2022 STOP 1
Triple Nines Bar & Billiards
- 29 player field -
1st $700 Briana Miller
2nd $450 Caroline Pao
3rd $300 Kathy Friend
4th $200 Linda Shea
5th $130 Ada Lio
5th $130 Eugenia Gyftopoulos
7th $ 90 Judie Wilson
7th $ 90 Kia Burwell
L-R: Briana Miller, Caroline Pao
L-R: Kia Burwell, Eugenia Gyftopoulos, Briana Miller, Linda Shea, Ada Lio, Caroline Pao, Judie Wilson, (not pictured: Kathy Friend)
BRIANA MILLER TAKES SEASON OPENER ON J. PECHAUER NORTHEAST WOMEN’S TOUR
Skip Maloney, AZBilliards
March 8, 2022
She’s back. After almost three years in which she had failed to record any sort of a payout in any pool tournament (that we know of), Briana Miller returned to Pennsylvania from St. Charles, MO, where she’d attained a degree in finance, thanks to a pool-related scholarship to Lindenwood University. She got a job upon graduation and then, later, just beyond the height of the pandemic, was allowed to transfer and do that job remotely, back at home in Allentown, PA. Just this past weekend (March 5-6), Miller went undefeated to chalk up her first win on the J. Pechauer Northeast Women’s Tour (JPNEWT) in five years. Her last two recorded payouts came during the 2018 and 2019 Super Billiards Expo’s Women’s Championships, in which she finished 9th and 5th, respectively.
Miller’s last win on the JPNEWT, in November of 2017, featured two, back-to-back victories (hot seat and finals) over Tour Director Linda Shea. In a circumstance that at the time, we described to be “as rare as a teenager that doesn’t play video games,” Miller shut Shea out in both matches. Like that event, the tour’s 2022 season opener, with its 29 entrants, was hosted by Triple Nines in Elkridge, MD.
“It’s great to see her out and playing again,” said Shea after this past weekend’s event. “I loved it. She’s all grown up now; nice and settled and doing well. Her game showed it. She shot the lights out.”
It was, all told, a big come-back weekend for Miller that happened to accompany a turning point for the JPNEWT, as well. Their season opener capped an overall effort to revitalize the tour. Their 2022 season has begun with a new ‘look.’ They’ve partnered with a new streaming company – TTMD Streaming (ThinkTechMD) – which has brought a degree of professionalism and new vitality to the streaming services, including such improvements as multiple camera angles, the ability to do instant replay and steady commentary from the familiar face and voice of pool instructor George Hammerbacher and Wayne Everhart, owner of TTMD. The company has also undertaken to improve the tour’s presence on varied forms of social media and have been instrumental in creating a new tour Web site.
“They were very professional,” noted Shea of TTMD Streaming’s presence at the tour’s season opener, “and I’m looking forward to a great union with them.”
“Not only that,” she added, ‘but feature this: we held an amateur event, as well, for 450 and below Fargo rates that I’ve been trying to grow for two years. TTMD’s on board for our first event of the season and they get 25 women to participate. The most I ever got was eight. They worked that very hard and for sure, get all the credit for that 450 and under event. They even put four players in the main event, sponsored them.”
The winner of the ‘450 and under’ event was Lynn Richard, who came from the loss side (three matches) and claimed the title, with Linda Cheung as runner-up. There was also a preliminary, 17-entrant ‘chip tournament’ on Friday night, March 4, with races to one that proved immensely popular.
“It was a lot of fun,” said Shea. “Only 17 people (mixed genders, won by Pete Boyer), but it was a blast and they want it to come back every week.”
In the main event, Miller runs a gauntlet of some of the better-known competitors on the tour. In spite of what Miller encountered as a lot of new faces, she ended up facing people that she knew,
beginning with Lai Li and following with Judie Wilson and Linda Cheung, which brought her to a winners’ side semifinal against another familiar face, Eugenia Gyftopoulos. Kathy Friend, in the meantime, got by Melissa Jenkins, Alyssa Solt and survived a tough double hill challenge by Caroline Pao before advancing to her winners’ side semifinal against Ada Lio.
Friend downed Lio 7-3 and met up with Miller, who’d sent Gyftopoulos to the loss side by the same 7-3 score. Miller claimed the hot seat, her first in a long while, 7-2.
On the loss side, Lio picked up Linda Shea, who’d lost her opening match to Shanna Lewis and embarked on a six-match, loss-side winning streak that was almost derailed by Melissa Mason’s double hill challenge in the second, losers’ side round. Shea survived that, advancing to eventually eliminate Linda Cheung and Kia Burwell. Gyftopoulos drew Caroline Pao, who, following her defeat at the hands of Friend, had eliminated Lewis 7-4 and Judie Wilson 7-1.
