Seto Wins WPBA Qualifier

Maureen Seto and Terri Mason

On April 8-9, 2006, the Tiger Canadian Women's Pool Tour ("CWPT") held its first WPBA Qualifier at Shooters Billiards located in North York, Ontario. Thirty players, including Hsin Huang, a WPBA Touring Pro, arrived for the two-day event with participants from Ontario, Quebec and the state of New York. Shooters Billiards and Lockhart Cues sponsored the WPBA Florida Classic 2006 Qualifier. Other event sponsors were title sponsor Tiger Products and Native Jewelry. Jason Lockhart of Lockhart Cues provided on-site cue repair.

Many thanks go to John White and his staff for looking after the players, tour staff and spectators for the weekend. Shooters features both 9-foot Gold Crowns and Black Crowns, as well as snooker tables. Shooters is a host room for the Canadian 20K Tour and Ontario Billiard and Snooker Association events. Weekly handicapped tournaments take place on Monday and Wednesday evenings, and Saturday afternoons.

This first qualifying event, where all matches are straight races to seven, sees some surprising results on Saturday. The outcome is Sunday's match for the semi final Hot Seat has local pro Maureen "Mo" Seto squaring off against young Nikki Manzer. Maureen had wins over Diana Yeoman (7-0), Dawn Craigie (7-4) and Naomi Williams (7-4). Nikki earned her place with wins over Dorothy Brown (7-6), Hsin Huang (7-6) and Terri Mason (7-6). "Nikki Manzar has shown a lot of improvement in this tour year. It goes to show that if you keep practicing you can succeed in defeating top players. Way to go Nikki!" said Carolina Fernadez, CEO Canadian Women's Pool Tour. Maureen jumps out to a quick 3-0 lead in the match. In the fourth rack, Nikki plays a great safety on the 1-ball. Maureen comes to the table and plays a 3-rail kick shot to make the hit but fails to pot the ball. Nikki makes the 1-ball, but ends up hooked on the 2-ball, and she does not make a hit. Maureen Seto, with ball-in-hand, runs out the table to go up 4-0 in the match. Maureen breaks and runs to the 7-ball, misses the shot on the 7-ball, but leaves it tough for Nikki. Nikki stays cool and makes an awesome shot on the 7-ball to get out of the rack and mark her first win of the match. Two racks later and Maureen is on the hill with Nikki sitting at only one win in the race. Maureen misses her shot on the 4-ball and gives Nikki a chance at the table. Nikki gets a bit of luck and the 4-ball finds its way into a pocket, but now she is hooked on the 5-ball. She makes the hit and leaves it tough for Maureen. Maureen attempts a bank-side shot but comes up dry, giving Nikki another chance at the table. Nikki makes the 6-ball and the 7-ball, and it looks like she may put up another rack on the scoreboard. She shoots the 8-ball in the corner, but it rattles and sits in the jaws for Maureen. Maureen finishes off the rack to win the match with a final score of 7-1.

Over on the B-side, the semi-final match pits Terri "Tiger" Mason against Naomi "Cruncher" Williams. With a rattled 9-ball by Naomi, Terri goes up 3-1 in the match. In the fifth rack, Naomi misses the 7-ball and Terri makes the 7- and 8-balls. She stretches over the table for the shot on the 9-ball - the ball wobbles in the jaws, then drops in for Terri to take a 4-1 lead. The next rack has misses on the 7-ball by both players, then Terri makes a great shot to pot the 7-ball and get shape on the 8-ball. She makes the 8-ball, but misses the 9-ball, leaving it hanging in the pocket for Naomi to mark another score in the match, cutting Terri's big lead to 4-2. With the alternating break format, it's Terri's turn to break, but she puts the cue ball into the side pocket. Naomi, with ball-in-hand, runs five balls, misses the shot on the 6-ball, but leaves a tough shot. Terri tries the cut and rattles the 6-ball leaving it for the taking. Naomi pots the 6-ball and runs to the 9-ball, but again, rattles the shot and leaves it for her opponent to go up 5-2 in the match. Paul Thornley, legendary Canadian pool player, comments that he has "seen fewer hangers at a drycleaners!". Naomi focuses for the next two racks and marks up wins on both of them to put the score at 5-4, in Terri's favour. The tenth rack is a tough one, with clusters all over the table. The players battle out the rack with lots of safeties for the first half of the rack. After making the 5-ball, Terri hooks herself on the 6-ball. She makes the hit, but fails to put it in the pocket. She leaves a tough shot for Naomi, but Naomi comes to the table with confidence, and slices the ball right in to the heart of the pocket. Naomi runs out the remaining balls to knot the score at five racks apiece. With the match looking like it could go either way, Terri "Tiger" Mason bears down and takes the next rack with a table run to get on the hill. With all eyes on this match, Naomi breaks, makes a ball, but doesn't have a shot, so she opts to push out. Terri refuses the shot and forces Naomi to play it. She fouls on the shot and Terri takes the ball-in-hand and runs out the rack for the match resulting in a final score of 7-5.

