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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 (www.mezzusa.com), 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.

Li goes undefeated to win her second 2017 J. Pechauer Northeast Women’s Tour stop

Jia Li

Jia Li made her second appearance on the 2017 J. Pechauer Northeast Women’s Tour (JPNEWT) on the weekend of October 14-15, and as she did in her first appearance in August, she won the event. In August, she had to negotiate three matches on the loss side before meeting and defeating hot seat occupant, Caroline Pao. At this most recent stop, she went undefeated, downing separate opponents in the hot seat match and finals. The $1,000-added event drew 16 entrants to Eagle Billiards in Dickson City, PA.
 
Following victories over Amanda Soucy 7-3, and Chari Slater 7-1, Jia Li moved into a winners’ side semifinal against the tour’s #1-ranked player, Linda Shea. Kia Sidbury, in the meantime, having defeated Morgan Steinman 7-3 and Colleen Shoop 7-2, moved on to face Melissa Jenkins in the other winners’ side semifinal. Li gave up only a single rack to Shea and advanced to the hot seat match. She was joined by Sidbury, who’d sent Jenkins to the loss side 7-4. Li claimed the hot seat 7-2 over Sidbury and waited for Shea to get back from her three-match trek on the loss side.
 
Shea opened her loss side campaign against Soucy, who, after being sent over by Li, defeated Judie Wilson 7-5, Shoop 7-4, and Elaine Wilson 7-2. Jenkins picked up Erica Testa, who’d been sent to the loss side by Shea and defeated Carol V. Clark 7-1 and Morgan Steinman 7-5.
 
Shea defeated Soucy 7-1, as Jenkins was eliminating Testa 7-3. Shea took the quarterfinal match over Jenkins 7-2, and then earned her re-match against Li, while denying Sidbury hers, with a 7-4 win in the semifinals. Li, though, completed her undefeated run with a 7-2 win over Shea in the finals.
 
The next stop on the JPNEWT will be the tour’s season finale. Scheduled for November 18-19, it will be hosted by Triple Nines Bar & Billiards in Elkridge, MD.

Fox wins her second JPNEWT stop, downing Shea in the finals

Dawn Fox (Photo courtesy of Erin Bechner)

Over the past five years, Dawn Fox has finished among the J.Pechauer Northeast Women's Tour's top 25 players, without winning a stop on the tour. Her only win on the tour came in April, 2007, at a BCA Qualifier in South Amboy, NJ. Last year, she finished 12th in tour rankings, on the basis of seven appearances. Her best finish came in 2013, when, on the basis of six appearances (finishing second, twice), she finished third in the tour rankings. On the weekend of October 15-16, she signed on to the 11th stop on the 2016 JPNEWT. On the basis of three appearances this year, she was 25th in the tour rankings when the tournament began. Though tour director and rankings leader, Linda Shea, would defeat her in the battle for the hot seat, Fox came back from the semifinals to defeat Shea, win only her second JPNEWT event, and advance well above the 25th slot she'd been in when the tournament started. The $500-added event drew a short field of 16 entrants to Marley's Billiards in Norristown, PA.
 
Fox's path to the hot seat went through Joy McFeaters 7-4, and Kathy Friend 7-5 before coming up against Christina Madrigale in a winners' side semifinal. Shea, in the meantime, had downed Katie Derosato 7-2, and Collen Shoop in a shutout, to face Kia Sidbury, who came into the tournament as the tour's fifth-ranked player. Two completely different kinds of matches led to the hot seat. As Fox was busy shutting out Madrigale, Shea and Sidbury locked up in a double hill fight that eventually sent Shea to meet Fox. Shea claimed the hot seat 7-5 and waited on Fox's return.
 
On the loss side, Madrigale picked up McFeaters, who, following her earlier loss to Fox, had won three straight double hill matches against Melissa Jenkins, Colleen Shoop, and Sharon O'Hanlon. Sidbury drew Friend, who'd defeated Lisa Soli 7-1 and Judie Wilson 7-3 to reach her. McFeaters downed Madrigale 7-4, and in the quarterfinals, faced Friend, who'd eliminated Sidbury in a double hill match.
 
