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Kraber double dips Peters to claim second OTB Ladies Tour title

Jennifer Kraber

Texas is a big state, all 268,820 square miles of it. Female Texas pool players who’ve been competing against each other for any number of years might argue that while it may be a big state, it’s a small world after all. 

This past weekend (Nov. 20-21), Jennifer Kraber, whose been making entries into her AZBilliards’ profile since the turn of the century, came from the loss side in the second stop of the 2021 On the Ball Ladies Tour and double dipped Courtney Peters to claim the event title. The last time these two met, pre-pandemic in February 2020, in the Ladies division of the 6th Texas Open 10-Ball event, Kraber got into the hot seat with a victory over Peters and downed her again in the finals. Kraber and Ming Ng, who met in the battles for 5th/6th at this event, had battled in the finals of the inaugural stop of the On The Ball Ladies Tour last month (Oct. 16-17), at which Ng claimed the title. They’d also squared off in the finals of the 2018 Texas Open 10-Ball, won by Kraber. Ng had defeated Kraber in the finals of the 45th Texas Open that same year. Kraber had defeated Ng in the finals of the Houston Open in 2015, while five years earlier, in the same event, they’d finished as runner-up (Ng) and 3rd (Kraber) to Amanda Lampert.

Small world. The $3,000-added 9-Ball event that drew 34 women this past weekend, was hosted by perennial big state, small world host, Skinny Bob’s in Round Rock, TX.

Kraber’s path to the winners’ circle ran through a bye, Darcy Durham 7-4 and Natalie Rocha 7-2, before coming up against Kim Pierce in a winners’ side quarterfinal. They battled to double hill before Pierce prevailed to draw Courtney Peters in one of the winners’ side semifinals. Peters had arrived after downing Michelle Cortez 7-5, shutting out Erica Hanlon, surviving a double hill fight versus Nicole McDaniel and in a winners’ side quarterfinal, sending Cristina Schneider west 7-4.

Meanwhile, Ming Ng was working her way through the lower portion of the bracket against Mary Grigsby 7-2, Teresa Garland 7-1 and Mille Almaraz 7-5 to draw Kim Sanders in the other winners’ side semifinal. Sanders had sent Carmel Luttrell 7-1, Jenna Bishoff, double hill, and Christine McClamma 7-2 to the loss side.

Sanders sent Ng over 7-5 for what turned out to be a match versus Kraber. Peters shut out Pierce to join Sanders in the hot seat match. Peters gave up only a single rack to Sanders to claim the hot seat.

On the loss side, Ng ran right into Kraber, who, following her defeat at the hands of Pierce, had eliminated Michelle Yim 7-1 and Jenna Bishoff, double hill. Pierce drew Nicole McDaniel, who was working on a four-match, loss-side winning streak that was about to end and had recently included elimination wins over McLamma 7-3 and Michelle Cortez, double hill.

Kraber and Ng battled to a predictable double hill juncture, before Kraber advanced to a rematch against Pierce in the quarterfinals. Pierce had won her second straight double hill match, versus McDaniel to advance.

They’d battled to double hill in their winners’ side match and apparently Kraber wanted nothing to do with that a second time, in the quarterfinals. She gave up only a single rack to Pierce and advanced to a semifinal match against another Kim, Sanders. Kraber won that 7-4 to earn herself a double-elimination shot against Peters in the finals.

Kraber took the opening set 7-5. She followed it with a 7-4 win in the second set to claim the second stop of the On The Ball Ladies Tour.

A $100-added Best of the Rest Tournament drew 16 players on Sunday. Autumn Duncan downed Mille Almaraz in the finals. The tour also announced three End of Year award winners: Ming Ng – Tour Champion, Most Improved Player – Courtney Peters and a Best Sportsmanship award to Michelle Cortez.

Tour representatives thanked Kim and Tracy Sanders and their staff at Skinny Bob’s for their hospitality, as well as title sponsor On the Ball Co., and Draw Nation Streaming for providing the live stream. The next stop of the On the Ball Ladies Tour, scheduled for the weekend of Jan. 29-30, will be hosted by Big Tyme Billiards in Spring, TX.

Ming Ng double dips Kraber to win 1st stop of On the Ball Ladies Tour in Houston

Ming Ng

Though Ming Ng has been slightly more ‘active’ this year than she was the year before (cashing in seven events this year vs. five events in 2020), last year was more productive for her financially because she won three of the five events in which she’d competed; the first stop on the Gulf Coast Women’s Regional Tour, the second stop on the former Jerry Olivier Ladies Tour and the Ladies Division of the 47th Annual Texas Open. Ng won her first 2021 event this past weekend (Oct. 16-17) when she took two out of three matches against Jennifer Kraber to win the opening stop of the On the Ball Ladies Tour (formerly the Jerry Olivier Ladies Tour). The $2,000-added event drew 19 entrants to Bogie’s Billiards in Houston, TX.

