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Vetrono Steps Up on The Ladies’ ‘Win’ Ladder, Wins Tiger Florida Tour Stop #2

Carrie Vetrono, Jeannie Seaver and Stephanie Mitchell

Prior to this past weekend, Sat. Feb. 26, Carrie Vetrono had won only one major event, and it happened to be one that wasn’t reported to us here at AZ; The 2019 West Coast Challenge, Women’s 9-Ball Division in Kissimmee, FL. Vetrono got her second career win this past weekend at the second stop on the Tiger Florida Tour. With a modified double elimination format (double elimination to the winners’ side quarterfinals and then, single elimination to the finals), the $1,500-added event drew 42 entrants to Stixx Billiards in Oldsmar, FL.

In addition to her remote work with a NY law firm, running tournaments at Capone’s in Spring Hill, FL, being the owner/operator (with her Dad) of Capone’s BCA Pool League, and her arguably most important position as head wrangler of a four-year-old son, Vetrono can now (in her spare time, of course) add ‘Up-and-Coming Contender’ at future events on the Women’s pool circuit. Asked how long it might be now before she became the #1-ranked player on the WPBA, she laughed.

“If only,” she said. “As much as I would really love it, (given the multi-tasking noted above), I don’t see it in the cards.”

“I’ve been playing a lot more at Capone’s,” she added of this recent win, “and I’ve been playing with a lot of the guys over there (who’ve) helped me. My game has vastly improved, at least a ball or two over the past 6-8 months. I’m taking smarter shots and playing safeties when I need to.”

“I feel more confident of going for shots, too,” she went on to say, “and, of course, when they go in, that boosts the confidence even more.”

In addition to Vetrono’s (somewhat) ‘break out’ win, Florida Tiger Tour’s second stop had a few ‘headline’ matchups, including a first-round-of single-elimination rematch between the winner and runner-up of the tour’s first stop in late January (14-year-old Sofia Mast and Stephanie Mitchell), a Vetrono/Mitchell match and a final match between Verono and Jeannie Seaver.

It was initially a two-match race to the winners’ side quarterfinal; three for Mitchell and Mast, who were among the 20 entrants that played in a preliminary round. Vetrono got by Krystalann Williams and Nicolle Cuellar to arrive at her winners’ side quarterfinal versus Mast. Mitchell sent Erica Yeager-Lombard, Tracy Mullen and Abigail Schrader to the loss side to meet up with Kimberly Housman. Jeannie Seaver defeated Kim Caso and Dawn Logan to take on Helene Caukin. Kaylee McIntosh, who’d downed Christina Maher and Shanelle Loraine squared off against Michel Monk.

Mast advanced to the first round of single elimination with a double hill win over Vetrono. Mitchell and Housman battled to double hill, as well, with Mitchell ending up on the loss side. McIntosh downed Human 6-4 and Seaver got by Caukin 6-2.

Vetrono won her loss-side match against Jeannie Seaver’s sister, Vanessa, double hill. Mitchell ousted Miranda Orange 5-2. Danielle Marie Fee, who’d lost her opening match to Tiffany Stanaland, won four on the loss side, including a 5-2 win over tour director Mimi McAndrews, to meet and defeat Caukin in a double hill fight. Jessica Human was the fourth loss-side competitor to earn a slot in the single-elimination round of eight, with her 5-1 victory over Michel Monk.

Seaver moved into the event’s second quarterfinal, 6-3 over Fee, while McIntosh was busy eliminating Human 6-4. Vetrono got back in the mix with a 6-2 win over Housman and faced Mitchell, who’d avenged her loss against the teenager Mast in the first stop on the tour by eliminating her 6-3 in the quarterfinals of the second.

“I was up 5-1,” Mitchell recalled of her match against Mast, “when I missed a 9-ball. Then she won a few and I thought, ‘Well, we don’t want to go there,’ so I got back into it.”

