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Final 16 set for American 14.1 Straight Pool Championships, Ladies finish opening Round Robin phase

Tyler Styer was the beneficiary of an Earl Strickland disqualification

Day Three of the 16th Annual American 14.1 Straight Pool Championships featured some surprises and the start of the first-ever Women’s division, featuring 15 of the world’s top female competitors. The day began with the final Round Robin matches in eight divisions of the Men’s copmpetition, which cut the initial field of 48 entrants in half. Of the 24 that remained, eight competitors were awarded an opening round bye in the single elimination phase, while the other 16 squared off for the right to advance to the final 16.

By evening the Round Robin phase had ended, but not before some creative decision-making had advanced Tyler Styer, who’d already finished 4th and been eliminated within his group. Late in the day, Earl Strickland was disqualified from the tournament when, after the match was over,  he reacted to some distractions that had occurred during his match against Albin Oushchan. Both had entered the final match of their Round Robin group with 4-0 records. The disqualification led to a ‘hole’ in the upcoming single elimination phase, and instead of moving a 4th player from the group into that spot (which would have been Michael Yednak), tournament officials compared the match records and ultimately, the point differentials of two of the eight 4th place finishers, advancing Tyler Styer to the final 24.

The Round Robin phase had finished with seven competitors going undefeated; Shane Van Boening, Wiktor Zielinski, Albin Ouschan, Michael Lechner, Aloysius Yapp, Mario He and Alex Kazakis. The eighth competitor to receive an opening round bye in the single elimination phase went to defending champion, Ruslan Chinakhov, who’d finished with the best record (4-1) in his Round Robin group.

High run honors for the Round Robin phase of the event (players must have a minimum run of 100 at the time they reach the number of balls designated for the win to proceed) went to Joshua Filler, who, in his match versus Pagulayan on Wednesday, ran to 213. Shane Van Boening’s run of 210 was the next highest run in his match versus Lee Van Corteza.

Brittany Bryant

Five women finish with 2-0 records on Day One of Ladies competition’s Round Robin phase

Two of the three groups of five women ended up with two women who went 2-0 on their first day of competition. Kelly Fisher downed Billie Billing 80-27 and Emily Duddy 80-10, while Monica Webb also defeated Billing, 80-58 and Mary Rakin Tam 80-52 to finish as the two undefeated women from Group A. Ashley Burrows and Brittany Bryant from Group C finished their first day undefeated; Burrows, downing Gail Eaton 80-49 and Bethany Sykes 80-44, while Bryant defeated Janet Atwell 80-62 and Bethany Sykes 80-53. Pia Filler was the only woman from Group B to finish undefeated. She downed April Larson 80-41 and Liz Taylor 80-38.

Action will begin for the ladies on Day Two of their Round Robin stage at noon.

Final 16 men will get underway at 10 a.m., tomorrow (Friday)

The 16 male competitors in the opening round of the tournament’s single elimination phase got underway last night (Thursday) at around 7:30 p.m. and finished before 11 p.m. The winners of the eight matches will meet the eight competitors who’d received byes as a result of their work in the Round Robin phase of the event.

Konrad Juszczyszyn defeated Corey Deuel 150-77 to face Albin Ouschan tomorrow. Also advancing were Joshua Filler, who defeated Tyler Styer 150-27 for the right to meet Alex Kazakis. John Morra got by Dennis Grabe 150-44 for the right to meet Wictor Zielinski. Mieszko Fortunski defeated Alex Paguluyan 150-27 (after which, as he collected his winnings, Pagulayan was heard to say that he was absolutely going to quit the sport). Fortunski will meet Aloysius Yapp in the morning.

Rounding out the advancing eight will be Fedor Gorst, whose 202-45 victory over Bader Alawadhi put him among the final 16 against Mario He. The Iceman, Mika Immonen, eliminated Darren Appleton 150-44 and will face Max Lechner. The Kaiser, Ralf Souquet, got by Mohammad Ali Beriaoui 150-114 and will face defending champion Ruslan Chinahov. Oliver Szolnoki def Thorsten Hohmann 150-125 to face Shane Van Boening.

The first eight matches will commence at 10 a.m. The event quarterfinals, scheduled for 1 p.m.  will (roughly) follow the 2nd Round Robin sets for the ladies at noon. 

Free streaming is available on the American 14.1 Facebook page, the AZBtv Facebook page and from Istreampool on Youtube. Online brackets are available at Cuescore.com. All matches are played on Diamond Pro-Am tables with Simonis 866 cloth and Predator balls. Corner pockets are 4.5” and the sides are 5”.

