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Ashley Benoit Wins Inaugural “Women In Pool” Championship

Ashley Benoit

A full field of 64 players from CT, RI, MA, NJ, NY, PA and several other states came together for two reasons over the weekend of September 10th – 11th at Yale Billiards in Wallingford, CT for the Women In Pool Inaugural Women’s 9-Ball Championship. 

The field was made up of skill levels ranging from APA 3’s all the way up to Fargo 650 players for this non-handicapped event. Connecticut’s Ashley Nicole Benoit may not have had the highest ranking of all of the competitors, but she had the biggest drive to win as she scored impressive wins over Dawn Fox, Lindsey Bazinet, Stacie Bourbeau and Tina Malm on her way to the hot-seat. 

On the one loss side, Pennsylvania’s Rachel Walters bounced back nicely from her loss to Malm on the winners side. Walters had wins over Bazinet, Alyssa Solt and Malm to earn her place in the finals. Walters would have to settle for second on this weekend, as Benoit was unstoppable on her way to a 7-3 win in the first set of the finals. 

While all of the ladies in attendance were there with hopes to perform well in the tournament, event director Gloria Jean explained that the ladies were there for another reason. “In my 15 years of being a Tour Director, I have never seen a more vibrant, tenacious, happy, yet competitive group of women smile so much!” said Jean. “Women met like-minded Women with the same passion for the sport, the desire to improve, hone their skills, and relate to one another on a personal level. Many walked away with not just spectacular payouts but new friends to bond with and a once in a lifetime experience.”

Jean’s Women In Pool project was born from conversations on her podcast, where she has collaborated with such notables as Kelly Fisher, Allison Fisher, Joann Mason Parker, LoreeJon Ogonowski-Brown, Ewa Laurance, Mary Kenniston and many others. Jean created the project at the start of the year and says she has always wanted a tournament like this to be a part of it. 

More information can be found online at where fans can find out about the entire project. 

Jean thanked the great staff at Yale Billiards, as well as her tournament director Ty Speedwell, Sharkstream for streaming the event, Bobby Hilton for refereeing, Joe Raccio, Curtis Rohrer, Crystal Atkinson, Andy Now and all of her sponsors, Iwan Simonis Cloth, Aramith Premium Balls, N’ The Zone Sportswear, Navigator Chalk, Dragon Billiards Instruction, Harriman Real Estate, Bulletproof Break Tips, Pool League Association, NM Billiards Sales and Service, Narragansett Brewery, Outsville Templates, PoolDawg, McConnaughy’s Irish Pickles and J. Pechauer Cues.

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Bad Ass Bitches win New England Women’s Pool Alliance’s Anchorperson Challenge

Erica Testa, Stacie Bourbeau, and Lindsey Monto (not pictured is the fourth team member Kim Storey)

In the New England Women Pool Alliance’s second team event, the $500-added Anchorperson Challenge, four mixed-geography teams of four women competed against each other in a first stage series of best two-out-of-three round robin, 8-ball matches. At the conclusion of this first stage, a single representative (best record from first stage) from each of the teams (the anchorwoman) competed in a best three-out-of-five set of round robin matches. The format was altered slightly to accommodate four teams instead of the planned-for eight teams around which the event was initially planned.

At the end of the first stage and based on potential point allocation for games won in the second stage, it was mathematically possible for any one of the four teams to win the event as they moved into that second stage. Victorious Secret (Sam Barrett, Nicole Albergeria, Dawn Fanning and Becca Sue Phillis) emerged from the first stage, ahead by two points (11-9; each match won by a player earned her team a single point), but in the anchorwoman challenge set of matches, Bad Ass Bitches’ Stacie Bourbeau won nine out of the 10 games she played to chalk up another nine points for her team (Erica Testa, Lindsey Monto & Kim Storey) and win the event for them; 19-13, over Victorious Secret. The event drew its four teams/16 women to Amazin’ Billiards in Malden, MA on Sunday, May 23.

During the second stage of the event, the players not involved in that stage squared off in a consolation event; a single elimination bracket with 12 women. Two women, members of what turned out to be the top two teams, were to have squared off in the finals of this event – Lindsey Monto from Bad Ass Bitches and Nicole Albergeria from Victorious Secret. But in the end, they chose not to play a final match and split the $200 in total consolation prize money. They also turned down an opportunity to play a single ‘bragging rights’ match.

