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Schaad and Cossette Win U.S. Amateur Championship Titles

Abrin Schaad

The U.S. Amateur Championship is all about legacy, leaving your mark in a tournament contested by some of the best amateur players to ever pick up a cue stick – names like Parks, Brodt, Chen and Jones.
Pool tournaments come and go, but securing the title of U.S. Amateur Champion is something you carry with you forever, literally.  Not only does it stand out on an amateur billiard resume, but your name is forever added to the Trophy of Champions for generations to come.
Legacy is what drove more than 2,100 of North America’s top amateur players to try and qualify for the 25th Annual event.  That’s what brought 128 men and 41 women to Stroker’s in Palm Harbor, Fla., in early November to compete in this year’s U.S. Amateur Championship.
Of course there were some great perks too.  Like a getaway to the Tampa area, one of the premier vacation destinations in the world, at a time when most of the country is experiencing their first taste of winter.  An all-expenses paid trip to a pro event next year courtesy of the APA for the winners of each division. 
And let’s not forget the championship trophy – a combination of marble and bronze that more closely resembles a piece of art than something won in a pool tournament.
Hurricane Abe Takes U.S. Amateur Championship by Storm 
There’s a new kid in town, and his name is Abrin Schaad. The 26-year-old from Peoria, Ill., took this year’s U.S. Amateur Championship field by storm earning the nickname “Hurricane Abe” in the process.  Schaad went undefeated, winning seven matches, and knocking five-time champion Brian Parks to the one-loss bracket along the way.
He defeated fellow “young gun” Mike Leigh of Barrie, Ontario in the final round 11-3, after handing Leigh his first loss of the tournament just two rounds prior.
In the championship match, Schaad opened up an 8-0 lead in the 8-Ball set before Leigh finally got on board in the first game of the 9-Ball set.  By then though, the outcome seemed but a mere formality. Schaad ultimately closed out one of the most dominating finals performances in U.S. Amateur Championship history with a 9-on-the-snap to cap the victory.
Schaad will move on to compete in a 2019 Pro Event courtesy of APA, and, more importantly, his name will be added to the Larry Hubbart Trophy, forever cementing his legacy as a U.S. Amateur Champion.
Leigh finishes as the Runner-up, his highest finish in the U.S. Amateur Championship.
Former champions Henry Brodt and Brian Parks finished in 3rd and 4th Place respectively. James Adams and John Mitcheltree tied for 5th Place.
One hundred-twenty eight players competed in this year’s U.S. Amateur Championship including eight former champions.
[photo id=50533|align=right]Cossette Takes Down Reigning Champ in Epic Hill-Hill Battle
Lisa Cossette of Rockwell, N.C., defeated reigning champion Melinda Huang of Los Angeles in a hill-hill battle by a score of 9-8. She’ll advance to a pro event next year.
That’s how the story ends.  But, how it unfolded is a tale that will go down as one of the most epic showdowns in U.S. Amateur Championship history.
The opening act begins late on the final day of competition in the hot-seat match, with both players undefeated and the winner heading to the championship match, while the loser would have to square-off in a play-in semifinal.
Huang, the defending champion, and savvy veteran of many U.S. Amateur Championship matches, outlasted Cossette 5-4 in a hill-hill battle that would serve as the opening act for what was to come.
Cossette then battled her way back by ousting Tina Hess in the semifinal round, setting up a rematch between herself and Huang.
In the finale, Huang jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead in the extended race-to-9.  Cossette then found her stroke and took the next four games and a 4-3 lead.  That lead was short-lived as Huang quickly won the next three games, regaining the lead 6-4.  Then it was once again Cossette’s turn to go on a run, winning the next four games to go on-the-hill.  Like a true champion, Huang wasn’t going down without a fight.  She took the next two games, to force one final game, where the winner would take all.
In the final game, Huang was at the table with no clear shot on the 4-ball which was blocked by the 9-ball and the 5-ball.  Rather than give her opponent ball-in-hand, Huang attempted an aggressive shot that would have been remarkable if she could execute it.  Unfortunately, however, she fouled.  With ball-in-hand, and the 4-ball no longer tied up, Cossette ran out the table for the victory.
After nearly four hours, Cossette had avenged the earlier loss to Huang and captured her first Women’s U.S. Amateur Championship title.
Huang finished as the Runner-up while Tina Hess of Huntsville, Ala., finished in 3rd Place.
Forty-one ladies competed in this year’s Women’s U.S. Amateur Championship, including three former champions.
Match coverage, including the finals, of this year’s U.S. Amateur Championship and Women’s U.S. Amateur Championship can be found on the APA YouTube channel at  Streaming for the U.S. Amateur Championship was sponsored by
The entry window for the 2019 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 Schaad and Cossette 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 

