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Seaver Wins 3 In A Row At Tiger’s “Cues For The Cure!”

Stephanie Mitchell, Michell Monk, Kelly Cavanaugh, Vanessa Seaver & Jeannie Seaver

For the third time in a row this year, Jeannie Seaver went undefeated to win the Tiger Florida Tour’s 11th Annual “Cues for the Cure” breast cancer awareness fundraiser. Thirty-two women played in pink at this $1,150-added event which benefitted Susan G. Komen, Florida. 
 
 
The event was a modified double elimination format, playing down to four on each side.  Four players from the loser’s side drew back into the winners’ side into a final single elimination board.  On the winners’ side, Seaver got past Amanda Mungeon, Denise Reeve and edged past Nicolle Cuellar in a double hill match to get to the Final Board.  Also making it to the Final Board on the winners’ side – Lisa Cossette, sending Marge Soash west, followed by Sonja Chbeeb and Kelly Cavanaugh; and Michell Monk got past Gianna Fiore, Dawn Logan and Deanna Frost. Vanessa Seaver also made it to the Final Board undefeated, winning over Stephanie Mitchell, Jennifer Berzinski and Deb Teichert. 
 
The final four from one-loss side – Kelly Cavanaugh, Nicolle Cuellar, Jeri Bouvette and Deanna Frost – redrew into a single elimination bracket race to seven.  In a blind draw, Cavanaugh drew Monk, Cuellar drew Vanessa Seaver, Bouvette matched up with Jeannie Seaver and Foster played Cossette.  Cavanaugh advanced to the semi-finals with a win over Monk 7-5, Vanessa Seaver ended the day for Cuellar 7-4, Foster stopped Cossette 7-4 and Jeannie Seaver said good night to Bouvette 7-2.  That left Jeannie Seaver against Deanna Foster in the semi-finals, with Seaver wining 7-3.  Kudos to Foster who made the money for the first time! Cavanaugh won the match against Vanessa Seaver 7-4, ending the potential match up of the Seaver sisters as in 2016.  In the Final match, Jeannie Seaver cranked it up to win the final match over Cavanaugh 7-4.  This win also secured the TFT Tour Champion title for Seaver, back on top again!
 
It was great to see so many new faces and players from the past, several players from around the state and out of state, and two young 9-Ball future stars, Giana Fiore and Sophia Mast.  All players received Cues for the Cure T-shirts. Thank you to everyone who participated and helped make this a great event – we could not have done it without your support!  All monies raised from the raffle and games benefits Susan G. Komen, Florida.  
In particular, we thank our title sponsor Tiger Products; Simonis Cloth; Stich It To Me; The Bay Area APA; Relocations & Estate Sales by Dixie; Boynton Billiards; AZ Billiards; Great Lakes Billiards, Bill Dunsmore and Susan G. Komen, Florida.  Of course, a huge thanks to Stephanie Mitchell for all her hard work in helping to make this a successful event and for hosting this event again. Thanks to the staff at The Corner Pocket for their great service! Thanks to Nicolle Rasmussen for her hard work on the T-shirts! Thanks to Jerry Sotelo for running another great tournament!
 
Portions of the matches can be viewed at  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e-tdcEQ9Al4.
 
Results – $1150-added
1st Jeannie Seaver $650
2nd Kelly Cavanaugh $400
3d/4th Vanessa Seaver $225
3d/4th Deanna Foster $225
5th/8th Michell Monk $150
5th/8th Nicolle Cuellar $150
5th/8th  Lisa Cosette $150
5th-8th Jeri Bouvette $150
 
The top APA players -$50 each:
 
1 – 3 winner – Dixie Sutton
4 – 5 winner – Erika Pennington
6 – Christina Rodriguez Miller
 
Winner of the M&Ms – Stephanie Mitchell
Winner of the Hershey Kisses – Giana Fiore
 
The Tiger Florida Tour is a NAPT-recognized Division II Women’s Regional Tour.
 

Bryant comes from the loss side to defend WPBA Blue Emu title at Borderline Billiards in TN

Crowning achievements for (l to r) Kyoko Sone & Brittany Bryant with Janet Atwell

It began on Thursday, May 30 with a preliminary tournament made up of 30 lower-ranked players from the Women’s Professional Billiards Association (WPBA) and ended on Sunday night, June 2 with the crowning of defending champion Brittany Bryant, who had to come from the loss side (five matches) to meet Kyoko Sone in the finals of the WPBA’s Signature Tour Stop, the Blue-Emu Southern Open. The $10,000-added event drew a total of 62 entrants, including Janet Atwell to her venue, Borderline Billiards in Bristol, TN.

