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Shanna Lewis gets by Lai Li twice, double hill, to win JPNEWT season opener

Shanna Lewis

Pool tournaments will often play host to competitors who, for one reason or another, have been away from the game for a while. Depending upon the skill level they’d attained before they stopped competing, how long they’ve been away and the overall competitive level of the field they enter upon their return, the result could go either way. The competitor could go ‘two and out,’ if they’re seriously out of practice and stroke, or they could make it seem as though pool’s like riding a bicycle, where one can more or less pick up where they left off.

Shanna Lewis, whose last reported cash payout in a pool tournament was at a Q Master Billiards Mid-Atlantic Women’s 9-Ball Open in 2015 (9th place), returned to the tables this past weekend (March 7-8) to compete in the season opener of the J. Pechauer Northeast Women’s Tour. Lewis chose the ‘like riding a bicycle’ option and went undefeated through the field of 31, downing last year’s runner-up in the Tour Championship standings, Lai Li, twice. The $500-added (by Coins of the Realm), NAPT Div. II Semi-Pro event drew 31 entrants to Triple Nines in Elkridge, MD.

Her own assessment of her TAFT (time away from table) was more in the vicinity of 10 years. It was an absence prompted by a decision to focus on the business career side of her life. She’s back, now, still working on the business side of her career, but with some flexibility to spend more TAT (time at table). While acknowledging that she’s returned with her skills more or less intact, she noted that it wasn’t as easy as it looked from the nature of the undefeated run and her two victories over Lai Li might indicate.

“Yeah, there were times during the tournament when I was thinking, ‘Yeah, this is great,” she said, “but there were other times when I felt like I couldn’t put a ball in the hole that was a straight shot.”

That said, Lewis was back on the bicycle right from the start, winning 14 of her first 17 games. She gave up only one rack to Judie Wilson and then two to Melissa Mason before running into Elaine Wilson, who, in essence, by chalking up five racks against her, applied some brakes to Lewis’ bicycle. It dropped Lewis’ game-winning percentage by 10 points in a single match. Lewis won, though, and advanced to face Teri Thomas in a winners’ side semifinal.

Lai Li, in the meantime, had opened with a 7-1 victory over Charlynn Dzambo, defeated Kelly Wyatt 7-4 and downed the tour’s 2020 champion, Linda Shea, 7-4 in a winners’ side quarterfinal.  The draw wasn’t getting any easier as Li advanced to face Kia Sidbury in the other winners’ side semifinal.

Lewis got into the hot seat match with another 7-1 victory, over Thomas, and faced Li, who’d sent Sidbury to the loss side 7-4. In their first of two, they battled to double hill before Lewis prevailed to sit in her first hot (bicycle) seat in a while.

On the loss side, Nicole Nester and Sharon O’Hanlon were working on modest three-match, loss-side winning streaks that had begun when they’d lost their winners’ side quarterfinal match to  Teri Thomas and Kia Sidbury, respectively. Nester and O’Hanlon both won two loss-side double hill battles; Nester, versus Colleen Shoop and Eugenia Gyftopoulos; O’Hanlon, over two ‘powerhouse’ opponents – Nicole King and Tour Director, Linda Shea. They did not, however, draw rematches because Nester drew Sidbury and O’Hanlon drew Thomas.

Nester advanced to the quarterfinals 7-4 over Sidbury, as Thomas eliminated O’Hanlon 7-3. Nester then downed Thomas 7-3 in those quarterfinals, before herself being eliminated in a double hill fight versus Li in the semifinals.

A second, slightly longer double hill fight, Li’s third straight, ensued in the finals. Lewis won it 9-8 to claim the title to JPNEWT’s 2020 season opener.

Tour director Linda Shea thanked the ownership and staff at Triple Nines, as well as title sponsor J. Pechauer Custom Cues, Coins of the Realm, The Turtle Rack (, Baltimore City Cues, and the live stream, sponsored by Britanya E. Rapp, billiards artist (angle aim Art). The next stop on the JPNEWT, scheduled for the weekend of April 4-5, will be hosted by Markley Billiards in Norristown, PA.

My-Hanh Lac Takes the JPNEWT Tour Opener Two Years Straight

J. Pechauer Northeast Women’s Tour’s 2012 opening event was held at Triple Nines Bar & Billiards in Elkridge, MD on the weekend of February 25th. This event featured a strong field of twenty-four players with $500 added to the winning pot.
Yet another season opening was met with a win by a fired-up My-Hanh Lac.  My-Hanh had a strong run through the winner’s bracket of this event, defeating Pauline Mattes, and Ji-Hyun Park.  Lac had a close call in her match against Linda Shea in a hill-hill battle.  My-Hanh pulled through to defeat Shea and Susan Shinn to follow before heading to the one-loss side after falling to Briana Miller.
Meanwhile, from the bottom half of the bracket, Brianna Miller defeated Borana Andoni, Kathy Friend, Nicole Vincent (hill-hill match), and Charlynn Dzam.  Her victory of My-Hanh Lac put Miller in the hot seat.  However, Lac was determined to redeem herself and defeated Kathy Friend for a rematch against Briana.  The fight was worth it   for My-Hanh as she took first place win over Miller.
Congratulations My-Hanh and the other top finishers for great performances at this event: 
My-Hanh Lac – 1st
Briana Miller – 2nd
Kathy Friend – 3rd
Megan Smith – 4th
Charlynn Dzam and Susan Shinn – 5/6th
Linda Shea and Borana Andoni – 7/8th
A couple of notable mentions are the efforts of Charlynn Dzam and Susan Shinn.  Both of these players made it to the money rounds from the winner’s bracket for the first time in this tour.  Keep up the good work ladies.
The JPNEWT would like to thank all the players for participating in the event.  A special continued thanks to Triple Nines for hosting this event and J.Pechauer Custom Cues for supporting the tour.