Petrosino Pierces Gulf Coast Tour

Sophia Lopez, Terry Petrosino and Gail Eaton

Terry Petrosino, defeated Gail Eaton, to secure her first win on the Gulf Coast Women’s Regional Billiards Tour. It was the final event of the 2017 season, and a memorable win for Petrosino, having finished in second place, four times this year. 
On November 11th-12th, 2017, Fat Rack’s Sports Bar and Billiards in San Antonio, Texas, along with tour sponsors, Cyclop Pool Balls, Ozone Billiards, APA of North Harris County, Outsville Billiards, and Jimmy Jenkins Realty, facilitated a successful, two-day, $1,000 added 9-ball event for Gulf Coast Tour competitors. 
At this event, the tour initiated an annual awards ceremony which recognizes and rewards players for their outstanding achievements in a number of categories. Gail Eaton was crowned 2017 Tour Champion (point leader) and received a plaque for her efforts. It was Eaton’s second tour championship, securing her first in 2013. Eaton also earned the new “Sportsmanship Award”, an award voted on by her peers. San Antonio’s Lois Morgado took home the inaugural “Most Improved Player Award”, while Gail Roles received the coveted “Rebecca Arcangeli Dubious Achievement Award”, honoring our recently fallen friend and player, Rebecca Arcangeli.  Rebecca loved to joke around and pull pranks, smiling and laughing all the while, and each year, one player will receive this award to honor that spirit. Lastly, a “Best Attendance” Award was given to Loretta Lindgren, Gail Roles, and Gail Eaton. Each player missed only one event, in the eleven-event season. Congratulations to all these deserving women.
Following the annual awards ceremony and a brief players’ meeting, Saturday’s matches commenced. Terry Petrosino was on her way with wins over Robyn Petrosino, 7-4, and Naomi Garcia, 7-2, while San Antonio’s Jennifer Dooley ousted tour newcomer Tara Sanchez, 7-4,  Erica “Hollywood” Hanlon, 7-5, and Gail “Thunder” Roles, 7-2. Gail “Virginia Slim” Eaton overcame Kim “Texas Heat” Pierce, 7-6, Tina Hess, 7-4, and Ellen Robinson, 7-2, while hometown favorite, Sophia Lopez, defeated Yvonne Asher, 7-5, newcomer Yvonne Martinez, 7-3, and Lois Morgado. Following a second round upset by Morgado, 7-5, Houston’s Jillian Nickerson ran through the west side eliminating Sanchez, 5-1, Loretta “The Gem” Lindgren, 5-0, and Garcia, 5-4. In similar fashion, following a first round loss to T. Petrosino, 7-2, Jennifer Yo took out Tam Trinh, 5-2, Tina Hess, and Roles, 5-3. The younger Petrosino bounced back, eliminating Hopey Lawrence (Carter), 5-3, Pierce, and Morgado. Asher made a stand, sending home Lufkin’s Toni Estevez, 5-3, San Antonio’s Edelina Flores, 5-3, and Hanlon, only to be thwarted by Robinson, 5-2. On Sunday, the final eight were back, and in the money. East side action witnessed Dooley overpower T. Petrosino, 7-4, and Lopez overwhelm Eaton, 7-2. Petrosino and Lopez teed off for the hot seat. The score was 6-5, Petrosino, when Lopez missed a seven-ball to tie the set. Petrosino closed it out, 7-5, drawing herself one step closer to the finish line. On the one loss side, Nickerson ended Yo, 5-1, and R. Petrosino finished off Robinson, 5-2. Nickerson’s run ended at the hands of Eaton, 5-0, while Dooley terminated R. Petrosino, 5-4. Eaton was on a mission, ousting Dooley, 7-2, and Lopez, 5-1, to meet Petrosino in an all-too familiar, finals match-up. Petrosino, in search of her first win on tour, and Eaton, looking for her sixth win this season, teed off in an unforgettable, season finale. The first set was a real crowd pleaser, with Eaton nosing ahead to the finish line, 7-6. In the second set of the true, double elimination final, in an immense display of heart and focus, Petrosino came back to defeat Eaton, 5-2, and capture her first win on the Gulf Coast Tour. Congratulations to Terry Petrosino, for breaking through in this final event, to earn her very first, Gulf Coast Tour title.
Gail Roles won her first, second chance event on tour, while Edelina Flores finished second. Congratulations to these ladies on earning a little gas money for their ride home. The tour would also like to welcome its newest members, Tara Sanchez, Yvette Martinez, and Michelle Moreno. Welcome to the club!
The first event of the 2018 season will be held February 10th-11th at Bogies Billiards West, 9638 Jones Road in Houston, Texas. This 9-ball event will be two-days, played on 8’ tables with Cyclop Pool Balls. For more information about the WPBA sanctioned, Gulf Coast Women’s Regional Billiards Tour, visit 
The Gulf Coast Women’s Regional Billiards Tour is sanctioned by the Women’s Professional Billiard Association (WPBA), and is open to amateur, female players of all ages. The top 32 WPBA Exempt Professionals are not eligible to participate. The WPBA is the governing body of women’s professional billiards in the U.S. The WPBA Regional Tour System is the grass roots effort that feeds the WPBA Pro Billiards Tour. As a WPBA Regional Tour Member, players gain access to WPBA Pro Event Qualifiers and earn valuable WPBA Regional Tour Points which count toward earning invitations to the annual WPBA Regional Tour Championship and WPBA Pro Events. Whether it’s simply to challenge yourself, improve your game, or become a recognized professional, support and become a part of the longest-running, women’s sports organization in the U.S.; the WPBA.
If you are interested in starting a WPBA Regional Tour in your area, or participating on a WPBA Regional Tour, please contact the WPBA Office at 1.855.FOR.WPBA or visit 

