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Tkach downs defending champ Corr, wins SBE Women’s 9-Ball Pro Players Championship

Kristina Tkach (Photo courtesy of Erwin Dionisio)

The first time that Russia’s Kristina Tkach showed up on the AZBilliards’ database radar was almost exactly five years ago (April 12, 2014) when she finished as runner-up to Austria’s Jasmin Ouschan at a stop on the EuroTour; the Dynamic Billiard North Cyprus Open. Ouschan played the proverbial ‘lights out’ at that tournament, giving up only seven racks over six matches and none at all to Tkach in the finals. At the time, Tkach was 15 years old. Later that same year, Tkach won the European Girls Championship in 8-ball. Two years later, she came back to that North Cyprus Open and came from the loss side to win it. She also went on that year to win all three disciplines of the European Girls Championships (10-ball, 9-ball & 8-ball), all on the same weekend. In her best recorded earnings year, to date (2018), she chalked up three wins on the EuroTour.

This year, she showed up on US payout lists, with an appearance at the Derby City Classic, at which she cashed in the 9-Ball Division (47th) and 9-Ball Banks (91st). In February, she finished 7th at the WPBA Masters at which she ended up as one of the loss-side competitors to fall victim to Kelly Fisher, who, at the time, was working on a nine-match, loss-side winning streak that would eventually put her into the finals for an unsuccessful rematch against Siming Chen.

In the ‘what have you done for me lately’ department of the pool world, Tkach came to the 2019 Super Billiards Expo (March 28-31) at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center and went undefeated through a field of 47, on-hand for the Expo’s Diamond Women’s 9-Ball Pro Players Championship. Along the way, in the event semifinals, she eliminated the event’s defending champion, Karen Corr, who ended up winning more racks against her (6) than any of Tkach’s previous opponents, or her finals opponent, Sarah Rousey.

The Diamond Women’s Pro Players Championships were, of course, only one of 11 events at the SBE, including the 27th Annual Allen Hopkins’ Super Billiards Expo’s Diamond Open 10-Ball Pro Players Championships, the results of which have been posted in a separate article. Details about the ProAm Bar Box Championships and highlights of the varied Amateur events will be posted here in a third report.

Starting at the end, so to speak, it should be noted that while Tkach pocketed (pursed?) $5,000 and, like James Aranas in the 10-Ball Pro Players event, a Waterford crystal trophy, valued somewhere in the vicinity of $500, the trophy never made it to Tkach’s transportation out of the Expo Center. According to reports, the trophy came in two pieces; a base and its crystal bowl. As it was being carried out to a vehicle in preparation for Tkach’s exit from the Expo Center, the box it was in, was dropped, shattering the bowl into the proverbial ‘million pieces.’ The box was being carried by a member of Ms. Tkach’s entourage, who, according to varied reports initiated immediate plans to have the bowl replaced.

Tkach’s trip to the winners’ circle was handled with much more dexterity. As with the 10-Ball Pro Players, the 47 women were organized into an original, double elimination bracket, out of which emerged a final group of 16 (8 from the winners’ side and 8 from the loss side). The final 16 moved into two winners’ and losers’ side, single elimination brackets.

Tkach was not afforded the luxury of ‘easy going’ in her opening rounds. She first drew J. Pechauer Northeast Womens Tour director and always-dangerous Linda Shea. A 9-4 win in that opening round led to a match against Dawn Fox, who’d been awarded a bye in the opening round. Tkach downed Fox by the same 9-4 score, and then defeated Stacie Bourbeau 9-3 to become one of the eight winners’ side’s Final 8. Also advancing to the Final 16 from the winners’ side were Karen Corr, Kim Shaw, Kelly Wyatt, April Larson, Dawn Hopkins, Briana Miller and Kelly Isaac.

Meanwhile, on the loss side, Tkach’s eventual opponent in the finals, Sarah Rousey, earned her spot on the losers’ side’s final 8, when she defeated Kim Whitman 9-4. Rousey, who fell ill, temporarily, before her final winners’ side match against Kelly Wyatt, was forced to forfeit that winners’ side match. Joining Rousey from the losers’ side were Dawn Fox, Veronique Menard, Lai Li, Stacie Bourbeau, Tara Williams, Nathalie Chabot and Kaylin Wikoff.