“(Sofia) hangs out with all the adults,” she noted of her opponent. “She’s a professional and has better manners than people I know who are older than me.”

So, it was Vetrono against Mitchell and McIntosh versus Seaver in the semifinals.

Seaver advanced to the finals 6-2 over McIntosh and faced Vetrono, who prevailed over Mitchell by the same score. Vetrono completed her second major win 4-2 over Seaver and claimed the Tiger Florida Tour’s second event title.

Tour director Mimi McAndrews thanked Stixx owner Tom George and Kathy King, as well as manager Josh Maville and his staff for hosting the event and their continued support of the TFT. She also thanked title sponsor Tony Kalamdaryan and Tiger Products, Brutal Game Gear, Stitch It To Me, Boynton Billiards, Great Lakes Billiards, AZ Billiards and new sponsors Eastern Billiards and Andy Cloth. 

McAndrews sent a special shout out to Jerry Sotelo and Stephanie Mitchell for what she called “their invaluable help in running the event and fending off shot clock grumbles.” The size of the room, the number of tables (10) and attendees (42), led to a reduction of match lengths from 7/5 (winners’ side/losers’ side) to 6/5 in order to complete the event in the single day of Tiger Florida tour stops. The final match was also reduced to its race to 4.

The next stop on the Tiger Florida Tour, scheduled for May 7, will be hosted by Brewlands Bar & Billiards in Lakeland, FL.

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Jeannie Seaver Wins Tiger Florida Tour Stop #1 At Brewlands

Helen Caukin, Nicolle Cuellar and Jeannie Seaver

The Tiger Florida Tour kicked off the 2020 season at Brewlands Billiards South in Lakeland, Florida, with 30 players turning out and where Jeannie Seaver took top honors, in more ways than one!

This event drew tough competition from out of state including US Amateur Champion Lisa Cossette, Marianne Merrill and Kelly Nickl, as well as several strong local players and newcomers. The tournament could have been won by any one of at least a dozen different players – the competition was that tough!  In the end, and to no one’s surprise, Seaver won Tour Stop #1, and is four-for-four on the Tiger Florida Tour!

The women played a modified double-elimination format. The final four from the one-loss side drew back into the final four from the winners’ side, onto a single-elimination Final Board, race to seven.  Early upsets saw top TFT players Stephanie Mitchell and Michell Monk, also a former US Amateur Champion; Sonya Chbeeb and Debbie Teichert leave the tournament early.

Caukin played flawlessly all day, and showed everyone that she came to win – with a surprise 7-3 win over Seaver early in the day.  Caukin, Carrie Vetrono, Jessica Human and Lisa Cossette reached the Final Board undefeated.  Nicolle Cuellar, Shanelle Loraine, Seaver and newcomer Christina Moxley reached the Final Board from the one-loss side.  In the first round of the Final Board, Cuellar knocked out Vetrono; Moxley lost to Human, Caukin ended the day for Loraine, who shot lights out all day in one of her best events; and Cossette was stopped by Seaver.

In the semi-finals, Caukin defeated Cuellar 7-4; Human lost to Seaver 7-2, leaving Caukin versus Seaver in a rematch that Seaver took in Seaver-style 7-4.  In addition to winning Tour Stop #1, Seaver’s top-line play, winning three of five events in 2019, also earned her the 2019 Tiger Florida Tour Champion title once again.  Seaver’s win also earned her the paid entry to the Super Billiards Expo Women’s Pro 9-Ball tournament.

Three paid entries to the Super Billiards Expo Women’s Amateur 9-Ball event, courtesy of Janis Sessions and the Florida Coastal Ladies Tour, were won by Cossette, Loraine and Moxley.

Thanks to all 30 players who came out to the TFT event! Thanks to room owners Larry Walthall and Mike Dauskart for hosting our event again this year and their continued support of the TFT – and for going non-smoking!

