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Gorst, McMinn and Tokoph finish 1, 2, 3 at 9-Ball/10-Ball events of Junior Norris Memorial

Chris McMinn, Sherrie Glenn, Fedor Gorst and Tommy Tokoph

It doesn’t happen often. When a given event offers multiple opportunities to compete, there is often a fatigue factor which plays into the possibility that any one, two or three competitors playing in more than one of the events will succeed multiple times. They might finish respectably in two events, winning one and placing among the top five or so in another. But three competitors, finishing first, second and third in two events on the same long weekend? We searched for instances where it had happened before, but couldn’t find one, which is not an indication that it never happened, merely an indicator that it’s a rarity.

At the 8th Annual Junior Norris Memorial, held this past weekend (Aug. 10-14), offering $10k worth of total added-money that attracted (with some crossover) 233 entrants to Sikes Center Mall in Wichita Falls, TX, Fedor Gorst, Shane McMinn and Tommy Tokoph finished 1st, 2nd and 3rd in both the $5k-added, 82-entrant 9-Ball Open and the $2k-added, 44 entrant 10-Ball Open.

Those events were just two of the seven events that comprised the long-weekend memorial celebrating the “Texas Legend,” James “Junior” Norris, a Wichita Falls hometown hero, WWII veteran, generally acknowledged in his day as one of the top 9-ball players in the US and inductee into the Texas Billiards Hall of Fame in 1995 at the age of 70. Norris passed away in March of 2016 at the age of 91, having attended the first two of the Memorial events named in his honor. The event has expanded over the years to embrace multiple game disciplines and launch each year with a VIP Dinner at its start and a Birthday BBQ celebration (this past weekend honoring what would have been Norris’ 97th birthday). The memorial, which was originally just a family barbecue event which occurred around the time of two birthdays, Junior’s in June and his mother, Sadie’s on the Fourth of July, turned into a barbecue and pool tournament in 2014.

In addition to the two events won by Gorst, the 8th Annual Junior Norris Memorial Shootout featured a $1,000-added, 57 entrant, 575-and-under 8-Ball tournament, a $2k-added Women’s 9-Ball tournament and three junior events, for 14-18 Girls and Boys and a 13U event, to which $500 was added for all three.

Though the 9-Ball event’s defending champion, Edgie Geronimo did not compete, last year’s runner-up Justin Espinosa did. So did the event’s 2018 champion, Robb Saez. Fedor Gorst finished 4th in last year’s 9-ball event and 3rd in 10-ball. This year, he went undefeated in both. Among the opponents in his seven-match march to the 9-ball victory were Espinosa, whom he defeated in the third round 9-2, Greg Sandifer 9-4 in a winners’ side semifinal and finally, Tokoph in the hot seat and McMinn in the finals, both 9-2. Tokoph had sent McMinn to the loss side in the other winners’ side semifinal, double hill. On the loss side, McMinn downed Espinosa 9-6, Sandifer 9-7 in the quarterfinals and Tokoph 9-5 in the semifinals.

In the 10-Ball event, Gorst met McMinn twice, hot seat and finals. Gorst never gave up more than two racks to any of his six opponents in seven matches. McMinn got off to a good start in this one, benefiting from an opening round forfeit and a first-match shutout. He gave up three to Tyrel Blowers before running into a double hill battle versus Chris Reinhold. McMinn prevailed, and defeated Dalton Waters 7-1 for his first shot against Gorst in the hot seat match. Tokoph, in the meantime, had lost early and battled through six matches on the loss side, including victories over Reinhold 7-4, a double hill win over Greg Hogue and a 7-2 win over Vitaliy Patsura in the quarterfinals. A predictable double hill fight over who would face Gorst in the finals developed in the semifinals, with McMinn prevailing for his second shot at it. Gorst downed him a second time to claim the 10-ball title.

Cortez goes undefeated to win Ladies Open, Jinez from loss side, wins 8-ball & 14-18 Boys

In the absence of both defending champion Kristina Tkach and last year’s runner-up April Larson, Michelle Cortez stepped up and went undefeated through the field of 32 to claim the $2k-added Women’s 9-Ball. Cortez’ path to the winner’s circle went through five opponents in six matches; Renita Pierre, Christina Abel, Melissa Smith and in a double hill, winners’ side semifinal, Ricki Casper. Her eventual hot seat and finals opponent, Chris Fields got by Yvann Scott, Tisha Leslie (double hill) and in a second straight double hill match, the event’s 2019 champion, Tara Williams. She then downed Toby Stogner 7-2 to face Cortez for the first time.

Cortez claimed the hot seat over Fields 7-2. Williams, in the meantime, was working on a four-match, loss-side winning streak that had recently eliminated Christy Grigsby by shutout and double hill, Ricki Casper. Williams, two steps away from the final, got by the first obstacle, Stogner okay, 7-3 in the quarterfinals, but she and Fields battled to double hill in the semifinals before Fields punched her ticket to the finals rematch against Cortez. 

Fields came within a game of making it double hill, but Cortez edged out in front to claim the 2022 Women’s Open title.

Carlos Jinez came from the loss side, winning three, to claim the 575-and-under (Fargo rate) 8-ball event. He’d lost his winners’ side semifinal to Glenn Miller, who advanced to meet Jacob Pena in the hot seat match. Pena and Miller battled to double hill before Pena prevailed to claim the hot seat.

