Mike Laney goes undefeated for GSBT Win

Mike Laney and Kevin Wright with Shannon Daulton

Gracious hosts Johnny Archer and Kim Davenport opened up their room for the latest stop of the Great Southern Billiard Tour this weekend (September 20th-21st).  The Marietta Billiard Club in Marietta, Georgia, offered those in attendance a fantastic atmosphere to compete and that is just what thirty-two of the regions top amateur players came to do.

The field drew to a close in the form of a mere twelve players on Saturday night with Mike Laney, Kevin Wright, Jared McGee, and Junior Farias finding themselves undefeated to start the day on Sunday.  But, that was not to last long for Wright and Farias as Laney bested Wright 8-3; and McGee sent Farias west 8-4, setting up a hot-seat match between Laney and McGee. The hot-seat match would prove to be much more eventful as both men pushed the limits and ended on in a hill-hill battle for the chair, but it would be Laney that held the spot in the end.

The one-loss side of the bracket on Sunday began with Matt Reed (d. Jefferson Taylor 8-5); Dustin Byrd (d. Mark Nanashee 8-5); Jeff Tabet (d. Dusty Norris 8-2); and Roderick Galan (d. John Salter 8-5) finishing off their opponents quite handily.  None of their opponents were able to acquire more than five games in any of those sets.

Moving on, Byrd ended Reed's run 8-4 and Tabet stopped Galan in his tracks 8-3 to leave them in a respectable seventh/eight finish for the weekend.  Byrd's fate would be met in the next round in a tight set with Wright 8-6, while Tabet moved forward another notch after running past Farias 8-2.

This, of course, took us to the “streaming” matches.  AZBtv brought the final matches to our readers live for the final rounds of the stop.  As mentioned above, the hot-seat match was a great addition to the live streaming, then, the quarter-final match pitted Wright against Tabet.  Wright conquered Tabet 8-4, then continued his efforts in the semis against McGee where he was tested a bit more in this very close semi-final battle – Wright was able to get past McGee in the end 8-7.

The true double elimination final round saw two very tired players in Laney and Wright. Neither player brought their true “A” games. but it was Mike Laney that reached the hill first at 7-5. He had a chance to close out the match in the next rack, but was unable to complete the run and Wright crept within one game at 7-6. Next it was Wright's turn to let an error bring his opponent to the table and Laney made quick work of the remaining balls for the 8-6 win.

Special thanks again to the Marietta Billiard Club and their staff; to our sponsors:  Nick Varner Cues & Cases, Masters Chalk, AZBilliards.com, and Inside Pool; and to those in attendance for making it a fun weekend.  The GSBT will head to Diamond Billiard Club in Chattanooga, Tennessee, next weekend (September 27th-28th) for their next $2000 added amateur only event.  For more information on this or any future stops, contact Shannon Daulton at (865) 850-4572 or email thecannon72@yahoo.com