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Bryant goes undefeated to win NAPT Desert Classic at Griff’s in Las Vegas

Brittany Bryant (Photo courtesy of Erwin Dionisio)

With her victory in the Sept. 22-23 NAPT Desert Classic in Las Vegas, Brittany Bryant officially made 2018 her best recorded earnings year in the dozen that she’s been appearing on our payout lists. She went undefeated through a field of 34 and faced Melissa Little twice to claim the event title, her first since winning the Music City Classic in January. In addition to these two 2018 victories, Bryant finished as runner-up twice; at the Super Billiards Expo in April and the 3rd Annual Ashton Twins Classic in June (to Karen Corr and Vivian Villareal, respectively). The $5,000-added, 10-Ball event was hosted by Griff’s in Las Vegas.
 
Following victories over Christina Gonzalez, Gigi Callejas and Veronique Menard, Bryant moved into a winners’ side semifinal against Eleanor Callado, who’d just sent her sister, Emilyn Callado to the loss side. Melissa Little, in the meantime, got by Mary Coffman, Tina Malm (double hill), and Sara Miller to draw Kaylin Wikoff in the other winners’ side semifinal.
 
Little got into the hot seat match rather handily, allowing Wikoff only a single rack in their race to 7. Byrant and Eleanor Callado locked up in a double hill fight that eventually sent Callado to the loss side and Bryant to the hot seat match. In their first of two, Bryant defeated Little 7-5 and sat in the hot seat awaiting the outcome of the semifinals.
 
On the loss side, Wikoff picked up Veronique Menard, who’d been sent west by Bryant in a winners’ side quarterfinal and then, after defeating Jia Li 7-5, survived a double hill challenge by Tina Malm. Eleanor Callado drew Teruko Cucculelli, who’d been defeated by Eleanor’s sister, Emilyn, double hill, in the second round and was in the midst of a seven-match, loss-side winning streak that would take her as far as the semifinals.
 
Wikoff stopped Menard’s short loss-side streak 7-5, and in the quarterfinals, faced Cucculelli, who’d eliminated Eleanor Callado by the same 7-5 score. Cucculelli advanced one more step, downing Wikoff in the quarterfinals 7-4.
 
Cucculelli and Little battled back and forth in what proved to be a relatively lengthy semifinal. Each had opportunities they took advantage of and others they failed to capitalize on. It was tied at 5-5, at which point, Little took command to win the next two and earn herself a rematch against Bryant in a true double elimination final.
 
Their individual Fargo Ratings were 21 points apart, with Bryant holding the advantage (662-641) and in the matchup projections, held a 60.5-39.5 edge. Bryant jumped out to an early lead in what could have been a two-set final, but, at 6-2, advantage Bryant, didn’t appear likely. Little rallied, however, and won three to make a second set possible. In the 12th game, Bryant missed a shot, leaving Little a slam-dunk shot at the 3-ball, giving her an opportunity to clear the table and knot the opening set at 6-6. Little failed to capitalize, and Bryant ended it to claim her second 2018 title since winning the Music City Classic in January.
 

Fisher goes undefeated for the second time in a month, winning WPBA Ho-Chunk Classic

Ga Young Kim and Allison Fisher (Photo courtesy of the WPBA)

Fresh off her August 16-19 victory at the NAPT Summer 10-Ball Classic, Allison Fisher proved once again that age is just a number, and a fairly insignificant one at that. On the long weekend of September 13-16, Fisher joined what turned out to be 63 WPBA entrants in a multi-stage/bracket format at the Ho-Chunk Casino in Wisconsin Dells, WI and went undefeated through that field to capture her second title in a month. Fisher had to get by Korea’s Ga-Young Kim twice to claim that title.
 
The multi-stage format of this event created preliminary, 32-entrant rounds of play for 64 invited and seeded players, based on current WPBA standings going into the event. The lower-ranked invitees faced off against each other on Thursday, Sept. 13, in a standard 32-player bracket. Sixteen players, eight on each side of the bracket, emerged and advanced to play against a group of 16 players already selected to compete on Friday. When that Friday bracket came down to a final 16, those 16 advanced to compete against the WPBA’s top 16 players on Saturday (chosen from among the invitees who were able to attend). It was in this third, Saturday bracket that Fisher began her quest for the title.
 