The event was not exactly a proverbial ‘walk in the park’ for the WPBA’s #4-ranked player. Bryant won the event, having won less than 60% of the games she played in it (70-49; 58.8%). The seven opponents she faced in races-to-8 chalked up an average of five racks against her. She got by Kelly Cavanaugh, Jessica Barnes and Mary Rakin by an aggregate score of 24-7, but against her other four race-to-8 opponents (LoreeJon Hasson, Allison Fisher, Melissa Little & Jennifer Baretta) she chalked up an aggregate of 32-26, or 55%. Not surprising necessarily, given the upgrade in the competition over those four matches. And then, of course, there was the third-round, 4-8 loss to Gail Eaton, which really did a job on the ‘numbers.’ Without that loss, Bryant would have finished with an overall game-winning average of just over 60% (62.8), rather than less.

“I go to every event to win it,” said Bryant, “but I didn’t go with any expectations this year. “There were actually a few more players who were higher up (in rankings) than there were last year when I won it.”

The ‘First Stage’ double elimination bracket yielded 16 players who advanced to the Final Stage; eight from the winners’ side and eight from the loss side of that bracket. Among those who emerged from that bracket was runner-up Kyoko Sone, who lost her opening round match, double hill to Mary Rakin. Rakin advanced to defeat Kelly Isaac 7-5 and become one of the eight winners’ side competitors to advance to the Final Stage. Sone moved to the loss side, where she defeated Toni Esteves and Janet Ritcey, both 7-2, to become one of the eight loss-side competitors to advance to the final stage.

The other winners’ side competitors to advance to the Final Stage were Jennifer Berzinski, Jessica Human, Hiroko Makiyama, Ashley Burrows, Stephanie Mitchell, Kia Sidbury and Billie Billings. The other loss-side competitors to advance were Autumn Duncan, Kelly Isaac, Susan Wilbur, Julie Cooper, Angela Janic, Stephanie Goens, and Catherine Tschumper.

Moving into the Final Stage, beginning on Friday, May 31, the 16 arrivals from the preliminary bracket faced 16 players more or less in the middle of the WPBA rankings (approximately #17-#32). The winners in this opening round of Final Stage play advanced to meet the WPBA’s top 16 players, who had been awarded opening round byes.

Of the WPBA’s top 16 players who waited until Friday evening to begin competing, only three failed to advance on the winners’ side past their opening match; Jessica Barnes (WPBA-ranked #16) was defeated 8-2 by Kyoko Sone, Gerda Gregerson (#8) lost to Mary Rakin 8-6 and Emily Duddy (#10) joined them on the loss side following an 8-3 defeat at the hands of Naomi Williams. Among the more notable matches in this round of play, and the only one to go double hill was the battle between Allison Fisher and Russian teenager Kristina Tkach, who, a week earlier, had been the only female to compete in the Open/Pro event of the 9th Annual George “Ginky” Sansouci Memorial in New York City (she finished in the tie for 5th place). She was defeated by Fisher here and went on to win two loss-side matches before being eliminated by Line Kjorsvik.

A final round on Friday night brought the field down to the winners’ side quarterfinals. Kyoko Sone had sent Line Kjorsvik to the loss side and on Saturday night, faced Mary Rakin, who, after her victory over Gregerson, had sent hostess and WPBA-ranked #9 Janet Atwell over. Brittany Bryant, who’d defeated Loree Jon Hasson was to meet up with Gail Eaton, who’d gotten by Melissa Little. Fisher followed up her win over Tkach with a victory over Jia Li and on Saturday night, faced Naomi Williams, who had just survived a double hill battle against Helena Thornfeldt.  The last of the winners’ side quarterfinals pitted Jennifer Baretta against Monica Webb.

These matches elicited the winners’ side semifinals, which began immediately afterwards. Sone, who’d downed Rakin 8-5 met Eaton, who’d sent Bryant to the loss side 8-4, as Fisher, who’d defeated Williams 8-3 met Baretta, who’d gotten by Webb 8-5.

“I have to give Gail so much credit,” said Bryant of her only loss in the tournament. “I have never seen her play that well. I was down 7-1, took a break, composed myself and got it to 7-4.”

“I wasn’t disappointed,” she added. “I didn’t play poorly and Gail took control when she needed to.”

Sone advanced to the hot seat match 8-3 over Eaton. Fisher and Baretta, almost predictably, fought to double hill before Baretta prevailed to join Sone in the hot seat match. Sone downed Baretta 8-4 to claim the hot seat and waited on what turned out to be Bryant’s fateful return.

Meanwhile, back at the loss-side ranch, Bryant and Melissa Little were laying in wait for Fisher and Eaton, respectively. Bryant had defeated Jessica Barnes 8-2 and Mary Rakin 8-3 to draw Fisher. Little had won four loss-side matches, including a double hill win over Naomi Williams and an 8-4 victory over Kjorsvik to draw Eaton. Little made it five in a row with an 8-5 win over Eaton and advanced to the quarterfinals. Bryant joined her after surviving a double hill fight against Fisher.

“I expected to go back and forth with Allison,” she said. “It was actually the first time I had ever beaten her. I ended up breaking and running at double hill to win it.”

Bryant followed her double hill win over Fisher with a double hill win over Little in the quarterfinals and for the second time, she finished with a break and run. In the semifinals, Jennifer Baretta came within a game of giving Bryant a third straight, double hill challenge, but Bryant edged out in front at the end to win it 8-6.

