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Jennifer Kim wins her first major tournament on DFW Ladies 9-Ball Tour

Jennifer Kim, Orietta Strickland and Jennifer Pavlovick

Like many before her, Jennifer Kim began playing in an APA league, before graduating to regional tournament play. She’d made a few appearances on the recently-launched DFW Ladies 9-Ball Tour, at which, noted tournament director Monica Anderson, “she had not fared very well.”

And then, along came Orietta Strickland, who recently began to tutor Kim.

“They’d been working together for a few months,” said Anderson, “and when we saw (Kim) this time, it was a different player.”

Different enough to have signed on with 17 others to the $500-added, July 10 stop on the DFW Ladies 9-Ball Tour, hosted by Rusty’s in Arlington, TX and chalked up her first major event victory anywhere. Kim lost only one match in the effort, battling for the hot seat. And for a second and necessary third shot in a true double elimination final against the woman who’d defeated her (Jennifer Pavlovick), Kim downed her mentor, Orietta Strickland, in the semifinals. According to Anderson, the mentor didn’t actually lie down and play dead for the student, but she did miss some critical shots at critical moments, leading to victories for Kim, who was racing to 4 throughout the tournament.

Kim faced five opponents on her way to the winners’ circle, one of them – Pavlovick – three times. In her seven matches, as a skill level “4,” she started four of them with a single bead on the wire in a race to five. She started one match in which she gave her opponent a single bead on the wire in a race to 4. After being awarded an opening round bye, she won her first match, a straight-up race to 4, double hill versus Angie Kirkpatrick and then, defeated tournament director, Monica Anderson 4-2 (Anderson racing to 5). Kim drew April Gonzales in one of the winners’ side semifinals.

Pavlovick, in the meantime, who started all of her matches by granting all four of her opponents, through six matches, a single bead on the wire in races to 5, opened with victories over Tera Saunders 5-2 and Sharolyn Sumner 5-1. She drew Crystal Dunn in the other winners’ side semifinal.

Pavlovick advanced to the hot seat match by sending Dunn to the loss side 5-1. Kim joined her after sending Gonzales over, double hill (4-2). Pavlovick, in what proved to be her last winning match, claimed the hot seat 5-2. 

On the loss side, Kim’s mentor, Orietta Strickland, who’d lost, double hill, to Charlie Marie 4-6 in the 2nd winners’ side round, survived a double hill battle versus Sheila Lowe 7-4 in her first loss-side match and then, downed Anderson 7-2. She fought and won another double hill match against Phoebe Simon, winning 7-3 to draw Crystal Dunn.  Gonzales, in the meantime, drew Sandy Harrington, who’d recently eliminated Sharolyn Sumner, double hill (4-3), and shut out Angie Kirkpatrick.

Gonzales downed Harrington 3-2. Strickland joined her for the quarterfinals, after eliminating Dunn 7-2. Strickland then shut out Gonzales and entered the semifinals against her student, Jennifer Kim, sporting a virtual ‘ton’ of momentum.

It didn’t do her a lot of good in those semifinals, as (noted earlier) she turned the table over to Kim on a number of critical occasions. Kim advanced to the true double elimination finals over her mentor, having not given up a single rack to her in the semifinals.

Strickland had apparently transferred some of the momentum that she’d built up during her five-match, loss-side run to her student. Kim battled Pavlovick to double hill in the opening set of the true double elimination final, before winning it to force the second set. Kim gave up only a single rack in that second set to claim her first major event title.

Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Rusty’s for their hospitality, as well as sponsors Fort Worth Billiards Superstore, OB Cues and Doc’s Billiards Office. The next stop on the DFW Ladies 9-Ball Tour, scheduled for Saturday, September 25, will be hosted by Snookered in Frisco, TX. The next stop on the regular DFW 9-Ball Tour, scheduled for July 24-25, will be hosted by the venue which hosted this event, Rusty’s in Arlington, TX.