On Thursday in races to 7, Kaylin Wikoff, Caroline Pao, Tonya Wiser, Naomi Williams, Kristie Bacon, Cathy Metzinger, Jia Li, and Jenna Bishoff won two matches each to advance to Friday’s bracket. In her second match, Jia Li downed LoreeJon Hasson 7-5 to get into that winners’ side final eight. Metzinger was among the final eight as the result (in part) of a forfeit by Jeannette Lee in her opening round of play. Lee came back through two rounds of loss-side play to become one of the 16 that advanced to Friday. Hasson won her only match on the loss side of the Thursday bracket and advanced, as well, along with Maria Juana, Lisa Cossette, Susan Wilbur, Sonya Chbeeb, Bonnie Arnold and Stephanie Mitchell.
 
On Friday in races to 8, Pao, Metzinger, and Arnold made it through their second day, winning two matches each to become one of the winners’ side final eight advancing to Saturday. Joining the event for the first time and winning their first two were Maureen Seto, Siming Chen, We Tzu Chien, April Larson and Kia Sidbury. Sidbury was originally scheduled to start on Thursday but a no-show for the tournament led to the 63-entrant field and an opening on Friday, into which she slipped. On the loss side of Friday’s bracket, Juana, Bishoff, Williams, Li, and Jeannette Lee advanced to their third day of competition. Lee had been defeated by April Larson, double hill, in Friday’s opening round and won two to join everybody on Saturday. Also winning two on the loss side and advancing to Saturday were Janet Atwell (defeated by Pao, double hill, in Friday’s opening round), Sara Miller and Robin Parker.
 
On Saturday in races to 8, Fisher said ‘hello’ to everybody and opened with an 8-1 victory over Juana, before running into Jeannette Lee (first of a series of classic women matchups during the day). Lee had defeated Kim Newsome 8-5 to start her day. Fisher defeated Lee 8-4 and then picked up the Texas Tornado, Vivian Villareal, who’d defeated Jennifer Barretta 8-2 in the previous round. An 8-2 win over Villareal sent Fisher to a winners’ side semifinal against Siming Chen, who’d defeated Line Kjorsivik 8-4 and Caroline Pao 8-3 to reach her. Melissa Little and Ga Young Kim squared off in the other winners’ side semifinal.
 
Fisher defeated Chen 8-2 and arrived at the hot seat match with an aggregate score of 32-9 (78%). Kim sent Little to the loss side 8-2, as well, and she came to the hot seat with an aggregate score of 32-14 (69%). Allison claimed the hot seat 8-3 over Kim and waited on her return from the semifinals.
 
On the loss side, Chen picked up Barretta, who was in the midst of a four-match, loss-side winning streak that had included victories over Jeannette Lee (8-5), Jia Li (8-4) and Brittany Bryant 8-5. Little drew The Grinder, teenager April Larson, who’d been defeated by Jia Li on the winners’ side of the final bracket, and was in the midst of a six-match winning streak that would take her as far as the semifinals. Larson had most recently eliminated Vivian Villareal and Caroline Pao, both 8-3.
 
Larson advanced to the quarterfinals with an 8-5 win over Little, and was joined by Chen, who’d defeated Barretta 8-2. Larson took the quarterfinal match over Siming Chen 8-5.
 
Larson’s remarkable run ended in the semifinals, when Kim defeated her 8-5. Kim’s second shot against Fisher, waiting for her in the hot seat, was a tightly contested, double hill battle. Fisher closed it out to claim the WPBA’s 2018 Ho-Chunk Classic.

Flores Wins First AWBT Tour Stop

Final eight players (minus one)

With tour points leader Amanda Pulley (as well as Leandrea Gaff and Sara Miller) in Illinois for the NAPT’s Summer 10-Ball Classic, the AWBT’s stop at Pockets on August 18th and 19th was a prime opportunity for one of the other top points list players to make a move on first place.

 

Those players would find out quickly that even without Pulley, Gaff and Miller, the field of 38 players was still going to be a tough one. “A” players started dropping to the one loss side in the first round with Claudia Morado’s 5-4 win over Justine Bishop. Bishop would be joined by a handful of top players in the second round with Tammy Holben, Pearl Ortiz, Tracie Hamman, Rae Evans and Michelle Trevino all suffering early losses.
 
As the winner’s side narrowed, the final four players only contained one “A” player in the person of Susan Williams. Williams was joined by Pati Martinez, Diana Leon and Mary Helen Mondragon.
 
The one loss side was no more kind to top players as Bishop finished tied for 25th place with such notables as Hamman and Jordyn Flores. The top players would keep falling as Saturday play went on and the day ended with Sonia Flores, Stephanie Benavidez and Carmen Osenton joining Rae Evans for Sunday play.
 
