Archive Page

Bishoff Walks Away with the Win at Red Shoes Billiards

Jenna Bishoff

Red Shoes Billiards in Alsip, Illinois, is known for hosting quality pool tournaments. The weekend of August 24 was no exception. The seventh stop of the year for the North Central Pool Tour (NCPT) was a 10-ball tournament that featured some of the best women players in the region.

Jenna Bishoff, on a break from the road, posted early wins against Laura Bendikas (7-5) and Vanessa Hood (7-2). To secure the hot seat, she battled it out with Amy Latzko, winning on the hill (7-6). Before losing to Bishoff, Latzko cruised through the bracket with wins over Kelly Nickl (7-3) and Laura Semko (7-1). She would best Semko (6-2) again on her way to the finals.
In the final set, Bishoff was quickly up 4 to 0, punctuated by a break and run in game 3. Latzko finally got on the board with a win in game 5. And a 1-10-ball combination in game 8 brought her within 2 games of breaking even with Bishoff. But Bishoff took control of the match after that. She won the next 4 games in a row to finish the event with a final score of 9 to 3.
To see the full list of players and bracket, visit Players in the money were:
1st Jenna Bishoff ($305)
2nd Amy Latzko ($110)
3rd Laura Semko ($40)
More NCPT events–both open and women’s–are in the works for the current year. Watch for upcoming tournament announcements at and the NCPT Facebook page.

Rousey Routs the Competition at City Pool Hall

Sarah Rousey

At the sixth NCPT stop of the year on July 20, it was hard to tell what was hotter–the temperature outside or the competition inside. The $500 added 10-ball tournament at City Pool Hall in downtown Chicago drew 14 women from Illinois and Wisconsin.

Sarah Rousey went undefeated, besting Amy Latzko (6-5), Darlene Dantes (6-2), Laura Bendikas (6-5), and Bonnie Arnold (6-0). In the finals, she met up against Kassy Werner, who had put some serious work in to get there. Werner took an early round loss but then notched six wins in a row.
The final race to nine teetered back and forth early. Both players struggled to pocket the seven ball in several games. After eight racks, the score remained close at 5-3. But then Rousey took advantage of her opportunities at the table. She won the next four games in a row, finishing the match 9-3.
Top finishers of the event were:
1st Sarah Rousey ($550)
2nd Kassy Werner ($300)
3rd Bonnie Arnold ($165)
4th Amy Latzko ($85)
To see the full bracket for the event, visit You can also view streamed matches at RailbirdsTV’s YouTube page. The NCPT thanks its sponsors and City Pool Hall for adding $500 to this tour stop.
Want to get in on the fun and action? Visit the NCPT facebook page or for details on upcoming events. You can also find the NCPT on Instagram and Twitter.

Corr goes undefeated to capture second of three Division I NAPT titles

(l to r): Molly Bontrager, Karen Corr, Eleanor Callado & Jia Li

She won the first one a little over a year ago; June, 2016. In the debut event of the fledgling North American Pool Tour at Breakers Sky Lounge in Herndon, VA, Karen Corr went undefeated through a field of 56 to capture her first and the first NAPT title. Two months later, the NAPT's first 10-Ball Summer Classic saw 16-year-old April Larson claim her first professional title. Just shy of a year later, August 17-20, Corr signed on to the $5,000-added, second 10-Ball Summer Classic and went undefeated again. Though it would be newcomer Molly Bontrager facing her in the hot seat match and veteran Eleanor Callado against her in the finals, Corr came within two matches (played and won by those two) of facing the same competitor she'd faced in the hot seat match and finals of the first 10-Ball Summer Classic, Jia Li.
Corr opened her march to the winners' circle by allowing only four racks against her through her first three matches. She gave up two against Amy Latzko in the opening round, none at all to Lisa Lehman in round two and two more against Meredith Lynch before running into Brittany Bryant in a winners' side quarterfinal. Bryant chalked up more against her (five) than all three of her previous opponents combined, but Corr advanced to her first match against Callado in a winners' side semifinal.
Molly Bontrager, in the meantime, moved into the other winners' side semifinal against Jia Li, Corr's opponent in the finals of the first NAPT event. Bontrager had shutout Rho Reyes, given up two to Nicole King, defeated five-time Junior National Champion, April Larson, and downed JPNEWT veteran Kia Sidbury for the right to face Li.
Corr downed Callado in their first of two, 7-3. Bontrager and Li battled to double hill before Bontrager advanced to the hot seat match against Corr. Corr sent Bontrager to a semifinal against Callado 7-4 and sat in the hot seat, waiting, as it turned out for Callado.
Over on the loss side, Callado picked up Sidbury, who, following her defeat at the hands of Bontrager, had eliminated Janeen Lee 7-2 and Kaylin Wykoff 7-3. Li drew Brittany Bryant, who, following her trip to the loss side, courtesy of Karen Corr, had downed Jenna Bishoff 7-2 and fought April Larson to double hill before advancing to face Li.
Callado got by Sidbury 7-2, and in the quarterfinals, faced Li, who'd put Bryant on the wrong side of her second double hill fight. Callado then ended Li's bid for a second NAPT finals match against Corr with a 7-4 win. It was Callado drawing that second chance card, as she eliminated Bontrager 7-4 in the semifinals. Corr downed Callado a second time, this time 6-1, to claim the NAPT Summer 10-Ball Classic, again.
NAPT President Adrianne Beach thanked the ownership and staff at Shooter's Bar, co-tournament directors Chris Rogers and Ford Rice, and the staff and crew of Railbird Productions which live-streamed the event throughout the weekend. The next NAPT Division I event, scheduled for September 28-October 1, will be hosted by Eagle Billiards in Dickson City, PA 