On the loss side, Jinez defeated Nicholas Garrett 3-1, while Terry Moser was busy eliminating the Women’s Open winner, Michelle Cortez by the same score. Jinez and Moser fought back and forth to double hill in the quarterfinals before Jinez closed it out. Jinez then defeated Miller 3-1 in the semifinals.

Jinez made something of a statement in the first set of the double elimination final, defeating Pena by shutting him out. In the shortened race-to-three second set, they battled to double hill before Jinez finished it to claim the 8-ball title.

In the junior events, the 13-and-under division proved to be the largest, with 9 entrants. The hot seat and finals featured a pair of literal and figurative ‘aces.’ Ace Acevedo claimed the hot seat 7-5 over Ace Smith and once Smith had downed Leigha Noble 5-2 in the semifinals, Acevedo downed him a second time 9-3.

Eight-ball winner Carlos Jinez had to come from the loss side to win the five-entrant 14-18 boys title, as well. Tyrel Blowers claimed the hot seat over him 7-4, but after defeating Dalton Waters 5-2 in the semifinals, Jinez returned to defeat him in the finals 9-6 to claim his second title of the weekend; his first, actually, the 8-ball title was won later that night (Sunday). 

Mary and Eva Grigsby

The Grigsby sisters, 17-year-old twins from Temple, TX, Eva (left-handed shooter) and Mary (right-handed) battled it out in the finals of the four-entrant, 14-18 Girls event. Eva won her first round 7-4 over Peyton Thompson, while Mary lost to Raynie Schroeder 7-3. Eva claimed the hot seat 7-5 over Schroeder. On the loss side, Mary won a double hill fight against Thompson and then, in the semifinals, defeated Schroeder 5-3. The event finished late and in lieu of a double elimination final, the twin sisters played a single match to 7, won by Mary. 

The annual event featured a customary Sportsmanship Award. This year’s prize went to the 9-Ball and 10-Ball event’s third-place finisher, Tommy Tokoph.  

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Ming Ng Double Dips Sanders for On The Ball Tour Stop Win

Ming Ng

Ming Ng has been in more than enough winner’s circles to not let something like a hot-seat loss stop her for long, and that was the case again over the July 23rd – 24th weekend at Stop 4 on the On The Ball Ladies Tour at Betsy’s Billiards in Austin, Texas. 

Ng had notables wins over Stop 2 Champion Chris Fields and tour regular Kim Pierce on her way to the hot-seat match. Her opponent, another tour regular Kim Sanders, had notable wins over Michelle Cortez and Angie Payne on her way to the hot-seat match. 

Both of the players in the hot-seat match were looking for their first wins of the season, with Ng last winning a tour stop last year and Sanders last winning a tour stop in 2019. Sanders would get one step closer to that goal with her 7-6 win over Ng for the hot-seat. 

Michelle Cortez was on a roll on the left side of the board, with four straight wins after her loss to Sanders on the winners side. She would not get another shot at Sanders in the finals though, as Ng won the semi-final match 7-3.

The finals might have been where that experience kicked in for Ng, as she double dipped Sanders 7-3 and 7-4 for the tournament win. 

The On The Ball Ladies Tour will take a few weeks off and return on September 24th – 25th at Big Tyme Billiards in Spring, Texas for another $2000 added event. 

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The Grinder goes undefeated to take Stop #3 of On The Ball Ladies Tour in Texas

April Larson

April Larson, aka The Grinder, has come a long way from winning her first pro event, back in August of 2016. She’d represented the USA that year in the Atlantic Cup Challenge, a Mosconi Cup-type event for junior competitors, and won her fifth BEF Junior Nationals title earlier that summer. The victory on the North American Pool Tour’s Summer 10-Ball Classic rendered her literally speechless, when she was handed the winning check. She’d actually been fascinated by the trophy and when she’d collected that, had completely forgotten about the money that went along with it, presented to her sometime later by NAPT’s Adrianne Beach.

Now, she’s the house pro at Stixx and Stones Billiards in Lewisville, TX and is in the midst of trying to duplicate her best earnings year (2018) since that first win, six years ago. She’s just a little more than half-way to her 2018 earnings at the table, having won three events so far this year, and it’s only May. In February, she was runner-up to Mary Rakin in the 7th Annual Texas Open’s Ladies 10-Ball event, before winning both the Ladies Division of the Scotty Townsend Memorial and the 2022 Midwest Ladies Open in March. In April, she chalked up a 9-ball challenge victory over Melissa Helland.

This past weekend (May 14-15), Larson signed on to the On the Ball Ladies Tour for its third stop of the year and went undefeated through a field of 29 entrants to claim the title. The $2,000-added event was hosted by Skinny Bob’s in Round Rock, TX.

Larson’s trip to the winners’ circle was almost derailed, or to be more accurate, sidetracked early. She defeated Edwidge Cavanna 7-2 in the opening round before having to battle through two straight double hill matches, against Nicole McDaniel and Michelle Yim, which set her up for a winners’ side semifinal against Kim Sanders. Chris Fields, in the meantime, who’d face Larson twice before all was said and done, opened with a 7-2 win, as well, against Ruth Paine and advanced to down Ximena Duarte 7-4 and Ming Ng, double hill, to arrive at her winners’ side semifinal against Jennifer Kraber.

