Ballbreakers From The Inside

Tina Pawloski

What started out as No-Limit 9-Ball is now Ballbreakers. The name might have changed, but the show is still the same and the plan is still for this new show to premiere on Game Show Network in July or August.

Filming started on this new show last week and we had a chance to speak to one of the first players about the show, the set and the concept itself.

Tina Pawloski is no beginner to the game of 9-ball, having won state championships in two different states as well as having competed in numerous regional tour stops on the West Coast. This in itself proves that the new show's casting staff are interested in more than just a pretty face. With the show based on single games though, it wouldn't make much sense to bring in pro 9-ball players who could easily run a rack and do away with all of the suspense.

Tina had nothing but compliements on the shows set and environment. The games were played on a beautiful Brunswick Gold Crown IV on a set that Pawloski described as very 'Saturday Night Fever'. Spectators were not only seated all around the table, but there was also a VIP lounge where visitors were able to sit in comfort to watch the action from comfortable couches.

The format is pretty simple. Each player is given a 'stake' of $5000 and the four players involved basically gamble until three of them are broke. The final winner keeps the $20,000 that they won. One interesting aspect of the format is that bets can be made not only between the two players involved in a particular game, but action is also encouraged involving the players waiting on the rail. At any time, any of the four players can step up and challenge the player at the table to wager on their ability to make their shot, win the game, etc.

This kind of action definitely brings a different level of pressure for some of these players, who might not have ever played under stress before. As if the money was not enough stress, show co-host Sal Masekela (of ESPN X-Games fame) can interrupt a player at any time to get their thoughts on a particular shot or game.

Masekela is joined in the hosting duties by BCA Hall of Famer Ewa Laurance, who certainly knows a fair amount about not only the game of 9-ball but also about playing under stress. The third extra on the set for the show was Adrianne Curry (America's Next Top Model, The Surreal Life) who was in charge of taking care of each player's stack of cash.

Pawloski described the over feel of the show as something new, but still "completely entertaining". "I think it has a great chance to do well with the right audience, and anyone really has a chance to win" added Pawloski.

We will get the chance to see the show and judge for ourselves how it comes together later this year on Game Show Network.