In the opening stage of the event, Hot Pockets (Lida Mullendore, Stef Brownstein, Kayleen Gray and Tina DeLima) played against Victorious Secret. Victorious Secret won 24 of the 41 games they played against Hot Pockets, earning 11 points to Hot Pockets’ 5. Stef Brownstein won six of the 17 games for Hot Pockets and represented the team in the second stage. Sam Barrett and Nicole Albergeria chalked up 16 of their team’s 24 games (eight each). Though tied for total games won, it was Barrett who advanced to the second stage for Victorious Secret, because she had lost one less game than Albergeria. 

The Tonkin Team/Bad Ass Bitches round robin ended with a little closer score. The BAB won 22 of the 41 games they played against the Tonkin Team (Stacey Tonkin, Pam Fiahlo, Emily Cady and Dawn Luz) and nine of the 16 points awarded. Stacie Bourbeau and Lindsey Monto each won seven games, but Monto lost one more, which sent Bourbeau to stage two. Emily Cady won eight games for the Tonkin team and advanced to the second stage.

The races were a bit longer in the second stage (best three out of five) and the point distribution for winning was a little different; a first win earned a single point, a second earned three points and a third earned four points. Bourdeau went undefeated in the stage, earning nine points for the Bad Ass Bitches (18 total), four more than Sam Barrett earned for Victorious Secret (13 total). Emily Cady from The Tonkin Team (7 total) and Stef Brownstein from Hot Pockets (5 total) earned four points each.

Event director Katie Fiorilla thanked the ownership and staff at Amazin’ Billiards, as well as sponsors who contributed money to the prize fund and other aspects of making the event happen, including Mazin Schooni, the NE 9-Ball Series, AZBilliards, Emily Cady, Dawn Luz and the Tonkin Tour. 

The next event of the New England Women’s Pool Alliance will be a fund raiser in August (exact date to be determined) in August. As a fund-raising event, it will be open to all genders. Later, in the fall (at another exact date to be determined), the NEWPA will sponsor an event that will be a women’s event, a domestic violence awareness event.  

Bourbeau & Morgan go undefeated to capture Partners 8-Ball on NE 9-Ball Series

Kerry McAuliffe, Scott Reynolds, Stacie Bourbeau, Josh Geoffroy, Mark Morgan, and Dan Simoneau

The last time Stacie Bourbeau and Mark Morgan competed as partners on the New England 9-Ball Series (April 11 at Snooker’s in Providence, RI), they were playing 9-ball with a combined Fargo rate of 600 and finished in the tie for 5th place. They returned as partners on Sunday (May 16, Stop #12), switched games to 8-ball with a reduced Fargo rate of 598 and ended up going undefeated to claim the event title. The $500-added event drew 32 teams to House of Billiards in Hampton Falls, NH. 

Playing as one of the three top-rated teams in the tournament and working at the beginning in an upper bracket of half the field, Bourbeau and Morgan got by two opponents to reach a winners’ side semifinal against Derek Cunningham and Tony Ruzzano (600). From the lower bracket, Josh Geoffroy & Dan Simoneau (547) advanced to meet Kyle King & Jason Seavey (500). 

Bourbeau/Morgan downed Cunningham/Ruzzano 4-1 and in the hot seat match, squared off against Geoffroy/Simoneau, who’d shut out team King/Seavey. Bourbeau/Morgan claimed the hot seat 4-1 over Geoffroy/Simoneau and awaited their return.

On the loss side, Cunningham/Ruzzano picked up one of the remaining higher-rated teams left – Kerry McAuliffe and Scott Reynolds (598), who’d lost their opening round match and then embarked on an eight match, loss-side winning streak that would take them all the way to the semifinals. They’d recently eliminated Chad Bazinet & Lindsey Monto 4-1 and then survived a double hill challenge versus Josh Rupard & Elliot Coates (591) to draw Cunningham/Ruzzano. 

King/Seavey drew Josh Grzasko & Steve Matthieu, who’d arrived on the heels of three straight double hill wins, that included the elimination of Francis Buelvas & Raul Medina and Heidi and Matt Rezendes.

The battle for advancement to the quarterfinals saw the two teams that did so give up only a single rack, in total. McAuliffe/Reynolds gave up the one to Cunningham/Ruzzano. Grzasko/Matthieu didn’t give up any to King/Seavey. McAuliffe/Reynolds gave up just another single rack in the quarterfinals against Grzasko/Matthieu.

In both the semifinals and finals that followed, the Geoffroy/Simoneau Fargo rate of 547 gave them less than a 1-in-3 chance (31.4%) of winning either of the two matches versus ‘598’ opponents. They battled to double hill and won the first, downing McAuliffe/Reynolds in the semifinals. They came within a game of double hill in the finals, but couldn’t stop Bourbeau & Morgan from completing their undefeated run.