Larson, apparently having had quite enough of double hill matches for the day, shut Sanders out and advanced to the hot seat match. She was joined by Fields, who sent Kraber to the loss side 7-2. Larson gave up only a single rack to Fields and claimed the hot seat.

On the loss side, Kraber picked up Jenna Bishoff, who’d lost her opening round match to McDaniel and went on a five-match, loss-side winning streak that had recently eliminated Mille Almarez 7-5 and Michelle Yim 7-3. Sanders drew a rematch against Cristina Schneider, whom she’d sent to the loss side in the second round and was in the midst of a four-match, loss-side run that included most recent wins over Ming Ng 7-3 and Angie Payne 7-2.

Bishoff and Schneider had their loss-side winning streaks ended by Kraber and Sanders, in completely different ways. In advancing to the quarterfinals, Sanders gave up only a single rack to Schneider. Bishoff fought Kraber to a 13th deciding game before Kraber prevailed to join Sanders in those quarterfinals.

Sanders then defeated Kraber 7-4, only to be downed by Fields in the semifinals 7-2. Though Fields would do considerably better against Larson in the finals than she had in the hot seat match, Larson edged out in front near the end of the final match, claiming the event title 7-5.

As may be noted in the accompanying photo, Larson remembered her check this time.

The next stop (#4) on the On the Ball Ladies Tour is scheduled for the weekend of July 24-25 and will be hosted by Betsy’s Billiards in Austin, TX. 

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Fields comes from the loss side to double dip Ng in finals of OTB Ladies Tour

Ming Ng and Chris Fields

Chris Fields, no stranger to the felt since she first started recording payouts on Florida’s Flamingo and Bay Area Amateur tours 12 years ago, chalked up her first win in just over two years when she came from the loss side to meet and defeat Ming Ng in the finals of a stop on the Texas-based (as is Fields) On The Ball Ladies Tour this past weekend (March 12-13). Her last (recorded) win came on the DFW 9-Ball Tour’s Women’s Finale in October, 2020, when, through six matches, she chalked up an aggregate score of 36-6. At this recent event, Fields had that many racks, plus one, scored against her in her second round of play, which sent her to the loss side for more; more ‘for’ than ‘against’ as it turned out on that side of the bracket. The $2,000-added event drew 34 entrants to Betsy’s Billiards in Austin, TX.

Fields got by her opening match okay, shutting out Leigh Constant, but ran into Kim Sanders in the second round, who fought her to double hill, before she (Sanders) prevailed, launching Fields into a seven-match, loss-side winning streak that eventually led her back to hot seat occupant Ming Ng.

Ng, part of a hot-seat-match pair of what might be aptly described as ‘heavy hitters’ on the Texas Ladies Pool scene, had opened her bid for the title with a double hill win over Angie Payne and went on to defeat Cheyenne Valdez and Natalie Rocha before facing Kim Pierce in one of the winners’ side semifinals. The other member of the ‘heavy hitters’ pair was Jennifer Kraber, who’d gotten by Margaret Fox, Nicole McDaniel, and shut out Michelle Cortez in a winners’ side quarterfinal to face Michelle Yim in the other winners’ side semifinal.

Kraber downed Yim 7-2 and in the hot seat match, faced Ng, who’d sent Pierce to the loss side 7-5. Ng sent Kraber off to what would prove to be a fateful matchup in the semifinals, claiming the hot seat 7-4.

On the loss side, Yim drew Kim Sanders, who, following her loss to Pierce had defeated Angie Payne and Natalie Rocha, both 7-5. Pierce picked up Fields, four matches into her loss-side streak, which had recently eliminated Carmel Luttrell and Stephanie Reyes, both 7-1.

Fields advanced to the quarterfinals 7-5 over Pierce and was met by Yim, who’d survived a double hill fight versus Sanders, and was thus able to avoid a rematch against Fields. Fields eliminated Yim 7-4 in those quarterfinals and then, Kraber in the semifinals 7-3.

It was a true double elimination final, forcing Fields to win twice to claim the title. A predictable double hill battle characterized the opening set, won by Fields. Fields chalked up the second set 7-4 and claimed the event title.

A $100-added Best of the Rest event drew 10 entrants. Angie Payne took home the top prize, with Zoe Lozano as runner-up. 

Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Betsy’s Billiards, as well as title sponsor On the Ball Co., which also provided streaming services for the event. The next stop (#3) of the On the Ball Ladies Tour, scheduled for the weekend of May 14-15, will be a $2,000-added event, hosted by Skinny Bob’s Billiards in Round Rock, TX. 

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Gerson Martinez & Mary Rakin Tam Crowned Texas Open 10 Ball Champs

Gerson Martinez (Pool Action TV)

Skinny Bob’s Billiards & Sports Bar in Round Rock, TX was the venue for the 7th Annual Texas Open 10 Ball Championships. 

Produced by Cue & A Promotions, this event featured three divisions – the $2,000 added Scotch Doubles, the $2,000 added Ladies 10 Ball and the 10,000 added 10 Ball Open. A total of $15,750 was added to the prize fund.

Local sponsors included Mints Amusements, Hanshew Jump Cues, Austin Pro Siding, Windows & Roofing, GAF, DigitalPool.com and ABC Supply Co., Inc.

