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Pao stops Miller’s four-event winning streak, comes from loss side to win JPNEWT stop in NJ

Briana Miller and Caroline Pao

Next up, WPBA qualifier to inaugural Helena Thornfeldt Memorial – The Sledgehammer Open 

As Briana Miller began the process of assimilating duties she will be performing as full-time tour director of the J. Pechauer Northeast Women’s Tour in January, she signed on to compete in its latest event, looking to chalk up her fifth straight win since the 2022 season began in March at Triple Nines in Elkridge, MD. Current tour director Linda Shea won the only 2022 event in which Miller did not compete back in May. This past weekend (July 30-31), Caroline Pao, who’d been runner-up to Miller in the March season opener, battled her twice this time out, hot seat and finals; Miller, winning the first and Pao, claiming the title by winning the second. The event drew 19 entrants to Shooter’s Family Billiards in Wayne, NJ.

During her absence from JPNEWT events since March, Pao had not been idle. She cashed in five events elsewhere, one per month, including three WPBA tournaments (Northern Lights Classic, Ashton Twins Classic and WPBA Masters), a stop on the Joss Tour and a 5th place finish at the SBE’s Women’s 9-Ball Pro Players Championship. She was looking for her first 2022 victory and found it in New Jersey. 

Pao opened her bid for that win with a 7-1 victory over Carol V. Clark and a 7-2 victory over Melissa Jenkins to arrive at a winners’ side semifinal against Kris Consalvo Kemp. Miller, in the meantime, got by Kathy Croom 7-3 and in a present/future TD match downed Linda Shea 7-4, to arrive at her winners’ side semifinal match against the tour’s #3 competitor, Kia Burwell.

Pao got into the hot seat match with a 7-1 victory over Kemp and was joined by Miller, who’d defeated Burwell 7-3. Miller claimed the hot 7-3.

On the loss side, Burwell picked up Kathy Croom, who’d lost her opening match to Miller and went on to defeat Ginny Lewis 7-2, Melissa Jenkins 7-5 and Susan Kimble 7-2. Ada Lio, who’d lost her opener to Shea and following victories over Anna Marks 7-2, Sheila Joner 7-1 and Alyssa Solt 7-3, won her rematch versus Shea 7-3 to draw Kemp.

Lio advanced to the quarterfinals 7-5 over Kemp and was joined by Burwell, who’d eliminated Croom 7-4. By the same score, Burwell defeated Lio in those quarterfinals. Both semifinalists – Burwell and Pao – were looking for a second shot at Miller in the hot seat and predictably, the battle that ensued went double hill. Pao prevailed.

With that pool-player’s friend ‘momentum’ in play, Pao came into the finals looking for her first 2022 title. She edged out in front of Miller in those finals, eventually extended the lead to four racks and claimed her first JPNEWT and 2022 title 9-5.

Shea and Miller thanked the ownership and staff at Shooter’s Family Billiards, as well as title sponsor J. Pechauer Custom Cues and George Hammerbacher (Advanced Pool Instructor, Baltimore, MD). The next stop on the JPNEWT (#8), scheduled for the weekend of Aug. 13-14 at Triple Nines in Elkridge, MD, will be a WPBA qualifier. The winner will receive entry to the WPBA’s $10,000-added Sledgehammer Open, a tribute to the late Helena Thornfeldt. That event, scheduled for Oct. 19-23, will be hosted by Janet Atwell at her Borderline Billiard’s room in Bristol, TN.

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Current and future JPNEWT tour directors battle in finals at Champion Billiards

Linda Shea and Briana Miller

As the current (Linda Shea) and future (Briana Miller) director of the J. Pechauer Northeast Women’s Tour began the process of switching places that will culminate with the start of the 2023 season, they met in Frederick, MD this past weekend (Saturday, July 16), renewing a rivalry that began when Miller was a teenager and Shea had just begun her tenure as the tour’s director (see report on the ‘peaceful transition of power’ outlined in our News archives; Friday, July 15). As the two were no doubt consulting on and sharing in the varied chores that comprise the work of tour director, they also met in the tournament itself, twice; hot seat and finals. Miller won both matches, completing an undefeated run that marked her fourth victory of the season. Shea, who’d won the only event at which Miller did not compete (Stop #4; Stop #3 was cancelled), moved ahead of Kia Burwell in the tour standings. The event drew 16 entrants to Champion Billiards Sports Bar in Frederick, MD. 