Pao defeated Gyftopoulos 7-5, as Shea was busy getting by Lio 7-3. It set up a classic JPNEWT quarterfinal match between two of the tour’s most enduring event champions; Pao and Shea. Pao won this round of that ongoing rivalry 7-4 and then, dropped Friend 7-3 in the semifinals.
The finals of the 2022 season, pitting Pao against Miller, was, by almost any standard, a classic of the tour’s long-standing and still ongoing history. Behind them, at this event, were quite a few former JPNEWT champions; Shea, Burwell, Friend, Lewis, Lai Li and in absentia, the memory of Karen Corr. Ahead of them, as is always the case, was the table in front of them. Miller completed her undefeated run with a 7-4 victory over Pao to reclaim her spot among the tour’s best.
She’d taken a break and had now come back, to her hometown and pool. “After I graduated (in 2018, from Lindenwood), I felt like a needed a break,” she explained. “I’d been playing since I was eight (but) felt as though I wasn’t having as much fun anymore. So, I shifted my focus to other things.”
As for future plans, she’s keeping her expectations and specific plans on a ‘tight rein,’ so to speak. A sort of one day at a time approach.
“I think I’m going to stick with the JPNEWT for right now, to get back into the swing of things,” she said, adding that her ‘future’ eye is extended forward a little, toward future WPBA events and CSI’s Predator Pro Series, as examples. She’s considering attending this year’s Super Billiards Expo, but more likely as a spectator and to get reacquainted with some of the women she’d come to know over the years. “I might just go and say ‘Hi’ to everyone.
“I’m not at that level of play (to be) in a Pro event yet,” she added. “I’ll just get out there when I’m ready. Right now, I’m just playing pool to have fun.”
Tour director Linda Shea thanked the ownership and staff at Triple Nines for their hospitality, as well as title sponsor J. Pechauer Cues, ThinkTechMD for their streaming and social media services, as well as Gina Cunningham (real estate agent of Keller Williams Integrity) and George Hammerbacher.
The next event on the JPNEWT, scheduled for April 9-10, will be hosted by Markley Billiards in Norristown, PA.
2022 STOP 2
- 21 player field -
1st $500 Briana Miller
2nd $325 Kia Burwell
3rd $200 Linda Shea
4th $150 Nicole Nester
5th $100 Anna Marks
5th $100 Alyssa Solt
7th $ 65 Carol V. Clark
7th $ 65 Linda Cheung
L-R: Briana Miller, Kia Burwell
MILLER WINS HER SECOND STRAIGHT ON J. PECHAUER NORTHEAST WOMEN’S TOUR
Skip Maloney, AZBilliards
April 12, 2022
In the wake of winning the J. Pechauer Northeast Women’s Tour’s season opener last month (March 5-6), after being away from the tables for about three years, Brianna Miller commented that while she hoped to be increasing the frequency of her competition in the weeks and months ahead, she was going to “stick with the JPNEWT for right now, to get back into the swing of things.” She took a ‘swing’ at Stop #2 on the tour this past weekend (April 9-10) and as she did in March, so, too, in April. She went undefeated to claim her second straight 2022 tour title. The event drew 21 entrants to Markley Billiards in Norristown, PA.
Absent from the entrant list this time around were Miller’s season-opening hot seat opponent (Kathy Friend) and finals opponent (Caroline Pao). In as clear an indication of “out of the frying pan, into the fire” imaginable, she faced tour director Linda Shea in the hot seat match and Kia Burwell in the finals.
Following victories over Gina Cunningham 7-3, Susan Kimble 7-1 and a shutout over Ada Lio, Miller faced Anna Marksin one of the winners’ side semifinals. Shea, in the meantime, got by Suzzie Wong 7-4, Jolene Retallack 7-2 and Carol V. Clark to face Nicole Nester in the other winners’ side semifinal. Nester had just sent Kia Burwell to the loss side in a rare shutout against Burwell.
Shea downed Nester 7-3 and turned to a hot seat match against Miller, who’d defeated Marks 7-3. Miller claimed the hot seat 7-5 over Shea and waited for Burwell to get back.
Burwell took her opening, loss-side round versus Suzzie Wong 7-5 and then, in something of a response to her winners’ side shutout loss, advanced to the quarterfinals, with two straight shutout wins over Carol V. Clark and fresh from the winners’ side, Marks. Nester picked up Alyssa Solt, who’d lost her opening round match against Linda Cheung and embarked on a four-match, loss-side winning streak that had recently eliminated Ada Lio 7-4 and, in their rematch, Linda Cheung 7-3.