McFeaters' four-match, loss-side streak came to an end in the quarterfinals, as Friend (some friend!) defeated her 7-2. Fox, though, ended Friend's four-match, loss-side run 7-3 in the semifinals. Fox completed her first victory on the JPNEWT since 2007 with a 9-5 win over Shea in the finals.

McFeaters wins Stop # 8, her first, on the JPNEWT

Joy McFeaters

There were some new names among the top finishers at the J. Pechauer Northeast Women's Tour, Stop # 8, on the weekend of August 27-28. While these new names jumped up on the tour's ranking list, they didn't disturb the tour's top three (Linda Shea, Karen Corr and Kia Sidbury), nor did they, themselves, break into the Top 10. They (winner, Joy McFeaters and runner-up Alexandra Calabrese), in consort with a host of other competitors, did, however, cause a little shakeup in the rankings that saw Janet Atwell and Jia Li drop out of the Top 10 (each has only competed twice this year). The $500-added event drew 20 entrants to Classic Billiards in Phoenixville, PA.
 
It was Joy McFeaters first win on the tour, in only her second appearance this year (she finished in the tie for ninth back in late April, and had finished third behind Corr and Shea in April 2015). Runner-up Alexandra Calabrese was making her first appearance of the year, though not her first on the tour (she played in all of the tour's events in 2013, and finished in 12th place on the tour rankings). The draw helped McFeaters in that, until the semifinals, she never had to face a tour opponent ranked higher than 18. Calabrese, on the other hand, to get to the hot seat, had to get by two of the tour's top 10 players; Judie Wilson, who entered the tournament at #8, and Kia Sidbury, the tour's #3 player.
 
McFeaters and Calabrese met twice in this one; hot seat and finals. Following an opening round bye, McFeaters defeated Sandy Raber and Carol Clark, to draw Kathleen Lawless in a winners' side semifinal. Calabrese, recipient of a bye as well, defeated Judie Wilson and Kia Sidbury to get Colleen Shoop in the other winners' side semifinal. McFeaters downed Lawless 7-4, as Calabrese was sending Shoop to the loss side 7-2. In their first of two, Calabrese defeated McFeaters 7-4, to claim her first hot seat.
 
On the loss side, Lawless picked up Linda Shea, who, after being sent to the loss side by Shoop, defeated Jen Keeney 7-4 and Sharon O'Hanlon 7-5, to draw Lawless. Shoop drew Nicole King, who'd shut out Carol Clark and defeated Judie Wilson 7-5 to reach her.
 
Shea and Shoop advanced for a re-match; Shoop downing King 7-2, Shea defeating Lawless 7-3. Shea exacted her revenge on Shoop in the quarterfinals, defeating her 7-3, and then locked up in a tense, double hill fight against McFeaters. McFeaters was playing in her first semifinal, and in the absence of a gender equivalency, was playing David to the tour's top-ranked Goliath. The 9-ball in game 13 took the place of David's rock, and McFeaters advanced for a second shot against Calabrese.
 
In the modified race to 9, McFeaters had to win seven to trigger an extension to nine games. She did so, and completed her first win on the JPNEWT with a 9-5 win over Calabrese. They both advanced from ranking obscurity to a spot among the tour's Top 20 competitors.

Corr goes undefeated, again, to win second stop on JPNEWT

Karen Corr

Karen Corr won eight out of the nine stops in which she competed on the J. Pechauer Northeast Women's Tour last year. On the weekend of April 30-May 1, at the second stop on the 2016 tour, she went undefeated to claim her first JPNEWT victory of the year. The $500-added event drew 24 entrants to Markley Billiards in Norristown, PA.
 
Corr gave up an average of just two racks to five opponents, touching each of five possibilities, from shutout  to the four racks that Colleen Shoop chalked up against her in the event's second round. Carol Clark managed a single rack against her in the opening round before Shoop checked in with her four. This set Corr up against tour director, Linda Shea in a winners' side semifinal. Nicole Fleming, and Jia Li squared off in the other one. Corr sent Shea to the loss side 7-3, and in the hot seat match, faced Li, who'd defeated Fleming 7-4. Corr and Li had met up a few times last year, including an August double hill battle in the finals that eventually led to Corr's sixth straight win on the tour. This time out, battling for the hot seat, Li managed the opponent average of two racks against Corr, and moved to the semifinals.
 