Latzko Secures Qualifier Spot for the NAPT Inaugural 10-Ball Invitational

Amy Latzko

The Illinois ladies took control at Shooters Sports Bar & Billiards in Grayslake, Illinois, for the North Central Pool Tour’s (NCPT) third stop on April 16, 2016.

Women from Wisconsin and Illinois played for a coveted qualifier entry to the North American Pool Tour’s Inaugural 10-Ball Invitational on June 3-5 at Sky Breakers Lounge, Herndon, VA. The qualifier entry was generously co-sponsored by Tom Lubus of Tom’s Foolery, West Allis, WI and Shooters Sports Bar & Billiards, Grayslake, IL. (Shooters also added $100 to the final purse). Amy Latzko went undefeated to take the win.
Latzko found her groove early. She claimed wins over Connie O’Heron (6-1), Kelly Nickl (6-2), and Laura Semko (6-3). It would be Semko who faced her in the finals. After losing to Latzko, Semko rebounded with wins against Jennifer Barnes (6-2) and Vanessa Hood (6-5) on the one loss side. But she fell short against Latzko in the finals with a loss of 6-2.
Overall tournament results were: 1st, $250, Amy Latzko (IL) – 2nd, $130, Laura Semko (IL) – 3rd, $70, Vanessa Hood (IL).
Latzko will join Jacqui Schroeder (IL) in representing the NCPT at NAPT’s Inaugural 10-Ball Invitational. Schroeder secured the first qualifier and her paid entry, co-sponsored by Tom Lubus of Tom’s Foolery, West Allis, WI and NCPT, at tour stop #2, held on April 9, 2016 at The Ball Room, Portage, WI.
The NCPT is a regional women’s 9-ball tour sanctioned through the North American Pool Tour (NAPT,, with stops scheduled throughout Wisconsin, Iowa, and Northern Illinois.  Players earn points at every stop toward invites to NAPT Division I pro tournaments and the Division II Regional Tour Championships.
NCPT’s next tour stop on July 9 at Big Dog Billiards, Des Moines, IA is expected to be the biggest event to date! James Landrum of Big Dog Billiards, Des Moines, IA is adding a minimum of $500 to the prize purse with additional funds provided by Diveney Cues. Diveney has donated a custom cue worth $1500 and Landrum is currently selling raffle tickets at Big Dog Billiards with all proceeds going directly to the NCPT’s July 9th prize purse, bringing the potential add to a whopping $2000!
Future NCPT stops continue to be scheduled, with the next confirmed stop being September 17, 2016 at The Rock Sports Bar & Grill, Sun Prairie, WI.
For more information about future tour stops and the NCPT, visit, email, or call Kelly Nickl, 715-451-8901 or Laura Semko, 312-805-5358.