Nester stopped Solt’s loss-side run at four, downing her 7-3 on Saturday night. Nester was unable to return on Sunday for a rematch against Burwell, who leapfrogged over the quarterfinals and downed Shea in the semifinals 7-5. Miller completed her second straight undefeated run on the tour with a 7-3 victory over Burwell in the finals.
Tour director Linda Shea thanked the ownership and staff at Triple Nines for their hospitality, as well as title sponsor J. Pechauer Cues, ThinkTechMD for their streaming and social media services, as well as Gina Cunningham (real estate agent of Keller Williams Integrity) and George Hammerbacher. The next event on the JPNEWT, scheduled for May 21-22, will be hosted by On Cue Sports Bar & Grill in Front Royal, VA.
2022 STOP 3
2022 STOP 4
On Cue Sports Bar & Grill
Front Royal VA
- 12 player field -
1st $500 Linda Shea
2nd $300 Kia Burwell
3rd $200 Kelly Wyatt
4th $100 Kari Anderson
5th $ 75 Anna Marks
5th $ 75 Melissa Jenkins
L-R: Linda Shea, Melissa Jenkins, Kelly Wyatt, Kia Burwell, Anna Marks, Kari Anderson
SHEA GOES UNDEFEATED TO CHALK UP HER FIRST 2022 WIN ON THE JPNEWT
Skip Maloney, AZBilliards
May 23, 2022
Tour director Linda Shea and Kia Burwell have been the J. Pechauer Northeast Women’s Tour Champion and runner-up for three of the last six years. They have met countless times at various stages of any given stop on the tour over those years and this past weekend (Saturday, May 21), they met once again in the hot seat and finals of 2022’s Stop #4, an event which drew 12 entrants to On Cue Sports Bar and Grill in Port Royal, VA. Shea won both matches to claim the event title.
“She’s been nipping at my heels over the past few years,” said Shea. “Sometimes, it may seem like it takes forever to get into the next level, but she has, and her game continues to increase along with her devotion to the sport.” “I look forward to battling with her in the coming events,” she added.
The nature of the bracket (upper and lower matches) set them on a course to the hot seat match, right from the get-go. Shea opened her campaign with a shutout over Taylor Perkins, before moving into a winners’ side quarterfinal versus Alyssa Solt. Solt battled Shea to double hill before Shea prevailed, moving into a winners’ side semifinal against Kari Anderson, who’d also faced a double hill challenge in her winners’ side quarterfinal against Melissa Mason. Burwell, in the meantime, got by Kelly Wyatt 7-4 and Ashley Kaas 7-2 to arrive at her winners’ side semifinal against Melissa Jenkins.
Burwell sent Jenkins to the loss side 7-2 and was joined in the hot seat match by Shea, who’d defeated Anderson 7-3. In their first of two, Shea claimed the hot seat 7-3.
On the loss side, Jenkins and Anderson ran into competitors who’d both won all (2) of the matches they’d played on that side of the bracket. Kelly Wyatt had eliminated Melissa Mason 7-4 and Alyssa Solt 7-5 to draw Jenkins, while Marks was working on the elimination of Ashley Kaas 7-4 and Carol V. Clark 7-2 to pick up Anderson.
Anderson and Marks fought to double hill before Anderson prevailed, advancing to the quarterfinals. Wyatt joined her after winning a match that came within a game of double hill at 7-5. Wyatt downed Anderson in those quarterfinals 7-4, before having her brief loss-side journey ended by Burwell, who gave up only a single rack in the semifinals that followed.
It was the sixth time that Shea and Burwell had met in the finals of a JPNEWT stop since June of last year. Burwell had won four of the five. Shea’s win in their fourth 2021 final occurred in the same location (On Cue Sports Bar & Grill in Port Royal, VA) where she won their sixth final this past weekend. Shea completed her undefeated run with a 7-2 victory over Burwell.
“I can’t say enough about this room,” said Shea of On Cue. “Great room, great equipment and their staff is the best.”
In the absence of Brianna Miller, who won the first two events of this year’s tour, Shea moved into the top slot in the tour standings. Burwell’s runner-up finish put her in third place, just behind Miller, at the ‘quarter-pole’ of the 11-stop 2022 tour.
2022 STOP 5
Triple Nines Bar & Billiards
- 10 player field -
1st $400 Briana Miller
2nd $280 Kia Burwell
3rd $200 Ellie Kaufman
4th $120 Linda Shea
L-R: Kia Burwell, Briana Miller
MILLER WINS HER THIRD THIS YEAR ON JPNEWT AT TRIPLE NINES
Skip Maloney, AZBilliards
June 14, 2022
She won the March season opener at Triple Nines in Elkridge, MD. She won the second stop on the 2022 J.Pechauer Northeast Women’s Tour (JPNEWT) in Norristown, PA. The third stop in Sterling, VA had to be cancelled. Brianna Miller did not compete in Stop #4 and tour director Linda Shea won it to move ahead of her in the tour’s point standings by a slim 25 points. Miller regained her point standings lead this past weekend (Saturday, June 11) with her third victory on the tour this year, now having won all three of the tour’s events in which she has competed this year. Shea slipped down to third in the standings, finishing in 4th place this past weekend with a loss to Kia Burwell, who finished as runner-up to Miller and stepped into 2nd place in the standings. With competing events in the area paying homage to a pair of recently deceased members of the mid-Atlantic pool community, Stop #5 on the JPNEWT drew only 10 entrants to Triple Nines in Elkridge, MD.