On the loss side, Fleming mounted a three-match, loss-side campaign to the finals that began when she faced Kathy Friend, who was on a four-match, loss-side streak of her own, that included victories over Denise Reeve 7-3 and a double hill win over Shoop. Shea picked up Meredith Lynch, who'd eliminated Dawn Fox 7-3 and survived a double hill fight versus Erica Testa.
 
Shea and Fleming advanced to the quarterfinals; Shea 7-4 over Lynch, and Fleming 7-3 over Friend. Fleming had advanced to the quarterfinals before; three times in 2015, and in 2014, had made it to the finals (versus Shea). On this weekend, she advanced to a semifinal re-match against Li with a 7-3 victory over Shea. She got her second (ever) shot at being added to the JPNEWT's Wall of Fame (listing event winners back to 1999) with a 7-4 victory over Li. Corr thwarted Fleming's shot at a first JPNEWT title by shutting her out in the finals, and claiming her first 2016 JPNEWT title.
 
The event was a qualifier for the inaugural North American Pool Tour's Division I Women's 10-Ball Invitational, scheduled for the weekend of June 4-5 at Breaker's Sky Lounge in Herndon, VA. Having already been invited, Corr's qualification slot (paid entry fee) went to Fleming, who, having chalked up 130 ranking points with her runner-up finish, moved among the JPNEWT's top-ranked competitors, two stops into the season.

Shea comes back from semifinals to defeat Whitman in JPNEWT Season Opener

Linda Shea continues to be a force to reckon with on her own J. Pechauer Northeast Women's Tour, which opened its 2016 season on the weekend of March 19-20. She advanced to the hot seat match in the $1,000-added ($500 from Coins of the Realm) event which drew 29 entrants to Triple Nines Bar & Billiards in Elkridge, MD, and was sent to the semifinals by Kim Whitman. She returned from those semifinals to defeat Whitman in an extended race-to-9 final, chalking up her first 2016 tour win.
 
Following victories over Teri Thomas, Nicole King, and Colleen Shoop, Shea advanced to a winners' side semifinal versus Nicole Nester. Whitman, in the meantime, who'd survived a double hill opening round battle against Delia Mocanu, went on to defeat Sharon O'Hanlon, and Kia Sidbury to end up in the other winners' side semifinal against Nicole Monaco. Shea and Whitman got into the hot seat match with identical 7-4 victories over Nicoles Nester and Monaco. Whitman claimed the hot seat 7-3 over Shea and waited on her return.
 
On the loss side, Monaco had the misfortune of running into Erica Testa, who'd been defeated in the event's opening round by Judie Wilson and was in the midst of a six-match, loss-side winning streak that would propel her into the semifinals versus Shea. She downed Kristina Douglas, O'Hanlon, Shoop and Heather Platter to draw Monaco. Nester didn't fare much better in the 'draw' department, picking up Mocanu, who was also defeated in the event's opening round by Whitman, and was on her own five-match, loss-side streak that began with two straight double hill wins (over Sierra Reams and Carol V. Clark). She went on to defeat Judie Wilson 7-3, Britanya Rapp 7-1, and survived her third, loss-side double hill match (vs. Kia Sidbury) to pick up Nester.
 
Nester ended Mocanu's streak 7-3, and in the quarterfinals, faced Testa, whose streak continued with a double hill win over Monaco. Testa was gaining momentum. She allowed Nester only a single rack in those quarterfinals, and advanced to meet Shea. Testa put up a fight in those semifinals, but Shea prevailed 7-5 for a second shot at Whitman in the hot seat.
 
They played an extended race-to-9, in which, if the loss-side opponent reaches "7" first, the race is extended to 9 games. Shea hit that "7" spot first, went on to win 9-7 and claimed the season opening title.
 
