Mitchell wins her 1st Flamingo stop of the season

(photo: Stephanie Mitchell, Bill Mallen, Gary Gilsinan, and Helene Caukin at Ultimate Billiards)

June 26 was the latest installment of the Flamingo Billiards Tour held at Ultimate Billiards in Fort Pierce, Florida.  With 5 new players, the field reached the highest of the season with 21 participants and proved to be more competitive than ever bringing about a another new member to the 2010 winners’ circle.

Kim Caso sent friend, Margie Soash west with a score of 7-4, and continued her trek through to the redraw with wins over Robin Boggs and Stephanie Mitchell.  Melissa Durkin went on a rampage, defeating newcomer Susan Martin, Mimi McAndrews and Nicolle Rasmussen to reach the redraw.  After receiving a bye in the first round, Jessica Barnes pulled out a 7-6 win over newcomer Cheryl Perez and a 7-4 over Janis Sessions to reach the redraw.  Jeannie Seaver wreaked havoc on her bracket, with wins over Shanelle Loraine (7-0), newcomer Chris Ann Fields (7-3) and last month’s winner, Helene Caukin (7-2).

After a first round loss to Christie Cloke, newcomer Marina Souza defeated fellow friend Cheryl Perez, Susan Martin and jumped out to a 6-4 lead against Stephanie Mitchell.  Mitchell battled back and won the match 7-6 to reach the redraw.  Margie Soash fought back hard after her first round loss, defeating Amy Poulter, Chris Ann Fields and Nicolle Rasmussen to make the single elimination rounds.

The final two players to reach the redraw portion of the tournament were Kelly Cavanaugh and Helene Caukin.  The final 8 were set and the B-side opponents began drawing their A-side matches.  The first match saw Caukin draw Durkin.  Caukin came out on fire and along with a few lucky rolls put the match away with a 7-1 score.  The second match saw Soash draw to a rematch with Caso.  Both players buckled down and continued to tie the match the entire way through.  Double hill, Soash received ball in hand with 4 balls on the table and began her run out to a tough 9, which she lined up and fired in for the win.

The third match saw Cavanaugh matched up with Barnes in a see-saw battle until the score reached 3-3.  Barnes caught a gear and won the match 7-4.  The fourth and final match up was Mitchell and Seaver.  Mitchell gained control early and never relinquished control, putting away the match with a 7-1 score.

In semi-final 1, Soash and Caukin maintained a close match, neither player able to gain more than a one game lead.  With the score at 5-5, it was Caukin who would break away and win the match 7-5. In semi-final 2, Mitchell and Barnes went a different route with Barnes coming out of the gate strong and taking a 3-1 lead in the blink of an eye.  itchell bared down with safety play, while Barnes made some uncharacteristic misses.  Mitchell finished out the match 7-4.

The final stage was set and pitted veteran players, Mitchell versus Caukin.  Caukin was looking for her second consecutive win of the season, while Mitchell was looking for her first tour title since last year.  Both players started out tentative, making unforced errors early on.  The match stayed even until the score reached 2-2.  Mitchell began to slowly pull away by capitalizing on Caukin’s misses.  Up 4-2, Mitchell returned the favor by missing a key shot, allowing Caukin to pull within one.  The next two games saw creative play between both players on the 6-ball, until Mitchell gained the edge in both to make it and run out to reach the hill first.  Caukin gained the edge in the next game and began her run until missing a crucial 6-ball allowing Mitchell a chance to close the match.  Mitchell strategically pocketed balls but would overrun shape, leaving a difficult 9-ball, which she missed.  Caukin pocketed it to put the score at 6-4.  In the next game, again Mitchell had a chance to finish the match, but a surprising scratch on the 8, allowed Caukin to pull within one.  Caukin was set to break for a chance to tie the match.  She broke and watched the 9-ball fly into the side pocket but unfortunately continued looking on as the cue ball followed it.  Mitchell took a deep breath and with ball in hand decided she could no longer make unforced errors and meticulously ran out the rack to win her 1st event this season.

The FBT, players and fans would like to extend a special thanks to Bill Mallen and Gary Gilsinan of Ultimate Billiards (www.ultimate-billiards.com) for their patronage, equipment and hospitality.  Other huge thanks also go out to our tour sponsors Ozone Billiards  (www.ozonebilliards.com), Boynton Billiards (www.boyntonbilliards.com) and Tweeten Fibre (www.tweeten.us) for their valued support.