The winners’ side single elimination bracket set Tkach and Corr onto a collision course that would end in the winners’ side final. Tkach downed Kelly Isaac 11-4 and Briana Miller 11-3 to draw Corr in those semifinals. Corr eliminated Kim Shaw 11-7 and April Larson 11-8 to face Tkach.

In the winners’ side finals that followed, Tkach chalked up more racks against Corr than all of Corr’s first three opponents combined; Tkach 11, Corr’s first three 8. Corr had won just over 77% of the games she played in three double elimination matches, (27-8), but entering the finals, only 59% of the two games she’d played in the single elimination phase. Tkach, by comparison, had a lower winning percentage than Corr in her double elimination matches (71%; 27-11), but in her two single-elimination matches, prior to meeting Corr, she’d won just under 76% of the  games (22-7). When the winners’ side final (event semifinal) was over, won by Tkach 11-6, Tkach advanced to the finals with a 71% game-winning percentage. Corr was eliminated, having won 62% of her games.

On to Sarah Rousey, who, on the loss side, had defeated Dawn Fox, Veronique Menard and in the loss-side bracket final, Tara Williams 11-5. She came into the finals having won 65% of her games, overall (60-32). That percentage was 71% through the first two matches (she’d forfeited the third match) and 61% in the three loss-side matches.

As happened in the 10-Ball Pro Players event, the SBE’s Web site failed to record the fact that a match between Kristina Tkach and Sarah Rousey happened at all. As noted in the earlier 10-Ball Pro Player report, a final did, in fact occur. Tkach gave up only four games in the race-to-11 finals to claim the event title, which, according to our records is her first major event victory here in the US.

Van Boening chalks up his 6th SBE 10-Ball title

Shane Van Boening

Appleton wins One-Pocket event, while veteran Loree Jon Hasson wins the Ladies 9-Ball Open

 

Last year, at Allen Hopkins' 24th Annual Super Billiards Expo, John Morra denied Shane Van Boening his sixth Diamond Open 10-Ball Professional Players Championship title, defeating him 13-10 in the finals. At the time, Van Boening had won five of his seven attempts at the title, including three in a row between 2102-2014. On the weekend of March 30-April 2, at what was the 25th anniversary of the Super Billiards Expo, held at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center at Oaks, PA, Van Boening chalked up that sixth win (in eight attempts), downing Johann Chua from the Phillipines 13-10 in the finals. The 10-Ball Championships drew 64 entrants.

 
Over at the One Pocket tables that drew 32 entrants, Darren Appleton emerged as the winner, downing Derek Schwager in the finals. In the Diamond Women's Open 9-Ball Professional Players Championships that also drew 32, a familiar name, Loree Jon Hasson (formerly Loree Jon Jones), bested Jennifer Baretta in the finals to claim her first title. 
 
The total fields of the above three Pro events (128) were but a fraction of the nearly 2,000 entrants (1,856) in seven different tournaments, not including a couple of junior tournaments, held for the 17 & under and 12 & under crowd of relative newcomers to the sport. Making up just over 55% of the total number of competitors at this year's event was an Open Division Amateur event, which drew 1,024 entrants, broken up, initially, into 16 brackets of 64 entrants each (a tip of the hat to C.C. Strain for her tournament directing job of coordinating this massive tournament). Each original, double-elimination bracket yielded a single winner, who advanced to a single elimination field of 16. Christopher Byers won five matches to emerge from his individual bracket, and won four more in the single elimination phase of the tournament, including a 5-1, 4-5, 5-3 victory over Larry Kressel in the finals to win his first major Amateur title.
 
By the time the Open 10-Ball Championships (the fifth of 15 Mosconi Cup Qualification Events in 2017) had boiled down to its final 16 players and its single elimination phase, the field was like a 'dream team' for any promoter looking to draw spectator crowds to an event. Half of them were former members of either the European or USA Mosconi Cup teams, including two members of the 2016 USA Mosconi Cup team (Skyler Woodward and Van Boening), and three members of earlier Mosconi Cup teams (Dennis Hatch, Earl Strickland, and Oscar Dominguez). The 'Sweet 16' also featured two members of the 2016 European Mosconi Cup team (Darren Appleton and Jayson Shaw) and one member of an earlier European Mosconi Cup team; twice MVP Mika Immonen
 
Half of those eight were gone after the single elimination phase's opening round was over. The Iceman, Mika Immonen, had been defeated by eventual finalist Johann Chua in a double hill match, Hatch downed Strickland 13-7, Kevin Cheng defeated Sky Woodward 13-10, and Carlo Biado eliminated Appleton 13-6. Also advancing to the final eight were Van Boening (13-9 over Lee Van Corteza), Jayson Shaw (13-4 over Hunter Lombardo), Jeffrey DeLuna (13-10 over Dennis Orcullo), and Oscar Dominguez (13-4 over Sergio Rivas).
 