“I was up 6-2 in that match and she came back (to almost tie it),” Bryant said. “And then, there was a big game swinger, when she could have tied it at 6-6, but I won to go up 7-5. She won a game and I won the next game to win the match.”

The finals between defending champion Bryant and Sone came within a game of going double hill, as well, but for the second time in a row, Bryant edged out in front at the end to win it 10-8 and claim the 2019 Blu-Emu Southern Open.

“We didn’t make a lot of mistakes,” said Bryant of the final match. “She broke and ran the opening game and we had a few safety battles. I was up 6-2 and she started to make a comeback.”

As with the semifinal match against Baretta, Sone had the opportunity to tie things up at 6-6.

“She missed a key 8-ball to tie it up (at 6-6),” she said, “so it was 7-5 and I won the next three.”

WPBA representatives thanked Janet Atwell and her Borderline Billiards staff for hosting the event, as well as sponsors Simonis Cloth, Aramith, Diamond Billiard Products and Outsville.com. The next WPBA event, scheduled for August 8-11, will be a $10,000-added Signature Event, to be held in Fairfield, IL. Further details will be available soon. Bryant said that she plans to be in attendance.

Rose comes from the loss side to take Sunshine State Predator Pro Am Tour season opener

(l to r): Mike Delawder, Stroker’s owner Jose Del Rio & Nathan Rose

In the 17 years that Nathan Rose has been bringing home cash from mostly Florida-based pool tournaments, he’s had only two years of recorded earnings that were better than his last one, 2018. In 2015, his most productive year, he chalked up a win on the Shark Billiard Tour, was runner-up to Mike Davis at the Starcade Billiards Fall Classic and cashed in four events on the Florida Pool Tour. Eight years earlier, he had a win on the Southeast 9-Ball Tour and cashed in the Seminole Pro Tour, the Steve Mizerak Championship and the Bob Martin Memorial. Last year, he figured in the payouts of five stops on the Sunshine State Pro Am Tour, winning two of them, and taking a trip to the Super Billiards Expo, where he finished third behind Zoren James Aranas and Jorge Rodriguez in the Pro-Am Bar Box Championships. He’s opened his 2019 tournament schedule by winning the season opener on the now-named Sunshine State Predator Pro Am Tour. Mike Delawder defeated him in the hot seat match, but Rose returned from the semifinals to win a double hill final and claim the title. The $1,400-added event drew 69 entrants to Stroker’s Billiards in Palm Harbor, FL.
 
By the time Rose and Delawder met for the first time in the hot seat match, Delawder had won a single game more than Rose (36-35), but had lost eight more (28-36). Going into the winners’ side semifinals, Delawder had given up 17 racks to his opponents. Rose had given up only 10.
 
After his victory over Nikilin, Rose advanced to defeat Jarred Schlauch 7-4, Kelly Cavanaugh 7-3, and David Singleton 7-2 to arrive at a winners’ side semifinal match against George Saunders. Delawder got by Stephanie Mitchell 8-3, James Roberts 7-5, Kodi Allen 7-4 and Mitch Keiser 7-5 to pick up Bobby Garza (the tour’s 2018 top-ranked player) in the other winners’ side semifinal.
 
Rose shut out Saunders, as Delawder was busy downing Garza 7-3. They came into the hot seat match with a 13% difference in their win-percentage; Rose at 77% (thanks in no small part to the shutout over Saunders) and Delawder at 64%. Delawder claimed the hot seat 7-3, narrowing that winning-game gap to 4%; 69% for Rose and 65% for Delawder. As it turned out, that four-point winning-percentage gap would hold through to the end, though both would see their individual percentage drop. Delawder, in the meantime, waited in the hot seat to find that out.
 
On the loss side, Saunders picked up Mitch Keiser, who, following his defeat at the hands of Delawder, had defeated Carlton Johnson 7-4 and the eventual top junior in the tournament Trenton White 7-2. Garza drew Jarred Schlauch, who, following Delawder’s win over him, embarked on a seven-match, loss-side winning streak that would take him as far as the quarterfinals. He’d most recently eliminated room owner Jose Del Rio 7-4 and Kyle Bova, double hill.
 
Schlauch downed Garza 7-5 and in the quarterfinals, faced Keiser, who’d defeated Saunders 7-4. Keiser ended Schlauch’s loss-side trip 7-2 in those quarterfinals, and then was defeated himself 7-3 by Rose in the semifinals.
 
Nathan Rose’s double hill, 9-8, win over Delawder in the finals gave him the event title, though it lowered his win-percentage to 65%. The nine racks scored against Delawder lowered his win-percentage to 61%. If Delawder had dropped the 9-ball, Rose would still have won the winning-percentage contest, but only by a single percentage point (67-66).
 
In addition to cash prizes awarded to the top 16 finishers, two top-finishing women – Jenn Berzinski and Kelly Cavanaugh (tied) – and the event’s top-finishing junior, Trenton White, took home cash prizes, as well.
 
