturday morning sporting their game faces to compete for the $2600 prize fund.

The Heart of Tejas Tour inaugural event was loaded with talent, skill, and personality. Response from the field was very positive and HOTT is encouraged that fields will grow rapidly.

On Saturday, the 17th, the field was narrowed to eight players. All eight players were 'in the money.' Thanks to the generosity of Eric's Billiards and all of our sponsors including Texas Mesquite Treasures, A-O Custom Cues, Aramith, Atlas Billiards, RT9 Designs, Simonis Billiard Cloth, Sardo Tight Rack, Sir Joseph Gloves, Beads and Billiards, Pool and Billiard Magazine, Billiards Digest, Hartley & Company, 'Stroke' the novel, Mr. Notebook, and Neon Warehouse HOTT participants were able to compete for $2,600.

Notable performances on Saturday included Sylvia Shipman (Houston) participating in her first event pushing veteran Anne Mayes to a 9-7 match, and Michelle Abernathy (Elgin) in her match to make it into Sunday and the money rounds.

On Sunday, five players paid a $10 entry with HOTT adding $100 for a second chance event. Races were to 5 on both sides. After a first round loss to Jillian Valles, Nita Goldrick bested Lee LeTeff 5-1 and Diana Cardona 5-3 before settling for a 3rd place finish after losing to Julia Rapp 3-5 for a berth in the final. The finals were between Julia Rapp and Jillian Valles who had won the winners bracket. Rapp was able to win both sets necessary 5-4 to take the title and first place money of $75. Another highlight on Sunday was a gift to all fathers of one free raffle ticket for the $25,000 Cedars of Tejas custom, one of a kind pool table. Although, several fathers asked if they could have one ticket per child only one ticket per Dad was allowed! Tickets for the drawing to be held on December 10, 2006 are 1-$10, 3-$20, 10-$50, and 25 for $100. Tickets may now be purchased on line at

In the main event, the day started with 4 winners and 4 one-loss players. Match ups in the winners bracket were between Michele Cortez (3) and Belinda Calhoun (9) and Christina De La Garza (9) and one of the pre-tournament favorites Heather Lloyd (7). The one loss bracket matched Michelle Abernathy (1) and Terry Petrosino (9) and Jennifer Kraber (9) and Kim Pierce (6). This round left Abernathy and Pierce tied for 7th-8th winning $130.00. Calhoun would win the winners bracket over De La Garza 9-4 to take the hott seat. De La Garza displayed moments of stellar play in both her match against Calhoun and Lloyd. On the one loss side, Jennifer Kraber was about to embark on an arduous trail of three thrilling hill-hill matches against Heather Lloyd, Terry Petrosino, and Christina Delagarza to arrive in the final.

Kraber's energy banks had been depleted as she managed only one game against Belinda in the final. First and second place won $780 and $520 respectively. An on line event bracket and order of finish was updated regularly during this and all events and can be enjoyed at the HOTT web site.

The Heart of Tejas Tour would like to thank all the participants of the inaugural HOTT Stop. We really appreciate your support. HOTT would also like to thank Lynn and Mike Hill for their generosity and extending the use of their room. Thanks to Jessica, Jason, and Matt for their help in ensuring the event ran smoothly. A special thanks to Anne Mayes of AO Custom Cues for her donation of a beautiful $2,000 handcrafted cue to each and every HOTT stop. We would also like to recognize Mark Weisman and Fuzz Wingfield who watched each and every shot pocketed in the event as #1 spectators and invite them to become charter members of the HOTT Men's Club.