Watson Claims First Victory on Gulf Coast Tour

Gail Eaton, Kawania Watson, Jennifer Dooley and Jennifer Yo

The event was one for the books, as San Antonio’s Kawania Watson went unchallenged amidst an impressive field of 25 semi-professional players to capture her first Gulf Coast Women’s Regional Billiards Tour 9-ball event. Watson, who joined the tour in November 2016, fell short in her first outing, finishing 9th, but made up for it in only her second start on tour. She secured the hot seat match, taking down the tour’s current #1 ranked player, Gail Eaton, 7-6. In the finals, she defeated #2 ranked, Austin’s Jennifer Yo, 7-4, notching her belt with a first-time, Gulf Coast Tour victory. 
On May 6th, 2017, the Gulf Coast Tour held its 5th stop of the year at Skinny Bob’s Billiards in Round Rock, Texas. Room owners John and Sue Cielo, along with tour sponsors Cyclop Pool Balls, Ozone Billiards, APA of North Harris County, Realtor Jimmy Jenkins, and,  facilitated another successful event for the women of the  Gulf Coast Tour. Dubbed the “8th Annual Texas 9-Ball Shoot-Out”, the one-day, open bar table event, paid out a generous $900, and featured a non-smoking, private playing area with eight (8) new Diamond bar tables. “This is our eighth, consecutive year hosting events at Skinny Bob’s. We’d like to thank John and Sue for their generosity over the years, and for being a constant source of support for the Texas pool community”, says Gulf Coast Tour and Poison Lone Star Tour Director, Kim Newsome.
Following a short players’ meeting, action kicked off around noon, and Watson began her trek to the winners’ circle. She booked wins over Lisa Pinkston, Kris Wilburn, 7-2, and Megan Hardin, 7-1, while Jennifer Dooley bested Cheryl Gaffaney, Toni Estevez, 7-6, and Amber Keithley, 7-3. Jennifer Yo overcame Louisiana’s Hopey Carter, 7-3, and Yvonne Asher, 7-4, while Gail Eaton, aka “Virginia Slim”, bested former WPBA player and tour newcomer, Tina Hess, 7-4, Aryana Lynch, 7-2, and Veronica Perez aka “Pistol Perez”, 7-0. As the final four on the winners’ side took shape, one-loss side action was in full swing. Newest tour member, Cindy Barthel, lost her first match to Perez, and went on to eliminate Estevez, 5-3, Gail Roles, 5-0, and Asher, 5-1. After losing her first match to Asher, San Antonio’s Sophia Lopez took out Lois Morgado, 5-2, and Wilburn, 5-4, but fell to Perez, 5-2. Barthel took out Perez, 5-2, sliding into 5th-6th, and in the money. Teenage phenom, Lynch, suffered a first-round loss at the hands of Loretta Lindgren, and made her bid on the one-loss side with wins over Diana Cardona, 5-3, and Marilina Nieves, 5-1, but was sent home by Hardin, 5-3. Carter secured west-side wins over Pinkston, 5-3, Rebecca Arcangeli, 5-4, and Keithley, 5-1, before falling to Hardin, 5-2. While Barthel and Hardin secured their place in the top six, the east side final four witnessed Watson slip by Dooley, 7-6, and Eaton make quick