Lucasi Hybrid Cues ACS Midwest 8-Ball Championships Expands in Iowa

With over 500 players, 112 teams and a venue that drew accolades from every attendee, the 2012 Lucasi Hybrid Cues ACS Midwest 8-Ball Championships at the Riverside Casino & Resort in Riverside, Iowa, January 19-22, enjoyed another attendance expansion in a warm environment amongst the winter plains of the Midwest  The $10,400-added championships – produced by the American CueSports Alliance (ACS) – offered competition in six primary events and three secondary events:  Men’s and Women’s Advanced 8-Ball Singles, Men’s and Women’s Open 8-Ball Singles, Men’s and Women’s four-person 8-Ball Teams, Scotch Doubles 8-Ball and separate handicapped Men’s and Women’s 9-Ball Singles.
In the 20-player Men’s Advanced 8-Ball Singles, young Chad Behnke (Farley, IA) followed up on his recent Iowa ACS Men’s Advanced title with a 6-0 thrashing of once-defeated Alan Schares (Independence, IA) in the finals to secure the ACS Midwest title.
In the 7-player Women’s Advanced 8-Ball Singles, multi-time national champion and 2010 ACS Midwest champion Jessica Frideres (Ft. Dodge, IA) regained her crown after a runner-up finish to Chicago’s Amy Latzko in 2011, by outpointing Connie O’Heron (Wausau, WI) 5-2 in this 2012 finals.
In the 155-player Men’s Open 8-Ball Singles, Washington Iowa’s undefeated Mike Peiffer (Washington, IA) recovered from a final’s first-set 0-4 trouncing by 17-year old Anthony Asher (St. Joseph, MO) to regain the momentum in the deciding set to claim the title by a 4-2 margin.
In the 64-player Women’s Open 8-Ball Singles, Simone Huskey (Silvis, IL) dominated the division, capping off her title with a 3-0 final’s win over Georgia Countryman (Braidwood, IL).
In the Men’s 8-Ball Teams, undefeated “Freewheelers” (IL) [Dan Hayes (Captain-Advanced), Tony Sifuentez, Dave Reimer and John Stukel] captured the hot seat over the 80-team field despite having to race to 11 each match (teams with no “Advanced” player raced to 9).  The finals against “Hot Shots” (IA) [Todd Davis (Captain-Open), Abe Palmer, Jerry Udelhofen and Laurence Henderson] proved a challenge for “Freewheelers,” as “Hot Shots” prevailed in the first set, 9-6.  But “Freewheelers” avenged the loss in set #2 to gain the title by an 11-5 margin!
In the Women’s 8-Ball Teams, the team of “Empty Pockets” (IL) [Linda Cruz (Captain–Advanced), Joan Livingston, Kay Reimer and Sue Wiechec] spotted most teams two games to dispatch the 32-team field, including some narrow escapes; but the one-set finals against “Just The Tip” [Patty Anderson (Captain-Open), Stacy McNamara, Jolyn Cox and Debbie Melroy] was anti-climactic, as “Empty Pockets” dominated by a 9-3 score to claim the Championship!    
The team of Dawn Spencer and Jerry Dietz (IA), captured the Scotch Doubles 8-Ball event over a field of eighteen teams by dispatching the team of Dawn Huser/Jason Miller (IL) in the finals 3-1.  Open player Jim Gessay of Hartland, WI, outpointed a 128-player field in the Men’s 9-Ball Singles for the top spot, including taking advantage of a 2-game spot from Advanced player Ron Martin (E. Moline, IL) by a 4-4 margin in the finals for the crown!  Sheree Houseman (Muscatine, IA) bested a field of 20 for the Women’s 9-Ball Singles honors – besting Shari Rice (Omaha, NE) in the finals 3-2. “Transformers” (IL) [Frank DeCastecker (Captain-Advanced), Jerry French, Mike Christopher and Ted Cole] captured the Men’s 2nd Chance Team division over “Krug’z Guerillas” (IA) [Jody McCormick (Captain), Jeff Nguyen (Advanced), Devin Barclay, James Miller and Marc Wells], while “No Balls Just Racks” (MO) [Paula Reeder (Captain-Advanced), Jennifer Fugman, Tawni Lewis, Courtney Cadwell, Pam Brown and Mindy Spiker] outpaced “Lucky Dawgs” (IL) [Kelly McBride (Captain-Open), Simone Huskey, Cathy Harness and Heidi French] in the finals of the Women’s 2nd Chance Team division.
The ACS would like to thank the title sponsor of the event – Lucasi Hybrid Cues, the Riverside Casino & Golf Resort for its support and outstanding hospitality, and other sponsors Iowa Sports Center apparel, Old Time Billiards and Diveney Custom Cues; and Nick Varner Signature Cues and Cases, whose multi-World Champion namesake took on all challengers throughout the event! The event was conducted by Gary & Shelly Benson and John Maestry under the auspices of High Country Promotions.  Special thanks as well to ACS referees Cecil Messer, Robert Ball, James Reed and Tom Fankhauser, and to the equipment crew of Mike Peiffer, Chris Bringman, Shane Lee and Jeremy Bush.