In the event quarterfinals, Johann Chua and Jayson Shaw locked up in a double hill match that eventually sent Shaw packing. Hatch downed DeLuna 13-8, Biado eliminated Kevin Cheng 13-10 and Van Boening kept on trucking, 13-5 over Oscar Dominguez. Fighting for an appearance in the finals, Chua bested Dennis Hatch 13-7, as Van Boening took care of Biado 13-8. Van Boening closed it out to claim his sixth SBE title with a 13-9 victory over Chua in the finals.
 
Hasson returns to the playing field to claim Women's Open 9-Ball title
 
The 32-entrant Women's Open 9-Ball event was not without its marquee names. Karen Corr was the most prominent among them, but the field also included The Texas Tornado, Vivian Villareal, and Jennifer Baretta, who advanced to the finals. There was also a contingent of outstanding (and long-standing) regional tour competitors, like Linda Shea, Kia Sibury, Emily Duddy, Borana Andoni, Caroline Pao, and Rhio Anne Flores (to name just a few). The field also featured former junior champions, Brittany Bryant and the teenager, April Larson. It also contained a name that people hadn't heard in a while; 8X BCA Champion and Hall of Fame inductee, Loree Jon Hasson, who would emerge from the loss side, and eventually claim the title.
 
The double elimination phase of the event advanced until there were four left on the winners' side (Corr, Bryant, Duddy, and Heather Cortez) and four on the loss side (Hasson, Baretta, Villareal, and Flores). Hasson, who'd lost in the event's opening round to Villareal 9-2, worked her way through four loss-side opponents, eventually defeating Erin McManus to earn her right in to the Final Eight. Baretta, who'd been defeated by Corr in a winners' side final eight battle, played only one loss-side match, ending a four-match, loss-side run by April Larson. Villareal, who'd also been downed by Corr in a winners' side final 16 matchup, got through three loss-side opponents (Andoni, Shea and in the final loss-side win, Sidbury). In her only loss-side match, Annie Flores, who'd been defeated by Duddy in a winners' side final eight match, defeated her only loss-side opponent, Dawn Fox, to join the event's final eight competitors.
 
Loree Jon Hasson's credentials as a champion showed up in her first two, single elimination matches, in which she defeated, first, Karen Corr, and then, in a re-match, Vivian Villareal. Both matches went double hill to put Hasson into the finals. As Hasson was busy with Corr, Villareal was eliminating Brittany Bryant 11-6, Annie Flores was downing Emily Duddy 11-9 and Jennifer Baretta was ending Heather Cortez' weekend 11-4.
 
Hasson advanced to the finals with the aforementioned double hill defeat over Villareal, while Baretta ended what was a remarkable overall performance by Rhio Anne Flores 11-9. After two double hill matches against the best in the business, Hasson got out in front of Baretta in the finals and stayed there, winning the Women's Open 9-Ball title 11-5.
 
Appleton claims SBE One Pocket title
 
The 32-entrant Diamond Open One-Pocket Professional Players Championship advanced through initial double elimination brackets to produce eight, single elimination opponents, who were three matches away from the title. In the opening round of this final phase (best of three matches, with ties after two, decided by a single, sudden death game), Adam Kielar defeated Phillip Wines 2-3, 3-0, and 1-0 (sudden death), Appleton shut Corey Eulas out twice, Derek Schwager eliminated Eddie Crespo 3-1, 3-1, and Vincent Cimarelli downed Jonathan Ailstock 3-0, 3-1.
 
Appleton and Schwager advanced to the finals with identical 3-1, 3-1 victories over Kielar and Cimarelli, respectively. Appleton completed his title run with a 3-1, 3-0 victory over Schwager in the finals.
 
