Shaun Wilkie and Pamela Treadway undefeated at Tiger Planet Pool 9 Ball season opener

Shaun Wilkie with tournament director Ceci Strain

The Tiger Planet Pool 9 Ball Tour 2006 season kicked off January 28/29th at Side Pockets in Laurel, MD. A strong field of 102 Open division players signed up Saturday morning including most of the top finishers of the 2005 points list. This was a $2000 added event made possible by the new owners of Side Pockets and several existing and new tour sponsors.

The player's meeting began promptly at noon Saturday and included a well-received prize-giving ceremony for the top finishers of 2005. Tour veteran Kevin West held the biggest trophy for finishing atop the 2005 year-end points list. This honor also came with $500 cash and a $1500 Parrot Cue. Right behind him was touring pro Mike Davis followed by Lee Holt and Walter Koch. Davis and Holt received cash and Eurowest and Mark Bear cues respectively while Koch took home a Sledgehammer. A gift bag with several Tiger products was given to the top 16 players.

Saturday afternoon was extremely busy as the large field was anxious to play. 16 year old rising star Chris Futrell defeated Mike Davis 7-5 in the second round. Recent Derby City Classic standout Jerry Slivka gave up just 1 game in his first 2 matches to advance to Sunday. Shaun 'The Shirt' Wilkie slipped past Matt Clatterbuck 7-6 late in the afternoon. By the time the Saturday night crowd was in full swing, the field had been narrowed down to 32 players in the money.

Slivka continued to roll on Sunday defeating Chuck Roth 9-1 and Futrell 9-3 before sliding by Josh Brothers 9-8. The top half of the bracket saw Shaun Wilkie knocking down Ben Hardy, Alan Duty and Ed Deska to meet up with Slivka. The much anticipated hot seat match turned out to be completely one-sided with Wilkie dominating 9-1.

A slew of tough matches in the elimination bracket kept Sunday afternoon entertaining. Newcomer to the tour Cary Dunn lost early on Saturday but put together a string of 8 wins before falling to Ed Deska. Kevin West was in dead gear and ran the set out from a 4-2 lead placing Deska into a personal tour best 4th place. West continued against Slivka taking an early lead. Slivka brought the score back to 3-3 and never let West back to the table winning 7-3. Wilkie had been sitting for a while but jumped right back into stroke in the finals. He took an early lead and won the first and only set going away 11-5. Slivka earned $1000 even with Wilkie taking home $1500.

24 ladies showed up Sunday for the Women's event. The festivities began with more prizes as Pamela Treadway claimed top honors for 2005 receiving a trophy, $300 cash and a $1500 Parrot cue. 2004 Player of the Year, Malea Haacke, took second place with $150 cash and a Eurowest Cue. Third place and a Sledgehammer cue went to Kathleen Lawless. More Tiger Products gift bags went to the Top 10.

The winner side final four showcased two close matches as Treadway defeated My-Hanh Lac 7-5 and Haacke edged out Annette Carroll 7-6. The hot seat match was not close as Treadway cruised 7-2. In the elimination bracket, Lac took down Sueyen Rhee 5-1. Another 5-1 win over Amanda Pasko followed by a 5-3 score against Haacke put Lac into the final. The single set race to 9 was never in doubt as Treadway won easily 9-3. 1st paid $475 with $325 for 2nd.

Congratulations also go out to four players that represent the foundation of the Tiger Planet Pool Tour. The 'Most Dedicated' award goes to Kathleen Lawless and Walter Koch. Judie Wilson and Brandon Shuff had turning points in their pool playing in 2005 earning 'Most Improved' recognition.