Rachael Abbink Wins IL State Championship

Rachael Abbink

Cue-Can-Do Billiards, of Schaumburg, Illinois, hosted the third qualifying stop of the Midwest Women's Pool Tour ­ the Illinois State Championship ­ on December 13-14, 2003. Proprietors Pete and Amy Kalamaris graciously received 17 women from Illinois, Florida, Michigan, Ohio, and Canada to compete for a qualifying spot in the 2004 US Open. Thanks to Schuler Cues, the purse sported $300.00 added cash to further motivate the players. On the first day of the tournament eleven players were escorted to the loser's side of the bracket, and in due time, out of the tournament. Assured of cash, the remaining six players returned on the second day.

In the first round of the loser's bracket, Tara Davis, of Lansing, Michigan, the Midwest Women's Pool Tour's number one ranked player to date, was defeated by Helene Caukin, of Orange City, Florida. Julie Melman, of East Lansing, Michigan, a newcomer to the tour, defeated another newcomer - Cathy Metzinger of Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Tara and Cathy tied for 5th/6th ­ at $58.00 each. The second round saw Helene and Julie matched up. Julie won, cinching Helene's win of $92.00 for 4th place.

Meanwhile, on the winner's side, a close match had ensued, with tour members Sarah Rousey and Rachael Abbink facing off. Ultimately, Rachael defeated Sarah, sending her to battle it out with Julie, to determine who would be advancing to the finals. Julie was victorious, and Sarah cashed in at $149.00 for 3rd place.

Rachael and Julie's match began with Rachael winning the lag, but scratching on the break. Despite the rough beginning, Rachael grabbed the first two games. Next, Julie managed to squeeze one win, but Rachael was having none of that. She won the next three. With the score Rachael ­5 and Julie ­ 1, Julie bore down to win two more. Unfortunately, Julie was unable to muster another game. Rachael won the next two games ­ and the tournament. Julie took home $276.00, while Rachael took the trophy, the US Open spot, and $517.00. Good shooting, Ladies!

Photo courtesy of Diana Hoppe - Pool Pics by Hoppe