Miller, who would go on to win four out of every five games she played in the event (35-8) defeated Melissa Mason 7-2 and Susan Kimble 7-1 to arrive at a winners’ side semifinal against Shanna Lewis. Until she encountered Miller, Shea had faced her most challenging opponent (by score) in the opening round, when Lynn Richard chalked up four against her. Shea then defeated Judie Wilson 7-3 and drew Kelly Wyatt in the other winners’ side semifinal.

Miller and Shea advanced to the hot seat match by identical 7-2 scores; Miller over Lewis and Shea over Wyatt. Miller allowed Shea only a single rack in the hot seat match.

On the loss side, Lewis picked up Judie Wilson, who’d followed her loss to Shea with two straight double hill wins; over Melissa Mason and then, the #2-ranked competitor on the tour, Kia Burwell. Wyatt drew Lynn Richard, who’d followed her loss to Shea with victories over Susan Kimble and Melissa Jenkins, both 7-5.

Wyatt downed Richard 7-5 and was joined in the quarterfinals by Lewis, who’d shut Wilson out. Lewis then eliminated Wyatt in those quarterfinals 7-2. 

Both of the semifinalists, Shea and Lewis, were looking for a rematch against Miller, waiting for one or the other of them in the hot seat. Shea earned the privilege, downing Lewis 7-2.

Miller defeated Shea a second time, this time 7-2, to claim her fourth 2022 JPNEWT title.

Shea and Miller, who was no doubt participating in this part of the process, thanked the ownership and staff at Champion Billiards for their hospitality, as well as title sponsor J. Pechauer Custom Cues and George Hammerbacher (Advanced Pool Instructor, Baltimore, MD). The next stop on the JPNEWT, scheduled for the weekend of July 30-31, will be hosted by Shooters Family Billiards in Wayne, NJ. 

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Shea goes undefeated to chalk up her first 2022 win on the JPNEWT

Linda Shea, Melissa Jenkins, Kelly Wyatt, Kia Burwell, Anna Marks, Kari Anderson

Tour director Linda Shea and Kia Burwell have been the J. Pechauer Northeast Women’s Tour Champion and runner-up for three of the last six years. They have met countless times at various stages of any given stop on the tour over those years and this past weekend (Saturday, May 21), they met once again in the hot seat and finals of 2022’s Stop #4, an event which drew 12 entrants to On Cue Sports Bar and Grill in Port Royal, VA. Shea won both matches to claim the event title.

“She’s been nipping at my heels over the past few years,” said Shea. “Sometimes, it may seem like it takes forever to get into the next level, but she has, and her game continues to increase along with her devotion to the sport.”

“I look forward to battling with her in the coming events,” she added.

The nature of the bracket (upper and lower matches) set them on a course to the hot seat match, right from the get-go. Shea opened her campaign with a shutout over Taylor Perkins, before moving into a winners’ side quarterfinal versus Alyssa Solt. Solt battled Shea to double hill before Shea prevailed, moving into a winners’ side semifinal against Kari Anderson, who’d also faced a double hill challenge in her winners’ side quarterfinal against Melissa Mason. Burwell, in the meantime, got by Kelly Wyatt 7-4 and Ashley Kaas 7-2 to arrive at her winners’ side semifinal against Melissa Jenkins.

Burwell sent Jenkins to the loss side 7-2 and was joined in the hot seat match by Shea, who’d defeated Anderson 7-3. In their first of two, Shea claimed the hot seat 7-3.

On the loss side, Jenkins and Anderson ran into competitors who’d both won all (2) of the matches they’d played on that side of the bracket. Kelly Wyatt had eliminated Melissa Mason 7-4 and Alyssa Solt 7-5 to draw Jenkins, while Marks was working on the elimination of Ashley Kaas 7-4 and Carol V. Clark 7-2 to pick up Anderson.

Anderson and Marks fought to double hill before Anderson prevailed, advancing to the quarterfinals. Wyatt joined her after winning a match that came within a game of double hill at 7-5. Wyatt downed Anderson in those quarterfinals 7-4, before having her brief loss-side journey ended by Burwell, who gave up only a single rack in the semifinals that followed.

It was the sixth time that Shea and Burwell had met in the finals of a JPNEWT stop since June of last year. Burwell had won four of the five. Shea’s win in their fourth 2021 final occurred in the same location (On Cue Sports Bar & Grill in Port Royal, VA) where she won their sixth final this past weekend. Shea completed her undefeated run with a 7-2 victory over Burwell.