Tour directors Janene Phillips and Bobby Garza thanked Jose Del Rio and his Stroker’s staff for their hospitality, as well as title sponsor Predator Cues (to include their donation of promotional items given out at the event), Cyclop Balls, Diamond, AZBilliards and Kamui. The next stop on the Sunshine State Predator Pro Am Tour, scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 2, will be hosted by Brewlands in Tampa, FL. 

Applebee and Griffin split top prizes on Sunshine State Pro Am season finale

(l to r): Nick Applebee, Tommy Kennedy & Mike Griffin

White and Grossman split top prizes in Amateur event
 
The season finale of the Sunshine State Pro Am tour, held on the weekend of Dec. 1-2, saw both the Open/Pro and Amateur finalists opt out of a final match. In the $500-added Open/Pro event on Saturday (the tour’s Open 9-Ball Championships), which drew 31 entrants, hot seat occupant Nick Applebee and Mike Griffin (at approximately 4 a.m.) let their first meeting in the battle for the hot seat stand as the determining title match. In the $300-added, Amateur event on Sunday, which drew 22 entrants, it was hot seat occupant Thomas White and challenger David Grossman, who did the same thing. Both events were hosted by Park Ave. Billiards in Orange Park, FL.
 
In the Open/Pro event, Applebee got by Michell Monk, Jay Stock and Jeannie Seaver to draw Bobby Garza in one of the winners’ side semifinals. Mike Griffin, in the meantime, opened his campaign against the tour’s top junior of the year, Trenton White. After defeating him, Griffin moved on to send Thomas White (official winner of the Amateur event) and Asia Cy to the loss side, to face David Grossman in the other winners’ side semifinal.
 
Griffin got into the hot seat match with a 7-4 win over Grossman. Applebee and Garza locked up in a double hill fight that eventually sent Applebee to the hot seat match and Garza to the loss side. Applebee claimed the hot seat 7-5 over Griffin.
 
On the loss side, Grossman and Garza had the misfortune of running into two competitors who’d lost their opening round matches and were in the midst of a five-match, loss-side winning streak. Garza drew Tommy Kennedy, who’d lost his opening match, double hill to Jordan Burden and most recently had defeated Asia Cy 7-5 and Cody Booth 7-1 to draw Garza. Grossman picked up Anthony Meglino, who’d lost his opening round match to Adam Saaidi, and had most recently eliminated Jeannie Seaver 7-2 and just did survive a double hill fight against Shannon Fitch.
 
Kennedy downed Garza 7-2 and in the quarterfinals, faced Meglino, who’d survived his second straight double hill match, versus Grossman. Meglino ended up on the wrong end of his third straight double hill match and was defeated by Kennedy in those quarterfinals. Looking for his eighth straight loss-side win and a shot at Applebee in the hot seat, Kennedy fell to Griffin 7-5. Griffin and Applebee opted out of the final and the Open/Pro weekend was over.
 
White and Grossman let hot seat result stand
 
Thomas White, who ended up in the tie for 13th place in the Open/Pro event, won the hot seat match in the Amateur event over David Grossman, who had finished in the tie for 5th place in the Open/Pro event. Though Grossman won his semifinal match, he and White opted out of an Amateur final, which allowed White, as the undefeated occupant of the hot seat, to claim the official event title.
 
White advanced through the 22-entrant field to arrive at a winner’ side semifinal against Aaron Sikes. Grossman drew Scott Rohleder in the other one. Grossman advanced to the hot seat match 7-4 over Rohleder, while White downed Sikes 7-1 to join him. White and Grossman battled to double hill to claim the hot seat, which White eventually did, in what proved to be his last match.
 
On the loss side, Rohleder picked up Open/Pro winner, Nick Applebee, while Sikes drew Bobby Garza (5th/6th in the Open/Pro). Rohleder advanced to the quarterfinals with a double hill win over Applebee. He was joined by Garza, who’d benefited from a forfeit by Sikes.
 
Garza then eliminated Rohleder 5-1 before falling to Grossman in the semifinals 6-2. White and Grossman opted out of the final and the Sunshine State Pro Am Tour’s season finale was in the books.
 
In addition to the two tournaments, the tour announced its three award winners – Anthony Meglino as Player of the Year, Kelly Cavanaugh as Lady of the Year and Trenton White as the year’s top junior player.
 
Tour directors Janene Phillips and Bobby Garza thanked the ownership and staff at Park Avenue Billiards for their hospitality, as well as sponsors Kamui, Cyclop Balls, Diamond, Play The Game clothing, AZ Billiards, Jacksonville Roofing USA, Inc. and Inside Pool TV. The next stop on the Sunshine State Pro Am Tour will be its season opener, scheduled for January 5-6, 2019 at Stroker’s Billiards in Palm Harbor, FL. It will include a 9-ball Amateur event and the tour’s 10-ball Invitational Tournament for its top 16 players.