Tour director Marc Dionne thanked the ownership and staff at House of Billiards for their hospitality, as well as title sponsor Predator, Poison, Arcos II, BCAPL, USAPL New England, Fargo Rate, AzBilliards, Professor Q-ball’s National Pool and 3 Cushion News, MJS Construction, Master Billiards, OTLVISE, Piku Tips and Just The Tip Cue Repair and Custom Accessories. The NE 9-Ball Series will return to the House of Billiards for its Las Vegas Trip tournament (Stop #13), scheduled for Saturday, June 12. 

Baker and Larsen Win U.S. Amateur Championship Titles

Blake Baker

For some, the very best, it’s an annual pilgrimage of sorts.  For others, it’s an opportunity to truly showcase their arrival on the amateur pool scene.  For all of them, the U.S. Amateur Championship is something unique that appeals to the most passionate player. Whether they come to cement a legacy, or just to test their skill against some of the best amateur players in North America, there is no denying that to experience the U.S. Amateur Championship is to experience something truly special. Pool tournaments come and go, but securing the title of U.S. Amateur Champion is something you carry with you forever, literally, when your name is forever added to the Trophy of Champions for generations to come.

That’s what drove more than 2,100 of North America’s top amateur players to try and qualify for the 26th Annual event.  That’s what brought 128 men and 42 women to Stroker’s in Palm Harbor, Fla., in early November to compete in this year’s U.S. Amateur Championship.

Of course, there are worse places to be than the sun-soaked skies of the Tampa area, one of the premier vacation destinations in the world, at a time when most of the country is getting its first taste of winter.

Winners of each division also receive an all-expenses paid trip to a pro event next year courtesy of the APA.

And, of course, the championship trophy – a combination of marble and bronze that more closely resembles a piece of art than something won in a pool tournament.

Baker Wins Title in First Appearance
Over the first quarter-century of the U.S. Amateur Championship, the event, in many ways, came to be defined by a list of seasoned veterans, who, year after year, left their mark on the event.  Certain names you came to expect to see on the qualifier list each year, names like Brisbon, Brodt and Parks. Now in its 26th year, a youth movement seems to have taken hold at the U.S. Amateur Championship, with a new crop of young amateur players looking to leave their mark on the event and the sport, much like their predecessors.  It began in 2018, when a previously unknown 26-year-old from Peoria, Ill., named Abe Schaad took home the title.  This year, it was another 24-year-old newcomer making his mark after being inspired by the defending champion.

Blake Baker of Las Vegas went undefeated in his first U.S. Amateur Championship appearance and secured his place in amateur pool history. Baker defeated 65-year-old Bobby Stovall of Cumming, Ga., 11-5 in the championship match.

Baker controlled the finale from the get-go, taking a 4-0 lead in the 9-Ball set before Stovall finally got on the board.  The players traded wins the next two games, making it a 5-2 match.  Baker would win five of the final six games in the 9-Ball set and held a commanding 10-3 lead as the players began the 8-Ball set with the newcomer on-the-hill needing one final game.

Stovall managed to stave off elimination in the first two games of the 8-Ball set, making the score 10-5, but Baker’s bid for the title would not be denied.  In the 16th and final game, he pocketed the 8-ball and the win.

Baker will move on to compete in a 2020 pro event courtesy of APA, and more importantly, his name will be added to the Larry Hubbart Trophy.

Stovall finishes as the Runner-up, his highest finish in the U.S. Amateur Championship.

Defending champion Abe Schaad finished in 3rd, dropping matches to only Baker and Stovall in the process.

One hundred and twenty-eight players competed in this year’s U.S. Amateur Championship.

Tina LarsenLarsen Wins Record Third Women’s U.S. Amateur Championship

Tina Larsen of Westwell, Ind., defeated Nathalie Jacob of Montreal, Quebec in a seesaw battle by a score of 9-7.  The victory earned Larsen her third Women’s U.S. Amateur Championship victory, and her first since 2007.  She surpassed Tammie Jones and Amy Chen, both two-time champions, for most Women’s U.S. Amateur Championship career titles.

Before securing her third title, Larsen had to go through a strong newcomer in Jacob, whose previous playing career consisted primarily of 9-Ball, with little experience playing 8-Ball.  Despite her lack of proficiency in 8-Ball, Jacob gave Larsen all she could handle in the final.

Jacob got on the board first in the 9-Ball set, with Larsen taking the next two games and a 3-2 lead.  Jacob took the next rack, before Larsen secured the next two, one by way of a 9-on-the snap.  With Larsen leading 4-2, Jacob showed some fight, battling back to win the next two games and even the match at 4-4.  Larsen regained the lead, before Jacob again evened things up at 5-5.  Larsen took the final game of 9-Ball as the match moved to the 8-Ball set.