work of Yo, 7-3. The hot seat match between Watson and Eaton was a fight to the finish, and a real crowd pleaser. When the smoke cleared, it was Watson on top, 7-6. Back on the west side, Yo defeated Hardin, 5-0, while Dooley ended Barthel’s run, 5-2. Yo eliminated Dooley, 5-0, and Eaton, 5-3, to meet Watson in the finals. Watson was hungry for her first tour win, and Yo was going for her second victory of the year. Watson rose to the occasion, defeating Yo in the first set of the true double elimination final, 7-4. Congratulations to Kawania Watson on her first-ever, Gulf Coast Tour win!
The Gulf Coast Tour welcomes its newest member, Cindy Barthel, who also achieved her highest tournament finish to date (5th-6th), at this event. Jennifer Dooley and Megan Hardin booked their highest finishes as well,  4th and 5th-6th, respectively. Congratulations to all those who reached a milestone at this event.
The Gulf Coast Women’s Regional Billiards Tour is open to players of all ages and skill levels, however, the top 32 WPBA Exempt Professionals are not permitted to participate. The next Gulf Coast Tour 9-ball event will be held on May 27th-28th, at CK Billiards, 9247 Skillman St., Suite 105, in Dallas, Texas. This event will be $1,000 added, played on 8’ tables, with Cyclop Pool Balls. This event will also be a qualifier for a 2018 WPBA Pro Event. Free practice begins at 10am, and the mandatory players’ meeting begins at 11am. For more information about the WPBA sanctioned, Gulf Coast Women’s Regional Billiards Tour, visit Follow us on Facebook @gulfcoasttour1 and Twitter @gulfcoasttour.
The WPBA (Women’s Professional Billiard Association) is the governing body of women’s professional billiards in the U.S. The Gulf Coast Women’s Regional Billiards Tour is a sanctioned, WPBA Regional Tour, part of the grass roots system that feeds the WPBA Pro Billiards Tour. Amateur and semi-professional, female players, who aspire to play women’s professional billiards, must qualify through this elite system in order to attain the sought-after title, WPBA Exempt Professional. Have you ever considered taking your game to the next level, looking for a different challenge? Are you tired of the same old week-in, week-out routines deterring the progress of your game? Is it your dream to play in a pro event, or turn pro? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, it’s time to find the WPBA Regional Tour nearest you. Exclusively, WPBA Regional Tour Players gain access to WPBA Pro Event Qualifiers and earn valuable WPBA Regional Tour Points which count toward earning invitations to the annual WPBA Regional Tour Championship and WPBA Pro Events. Live your dream, support and become a part of, the longest-running, professional billiard organization in the U.S., the WPBA.
If you are interested in starting a WPBA Regional Tour in your area, or participating on a WPBA Regional Tour, please contact the WPBA Office at 1.855.FOR.WPBA or visit 