With the previous win, Terri Mason advances to the B-side final to take on Nikki Manzer who had put her to the B-side in this tournament, and Terri is on a mission. Nikki is stroking the ball well, but several untimely misses see Terri take a 2-0 lead. Nikki breaks the third rack, but comes up dry, and Terri, with perfect weight and shape on every shot, runs a beautiful rack to jump to 3-0 in the race. Terri takes the next two racks to put up a score of 5-0. Terri breaks the sixth rack and fails to make a ball. Nikki makes the 1-ball but scratches. With ball-in-hand, Terri runs the rack to get on the hill. Nikki is struggling to put up a score in the match - with all the pressure on her, she fights to take the seventh rack, but rattles the 5-ball. Terri pots the 5-ball and runs out the rack to take the match 7-0, and win the B-side.

In this true double elimination format, Terri "Tiger" Mason, must beat Maureen "Mo" Seto twice to win the event. The match goes back and forth and is tied at four apiece. Maureen breaks but doesn't drop anything. Terri runs to the 9-ball but misses - Maureen makes the 9-ball and goes up 5-4 in the race. It's Terri's turn to break - and she snaps the 9! The scored is now tied 5-5?this match could go to either player! The eleventh rack sees early fouls by both players, but Maureen takes advantage and starts to run the table - she gets to the 9-ball, but hangs it in the jaws. Terri makes the routine pot to go up 6-5 in the match and get on the hill. Rack 12 of the set starts with safeties by both players. Maureen needs this rack to stay in the match - Terri needs this rack to win the first set! Eventually, Maureen gets a potting opportunity and runs to the 5-ball but hooks herself on the 6-ball. She makes the hit and doesn't leave a shot for Terri. Terri plays safe, and the second safety battle of the rack begins. Four safeties later and Maureen misses the hit. Terri, with ball-in-hand, is shooting the 6-ball which is tied up with the 8-ball. Terri tries to play safe, but accidentally makes the 6-ball, and has a really tough leave on the 7-ball. She makes a great attempt, but the 7-ball hangs in the corner. Maureen has her chance to stay in the game?.she pots the 7-ball and 8-ball, but scratches on the 8! Terri, with another ball-in-hand, makes the 9-ball to win the first set of the Tournament Final.

The players take a quick break and then get back to the table for the second set of the final. Terri takes the first rack; then Maureen snaps the 9 on the break to tie the score at one apiece. Maureen puts up the next two racks to go up 3-1 in the match. Terri breaks the next rack but scratches. Maureen pots the first three balls but hooks herself on the 4-ball; she plays a kick-safety to make things tough for Terri. Terri plays safe in return, but leaves a shot. Maureen gets to the 8-ball but fails to pot the ball. Terri, working hard to make this a match, plays safe, but the cue ball slides into a pocket. Maureen takes the rack to jump to a 4-1 lead. Flawless play for the next two racks has Maureen take a 6-1 lead and climb up the hill. Terri is under the gun now if she wants to stay in this match! Maureen misses the 3-ball and gives Terri an option at the combo on the 9-ball. Terri goes for the shot and the 9-ball slides into the side-pocket like a hot knife through butter! Terri marks her second rack of the match to set the score at 6-2 in favour of Maureen. Terri breaks and fails to sink a ball. Maureen doesn't have a clean shot on the 1-ball, but attempts the 1-8 carom. Maureen misses the shot and leave an open table for Terri, who runs a perfect out to make the match 6-3. There's a buzz in the room now - what started as a runaway match is looking more like a great pool battle! Maureen feels the buzz and steps to the table to break. She makes the 1-ball in the side pocket - it's a perfect break and she runs out the rack for the 7-3 win. What a great finish, Mo! Congratulations on earning the WPBA Florida Classic 2006 qualifying spot!

Total Purse: $1,320

1st Place Maureen Seto - WPBA Florida Classic 2006 Qualifier $750.00
2nd Place Terri Mason - $300
3rd Place Nikke Manzer - $160
4th Place Naomi Williams - $120
5/6th Place Hsin Huang/Dawn Craigie - $70 each

Second Chance
1st Donna Sasges - $80.00
2nd Courtney Shawnoo - $50.00