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Burwell goes undefeated for second time on JPNEWT, downs Shea twice to claim title

Kia Burwell, Kelly Wyatt, Judie Wilson, Eugenia Gyftopoulos, Nicole King and Linda Shea

In the first event of the second half of the 2021 J. Pechauer Northeast Women’s Tour season, tour director Linda Shea and Kia Burwell moved into first and second place in the tour standings. Burwell went undefeated in the event and defeated Shea twice, but as runner-up, Shea added enough ‘standings’ points to get ahead of the tour’s first-half leader, Caroline Pao. Burwell’s undefeated run, her second on the tour this year, put her ahead of Pao, as well, and firmly into second place in the standings, ahead of Pao and Nicole Nester, who entered the event in third place in the tour standings, finished in the event tie for 7th/8th and ended up in fourth place in the standings, just behind Pao. The 7th event of the 12-event 2021 JPNEWT season drew 16 entrants to Triple Nines in Elkridge, MD. 

Burwell’s path to the winners’ circle went through Taylor Perkins 7-3 and Judie Wilson before running into Shea in one of the winners’ side semifinals. Kelly Wyatt, in the meantime, downed Melissa Jenkins 7-5 and Eugenia Gyftopoulos 7-3 to arrive at a winners’ side semifinal match versus Nicole King. 

Burwell took the first of two versus Shea 7-2 to punch her ticket to the hot seat match. Wyatt joined her after downing King 7-2. Burwell claimed the hot seat in a double hill battle versus Wyatt and waited on Shea’s return.

Shea opened her loss-side trip back to a rematch against Burwell versus Gyftopoulos, who’d followed her defeat at the hands of Wyatt with loss-side victories over two Nicoles; Christ, 7-4 and Nester, 7-3. King picked up Judie Wilson, who’d followed her loss to Burwell with wins over Terri Thomas 7-4 and Kelly Daniel 7-3.

Shea eliminated Gyftopoulos 7-3, as King shut Wilson out. Shea then defeated King 7-3 in the quarterfinals and Wyatt 7-1 in the semifinals to earn a second shot at Burwell, waiting for her in the hot seat.

In the extended race-to-9 format, Shea had to reach ‘7’ first, to extend the race to 9. Burwell reached 7 first, ahead by four, to claim the event title. 

Tour director Shea thanked the ownership and staff at Triple Nines for their hospitality, as well as title sponsor J. Pechauer Custom Cues, Bitzel and Associates PTPA Physical Therapy, George Hammerbacher (Advanced Pool Instructor) and, for the live stream of matches, Britanya E Rapp (angle aim Art). The next stop on the JPNEWT (#8), scheduled for September 18-19, will be hosted by First Break Sports Bar in Sterling, VA.

Shanna Lewis gets by Lai Li twice, double hill, to win JPNEWT season opener

Shanna Lewis

Pool tournaments will often play host to competitors who, for one reason or another, have been away from the game for a while. Depending upon the skill level they’d attained before they stopped competing, how long they’ve been away and the overall competitive level of the field they enter upon their return, the result could go either way. The competitor could go ‘two and out,’ if they’re seriously out of practice and stroke, or they could make it seem as though pool’s like riding a bicycle, where one can more or less pick up where they left off.

Shanna Lewis, whose last reported cash payout in a pool tournament was at a Q Master Billiards Mid-Atlantic Women’s 9-Ball Open in 2015 (9th place), returned to the tables this past weekend (March 7-8) to compete in the season opener of the J. Pechauer Northeast Women’s Tour. Lewis chose the ‘like riding a bicycle’ option and went undefeated through the field of 31, downing last year’s runner-up in the Tour Championship standings, Lai Li, twice. The $500-added (by Coins of the Realm), NAPT Div. II Semi-Pro event drew 31 entrants to Triple Nines in Elkridge, MD.

Her own assessment of her TAFT (time away from table) was more in the vicinity of 10 years. It was an absence prompted by a decision to focus on the business career side of her life. She’s back, now, still working on the business side of her career, but with some flexibility to spend more TAT (time at table). While acknowledging that she’s returned with her skills more or less intact, she noted that it wasn’t as easy as it looked from the nature of the undefeated run and her two victories over Lai Li might indicate.

“Yeah, there were times during the tournament when I was thinking, ‘Yeah, this is great,” she said, “but there were other times when I felt like I couldn’t put a ball in the hole that was a straight shot.”

