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

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.