Cossette Captures NC 10-Ball Title

Lisa Cossette

The 3rd Annual Women’s State 10-Ball Championship was held May 25, 2019, at the Rock House Sports Tavern in Gastonia, NC. Play was on pristine 9’ Diamond tables with Aramith Balls and Simonis Cloth which provided conditions for a maximized display of talent.  
 
An arduous day of play culminated with Lisa Cossette and Billie Billing reaching the finals with undefeated records. The day’s play saw Lisa defeat Vera Livesay-Camp 6-5; Debbie Teichert 6-4; Bridgette Simon 6-3; and Marianne Merrill 6-2 while Billie’s road to the finals included victories over Debbie Teichert 6-4; Bridgette Simon 6-0; Marianne Merrill 6-4; and Vera Livesay-Camp 6-3.  Once the match was tied at one, Lisa took control and raced to a 6-1 win and title of 2019 North Carolina Women’s State 10-Ball Champion.  
 
The Rock House was opened by Dave Vick in October of 2011. Dave, formerly of Denver, CO, is a long time resident of Gastonia. He was an electrician, by trade, and due to his love of pool jumped at the opportunity of opening the business when the owner of the building made the suggestion.  Vick equipped the room with four 9’ Diamond tables, two 9’ Global tables, and two 7’ Diamond tables.  Monday and Tuesday offers APA 8 and 9 ball league play, with Sunday evening reserved for alternating 8 and 9 ball tournaments.  Rock House offers live entertainment on Saturday nights with karaoke featured on Thursdays and Fridays.  Your dining pleasures are met by a full service menu featuring dinner specials on Tuesdays for the Rock House clientele. For all your entertainment needs, the Rock House should definitely be on your agenda anytime you are in the Gastonia/Charlotte area.   Thank you to Dave and his friendly staff who will be hosting our November tour stop!  For future details, keep an eye on your Facebook and email notifications.
 
Many thanks to our Title Sponsor Tiger Products, Simonis cloth, Aramith Balls, and Quick-Clean Cloth Cleaner who all contribute to the continued success of the Tiger Southern Mid-Atlantic Regional Tour.
 

Bryant comes from the loss side to defend WPBA Blue Emu title at Borderline Billiards in TN

Crowning achievements for (l to r) Kyoko Sone & Brittany Bryant with Janet Atwell

It began on Thursday, May 30 with a preliminary tournament made up of 30 lower-ranked players from the Women’s Professional Billiards Association (WPBA) and ended on Sunday night, June 2 with the crowning of defending champion Brittany Bryant, who had to come from the loss side (five matches) to meet Kyoko Sone in the finals of the WPBA’s Signature Tour Stop, the Blue-Emu Southern Open. The $10,000-added event drew a total of 62 entrants, including Janet Atwell to her venue, Borderline Billiards in Bristol, TN.

The event was not exactly a proverbial ‘walk in the park’ for the WPBA’s #4-ranked player. Bryant won the event, having won less than 60% of the games she played in it (70-49; 58.8%). The seven opponents she faced in races-to-8 chalked up an average of five racks against her. She got by Kelly Cavanaugh, Jessica Barnes and Mary Rakin by an aggregate score of 24-7, but against her other four race-to-8 opponents (LoreeJon Hasson, Allison Fisher, Melissa Little & Jennifer Baretta) she chalked up an aggregate of 32-26, or 55%. Not surprising necessarily, given the upgrade in the competition over those four matches. And then, of course, there was the third-round, 4-8 loss to Gail Eaton, which really did a job on the ‘numbers.’ Without that loss, Bryant would have finished with an overall game-winning average of just over 60% (62.8), rather than less.

“I go to every event to win it,” said Bryant, “but I didn’t go with any expectations this year. “There were actually a few more players who were higher up (in rankings) than there were last year when I won it.”

The ‘First Stage’ double elimination bracket yielded 16 players who advanced to the Final Stage; eight from the winners’ side and eight from the loss side of that bracket. Among those who emerged from that bracket was runner-up Kyoko Sone, who lost her opening round match, double hill to Mary Rakin. Rakin advanced to defeat Kelly Isaac 7-5 and become one of the eight winners’ side competitors to advance to the Final Stage. Sone moved to the loss side, where she defeated Toni Esteves and Janet Ritcey, both 7-2, to become one of the eight loss-side competitors to advance to the final stage.

The other winners’ side competitors to advance to the Final Stage were Jennifer Berzinski, Jessica Human, Hiroko Makiyama, Ashley Burrows, Stephanie Mitchell, Kia Sidbury and Billie Billings. The other loss-side competitors to advance were Autumn Duncan, Kelly Isaac, Susan Wilbur, Julie Cooper, Angela Janic, Stephanie Goens, and Catherine Tschumper.