That said, Lewis was back on the bicycle right from the start, winning 14 of her first 17 games. She gave up only one rack to Judie Wilson and then two to Melissa Mason before running into Elaine Wilson, who, in essence, by chalking up five racks against her, applied some brakes to Lewis’ bicycle. It dropped Lewis’ game-winning percentage by 10 points in a single match. Lewis won, though, and advanced to face Teri Thomas in a winners’ side semifinal.

Lai Li, in the meantime, had opened with a 7-1 victory over Charlynn Dzambo, defeated Kelly Wyatt 7-4 and downed the tour’s 2020 champion, Linda Shea, 7-4 in a winners’ side quarterfinal.  The draw wasn’t getting any easier as Li advanced to face Kia Sidbury in the other winners’ side semifinal.

Lewis got into the hot seat match with another 7-1 victory, over Thomas, and faced Li, who’d sent Sidbury to the loss side 7-4. In their first of two, they battled to double hill before Lewis prevailed to sit in her first hot (bicycle) seat in a while.

On the loss side, Nicole Nester and Sharon O’Hanlon were working on modest three-match, loss-side winning streaks that had begun when they’d lost their winners’ side quarterfinal match to  Teri Thomas and Kia Sidbury, respectively. Nester and O’Hanlon both won two loss-side double hill battles; Nester, versus Colleen Shoop and Eugenia Gyftopoulos; O’Hanlon, over two ‘powerhouse’ opponents – Nicole King and Tour Director, Linda Shea. They did not, however, draw rematches because Nester drew Sidbury and O’Hanlon drew Thomas.

Nester advanced to the quarterfinals 7-4 over Sidbury, as Thomas eliminated O’Hanlon 7-3. Nester then downed Thomas 7-3 in those quarterfinals, before herself being eliminated in a double hill fight versus Li in the semifinals.

A second, slightly longer double hill fight, Li’s third straight, ensued in the finals. Lewis won it 9-8 to claim the title to JPNEWT’s 2020 season opener.

Tour director Linda Shea thanked the ownership and staff at Triple Nines, as well as title sponsor J. Pechauer Custom Cues, Coins of the Realm, The Turtle Rack (www.mezzusa.com), Baltimore City Cues, and the live stream, sponsored by Britanya E. Rapp, billiards artist (angle aim Art). The next stop on the JPNEWT, scheduled for the weekend of April 4-5, will be hosted by Markley Billiards in Norristown, PA.

Li goes undefeated, downing Sykes twice to win JPNEWT season finale

Bethany Sykes & Lai Li

The finalists in the season finale of the J. Pechauer Northeast Women’s Tour were both in the midst of their best earnings year to date and were looking for their first win on the tour. Though Bethany Sykes was the State of Virginia’s 8-Ball Champion almost exactly a year ago, had chalked up a win on the gender-mixed Action Pool Tour in January and a month later, had won the Division II Championship on the (presently) all-female North American Pool Tour in February, she had yet to win an event on the JPNEWT. Lai Li, her opponent in both the hot seat match and finals, was looking for her first regional tour win ever and found it, as she went undefeated to win the tour’s season finale on the weekend of Nov. 16-17. The $500-added (by Coins of the Realm) event (Stop #8) drew 22 players to Triple Nines in Elkridge, MD.

The victory elevated Lai Li one spot on the Tour Standings list to #2. Tour director Linda Shea, who, for obvious reasons, has competed in all eight of the tour’s stops, finished 3rd in the season finale to retain her spot at the top of the tour standings. Caroline Pao, who won the three stops in which she competed and finished 3rd in the tour standings, did not compete in the season finale.

Following victories over Ceci Strain 7-1, Teri Thomas 7-3 and Melissa Jenkins 7-4, Lai Li advanced to a winners’ side semifinal against Anita Sowers. Sykes’ trip to the hot seat match was almost derailed at the outset. After being awarded an opening round bye, Sykes drew Eugenia Gyftopoulos, who battled her to double hill before finally giving way for Sykes to advance. Sykes went on to down Kelly Wyatt 7-5 and advance to her winners’ side semifinal match against Judie Wilson.

By identical 7-5 scores, Li and Sykes defeated Sowers and Wilson and advanced to the hot seat match. Li took the first of their two matches 7-5 and waited on her return.

On the loss side, Sowers picked up tour director Linda Shea, who’d been sent to the loss side by Judie Wilson in a winners’ side quarterfinal and had then defeated Serafina Concannon 7-5 and Sharon O’Hanlon 7-3. Wilson drew a rematch against Kia Sidbury, whom she’d defeated in an early round and was in the midst of a six-match, loss-side winning streak that had most recently included victories over Carol V. Clark 7-3 and a double hill win over Melissa Jenkins.