Winner’s side action on Sunday saw Martinez score a 5-4 win over Williams and Mondragon with a lopsided 4-1 win over Leon. Mondragon then went on to capture her first ever AWBT hot-seat with a 4-2 win over Martinez.
Sonia Flores had lost a late Saturday match to Martinez on the winner’s side and she wasn’t going to go away without a fight in this one. A 5-1 win over Terri Johnson-McCauley on Saturday night was followed up by a 5-3 win over Benavidez early Sunday morning and then back to back 5-1 wins over Leon and Evans. Flores would then get her revenge against Martinez with a 5-2 win in the semi-final match.
 
The final match between Mondragon and Flores was an extended match with players adding another two games to their individual races. That left Flores going to seven and Mondragon going to six. Mondragon came out early with a 2-0 lead, but Flores then took control and won four straight racks. Mondragon fought back to 4-4, but Flores then regained control and won three straight for the 7-4 win and first place.
 
In addition to the main event, a second chance tournament was played on Sunday with Sara Sorg going through the field undefeated for first place. A “Balls Only” event was also held on Saturday with 29 guys competing. That event saw AJ Jones and Chris Paradowski split first and second place.
 
The AWBT will take September off, but will be back in Phoenix on October 13th – 14th for 9-ball on the 7’ tables at Bullshooters.

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. 

Pulley Tops AWBT Stop 4 And Points List

Susan Williams and Amanda Pulley

Amanda Pulley bounced back from a late Saturday loss to win her second AWBT tour stop of the season and jump to the top of the tour’s point list. Pulley was just one of the early favorites in the field of 53 players at Main Street Billiards in Mesa on July 7th – 8th. 

 

Pulley was joined in the field by such notables as Susan Williams, Sara Miller, Pearl Ortiz and Justine Bishop.
 
Things were going well for Pulley early Saturday with wins over Tonya Kurtz and Ilyana Flores but her path took a detour late Saturday after a 7-5 loss to Pearl Ortiz. A 7-2 win over Kristi St Ange was enough to earn Pulley her place in Sunday’s matches.
 
Ortiz came back on Sunday morning for a lopsided 7-0 win on the winner’s side over Sara Sorg, who had a great weekend of matches. The other half of the bracket saw AWBT veteran Susan Williams scoring a 7-1 win over Pati Martinez, who also turned in an outstanding performance all weekend long. The hot-seat match saw Williams with a convincing 7-3 win over Ortiz.
 
On the one loss side, Pulley had wins over Tommy Holben, Martinez and Dawn Polotto before a rematch with Ortiz in the semi-finals. “I wasn’t thinking revenge,” said Pulley, “but I felt strong during the match and this (plus an energy drink) empowered me”. Pulley was definitely empowered as she eliminated Ortiz 7-3 to earn her spot in the finals against Williams.
 
The final race to 9 was a true back and forth battle. Williams took an early 2-0 lead, but Pulley quickly knotted things at 2-2. The players stayed close until Williams was able to pull ahead for a 7-4 lead and she got to the hill at 8-6 but wasn’t able to put Pulley away. Pulley clawed back to 8-8, leaving the ladies playing one game for the title. The pressure of the final game appeared to get to both players as they both had problems pocketing the final 9-ball. After a missed bank by Williams though, Pulley cut the final ball into the heart of the pocket for the win. “I just told myself that I know how to make this shot, and I wasn’t going to give Susan another chance at the table,” Pulley said.
 
Sunday saw 29 players come back for the second chance tournament where Gigi Callejas took first place and Heather Cortez finished in second. Ed Scott and Evans Bishop split the men’s event that was ran alongside the main event. The AWBT will take it’s annual trip to Tucson on August 18th – 19th for an event at Pockets Pool & Pub.

Pulley Wins Freezers’ AWBT Tour Stop

Amanda Pulley and Justine Bishop

They came out in droves at the 2nd stop of the Arizona Women’s Billiard Tour, with a field of 56 players at Freezer’s Ice House on April 28th – 29th.

 

Surprisingly in a field of that size, early rounds held their fair share of marquee matchups with #3 ranked Amanda Pulley starting her tournament off with a 6-3 win over #1 ranked Bernie Store and Las Vegas’ Mary Coffman scoring a first round 7-2 win over Sara Miller. While those matches were not necessarily upsets, junior player Tory Conley’s 5-5 win over Jaye Succo was an eye opener and just went to show how much the junior player’s games are improving.
 