Tkach comes from the loss side to win WPBA Sondheim Diamond Invitational in Iowa

Kristina Tkach (Erwin Dionisio)

Two young women, one working on her best earnings year to date and the other, coming off of her best earnings year-to-date (2018) squared off in the finals of the WPBA Sondheim Diamond Invitational in Iowa on the weekend of August 8-11. The former, Russia’s Kristina Tkach, a top performer for Roy’s Basement, came from the loss side to down hot seat occupant, Taipei’s Tzu-Chien Wei. Wei, who, according to our records, had her best year in 2018, had only cashed in one event thus far this year (3rd at the WPBA Masters in late Feb./early March). The $10,000-added event drew 48 entrants to the Fairfield Arts and Convention Center in Fairfield, Iowa.
 
They met twice; once in a winners’ side semifinal and again, in the finals. Wei had advanced past Catherine Tschumper, Emily Duddy and Brittany Bryant to arrive at the winners’ side semifinal versus Tkach. Kelly Fisher, in the meantime, who was runner-up to Siming Chen at the WPBA Master’s event in which Wei had finished third, got by Kelly Isaac, Gail Eaton and April Larson to arrive at her winners’ side semifinal match against Line Kjorsvik.
 
Fisher sent Kjorsvik to the loss side 8-3 and in the hot seat match, faced Wei, who’d defeated Tkach 8-6. Wei claimed the hot seat 8-5 over Fisher and waited on the return on Tkach.
 
On the loss side, Kjorsvik picked up Bryant, who, after her defeat at the hands of Wei, had eliminated Sara Miller 8-3 and, in a double hill match, Jennifer Baretta. Tkach drew a re-match against Monica Webb, whom she’d defeated 8-3 on the winners’ side. Webb moved west to defeat Kelly Cavanaugh, Jenna Bishoff and April Larson (all 8-6), and then survived a double hill fight versus Emily Duddy to draw Tkach.
 
Tkach gave up only a single rack in the rematch against Webb and in the quarterfinals, faced Bryant, who’d defeated Kjorsvik 8-4. Bryant and Tkach locked up in what was something of a predictable double hill fight for advancement to the semifinals. Tkach won it to earn her re-match against Fisher.
 
One might have expected a similar double hill battle between Tkach and Fisher, both anxious for a rematch against Wei in the hot seat. It didn’t happen. Tkach took care of business and downed Fisher 8-5.
 
With the intangible momentum on her side, Tkach came into the finals and defeated Wei 10-5 to claim her third major title of 2019. She’d previously won the Super Billiards Expo’s Women Championship in March and Europe’s Dynamic Billiards Treviso Open Ladies Division in May.
 
WPBA representatives thanked the ownership and staff at the Fairfield Arts and Convention Center, as well as sponsors Diamond Billiard Products, Outsville, Simonis Cloth and Aramis Balls. 

Texas Tornado blows down from Canada and storms to undefeated WPBA victory in Louisiana

Vivian Villarreal (Photo courtesy of Erwin Dionisio)

Fresh off her victory over Brittany Bryant in the Ashton Twins Classic in Calgary last weekend (June 14-17), Vivian Villarreal flew down to New Iberia, Louisiana on the weekend of June 22-24 to join 62 other WPBA competitors in what was billed as the “Signature Tour Stop.” She went undefeated through the field. Punctuating her undefeated run, the Texas Tornado, sitting in the hot seat, almost shut out Allison Fisher in a true double elimination final to claim the event title. The $13,000-added event was hosted by Emerald Billiards and through the services of Ray Hansen and his PoolActionTV crew, was streamed live via Facebook.
 
It took Villarreal seven matches to claim the title, four of which went double hill. She started with a double hill win over Gerda Hofstatter Gregerson, got by Louisiana Le 7-2, and then, in a re-match against Brittany Bryant, whom she’d defeated twice in the Ashton Twins Classic, she won her second double hill match; up on the hill at 6-1, Villarreal watched Bryant fight back and force a deciding 13th game. Villarreal then got by Gail Eaton 7-5 (reaching an aggregate score of 28-19) to draw Jia Li in one of the winners’ side semifinals.
 
Allison Fisher, in the meantime, advanced to her winners’ side semifinal against Monica Webb, sporting an aggregate score of 28-13. She’d given up two racks (one each) to Kelly Cavanaugh and Meghan Buchanan, before running into teenage ‘phenom’ April Larson, who battled her to double hill, before she (Fisher) advanced to meet and defeat Jennifer Baretta 7-5 and then, draw Webb.
 
Fisher downed Webb 7-1 and, in the hot seat match, faced Villarreal, who’d chalked up her third double hill win against Li. Villarreal and Fisher battled to double hill, as well, before Villarreal closed it out to sit in the hot seat.
 
On the loss side, Webb picked up Line Kjorsvik, who, after being defeated by Jia Li in a double hill, winners’ side quarterfinal match, had chalked up two more double hill wins, eliminating Larson and Gail Eaton. Li drew Bryant, who was in the midst of a four-match, loss-side streak that included a 7-3 win over Emily Duddy and 7-2 victory over Gerda Hofstatter Gregerson.
 