“I can’t say enough about this room,” said Shea of On Cue. “Great room, great equipment and their staff is the best.”

In the absence of Brianna Miller, who won the first two events of this year’s tour, Shea moved into the top slot in the tour standings. Burwell’s runner-up finish put her in third place, just behind Miller, at the ‘quarter-pole’ of the 11-stop 2022 tour.  

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Briana Miller takes season opener on J. Pechauer Northeast Women’s Tour

Briana Miller and Caroline Pao

She’s back.

After almost three years in which she had failed to record any sort of a payout in any pool tournament (that we know of), Briana Miller returned to Pennsylvania from St. Charles, MO, where she’d attained a degree in finance, thanks to a pool-related scholarship to Lindenwood University. She got a job upon graduation and then, later, just beyond the height of the pandemic, was allowed to transfer and do that job remotely, back at home in Allentown, PA. Just this past weekend (March 5-6), Miller went undefeated to chalk up her first win on the J. Pechauer Northeast Women’s Tour (JPNEWT) in five years. Her last two recorded payouts came during the 2018 and 2019 Super Billiards Expo’s Women’s Championships in which she finished 9th and 5th, respectively.

Miller’s last win on the JPNEWT, in November of 2017, featured two, back-to-back victories (hot seat and finals) over Tour Director Linda Shea. In a circumstance that at the time, we described to be “as rare as a teenager that doesn’t play video games,” Miller shut Shea out in both matches. Like that event, the tour’s 2022 season opener, with its 29 entrants, was hosted by Triple Nines in Elkridge, MD.

“It’s great to see her out and playing again,” said Shea after this past weekend’s event. “I loved it. She’s all grown up now; nice and settled and doing well. Her game showed it. She shot the lights out.”

It was, all told, a big come-back weekend for Miller that happened to accompany a turning point for the JPNEWT, as well. Their season opener capped an overall effort to revitalize the tour. Their 2022 season has begun with a new ‘look.’ They’ve partnered with a new streaming company – TTMD Streaming (ThinkTechMD) – which has brought a degree of professionalism and new vitality to the streaming services, including such improvements as multiple camera angles, the ability to do instant replay and steady commentary from the familiar face and voice of pool instructor George Hammerbacher and Wayne Everhart, owner of TTMD. The company has also undertaken to improve the tour’s presence on varied forms of social media and have been instrumental in creating a new tour Web site.

“They were very professional,” noted Shea of TTMD Streaming’s presence at the tour’s season opener, “and I’m looking forward to a great union with them.”

“Not only that,” she added, ‘but feature this: we held an amateur event, as well, for 450 and below Fargo rates that I’ve been trying to grow for two years. TTMD’s on board for our first event of the season and they get 25 women to participate. The most I ever got was eight. They worked that very hard and for sure, get all the credit for that 450 and under event. They even put four players in the main event, sponsored them.”

The winner of the ‘450 and under’ event was Lynn Richard, who came from the loss side (three matches) and claimed the title, with Linda Cheung as runner-up. There was also a preliminary, 17-entrant ‘chip tournament’ on Friday night, March 4, with races to one that proved immensely popular. 

“It was a lot of fun,” said Shea. “Only 17 people (mixed genders, won by Pete Boyer), but it was a blast and they want it to come back every week.”

In main event, Millers runs a gauntlet of some of the better-known competitors on the tour

In spite of what Miller encountered as a lot of new faces, she ended up facing people that she knew, beginning with Lai Li and following with Judie Wilson and Linda Cheung, which brought her to a winners’ side semifinal against another familiar face, Eugenia Gyftopoulos. Kathy Friend, in the meantime, got by Melissa Jenkins, Alyssa Solt and survived a tough double hill challenge by Caroline Pao before advancing to her winners’ side semifinal against Ada Lio.

Friend downed Lio 7-3 and met up with Miller, who’d sent Gyftopoulos to the loss side by the same 7-3 score. Miller claimed the hot seat, her first in a long while, 7-2.

On the loss side, Lio picked up Linda Shea, who’d lost her opening match to Shanna Lewis and embarked on a six-match, loss-side winning streak that was almost derailed by Melissa Mason’s double hill challenge in the second, losers’ side round. Shea survived that, advancing to eventually eliminate Linda Cheung and Kia Burwell. Gyftopoulos drew Caroline Pao, who, following her defeat at the hands of Friend, had eliminated Lewis 7-4 and Judie Wilson 7-1.