Larsen took the first game of the 8-Ball set and the players traded wins over the next three games.  In the fifteenth game of the match, the ladies engaged in a showdown of defensive shots.  It was here that Jacob’s lack of experience in 8-Ball hindered her, as Larsen won the safety battle and eventually the match, 9-7.

Jacob finished as the Runner-up, the highest finish ever for a Canadian in the Women’s U.S. Amateur Championship.

Stacie Bourbeau of Orange, Mass., finished in 3rd Place.

Forty-two ladies competed in this year’s Women’s U.S. Amateur Championship.

Larsen moves on to compete in a Pro Event in 2020, courtesy of APA.

Both championship matches can now be viewed for free the APA YouTube channel at in addition to dozens of other matches that were lived streamed from this year’s U.S. Amateur Championship.  Streaming for the U.S. Amateur Championship was sponsored by

The entry window for the 2020 U.S. Amateur Championship is now open with the Preliminary Rounds scheduled across North America in mid-September.

The U.S. Amateur Championship is conducted by the APA, and is the only tournament produced by the APA open to both members and non-members.  Preliminary qualifying rounds were held throughout the country in mid-September.

As Champions, both Baker and Larsen will return next year to defend their coveted titles.

The U.S. Amateur Championship is a double elimination tournament that offers the nation’s top amateur players the opportunity to showcase their skills through a combination of 8-Ball and 9-Ball matches, in the only APA event that does not use The Equalizer® handicap system.

The APA, based in Lake Saint Louis, Mo., sanctions the world’s largest amateur pool league, with leagues throughout the United States, Canada and Japan.  Nearly 250,000 members compete in weekly 8-Ball and 9-Ball League play.  The APA is generally recognized as the Governing Body of Amateur Pool, having established the official rules, championships, formats and handicap systems for the sport of amateur billiards.

The APA produces four major tournaments each year—the APA World Pool Championships, the APA Poolplayer Championships, the APA Junior Championships and the U.S. Amateur Championship—that, together, pay out more than $2 Million in cash and prizes annually!

The APA and its championships are sponsored by Aramith, Action Cues, Pool Dawg and Valley-Dynamo.

To register for next year’s U.S. Amateur Championship, visit  For more information on the American Poolplayers Association, visit

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.

Corr goes undefeated through field of 53 at North American Pool Tour Freedom Classic

(l to r): Briana Miller & Karen Corr

Karen Corr, the Irish Invader, chalked up her second North American Pool Tour (NAPT) Division I Pro event victory on the weekend of September 30-October 1. Following her victory at the NAPT Summer 10-Ball Classic at Shooter’s Sports Bar & Billiards in Grayslake, IL in August, Corr went undefeated at this past weekend’s $6,400-added NAPT Freedom Classic, that drew 53 entrants to Eagle Billiards in Dickson City, PA.

Corr had to get by Briana Miller twice in this event; a chore rendered more significant by an earlier meeting between the two, which took place in June, during the fourth stop on the J. Pechauer Northeast Women’s Tour in Frederick, MD. Looking to secure a second straight win on the 2107 JPNEWT, Miller defeated Corr, double hill, in the third winners’ side round of that event. Corr came back through the loss side to defeat Miller in the finals to win her first 2017 JPNEWT title. It was a match Corr remembered when Meredith Lynch interviewed her for the NAPT, following the Summer Classic and asked her about the influx of young female guns.
“There’s a lot of great talent out there,” Corr said at the time. “Briana (Miller) – I played her there in Frederick. She beat me in the one side and we had a close match in the final. It’s challenging for me, too, you know?”
They had two close matches in this Freedom Classic. The first one came in the battle for the hot seat. Victories over Denise Belanger, Krista Walsh, Brittany Bryant (5th in the NAPT Summer 10-Ball Classic) and Naomi Williams set Corr up to face April Larson (7th in NAPT Summer 10-Ball Classic) in a winners’ side semifinal. Miller, in the meantime, having worked her way through Alex Calabrese, Teruko Cucculelli, Nathalie Chabot, Jenna Blahoff, faced veteran LoreeJon Hasson in the other winners’ side semifinal.
Corr downed Larson 7-3, whiLe Miller sent Hasson to the loss side 7-4. As might have been expected, Miller and Corr locked up in a double hill fight that eventually sent Miller to the semifinals and put Corr in an NAPT Division I hot seat for the second straight time.
On the loss side, Larson picked up Bryant, who, after her defeat by Corr, was in the midst of a four-match loss-side streak that included recent victories over Jenna Blahoff 7-3 and Stacie Bourbeau 7-4, and was about to come to an end. Hasson drew Naomi Williams, who’d gotten by Janet Atwell 7-4 and Veronique Menard 7-5 to reach her.
Larson defeated Bryant 7-4, and was joined in the quarterfinal match by Williams, who’d eliminated Hasson 7-4. Larson and Williams locked up in a double hill quarterfinal that eventually sent Williams to the semifinals against Miller.
Miller got her second shot at Corr with a 7-4 win over Williams in the semifinals. The true double elimination final amounted to one set. As they had done battling for the hot seat, Corr and Miller fought to a deciding game, before Corr closed it out to claim her second straight NAPT title.
The next NAPT Division I Pro event – The Desert Shootout – scheduled for November 2-5, will be hosted by Griff’s Pool & Billiards Hall in Las Vegas, NV.