While the winners of the varied events of this 25th Annual Super Billiards Expo, held under the auspices of Allen Hopkins productions, got to bring home both cash and bragging rights, the unsung heroes of the event were Doug Ennis (assisted by Frank Del Pizzo), who coordinated the Pro events, and C.C. Strain, who kept the Amateur events, including the massive, 1,024-entrant  Amateur Open running. They did it all in four days, thanks in no small measure to the facility that hosted the event – The Greater Philadelphia Expo Center at Oaks. Also on hand to keep those who couldn't attend in person entertained were Upstate Al (and a variety of guest commentators) and the production crew of AZBTv.

Shea stops a strong, loss-side bid by Friend to go undefeated on JPNEWT finale

Kathy Friend, Stanley Nasiatka and Linda Shea

As the two finalists squared off in the finals of the last stop on the 2016 J. Pechauer Northeast Women’s Tour on the weekend of Nov. 12-13, it was a question of whether it was going to be a Cinderella story or the expected finish. It turned out to be the expected finish, as tour director Linda Shea completed an undefeated run with a finals victory over Kathy Friend, who’d been defeated in the event’s opening round and chalked up six on the loss side for the right to face Shea in the finals. It was Shea’s second victory on this year’s tour. She had won the first event at the same location back in March. This $1,000-added event ($500 from Coins of the Realm) drew 20 entrants to Triple Nines in Elkridge, MD.

Following an opening round bye, Shea defeated Tina Malm 7-4, and just did survive a double hill battle versus Dawn Fox to advance to a winners’ side semifinal against the tour’s #2-ranked player, Kia Sidbury. The other winners’ side semifinal featured Jenn Keeney and Eugenia Gyftopoulos. Shea shut Sidbury out and in the hot seat match, faced Gyftopoulos, who was making only her fifth appearance on the 2016 tour, and had defeated Keeney 7-3. A double hill fight ensued, won by Shea, who waited in the hot seat for Friend to complete her loss-side run.

On the loss side, Friend, after her opening round, double hill loss to Meredith Lynch, had opened what would turn into a six-match winning streak against Nicole Fleming, who almost ended Friend’s weekend on a two-and-out note. Friend hung on, though, to defeat Fleming, double hill, and advance through Teri Thomas 7-4, and Melissa Jenkins 7-3 to pick up Keeney. Sidbury drew Lynch, who’d ousted Elaine Wilson 7-4 and Sharon O’Hanlon 7-2 to reach her.

Friend and Lynch advanced to the quarterfinals for a re-match; Friend, 7-5 over Keeney and Lynch, 7-3 over Sidbury. Friend took the quarterfinal re-match against Lynch 7-2, and then, in her second, loss-side double hill match, downed Gyftopoulos in the semifinals.

Going into the finals, Friend was in pursuit of her third win on the tour in 10 years. She’d won an event back in June of 2006, and most recently, had chalked up her second tour victory in October of 2015. The finals came within a game of being Friend’s fourth double hill match. Shea, though, pulled out in front and ended it at 7-5 to claim the event title and finish the 2016 JPNEWT season atop its ranking board. Sidbury was comfortably in second place in those rankings, while Sharon O’Hanlon, finishing in the tie for 7th at this most recent event, retained her third place spot in the tour rankings. By virtue of her runner-up finish at this event, Friend moved into the fourth slot in the rankings, previously held by Lynch, who slipped into fifth place.

The top finishers on this year’s tour (the number of them had yet to be determined) will qualify for the North American Pool Tour’s Division II Championships, to be held at a to-be-determined date in February of 2017.

Albergaria comes from the loss side to chalk up her second 2016 win on the JPNEWT

Nicole Albergaria has won both stops on the 2016 J. Pechauer Northeast Women's Tour (JPNEWT) in which she has appeared. She went undefeated to win the tour's sixth stop back in July at Raxx Billiards in West Hempstead, NY and on the weekend of October 22-23, she won five on the loss side to meet and defeat hot seat occupant Emily Duddy in the finals of the tour's most recent stop. The $1,100-added event (which included a donation by Billy Bunn, made in memory of Florence Fuller), drew 20 entrants to a new venue for the JPNEWT – Eagle Billiards in Dickson City, PA.
 