The next Flaming Billiards Tour stop is August 7 at Corner Pocket Billiards in Orlando, Florida (www.cornerpocketbilliards.com)   Please check  (www.flamingobilliardstour.com) for more details and the complete schedule

Rasmussen Rules the Flamingo Billiards Tour

(pctured left Kelly Cavanaugh, right winner Nicolle Rasmussen)

* reported by Michell Monk

Orlando, Fla. (April 11, 2010) ― April 10th brought out 11 women to the Flamingo Billiards Tour event held at Corner Pocket Billiards in Orlando, Florida.  Although a small field, it was filled with talent.  A new winner, but hardly a newcomer, emerged victorious ― Nicolle Rasmussen.

Sparks started flying early as two top players got knocked to the one-loss side after the first round.  Sandy Hamor defeated Helene Caukin and Jessica Barnes sent Stephanie Mitchell west.  Hamor continued her trek until losing to Kelly Cavanaugh.

Mimi McAndrews won her first two matches then lost to Rasmussen, who set a match record ― four 9-ball combination shots, almost made a fifth, and earning the nickname “Nicolle ride-the-nine Rasmussen!”  Keva Hevener, who lost to Cavanaugh, retaliated by defeating McAndrews, while Caukin avenged her earlier loss to Hamor.

The single-elimination portion of the tournament drew Hevener against Cavanaugh and Caukin against Rasmussen.  Caukin took the first game, but missed the 9-ball giving Rasmussen the second game. Next, Rasmussen snapped the nine in the side.  Jumping out to a 5-1 lead, Caukin cut into Rasmussen’s streak to trail by three.  However, Rasmussen won the next game putting her on the hill.  Caukin broke and ran to a tricky 3-ball and missed, allowing Rasmussen back to the table.  Methodically running the rack, Rasmussen “willed” the cue ball away from the pocket to avoid scratching in the side.  Rasmussen made the 9, eliminating Caukin 7-2.

In semi-final 2, Cavanaugh started out struggling with her mechanics and missing two 9-balls, which Hevener pocketed to go up 3-1. Next, Cavanaugh scratched on the break. Hevener, with ball-in-hand on the one, missed the shot trying to get difficult shape on the two.  Fortune turned and Cavanaugh ran out.  She easily caromed her next win after Hevener left the 9-ball hanging.  Hevener missed the 9-ball again, and Canavaugh took the lead 4-3. The players alternated the next three games, and Cavanaugh reached the hill first.  In the 11th game, Hevener maneuvered a meticulous out but left herself a difficult shot on the nine and missed.  Cavanaugh made a long 9-ball shot to win the match.

The finals pitted best friends Rasmussen against Cavanaugh.  Rasmussen scored first.  Cavanaugh quickly tied the match and then won the next two games.  Moments from taking the lead by three, Cavanaugh missed the 9-ball and Rasmussen pulled within one game.  Despite that miss, the force was with Cavanaugh as she methodically put together racks to reach the hill, leaving Rasmussen behind at three.  In the next game Rasmussen missed a touchy safe on the 4-ball leaving Cavanaugh a chance to close the match.  But fatigue and pressure set in and Cavanaugh uncharacteristically missed the 7-ball.  Rasmussen ran out and the score was 6-4.  With the momentum shifting again Rasmussen took the next two racks to tie the match.

The final game showcased nerves. Both players exchanged misses.  Rasmussen left the 6-ball hanging in the corner pocket leaving Cavanaugh with an extremely difficult position shot to the seven.  Jokingly, Cavanaugh asked Rasmussen if she could “phone a friend.”  Both laughed and then it was back to business. Cavanaugh made the shot, got shape for the 7-ball, made that shot and left a thin cut on the nine in the side but missed.  Rasmussen stepped to the table, lined up the shot and fired the 9-ball in, winning her first Flamingo Billiards Tour title!

The FBT and players would like to extend a special thanks to Tesh Patel of Corner Pocket Billiards (www.cornerpockerbilliards.com) for their patronage, equipment and hospitality.  Another very special thanks to Tour supporter Glenn Votel for adding $100 bonus to the payout.  And a huge thanks to our Tour sponsors Ozone Billiards (www.ozonebilliards.com), Boynton Billiards (www.boyntonbilliards.com) and Tweeten Fibre (www.tweeten.us) for their valued support.

RESULTS
($250 added, $100 bonus, modified double-elimination)

1st        Nicolle Rasmussen ($310 + $50 bonus)
2nd       Kelly Cavanaugh ($250 + $50 bonus)
3rd        Helene Caukin ($100)
3rd        Keva Hevener ($100)
5th        Sandi Hamor ($50)
5th        Mimi McAndrews ($50)
7th        Melissa Durkin
7th        Stephanie Mitchell
9th        Jessica Barnes
9th        Shanelle Lorraine
9th        Barbara Harris