Woodward and Bryant chalk up 29th Annual Music City titles

Skyler Woodward and Shane McMinn (Photo courtesy of Pool Action TV)

Skyler Woodward took the loss-side route to meet and defeat Shane McMinn in the finals of the 29th Annual Music City Open, held on the weekend of January 13-17. Brittany Bryant picked the undefeated option in capturing the Ladies title, defeating Liz Lovely in the finals. The $6,000-added Open drew 128 entrants, while the $1,000-added Ladies event drew 64 to JOB Billiard Club in Madison, TN. Selected matches were streamed throughout the weekend via the services of PoolActionTV and its host, Ray Hansen. The booth saw Buddy Hall take a turn at the microphone.
Shane McMinn, who, in a field that included competitors like Woodward, Justin Bergman, Johnny Archer, Robb Saez, and Jeremy Jones (among others), might have been perceived as something of a dark horse at the beginning of the Open event. He was raising a few eyebrows as he moved into his winners' side semifinal match against Woodward. Jeremy Jones, in the meantime, squared off against Richie Richeson. Jones sent Richeson to the loss side 11-2, as McMinn raised a few more eyebrows with an 11-5 victory over Mosconi Cup competitor, Woodward. McMinn went on to claim the hot seat 11-7 over Jones.
On the loss side, the casualty list was growing, and it included Archer, Bergman, Josh Roberts, Alex Olinger, and Jason Klatt (again, among others). By the time Woodward and Richeson showed up, the loss-side list was down to Shane Winters, and geographically appropriate Jonathan "Hennessee from Tennessee" Pinegar. Winters drew Richeson and defeated him 11-1. Woodward got Pinegar and took him out 11-4.
Woodward ended Winters' weekend with an 11-9 victory in the quarterfinals and then eliminated Jones 11-7 in the semifinals. Early in the re-match, double elimination finals, it looked as though it was going to be a grind. Woodward and McMinn fought back and forth to a 7-7 tie in the opening set, before Woodward caught a gear and closed it out with four straight. McMinn had dropped his last 9-ball. Woodward shut him out 11-0 in the second set to claim the title.
In the Ladies' tournament, it was the eventual winner, Brittany Bryant and Stacie Bourbeau in the hot seat match. Bryant had sent Stephanie Goins to the loss side 7-1, as Bourbeau was defeating Liz Lovely 7-5. Bryant claimed the hot seat 7-2 and waited on the return of Lovely.
On the loss side, Goins and Lovely picked up Samantha Patton and Julie Cone, respectively. Lovely and Patton prevailed to face each other in the quarterfinals, won by Lovely. Lovely took advantage of her re-match versus Bourbeau in the semifinals, winning for a shot at Bryant in the hot seat.  Bryant closed it out in the finals to take the Music City Ladies title.
In two brackets (A & B) of a Midnight Madness tournament, Justin Bergman went home with the top prize in the A bracket, with Danny Smith in the runner-up slot. Shane Winters took home the top prize in the B bracket, with Josh Roberts in second place.

Brodt and Bourbeau Win U.S. Amateur Championship Titles

Stacie Bourbeau

LAKE SAINT LOUIS, MO (Nov. 19, 2015) — The top amateur poolplayers in North America were on display in early November at the U.S. Amateur Championship in Palm Harbor, Fla., just across the bay from Tampa.  For five straight days, the nation’s top players battled it out at Stroker’s for the coveted U.S. Amateur Championship title and their place in the record books.


More than 2,400 players attempted to qualify for this year’s event, with 128 men and 34 women advancing to the championship round.  The tournament field included a strong mix of U.S Amateur Championship veterans and a talented pool of newcomers vying for amateur pool’s most prestigious title.


Henry Brodt defeated fellow former champion David Rowell of Birmingham, Ala., 11-2 in the finals of this year’s U.S. Amateur Championship held Nov. 4-9.  Sixteen years after winning his second U.S. Amateur Championship title (1998-99), Henry Brodt now has a third to add to his collection.