The tournament began on Wednesday night with a $500 added 10 Ball mini tournament. This $25 entry single elimination race to three event had a full field of 64 players. Hailing from Sarajevo, Bosnia, Sanjin Pehlivanovic took the cheese. Defending US Open Pool champ Carlo Biado took second while Lima, Peru’s Gerson Martinez and Roland Garcia each tied for third place.

Following a players meeting and auction, play commenced on Thursday afternoon in the Jack & Jill Scotch Doubles 10 Ball Championship. Twenty three teams posted $125 entry fees to play in this double elimination, race to seven event. 

Continuing his hot streak, Carlo Biado and his partner, Mary Rakin Tam took first place over Alex Pagulayan and April Larson.

Thursday evening also featured the $500 added Banks Ring Game. At the end, Denmark’s Mickey Krause, John Morra and Manny Chau did a three-way chop of the cash.

Carlo Biado and Mary Rakin Tam (Pool Action TV)

Friday began with both a $500 added Open Ring Game and a $250 added Ladies Ring Game. John Morra won the Open Ring Game and the Ladies was won by Jenna Bishoff.

Later that evening, a players meeting and auction kicked off the main event. 125 players paid their $150 entry fees into this double elimination, race to seven with alternate break format. Play began the following day.

Meeting in the first round, Roland Garcia edged out Josh Roberts 7-6 and Alex Pagulayan defeated Evan Lunda 7-3.

Second round action saw Lee Vann Corteza spank John Gabriel 7-2 as Gerson Martinez squeaked by Sergio Rivas 7-6. Robbie Capito eked out a 7-6 win over recent Music City Open champ Shane Wolford, Singapore’s Sarik Sayed trounced local favorite Justin Espinosa 7-2 while Pagulayan toughed out his match with Pehlivanovic 7-5. 

In the third round, straight shooting veteran Tommy Sanders shot down Blaine Barcus 7-3 as did Biado over Krause with an identical score. Gerson Martinez sent Lee Vann west 7-4 while Sean Black upset the legendary David Matlock 7-5.  John Morra blistered Shane McMinn 7-2 while Manny Chau sent Michael Yednak packing 7-3. Fellow Houstonians Roberto Gomez and Tommy Tokoph duked it out with Tommy emerging the victor 7-3 and Sayed lost to Pagulayan 7-4.

Matches in the fourth round saw Sanders bow to Krause 7-4 and Chris Reinhold lose to Gerson Martinez by the same score. Morra toasted Sean Black as did Chip Compton versus Nicholas De Leon – both matches were 7-3. Sending another Houstonian to the one loss side, Tokoph bested Chau 7-5 – Capito went down to Pagulayan 7-4.

Round five had Gerson Martinez mowing down Krause 7-4 and Tokoph easing past Christopher Teves 7-3. With identical 7-1 scores, Pagulayan bested Souto as did Tokoph over Christopher Tevez.

Now down to four players on the winners side, Gerson Martinez defeated Morra 7-5 while Pagulayan beat Tokoph 7-3. Both Alex and Gerson moved into the hot seat match as their opponents headed west.

Saturday evening saw the players meeting and auction for the Ladies 10 Ball event. A full field of 32 players posted a $100 entry – same format as the Open 10 Ball.

Notable first round matches included perennial favorite Ming Ng’s victory over Kelly Durbin 7-5 with both Kim Sanders edging out Mary Avina and Margaret Fox over Tam Trinh 7-6. 

Second round action saw Jenna Bishoff eke out a win over Jennifer Kraber 7-6 as Mary Rakin Tam defeated Ng by the same score. Sanders defeated Emily Sumrall 7-3 and Melissa Rushton took care of Fox 7-4.

After skunking her two previous opponents, April Larson had a bit of a tougher time with Kim Pierce – April won 7-3. Tam sent Bishoff packing 7-5, Chris Fields pummeled Rachel Hurst 7-1 and Rushton notched another win over Sanders 7-5.

Down to four on the winners side, Tam sneaked past Larson 7-5 and Fields beat Rushton 7-4. Both Tam and Fields advanced to the hot seat match. Mary handily beat Chris 7-2 and claimed her seat in the finals. Chris headed west to await an opponent.

On the one loss side, Bishoff defeated Rushton 7-4 while Larson eliminated Trinh 7-5. Larson won her match with Bishoff 7-4 leaving Jenna in fourth place. April then defeated Chris 7-2 to move into the finals. Chris finished with a third place finish.

Since this was true double elimination, April would have to defeat Mary twice to claim the title. However, it was not to be as April was relegated to a well-deserved second place finish and Mary went undefeated to claim her first Texas Open 10 Ball title!!! 

Meanwhile, the Open 10 Ball was winding down to its last few players! In the hot seat match, Gerson Martinez mowed down his last opponent to lock up his berth in the finals. Pagulayan lost 7-4 and headed to the other side of the chart to await an opponent.

Lee Vann Corteza ended Tommy Tokoph’s hopes for the title 7-3 as John Morra did the same to Jonas Souto 7-3. Lee Vann and John locked horns and battled it out to a 7-6 result. Leaving Lee Vann in fourth place, Morra’s next opponent was fellow Canadian, Alex Pagulayan. Also a tough one, John emerged to take on Gerson for the title. Alex finished in third place.

