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King goes undefeated at third stop on JPNEWT

Judie Wilson, Linda Shea, Jackie Rivera, Nicole King, Kia Sidbury and Kathy Friend

In addition to the visible struggle that plays out on the pool tables, regional tour competitors participate in a meta-game of tour rankings. At the end of a given season, based on those tour rankings, someone ends up as a given tour’s champion, which can accrue benefits ranging from cash, entry fees to major events, or, in some cases, nothing more significant than bragging rights. This meta-game tends to play out within a relatively small circle of a tour’s members, because ascension to the top of a tour’s rankings requires a combination of superior skills and consistent participation.
On the weekend of May 19-20, there was another early-season shuffle in the upper ranks of the J. Pechauer Northeast Women’s Tour (JPNEWT) rankings. Going into the $500-added (from Coins of the Realm), third stop on the tour, which drew 18 entrants to First Break Café and Billiards in Sterling, VA, Erica Testa, with a win and runner-up finish to her credit, was the tour’s #1-ranked player. When it was over, tour director Linda Shea (third going in) had become #1. Testa (who did not compete in this event) was sharing the second spot with Kia Sidbury, who came into and out of the event as the tour’s #2 player (albeit, tied at that spot). Nicole King, who went undefeated in the event, moved into the fourth slot, while Judie Wilson, dropped a spot into #5.
The players don’t spend a lot of their time (if at all) thinking about this meta-game aspect of a single tournament, but it’s there, and highlights the generally tight group of women (in this case) who get together on seven separate occasions (in this case) to battle for area supremacy in the sport. It may only be the tour’s third stop, but it’s just shy of half the battle. King’s trip to the winner’s circle went through two players just below her in the rankings – Sharon O’Hanlon (7-4) and Melissa Jenkins (7-5) – and one above her (Kia Sidbury; 7-3), before meeting up with a woman in a winners’ side semifinal, Jackie Rivera, who, at this stage, had yet to figure into the current rankings.
Shea, in the meantime, got by Elaine Wilson 7-5 and Kelly Wyatt 7-2 to draw Kathy Friend in the other winners’ side semifinal. Shea moved into the hot seat match with a 7-3 win over Friend, as King was busy surviving a double hill match against Rivera. King downed Shea 7-3 and sat in the hot seat, awaiting her return.
On the loss side, Rivera picked up Judie Wilson, who’d lost her opening match to Friend, and was in the midst of a four-match, loss-side run that included a recent double hill win over Wyatt and a 7-4 win Bethany Sykes. Friend drew Sidbury, who, following her defeat by King on the winners’ side had defeated Elaine Wilson and Teri Thomas, both 7-4.
Rivera eliminaTed Wilson 7-3 and was joined in the quarterfinals by Friend, who’d defeated Sidbury 7-5. Friend just did survive the quarterfinal 7-6 but had her bid for further advancement derailed by Shea, who took the semifinal match 7-4.
In the meta-game of ranking points, Shea was moving into the top spot, no matter what happened in her finals match against King, who, no matter what happened in the finals, was going to end up in the #4 ranking spot. Both, however, were looking to chalk up their first win on the tour, which, one would assume, carried much more weight in the double hill fight that followed than the meta-rankings-game. King won it to complete her undefeated run and take that first 2018 event title.
The meta-rankings-game and the individual battles that define it will continue at stop #4  on the JPNEWT, scheduled for the weekend of June 23-24. The event will feature a separate amateur division and will be hosted by Champion Billiards and Sports Bar in Frederick, MD.

Miller blanks Shea twice to win JPNEWT season finale

(l to r): Jackie Rivera, Judie Wilson, Briana Miller, Sharon O’Hanlon, Kathy Friend & Linda Shea

In a circumstance about as rare as a teenager that doesn’t play video games, Linda Shea, tour director of the J. Pechauer Northeast Women’s Tour (JPNEWT) was shut out twice, in the hot seat and finals of her tour’s season finale. Briana Miller was the culprit. She went undefeated through a field of 17, on-hand for the $1,250-added ($500 from Coins of the Realm) event, hosted by Triple Nines Bar & Billiards in Elkridge, MD on the weekend of November 18-19.
Miller’s five-match trek to the event victory saw her win 35 of her 44 games. She gave up a single rack to Tina Marinelli in her opening round of play, and four to Carol V. Clark, which set her (Miller) up to face Judie Wilson in one of the winners’ side semfinals. Shea, in the meantime, who would finish with a 21-24 game record, got by Terri Stovall and Heather Platter, both 7-3, to draw Sharon O’Hanlon in the other winners’ side semifinal.
Miller sent Wilson to the loss side, as Shea was downing Hanlon, both 7-4. Miller chalked up the first of her two straight shutouts over Shea to claim the hot seat, and waited for Shea to get back from the semifinals.
On the loss side, Wilson and O’Hanlon drew two competitors in the middle of a three-match, loss-side winning streak. Wilson picked up Kathy Friend, who’d defeated Kia Sidbury 7-3, Melissa Jenkins 7-1 and Heather Platter 7-3. O’Hanlon drew Jackie Rivera, who’d gotten by Elaine Wilson 7-3, Eugenia Gyftopoulos 7-4 and Nicole King 7-2.
Friend and Rivera made it four in a row with identical 7-5 wins over Wilson and O’Hanlon, respectively. In the quarterfinals that followed, Rivera made it five loss-side wins in a row, defeating Friend 7-3.
Shea ended Rivera’s run with a 7-5 win in the semifinals. Miller claimed the season finale event title with her second shutout over Shea.
The win moved Miller up into third place (from eighth) in the tour’s season-end rankings, behind Shea, and Elaine Wilson, who, by virtue of her finish in the tie for 13th place, stayed just five points ahead of Miller in the final standings. Miller had competed in only three events this season, winning two of them and finishing as the runner-up (to Karen Corr) in the third. Rounding out the tour’s top-ten-ranked players were in order, from fourth place – Carol V. Clark, Nicole King, Kia Sidbury, Jenn Keeney, Jia Li, Sharon O’Hanlon and Judie Wilson.