Miller and Burwell met twice in this event; once in a winners’ side semifinal and again, in the finals. Miller, after being awarded an opening round bye, had defeated Kelly Wyatt 7-5 to draw Burwell, who’d gotten by Kathy Friend 7-5. In the meantime, Ellie Kaufman had defeated Kim Martin 7-2 to draw tour director Linda Shea in the other winners’ side semifinal.
Miller sent Burwell to the loss side 7-2, while Kaufman was doing likewise to Shea 7-4. Miller snagged the hot seat with a 7-2 victory over Kaufman.
On the loss side, Burwell picked up Shelah Joner, who’d lost her opening round match
to Kelly Wyatt, downed Melissa Mason 7-2
and survived a double hill match against Kim Martin. Shea drew Friend, who’d defeated Judie Wilson 7-3 to reach her.
On the loss side, Burwell picked up Shelah Joner, who’d lost her opening round match to Kelly Wyatt, downed Melissa Mason 7-2 and survived a double hill match against Kim Martin. Shea drew Friend, who’d defeated Judy Wilson 7-3 to reach her.
Burwell and Shea, winner and runner-up on the previous tour stop, advanced to the quarterfinals, defeating Joner and Friend, respectively, both 7-3. Burwell then dropped Shea into 4th place 7-5 and earned her rematch against Miller with a 7-3 victory over Kaufman in the semifinals.
By the look of things at the present time, the final match of the JPNEWT’s Stop #5 could be a harbinger of things to come. Their meetup in the finals moved them into 1st and 2nd place in the tour standings and seems likely to be repeated in the months ahead. Miller claimed the event title this time out, downing Burwell in the finals 7-5.
Tour director Linda Shea thanked the ownership and staff at Triple Nines for their hospitality, as well as title sponsor J. Pechauer Custom Cues and George Hammerbacher (Advanced Pool Instructor, Baltimore, MD). The next stop on the JPNEWT (#6), scheduled for the weekend of July 16-17, will be hosted by Champion Billiards Sports Bar in Frederick, MD.
2022 STOP 6
Champion Billiards Sports Bar
- 13 player field -
1st $650 Briana Miller
2nd $450 Linda Shea
3rd $325 Shanna Lewis
4th $225 Kelly Wyatt
L-R: Shanna Lewis, Briana Miller, Linda Shea, Kelly Wyatt
L-R: Briana Miller, Linda Shea
CURRENT AND FUTURE JPNEWT TOUR DIRECTORS BATTLE IN FINALS AT CHAMPION BILLIARDS
Skip Maloney, AZBilliards
July 17, 2022
As the current (Linda Shea) and future (Briana Miller) director of the J. Pechauer Northeast Women’s Tour began the process of switching places that will culminate with the start of the 2023 season, they met in Frederick MD, this past weekend (Saturday, July 16), renewing a rivalry that began when Miller was a teenager and Shea had just begun her tenure as the tour’s director (see report on the ‘peaceful transition of power’ outlined in our News archives; Friday, July 15). As the two were no doubt consulting on and sharing in the varied chores that comprise the work of tour director, they also met in the tournament itself, twice; hot seat and finals. Miller won both matches, completing an undefeated run that marked her fourth victory of the season. Shea, who’d won the only event at which Miller did not compete (Stop #4; Stop #3 was cancelled), moved ahead of Kia Burwell in the tour standings. The event drew 16 entrants to Champion Billiards Sports Bar in Frederick, MD.
Miller, who would go on to win four out of every five games she played in the event (35-8) defeated Melissa Mason 7-2 and Susan Kimble 7-1 to arrive at a winners’ side semifinal against Shanna Lewis. Until she encountered Miller, Shea had faced her most challenging opponent (by score) in the opening round, when Lynn Richard chalked up four against her. Shea then defeated Judie Wilson 7-3 and drew Kelly Wyatt in the other winners’ side semifinal.
Miller and Shea advanced to the hot seat match by identical 7-2 scores; Miller over Lewis and Shea over Wyatt. Miller allowed Shea only a single rack in the hot seat match.
