Nicole Keeney Crowned WPBA Texas State Champion at Casper’s Billiards, San Leon, TX

Nicole Keeney, Kathy & Roy Robinson, and Ming Ng

As the saying goes Casper is a friendly ghost and the same can be said for Casper's Billiards, San Leon, TX which hosted its first WPBA Texas State Championship for the OB Cues Ladies Tour the weekend of April 16-17, 2011.  Casper's Billiards has hosted OB Cues Ladies Tour events for 2 years now and the future is very promising for many years to come.  Kathy and Roy Robinson put out a welcome mat like no other place.  Casper's isn't a typical pool hall; it contains features which makes it attractive to all types of players. They have 14 9' foot Brunswick tables spread between two stories with smoking upstairs while the downstairs environment is smoke free.  They offer a wealth of food selections including hamburgers, salads, gumbo, crawfish and barbecue. Many players and customers alike shared food and conversation while enjoying the ocean scenery during the beautiful weather weekend at this one of a kind pool establishment.    Kathy and Roy, the OB Cues Ladies Tour, supporters, fans, friends and family extend their heartfelt thank you for a fantastic weekend and cherished memories!  We will be back.

Forty-four (44) players from Texas, Colorado and Arkansas made the trek to San Leon and the competition would be intense as many top players showed up for battle.  Some of the top picks included Lisa Marr, Amanda Lampert, Jennifer Kraber, Orietta Strickland, Terry Petrosino, Ming Ng, Cristina DeLaGarza and WPBA Pro Nicole Keeney.  Finishing in the money is always one of the top motivators for any pool tournament, so the $750 guaranteed 1st place prize money was first and foremost in the player's eyes.  In addition to the prize money, twelve players who opted to pay the extra qualifier fee were contending for a U.S. Open qualifier spot at the WPBA U.S. Open June 16-19, 2011 at the River Spirit Casino in Tulsa, Oklahoma.  

On Sunday, the Main Event continued with the remaining twelve players returning for action.  On the one loss side it was Lisa Marr vs. Chris Fields; Terry Petrosino vs. Amber Stone; Jennifer Kraber vs. Belinda Lee and Cristina DeLaGarza vs. Orietta Strickland.  9th-12th finishers were Chris, Amber, Belinda and Cristina.  Next to play on the one loss side was Jennifer vs. Terry and Lisa vs. Orietta.  Jennifer and Orietta finished in 7th-8th and they were the two remaining players competing for the U.S. Open spot.  A qualifier playoff commenced and Jennifer Kraber came out the victor with a smashing 7-0 win.  Congratulations Jennifer and watch out U.S. Open, here she comes!

On the winner's side, it would be Nicole Keeney vs. Amanda Lampert and Ming Ng vs. Ricki Casper.  Nicole won her hill-hill match and Ming defeated Ricki 7-4.  In the hot seat match it was Nicole over Ming 7-4.  As Nicole secured her spot in the finals, Ming would join others in the one loss side to continue to fight the fight.  Terry Petrosino, winner of the November 2010 tour stop at Casper's, was hanging tough as she won a hill-hill match against Amanda Lampert.  Lisa Marr was able to get another chance against Ricki Casper, who on Saturday provided Lisa with a loss of 7-0.  Lisa avenged this loss against Ricki on Sunday with a score of 7-4.  Ricki and Amanda finished 5th-6th.

Terry continued her strong play by scoring another hill-hill win against Lisa, leaving Lisa with a 4th place finish.  However, it was over for Terry when Ming scored a 7-4 win giving her a nice 3rd place finish.

The finals were set with a rematch of the hot seat between Ming and Nicole.  Ming would need to defeat Nicole in 2 sets and at first it appeared that it would go 2 sets as Ming was securing win after win after win, ultimately reaching the hill 6-1.   Nicole had to refresh and dig deep and would not go down so easily.  As we all know full well, how the balls roll for everyone, the tide was turning and lo and behold, Nicole made it hill-hill.  A safety battle ensued and ultimately Nicole was able to finish the match with a nice 6-7-8-9 run.  Congratulations to both Nicole and Ming for some exciting play and strong finishes!