Shea defeated Sowers 7-3 and in the quarterfinals, faced Sidbury, who’d had a successful rematch against Wilson 7-4. Shea then ended Sidbury’s loss-side streak 7-5 in those quarterfinals.

Sykes, though, ended Shea’s four-match, loss-side trip with a 7-3 victory in the semifinals. Li, apparently unaffected by the wait, defeated Sykes in their second match, the finals, 7-3.

Tour director Shea thanked the ownership and staff at Triple Nines for their hospitality as well as title sponsor J. Pechauer Custom Cues, Coins of the Realm, Mezz USA, Baltimore City Cues, and for the live stream, Britanya E Rapp with angle aim Art. The tour will be back at Triple Nines in Elkridge, MD for their 2020 season opener on the weekend of March 7-8, 2020.

Bruner still on top of Action Pool Tour standings, claims VA State 8-Ball Championships

(l to r): Chris Bruner & RJ Carmona

Liz Taylor goes undefeated through Ladies field
 
Chris Bruner came into the October 12-13 VA State 8-Ball Championships as the Action Pool Tour’s top player. He went undefeated through a field of 37 at Q Master Billiards in Virginia Beach, VA to claim the event title and maintain his position as #1 on the tour’s player standings list. Eight of the players on the tour’s Top Ten list competed in this year’s event, but so did, among others, Shaun Wilkie (#14) and last year’s runner-up, Mike Davis (#30). Defending champion, Warren Kiamco, did not compete this year. Bruner sent #2, Steve Fleming, to the loss side, and faced #3, RJ Carmona, twice to claim the title.
 
The Ladies event drew a short field of 13 and was won by Liz Taylor, who, along with Jacki Duggan, who finished in 4th place, are the only women among the tour’s Top 20 in player standings. Like Bruner, Taylor went undefeated through the field and had to face the same opponent (Cheryl Pritchard) in both the hot seat and finals.
 
Bruner’s seven-match march to the finish line went through Jose Vega-Hernandez, Travis Southard, Jamie Bess and Fleming to arrive at a winners’ side semifinal match against Eric Moore, who would normally be among the tour’s top players, but was making here only his second appearance on the 2019 tour. Bruner arrived at the winners’ side semifinal, having given up only five total racks (two to Southard and three to Fleming).
 
Carmona got by Kenny Miller (#11), Jason Trigo (#17) and survived a double hill bout versus JT Ringgold (#21) to arrive at his winners’ side semifinal match against Reymart Lim (#5). Three of the four competitors in the winners’ side semifinals had won previous stops on the 2019 tour; Bruner and Lim with two each and Carmona with one.
 
Moore chalked up more racks against Bruner than all of his previous opponents combined. They fought to double hill before Bruner prevailed and advanced to the hot seat match. He was joined by Carmona, who’d sent Lim west 7-3. In their first of two, Bruner claimed the hot seat 7-4 over Carmona.
 
On the loss side, Lim picked up Scott Haas, who’d been defeated by Eric Moore 7-5 in a winners’ side quarterfinal match and gone on to defeat Shaun Wilkie 6-4 and Steve Fleming 6-2. Moore drew Ringgold, who, following his double hill loss to Bruner in a winners’ side quarterfinal, had defeated Tony Montalvo 6-2 and Kenny Miller 6-1.
 
Ringgold downed Moore 6-3 and in the quarterfinals, faced Lim, who’d defeated Haas 6-2. Lim took the quarterfinal match 6-3 over Ringgold.
 
In the semifinals that followed, Carmona gave up only a single rack to Lim and earned himself a second shot against Bruner. In their second meeting, the Bruner and Carmona battled to double hill before Bruner prevailed to deny Carmona his second 2019 tour victory and chalk up his own third win.
 
Taylor downs Pritchard twice to capture Ladies 8-Ball Title
 
Last year’s Ladies’ winner – Bethany Sykes – was ‘in the house’ for this event, though she was sent to the loss side 6-4 in the second round by the eventual winner, Liz Taylor. Sykes then won four on the loss side, before falling to the event’s runner-up, Cheryl Pritchard, in the semifinals.
 
It took Liz Taylor five matches to claim the title. She got by Maria Beckner 6-1 before sending the event’s defending champion, Bethany Sykes to the loss side 6-4. This set Taylor up in a winners’ side semifinal versus Kim Whitman. Awarded a preliminary round bye, Pritchard defeated Kelly Cox 6-3 to arrive at a winners’ side semifinal match against Lisa Uilani Vita.
 