Again, as this was true double elimination, Morra would have to defeat Martinez twice to win the title. The match started out close until John pulled away to close out the first set 7-4. The final set was also close but this time, Gerson pulled away to put him one game away from the title – 6-4. John clawed back to win another game but that was it. Gerson won the final game & the title leaving John with a well deserved runner-up finish!  

Congratulations to both Gerson Martinez and Mary Rakin Tam – this year’s Texas Open 10 Ball champions!!!

PoolActionTV.com would like to thank owners Kim and Tracy Sanders as well as their General Manager, Shayla Neris, and their staff for rolling out the red carpet for all of the players and fans.

Thank you to Tournament Director Jason Hill for doing an exemplary job juggling all the various events.  

We’d like to thank Blake Kamiab, Clint Palaci and David (“Doc”) Reyes for running the DFW Tour setup broadcasting the ladies event on our free channel. 

We’d also like to thank Larry Schwartz, Michael Yednak, Alex Pagulayan, Mary Kenniston and Ray Hansen for their expert commentary.

And, last but not least, we’d like to thank our sponsors and fans. Our sponsors include JB Cases, Hanshew Jump Cues, StraightPoolEye, Lomax Custom Cues, Diamond Billiard Products, Aramith, Simonis, Durbin Custom Cues, the Action Palace of Dayton, OH and the Fort Worth Billiards Superstore of Fort Worth, TX. 

Our next event is the 5th Annual Scotty Townsend Memorial in West Monroe, LA featuring three divisions – Pro One Pocket, Open 9 Ball and Women’s 9 Ball. The dates are March 1st-6th. Hope to see you there!!!

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Eaton wins her first 2021 event, going undefeated on Jerry Olivier Ladies Tour

Gail Eaton

Since her first recorded cash prize at an event, winning a stop on the Texas Express Tour, almost exactly 22 years ago (the weekend of June 24-26, 1999), Gail Eaton has become an ongoing force to be reckoned with at the tables. Records indicate that she failed to cash in only two of those 22 years (’10, ’12) and in her best year (2017), she won six out of the 15 events in which she cashed. She’s competed in events and tours from one end of the country to the other. From the J. Pechauer Northeast Women’s Tour in the East to the WPBA Pacific Coast Classic in the West. Over the years, she racked up a total of 10 wins on the Gulf Coast Women’s Regional Tour.

This past weekend (June 19-20), she went undefeated at Stop #2 on the Jerry Olivier Ladies Tour to chalk up her first, post-pandemic win. The $2,000-added event drew 26 entrants to Skinny Bob’s Billiards in Round Rock, TX.

Eaton faced separate opponents in the hot seat and finals of this event. She got by Michelle Cortez, Molly McWhorter, and Kim Pierce to draw Yvonne Asher in one of the winners’ side semifinals. Kim Sanders, in the meantime, had defeated Christy Grigsby, Marilina Nieves, and Margaret Fox to pick up Chris Fields in the other winners’ side semifinal. Fields had just sent the other eventual finalist, Ming Ng, to the loss side.

Sanders and Fields battled to double hill before Sanders prevailed for a spot in the hot seat match. Eaton joined her after sending Asher to the loss side 7-1. Eaton claimed the hot seat over Sanders 7-3 and waited for Ming Ng to complete her five-match, loss-side winning streak.

On the loss side, it was Asher who picked up Ming Ng, two matches into her loss-side winning streak, having shut out McWhorter and eliminated Jennifer Kraber 7-3. Fields drew Natalie Rocha, who’d lost a winners’ side quarterfinal to Asher and then defeated Michelle Cortez 7-2 and survived a double hill fight versus Kim Pierce.

Ng gave up only a single rack to Asher and advanced to the quarterfinals. Fields joined her after eliminating Rocha 7-4.

Ng and Fields locked up in a double hill fight in the subsequent quarterfinals, eventually won by Ng. Ng then downed Sanders 7-2 in the semifinals for a shot at Eaton in the hot seat.

Eaton completed her undefeated run with a 7-3 win over Ng in the finals.

Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Skinny Bob’s for their hospitality, as well as title sponsor Jerry Olivier Cues. The next stop on the Jerry Olivier Ladies Tour, scheduled for July 31- August 1, will be a $2,000-added event, hosted by Stixx & Stones Billiards in Lewisville, TX. 

Chris Fields Dominates DFW 9-Ball Ladies Tour Finale Event

DFW 9-Ball Ladies Tour held their last event for this 2020 challenging year on Saturday, October 24th at Snookered Restaurant and Billiards in Frisco, TX.  Special thanks to Craig and Jana Lucas, owners of Snookered for hosting our stop and we hope to be back next year for more fun-filled and competitive tournaments.

The DFW 9-Ball Ladies Tour Committee (Ginger Abadilla, Jennifer Hooten, Monica Anderson and David “Doc” Reyes, tournament director) would also like to thank OB Cues as our ladies’ tour sponsor for all of our tour stops.    OB Cues, made in Plano, TX, strives to provide high performance billiards equipment including the latest popular products in playing shafts, playing cues, break and jump cues plus other equipment.  Be sure to check them out at obcues.com for more information.

