Mullins enters and wins his first GSBT final

Shannon Daulton, Paul "The Cheetah" Mullins, Jeff Abernathy and Jimmy Bullis (Speak Eazy Owner)

Paul Mullins and his finals opponent, Jeff Abernathy, were making their first appearance in a Great Southern Billiard Tour final on the weekend of May 1-2. When it was over, in the first set of the true double elimination matchup, Mullins had chalked up his first win on the tour. The $1,500-added event drew 52 entrants to Speak Eazy Billiards in Sanford, NC. 

Mullins and Abernathy met twice. They squared off first in the hot seat match after Mullins had sent Glen Smith to the one-loss side 7-6 and Abernathy had dominated Mike Hagood 11-2. Mullins kept pace with Abernathy in the battle for the hot seat and sent him west 7-6, with Abernathy needing to reach 11 games. 

Over on the one-loss side, Shawn Ray, after victories over Larry Faulk 7-2 and Greg Taylor 7-7, was waiting for Smith. Hagood drew Glenn Russell, who'd defeated Steve Jenkins 9-3 and Brad Shearer 9-7 to reach him.  Smith and Hagood paid a single-match visit to the west bracket as Ray survived a double hill battle versus Smith and Russell defeated Hagood 9-3. Russell survived a double hill battle of his own in the quarterfinals that followed and moved on to face Abernathy. 

Abernathy finished Russell's day with an 11-6 victory in the semifinals and turned to face Mullins a second time. He'd need to defeat him twice to claim his first GSBT victory. He won three more games than he'd won in the battle for the hot seat, but Mullins reached seven games before he'd won the necessary 11 and Mullins took home the first place prize.