Pao defeated Gyftopoulos 7-5, as Shea was busy getting by Lio 7-3. It set up a classic JPNEWT quarterfinal match between two of the tour’s most enduring event champions; Pao and Shea. Pao won this round of that ongoing rivalry 7-4 and then, dropped Friend 7-3 in the semifinals.

The finals of the 2022 season, pitting Pao against Miller, was, by almost any standard, a classic of the tour’s long-standing and still ongoing history. Behind them, at this event, were quite a few former JPNEWT champions; Shea, Burwell, Friend, Lewis, Lai Li and in absentia, the memory of Karen Corr. Ahead of them, as is always the case, was the table in front of them. Miller completed her undefeated run with a 7-4 victory over Pao to reclaim her spot among the tour’s best.

She’d taken a break and had now come back, to her hometown and pool. 

“After I graduated (in 2018, from Lindenwood), I felt like a needed a break,” she explained. “I’d been playing since I was eight (but) felt as though I wasn’t having as much fun anymore. So, I shifted my focus to other things.”

As for future plans, she’s keeping her expectations and specific plans on a ‘tight rein,’ so to speak. A sort of one day at a time approach.

“I think I’m going to stick with the JPNEWT for right now, to get back into the swing of things,” she said, adding that her ‘future’ eye is extended forward a little, toward future WPBA events and CSI’s Predator Pro Series, as examples. She’s considering attending this year’s Super Billiards Expo, but more likely as a spectator and to get reacquainted with some of the women she’d come to know over the years. “I might just go and say ‘Hi’ to everyone.

“I’m not at that level of play (to be) in a Pro event yet,” she added. “I’ll just get out there when I’m ready. Right now, I’m just playing pool to have fun.”

Tour director Linda Shea thanked the ownership and staff at Triple Nines for their hospitality, as well as title sponsor J. Pechauer Cues, ThinkTechMD for their streaming and social media services, as well as Gina Cunningham (real estate agent of Keller Williams Integrity) and George Hammerbacher.

The next event on the JPNEWT, scheduled for April 9-10, will be hosted by Markley Billiards in Norristown, PA.

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Shea maintains top position on JPNEWT rankings, downing Burwell in finals of Stop #9

Linda Shea, Melissa Jenkins and Kia Burwell

You can’t ask much more of a regional tour stop than to have its top two competitors going at it in an event final. Especially when the event in question is second-to-last on the tour’s schedule. So it was this past weekend in Front Royal, VA, where nine of the J. Pechauer Northeast Women’s Tour competitors gathered to do battle. Tour director Linda Shea came into and out of the event as the tour’s top player, securing the spot with an undefeated run and downing the #2 (in and out) woman on the tour, Kia Burwell, twice. The event was hosted by On Cue Sports Bar and Grill in Front Royal.

This year, Shea and Burwell have locked horns, so to speak, as winner and runner-up, four times; June, August, September and this past weekend. Burwell leads that head-to-head, event-finals matchup 3-1. They competed twice in a July event that saw Shea defeat her in an opening round and later, the quarterfinals. They’ve both competed in all nine of the tour stops and the reason that Shea is ahead in ranking points is that she has finished better in events that neither of them has won.

This past weekend, they met first in a winners’ side semifinal. Shea arrived following a 7-3 win over Sharita Pernell. Burwell got there after a 7-2 win over Carol V. Clark. On the other end of the short, double elimination bracket, Melissa Jenkins, who’d come into the event as #7 and finished as #4, drew Judie Wilson (maintaining her position at #5) in the other winners’ side semifinal.

Shea took the first of her two versus Burwell 7-3 and in the hot seat match, faced Jenkins, who’d downed Wilson 7-4. Shea claimed the hot seat 7-4 and waited on the final rematch.

On the loss side, Wilson picked up Carol V. Clark, who’d followed her loss to Burwell with a double hill win over Shelah Joner. Burwell drew Lynn Richard, who’d defeated Kelly Daniel 7-1 to reach her.

Wilson downed Clark 7-2 and in the quarterfinals, faced Burwell, who’d eliminated Richard 7-3. Burwell took the quarterfinal match in a shutout over Wilson and then moved on to defeat Jenkins in the semifinals 7-2.

Burwell got a rack closer in the finals than she had in their winners’ side semifinal match, but Shea won the match and claimed the event title 7-4. It was her second tour win in a year in which she has never finished lower than 5th.