As representative of the JPNEWT, Shea extended thanks to the ownership and staff at Triple Nines for their hospitality. The next stop on the JPNEWT, scheduled for the weekend of April 30-May 1, will be hosted by Markley Billiards in Norristown, PA.

Corr chalks up another one on the JPNEWT

Karen Corr

They've come at her from every angle; the hot seat/final route, where Karen Corr gets challenged twice by the same player; the three-match, loss-side route, in which a player loses a winners' side semifinal and wins three on the loss side to get a second chance at her, and most recently, the deep-from-the-loss-side route, in which a player comes from deep on the loss side (say, five matches or more) to challenge her in the finals.  
 
The occasion this time around, on the J. Pechauer Northeast Women's Tour, was the Q Masters Mid-Atlantic Women's 9-Ball Open, held on the weekend of August 15-16, offering a $6,000 prize fund, and hosted by the US Open's Barry Behrman at his Q Master Billiards facility in Virginia Beach, VA. Pretty much everyone on the 47-entrant roster was looking to deny Karen Corr her seventh straight win on the JPNEWT. Corr responded with a six-match, 35-8 performance that secured that seventh straight win, and for the third time this year, Briana Miller challenged her in the finals, choosing the only method of the three noted above that she hadn’t tried yet; the ‘deep from the loss side’ (seven wins) route.
 
Four matches in, with victories over Connie Eddins, Barb Yeager, Nicole Monaco, and Shanna Lewis, Corr had given up only three racks; one each to Eddins, Yeager and Lewis. At this point, in a winners’ side semifinal, she ran into a familiar nemesis, who’d challenged her three times in the finals this year – Tour director Linda Shea. In the meantime, Jia Li, who’d been runner-up to Corr earlier in the month, faced Kim Whitman, who would finish third for the third time this year.
 
Shea became the first player to chalk up more than a single rack against Corr, but moved to the loss side 7-2. Whitman, in the meantime, sent Li packing 7-4. Corr, apparently not happy with Shea’s second rack against her, gave up only one to Whitman, and sat in the hot seat waiting for Miller to complete her seven-match, loss-side run.
 
Following victories over Nicole Fleming and Borana Andoni, Miller had been sent to the loss side, by TruTV Hustler, Emily Duddy 7-4. She began her loss-side run with 7-4 victories over Kassandra Bein and Belinda Calhoun, and followed them with a 7-1 win over Iris Cabatit, and a 7-4 victory over Nicole Monaco. This set her up against Shea. Li, in the meantime, picked up Duddy, who’d survived a double hill match against Jacki Duggan and defeated Colleen Shoop 7-2. 
 
Miller downed Shea 7-2 and was denied a rematch against Duddy, when Li defeated her 7-4. Miller took the quarterfinal match against Li 7-4, and gave up only a single rack to Whitman in the semifinals. Corr completed her (yet again) undefeated run with a 7-2 win in the finals.
 

Testa wins ‘sudden death’ final game to take Mezz Pro-Am title

Joey Testa, after a long time away from the tables, returned to the Mezz Pro-Am Tour on Sunday, July 19, winning all but one match, including a single, sudden-death game, to snatch a potential victory away from Matt Krah, winner of the tour's first 2015 stop, back in February. The event drew 17 entrants to Main Line Billiards in Drexeline, PA.
 
Testa, who, in 2010, chalked up three wins on the Mezz Tour, and placed among the top 10 in eight events that year, hasn't been 'seen' (results not recorded) since he finished fourth on the tour, back in March, 2012. He returned with a vengeance, so to speak, advancing to a winners' side semifinal against Dan McGinnis, while Krah was squaring off against Michael Wong. Testa shut McGinnis and in the battle for the hot seat faced Wong, 7-5 winner over Krah. Testa claimed the hot seat 7-2.
 
Krah moved over and ran into Bobby Hontz, who'd defeated Colleen Shoop 7-3 and Dave Connelly, 7-5. McGinnis picked up the player known as Lupe, who'd eliminated Jake Lebon 7-1 and Bob Mapes 7-2. Krah got by Hontz 7-3, as McGinnis downed Lupe 7-5.
 