 
The recipient of an opening round bye, Albergaria advanced to a double hill struggle she eventually won against Jenn Keeney, and then fell 7-4 to tour director, Linda Shea, who entered and finished the tournament as the tour's top-ranked competitor. Duddy, in the meantime, appearing in her first stop on the 2016 tour, got by some heavy hitters, like Kia Sidbury (#3 on the tour) and Borana Andoni, who, though making her first appearance on the 2016 JPNEWT,  stepped to the table with an established reputation (10th on the tour in 2015, which included a victory in the season finale last year). Duddy downed them both and her 7-5 win over Andoni put her into the hot seat match against Dawn Fox (winner of the last JPNEWT stop), who'd sent Shea to the loss side 7-5 in the other winners' side semifinal. Duddy claimed the hot seat 7-5 over Fox and waited on Albergaria's return.
 
 
Albergaria started her loss-side campaign with a bang, shutting out Suzanne Sellet. She then downed Kathleen Lawless 7-3 to draw Andoni. Shea picked up Kidbury, who, following her defeat at the hands of Duddy, got by Melissa Jenkins 7-3 and Jenn Keeney 7-1.
 
 
Albergaria defeated Andoni 7-5, and was joined in the quarterfinal match by Shea, who'd eliminated Sidbury 7-1. The rematch went Albergaria's way 7-3, and by the same score, she eliminated Fox in the semifinals.
 
 
The modified race-to-9 format of the finals required Albergaria to reach seven games ahead of Duddy in the hot seat to extend the match to nine games. Early on, it didn't look as though that was going to happen, as Duddy took a moderately significant 4-0 lead right out of the gate. Albergaria, though, responded by first, making a very good bank shot on the 9-ball to win game five, and then winning six more to reach her 'seven' goal and the hill. 
 
 
But it wasn't over yet. Duddy rallied to pull within one at 8-7. In rack #16, Duddy was at the table, shooting at the 6-ball; looking down table at it, where it rested closer to the lower right corner than it was to the lower left. Intervening balls, however, precluded a shot into the lower right corner, and she opted for the deep, right-side cut to put it in the lower left. The 6-ball dropped quickly, but the cue ball, moving to the lower right corner, did a double hit off two rails, angled up to the long rail, then bounced off the short rail and with speed to spare, dropped into the side pocket. Albergaria picked up the cue ball, connected the dots, and sunk the remaining three balls to claim the event title.
 
 
Regardless of the outcome of the tour's season finale, scheduled for November 12-13 at Triple Nines Bar & Billiards in Elkridge, MD, the 2016 top competitor award will go to tour director Linda Shea, who has appeared in all 12 stops on the tour, to date. She won the season opener, back in March and has won 70% of her matches, finishing, on average, in fourth place.
 
 
Tour representatives had high praise for the tour's new venue, Eagle Billiards. Newly renovated, it features 10 Brunswick, two bar box and three Diamond tables. Tour director Linda Shea thanked owner Chris Wilson for his hospitality, while players articulated their anticipation of a return to the venue in the season to come.

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.

Shaw Wins Turning Stone Classic Undefeated

Jayson Shaw (Photo courtesy of Erin Bechner)

He looked unstoppable all week, and in the end he was unstoppable. Jayson Shaw cruised to his fourth (in 5 attempts) Turning Stone Classic title at the Turning Stone Classic XXVI in Verona, NY on August 25th – 28th. 

 

Shaw's path to the hot-seat started with three dominating wins over Korean Champion Lee Kang, Bucky Souvanthong and  Ivaylo Petrov. After three matches, Shaw's combined win/loss record was 27 racks won and 4 racks lost. Next up for Shaw was veteran Ernesto Dominguez. Dominguez would win six racks before Shaw got to nine, but Shaw was back to his dominating ways in his next match as he defeated Danny Hewitt 9-3. Shaw's winning streak looked to be in danger in his next match, a true battle with Earl Strickland. Strickland led the match early, but he seemed to lose his focus mid-match and Shaw regained control to cruise to a 9-6 win. The hot-seat match saw Shaw in full "break and run mode", as he defeated Karen Corr 9-2.