Thanks to Randi Allen, Director of Marketing & Events and staff for helping with the arrangements and making sure our event went off smoothly.  Also, thanks to our title sponsor Tiger Products for their continued support of the tour/players; thanks also to Boynton Billiards, Great Lakes Billiards, AZ Billiards and Simonis Cloth for their continued support! And thanks again to Janis Sessions and the Ladies Coastal Florida Tour for sponsoring the amateur entries at the SBE, and thank you to Nicolle Cuellar, Stitch It To Me, for the embroidery on the TFT Member shirts.  Some of the matches can been seen on the Tiger Florida Tour Facebook page.

Kennedy, Cirilo win 10-Ball Invitational/9-Ball Open events on Sunshine State Pro Am Tour

Mubarak Sulaiman, Obbie Cirilo & Steve Knoll

Tommy Kennedy and Obbie Cirilo claimed respective titles in a two-event weekend – January 13-14 – on the Sunshine State Pro Am Tour. Kennedy won five matches on the loss side to meet and defeat host location owner, Jose Del Rio in Sunday’s 10-Ball Invitational, while Cirilo, who went undefeated, and Mubarak Sulaiman split the top two prizes in Saturday’s 9-Ball Open to avoid a final match that would have commenced in the vicinity of 3 a.m., Sunday morning. The $1,000-added 9-Ball Open event drew 57 entrants, while the $300-added 10-Ball Invitational drew 17 entrants to Stroker’s Bar and Grill in Palm Harbor, FL.

 

Cirilo and Sulaiman would have met twice in the 9-Ball Open, had they both not opted out of playing a second, final match. Cirilo opened his undefeated run by giving up only two racks over his first two matches; one each to Bill Bloom and Kyle Bova, before Tommy Kennedy put up a fight in a winners’ side quarterfinal. Cirilo won that match 7-5 and drew Bobby Garza in one of the winners’ side semifinals. Sulaiman won his first three matches by an average score of 7-5, which included a double hill win over Donny Mills in the third round, and advanced to a winners’ side semifinal against Steve Knoll.

 

Sulaiman downed Knoll 7-5, and in the hot seat match, faced Cirilo, who’d sent Garza to the loss side 7-4. Cirilo chalked up what proved to be his last win (7-5) over Sulaiman, and sat in the hot seat, essentially waiting for the decision to opt out of a final match.

 

On the loss side, Knoll picked up Kennedy, while Garza drew Robert Batson, who’d lost a double hill fight against Knoll in the second round, and was in the midst of a six-match, loss-side winning streak that was about to come to an end.

 

Knoll eliminated Kennedy 5-3, as Garza ended Batson’s loss-side streak 5-2. Knoll downed Garza 5-3 in the quarterfinals, and then, by the same score, was eliminated by Sulaiman in the semifinals. That, as the saying goes, was all she wrote, as Cirilo and Sulaiman agreed to a split of the top two prizes.

 

Trenton White and Kodi Allen split $40 as the top two junior finishers in the 9-Ball Open event.

 

[photo id=48644|align=right]Kennedy wins five on the loss side to meet and defeat DelRio in 10-Ball Invitational finals

 

Tommy Kennedy played two more matches on the loss side of the 10-Ball Invitational than he had in the previous day’s 9-Ball Open. Those extra two matches put him into the finals, where he downed Jose Del Rio to claim the event title.

 

Kennedy was defeated 7-2 by Stephen Richmond in the second round of the 10-Ball event, which advanced Richmond to a winners’ side semifinal against Jason Richko. Del Rio drew Dale Stanley in the other winners’ side semifinal. Del Rio survived a double hill battle against Stanley to advance to the hot seat match. He was joined by Richko, who’d sent Richmond west 7-4. Del Rio and Richko battled to a 13th deciding game before Del Rio claimed the hot seat, and waited on the return of Kennedy.