After an opening round bye, Ng got by Darcy Durham 7-4 and Kim Sanders 7-3 to arrive at a winners’ side semifinal matchup versus tour director Teresa Garland. Kraber, in the meantime, also with an opening round bye, had dispatched Natalie Mans and Cheyenne Valdez, both 7-4, to draw her winners’ side semifinal opponent, Courtney Peters.

Twenty-five games later, Ng and Kraber advanced to face each other in the hot seat match. Ng and Garland had battled to double hill before Ng prevailed, while Kraber and Peters came within a game of double hill (6-5), before Kraber chalked up the 7th rack that earned her the right to face Ng. Kraber then defeated Ng in their first of three, 7-3 to claim the hot seat.

On the loss side, Peters drew Chris Fields, who’d lost her opening round match in a double hill battle versus Kim Pierce and was working on a four-match, loss-side winning streak that had recently eliminated Kim Sanders and, in a rematch, Kim Pierce, both 7-5. Garland picked up Yvonne Asher, who’d been defeated by Peters in a winners’ side quarterfinal and had survived two straight double-hill matches against Shayla Neris and Natalie Rocha.

Peters and Fields battled back and forth to double hill before Peters advanced to the quarterfinals. Garland joined her after allowing Asher only a single rack. Peters did likewise to Garland in the quarterfinals, advancing to the semifinals 7-1.

The semifinals was about which of the two competitors who’d already been defeated once by the occupant of the hot seat, Jennifer Kraber, was going to get a second shot at her. Ming Ng earned the right at that second shot with a 7-3 victory over Peters.

Much as the two winners’ side semifinal matches had required 25 games to advance two competitors to the hot seat match, the true double elimination finals required 25 games to advance one of the competitors into the winners’ circle. Ng and Kraber fought to double hill in the opening set before Ng prevailed to force the second set. She took the second set 7-5 to claim the first event title of the On the Ball Ladies Tour.

Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Bogie’s Billiards for their hospitality, as well as title sponsor On the Ball. The next stop on the tour will be the $3,000-added tour finale, scheduled for the weekend of Nov. 20-21 at Skinny Bob’s in Round Rock, TX.

Van Boening & Fisher Take Texas Open 9 Ball Titles

Shane Van Boening and Allison Fisher

Over the past weekend, the grand finale of the 48th Annual Texas Open 9 Ball Championships took place. Hosted by owners Kim and Tracy Sanders, the newly remodeled Skinny Bob’s Billiards in Round Rock, TX was the place to be!

The $20,000 added 9 Ball Open had an entry fee of $125. The double elimination event was races to nine and winner breaks. Using a template rack, the nine was racked on the spot with three point rule in effect. After a record-breaking players auction, the brackets were posted and play began.

Using eighteen brand new Diamond tables, the 160 player field was whittled down by Saturday night to the final 32. A second players auction was held and when it was finished, play resumed.

Two players battled their way through the very tough field to the hot seat match – Shane Van Boening and Roland Garcia. The match was all Shane as he defeated Roland 9-3. Over on the one loss side, Dennis Orcollo was in dead punch as he handily dispatched Sky Woodward and Roland with identical scores of 9-4 to face Shane in the finals. Two-time Texas Open champ Woodward would have to settle for fourth place this time and Garcia finished in third place. Good tournament, guys!

As this event was true double elimination, Dennis would have to defeat Shane twice for the title. Dennis was looking to sweep both events as he had already claimed the One Pocket title in this event a few days earlier. Shane was looking to claim his second Texas Open 9 Ball title as he had previously won in 2008.

Seems that Dennis wasn’t the only one in dead stroke as Shane blew though his opponent 9-2!

The Women’s Division had a full field of 32 players and races to seven.

After several matches, Allison Fisher and Sakura Muramatsu battled for the hot seat. This was Allison’s first appearance at the Texas Open and she didn’t disappoint defeating Sakura 7-3 to claim her spot in the finals.

Sakura was sent to the west side to await the victor of the Chris Fields-Courtney Peters match. On a mission, Courtney battled her way through Chris Fields 7-5 and then defeated Sakura 7-5 to lock up her spot in the finals. Sakura finished in third place.