Brodt apparently discovered the fountain of youth after retiring and moving to Laguna Beach, Calif.  Not only did he win his third U.S. Amateur Championship title, but at the age of 68, he also became the oldest player to ever do so.
To say Brodt dominated both the final round, and the tournament overall, would be an understatement.


He went undefeated throughout the 3-day event, handing losses to Carlos Carter (’13 Runner-up), Ernesto Bayaua (’11 Champion) and David Rowell (’00 Champion) and plowing through a field that included several players half his age.
Brodt will advance to the U.S. Open next fall, courtesy of the APA, and his name will be added for the third time to the Larry Hubbart Trophy.


Rowell finishes as Runner-up in this year’s event, his strongest finish since taking 2nd in 2010. Both of Rowell’s loses at this year’s event came at the hands of Brodt.
Ernesto Bayaua of Tomball, Texas, took 3rd Place, while Eric Tang of Hartford, Conn., took 4thJames Adams of Brooksville, Fla., and Gregory Dix of Myrtle Beach, S.C., tied for 5th Place.
Stacie Bourbeau of Orange, Mass., is the 2015 Women’s U.S. Amateur Champion after she defeated former champion Dana Aft (’13) of Marietta, Ga., 9-7 in the finals.


The finale opened in the 8-Ball set.  Bourbeau got on the scoresheet first with a win, but Aft came right back to tie the match 1-1.  The same scenario played out over the next two games.  Tied 2-2, Aft pulled ahead slightly with a win in the fifth game.  Bourbeau quickly countered and they split the 8-Ball set 3-3.


As they moved to the 9-Ball set, a similar pattern emerged, with Bourbeau winning one game, Aft the next.  The match finally seemed to take a turn in Bourbeau’s direction in the fifth game of the 9-Ball set.  Aft had a chance to take the lead, but left the 9-ball hanging, giving Bourbeau an easy out for her fifth match lead.  Moments later, she pocketed the 9-on-the-snap, opening up a 7-5 lead.  With her confidence mounting, a third straight win put Bourbeau on-the-hill.


Aft, the seasoned U.S. Amateur Championship veteran, refused to break.  She battled back to win the next two games, again pulling within one of Bourbeau.  Moments later though, her comeback bid fell short, as Bourbeau won the final game she needed for a 9-7 victory.


In a great show of sportsmanship, both ladies embraced as the crowd cheered the newly crowned champion.


Bourbeau secured the title in only her second U.S. Amateur Championship appearance.  She’ll advance to a pro event in 2016.
For the Runner-up, Aft, it was her highest finish in the U.S. Amateur Championship since winning the title in 2013.  Samantha Barrett of Woburn, Mass., took home 3rd Place in this year’s event.
The 2015 U.S. Amateur Championship was conducted by the APA, and is the only tournament produced by the APA open to both members and non-members.  Preliminary qualifying rounds were held throughout the country in mid-September.


As Champions, both Brodt and Bourbeau will return next year to defend their coveted titles.


The U.S. Amateur Championship is a double elimination tournament that offers the nation’s top amateur players the opportunity to showcase their skills through a combination of 8-Ball and 9-Ball matches, in the only APA event that does not use The Equalizer® handicap system.


The APA, based in Lake Saint Louis, Mo., sanctions the world’s largest amateur pool league, with leagues throughout the United States, Canada, Japan and China.  Nearly 250,000 members compete in weekly 8-Ball and 9-Ball League play.  The APA is generally recognized as the Governing Body of Amateur Pool, having established the official rules, championships, formats and handicap systems for the sport of amateur billiards.


The APA produces three major tournaments each year—the APA National Team Championships, the APA National Singles Championships and the U.S. Amateur Championship—that, together, pay out more than $1.5 Million in cash and prizes annually!
The APA and its championships are sponsored by Aramith, Action Cues and Pool Dawg.