Vilmos Foldes Wins Second Diamond Pool Tour Stop

Vilmos Foldes

Vilmos Foldes added the second stop of the Diamond Pool Tour (presented by Casino Del Sol Resort) to his resume with an absolute clinic on top level big table 9-ball at Bullshooters on March 14th – 15th. 
With the field of 93 players split between “A” and “B” players, Foldes found himself in a bracket with 25 other “A” players. Foldes started out with tough wins over Ben Sutherland, George Teyechea and Bret Huth, before Bobby Emmons sent him to the left side of the board with a 9-7 scoreline. Emmons would go on to compete for the “A bracket” hot-seat, where he lost to Brian Reich in a tough 9-6 match.
The “B Bracket” was filled with 67 players, with a number of surprise results. Players, who might not have been known for their big table games, showed the fans that they can run out with the best of them, no matter what size the table is. Oscar Avila, Brian McGee and Timber Bridgewater all turned in terrific performances, which surprised a number of opponents along the way.
Avila would face off against Tucson’s Rick Schmitz (who was working double duty as tour photographer and competitor) for the “B Bracket” hot-seat. Avila would win with a hard earned 9-7 scoreline.
The Junior players were well represented at this event with ten players taking advantage of the tour’s “free entry for juniors” policy. Current junior points leader Nick Kline was once again the top junior finisher, with notable wins over Trevor Long and Chris Carpenter before falling to Paul Feltman Sr.
The Greenmail top lady bonus money was split between former Junior standout Heather Cortez and Tina Hess
The Greenmail bounty on last month’s winner Scott Frost, was collected by Ben Sutherland, who ended Frost’s tournament in 17th place.
When the “A” and “B” brackets finally met on Sunday, Reich scored a 9-4 win over Avila, to take the event hot-seat. 
Foldes started Sunday play with a very tough 7-6 win over Tres Kane, which must have forced the Hungarian champion to find his “A game”, as he defined the word “domination” for the rest of the day.  
Next up for Foldes was Bret Huth, with that match going to Foldes 7-0. A rematch with Bobby Emmons would end with Foldes scoring a 7-1 win. Tucson’s Mike Hamman was the next victim of a 7-1 scoreline and Foldes has turned in a 21-2 record over three straight alternating break matches. Foldes stretched that record to 28-2 with a 7-0 win over Avila in the semifinal match.
The final match would go two sets with Foldes continuing to show the fans in attendance what top level 9-ball looks like. Reich was able to notch two games in the first set, but ultimately fell 9-2. Foldes would see the finish line in the second set and he pushed on for a convincing 7-0 victory and a combined 44-4 record over his last seven matches.
The Neil’s Garage Cabinets second chance tournament on Sunday drew 20 players, with last month’s runner up Steve Blackburn going undefeated for first place. Blackburn scored back to back wins over Paul Feltman Jr, first for the hot-seat and then in the finals, for the win.
With his 5th place finish combined with second place in February, Bobby Emmons has taken a 40 point lead on the “A” player points list. Oscar Avila’s 3rd place finish in this event helped him take a slim 20 point lead over Guyle Fielder on the “B” player points list.
The next event on the Diamond Pool Tour is 9-ball on the 7 foot Diamond Smart Tables at Stingers in Phoenix on April 11th – 12th.
Event organizers expressed their thanks to Mike & Julie Bates, as well as all of the great staff at Bullshooters, for hosting this crowd of players. Thanks also go out to Rick Schmitz for another batch of excellent photos and a great 5th place performance.
The Diamond Pool Tour is proudly sponsored by:
Diamond Billiard Products –
Casino Del Sol Resort –
Neil’s Garage Cabinets –
Greenmail Internet Marketing –
QB Custom Cues –
Volturi Custom Cases –
Cue Sport International –
The Arizona BCA, TAP and APA league systems.

Bernie Store Wins AWBT Season Opener

Bernie Store and Heather Cortez

The AWBT kicked off their 2018 season on March 10th – 11th at Bullshooters with a field of 43 players and Bernie Store coming back from the one loss side to win and stake early claim to the AWBT points list. 


Store’s path through the brackets started off with wins over Stephanie Woodman, Carol Strong and Sandi Wilson before running into Heather Cortez in the final eight. Cortez, the 2017 points list winner, sent Bernie packing to the one loss side in a hill-hill match. 

After her win over Store, Cortez went on to defeat Nina Tagley in the final four and then Amanda Pulley for the hot-seat 7-3.
On the one loss side, Store got down to business with wins over Justine Bishop, Beth Orth, Jaye Succo (a hill-hill nail biter), Tagley and then Pulley in the semi-finals.
As is always the case on the AWBT, the finals were an extended race to 9 and Store cruised to a comfortable 9-5 victory for first place.
Sixteen players came back to Bullshooters on Sunday to compete in the second chance event, where Pearl Ortiz defeated Justine Bishop in the finals for first place. 
In addition to the ladies events, the AWBT also held their first “Balls Only” event where Jason Melm completed an undefeated run with back to back wins over James Main in the finals for first place and $310 in prize money.
The AWBT will be at Freezer’s for the second stop of the season on April 28th – 29th where they will be playing 9-ball on the 9 foot tables with $500 in added prize money.