Shea thanked the ownership and staff at On Cue Sports Bar and Grill for their hospitality, as well as title sponsor J. Pechauer Custom Cues, Bitzel and Associates PTPA Physical Therapy, stream commentator George Hammerbacher (Advanced Pool Instructor), AZBilliards and, for the live stream of matches, Britanya E Rapp (angle aim Art). The next stop (#10) on the JPNEWT, scheduled for Dec. 4-5, will be the tour’s Season Finale and will be hosted by Triple Nines in Elkridge, MD.

Burwell goes undefeated for the first time to claim her first JPNEWT title since 2018

Nicole Nester, Linda Shea, Melissa Jenkins, Kia Burwell and Naoko Dabreo

Kia Burwell has been a consistent performer on the J. Pechauer Northeast Women’s Tour (JPNEWT) and other professional and semiprofessional tours and events since about 2015. An oddity of our AZB Money Leaderboard had her climbing to her highest number on that leaderboard (141) last year, even though her best earnings year, to date, has been 2018, when she came from the loss side to win her first JPNEWT stop in March of that year. This past weekend (June 26-27), Burwell won her second JPNEWT stop and went undefeated for the first time.

The tour returned to New Jersey for the first time since August, 2016 and welcomed a new venue. The event drew 21 entrants to Shooter’s Family Billiards in Wayne, NJ.

As the JPNEWT approaches the midway point of its 2021 season (with stop #6 of 12, scheduled for July 17-18), the tour standings experienced a bit of a shuffle among its top players. Caroline Pao, who continues to look for her 8th win on the tour since 2019, finished out of the money in this one, though her previous two victories, runner-up and 3rd place finish in the first four events put her far enough ahead that she still sits atop the tour standings. In the absence of Liz Taylor at this event, Nicole Nester moved up a spot to be 2nd behind Pao. Tour director Linda Shea moved up a spot, too, to #3. Burwell, who came into the event in 7th place in the standings, moved up three slots to take over 4th place. Taylor moved down three to end up in 5th place, while Judie Wilson maintained her position in 6th place.

Burwell’s path to the winners’ circle took her past Jennifer Tully 7-3, Ashley Burrows 7-5 and Alison Davis 7-1 to arrive at a winners’ side semifinal against Linda Shea. Nicole Nester, in the meantime, downed Kris Consalvo-Kemp 7-3, Naoko Dabreo 7-5 and Ada Lio in a shutout to draw Melissa Jenkins in the other winners’ side semifinal.

Burwell downed Shea 7-4 and moved into the hot seat match. Nester joined her after dispatching Jenkins 7-5. Burwell claimed the hot seat 7-3 over Nester.

On the loss side, Shea picked up Ashley Burrows, who was working on a four-match, loss-side streak that had begun with her loss to Burwell and recently eliminated Ashima Butler 7-4 and Ada Lio 7-2. Jenkins drew Dabreo, who was also working on a four-match, loss-side streak and had most recently defeated Joanne Corbett 7-2 and Jay Pass 7-5. 

Jenkins put a stop to Dabreo’s loss-side run 7-5 and advanced to the quarterfinals. Shea leap-frogged over Burrows, who ran into transportation issues associated with her return on Sunday and was unable to compete.

Shea gave up only a single rack to Jenkins in the quarterfinals. She then defeated Nester in the semifinals 7-3. Burwell completed her first undefeated run on the tour with a 7-4 victory over Shea in the finals.

Tour director Linda Shea thanked Kris Consalvo-Kemp and her staff at Shooter’s Family Billiards, as well as title sponsor J. Pechauer Custom Cues, Bitzel and Associates PTPA Physical Therapy, George Hammerbacher (Advanced Pool Instructor) and Britanya E Rapp (angle aim Art) for the event’s live stream. Stop #6 on the JPNEWT, scheduled for the weekend of July 17-18, will be hosted by Champion Billiards Sports Bar in Frederick, MD. 

Shea wins small-field, first JPNEWT stop since early March

Linda Haywood Shea

The J. Pechauer Northeast Women’s Tour started up again this past weekend (Saturday, July 25). Adhering to protocols established by the venue, players wore masks and were advised of the need to maintain recommended social distancing. It was the first event for the tour since March 7 and with $500-added to the purse by Coins of the Realm, drew a small field of only nine players to Champion Billiards Sports Bar in Frederick, MD. Tour director Linda Shea went undefeated through four opponents to win what will go into the tour books as Stop #5, although it was only the second event of the year.