 

While the presence of Corr in the late rounds of a tournament is no real surprise, her bid for the hot-seat here was her best finish at a Turning Stone event. Corr had early wins over Sean Morgan, Dawn Fox, Zion Zvi and Alain Parent. Aside from a hill-hill match with Morgan, Corr was almost as dominating as Shaw with her next three matches won with a combined 27-7 scoreline. Just like Shaw in his match with Strickland, Corr looked to be on her way to the one loss side in her match with 17 year old Russian sensation Maksim Dudanets. Dudanets led the match 8-5, before Corr won four straight racks for the 9-8 win. She capped off her comeback with a 9-ball break at hill-hill to send the Russian youth to the one loss side. Corr then survived another hill-hill match, this time with Donny Mills, to earn her place in the hot-seat match. 

 

After the loss to Shaw in the hot-seat match, she found Earl Strickland waiting on the one loss side. In her long career, Corr had never defeated Strickland in a tournament. She was more than up to the challenge on this day though, as she fought neck and neck with an unusually subdued Strickland. Corr and Strickland went to hill-hill, a place that Corr was becoming comfortable with at this event. and it was Corr that navigated a tough rack to earn the win. "I'm over the moon" Corr said after the match. "Earl is such a genius at the table, and how many times are you going to have the chance to play him?" she continued. 

 

The extended race to 13 final started out close, as Shaw couldn't seem to distance himself from the tenacious Corr. She was within one rack at 5-4, when Shaw found a groove with his break and quickly took control of the match. After multiple table runs by Shaw, he had scored a 13-5 win for his fourth Turning Stone title. When asked after the tournament as to what he attributed his Turning Stone success to, Shaw credited the beautiful arena in Verona. "I just feel really comfortable. There are a lot of people watching, which is good. I feel as if I can play good anywhere, but it’s nice to have a crowd watching. You know what it is like sometimes. Some places you go you don’t have many spectators. I like the fact that it’s open to anyone. I feel really at home here". 

 

Shaw's win earned him $8000 in prize money, while Corr settled for $5000 for second place. 

Turning Stone Classic XXVI – Dawn Fox vs Jed Jecen

Turning Stone Classic XXVI Day One Complete

Rodney Morris

Day one of the Turning Stone Classic XXVI is complete, and matches went mostly as expected. 

 

Three time Turning Stone winner Jayson Shaw looked like he might have a challenge on his hands in his first round match with Korean Champion Kang Lee. Lee came out strong and led the match 2-1 early. Eight racks later, Shaw was putting his cue away after another lopsided match win. 

 

Joss Tour regular Willie Oney made his bid for "comeback win of the day", as he trailed Jerome Rockwell 7-2 and 8-5 before coming back to win the match 9-8.

 

Kevin Guimond was well on his way to notching the tournament's first big upset as he led Rodney Morris through most of their match. Morris did hold a brief lead at 4-2, but Guimond controlled the majority of the match and took the hill at 8-7. Guimond would be unable to close out the match though, and Morris stayed undefeated with the 9-8 win. 

 

The fans were treated to Canadian battle on the TV table as Erik Hjorliefson faced off against Martin Daigle. It was looking good for Hjorliefson, as he led early at 3-0. Daigle would then win nine of the next ten games for a 9-4 win. 

 

The final round of play on Thursday night held multiple tight matches. Shaun Wilkie won a 9-6 battle with Jorge Rodriguez, and Tom D'Alfonso sent Brandon Shuff to the one loss side with the same 9-6 score. 

 

The ladies were well represented on day one with wins scored by Jennifer Barretta, Dawn Fox and Karen Corr. Corr's win was no "gimme" though. She trailed Sean Morgan 5-1, but came back to score a hill-hill win to close out the night. 

 

Friday play begins at 10am EST, and will run until roughly midnight. Our free video stream will kick off at noon, and fans can follow all of the action with our real time scoring and online brackets at http://www.azbilliards.com/tours_and_events/1-joss-northeast-9-ball-tour/7292-turning-stone-classic-xxvi/live/

Corr stops eight-match, loss-side streak by Miller to win her third 2016 JPNEWT event

Karen Corr

Karen Corr has yet to lose a match on the 2016 J. Pechauer Northeast Women's Tour. She's competed in three of the tour's five 2016 stops so far, and gone undefeated in all three, with a  17-0 match record.  She chalked up the third win on the weekend of June 25-26 at a $1,500-added ($500 from Coins of the Realm) event that drew 32 entrants to Champion Billiards in Frederick, MD.
 
