Caso Repeats at Stix Billiards in Palm Harbor

(photo: Kim Caso)

Kim Caso has the distinction of being the first repeat winner in 2010 for the Tiger Bay Area Amateur Tour (BAAT) by topping the record-breaking field of 30 players on May 22nd. The $500-added handicapped tournament was held at Stix Billiards in Palm Harbor, FL, and several newcomers were welcomed to the tour.

Tied for 9th place and receiving prize bags with gifts from sponsors were Bettina Chase, Keva Hevener, Margie Soash, and Sabra MacArthur Beahn.

Of the several tour newcomers, Virginia Billie made the money by coming in 7th. Following a first round loss to Jessica Barnes, Billie battled her way through several matches including two shutouts before succumbing once again to Barnes. Tying with Billie was Sis Tarver who has played in several BAAT tournaments, having joined the tour shortly after it’s inception in 2008. Both received $50 for 7th place.

Runner up Deanna Foster

Kelly Cavanaugh’s 5th place finish was hard-fought, having lost her second round match hill-hill to Barnes, then going to the hill two more times over the next several matches, with the third hill match ending in a loss to Niki Rasmussen. Cavanaugh has been a force to reckon with this year as she has had two 2nd place finishes! In a tie for 5th was Rachel Delaney, who has also made her mark by winning her first BAAT tournament as a newcomer in January. Cavanaugh and Delaney took home $75 for their efforts.

Squaring off in the quarter-final match were Rasmussen and Barnes. Rasmussen always proves to be a formidable opponent, having won three BAAT tournaments during the last seven months! Barnes has had her share of success, winning a BAAT tournament earlier this year, and having been the first BAAT champion ever in January of 2008! The fight to advance was a grudge match as Rasmussen had sent Barnes to the one-loss side in the third round. Rasmussen showed early determination by making it to the hill with Barnes needing three more games, but Barnes wouldn’t fold and she won the match. Rasmussen earned $150 for her 4th place finish.

Barnes faced off against Caso in the semi-final match. It had been a long day for both players, and Barnes showed her will to win by striking first blood. The match see-sawed for the next four games, but with Barnes ahead 3-2, Caso kicked into gear and won two more games and the match with a score of 4-3 in the handicapped format. Barnes left the tournament with 3rd place and $200.

Sitting in the hot seat was Deanna Foster, who had prevailed in three hill-hill matches and sent Caso to the one-loss side with a 5-1 score. Both players were ready for battle and were determined to be the next BAAT champion. Foster jumped out of the starting gate by winning the first game of 9-ball. Caso answered with a string of three wins, but Foster wasn’t giving in and she took the final game of 9-ball in the match. Next was 8-ball, and Caso took revenge on Foster by winning the first game of 8-ball and the match with a score of 4-2.

The true double-elimination tournament would see one more round. In the second final round match, Caso was riding the crest, winning the first two games of 9-ball. Foster held on by taking the third game, but Caso was unwavering, winning the last two games of 9-ball and her second BAAT championship! Caso’s 1st place finish earned her $350. Foster took home $275 and was thrilled with 2nd place, her best BAAT finish yet!

Thanks go out to Tom George, owner of Stix Billiards, and his staff members for providing a great location for the tournament. Thanks also to our sponsors, including: Tiger Products, Lucasi Hybrid, Sterling Gaming, Ozone Billiards, Ray Martin, Nick Varner, Strokeitwear.com, Robertson Billiard Supplies, Tweeten Fiber, Billiard Scoop, and Sports Rock for making it possible for BAAT to give gifts to players, fans, and room owners.

1st Kim Caso $350

2nd Deanna Foster $275

3rd Jessica Barnes $200

4th Niki Rasmussen $150

5th-6th Kelly Cavanaugh $  75

Rachel Delaney $  75

7th-8th Sis Tarver $  50

Virginia Billie $  50

9th-12th Keva Hevener Prizes

Bettina Chase Prizes

Margie Soash Prizes

Sabra MacArthur Beahn Prizes

(l tor) Deanna Foster, tour director Stephanie Mitchell, Kim Caso

For tour and schedule information, go to the BAAT Tour website at  HYPERLINK “http://www.BAATtour.com” www.BAATtour.com, or contact Stephanie Mitchell at (813) 833-8707 or Sabra Beahn at (727) 480-2250.


Art of Billiards Host All American Tour

Reported by Michell Monk

(photo L-R) Room owner Art Rogers, Shanelle Lorraine (3rd), Helene Caukin (1st), Jessica Barnes (3rd), Nicolle Rasmussen (2nd), and room owner Dana Rogers)

The thirty-eighth stop on the 2009-2010 Lucasi Hybrid All American Tour (produced by the American CueSports Alliance – ACS) was produced at Art of Billiards in GainesvilleFL on Saturday, May 1.  The $250 added event attracted eleven of Florida’s top women players – the event piggybacking onto the popular regional Flamingo Tour.  Although a small field due to other activities going on this day, the competition was fierce and full of surprises in the double-elimination, 9-foot table, 9-ball competition.