We can’t say enough about Fort Worth Billiards Superstore and Albert Trujillo.  They have been a DFW 9-Ball Tour sponsor since 2018 and continue to support the ladies’ tournaments every stop as well.  Fort Worth Billiards Superstore has a wide range of gameroom, pool and billiards equipment, tables, furniture, accessories, darts, shuffleboards, and much, much, much more.  Anything and everything you need for your sports and gameroom pleasures can be found at https://www.billiardsuperstore.com/

A little bit of history about the DFW 9-Ball Ladies Tour which was formed in 2019 was to provide an avenue of competitive 9-ball tournament opportunities in the DFW Metroplex for a wide-range of skilled level female pool players.   All ladies tour stops are handicapped events based on a player’s Fargo rating (minimum 200 games must be established).  If you don’t have a Fargo rating, we will use an APA skill level if you have one.  If you don’t have either of those, we will set your skill level based on known ability.  Our tour skill levels begin with 3’s all the way to 7’s.   A handicapped tournament, such as ours, will give all players an opportunity to test their mettle against the best as well as hopefully pick up a few pointers along the way.  But most of all, we encourage fun and relaxation while escaping life with some 9-ball pool therapy.

Our ladies tour events are always one-day tournaments with guaranteed $500 added monies with an entry fee of $30.  On Saturday, we had 28 ladies venture to Snookered to match up and catch up with favorite friends plus meet some new friends in the process.  We had seven (SL 3’s); ten (SL 4’s); four (SL 5’s); three (SL 6’s) and four (SL 7’s).  With this great variety of all skill levels, it would be a strong fight to the finish.  Our top three Snookered main event finishers are featured below:

Tara Williams, Chris Fields and Rachelle Dytko

 

Chris Fields was unstoppable in every match.  She played strong, precise and smart throughout the entire day.  In fact, her overall tournament record, while playing in a total of six matches, racked up a masterful win/loss record of 36-6.   

Payouts from the Main Event – total purse $1,340

1st – $480 – Chris Fields (SL 6)

2nd – $350 – Rachel Dytko (SL 4)

3rd – $230 – Tara Williams (SL 7)

4th – $120 – Orietta Strickland (SL 7)

5th/6th – $80 – Kitty Phoutthavong (SL 5); Brittany Ramirez (SL 4)

We also held a Second Chance tournament as we had the time, tables and ladies who wanted to keep on playing.  Eight ladies paid a $20 entry fee with the tour adding $100 and Snookered adding $50 for a total purse of $310.

Our Second Chance top 2 winners are:

Janet Ybarra and Tina Soto

 

Payouts from the Second Chance Event – total purse $310

1st – $160 – Tina Soto (SL 5)

2nd – $100 – Janet Ybarra (SL 3)

3rd – $50 – Monica Anderson (SL 4)

Congratulations also go out to Alicia Stanley for winning the OB Cues that was raffled off.

The DFW 9-ball Ladies Tour will be working on their 2021 schedule soon.  Be sure to keep up with updates and tournament announcements on the DFW 9-Ball Tour Facebook page.

Thank you to sponsors, hosts, players, fans and committee members for a successful 2020 tour year.  Looking forward to a bigger, better and safer 2021.  See you next year.

Ng goes undefeated to win Women’s Open Division of 46th Annual Texas Open

Ming Ng (Photo courtesy Jerry Olivier Pool Tour)

The two finalists at the $1,000-added Women’s Open Division of the 46th Annual Texas Open were coming off recent victories. Ming Ng had chalked up a win on the Gulf Coast Women’s Regional Tour in June, while her finals opponent, Taylor Hansen had won a Division I Pro event on the North American Pool Tour (NAPT) in mid-August. It was the second time in a little over two weeks that 20-year-old Taylor Hansen squared off against an opponent who’d been competing as long as she’d been alive. In August, Hansen defeated Eleanor Callado in the finals of the NAPT’s 4th Summer Classic. This time, though, the veteran prevailed. Ming Ng went undefeated through the field of 32, meeting and defeating Hansen in the finals to claim the event title.
 
Though Ng had a pair of relatively easy opening matches in this event, downing Nicole McDaniel and Tracie Voelkering, both 7-1, things tightened up pretty quickly. Robyn Petrosino managed more racks against her than Ng’s first two opponents combined (three), as Ng advanced to a winners’ side semifinal against Chris Fields. Ellen Robinson, in the meantime, who’d been challenged, double hill, by Courtney Peters in the opening round, shut out Michelle Abernathy in the second and sent Teresa Garland to the loss side 7-3 in the third, faced Taylor Hansen in the other winners’ side semifinal.
 
Both matches for advancement to the hot seat match went double hill, as did the hot seat match. It was Ng and Robinson who advanced as Hansen and Fields moved to the loss side. Ng claimed the hot seat, double hill, over Robinson and waited on Hansen’s return.
 
On the loss side, Chris Fields picked up Liz Galvan, who’d been defeated by Julia Rapp in the event’s opening round of play and was in the midst of a five-match, loss-side winning streak that was about to end, and had most recently included victories over Teresa Garland, double hill, and Kim Pierce 7-5. Taylor Hansen drew Jennifer Kraber, whom she’d faced at the end of the Texas Open’s Women's 10-Ball ring game. Kraber and Hansen ended up splitting 1st and 2nd in that event.  In the Women’s event, Kraber had been sent to the loss side by Chris Fields, double hill, in a winners’ side quarterfinal and then eliminated Nicole McDaniel 7-3 and Robyn Petrosino, double hill, to draw Hansen.
 