On the loss side, Lewis picked up Judie Wilson, who’d followed her loss to Shea with two straight double hill wins; over Melissa Mason and then, the #2-ranked competitor on the tour, Kia Burwell. Wyatt drew Lynn Richard, who’d followed her loss to Shea with victories over Susan Kimble and Melissa Jenkins, both 7-5.
Wyatt downed Richard 7-5 and was joined in the quarterfinals by Lewis, who’d shut Wilson out. Lewis then eliminated Wyatt in those quarterfinals 7-2.
Both of the semifinalists, Shea and Lewis, were looking for a rematch against Miller, waiting for one or the other of them in the hot seat. Shea earned the privilege, downing Lewis 7-2.
Miller defeated Shea a second time, this time 7-2, to claim her fourth 2022 JPNEWT title.
Shea and Miller, who was no doubt participating in this part of the process, thanked the ownership and staff at Champion Billiards for their hospitality, as well as title sponsor J. Pechauer Custom Cues and George Hammerbacher (Advanced Pool Instructor, Baltimore, MD). The next stop on the JPNEWT, scheduled for the weekend of July 30-31, will be hosted by Shooters Family Billiards in Wayne, NJ.
2022 STOP 7
Shooters Family Billiards
- 19 player field -
1st $535 Caroline Pao
2nd $325 Briana Miller
3rd $225 Kia Burwell
4th $190 Ada Lio
5/6 $135 Kathy Croom
5/6 $135 Kris Consalvo-Kemp
L-R: Kia Burwell, Ada Lio, Kris Consalvo-Kemp, Briana Miller, Caroline Pao, Kathy Croom
L-R: Briana Miller, Caroline Pao
PAO STOPS MILLER’S FOUR-EVENT WINNING STREAK, COMES FROM LOSS SIDE TO WIN JPNEWT STOP IN NJ
Skip Maloney, AZBilliards
August 2, 2022
Next up, WPBA qualifier to inaugural Helena Thornfeldt Memorial – The Sledgehammer Open.
As Briana Miller began the process of assimilating duties she will be performing as full-time tour director of the J. Pechauer Northeast Women’s Tour in January, she signed on to compete in its latest event, looking to chalk up her fifth straight win since the 2022 season began in March at Triple Nines in Elkridge, MD. Current tour director Linda Shea won the only 2022 event in which Miller did not compete back in May. This past weekend (July 30-31), Caroline Pao, who’d been runner-up to Miller in the March season opener, battled her twice this time out, hot seat and finals; Miller, winning the first and Pao, claiming the title by winning the second. The event drew 19 entrants to Shooter’s Family Billiards in Wayne, NJ.
During her absence from JPNEWT events since March, Pao had not been idle. She cashed in five events elsewhere, one per month, including three WPBA tournaments (Northern Lights Classic, Ashton Twins Classic and WPBA Masters), a stop on the Joss Tour and a 5th place finish at the SBE’s Women’s 9-Ball Pro Players Championship. She was looking for her first 2022 victory and found it in New Jersey.
Pao opened her bid for that win with a 7-1 victory over Carol V. Clark and a 7-2 victory over Melissa Jenkins to arrive at a winners’ side semifinal against Kris Consalvo Kemp. Miller, in the meantime, got by Kathy Croom 7-3 and in a present/future TD match downed Linda Shea 7-4, to arrive at her winners’ side semifinal match against the tour’s #3 competitor, Kia Burwell.
Pao got into the hot seat match with a 7-1 victory over Kemp and was joined by Miller, who’d defeated Burwell 7-3. Miller claimed the hot 7-3.
On the loss side, Burwell picked up Kathy Croom, who’d lost her opening match to Miller and went on to defeat Ginny Lewis 7-2, Melissa Jenkins 7-5 and Susan Kimble 7-2. Ada Lio, who’d lost her opener to Shea and following victories over Anna Marks 7-2, Sheila Joner 7-1 and Alyssa Solt 7-3, won her rematch versus Shea 7-3 to draw Kemp.
Lio advanced to the quarterfinals 7-5 over Kemp and was joined by Burwell, who’d eliminated Croom 7-4. By the same score, Burwell defeated Lio in those quarterfinals. Both semifinalists – Burwell and Pao – were looking for a second shot at Miller in the hot seat and predictably, the battle that ensued went double hill. Pao prevailed.
With that pool-player’s friend ‘momentum’ in play, Pao came into the finals looking for her first 2022 title. She edged out in front of Miller in those finals, eventually extended the lead to four racks and claimed her first JPNEWT and 2022 title 9-5.