Jia Li and Bryant locked up in a double hill fight that eventually advanced Li to the quarterfinals, where she was met by Kjorsvik, who’d shut out Webb. Li eliminated Kjorsvik 7-5, only to be eliminated by the same score by Fisher in the semifinals.
 
Having endured the double hill hot seat match against Villarreal and Fisher, spectators, as well as commentators on the stream, were expecting a tight final match, possibly two in the double elimination format. It never came to pass. The Texas Tornado blew into that final match, brimming with confidence, a sense of humor, and in spite of an alternate break format, she  was up quickly 4-0. In the fifth rack of this quick, and even to Villarreal, surprising run, Fisher left her with the necessity of making a jump shot from the middle of the table. Villarreal reached for a new bridge she’s recently acquired, and reaching deep over the table, using that bridge, she jumped the middle ball, sunk her target ball, made a long-table shot at the 8-ball and left herself in perfect position to chalk up the fifth rack.
 
And then, two racks later, with Villarreal one rack away from reaching the hill first, the momentum shifted, briefly. Villarreal broke the rack, and though she sank a ball, she missed her opening shot at the 1-ball. Fisher calmly stepped to the table and cleared it to get on the board at 7-1. Villarreal reached the hill in the next rack, and suddenly, for the first time in nine racks, things started to tighten up. Villarreal became just a tad more cautious, as Fisher promptly won two in a row to make it 8-3. It was as far as Fisher got. Villarreal chalked up rack #12 to capture the event title.

Buckley wins seven on the loss side to take Pro division title on Sunshine State Pro Am tour

Jason Sheerman, Donny Branson & Benji Buckley

Adams goes undefeated in Amateur event
 
Stop # 9 on the Sunshine State Pro Am Tour featured separate tournaments held on the weekend of November 18-19. A $1,000-added Open 10-Ball event drew 57 entrants, and saw Benji Buckley win seven on the loss side to meet and defeat hot seat occupant Donny Branson in the finals. On the Amateur side, in a $500-added, 9-ball event, James Adams went undefeated through a field of 43. Both events were hosted by Capone’s in Spring Hill, FL.
 
Buckley’s trip to the finals was moving along on the winners’ side of the bracket, commencing with a victory over the Amateur event winner, James Adams, and then, through James Sandaler, before coming up against Rodney Morris. Morris sent Buckley to the loss side 7-3, before following him over on the heels of a 6-4 win by Jason Sheerman in a winners’ side quarterfinal. Sheerman moved on to a winners’ side semifinal against Jerry Sullivan, while Branson faced Murbarak Sulaiman.
 
Sheerman and Branson advanced to the hot seat match without giving up a single rack to either Sullivan or Sulaiman. Branson then defeated Sheerman 7-3 and sat in the hot seat, waiting for Buckley to complete his loss-side campaign.
 
Buckley began his loss-side work battling in one of the matches that determined the eight-way tie for 17th place. He got by Travis Croft, Mark Wathen, Nathan Rose, and Donny Mills to draw Sullivan. Sulaiman drew Anthony Meglino, who’d been defeated in the second winners’ side round by Sheerman (double hill) and set out on his own seven-match, loss-side winning streak that included wins over Joseph Remos, Jason Richko, Bill Bloom, Tommy Kennedy, Jessica Human and Rodney Morris, before drawing Sulaiman.
 
Buckley advanced to the quarterfinals 7-3 over Sullivan, as Sulaiman ended Meglino’s loss-side streak the way his winners’ side streak had been ended by Sheerman, in a double hill match. Buckley then defeated Sulaiman 7-2 in the quarterfinals, and got his shot at Branson in the hot seat with a 7-4 win over Sheerman in the semifinals.
 
Buckley and Branson battled back and forth through the finals. Buckley edged ahead at the end to claim the event title 11-9.
 
Adams goes undefeated in Amateur event
 
James Adams faced separate opponents in the hot seat and finals of the Amateur event. He advanced to a winners’ side semifinal against Moe Fattah, as Estel Walton faced Ricardo Rodriguez in the other one. Adams downed Fattah 7-5, and in the hot seat match, faced Walton, who’d sent Rodriguez west 7-4. Adams claimed the hot seat 7-5 over Walton and waited on what turned out to be the return of Adams.
 
On the loss side, Rodriguez and Fattah got right back to winning. Rodriguez defeated Sam Kantar 5-1, as Fattah advanced to meet him in the quarterfinals with a double hill win over Jeremy Bell.
 
Rodriguez defeated Fattah in the quarterfinals 5-2, and then shut out Walton in the semifinals. Adams put an end to Rodriguez’ short, loss-side winning streak 9-7 in the finals to claim the event title.
 
In addition to the prize money awarded to the finishers in each tournament, the Amateur event awarded $20 each to the top Junior finisher – Kodi Allen – and top female finisher – Kelly Cavanaugh. The Open event awarded $40 to the top female finisher, Jessica Human.
 