Bezdan wins in Phoenix

The Mezz West State Tour headed to Phoenix, Arizona for its 9th stop of the season at the beautiful Bull Shooters establishment owned by Mike Bates. Mike and his staff worked tirelessly all weekend to accommodate the 87 player who convened to this legendary room with 43 tables of all types. Players from all over the west coast and along with several international stars in attendance, the crowd was not disappointed to a world class demonstration of 9 ball.   
The top half of the bracket was led by one pocket specialist and high stakes action player Scott Frost. Frost had a strong support group as he played some high powered 9 ball defeating Danny Gokhul, Tommy Tokoph, Bobby Emmons, Chuck Evans, and finally Beau Runningen to play for the hot seat. 
Meanwhile, leading the bottom half of the bracket was Hungarian Attila Bezdan. Attila is in the United States on a sports visa with road partner and best friend Vilmos Foldes to play on the Mezz West State Tour. The always jovial Attila had some solid play with wins over Jason Gilbert, Brian Begay, Mitch Ellerman, and Vilmos Foldes to get the chance to play Scott Frost for the hot seat. After a very impressive start, the young Hungarian allowed Frost into the match with some errors and Frost took full advantage. After some fortunate rolls on behalf of Attila, he capitalized on his fortune with intelligent safes and pocketing sending the "Freezer" to the west side of the bracket.
On the one loss side Vilmos Foldes awaitEd Scott Frost after two very hard fought victories over Oscar Dominguez and Beau Runningen. Frost jokingly told Attila he would "double dip" him in the finals but Vilmos was quick to say he wouldn't be playing in the finals. The friendly trash talk was the perfect backdrop to what became an incredible match by Foldes and Frost. Having only the 7 and 9 ball left in the hill hill game, Frost left himself a bit too straight and tried to punch the ball over for position on the 9. This caused the 7 ball to jaw in the hole leaving Foldes a hanging 7 and routine 9. A poor position play on the 9 left Foldes a predicament of back cutting the 9 or firing cross side which Vilmos shot at warp speed making it and sealing Frost's fate in the hill hill game. The all Hungarian final was played out with Attila winning his first event ever on the Mezz West State Tour. 
The MWST would like to thank their sponsors for their continuous support of bringing pool back to the west coast. In addition, a very special thank you to "Fast" Lenny Marshall for donating his time and hard work for the Live streaming. Also a congrats to Tina Hess for being the top female finisher and receiving $100 bonus.
Mezz Cues (, West State Billiards Supply (, ZAN tips (, Kurzweils Country Meats (,,,, Marty Carey Jump Q,, Turtle Racks, and fast&loose designs.

Wagner Wins AWBT Finale; Store Tops Points List

Rebecca Wagner

The Arizona Women’s Billiards Tour held their last event of the 2014 season on November 15th – 16th at Bullshooters, and in addition to crowning a tournament winner, a tour points winner was yet to be crowned. While 2014 Points List winner Bernie Store held a decent sized lead on the points list, three players (Rebecca Wagner, Susan Williams and Sara Miller) were all within striking distance of the top spot. 
The pool gods showed their mischievous side on this weekend as Store, Wagner Williams, Miller and Arizona newcomer Tina Hess were all on the same side of the board. Toss in former event winner Jaye Succo, Leandra Gaff and Vegas’ Ashea Erdahl and the bottom half of the bracket was a veritable minefield for any players hoping to advance. The marquee matches got going early on Saturday with Wagner defeating Store 7-5, Succo beating Hess 7-6 and Miller sending Williams to the left side 7-2.
Wagner would find herself on the one loss side one round later, after a 7-4 loss to road partner Erdahl. Meanwhile, Miller was sending Succo west to fight it out on the one loss side. 
A couple of big surprises on Saturday were the eliminations of Susan Williams and Amanda Pulley. Williams won three straight on the one loss side, before dropping a 7-4 match to Store. Pulley held a sizable lead over Barbara Lee on the winners side but couldn’t get over the finish line and dropped the match 7-6. Pulley then lost to Store in her first match on the one loss side 7-4.
Sunday play got underway with four players left on each side of the board. Tucson’s Tracie Hamman handed Barbara Lee her first loss 7-4, and Ashea Erdahl sent Sara Miller to the one loss side 7-5. The next round would see Erdahl take the hot-seat with a 7-2 win over Hamman.
Bernie Store guaranteed herself the points list win with a 7-4 win over Susan Williams in her first match on Sunday. That would be as far as Store would get though, as she lost her next match to Sara Miller 7-4.  Rebecca Wagner also sent Barbara Lee back to California in 5th place with a quick 7-2 scoreline. Wagner didn’t stop there as she next eliminated Miller 7-3 to earn her spot in the semi-finals.
The semi-final match would turn out to be a heartbreaker for Hamman as she held leads at 4-1 and 6-5 but missed the case nine ball at hill-hill and couldn’t stop Wagner from winning the final game. 
The finals were an “all Vegas” affair between Wagner and Erdahl. Although the scoreline made it look close, Wagner was never really in any danger of losing the match and faded a late comeback from Erdahl for the 9-6 win and her third title of the season. Wagner ended up 5 points behind Store on the points list, quite an amazing feat considering she played in two less events than anyone else in the top four. 
The second chance tournament on Sunday saw Amanda Pulley bounce back from a hot-seat loss to Beth Orth and exact her revenge in the finals for first place.
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.