Shea and Miller thanked the ownership and staff at Shooter’s Family Billiards, as well as title sponsor J. Pechauer Custom Cues and George Hammerbacher (Advanced Pool Instructor, Baltimore, MD). The next stop on the JPNEWT (#8), scheduled for the weekend of Aug. 13-14 at Triple Nines in Elkridge, MD, will be a WPBA qualifier. The winner will receive entry to the WPBA’s $10,000-added Sledgehammer Open, a tribute to the late Helena Thornfeldt. That event, scheduled for Oct. 19-23, will be hosted by Janet Atwell at her Borderline Billiard’s room in Bristol, TN.
2022 STOP 8
Triple Nines Bar & Billiards
- 13 player field -
1st $480 Briana Miller
2nd $365 Nicole Albergaria **
3rd $240 Kia Burwell
4th $130 Karen Corr
** Winner of WPBA Qualifier to Sledgehammer Open, at Borderline Billiards, October 19-23.
L-R: Kia Burwell, Nicole Albergaria, Briana Miller, Karen Corr
L-R: Briana Miller, Nicole Albergaria
MILLER WINS HER 5TH THIS YEAR ON THE JPNEWT; QUALIFIER FOR WPBA “SLEDGEHAMMER OPEN” IN OCTOBER
Corr returns, Albergaria wins qualifying spot
Skip Maloney, AZBilliards.com
August 15, 2022
One can only imagine that while the entrants on this past weekend’s (Aug. 13-14) stop on the J. Pechauer Northeast Women’s Tour were happy to see Ireland’s Karen Corr back at the tables, and in spite of the pool mantra of ‘playing the table, not the opponent,’ there had to be an underlying sense of trepidation. Some, arguably many, remembered that the last time Corr had lost a JPNEWT event in which she had appeared had been seven years ago. As it happened, it was also the year (2015) that she was the tour champion, winning the first eight stops of 11 that year and for reasons lost to the mists of time, finishing 9th at that year’s season finale.
The assumed ‘trepidation’ didn’t affect the JPNEWT’s current, #1-ranked player, Briana Miller, at all. In fact, she opened what turned out to be an undefeated run to her fifth win of the 2022 season by defeating Corr in the opening round. Corr fought back, winning four on the loss side before she became ill and had to withdraw from the event quarterfinals, which would have put her up against Kia Burwell.
The event was a qualifier for the WPBA “Sledgehammer” Open, a memorial event for the late Helena Thornfeldt, scheduled for the weekend of Oct. 19-23 at Janet Atwell’s room, Borderline Billiards in Bristol, TN. Though won by Miller, she deferred the qualifying spot to runner-up, Nicole Albergaria. The $750-added event drew 13 entrants to Triple Nines in Elkridge, MD, the same site where Corr had last lost an event on the JPNEWT. Triple Nines added the $500 to the general money-added coffers and $250 more for the entry fee to the “Sledgehammer” Open. A raffle cue netted $160 to supplement Albergaria’s travel expenses to that event.
Following her opening-round victory over Corr, Miller advanced through Kia Burwell 7-5 (the tour’s current #3) to draw Char Dzambo in one of the winners’ side semifinals. Albergaria, in the meantime, got by Kathy Friend 7-3 and Lynn Richard 7-1 to pick up Judie Wilson.
Miller defeated Dzambo 7-3 and in the hot seat match, faced Albergaria, who’d sent Wilson to the loss side 7-3. Miller claimed the hot seat 7-1.
On the loss side, Dzambo drew Karen Corr, who’d previously eliminated Carol V. Clark, Lynn Richard and tour director, Linda Shea (#2). Wilson picked up Burwell, who’d defeated Kathy Friend 7-4 and Calala Jackson 7-1 to reach her.
Corr advanced to the quarterfinals 7-3 over Dzambo and would have been joined by Burwell, who’d eliminated Wilson 7-2. But Corr withdrew from those quarterfinals, sending Burwell to the semifinals, where she was defeated by Albergaria 7-2.
In their second of two, Albergaria, playing in her first event of the JPNEWT season, downed Burwell 7-2 for a second shot at Miller. Albergaria improved on her 7-1 hot seat performance and came within a game of forcing a 13th deciding game. Miller, though, claimed the event title 7-5.
Current and soon-to-be tour directors Linda Shea and Briana Miller thanked the ownership and staff at Triple Nines for their hospitality, as well as title sponsor J. Pechauer Custom Cues and stream commentator, George Hammerbacher. The next stop on the JPNEWT, scheduled for the weekend of September 17-18, has been cancelled. The tour will return to the tables on the weekend of October 8-9 at Eagle Billiards in Dickson City, PA.