First round matches saw last month’s Flamingo Tour winner, Nicolle Rasmussen, face off with powerhouse Leslee Davis-Blakie, who has been absent on tour. Rasmussen won 7-4 and moved on to defeat Christie Cloke. Helene Caukin defeated newcomer Allison “Derek” Folds, sending her west with a score of 7-4. Barbara Ellis won a double-hill thriller against newcomer and pool room owner Dana Rogers to advance.

In the round before the redraw Shanelle Lorraine sent Caukin to the one-loss side, and Rasmussen lost to Jessica Barnes.  Rasmussen matched up again with Blakie, winning 7-3 and her spot into the redraw.  Caukin played Melissa Durkin in a tighter match, but edged out with a 7-6 score.

The redraw saw Caukin and Rasmussen draw their opponents, coincidentally setting up rematches of their earlier losses that day ― Caukin versus Lorraine and Rasmussen against Barnes.

Semi-final matches

Caukin and Lorraine started out cautiously, neither wanting to relinquish control of the table.  Caukin gained control first and just when she looked to get the win in the first game, she rattled the 9-ball, leaving it for Lorraine to easily pocket. Caukin quickly tied the score but again hung the 9-ball, and Lorraine went up 2-1. The match stayed close until Lorraine began a streak, taking the lead 5-3. However, the tables turned as Lorraine was about to get on the hill, as she jawed the 9-ball and Caukin pulled within one. From there, it was all Caukin as she took over the table and eventually won the match 7-5.

In the other semi-final match, Rasmussen quickly took a 2-0 lead, but Barnes fired back and tied the match. Rasmussen pulled away taking the lead 4-2, but Barnes managed to pull within one game. When it looked that she would tie the score, Barnes missed the 8-ball and Rasmussen went up 5-3. Again Barnes found her rhythm and looked to be out when an unexpected miss on the 6-ball gave Rasmussen another game.  Now on the hill, Rasmussen ran out, closing out the match 7-3.

Two veteran players made it to the finals ― last month’s Flamingo Tour winner, Rasmussen and top competitor, Caukin. Caukin won the lag and meticulously began running out, taking a 3-0 lead before Rasmussen got on the board. However, Caukin’s momentum continued as she took back control and jumped to a 5-1 lead.  The next game, Caukin scratched on a tricky 8-ball and Rasmussen started closing the gap. But Caukin quickly shook off the scratch of the previous game and ran the table to reach the hill. Up 6-2, Caukin broke and began a run that would have ended the match, but left with a difficult shot on the 9- ball, the match wasn’t over just yet. After an exchange of misses and safeties, Rasmussen pocketed the 9 to put the match at 3-6.  The next rack, Caukin took control and began running the table to close out the match, but missed a tough 8-ball and Rasmussen ran out.  At 6-4, Caukin broke and watched the cue ball drop in the side pocket. With ball in hand, Rasmussen made the 1 and then the 2-9 combo to put the score at 6-5. Rasmussen broke, hoping to tie the match. But a dry break would be her last chance, as a determined Caukin decided it had been long enough and ran the rack to take her first regional tour win!

As the highest finishing ACS (American Cur Sports) league member, Leslee Davis won a 9 Ball singles entry into the 2010 ACS Nationals, June 6-12th in Las Vegas.  The ACS would like to extend a special thanks to hosts Art and Dana Rogers of Art of Billiards (www.artofbilliards.com) for their patronage, equipment and hospitality. And to sponsors Lucasi Hybrid Cues, Championship Billiard Fabric, Nick Varner Signature Cases, Ozone Billiards and Pool Cue Guru for their support in donating “Value-In-Kind” product for this and all stops on the Lucasi Hybrid All American Tour. All entries in the Tour are also entered into a drawing in June for $950-$1,000 Lucasi Hybrid Cues, courtesy of Ozone Billiards.  Sponsorship opportunities and tour stop openings are available for the 2010/2011 All American Tour by contacting the ACS.

The Tour moves within the state – to Riverside Billiards (561-714-6430) in Stuart, Florida – on Saturday, May 29, for a $500-added 8-ball stop.  Further information, entry details and schedules for the 2009/2010 Lucasi Hybrid All American Tour are available at www.americancuesports.org.

FINAL RESULTS:

1st       Helene Caukin (Orange City, FL)      $370

2nd      Nicolle Rasmussen (Orlando, FL)      $250

3-4th    Jessica Barnes (Orlando, FL)              $100

Shanelle Lorraine (Orlando, FL)         $100

5th Leslee Davis (Lutz, FL)                      Free 9-ball singles entry to ACS Nationals in Las Vegas

The ACS is a non-profit, national organization dedicated to heightening the interest and awareness of cue sports through the support and sanctioning of organized competition throughout the United States.