Though the battle for the hot seat would feature a marquee matchup between Corr and Janet Atwell, who, in Corr's absence at a tour stop in May, won the event, it proved to be Briana Miller, who challenged Corr in the finals of this one. Sent to the loss side in the opening round by Meredith Lynch, Miller went on an eight-match, loss-side winning streak that gave her a chance against Corr in the finals.
 
In the meantime, Corr got by Nicole King, Sueyen Rhee, and Christy Norris to face Judie Wilson in a winners' side semifinal. Atwell opened with victories over Sandy Raber, Eugenia Gyftopoulos, and Kia Sidbury (who entered the tournament as the #3-ranked player on the tour), which set her (Corr) up to face Meredith Lynch in the other winners' side semifinal.
 
Atwell sent Lynch to the loss side 7-4, as Corr was dispatching Wilson 7-1. Corr claimed the hot seat 7-3 over Atwell, and waited on what, likely to the surprise of many, turned out to be Miller.
 
On the loss side, Miller got by Sharon O'Hanlon, Nicole Fleming, Linda Shea (posting a rare tie-for-13th finish), Kia Sidbury and Dawn Fox to draw Wilson, coming over from the winners' side semifinal. Lynch drew Christy Norris, who, after being sent to the loss side by Corr in the fourth round, defeated Kathy Friend, double hill, and Gyftopoulos 7-2, to pick up Lynch.
 
Miller downed Wilson 7-1 and earned herself a re-match against Lynch, who'd eliminated Norris in a double hill fight. Miller then downed Lynch by the same score that Lynch had defeated her in the opening round, 7-3. By that same score, in the semifinals, Miller then thwarted Atwell's bid for a re-match against Corr.
 
Miller became only the second competitor to chalk up four racks against Corr (Christy Norris was the other). It was not, though, enough. Corr completed her third undefeated run on the JPNEWT and consequently moved into a tie for the tour's #1-ranking with Linda Shea. 
 
The winner of the event, in addition to the cash payout, qualified for the next event on the North American Pool Tour in August. The first four finishers in this event had already qualified, as had Judie Wilson, who tied for fifth with Christy Norris. Norris was awarded the qualification to the August event. 

Atwell signs on and wins on the J. Pechauer Northeast Women’s Tour

Janet Atwell

In the absence of Karen Corr on the weekend of May 14-15, competitors on the J. Pechauer Northeast Women's Tour (JPNEWT) might have been forgiven for thinking that a window of opportunity had opened, which any one of them might have taken advantage of. Only in that absence, Janet Atwell traveled from her pool room – Borderline Billiards in Bristol, TN – to Sterling, VA and signed on to the $1,000-added ($500 from Coins of the Realm) event that drew 23 entrants to First Break Cafe. Though sent to the semifinals by Tour Director Linda Shea in the battle for the hot seat, Atwell returned and defeated Shea in the finals to claim the event title; her first on the JPNEWT.
 
Atwell's journey to the winners' circle of this third stop on the JPNEWT was not without its challenges. Following an opening round victory over Terry Thomas 7-1, Buffy Jolie gave her all she could handle in a double hill fight that did eventually advance Atwell to a meeting and victory over Dawn Fox 7-4. This set Atwell up in a winners' side semifinal versus Brianna Miller. Shea, in the meantime, had chalked up two shutouts, and a second round, 7-5 win over Kia Sidbury to face Meredith Lynch in the other winners' side semifinal.
 
Atwell and Shea defeated Miller and Lynch, respectively, both 7-2, and squared off in the hot seat match. Shea won it, double hill and waited in the hot seat for Atwell's return.
 
Miller moved over and picked up Sierra Reams, who'd eliminated Terry Stovall 7-4 and Judie Wilson 7-5. Lynch drew Dawn Fox, who, following her defeat at the hands of Atwell, had defeated Carol Clark and Kia Sidbury, both 7-4.
 
Miller defeated Sierra Reams 7-1. Reams would end up earning this event's qualification to the NAPT event, to be held the first week in June. Miller was joined in the quarterfinal match by Fox, who'd defeated Lynch 7-4.
 
Miller downed Fox 7-3, and then, by the same score, was eliminated by Atwell in the semifinals. Atwell turned to face Shea in a re-match. Atwell won it 9-5 to claim her first JPNEWT title.