Olinger wins Great Southern Billiard Tour stop in Tennessee

Janet Atwell (WPBA pro player / room owner, Alex Olinger, and Shannon Daulton

It was the reverse of last November's Great Southern Billiard Tour (GSBT) Championships. On the weekend of February 19-20, Alex Olinger and Brian White once again battled in the finals of a GSBT stop, this time in Bristol, TN at a pool hall owned by WPBA professional Janet Atwell. This time, though, it was Olinger who came out on top to take the event title. The $1,500-added event drew a record GSBT number of 100 entrants to Borderline Billiards in Bristol. The previous record of 93 entrants was set at Raisin' Cains (formerly G Jay's) in Inman, SC.

Unlike the tour championships in November, at which Olinger and White played twice – once for the hot seat and again in the finals – this most recent stop saw Olinger, instead of White, advance to the hot seat. White had to work his way back from the one-loss side, when he was defeated by Cory Morphew from among the winners' side final eight. They would meet again in the quarterfinals. Morphew advanced to face Olinger among the winners' side final four, as Mike Cantrell faced John Thompson. It was Cantrell and Olinger battling for the hot seat, once Olinger had sent Morphew west 9-3 and Cantrell had sent Thompson over 9-4. Olinger got into the hot seat and waited for White's return.

Thompson moved over to pick up White, who'd won his opening two matches on the one-loss side; an 11-7 victory over Keith Jones, and an 11-4 win over Joe Pierce. Morphew drew Gary Cairnes, who'd advanced past Mark Owens 7-5 and D.J. Holloway 7-2. Victories by White (11-4 over Thompson) and Morphew (7-3 over Cairnes) set up the quarterfinal re-match, won by White 11-3.

White then took the final, one-loss side hurdle by defeating Cantrell 11-7 in the semifinals. In November, they had battled to double hill, before White prevailed.  At this most recent stop, Olinger won, ahead by two, though effectively tied. With White needing to reach 11, Olinger won with a 9-9 score.

Shannon and Marge Daulton were effusive in their praise for everybody who helped to bring this record-breaking stop on the GSBT to its successful, 7 a.m., Monday morning conclusion. They thanked Janet Atwell and her staff at Borderlines Billiards (especially, Annette, Summer and Toby), as well as Joe Blackburn, of Blackburn Cue Repair, who finished tied for 13th place, and was on hand for cue repairs for the entire weekend. They thanked sponsors Andy Gilbert Custom Cues, Nick Varner Cues and Cases, Mike Davis Exterminating, Tiger Products, and Delta-13 Racks, and Okinawa Slim, renowned trick shot artist, who put on an exhibition for gathered spectators on Saturday night.

The next stop on the GSBT is set for February 26-27 at Michael's Billiards in Fairfield, OH, which will feature both a $1,500-added amateur 9-ball event, and a $500-added amateur bank event.