Taylor and Whitman fought to double hill before Taylor prevailed 6-5 and sent Whitman west. Pritchard gave up only a single rack to Vita and joined Taylor in what would be their first of two, battling for the hot seat. Taylor took that first of two 6-3 and waited in the hot seat for Pritchard’s return.
 
On the loss side, Whitman drew Jacki Duggan, who’d lost an earlier battle to Vita and on the loss side, had eliminated Soo Emmett 5-1 and Maria Beckner 5-3. Vita picked up Sykes, who, following her defeat at the hands of Taylor, had defeated Kelly Wyatt 5-3 and Kim McKenna 5-1.
 
Duggan and Sykes advanced to the quarterfinals with 5-3 victories over Whitman and Vita. Sykes followed that with another 5-3 victory, over Duggan, in the quarterfinals.
 
Pritchard ended Sykes’ bid for a second year in the 8-Ball Championship finals with a 5-2 win in the semifinals. Taylor then ended Pritchard’s bid for the event title by shutting her out in the finals.
 
A Second Chance tournament drew 12 entrants and saw Steve Fleming come from the loss side to down hot seat occupant Justin Clark 6-1 in the finals. James Blackburn finished third, with Jimmy Bird in fourth place.
 
Tour directors Kim Wylie and Tiger Baker thanked the ownership and staff at Q Master Billiards, as well as sponsors as well as sponsors Predator Cues, Viking Cues, Simonis Cloth, Aramith Balls, Brown’s Mechanical LLC, Kamui, Diamond Billiard Products, Ozone Billiards, CSI, Grant Wylie Photography and George Hammerbacher, Advanced Pool Instructor. The next stop on the Action Pool Tour, scheduled for the weekend of November 16-17, will be hosted by Diamond Billiards in Midlothian, VA.

Pao goes undefeated to take JPNEWT stop #6 in Sterling, VA

(l to r): Caroline Pao, Bethany Sykes & Ada Lio

Caroline Pao has appeared on the J. Pechauer Northeast Women’s Tour only twice in 2019 and she’s won both events. On the weekend of July 27-28, following a defeat at the hands of tour director, Linda Shea, Pao won seven matches on the loss side to earn a rematch and defeat Shea in the finals of Stop #4. On the weekend of September 14-15, she opted for an undefeated route to the winners’ circle, downing separate opponents in the hot seat (Ada Lio) and finals (Bethany Sykes). The $500-added (from Coins of the Realm) event drew 26 entrants to First Break Sports Bar in Sterling, VA.
 
Luck of the draw kept Pao from having to face Shea early in this event. Instead, she opened with a 7-1 victory over Noel Rima and followed it with a 7-4 win over Melissa Mason. Shea, in the meantime, had defeated Jenn Sylvester 7-1, but was subsequently defeated 7-5 by Kia Sidbury, who advanced to meet Pao.
 
Pao sent Sidbury to the loss side 7-3 and drew Bethany Sykes in one of the winners’ side semifinals. Ada Lio, in the meantime, who’d survived an opening round, double hill matchup versus Melissa Jenkins, went on to defeat Melissa Perez 7-1 and Suzzie Wong 7-4 to draw Serafina Concannon in the other winners’ side semifinal.
 
Pao and Lio met in the hot seat match, once Pao had defeated Sykes in their first of two meetings 7-2 and Lio had dispatched Concannon 7-4. Pao claimed the hot seat 7-1 over Lio and waited on the return of Sykes.
 
Concannon arrived on the loss side and drew Sidbury, who, following her defeat at the hands of Pao had defeated Lai Li 7-2 and eliminated Anita Sowers, double hill. Sykes picked up Kelly Wyatt, who’d lost to Concannon in a winners’ side quarterfinal and then defeated Judie Wilson 7-4 and spoiled whatever hopes Linda Shea had of meeting up with Pao by eliminating her double hill.
 
Sidbury downed Concannon 7-3 and in the quarterfinals, faced Sykes who’d come out on the winning side of a double hill battle against Wyatt. Sykes and Sidbury locked up in a double hill fight in those quarterfinals, as well, with Sykes prevailing again.
 