For complete coverage of the U.S. Amateur Championship visit



Samantha Barrett wins American Rotation title

Samantha Barrett and Stacie Bourbeau

The 15 Ball American Rotation Women’s Division held its second New England Women’s American Rotation Championships on December 21, 2014 at Snookers in Providence, RI. Thirty-eight women from all over New England competed this session. The top 16 players cashed, and the top 8 qualified to play in our Second New England Women’s American Rotation Championships. Players that advanced represented Stix and Stones (Abington, MA), Ivory Billiards (Holyoke, MA), Grand China Restaurant & Billiards (Salem, NH), and Snookers in Providence, RI.
Matches were streamed all day and we were fortunate to have Joe Tucker and Thomas Bertrand in the booth commentating the matches for us. Each and every player that has participated in 15 Ball American Rotation not only have shown a lot of heart and desire to improve, but these players have also shown admiration and respect towards those players that challenge them. We all are learning from each other and it’s wonderful to see each player enjoying the journey.
As for the purse, no outside sponsors were approached for this event, all money collected were given back to the prize fund, and it was an impressive payday. 1st $1500, 2nd $1000, 3rd/4th $575, 5th-8th $300, and for those players that won one match in the playoffs but didn’t advance to the championships placed 9th-16th, making $50 each! As for the event, We had two round robin groups, racing to 60 points, semi final rounds racing to 80 points, and our finals a race to 100. This session we had 3 players finish their matches undefeated going into the championship rounds. Congratulations to Lida Mullendore from Stix and Stones, Erica Testa from Grand China, and Stacie Bourbeau from Ivory Billiards for all their success and for representing their host rooms professionally.
After our 3 rounds in the Round Robin, the top 2 players in each advance to the Semi finals. In Group 1 Nicole Albergaria finished 1st with a 3-0 record and Samantha Barrett finished 2nd with a 2-1 record. In Group 2 we had a 3 way tie with 2-1 records. Going head to head, and then by ball counts, Erica Testa finished 1st and Stacie finished 2nd. Nelia Abrantes from Snookers RI missed the cut by 2 balls. Congratulations to Nelia for a great session.
Our first semi final match was with our last session championship finalists Nicole vs Stacie. Stacie advanced with an 80-44 win over Nicole. Our second semi final match was with both players that were representing Grand China, Erica vs Samantha. Samantha lost to Erica in the regular session giving her her only loss. This time Samantha won. She advanced with an 80-59 win over Erica.
Finals: Defending Champion Stacie Bourbeau against last sessions semifinalist Samantha Barrett. This final match was a race to 100 battle for the title. Stacie takes the lead at 44-36 and then next rack Sam ties it up 50-50. Sam takes the lead 66-54 and then next rack Stacie ties it up 70-70. Sam then takes the lead once again 81-79 and then eventually stops Stacie's momentum with a 100-86 win beating the defending champion. Stacie was the winner of our first RI Championship and our first New England Championship. Great Play Stacie and as always, your professionalism and poise at the table is enjoyable to watch.
As for our “New” Women's New England American Rotation Champion, this is her First time as a Title Holder at any venue. Way to go Samantha Barrett! It needs to be noted that Sam was invited to the NY 10 ball international womens event that week. She drove home Friday night from NY and went straight to her home pool room Grand China in Salem NH that night around10:30pm to play in her final playoff match to qualify and advance to the amro championships on Sunday. Sam sends me a text at 2 am stating that she just won and if off to get some sleep before work. Next day, Saturday she has to work a double at her job, which takes us to Championship Sunday at Snookers RI, where she play 12 hours straight of 15 ball American Rotation matches. Impressive drive and determination shown by Samantha Barrett. Great Job. Samantha won the Title and $1500 for 1st and Stacie won $1000 for 2nd. Below is the Top finishers and payouts. Congratulations to Everyone. 
Those players that missed advancing by one match also received $50 each placing 9th-16th. Congratulations to Lori Fitlin & Becky Ellsworth-Tucker from Snookers, Cameo Moy & Karen Dorr from Stix and Stones, Linda Estes & Debby Cauley from Ivory Billiards and Kristy Marr & Dawn Luz from Grand China for winning one match in the playoffs and placing 9th-16th. Thank you players and room owners for all your support, professionalism and enthusiasm for 15 Ball American Rotation. Because of you, we are growing, players are improving and we are one step closer towards mission success. For those interesting in participating in our next session please go to
American Rotation is a game of 15 ball Rotation. Call shot, Call safe, Rack your own, alternate breaks, ball in hand after every break ( even if you scratch ). Balls 1-10 are worth 1 point each and Balls 11-15 are worth 2 points each ( 20 points per rack). Our Women’s Division matches will be racing to 100 points per match. Each room will have 10 women playing in a round robin format, minimum one match per week. American Rotation is here to raise the level of play in our country, 15 ball Supports and Compliments other tours not replace. AmRo 15 ball is the perfect addition to your training routine to help prepare for current tours and/or events. We are determined to step up our game in this country ( &Canada ) Our industry needs a boost in the right direction, and the time is now..

