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Batten goes undefeated to win his first GSBT title, while Stone stops Britt in semifinals

Shannon Daulton, Jeff Batten, Brad Stone and owner Brent Hudgens

As the February 7-8 stop on the Great Southern Billiard Tour wound down to its final 12 players (four on the winners' side, eight on the loss side), the lower handicaps were doing quite well against the more veteran competitors. Two players who only had to win four games to win a match advanced to the hot seat, and in the end, played in the finals, as well. While Jeff Batten defeated Brad Stone twice to capture his first GSBT title, it should be noted that Stone was the one who had to travel to the one-loss side and face Phillip Britt. Britt had to win nine games to win a match and was in the midst of an eight match, loss-side winning streak that Stone brought to an end. The $1,000-added event drew 45 entrants to Shore Thing Billiards in Myrtle Beach, SC.
As GSBT veterans like Britt, Greg Dix and Jeff Abernathy were working on the loss side, Batten and Stone advanced to the winners' side semifinals. Batten met and defeated David Tootle (racing to 6) 4-4, as Stone was busy sending Ray Floyd to the loss side 4-3. Batten claimed the hot seat, and waited on Stone's return, no doubt rooting for him in the semifinals versus Britt.
On the loss side, Tootle was the one who had the misfortune to draw Britt, who'd been defeated in the opening round, and had won six on the loss side already, including a 9-2 win over Paul Durgin and a decidedly tighter 9-6 win over Abernathy. Floyd drew Paul Bailey, who'd defeated Chris Gentile 7-4 and eliminated Dix in a double hill fight. Bailey and Britt advanced to the quarterfinals, handing Floyd and Tootle their second straight loss; Bailey 7-4 over Floyd and Britt 9-4 over Tootle.
Britt then completed his loss-side winning streak with a 9-3 win over Bailey in the quarterfinals. He chalked up six in the semifinals versus Stone, but by then, Stone had won the four games he needed for a second shot at Batten in the hot seat.  The final match was a straight-up race to four that went double hill before Batten prevailed to record his first GSBT victory.
Tour director Shannon Daulton, fresh off his win in the Banks division of the Derby City Classic, thanked the ownership and staff at Shore Thing Billiards for their continuing support. The next stop on the GSBT, scheduled for February 28-March 1, will be hosted by Legends Billiards in Inman, SC. 

Martin downs “Gilligan” twice to take his first GSBT title

Jason Martin went undefeated on the weekend of February 8-9 to win his first stop on the Great Southern Billiard Tour. He had to get by Darren "Gilligan" Blitch, looking for his second win on the tour, twice to complete the victory. The $1,000-added, 9-ball event drew 50 entrants to Shore Thing Billiards in Myrtle Beach, SC.
Martin and Blitch met first among the winners' side final eight, where a 6-6 win (Blitch racing to 8) movEd Martin into a winners' side semifinal against Guy Faulk, while Blitch moved to the losers' bracket. Joey Stevens and Ray Floyd met in the other semifinal. Martin downed Faulk, double hill, while Floyd defeated Stevens 5-3. Martin got into the hot seat with a 6-4 win over Floyd.
On the loss side, Blitch began his five-match march back to the finals with an 8-4 win over Matt Collins. He followed it with an 8-5 victory over Todd Kiser, which set him up to face Stevens. Faulk drew David Tootle, who'd gotten by B.J. Hucks 6-4 (Hucks racing to 9), and survived a double hill fight against Phillip "Ski Bo" Britt. 
Blitch downed Stevens 8-3, and in the quarterfinals, met up with Faulk, who'd eliminated Tootle 4-2. Blitch then dropped Faulk into fourth place 8-2, and survived a double hill match against Floyd to earn his second shot against Martin. For the second time, Martin defeated Blitch 6-6 to claim the event title.
Marge Cooper, filling in for the absent Shannon Daulton (in Vegas for WPBL duty), thanked Brent Hudgins and his staff at Shore Thing Billiards, along with sponsors Nick Varner Cues & Cases, Delta-13, Ozone Billiards, Tiger Products, Andy Gilbert Custom Cues, Lomax Cues, and Universe Clothing. The next stop on the GSBT, a $2,000-added double-event (8-ball & 9-ball), is scheduled for February 21-23 at Michael's Billiards in Fairfield, OH.

Dix gets by Hucks twice to claim GSBT event title

Described by tour director as a "known force at the beach," Greg Dix picked up his second 2013 win on the Great Southern Billiard Tour at Shore Thing Billiards in Myrtle Beach, SC. His previous win came in May at the same location, as did his third place finish in January, and his second place finish in August. The $650-added stop on October 5-6 drew 25 entrants.
The undefeated express almost got de-railed in one of the winners' side semifinals, as Phillip Britt battled Dix to double hill, before giving way. Mickey Hucks, in the meantime, racing to 6, defeated Richie Somner 6-5 (Somner racing to 7). Dix dominated the hot seat match 9-2, in his first of two against Hucks.
Somner moved west to pick up  Greg Little, who'd defeated Willie Darrigan, double hill, Chad Lee 6-4. Britt had the misfortune of running into Ray Floyd, who was working his way to the semifinals, and had gotten by Hank Warner 5-4 (Warner racing to 6), and Karl Simmons, double hill. Somner dropped Little into the tie for fifth 7-4, and taking advantage of his handicap Floyd eliminated Britt 5-8.
Floyd completed his loss-side run with a 5-2 victory over Somner in the quarterfinals, and though he'd battle to double hill in the semifinals, Hucks prevailed for a second shot at Dix. Dix completed his undefeated run with a 9-3 victory in the finals.
Shannon and Marge Daulton thanked the ownership and staff at Shore Thing Billiards for their continuing support of the tour, as well as sponsors Nick Varner Cues and Cases, Delta 13 Racks, Andy Gilbert Custom Cues, Tiger Products, Ozone Billiards and Lomax Custom Cues. The next stop on the GSBT, scheduled for October 26-27, will be a $1,000-added 9-ball tournament, to be hosted by Chalk It Up Billiards in La Grange, GA.