Tour director Janene Phillips offered special thanks to Rocky McElroy, owner of Capone’s, and his staff, as well as McDermott Cues for donating a cue for an event raffle. The next stop on the Sunshine State Pro Am Tour, scheduled for December 16-17, will be the tour’s Season Finale, which will be hosted by Park Avenue Billiards in Orange Park, FL.
 

Bova wins seven on the loss side to meet and defeat Willis in finals of Sunshine State Pro/Am

(l to r): Dale Stanley, Kenny Willis, Kyle Bova

Kyle Bova, who used to ply his trade on the Western New York Tour, and for the past three years or so, has switched his base of operations to Florida, came from deep on the loss side to win the August 5-6 stop (#5) on the Sunshine State Pro-Am Tour. He challenged Kenny Willis, aka Jimmy Neutron, in the finals and defeated him to claim the $400-added event that drew 45 entrants (nine women and 36 men) to Stephanie  Mitchell's pool room, Corner Pocket in Largo, FL.

 

Bova was awarded an opening round bye, and downEd Martin Mora 7-2, before being sent to the loss side by Justin McNulty 7-3. McNulty followed him over in the next round, when he was defeated by Dale Stanley 7-2. Stanley advanced to face Mike Delawder in one of the winners' side semifinals. Neutron, in the meantime, following victories over Todd Moir, Nikki Cuellar, and a double hill win over Michael DeStefano, faced George Saunders in the other winners' side semifinal.

 

Neutron sent Saunders to the loss side 7-3, and in the hot seat match faced Stanley, who'd defeated Delawder 7-5. Neutron claimed the hot seat 7-4 over Stanley and waited for what turned out to be the return of Bova.

 

Over on the loss side, Bova opened his campaign with three straight 6-3 wins, over Kelly Cavanaugh, Mark Wathan, and DeStefano, before downing Angel Martinez 6-4 and drawing Delawder. Saunders picked up Mubarak Sulaiman, who'd defeated Ron Hollifield 5-3 and denied Bova a second shot at McNulty by defeating him 5-2.

 

Bova shut Delawder out and in the quarterfinal match, faced Saunders, who'd eliminated Sulaiman 5-3. Bova chalked up his fourth 6-3 win against Saunders, and then, his fifth 6-3 win against Stanley in the semifinals.

 

Bova's five 6-3 wins on the loss side seemed to indicate a preference for winning 66% of the games he played. That dropped a little in the longer-race-to-11 final against Neutron, when he chalked up only 61% of the 18 games played, for an 11-7 final that earned Bova the event title.

 

Tour directors Janene Phillips and Frank Garza thanked Corner Pocket owner Stephanie Mitchell (who, along with Kaylee McIntosh, shared $40 in a tie for the top-finishing female) and her staff for their hospitality, as well as sponsors JQ Images Cues, Billiard Buzz, and AZBilliards. The next stop on the Sunshine State Pro Am Tour, scheduled for Aug. 26-27, will be hosted by Brewlands Bar & Billiards in Tampa.

 

(Administrative note: Though Kenny Willis has been consistent with his usage of  'Jimmy Neutron' as his preferred pool name, and we're willing to go along with references to him as 'Jimmy Neutron' in reports of his appearances on tours, we will be equally consistent in using his real name (Kenny Willis) when assigning information about him in our database. He does bear a passing resemblance to the cartoon Neutron character, minus the hairdo, which on that cartoon character looks like the tip of a chocolate ice cream cone from Dairy Queen, but opening the database door to the usage of 'fake names' would inevitably lead to the inclusion of no-doubt creative names, as pool players looked to cement their reputation with suggestive name alternatives like 'Run 'em Out Ron, Pool Stud Pat, or who knows what else. We'll use "The Scorpion" nickname in a story, too, and include that nickname in his page on the site, but he goes into our database as 'Johnny Archer.'

 

Corr Wins Rivers Casino Open

Karen Corr and Si Ming Chen

Karen Corr defeated Siming Chen in a heart-pounding, sudden death finale, capping off a four-day competition featuring the top 48-ranked pros of the Women’s Professional Billiard Association. The event ran April 19th-23rd, bringing back the final four players for Sunday’s performance. Brittany Bryant (Canada) and Line Kjorsvik (Norway) also made the cut, tying for third place.
 
The 2017 Rivers Casino Open, held April 19th-23rd, proved very exciting for the spectators in attendance and those who tuned in via the WPBA live stream. With the click of a mouse, fans could tune in to live matches on any one of six tournament tables, which included live scoring updates.
 
The Charity Pro-Am kicked off Wednesday afternoon, with 8 teams, each team paired with a Pro. After three fast and furious rounds of play, it was determined that “Team Brittany Bryant” and “Team Monica Webb” scored the most game wins in each round, and would face each other in a head-to-head final. Team Webb overcame Team Bryant for the win, and a great time was had by all participants! There was also a “Challenge the Pro” session with all proceeds going to charity. Top ranked players took on all comers, offering their fans not only an opportunity to play their favorite pros, but a chance to autograph billiard memorabilia and snap photographs.
 
