McKenney captures GSBT event in Chattanooga

Dave Crockett (owner of Diamond Billiard Club), Daniel McKinney, Arlo Walsman, & Shannon Daulton

Daniel McKenney survived a strong challenge by Arlo Valsman in the finals of the Great Southern Billiard Tour's Choo Choo Classic, held at Diamond Billiards Club in Chattanooga, TN on the weekend of June 27-28. The $1,500-added, A-B handicapped event drew 61 entrants and featured a popular format that required AA players to win 10 games, A players to win 9 and B players to reach 7 in alternate break races.

McKenney joined the final four on the winners' side after four matches in which he outscored opponents 36-18. He was joined by Davey Crockett, Landon Shuffett and Valsman. McKenny sent Crockett west 9-6, as Valsman sent Shuffett to join him 10-5. In the hot seat match that followed, McKenny sent Valsman to the semifinals 9-6 and waited for his return.

On the left side, Josh O'Neal , who'd been knocked from the winners' side final eight by Shuffett, was working his way toward a rematch. He advanced past Danny Smith 10-7 and Jaime Cox  10-4 for the right to meet Crockett. Gabe Appolos, in the meantime, was working his way through Jimmy Dickerson 10-5 and Nicholas Hickerson  10-8 to meet Shuffett. O'Neal advanced to the quarterfinals 10-7 over Crockett, as Shuffett moved past Appolos 9-4 to join him. Shuffett defeated O'Neal  for the second time 9-3 and turned to face Valsman in the semifinals.

Valsman dropped Shuffett into third place 10-7 and moved back for a second chance versus McKenney.  As the ‘AA' player, Valsman needed one more win (10) than McKenney (9) to capture the first place prize. The two battled back and forth a game at a time to reach double hill, which, in terms of the tournament format, was a 9-8 lead for Valsman. McKenney took the final game to tie the score, but win the event.

Next up for the Great Southern Billiard Tour is a $1,500-added, A-B handicap event, scheduled for July 11-12 at Guys and Dolls in Roanoke, VA.