Jones and Brisbon Win U.S. Amateur Championship Titles

Kenneth Brisbon

The U.S. Amateur Championship returned to the tropical climate of the Tampa Bay area in early November.  For five straight days, the nation’s top players battled it out at Stroker’s – Palm Harbor, Fla., for their place in U.S. Amateur Championship history. More than 2,400 players attempted to qualify for this year’s event, with 32 women and 128 men advancing to the championship round.  The tournament field included a strong mix of U.S Amateur Championship veterans and a talented pool of newcomers vying for amateur pool’s most prestigious title.
In the finals of the Women’s Division, Tammie Jones of Muncie, Ind., defeated Asia Cycak of Raleigh, N.C., 9-4 in a rematch of the 2012 finals.
The encore finale opened in the 8-Ball set at Jones choosing after Cycak won the lag and took the break. Cycak took an early lead winning the first game, but Jones marched right back taking the next three to open a 3-1 advantage.  Cycak narrowed the gap by taking the fifth game, but again, Jones bounced back with a win of her own and a 4-2 lead heading into the 9-Ball set.
Things unraveled quickly in the 9-Ball set for Cycak, as Jones quickly reeled off four straight wins and an insurmountable 8-2 lead.  Cycak staved off elimination the next two games, thanks in part to Jones rattling the 9-ball in and out of the pocket while on-the-hill, but could only postpone the inevitable for so long.
Jones earned her second U.S. Amateur Championship title in three years, while Cycak matched her 2012 Runner-Up performance. The victory earns Jones the coveted U.S. Amateur Championship trophy, and travel, lodging and entry into a 2015 pro event.
Stacie Bourbeau of Orange, Mass., finished in 3rd Place.
In the finals of the Men’s Division, Kenneth Brisbon of Oxford, Mich., defeated Jeff Abernathy of Hickory, N.C., 11-10 in the final.  With the victory, Brisbon avenged his only loss of the tournament, suffered earlier in the day at the hands of Abernathy.
Early on, the match looked anything like the hill-hill nail biter it turned out to be. Brisbon looked like he’d make quick work of Abernathy opening up a 5-0 lead.  But Abernathy capitalized on a miscue on the 8-ball by Brisbon in the sixth game, and took the final three games of the 8-Ball set. 
Before anyone could update their mental scorecards, Abernathy had pulled within a game with an opening win in the 9-Ball set.  Brisbon took the next two games to push his lead to 7-4.  Abernathy was tenacious though, winning four of the next five games and tying the match at 8-8.  Brisbon took the ninth game of the 9-Ball set to regain the lead, but Abernathy battled back again, winning the next two games and taking his first lead of the match.
As a stunned crowd looked on, and needing only one more game for a victory, it appeared Abernathy would complete the comeback. But it was Brisbon who would mount a comeback of his own, tying the match at hill-hill.
In the 21st and final game overall, it was Brisbon coming up clutch with an impressive break-and-run to secure his place in U.S. Amateur Championship history. 
After the match, Brisbon was presented with the first-ever Larry Hubbart Trophy by APA Founder Terry Bell and Hubbart’s widow Nancy Hubbart. 
Brisbon moves on to compete in the 2015 U.S. Open, while Abernathy settled for Runner-up, his highest finish in U.S. Amateur Championship competition.
Taylor Anderson of Bonner Springs, Kan., took 3rd Place, while defending champion Brian Parks of Bakersfield, Calif., finished 4th.  Tom Acciavatti of Latham, N.Y., and Clint Clark of Hickory, N.C., tied for 5th Place.
The 2014 U.S. Amateur Championship was conducted by the APA, and is the only tournament produced by the APA open to both members and non-members.  Preliminary qualifying rounds were held throughout the country in mid-September.
As Champions, both Jones and Brisbon will return next year to defend their coveted titles.
The U.S. Amateur Championship is a double elimination tournament that offers the nation’s top amateur players the opportunity to showcase their skills through a combination of 8-Ball and 9-Ball matches, in the only APA event that does not use The Equalizer® handicap system.
The APA, based in Lake Saint Louis, Mo., sanctions the world’s largest amateur pool league, known as the APA Pool League throughout the United States, and as the Canadian Pool League in Canada.  Nearly 250,000 members compete in weekly 8-Ball and 9‑Ball league play.  The APA is generally recognized as the Governing Body of Amateur Pool, having established the official rules, championships, formats and handicap systems for the sport of amateur billiards.
The APA produces three major tournaments each year—the APA National Team Championships, the APA National Singles Championships and the U.S. Amateur Championship—that, together, pay out nearly $1.5 Million in cash and prizes annually!  In 2010, the APA National Team Championships were recognized by Guinness World Records as the “world’s largest pool tournament.”
The APA and its championships are sponsored by Aramith, Action Cues and Pool Dawg.
For complete coverage of the U.S. Amateur Championship visit