The top half of the board saw Pulley score wins over Windy Breck, Pearl Ortiz and #2 ranked Heather Cortez to earn her place in the hot-seat match on Sunday. The bottom half of the bracket was all about Justine Bishop as she dominated her matches, not allowing an opponent more than three games against her. As if that performance wasn’t strong enough already, Bishop then went on to beat Pulley 6-1 for the hot-seat.
 
On the one loss side, Susan Williams was on a run. After a first-round loss to Store, Williams won seven straight matches on the left side of the board, including over such notable opponents as Cathy Kelley, Conley, Tracie Hamman and Cortez. Williams’ run was finally brought to an end by Pearl Ortiz who had put together a four-match winning streak after the earlier loss to Pulley. The win over Williams earned Ortiz another shot at Pulley, but she wouldn’t fare any better with a 6-3 loss.
 
Bishop won the first two games in her first AWBT finals appearance in more than a decade. Pulley pulled the brakes on her and won the next 8 games in a row to clinch the match
 
When asked about this tournament – her 4th tour win – Pulley commented on the tough field. “In this tournament, each time I discovered my next opponent, I was like, “Awww, man, another monster?” And each time with luck and skill, I found a way to work through the match. I was calm after the initial anxiety, and without expectation; that helped a lot.”
 
Twenty-two players came back for Sunday’s second chance tournament, where Veronica Poore defeated Jaye Succo in the finals for first place.
 
The AWBT will next be in action on June 2nd and 3rd at Pockets in Tucson.

Texas Tornado Lays Waste to AWBT Field

Vivian Villarreal (Photo courtesy of Rick Schmitz)

As the field is filling up at an AWBT event, players are used to seeing the same group of regulars arrive to throw their hat in the ring. Williams, Store, Cortez, Mello, etc. So, it probably came as a pretty big surprise to most of them when they saw WPBA veteran, Vivian "The Texas Tornado" Villarreal walk into Main Street Billiards for the third tour stop on July 8th and 9th. While Villarreal might have been the most experienced player in the field, she was joined by the largest field at an AWBT stop this season, 37 players. 
 
When play got underway, Villarreal quickly laid to rest any doubts as to who the favorite was at this event. Villarreal spun her way through the winner’s side on Saturday with identical 7-1 wins over Beth Orth, Claudia Morado and road partner, Barbara Lee. Villarreal was joined by New Mexico’s Pearl Ortiz, Bernie Store and Priscilla Hernandez on the winner’s side at the end of Saturday play. The left side of the board was also full of dangerous opponents in the form of Jaye Succo, Barbara Lee, Heather Cortez and Sara Miller
 
Sunday play looked a lot like what the fans had watched on Saturday, with Villarreal getting things underway with a 7-1 win over Ortiz, and then a 7-2 win over Bernie Store to take the hot-seat. 
 
On the one loss side, Barbara Lee eliminated Succo and Hernandez, but couldn’t get by Ortiz and settled for 4th place. Ortiz then dropped the semi-final match to Store 7-2, setting up a rematch between Store and Villarreal in the finals. 
 
While most fans might have expected another lopsided score in the extended final match, Store had other plans completely. “Vivian shoots very fast, and I caught myself shooting at her pace in the first match. In the second match, I concentrated on playing at my usual pace, and it helped a lot” said Store after the event. Store came out and ran the first rack to remind Villarreal that she wasn’t going to just hand her the title. The players battled back and forth, until Store held the lead at 6-5 in the race to 9. From there though, it was all Villarreal, as she won four straight games for the 9-6 win and first place. 
 
Two players in the event earned invites for an upcoming North American Pool Tour (NAPT) stop in Illinois. Barbara Lee’s 4th place finish earned her one spot, with Justin Bishop earning the second.
 
Fourteen players returned to Main Street on Sunday for the second chance tournament, where Veronica Poore turned in a dominating performance to take first. Veronica lost a total of two racks over five complete matches, and was never challenged on her way to first place.

Corr goes undefeated on debut North American Pool Tour (NAPT) Women’s 10-Ball Invitational

Karen Corr

Amidst a blend of familiar faces and new challenges, Karen Corr faced seven opponents during the inaugural North American Pool Tour's (NAPT) 10-Ball Women's Invitational Tournament, held on the weekend of June 3-5. Those opponents averaged just over two racks against her, leading to her undefeated run through the field of 56. The $5,000-added inaugural event was hosted by Breakers Sky Lounge in Herndon, VA, and in addition to women invited from regional tours all across the country, featured a strong, familiar (for Corr) contingent from the regionally nearby J. Pechauer Northeast Women's Tour (JPNEWT), whose director, Linda Shea, coordinated this event.
 