On the loss side, Kennedy opened his trek back to the finals with victories over Tim Parisian and Onur Berber, which set him up to face Stanley. Richmond drew 9-Ball Open winner, Mubarak Sulaiman, who’d gotten by one of the event’s three top-finishing juniors/women (who split $90), Kodi Allen and Donny Mills to reach him.

 

Kennedy shut Stanley out and in the quarterfinals, faced Sulaiman, who’d eliminated Richmond 6-2. Kennedy then spoiled Sulaiman’s bid for a second runner-up (and possibly more) finish with a 6-4 win in those quarterfinals.

 

Kennedy gave up only a single rack to Richko in the semifinals and then, with momentum wind at his back, had the audacity to down his host – Stroker’s owner Del Rio – 9-2 in the finals to claim the 10-Ball event title.

 

Tour directors Janene Phillips and Bobby Garza awarded $90 (total) to the two junior and single female top finisher in the 10-Ball Invitational (Carrie Vetrono, the female, and for the second time, Kodi Allen and Trenton White as the juniors). They thanked Del Rio and his Stroker’s staff for their hospitality, as well as sponsors Kamui, Jacksonville Roofing USA, InsidePool.tv, AZBilliards and Play the Game Clothing Co. The next stop on the Sunshine State Pro Am Tour, scheduled for the February 10, will be hosted by Waldo’s Billiards in Daytona Beach, FL.

Hall goes undefeated to take Sunshine State Pro Am Tour stop

(l to r): Bobby Garza, Janene Phillips, Jeannette Lee and Justin Hall

It's been five years since Justin Hall chalked up wins in both the One Pocket and Banks divisions of the Southern Classic in Tunica, MS; defeating Ryan Stone in the One Pocket final and Alex Pagulayan in the Banks final. The two wins earned him Master of the Table honors at the event, ahead of both Pagulayan and Warren Kiamco. It was, according to our records, Hall's best earnings year of his (to date) 12-year career at the tables. Five years later, he dropped in on the Sunshine State Pro Am Tour on Saturday, August 26 and demonstrated that he's still a force to be reckoned with. He went undefeated through a field of 34, on hand for the $600-added event, hosted by Brewlands Bar & Billiards in Tampa, FL. Also on-hand for the event was Jeannette Lee, operator of an area APA franchise, who stopped by to say hello and pose for a picture with the two finalists, Hall and Bobby Garza, and Tour Director Janene Phillips.
 
Hall had to contend with Garza twice in this event; the first time, in a winners' side quarterfinal, and again, in the finals. Following his win over Garza, Hall moved into a winners' side semifinal match against Gary Hale, while Kyle Bova squared off against Dale Stanley. Hall was picking up speed and downed Hale 7-2, while Bova sent Stanley west 7-5. Hall claimed the hot seat 7-2 over Bova, and waited for Garza to complete his five-match, loss-side run back to the finals.
 
Garza opened his loss-side campaign with a 7-3 win over Tony Vicari, and then eliminated Carrie Vetrono 7-1 (Vetrono was the highest female finisher, which earned her an extra $50). Garza advanced to pick up Stanley. Hale drew Anthony Meglino, who'd defeated Joe Scarborough 7-5 and Justin McNulty 7-4 to reach him.
 
The loss-side competitors in the two matches that determined the tie for 5th place advanced; Garza 7-2 over Stanley and Meglino with a shutout over Hale. Garza took the quarterfinal match over Meglino 7-4, and then allowed Bova only a single rack in the semifinals, to earn himself a second shot against Hall.
 
Though Garza put up a fight in those finals, he couldn't stop Hall from chalking up the win. They came within a game of double hill, but Hall closed it out at 9-7 to claim the event title.
 
Tour director Janene Phillips thanked the ownership and staff at Brewlands Bar & Billiards, and Jeannette Lee for her unexpected visit. The next stop on the Sunshine State Pro Am Tour, scheduled for September 23-24, will be an Open 8-Ball event, hosted by Park Ave. Billiards in Orange Park, FL.