Baraks wins 24th Houston Open; Villareal stops Little streak to take Ladies event

Ladies first. . .
For the first time in five years, the winner of the Ladies event at the Houston Open is not Melissa Little. Vivian "Texas Tornado" Villareal, winner of the early September Texas Open, went undefeated to capture the 24th Houston Open Ladies title, held on the weekend of September 27-28. For the fourth time within that five year span, Amanda Lampert finished as the event's runner-up. The $500-added event (held more than once a year in its early days) drew 28 entrants to Legends Billiards in League City, TX.
Villareal faced Jennifer Kraber in the battle for the hot seat, allowing her only a single rack (both competed in the Open event, as well). Lampert, in the meantime, was advancing on the loss side, defeating Natalie Espinoza 5-3 in the quarterfinals, and then, Kraber in the semifinals 5-2. Villareal ended Lampert's loss-side run with a 7-4 win in the finals to claim the Ladies title.
In the $5,000-added Open event, which drew a full field of 128, Manny Chau was looking to win his second straight. He'd won five on the loss side in 2013 and double dipped Patrick Werren in the finals. This time, Chau advanced a round further on the winners' side, before being sent to the loss side by the eventual winner, James Baraks. He'd come back from the loss side to challenge Baraks in the finals.
As Baraks was defeating Chau for the first time, 9-5, in a winners' side semifinal, Shane McMinn was sending Sean King over 9-4 in the other. Baraks got into the hot seat 9-7 over McMinn and waited on Chau.
Chau began his loss-side trek against Richard Batista, who'd gotten by Eric Aicenena 7-5 and Joey Barnes 7-3. King picked up Drew McCoy, who'd defeated Erin Spring 7-2 and Jamie Welch 7-3 to reach him. Chau and King got right back to work, defeating Batista (7-5) and McCoy (7-2), respectively. Chau took the quarterfinal match against King 7-4 and then fought a double hill battle before finally defeating McMinn in the semifinals.
As he'd done all weekend, Baraks established a slow, but steady pace against Chau in the potential, double elimination final. It only took the one set. Baraks completed his undefeated run with a 9-4 victory to claim the 24th Houston Open title.