Moving into the Final Stage, beginning on Friday, May 31, the 16 arrivals from the preliminary bracket faced 16 players more or less in the middle of the WPBA rankings (approximately #17-#32). The winners in this opening round of Final Stage play advanced to meet the WPBA’s top 16 players, who had been awarded opening round byes.

Of the WPBA’s top 16 players who waited until Friday evening to begin competing, only three failed to advance on the winners’ side past their opening match; Jessica Barnes (WPBA-ranked #16) was defeated 8-2 by Kyoko Sone, Gerda Gregerson (#8) lost to Mary Rakin 8-6 and Emily Duddy (#10) joined them on the loss side following an 8-3 defeat at the hands of Naomi Williams. Among the more notable matches in this round of play, and the only one to go double hill was the battle between Allison Fisher and Russian teenager Kristina Tkach, who, a week earlier, had been the only female to compete in the Open/Pro event of the 9th Annual George “Ginky” Sansouci Memorial in New York City (she finished in the tie for 5th place). She was defeated by Fisher here and went on to win two loss-side matches before being eliminated by Line Kjorsvik.

A final round on Friday night brought the field down to the winners’ side quarterfinals. Kyoko Sone had sent Line Kjorsvik to the loss side and on Saturday night, faced Mary Rakin, who, after her victory over Gregerson, had sent hostess and WPBA-ranked #9 Janet Atwell over. Brittany Bryant, who’d defeated Loree Jon Hasson was to meet up with Gail Eaton, who’d gotten by Melissa Little. Fisher followed up her win over Tkach with a victory over Jia Li and on Saturday night, faced Naomi Williams, who had just survived a double hill battle against Helena Thornfeldt.  The last of the winners’ side quarterfinals pitted Jennifer Baretta against Monica Webb.

These matches elicited the winners’ side semifinals, which began immediately afterwards. Sone, who’d downed Rakin 8-5 met Eaton, who’d sent Bryant to the loss side 8-4, as Fisher, who’d defeated Williams 8-3 met Baretta, who’d gotten by Webb 8-5.

“I have to give Gail so much credit,” said Bryant of her only loss in the tournament. “I have never seen her play that well. I was down 7-1, took a break, composed myself and got it to 7-4.”

“I wasn’t disappointed,” she added. “I didn’t play poorly and Gail took control when she needed to.”

Sone advanced to the hot seat match 8-3 over Eaton. Fisher and Baretta, almost predictably, fought to double hill before Baretta prevailed to join Sone in the hot seat match. Sone downed Baretta 8-4 to claim the hot seat and waited on what turned out to be Bryant’s fateful return.

Meanwhile, back at the loss-side ranch, Bryant and Melissa Little were laying in wait for Fisher and Eaton, respectively. Bryant had defeated Jessica Barnes 8-2 and Mary Rakin 8-3 to draw Fisher. Little had won four loss-side matches, including a double hill win over Naomi Williams and an 8-4 victory over Kjorsvik to draw Eaton. Little made it five in a row with an 8-5 win over Eaton and advanced to the quarterfinals. Bryant joined her after surviving a double hill fight against Fisher.

“I expected to go back and forth with Allison,” she said. “It was actually the first time I had ever beaten her. I ended up breaking and running at double hill to win it.”

Bryant followed her double hill win over Fisher with a double hill win over Little in the quarterfinals and for the second time, she finished with a break and run. In the semifinals, Jennifer Baretta came within a game of giving Bryant a third straight, double hill challenge, but Bryant edged out in front at the end to win it 8-6.

“I was up 6-2 in that match and she came back (to almost tie it),” Bryant said. “And then, there was a big game swinger, when she could have tied it at 6-6, but I won to go up 7-5. She won a game and I won the next game to win the match.”

The finals between defending champion Bryant and Sone came within a game of going double hill, as well, but for the second time in a row, Bryant edged out in front at the end to win it 10-8 and claim the 2019 Blu-Emu Southern Open.

“We didn’t make a lot of mistakes,” said Bryant of the final match. “She broke and ran the opening game and we had a few safety battles. I was up 6-2 and she started to make a comeback.”

As with the semifinal match against Baretta, Sone had the opportunity to tie things up at 6-6.

“She missed a key 8-ball to tie it up (at 6-6),” she said, “so it was 7-5 and I won the next three.”

WPBA representatives thanked Janet Atwell and her Borderline Billiards staff for hosting the event, as well as sponsors Simonis Cloth, Aramith, Diamond Billiard Products and Outsville.com. The next WPBA event, scheduled for August 8-11, will be a $10,000-added Signature Event, to be held in Fairfield, IL. Further details will be available soon. Bryant said that she plans to be in attendance.