The brainchild of its president, Adrianne Beach, in consort with women from the JPNEWT, the Northwest Women's Pool Association, the OB Cues Tour, the Northern Lights Tour, and the North Star Tour (to name just a few), this North Americanl Pool Tour was set up to offer women more opportunities to play; opportunities that were not being offered by the WPBA.
 
"We're not trying to compete with the WPBA," said Beach from Boston, the day after the event. "We just want to provide more opportunities to play. We learned a lot from the WPBA, and (competitors) can play on both.
 
"We think," she added, "that we're building a good system that's going to be beneficial to everyone."
 
According to Beach, while the first few events produced under the auspices of this North American Pool Tour will be for women, plans are already underway to include Open events that will accommodate men, as well. Beach is quite pleased with how the inaugural effort played out, including her own finish in the eight-way tie for 25th.
 
"I'm thrilled with the way it turned out," she said. "We got positive responses from all of the players, and didn't hear any complaints.
 
"There were minor issues," she added, "but there always are."
 
Five of the seven opponents that Corr faced over the weekend were veterans of the JPNEWT, including fellow finalist, Jia Li. Last year, when Corr was winning eight of the 11 stops on the tour, she and Jia Li matched up in a final in August. Corr had to get by her twice at this event to claim the title.
 
They met first in a winners' side semifinal. Corr had gotten by Nicole King, Kia Sidbury, Eugenia Gyftopolous and Canadian Sara Miller, to draw Li. The other winners' side semifinal featured two Canadians who'd competed in the finals of the Canadian Cue Sports Championships (Women's Open 9-Ball) in May; Naomi Williams and Brittany Bryant. Corr took her first against Li 7-3, and in the hot seat match, faced Williams, who'd sent Bryant to the loss side by the same score. Corr dominated the hot seat match, denying Williams so much as a single rack.
 
On the loss side, Li and Bryant walked into two immediate double hill matches. Li picked up Tara Williams, who'd eliminated Brianna Miller 7-2 and Atlantic Cup Challenge team member and teenager April Larson 7-5. To reach Williams, Larson had defeated and thus, eliminated Janet Atwell, double hill. Bryant, who'd been sent to the loss side by Larson in the fourth round,  drew Sueyen Rhee, who'd defeated Sara Miller 7-3, and Meredith Lynch, double hill, to reach her.
 
Li and Bryant advanced, double hill, to the quarterfinals over Williams and Rhee. For a variety of different reasons, match progress was noticeably slowing down, particularly as the loss side opponents took the extra time that they often do, when elimination is possible, and every shot is analyzed just a tad more carefully. Comments began circulating almost immediately about the need for a shot clock. 
 
Li took the quarterfinal match over Bryant 7-5, denying Bryant the opportunity to play her fellow Canadian in the semifinals. Li and Williams then locked up in a double hill semifinal that at midnight, officially turned the proceedings into a four-day event. And it looked, in the early going of the true double elimination final, as if it were going to get even longer.
 
With a $1,000 differential between winner and runner-up, Li opened the first set of the finals with three straight. Corr responded with five straight. Li closed the gap to within one, before Corr chalked up her sixth, putting her on the hill. Corr used a 3-10 combination that finished it.
 
The next event on the North American Pool Tour, scheduled for August 19-21, will be hosted by Shooters Bar & Billiards in Grayslake, IL, just outside of Chicago.

Bernie Store Wins AWBT Stop

Bernie Store

Bernie Store returned to the AWBT’s winners circle, with an undefeated run through a field of 28 players to capture the second stop of the season at Skip & Jan’s in Gilbert Arizona on April 30th – May 1st. 
 
Store dominated day one of the event, with wins over Kim Kauffman, Amanda Pulley and Becky Onnembo. Store finished the day with 21 game wins and 7 game losses. 
 
Joining Store on the winner’s side were Sara Miller, Heather Cortez and Sarah Geoghan
 
The one loss side saw a couple surprises as stop 1 winner Amanda Pulley, and Susan Williams both failed to make it to two day. Pulley dropped a left side match to Tami Hathcock, and Williams lost the last match of the night on Saturday to Leadrea Gaff.
 
Sunday play on the winner’s side saw Store defeat Cortez 7-3 and Miller send Geoghan to the one loss side 7-4. Store would then go on to defeat Miller in a hill-hill match for the hot-seat.
 