Bernie Store Back in AWBT Winner’s Circle

Bernie Store – Photo courtesy of Rick Schmitz

The AWBT’s yearly trip to Tucson on October 25th and 26th saw Bernie Store get her first win of the year, and regain her spot at the top of the AWBT points list with just one event to go. The event also saw the emergence of a player, Tina Hess, who looks fully capable of winning events on tour.
The extra distance to Tucson may have dissuaded the Nevada players, but Tucson and Southern California were both well represented along with most of the top ladies from the Phoenix area in the field of 25 players. 
It took no time at all for the upsets to start piling up as both Barbara Lee – Runner up from last month – and Susan Wilbur dropped first round matches. Lee would still make it to Sunday play, but Wilbur would not get past Sonia Flores on the one loss side.
Tour veteran Susan Williams came up just short of Sunday main event play as she won her first two matches and then lost to last month’s winner (and World traveller) Sara Miller 7-5. Things went from bad to worse for Williams as she lost to Alicia Streenz 7-5 in her next match and was eliminated out of the money.
The final four on the winners side on Sunday morning were Bernie Store, Sara Miller, Tucson’s Michelle Trevino and Tina Hess. Hess recently moved to Phoenix from Indiana, but she has been playing on regional tours across the country for many years and was expected to make a splash on the tour in a short period of time. 
The final four on the one loss side were Alicia Streenz, Anne Gray, Barbara Lee and Sonia Flores. 
Sunday matches got underway and the winners side saw Store send Sara Miller to the one loss side 7-3 and Hess defeat Trevino 7-2. Bernie would capture the hot-seat with a hard fought 7-5 win over Hess.
On the one loss side, Streenz and Flores settled for 7th place after losses to Gray and Lee. Gray had lost her second match of the event, but had put together an impressive run of four wins on the left side of the board and Michelle Trevino became win #5 for Gray. Trevino was joined in 5th place by Barbara Lee as Sara Miller handed Lee loss #2 by the score of 7-3.
Sara Miller kept her hopes for a repeat win on tour alive with a decisive 7-3 win over Anne Gray, but those hopes would be dashed in the semi-final match as Miller lost to Hess 7-2.
Store came out on fire in the final match and raced to what looked like an insurmountable 8-1 lead. Hess mounted a comeback and took advantage of a couple missed shots by Store to get back within two racks at 8-6 before missing a six ball that left Store four balls for the tournament win. Store would run out for the final 9-6 win.
Store was complimentary of her finals opponent when it was all over. She commented, “(Tina) plays a very good game, I think she’ll be able to compete with the top contenders in the AWBT.”
Store also commented on her lack of time in the winners circle so far this year. She said “(I) can’t believe this was my first win this season.  I’m excited that I won an event before the season was over.  Hopefully winning more than one event next season, but placing high in most of the events has kept me in the top.  It’s been fun, only my 2nd year playing and I won the tour last year, trying to win this season too.”
Hess had great things to say about her fellow competitors and the tour itself after the event finished.  “The pool hall we played at in Tucson was one of the nicest rooms I have ever played in. (They had) great tables, food etc. The women who play on this tour are awesome. I learned … just by watching some of the talented players play. Tres and Kristie do a great job running the tour as well. I felt welcomed from the very beginning here.” said Hess.
Although she failed to cash in the main event, Susan Williams cruised through the second chance event on Sunday and took first place with a 5-2 win over Rayna Gainey.
Tour director Tres Kane passed on the tour’s thanks to Pockets Owner Lenny and his son Curtis Johnson for hosting and adding $300 to the main event and $50 to the second chance. He also thanks the friends of the AWBT for adding $100. Tres and fellow tour director Kristie Ortega also added $70 to the second chance event.