Again, Courtney would have to defeat Allison twice to win the tournament. Starting out neck and neck, Allison finally pulled away at the end of the well-played match to close it out 7-4.

Congratulations to both Shane Van Boening and Allison for becoming the 2021 Texas Open 9 Ball Champions! Great tournament, Dennis and Courtney!

And, thanks again to everyone at Skinny Bob’s for, as usual, a first class event! Local sponsors for this event included Hanshew Custom Cues, Austin Pro, Mints Amusements, Sanders Roofing & Exteriors, GAF and ABC Supply Company.

Thanks to Tournament Director Jason Hill for an exemplary job juggling multiple events. We’d also like to thank Larry Schwartz, Jeremy Jones, Tom Wirth, Del Sim, Michael Yednak, Mary Kenniston, Alex Pagulayan, Scott Frost, Tony Chohan & our own Ray Hansen for their excellent commentary.

And, as always, PoolActionTV would like to thank our fans and sponsors! They include JB Cases, Diamond Billiard Products, Enviroassessments, Castillo Leather Goods, Durbin Custom Cues, Simonis, Lomax Custom Cues, IPKT, Hanshew Jump Cues, IPKT, TeamStraightPoolEye, the Action Palace of Dayton, OH and Fort Worth Billiards Superstore of Fort Worth, TX.

Our next event is the $150,000 Champions One Pocket Challenge featuring Alex Pagulayan and Tony Chohan! Held at the Rack & Grill III in Aiken, SC, this is going to be great! Dates are September 23rd-26th! Hope to see you there!!!

Orcollo, Morra, Peters & Compton In The Winner’s Circle

Sponsor Carlos Sanchez and Dennis Orcollo

The 48th Annual Texas Open at Skinny Bob’s in Round Rock, TX was definitely the place to be as players from all over the world arrived trying to grab their piece of this $38,500 added event.

Unveiling their newly remodeled room and brand new Diamonds, owners Kim and Tracy Sanders, welcomed the players and fans.

After a rousing player’s auction and the draw, play began on Monday evening in the $10,000 added One Pocket division.

Featuring a full field of 32 of the best players on the planet, this division had a $1,000 entry with races to 5/4, alternate break – true double elimination.

After several days of world class play, two players remained on the winners side – Dennis Orcollo & Josh Roberts. Dennis arrived at the hot seat match after defeating Pedro Botta 5-1, Omar Al Shaheen and Mika Immonen 5-3 and Corey Deuel 5-2. Josh beat Chris McDaniel and Jeremy Seaman with scores of 5-3, Carlo Biado 5-2 and Scott Frost 5-3.

Struggling in the hot seat match, the always tough Orcollo sent a disappointed Roberts to the west side with a 5-2 score.

Meanwhile, after having clawed and fought their way through the one loss side, Tony Chohan and Shane Van Boening faced each other for their shot at Josh. Shane prevailed 4-2 leaving Tony in fourth place.

Itching to get another shot at Dennis, Josh got his wish after beating Shane with a score of 4-2. Shane finished with a respectable third place finish.

Wednesday night, the $1,000 added 9 Ball Mini drew a full field of 64 players ponying up their $25 entry fees. Format was single elimination – race to three. When the smoke cleared, John Morra took the top cheese over Pedro Botta. Score – 3-1. Congratulations to both!

Thursday evening featured two events – a 10 Ball Banks Ring Game and a Ladies 10 Ball Mini. The banks ring game whittled down to Chip Compton and Corey Deuel with Chip taking it all. The ladies mini wound down to Courtney Peters and Kim Pierce in the finals with Courtneysecuring the win. Congratulations to both!

And now for the main event!!! 160 players had paid their entry fees of $150 to compete in the $20,000 added 9 Ball Open. The format was true double elimination, races to 9, winner breaks, template rack with the 9 on the spot – three point rule in effect.

After a players auction, players meeting and draw, the brackets were posted. Matches began at 9 am Friday morning.

Stay tuned for more results and if you haven’t already, get your pass at PoolActionTV.com and come sweat it with us!!!

Peters Pockets Win On Gulf Coast Tour

Courtney Peters

Courtney Peters lost her second match, and fought her way through some of the toughest female competitors Texas has to offer, to capture the second stop on the 2021 Gulf Coast Women’s Regional Billiards Tour. In the end, Peters faced off with Kim Pierce, defeating her, 7-2, 5-3, in the true, double elimination final.