Thursday morning began the trek to Sunday’s semi-finals. Chen claimed the first semi spot with wins over Kristina Grim, 9-3, Naomi Williams, 9-0, Helena Thornfeldt, 9-3, and Line Kjorsvik, 9-4. The second semi spot was claimed by Karen Corr, with wins over Julie Kelly, 9-6, Jessica Barnes, 9-6, Janet Atwell, 9-6, Monica Webb, 9-7, and Brittany Bryant, 9-3. Challengers were grinding it out on the west side of the chart, hoping to make Sunday’s show. Brittany Bryant bested Kelly Cavanaugh, 9-4, Robin Parker, 9-1, and Jennifer Barretta, 9-7, before losing to Corr. Bryant went on to beat Julie Kelly, 9-6, for an opportunity to face Chen in the first semi-final. The 2017 WPBA Masters Champion and new number one ranked WPBA player, Line Kjorsvik, beat Suzanne Peters, 9-6, Teruko Cucculelli, 9-3, and Sandy Badger, 9-3, but fell to Chen. From the one-loss side, Line went on to eliminate Monica Webb, 9-6, earning herself a shot at Corr in the second semi-final. Chen overcame Bryant both sets, 4-1 and 4-2, to reach the finals. Corr experienced another sudden death match with Line, but this time, she prevailed. Corr won the first set 4-1, and Line answered back, taking the second set, 4-1. Corr responded, winning the sudden death game to face Chen in the finals.
 
Siming played lights out all week, with a stable of opponents who could score no more than four games against her. In the first set, she cruised to a 4-0, but Karen fought back and won the second set, 4-3. Even on sets, players lagged for the break in the sudden death decider. Corr won the lag, broke, and made a ball on the break. Siming never made it back to the table. Corr made a nerve-racking out, flirting with the side pocket while playing position from the 6-ball to the 7-ball. The crowd watched and gasped in horror as the cue ball settled on the rail with perfect shape on the 7-ball. In true, champion form, Corr completed the run, earning herself a brand new title, 2017 Rivers Casino Open Champion!
 
The WPBA would like to thank its sponsors for this event, Rivers Casino and their staff who provided a fabulous venue and outstanding service, Diamond Pool Tables who provided the playing equipment and set-up for the event, Simonis Cloth who provided the cloth for the playing surface, and Aramith Pool Balls who supplied the brand new balls sets. Thanks go out to Dave Jacoby for building the WPBA 40th Anniversary Custom Cue for which raffles tickets were sold during the week, and given away on Sunday.
 
For more information about the Women’s Professional Billiards Association, please visit www.WPBA.com.

Ga Young Kim comes from the loss side to win 1st WPBA Rivers US Open

Ga-Young Kim

Coming in as the #1 seed, Ga-Young Kim probably didn't expect to be spending most of her time at the inaugural WPBA Rivers US Open on the loss side of the preliminary double elimination bracket. She and 15 other seeded competitors, including Allison Fisher (#2) and Monica Webb (#3) were awarded opening round byes, as 32 other women battled it out for the right to advance. It was Jeannie Seaver, defeating Kelly Cavanaugh 9-4, who advanced to face Kim in the event's second round. Seaver and Kim locked up in a double hill fight that ended with Kim moving to the loss side, from where she would advance to become one of the four players to advance to two, single elimination, semifinal matches, and eventually, chalk up the event victory. The 48-entrant WPBA Rivers US Open was held on the weekend of March 12-13, and hosted by the Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh, PA.
 
Jeannie Seaver followed her opening round victory over Kim with 9-5 victories over Jessica Barnes and Ewa Laurance, before running into Line Kjorsvik among the winners' side final four. Kjorsvik had arrived, having sent Michell Monk, Janet Atwell and Melissa Little to the loss side. The other winners' side semifinalists – Allison Fisher and Vivian Villareal – had collectively sent Monica Webb (Villareal), Emily Duddy and Joanne Ashton to the loss side. Fisher gave up only a single rack (to Duddy) over her first three matches.
 
Kjorsvik sent Seaver to the loss side 9-3 to become one of the four semifinalists. Fisher and Villareal battled to double hill before Fisher advanced to become the other winners' side semifinalist.
 
On the loss side, Monica Webb eliminated June Maiers 9-1 and Kim Newsome 9-4 to draw Seaver. A 9-3 victory over Seaver gave Webb one of the loss-side draws into the semifinals. 
Ga Young Kim, in the meantime, having eliminated six on the loss side, including Liz Cole and Melissa Little, faced Villareal. Kim ended Villareal's bid 9-3 to become the second, loss-side semifinalist.
 
The re-seeded, single elimination semifinal pitted Kim against Kjorsvik and Webb against Fisher, in two, race-to-4 sets. Kim took both sets against Kjorsvik, as Webb defeated Fisher 2-1. Ga Young Kim completed her title run with a 2-0 victory over Webb in the final matches.