Josh Brothers and Sueyen Rhee finish on top at event #2 of the Tiger Planet Pool 9 Ball Tour

Josh Brothers

Young Josh Brothers and WPBA pro Sueyen Rhee played fantastic pool all weekend to win their divisions of the Tiger Planet Pool 9 Ball stop at Bill & Billies Cuesport on March 4/5th. Huge fields came out with 105 Open division entrants and 31 ladies on Sunday. Player owner Kurt Ziem and the tour sponsors added a sweet $2500 to the purse and brand new Z9 cloth on the tables made for excellent conditions.

Saturday was busy as usual with 25 tables in constant action all afternoon and into the evening. Josh Brothers defeated Joe Wright, Jim Henson and Brett Stottlemyer to stay on the winner's side. Larry Kressel from Richmond, VA gave up just 7 games in his three matches while Jerry Slivka only let 6 games go to his opponents. Joining these undefeated players going into Sunday were IPT pro players Paul Potier and Mike Davis, as well as tour regulars Ed Deska, Pooky Rasmeloungon and Joe Cataldi.

There were some great matches on Sunday. Visiting Canadian Potier overcame a deficit to defeat Davis 9-8. Brothers edged out Potier on the hill to advance to the hot seat match. Kressel took down Slivka before defeating 2002 tour player of the year Pooky Rasmeloungon making a rare but solid appearance. The match between Brothers and Kressel was never in doubt with Brothers grabbing a decisive 9-3 win for his spot in the finals.

In the elimination bracket, Slivka worked his way through some quality opponents defeating Stottlemyer, BJ Ussery and Paul Potier. Two more wins over Rasmeloungon and Kressel put Slivka into the single race to 11 final with Brothers. Midway through the match, Brothers starting nailing some tough shots to extend his lead. The final score was 11-8 in favor of Brothers winning his first Tiger Planet Pool Tour event title. 1st was worth $1500 with $1000 for 2nd.

The Sunday Women's division held extra excitement as a WPBA qualifying spot into the Las Vegas event in May was available to the highest finishing amateur. This was a large and probably the strongest field on tour ever. The final four winner side came down to dueling WPBA pros Liz Ford vs Sueyen Rhee and tour regulars My-Hanh Lac vs Malea Haacke. Rhee reversed a deficit to win a close one 7-5. Lac dominated her match winning 7-0. The winner side final stayed close until Rhee came out on top with a 7-4 score.

The elimination bracket was of great interest with challengers stepping up to claim the chance to play in Vegas. Newcomer to the tour, Mary Russo, had some quality wins on her way to a fine 5th place finish. She was just keeping pace with her proud dad Joe Russo who had finished 9th in the Open Division earlier in the day. Another newcomer, Ellen Van Buren, finished on the winning side of a few close matches. At 4-4, Van Buren made a good jump shot on the seven ball sending the nine ball two rails into the side pocket placing Liz Ford into the 4th spot. This set up a much anticipated match between the last two amateurs in the event: Van Buren and Lac. This match was over in a hurry as Lac confidently walked away with a 5-0 victory for the qualifying spot. The late night final match stayed close early until Rhee extended her lead to a decisive 9-3 win.