Fields advanced to the quarterfinals 7-2 over Galvan and was joined by Hansen, who’d defeated Kraber 7-5. Hansen then shut Fields out, advancing to a rematch against Robinson in the semifinals.
 
Hansen defeated Robinson 7-3 and came within a game of forcing a deciding match in the finals against Ng. Ng, though, edged out in front and won it 7-5 to claim the 46th Annual Texas Open Women’s title.
 
Co-tour directors James Davis, Sr. and John Palmore thanked Sue and John Cielo and their Skinny Bob’s Billiards staff, as well as Sleep Inn, Mints Amusement, and James Hanshew. They also acknowledged Ray Hansen and his PoolActionTV crew for the live stream of the event throughout the long weekend.

Terry Petrosino Wins JO Tour Season Opener

Terry Petrosino and Angie Payne (Photo courtesy of Marty Jones)

The kickoff of the 2019 JO Ladies Tour was held at Big Tyme Billiards in North Houston on the weekend of January 12th-13th.  54 women came out to compete in a double elimination, race to 7, 9-Ball match on Diamond Bar Boxes.  Prior to the start of each tournament, a players’ meeting is held and this one was quite special.  A major announcement made was the addition of Strokin’ Billiards, owned and operated by brothers, Tuan and Nam Nguyen.  Strokin’ Billiards will be providing the fashion of the tour and adding $100 to the “Best of the Rest” Tournament at each stop.  We are excited to have Strokin’ as part of the JO Tour and look forward to the amazing designs that will be available!  Check them out at www.strokinbilliards.com
 
The JO Ladies Tour also commemorated the years of service and dedication given by Monica Anderson and Shayla Neris, both who resigned from board positions at the end of 2018.  Also resigning from the tour was our “Tour Angel”, Carter Nakashima.  We are actively looking to fill that spot, so applications are being accepted…  As always, our fearless sponsor, Jerry Olivier, was on site to provide flawless cue repair and sales of his great playing cues!  To order one of his fabulous cues go to www.jocues.com! 
 
The battle of the 54 ladies went late into Saturday night and the remaining 12 returned to play on Sunday.  On the winners’ side was a showdown between Angie Payne vs Chris Fields and Terry Petrosino vs Kim Pierce.  The B Side featured Robyn Petrosino vs Shayla Neris, Jeannie Cockman vs Orietta Strickland, Michelle Yim vs Natalie Mans, and Jennifer Kraber vs Tam Trinh.  When it was all said and done, the hot seat match featured Angie Payne from Austin and Terry Petrosino from Houston.  Terry sent Angie to the other side to duke it out with 2018 Tour Champion, Orietta Strickland from Dallas, and it was Angie who came out on top.  Angie hadn’t played in an Tour stop in quite some time and she was on a mission.  She beat Terry in the first set, however, Terry wasn’t going to let her get away with the second set.  Terry nabbed the first place trophy and prize money of $800!  Congratulations!
 
The second day of the stop isn’t all about the main event.  The Best of the Rest tournament is held on Sunday and it is no less competitive than the main event.  24 ladies returned to play and then there were 2 remaining.  Ellen Robinson from San Marcos and Yvonne “Casher” Asher from Houston were the last 2 standing and split the winnings of $210 and were declared the Best of the Rest.  
 
Main Event Standings:
1st Place Terry Petrosino $800
2nd Place Angie Payne $600
3rd Place Orietta Strickland $450
4th Place Kim “Texas Heat” Pierce $335
5th-6th Place Jennifer Kraber $200
Chris Fields $200
7th-8th Place Natalie Mans $125
Shayla Neris $125
9th-12th Place Robyn Petrosino $85
Tam Trinh $85
Jeannie Cockman $85
Michelle Yim $85
 
Best of the Rest Standings:
1st-2nd Place Ellen Robinson $105
Yvonne Asher $105
3rd Place Cheyna Wigley $60
4th Place Teresa Garland $35
5th-6th Place Crystal Dunn $20
Deedra Trammell $20
 
 
A huge thank you to Big Tyme Billiards (www.bigtymebilliards.com) and Billy Sharp for hosting the event.  Big Tyme is truly a players’ pool hall with its wide open spaces, Diamond Bar Boxes, 9’ Diamonds and Gold Crowns, and friendly staff!  We appreciate it and look forward to returning next year!  
 
We hope to see everyone at the next stop!  From Diamond Bar Boxes to 9’ Gold Crowns, we head out to Round Rock, TX (just north of Austin) to Skinny Bob Billiard’s (www.skinnybobs.com), home of the Texas State 9 and 10 Ball Opens, the weekend of March 9-10th.  Come on out and enjoy some great pool and meet the women of the JO Ladies Tour!  For more information, please contact one of the Board members: Teresa Garland, Natalie Mans, or Yvonne Asher.  
 
The JO Ladies Tour is a sanctioned Division II tour of the North American Pool Tour (NAPT).  Good Luck to these 14 women who will represent the JO Tour in the upcoming NAPT Division II Championships held at Bull Shooters in Phoenix, AZ, February 21-24: Jennifer Kraber, Michelle Cortez, Nicole McDaniel, Kim Pierce, Natalie Mans, Yvonne Asher, Teresa Garland, Tam Trinh, Ellen Robinson, Robyn Petrosino, Kim Sanders, Shayla Neris, Julie Collins, and Kelly Jones.  Let’s hope one of these ladies brings the championship to our tour!
 