2022 STOP 9
2022 STOP 10
Dickson City PA
- 12 player field -
1st $565 Kia Burwell **
2nd $425 Briana Miller
3rd $280 Caroline Pao
4th $140 Linda Shea
** Winner of WPBA Qualifier to DR Pool Classic, Rothschild WI, December 7-11.
L-R: Linda Shea, Caroline Pao, Chris Wilson and Deborah Wilson (Eagle Billiards owners), Briana Miller, Kia Burwell
L-R: Briana Miller, Kia Burwell
BURWELL WINS HER FIRST STOP IN 2022 ON J. PECHAUER NORTHEAST WOMEN’S TOUR
Skip Maloney, AZBilliards.com
October 12, 2022
In a J. Pechauer Northeast Women’s Tour (JPNEWT) stop in Pennsylvania, affected by a variety of factors, including other events, gas/lodging prices and distance, Kia Burwell chalked up her first 2022 tour win this past weekend (Oct. 8-9), downing both the tour-rankings leader, Briana Miller and the top American competitor on the WPBA rankings list, Caroline Pao in the process. She also won five of her seven total matches on the loss side to be in the event finals. While the $750-added event drew a short field of 12 entrants to Eagle Billiards in Dickson City, PA, it was not without its impactful matches among the tour’s top competitors; six of the tour’s top 10 were on-hand to jockey for tour-ranking position in the 8th of 10 stops on the 2022 tour.
Following a first-round bye, Burwell (#2) lost her opening match to Carol V. Clark (#6 on the tour) 7-5. Clark advanced to a winners’ side semifinal against Miller (#1). Pao (#4), in the meantime, followed an opening round bye with a 7-3 win over tour director Linda Shea (#3) to pick up Rachel Walters in the other winners’ side semifinal.
Miller shut Clark out and in the hot seat match, faced Pao, who’d defeated Walters 7-3. Miller claimed the hot seat 7-3 over Pao and waited for Burwell to complete her loss-side run.
Two matches into her loss-side run, with victories over Shelah Joner 7-4 and Melissa Jenkins 7-2, Burwell drew Walters. Clark picked up Shea, who’d defeated Linda Cheung, double hill and Ashley Benoit 7-4 to reach her.
Burwell did her part to bring about a rematch against Clark in the quarterfinals, downing Walters 7-4, but Shea spoiled the ‘party’ by eliminating Clark 7-2. In a quite familiar scene, Shea and Burwell battled in those quarterfinals, Burwell coming out on top 7-3.
Either way, the semifinals were going to yield a finals opponent for Miller that would not be enviable; Pao or Burwell. As it turned out, Burwell had to win two straight double hill battles to complete her run. No problem. She battled Pao to the hill before advancing to the extended-race-to-9 finals. There, she chalked up seven racks first to extend the race to 9 games and then, with Miller nipping at her double-hill heels, she finished up to claim the event title.
Co-Tour Directors Linda Shea and Briana Miller thanked the ownership and staff at Eagle Billiards for their hospitality, as well as title sponsor J. Pechauer Custom Cues and stream commentator George Hammerbacher (Advanced Pool Instructor, Baltimore, MD). The next stop on the JPNEWT, scheduled for the weekend of November 5-6, will be hosted by On Cue Sports Bar & Grill in Front Royal, VA.
2022 STOP #12 | Season Finale
Triple Nines Bar & Billiards
- 26 player field -
1st $700 Karen Corr
2nd $220 Bethany Sykes
$220 Cecilia Strain
4th $ 80 Carol V Clark
$ 80 Eugenia Gyftopoulos
$ 80 Kia Burwell
$ 80 Linda Shea
8th $ 55 Ada Lio
$ 55 June Prescop
L-R: JPNEWT Tour Director's Briana Miller and Linda Shea
L-R: Karen Corr, Bethany Sykes, Ceci Strain, Briana Miller
CORR AND MILLER SPLIT TOP TWO PRIZES IN JPNEWT SEASON FINALE
Tour director Linda Shea officially hands tour reins to Briana Miller
Skip Maloney, AZBilliards.com
December 7, 2022
Though it lacked the formality of any sort of official transfer of power, the season finale of the 2022 J. Pechauer Northeast Women’s Tour (JPNEWT) was significant as the last event at which Maryland’s Linda Shea would preside as its tour director, a title she has held for 14 years. This was announced, and for all intents and purposes, began back in July when it was first reported that, beginning officially with the season opener of the 2023 JPNEWT season, Pennsylvania’s Briana Miller would be the tour’s new director. Beginning with the fifth stop on the 2022 tour, Shea and Miller have been working side by side, co-directing the last seven stops on the tour. It’s been a transfer of power unlike anything that could be dreamed of in a political arena; an incoming US Senator, for example, working side by side with the incumbent to ‘learn the ropes’ of the job, while at the same time, beginning to exert a measure of influence, actually acting as the in-power Senator to accomplish specific policy objectives, so that when the time came, he/she could hit the ground running, to the benefit of the entire country.