Mazon chalks up a second undefeated win on the Action Pool Tour; the VA State 8-Ball Championships

Jundel Mazon and Brandon Shuff

Whitman comes from the loss side to capture Women's title


Jundel Mazon of the Philippines has been among the top 10 finishers in 10 events this year, including a stop on the Q City 9-Ball Tour (2nd), the NC State 8-Ball Championships (3rd), the Gotham City Classic (7th), the US Open 9-Ball Championships, the 4th Annual Steinway Classic, the Houston Open and 42nd Annual Texas Open (all 9th), but he has only won twice, both times on the Action Pool Tour. In September, he defeated Brandon Shuff in the finals to take the APT's seventh tour stop. On the weekend of November 14-15, he defeated Shuff a second time in the finals to take the tour's ninth stop and become the second player to win the VA State 8-Ball Championships, which drew 36 entrants to Diamond Billiards in Midlothian, VA.

In a concurrently-run Women's event, Kim Whitman won three on the loss side to meet and defeat Barbara Yeager in the finals to become the second VA State 8-Ball Women's champion. The Women's event drew nine entrants. 
Mazon's path through the 36-entrant field avoided a confrontation versus the event's defending champion, Mike Davis, who was sent to the loss side by Danny Green in the third round, and eliminated by Nilbert Lim in the matches that determined the tie for seventh. Following a bye and a second round shutout over Luther Pickerall, Mazon did have to face the APT's top-ranked player, Shaun Wilkie (runner-up to Davis in 2013) in a match that went double hill, before advancing Mazon to a match versus Green. He defeated Green to face Larry Kressel in a winners' side semifinal. Shuff, in the meantime (third in 2013), faced Reymart Lim.
Mazon downed Kressel 7-5, as Shuff was sending Lim over 7-3. In their first of two, Mazon defeated Shuff 7-2 and sat in the hot seat, waiting for him to get back.
On the loss side, Kressel picked up Nilbert Lim, who'd just eliminated Cary Dunn and Davis, both 6-4. Reymart Lim ran into Danny Green, who'd defeated Brian Dietzenbach and Shannon Fitch, also both 6-4. Lim battled to double hill before being ousted by Green, who, in the quarterfinals, met Kressel, who'd shut Lim out. Green and Kressel battled to double hill before Green advanced for a shot against Shuff in the semifinals. 
Shuff took the semifinal match versus Green 6-2 and got a second shot at Mazon in the hot seat. To no avail, as Mazon took the extended, single race 9-2 to capture the VA State 8-Ball Championships title.
In the Women's event, unattended by the 2013 winner and runner-up (Cheryl Pritchard and Jackie Rivera) Kim Whitman and Barbara Yeager battled twice for the title; once in a winners' side semifinal and again, in the finals, in two very different kinds of matches. The small field dictated that a single match put both of them into the winners' side semifinals; Whitman had defeated Sierra Reams 6-4 and Yeager had shut out Soo Emmett. Sheri Bruner and Jacki Duggan, in the meantime, squared off in the other winners' side semifinal.
Duggan advanced to the hot seat match with a 6-2 victory over Bruner, and was met by Yeager, who'd shut Whitman out. Yeager claimed the hot seat 6-3 over Duggan and waited for what turned out to be the fateful, and quite different second match against Whitman.
On the loss side, Bruner picked up Reams, who'd defeated Emmett 5-2. Whitman drew Nicole Fleming, who'd eliminated Tina Scott 5-3. Bruner and Whitman advanced to quarterfinals; Bruner 5-2 over Reams and Whitman 5-3 over Fleming. Whitman gave up only a single rack to Bruner in the quarterfinals, and completely shut out Duggan in the semifinals. In sharp contrast to their meeting in the hot seat match, Yeager and Whitman fought to double hill before Whitman prevailed to take the Women's title.