Shea faced Kia Burwell (formerly Kia Sidbury) twice in this event. First, in a winners’ side semifinal and later, in the finals. Shea took the first of those two 7-5, as Melissa Jenkins defeated Eugenia Gyftopoulos 7-5 in the other winners’ side semifinal. Shea claimed the hot seat 7-5 over Jenkins and waited on Burwell’s return.

On the loss side, Burwell picked up Nicole King, who’d been defeated by Gyftopoulos in an opening winners’ side round and then, eliminated Melissa Mason to face Burwell. Gyftopoulos drew Kelly Wyatt, who’d been sent over by Shea in their opening round and then, on the loss side, had downed Patti Jakusz.

Gyftopoulos advanced to the quarterfinals with a 7-3 win over Wyatt. Burwell joined her after eliminating King, double hill. Burwell chalked up a second straight double hill win in those quarterfinals versus Gyftopoulos and then, got herself a second shot at Shea with a 7-3 win over Jenkins in the semifinals.

There were, including the finals, nine matches played on the winners’ side of the bracket. Five of those matches resulted in 7-5 scores, including the final. Shea claimed the event title and rocketed up to the #1 position on her tour’s rankings. She was previously in the #7 spot, tied with Gyftopoulos after the first (and only) event. Burwell moved from her first week position (#5) into the #2 spot. Gyftopoulos moved up to #3, just ahead of Lai Li.

Shea thanked the ownership and staff at Champion Billiards for their hospitality, especially under such trying conditions. It was not the sort of field the tour likes to see in terms of numbers, but as one tour member, Judie Wilson, put it, “It’s a start, coming back.” Shea also thanked title sponsor J. Pechauer Cues, Coins of the Realm, angle aim Art (Britanya E Rapp) and The Turtle Rack. The next stop on the JPNEWT (#6), scheduled for August 15-16, will be hosted by Triple Nines in Elkridge, MD.

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.

Pao and Shea battle it out for event victory and top spot on JPNEWT

Caroline Pao (Erwin Dionisio)

Tour director Linda Shea came into the 7th stop on her J. Pechauer Northeast Women’s Tour on October 12-13 as the tour’s top-ranked player, having appeared in all six previous stops on the tour and winning one of them, back in April. Caroline Pao entered the tournament as the tour’s #2-ranked player, having appeared in two previous stops on the tour and winning them both (July and September). When the event that drew a short field of 12 entrants to Eagle Billiards in Dickson City, PA was over, Pao had gone undefeated to chalk up her third win on the tour, but had failed, point-wise, to pass Shea on the tour’s player-standings list.
 
They faced each other twice in the event; once, in a winners’ side semifinal and again, in the finals. Pao had shut out Judie Wilson and given up only a single rack to Denise Mangini when she drew Shea in the winners’ side semifinal. Shea had defeated Carol V. Clark 7-2 and Noel Rima 7-5 to draw Pao. In the meantime, Linda Cheung, who’d been awarded an opening round bye, defeated Suzzie Wong 7-4 to draw Anita Sowers in the other winners’ side semifinal.
 
Pao advanced to the hot seat match by sending Shea to the loss side 7-2. She was joined by Cheung, who downed Sowers, double hill. Pao claimed the hot seat 7-1 over Cheung and waited for Shea to complete her three-match run on the loss side.
 
Shea opened that loss-side run with a rematch against Clark, who, after her defeat versus Shea in the opening round, picked up a bye, then eliminated Wong 7-1 and survived a double hill fight against Melissa Jenkins. Sowers drew a rematch, as well, against Sharon O’Hanlon, whom she’d defeated in the opening round and who’d subsequently defeated Denise Mangini 7-2 and Noel Rima 7-5 to earn the rematch.
 
Shea downed Clark a second time 7-2. She was joined in the quarterfinals by O’Hanlon, who’d eliminated Sowers in their rematch 7-5. Shea completed her loss-side run with a 7-1 victory over O’Hanlon in the quarterfinals and a 7-2 win over Cheung in the semifinals.
 
The two repeated their performance in the winners’ side semifinal. Pao defeated Shea a second time 7-2 to claim the event title.
 
Shea thanked Chris Wilson and his Eagle Billiards staff for their hospitality, as well as title sponsor J. Pechauer Custom Cues, MezzUSA, Baltimore City Cues, Billy Ray Bunn Cue Repair and streaming support from angle aim Art (Britanya E Rapp). The next stop on the JPNEWT, scheduled for the weekend of November 16-17, will be hosted by Triple Nines Bar & Billiards in Elkridge, MD.

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.