Betty Lea wins Sport 9 tour stop #3 @ 6 Pockets in Decatur, AL

Betty Sessions

Sport 9 Ladies Tour stop #3 was held at 6 Pockets Billiards this past weekend, May 17th, 2014 drawing 16 players in the women’s and 36 in the men’s open bar table mini.
The ladies event began Saturday at noon and was played on 9' Diamond tables. The format was double elimination race to 7 on the winner’s side and race to 5 on the loser’s side. The field was very competitive as Sport 9 welcomed two new players, Tina Hess and Allison Hardwick and newly joined member, Dana Aft.  Sunday the final 8 were brought back to battle for top 4 money spots.  Going undefeated was Betty Lea out of Atlanta, GA.   Dana Aft placed 2nd after defeating Ashley Nandrasy and Janeen Lee.
The men’s 9 ball bar table mini event was held in conjunction with the ladies event also producing some great matches with 36 talented players. The format was race to seven, alternate break double elimination. 'Lil D', Daniel McKenney, from Mississippi won the tournament after coming through the losers bracket.  Sam Gilmer placed 2nd and Richard Andrews 3rd.
Congratulations to local player Justyn Cone 'Roadman', winner of the the Friday night bar table tournament.
Sport 9 would like to thank Paul McClain, owner of 6 Pockets Billiards for hosting another great event and look forward to returning July 26th weekend for the 2nd annual River City Open.
Sport 9 would also like to thank all tour sponsors listed below for their continued support and contributions.

Jia Li over Janet Atwell for Regional Tour Championship Win

Jia Li and Janet Atwell

Janet Atwell looked nearly unbeatable all week at the WPBA's Regional Tour Championship, only dropping a 5-4 decision to the East Coast's Jia Li late on Saturday. In the end, it would also be Li who would keep Atwell from the final winner's circle.
Sixty four of the US's top female regional players made their way to Bullshooters in Phoenix, Arizona to stake their claim to over $11,000 in prize money on January 16th – 19th. 
The players were initially split into eight groups of eight players for just over two days of round robin play. Players would play each player in their group in one race to five, with the top four players from each group advancing to stage two. Each group held the winner of one of the eight regional tours – and with only two exceptions – each tour winner advanced to the second stage. The Flamingo Billiard Tour's Janis Sessions and Tina Hess were the two players to stumble in their groups and fail to advance. Advancing with no problems in stage one were three players were perfect 7-0 records; Atwell, Arizona's Bernie Store and Kim Pierce.
The second stage of the event saw the thirty two remaining players divided into eight groups of four players. Each player would play everyone in their group one race to five, with the top two players from each group advancing to the final stage of the event. Two of stage one's undefeated players – Atwell and Pierce – would cruise through stage two with 2-1 records, but Arizona's Store would pick a bad time to fall ill and crashed in her stage with an 0-3 record. Five players would advance through stage two with undefeated records; Crystal McCormick, Sheila Clark, Jai Li, Dawn Fox and Liz Cole. Li's final stage win would be at the expense of Atwell, in a possible glimpse of things to come.
The final stage of the event saw the sixteen remaining players placed in a single elimination bracket for play on Sunday. Atwell and Li would ride opposite sides of this bracket to the final race to nine, where the event's winner would be determined.
Atwell let a couple early opportunities get by her to start the finals, and Li stayed steady to take a quick 4-2 lead. Atwell took advantage of a couple mid match mistakes from Li and tied the score at 4-4 before Li would take a break to clear her head. Li would come back from the break and ride a combination of strong play and a friendly roll or two to win five of the next six racks to earn first place and $2500 in prize money, as well as a spot in the upcoming WPBA Masters on February 5th – 9th.
While the final sixteen players were battling it out on Sunday, thirty two of the already eliminated players came back for a $1000 added second chance tournament. This tournament was won by Kim Benson, who defeated Arizona's Susan Williams in the finals.
Everyone in attendance enjoyed four days of top notch pool, and a very well run event. Kristie Ortega and Tres Kane from the Arizona Women's Billiards Tour – teamed up with Bullshooters owner Mike Bates – to put on a great event. Special thanks to "friends of the AWBT" for sponsoring the second chance event for $1000.