Krah took the quarterfinal match against McGinnis 7-2 and got his shot at Testa with a 7-4 victory over Wong in the semifinals. In the modified, double elimination finals, Krah took the opening set 7-5, initiating the 'sudden death,' single-game format the tour has recently adopted. Testa won the single game and claimed his first Mezz Tour title since the three he recorded five years ago.

Waechter wins sudden death final to take Mezz Pro-Am Tour stop in Maryland

Garrett Waechter won a sudden death final game against Rick Miller to claim his first title on the Mezz Pro-Am Tour. The $300-added, A-D handicapped event, held on the weekend of June 27-28, drew 22 entrants to the Magic 8-Ball Club in Cockeysville, MD.
 
Waechter and Miller met three times, playing two full matches and the sudden death final game. They met first in the hot seat match, after Waechter survived a double hill match versus Tony Long and Miller had sent Bob Milane to the loss side 7-3. Waechter claimed the hot seat 7-3 and waited on Miller's return. 
 
On the loss side, Rick Scarlato advanced to meet Milane, defeating Pete Calabrese 7-1 and Steve Fleming 7-6 to reach him. Long picked up Trevor Dentz, who'd defeated two ladies, Colleen Shoop 7-2 and Nicole Fleming 7-5. Milane and Long advanced to the quarterfinals; Milane 7-5 over Scarlato and Long 7-4 over Dentz.
 
Long eliminated Milane 7-2, and though he'd battle to double hill against Miller in the semifinals, Miller prevailed for a second, and possibly single-game third shot at Waechter in the hot seat. Miller took the first set of the modified double elimination final by the same score (7-3) that Waechter had chalked up in their battle for the hot seat. Waechter, though, captured the single, sudden death game to claim his first Mezz Pro-Am Tour title.

Briana Miller wins Mezz Tour Stop

Sanne Krom, Briana Miller and Jerry Dunne

MEZZ ABCD made its way to Drexeline Billiards on Sunday June 7th.  A Strong field 
Came out, players like Joe Hong, Briana Miller, Sanne Krom, Dan McGinnis, Michael Praseutsy, Rick Miller, Vinny Cimarelli, Jerry Dunne, Nicole Monaco, Dan Madden, Mevin Garcia Sr, Melvin Garcia Jr, and Colleen Shoop to name a few.
 
We would like to thank Bob Maidhof and his wonderful staff for hosting the event.
 
Leading the top half of the bracket was Jerry Dunne with wins over Rick Miller 7-2, Shaun Dobson 7-6, Rob Hontz 7-3, Michael Praseutsy 7-4 and Vinnie Cimarelli 7-3. 
 
Leading the bottom half of the bracket was Sanne Krom with wins over Joe McAnally 7-6, Tracy Vega 7-5, AJ Fiztgerald 7-6 and Dan McGinnis 7-6.
 
Playing for the hot seat was Jerry Dunne and Sanne Krom, this match went hill/hill and had Krom coming away with the win, sending Dunne to the one lost side.
 
The big story of the day was Briana Miller. After losing her first match 7-6 to Joe Hong.  She went on to win her next 8 matches, working her way through some tough competition. Her path to the finals included Ralph Lake 7-6, Darren Powell 7-3, Tracy Wu 7-5, AJ Fitzgerald 7-1, Melvin Garcia Jr. 7-5 Vinny Cimarelli 7-6, Dan McGinnis 7-3 and Jerry Dunne 7-6. 
 
When the smoke had cleared the final match was set, it would be Sanne Krom vs Briana Miller.  As always, this was a true double elimination event with the first set being a race to 7 and a second set (if necessary) sudden death race to one.
 
The first set was all Briana Miller with an impressive 7-3 win.  In sudden death Brianna got the break and showed why she is a force to be reckoned with by breaking and running out to win the match and the event. 
 
We would want to thank all the players that came out as well as our sponsors Mezz Cues, Gamblin Clothing, Kamui Chalk & Tips, JD Custom Cues, Allen Hopkins Super Billiards Expo, John Barton, JB Cases, Jabcues and Things, Billiard Life, Howitzer Break Cues, and Steve Klapp Custom Cues, Billiard Life USA, and Mike Ricciardella