Day by day, month by month over the past five of them, Shea and Miller have worked together toward this past weekend, Shea’s last tournament as its director. Miller has, in consultation with various long-standing members of the tour, including Shea, begun to change things, bringing a new ‘look’ to the tour website, seeking out new rooms, making plans to include more ‘bar box’ events, investigating ways of marketing the tour, initiating a new event format to the JPNEWT mix and making plans to grow the tour beyond Shea’s leadership. At this past weekend’s season finale, for example, Miller, Shea and other tour competitors were engaged in a combination round-robin, single-elimination format event that hadn’t been experienced by them on the tour before.
The $500-added season finale drew 26 entrants to Triple Nines in Elkridge, MD this past weekend (Dec. 3-4). Both Briana Miller and Karen Corr went undefeated through both stages to arrive at a final match and then opt out of playing it, choosing instead to split the top two cash prizes. More on the event itself later.
There was also an unofficial, low-key ‘transfer of power’ moment at the event, during which Shea, who, like the incoming tour director, Briana Miller, competed in the event itself, was presented with a trophy/plaque, recognizing and commemorating her 14 years of service to the tour.
The new round-robin/single-elimination format offered existing and potential future competitors on the tour an opportunity to play more pool. Previously, the JPNEWT was adhering to standards that by rule, aligned them with the WPBA; in game choice (9-ball), format (double elimination) and without handicaps. According to Shea, some of the previous WPBA requirements have been relaxed to accommodate such format (and other) changes. But throughout most of Shea’s tenure as tour director, it meant that a newcomer to the tour might, as an example, travel some distance to compete, find themselves up against two tour veterans in an early draw and be headed home before mid-afternoon of the first day. With the round robin format as a beginning, such a player would, for their entry fee money, play all day, win or lose. Two losses wouldn’t disqualify her from further competition, although she wouldn’t likely be moving on to the single elimination phase of the event.
“I enjoyed it,” said outgoing tournament director, Shea. “With its (round robin format) races to 4, you had to come out concentrating hard.” “Getting to four doesn’t take much,” she added, “and I liked it in the sense that you had to come out focused.” And she did. There were five ‘flights’ of round robin matches, four of them with five competitors and one with six. Shea won all four of her round robin matches, advancing with nine others to the single elimination phase of the event.
Also advancing to the event’s second stage undefeated were incoming TD Briana Miller, Bethany Sykes and Eugenia Gyftopoulous. Advancing on the strength of 3-1 records were Ada Lio, Carol V. Clark, Kia Burwell, June Prescop and Karen Corr. Cecilia Strain advanced with a 3-2 record and a better, overall game-winning percentage than two other competitors with 3-2 records in the round robin phase. Shea, Miller, Corr, Burwell, Sykes and Gyftopoulous were awarded opening-round byes in the single-elimination bracket.
In the two matches that comprised the opening round of single-elimination play, Clark defeated Prescop 7-3 and Strain got by Lio 7-4. In the quarterfinals, Sykes defeated Clark 7-5, Corr downed Gyftopoulous 7-3 and Miller eliminated Burwell 7-2. Shea and Strain battled to double hill before Strain advanced to meet Miller in one of the semifinals. Corr and Sykes squared off in the other one.
In their first match of the event, in the round robin phase, Sykes had handed Corr what turned out to be her only loss in the tournament 4-2. Corr came back in the event semifinals to win their second match 7-4. Meeting for the first time (in this event), Miller defeated Strain 7-4 as well. It was at this point that Corr and Miller opted out of a final and split the top two cash prizes. It was also the final match held under the auspices of Shea, whose reign as JPNEWT TD came to something of an unofficial end. The opening of the tour’s 2023 schedule will be solely under Briana Miller’s direction.
“I haven’t been the director for the last few months, really,” said Shea. “I just helped her, introduced her to the people and assisted.” “It felt good,” she added of her thoughts following the end of her official TD duties, noting that there were no sad thoughts about her ‘retirement’ from director status. “None at all. I get to just play now. I get to come in and not have to be there two hours early. I might even play in the Super Billiards Expo next year. “I’m happy that Briana was interested in the position,” she went on to say. “I think she’s going to do a good job and it’s going to be great.”
Shea knew when it was over that she was leaving the tour in good hands. Though she admitted to a twinge of sadness that she was saying goodbye to the role of tour director, she was, overall, thankful for it.
“Very true,” she said. “Yes.” In parting, Shea offered thanks to all of the players and tour assistants with whom she has worked over the past 14 years, and those who participated in her TD ‘swan song.’ She, along with Briana Miller thanked tour sponsor J. Pechauer Custom Cue and George Hammerbacher, pool instructor and commentator on the tour’s live streams.