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Janet Atwell Wins WPBA South Carolina State 9-Ball Championship

Janet Atwell

Tiger Smart held their inaugural event on May 25, 2013 at Grady’s Billiards in Lexington South Carolina.  The tournament drew fifteen players from four states including Dana Aft, Faith Thompson, Aileen Nguyen, and Christa Lemmons from Georgia, Cheryl Pritchard and Janet Atwell from Virginia, Marianne Merrill and Lisa Cossette from North Carolina, and rounding out the field were JoAnn Barnes, Katherine Spence, Heather Lakatos, Priscilla Harsey, Jackie Corley and Belinda Calhoun from South Carolina.  “I was very pleased with the participation for our first event” said 
Belinda Calhoun, Tiger SMART Tour Director.  The owner of Grady’s Billiards, Crystal Lloyd, was presented with a certificate of appreciation during the players meeting.
Competition was fiercely fought as seven matches went hill-hill or 7-5 in the race to seven, rack your own, alternate break format. Surprise of the tournament was Crystal Lloyd, host of the event, who rifled through the winner’s bracket including impressive wins over Janet Atwell and Belinda Calhoun.  The hot seat match with Dana Aft who also cruised through the winners bracket with victories over Pritchard, Thompson and Corley, was the match of the tournament! At hill-hill, Crystal plays a safety on the six-ball where the cue ball stays up, deep in the corner pocket.  Dana is completely hooked by the nine.  The six, seven, and nine are left.  Crystal had to be thinking she had Dana at this point. Dana kicks behind the six and makes it in the side with good shape on the seven!  Remember these two players are battling not only for the hot seat but most likely the winner will win the entry and spot into the Ultimate 10-ball.  Dana just misses the seven leaving Crystal with a little tester.  Winner game, set, and hot seat, Lloyd.
Meanwhile, Janet Atwell, WPBA veteran, is climbing thru the one loss side. She takes out Cheryl Pritchard 7-3, Belinda Calhoun 7-5, and Dana Aft 7-1 to reach the 1one set, race to nine, final. Janet was in a good rhythm and with steely, composed shooting took the match and the title! As second place finisher, Crystal Lloyd wins the qualifying spot and entry for the Ultimate 10ball Championship in Tunica MS next month.  Other notable finishers include Faith Thompson and Jackie Corley in 5th-6th.
Tiger SMART would like to thank its partners and sponsors: Tiger Products, Inc., Aramith, Simonis, T&S Printing Company, and Billiards Digest for helping to make Tiger SMART’S first event a success. Congratulations to Katherine Spence, Irmo, SC, who won a one year subscription to Billiards Digest. SMART would also like to acknowledge Corey Epps of Channel 19, WLTX for coverage of the event.
Thanks to all the players who participated. Cheryl Pritchard, Associate Tour Director, said, “the South Carolina girls really showed their support for SMART and the WPBA playing extremely well despite being first timers to this format, and they represented South Carolina  very well.”

‘The Storm’ Hits Game Time

Betty Sessions

Betty Sessions stormed undefeated through the field of 42 ladies over the weekend of December 1-2 at Game Time Billiards in Greenville, South Carolina, to claim the top spot. The opponents she left in her wake included Michelle Davis (7-3), Cindy Davis (7-2), Kim Young (7-3), Tricia Barbisch (7-2), Kelly Willis (7-6), Tori Duncan (7-4), and, finally, Janet Atwell (7-1) in what was probably the shortest finals in the history of the SEAL Tour, lasting only 35 minutes, with Janet's only game coming from a 2-9 combo in the fifth rack.
Janet's road to the finals was quite a bit longer than usual. She began by defeating Anita Cravens (7-6) and Melissa Highfill (7-5) in two close matches, but lost her third match at the hands of Tricia Barbisch (4-7) to take an early trip to the one-loss side. She then had to get by Martha Hardison (7-4), Kim Young (7-5), Marcia Manuel (7-3), Margo Yoder (7-1), Kelly Willis (7-2), Tricia Barbisch in a rematch (7-2), and Tori Duncan (7-2) before meeting up with Betty Sessions who was waiting in the hot seat. Impressively, Janet has reached the finals in all three SEAL events so far this season, winning the first event, and she had her sights set on another tournament win before being stopped cold by 'The Storm.'
Finishing strongly in 3rd place, a personal best, was Tori Duncan, who is becoming quite a familiar face in Sunday's final 12. Adding to her 4th place finish at the first stop, she seemed to be on a mission as she bested Chasitity Purcell (7-3), Andrea Pridmore (7-2), Donna Wise (7-5), Marcia Manuel (7-4), and Lisa O'Boyle (7-1), making it all the way to winners bracket finals before losing to Betty (4-7) and then Janet (2-7). With her game reaching new heights, she is definitely a force to be reckoned with.
Tricia Barbisch has created quite a stir in the past 2 events as well. Playing with newfound confidence after her first-ever tournament victory in last month's Second-Chance event, she began the weekend with wins over Jackie Corley (7-2) and Janet Atwell (7-4) (quite an accomplishment for even the best of us!), but then lost to Betty Sessions (2-7). Unfazed, she proceeded to the one-loss side to defeat Jessica Crooks (7-4), Suzanne Steinhauser (7-6), and Lisa O'Boyle (7-3), before losing her rematch with Janet (2-7) but ending with a very respectable 4th place finish.
Rounding out the top eight were Lisa O'Boyle and Kelly Willis in 5th/6th place and Suzanne Steinhauser and Margo Yoder in 7th/8th place.
Many thanks to Jimmy Hodges and all the staff at Game Time for their hospitality in hosting our event in their fine establishment. The Brunswick Gold Crown tables played great all weekend, and we very much appreciate their support of the SEAL Tour.