On the one loss side, Onnembo defeated Gaff and Jaye Succo eliminated Susan Mello. Both players coming over from the winner’s side then won matches, as Geoghan defeated Onnembo, and Cortez defeated Succo.
 
A 7-4 win by Cortez over Geoghan, kept Cortez’s tournament hopes alive, but Miller quickly snuffed those hopes out with a 7-2 win in the semi-finals. 
 
Store jumped on Miller right out of the gate in the finals, and quickly held a 5-1 lead in the extended race to 9. Miller would fight back, but it was Store scoring a 9-5 win in the end. 
 
Store’s win, combined with her runner up finish at stop 1, moves her to the top of the AWBT points list. Miller moves into second place on the list. With their first and second place finishes, Store and Miller also won invites to the North American Pool Tour’s 10-Ball Invitational in Herndon, Va this June. 
 
Eleven players returned to Skip and Jan’s on Sunday to compete in the second chance tournament. That event saw Susan Williams go undefeated for first place, with Jessica Derezinski taking second. 
 
Tour staff expressed their thanks to Natalie and her great staff at Skip and Jan’s for hosting their season opener. Thanks were also given to the “friends of the AWBT” who added $100 to the main event and $50 to the second chance tournament, as well as Las Gloria Grille for adding $100 to the main event. 
 
The AWBT will be at Stingers on June 25th – 26th, for their next stop.

Wagner Wins AWBT Tour Stop

Rebecca Wagner (Photo courtesy of Nick De Leon)

Rebecca Wagner made it a perfect “two for two” with her second win in as many appearances on the Arizona Woman’s Billiard Tour in 2015. 
 
After a shaky 7-5 start over Claudia Justus, Wagner was untouchable as she won her next two matches by a combined score of 14-2 to advance to Sunday play on the right side of the board. Matching Wagner match for match, was Fort Worth’s Tara Williams. Williams had wins over Marcy Thomas, Bernie Store and Sara Miller on Saturday to remain undefeated. 
 
Joining Wagner and Williams on the winner’s side after one day of play were Nina Tagley and Susan Williams.
 
On the one loss side, Store was mowing down the competition with her sights set on Sunday play. Wins over Sandi Wilson, Claudia Justus and Amanda Pulley were enough to get her there. Sara Miller, Jaye Succo and Justine Bishop would also make it to Sunday play on the one loss side.
 
Sunday matches saw Wagner and Tara Williams keep pace with each other as Williams beat Nina Tagley 7-5 and Wagner beat Susan Williams 7-2. Wagner and Tara Williams would face each other for the hot-seat, which was won by Wagner 7-4.
 
Sunday play on the one loss side saw Sara Miller eliminate Jaye Succo in 7th place, and then Susan Wiliams in 5th place. Meanwhile Bernie Store eliminated Justine Bishop in 7th place and then Nina Tagley in 5th place.
 
The rivalry continued between Miller and Store, with Store pulling out a 7-5 win this time. Miller had a chance to tie the score at 6-6, but missed a 9-ball that gifted the match to Store. 
 
The semi-final match, between Store and Tara Williams, looked to be on its way to a quick finish with Williams cruising to a 5-0 lead. That was when things took a bad turn for Williams. Williams missed a couple of balls that she would have made early in the match and all of a sudden her “can’t miss” confidence was shaken. Store was more than happy to take advantage of the opportunities and the match was eventually tied at 6-6. Both players struggled in the final game, but a miss on the 7-ball was all that Williams could take as she unscrewed her cue and congratulated Store for the win.
 
The extended final match started out close. Store took an early 2-0 lead, but Wagner came back to a tie at 3-3. The score would be tied again at 4-4 and 5-5 before Wagner took control and climbed to the hill at 8-5. A great 6-9 combo by Store brought her back within two racks at 8-6, but it was just delaying the finish as Wagner broke and ran the next rack for the 9-6 win.
 
The second chance tournament on Sunday saw Amanda Pulley bounce back from a loss in her first match to run the one loss side with five match wins and then defeat Tami Hathcock in the finals for first place.
 
The Arizona Women’s Billiard Tour will be back in action on October 17th and 18th at Pockets Pool & Pub in Tucson.
 
Assistant Tour director Tres Kane gave his thanks to Mike and Julie Bates, and the staff of Bullshooters for hosting and adding $300 to the main event and $100 to the second chance event, Jose Gonzales of Las Glorias Grille for adding $100 to the main event and his partner Kristie Ortega for running another fine event.