 
Jerry Olivier Custom Cues www.jocues.com
JO Ladies Tour www.joladiestour.com
Strokin’ Billiards www.strokinbilliards.com
Mz Tam Trinh www.mztam.com
North American Pool Tour (NAPT) www.playnapt.com

Jennifer Kraber takes the Win At the Inaugural Jerry Olivier Ladies Tour

Yvonne Asher, Jennifer Kraber, Gail Eaton and Rhea Brooks

Jerry Olivier, custom cue maker extraordinaire from Houston, TX rolled out the red carpet for his newly sponsored Ladies 9-Ball Tour at Skinny Bob's Billiards, the weekend of March 10th-11th.  Jerry won over the hearts of all the ladies of the former OB Cues Ladies Tour and brought sponsorship to a new level.  It's not very often that a Title Sponsor partakes in the tournament activities of an event but Jerry was with us all weekend, providing sponsor banners for each and every stop, personalized crystal trophies for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners for each and every stop, personalized payout materials, stickers, banners plus participated in the group photo with all 58 ladies in attendance for this inaugural event. 
 
To quote Jerry:  “It is an honor to be a part of your team. Thank you all for this opportunity!   And, to all 58 Ladies that played, THANK YOU!   Without you, none of this is possible.   I'm looking forward to the future with this Tour”.  Jerry, WE thank you for your sponsorship, friendship and most of all your genuine care and love for the game and for allowing all players to continue to flourish in our pool dreams and endeavors.  We will make you proud!
 
It was also a joy to be playing at the famous Skinny Bob’s Billiards, home of the Texas 10-Ball Open and Texas Open.  Skinny Bob’s, a fan favorite billiard room, was our home all weekend and we appreciate John Cielo and his staff for taking care of us and our fans, supporters, family and friends for this fantastic showing.
 
Like all of our tournaments, it is a two-day double elimination 9-ball tournament.  Many champions and title holders were at this event, so without a doubt it would be a strong tournament to the finish.  It was anybody's guess who would take home the 1st place prize.  Players from Missouri, Alabama and all over Texas brought their “A” game.  The Jerry Olivier Ladies Tour is also a member of NAPT (North American Pool Tour).  This stop was a qualifying event for the NAPT Division I Pro Event in August at Shooters Sports Bar and Billiards in Grayslake, IL.  For more information on NAPT, be sure to check out playnapt.com.
 
By the end of Day 1, the top 16 returned to continue their winning ways.  On the winner’s side, it was Jennifer Kraber vs. Gail Eaton and Rhea Brooks vs. Board Member, Yvonne Asher.  Jennifer, from Austin and local Skinny Bob’s champion, made her way to the winner’s side by defeating Ming Ng 7-3 as her first match, then Kristin Wilburn 7-2; Kelly Jones 7-1 and a tough match against Chris Fields 7-6.
Gail, from Boerne, always a top finisher in many, many tournaments, was blazing her winning trails with wins and three back-to-back-to-back hill-hill matches; defeating Margaret Fuentes 7-1; Belinda Lee 7-6; Robyn Petrosino 7-6 and Orietta Strickland, current tour champion, 7-6.
 
Rhea’s winning record included wins over Jennifer Yo 7-3; Teresa Garland 7-6; Michelle Cortez 7-6 and Ellen Robinson 7-2.
 
Board Member Yvonne Asher playing strong and consistent all weekend scored wins over Diana Cardona 7-3; Marilana Nieves 7-2; Ashley Julian 7-4 and Kim Sanders 7-2.
 
On the other side of the bracket, matches were Kelly Jones vs. Tina Soto; Board Member Teresa Garland vs. Ming Ng; Board Member Shayla Neris vs. Kim Pierce and Nicole Menitz vs. Belinda Lee.
 
Placing 13th-16th was Tina Soto from Everman, Teresa Garland from Houston, Shayla Neris and Nicole Menitz both from Austin.  9th-12th was Kelly Jones from Alabama, Kim Pierce and Kim Sanders both from Austin and Chris Fields from Arlington.
 
7th-8th winners were Belinda Lee from Pearland and Ming Ng from Houston; 5th-6th went to Ellen Robinson from San Marcos and Orietta Strickland from Plano.  4th Place went to Yvonne Asher who had her best tournament and highest finish ever since playing on the OB Cues Ladies Tour and now Jerry Olivier Ladies Tour.  Jerry also has two players that he sponsors and they are none other than Board Members Teresa Garland and Yvonne Asher.  Jerry sure knows how to pick them and besides their inner and outer beauty; they play pretty sporty as well.  Congratulations to all!
 
Rhea Brooks from Missouri was having a great tournament.  She played Jennifer Kraber for the hot seat match but Jennifer, always consistent and a tough opponent to draw, defeated her 7-3.  In the semi-finals match, Gail Eaton scored a rematch with Jennifer, as she narrowly defeated Rhea 7-6 to earn her right to the finals match.  Great tournament showing Rhea!
 
In a true double elimination format, Gail would have to defeat Jennifer twice to earn first place and while she tried her best to score a first set win, Jennifer fought hard to the finish and made it one set only securing the first place title with a 7-6 score.  Way to shoot, Gail and Jennifer!  Awesome job!