Sykes then ended Lio’s weekend 7-2 in the semifinals and turned to face Pao in the finals. Sykes was looking for her third major event victory in 2019, having won a Ladies Division stop on the Action Pool Tour in January and the NAPT Div. II Championship in February. She’d also tied for 5th place with Kia Sidbury at a JPNEWT stop (#3) in May, making 2019 her best recorded earnings year, to date. Pao, as noted, was making only her second appearance on the 2019 JPNEWT Tour, although she’d cashed in three WPBA events earlier in the year, making 2019 her best earnings year since 2008.
 
The final match was a repeat of their winners’ side semifinal match. Pao won it 7-2 to claim the event title.
 
Tour director Linda Shea thanked the ownership and staff at First Break Sports Bar, as well as title sponsor J. Pechauer Custom Cues, Coins of the Realm, Turtle Rack (www.mezzusa.com), Baltimore City Cues, Billy Bay Bunn Cue Repair and the live stream, sponsored by Britanya E. Rapp of angle aim art. The next stop on the JPNEWT, scheduled for the weekend of October 12-13, will be hosted by Eagle Billiards in Dickson City, PA.

Corr takes an unusual loss-side route to win JPNEWT stop

(l to r): Karen Corr & Lai Li

Forced to forfeit an opening round match because she was late in arriving, Karen Corr started her August 10-11 weekend on the J. Pechauer Northeast Women’s Tour on the loss side of the bracket. This was good news/bad news for some of the tour regulars. For a few of the tour’s top competitors who would potentially have faced her in one of the four winners’ side matches and possibly, the hot seat match, it was likely a comfort to have her toiling away on the loss side, early. For those competitors who would normally toil away on the loss side, not having to worry about facing Corr until an undefined ‘later,’ which could be the event final, it was more of a bad news scenario. It meant that any hope that a competitor had of reaching the final was likely to necessitate facing Corr first, although at least some of the loss-side women could look forward to a few matches before that became an issue.
 
In any event, Corr ended up winning seven on the loss side, three of which entailed giving up a total of only two racks. She then defeated Lai Li in the finals to claim her second 2019 JPNEWT title. It was the second JPNEWT stop in a row which featured a winner who’d won seven on the loss side to defeat a hot seat occupant; Caroline Pao defeated TD Linda Shea in the finals last month. The $1,400-added (by Coins of the Realm) event this past weekend drew 22 entrants to Triple Nines Bar & Billiards in Elkridge, MD.
 
In an expression usually employed to introduce loss-side action . . . . meanwhile, on the winners’ side, 21 other competitors wended their way towards the hot seat match, including eight of the tour’s top ten players in the tour standings. Kathleen Lawless (#6) and Lai Li (#3) would emerge to do battle for the hot seat. After an opening round bye, Lawless opened with a double hill win over Nicole Christ and a 7-2 win over Teri Thomas to face Elaine Wilson (#11) in one of the winners’ side semfinals.  Li would face the tour’s #1, Linda Shea, in the opening round and defeat her 7-4. She went on to down Sharon O’Hanlon 7-1 and Leslie Furr 7-2 to face Nicole King (#2) in the other winners’ side semifinal.
 
Lawless moved on to the hot seat match with a 7-3 win over Wilson and was joined by Li, who’d sent King to the loss side 7-5. Li claimed the hot seat 7-5 to wait on the arrival of Corr.
 
Over her first 23 loss-side games, Corr gave up only two racks; one each to Kim McKenna and Leslie Furr, while, in the middle, she gave up none at all Noel Rima. Then she came up against Linda Shea, who, like her, was riding a three-game, loss-side winning streak. Shea would chalk up more racks against Corr (5) than anyone in the tournament and move on to pick up Elaine Wilson. King drew Kelly Wyatt, who was making her second appearance on the tour, having finished in the tie for 9th place in May and was in the midst of a four-match, loss-side winning streak. She’d recently defeated Teri Thomas and Ceci Strain, both 7-3 to draw King.
 
Wyatt made it five in a row with a 7-5 victory over King, as Corr was busy eliminating Elaine Wilson 7-3. Corr ended Wyatt’s loss-side run 7-1 in the quarterfinals. She then downed Lawless in the semifinals 7-2, bringing her loss-side (and as it happened, event) aggregate score to 49-13. She the defeated Li in the finals 7-3 to claim her second 2019 JPNEWT title.
 
Linda Shea thanked the ownership and staff at Triple Nines and Coins of the Realm, as well as title sponsor J. Pechauer Custom Cues, angle aim Art (Britanya Rapp), The Turtle Rack, Baltimore City Cues, and Billy Ray Bunn Cue Repair. The next stop on the JPNEWT, scheduled for September 14-15, will be hosted by First Break Bar & Grill in Sterling, VA.

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.