On April 24th-25th, 2021, sponsors Poison by Predator Cues, Predator Cues, APA of North Harris County, Alamo Billiards, Outsville Billiards, Team StraightPool Eye, Southern Streaming, and Slick Willies Family Pool Hall (5319 Westheimer) in Houston, Texas, facilitated another successful event for women pool players. This event was $500 added, drew 23 players, and paid out $960 in prize money. As always, Slick Willies provided premium amenities, including twenty-three, Brunswick 8’ Tables, in a smoke-free environment. Predator Arcos II Pool Balls and Accu-Racks by Outsville Billiards were provided for each table. 

Following a first round bye, and defeating Natalie Rocha in her second match, 7-6, Courtney Peters lost her third round match to Ming Ng, 7-3. Peters was relegated to the one-loss side, early, where she had much work ahead of her. Along with Peters, Ng also defeated Verda Jones, and Danni Ladd, 7-1, to reach the winners’ side, final four. Brenda Gunter bested Nikki Richard, 7-6, and Mary McHaney, 7-5, while newcomer Robyn Richardson ousted junior player Aubree Kennedy, 7-3, Blanca Camarillo, 7-5, and Bethany Leger, 7-5. Rounding out the final four, Kim Pierce denied Brittany Kromer, 7-1, newcomer Donna Charleston, 7-3, and Cari Balusek, 7-6. On the one-loss side, Richard won five in a row after losing her second round match. Richard eliminated Esther Castaneda, 5-3, Kennedy, and Balusek, 5-4, settling into the final eight. After losing her first match, Kromer was making a comeback on the one-loss side with wins over Rocha, 5-2, and Melissa Fuller, 5-1. Kromer fell to Leger, 5-4, just shy of the final eight. Michelle Abernathy dusted off Jones, 5-2, Charleston, and McHaney, 5-2.  Sara Bork made her bid, ending Ruth Paine, 5-3, and Camarillo, 5-3, but was eliminated by Peters, 5-3.  It was shutout-city on the winners’ side, as Ng and Pierce advanced, sending Gunter and Richardson to the west side. It was Ng versus Pierce for the hot seat, which was an all-too familiar scene. Once again, Pierce proved worthy, beating Ng, 7-6, and on her way to back-to-back victories. On the west side, Peters sent home Abernathy, 5-2, while Richard ended Gunter, 5-3. Peters went on to overwhelm Richard, 5-0, and Ng, 5-3, securing her fifth match win, and earning a spot in the finals. While Pierce was vying for her second, consecutive tournament win, Peters was searching for her first. Peters was in rapid-fire mode, ending the first set, 7-2. In the second set, Peters maintained her momentum, closing out the race, 5-3. This is Peters’ first Tour win of 2021, and just one of several  tournament wins in her Gulf Coast Tour career.  

The Tour welcomed new players Donna Charleston, Brenda Gunter, Ann Monzano, Robyn Richardson, and junior players, Aubree Kennedy and Lexi Balusek. Following a five match winning streak, Nikki Richard achieved a top four finish, while Brenda Gunter and Robyn Richardson placed 5th-6th. Finally, Gulf Coast would like to acknowledge Board Members Ruth Paine, Kim Pierce, and Ming Ng, who assisted with the players meeting and bracket updates.

The next event will be held June 5th-6th, 2021, at Slick Willies Family Pool Hall, located at 5913 Westheimer, Houston, Texas 77057. For more information, please visit www.GulfCoastWomensTour.com, or email lonestartour@gmail.com.  

Peters goes undefeated to win season opener on Jerry Olivier Ladies Tour

Courtney Peters

In her first cash finish in 2021, back in January, Courtney Peters had the misfortune of running into Russia’s Kristina Tkach, who was working on a seven-match, loss-side winning streak when she showed up in the semifinals of the Michael Montgomery Memorial Tournament at Snookered in Frisco, TX. As it happened, the same misfortune befell hot seat occupant-at-the-time Tara Williams, who lost both sets of the true double elimination final that followed the Tkach/Peters semifinal. Though neither Tkach nor Williams were on hand for the $2,000-added season opener of the Jerry Olivier Ladies Tour, held this past weekend (May 22-23) at Big Tyme Billiards in Spring, TX, Peters did have 36 of some of the state’s best female competitors to contend with, including alumni from the Montgomery Memorial – Tam Trinh, Ming Ng and Robyn Petrosino. Peters went undefeated through the field to claim her first (recorded) event title since she came from the loss side to double dip hot seat occupant Robyn Petrosino on the Gulf Coast Women’s tour back in July, 2018.

The 37-entrant field required a 64-player bracket and Peters was one of only 10 women who played in the opening round of the event; all the other ladies were awarded byes. Peters started by facing and defeating two Teresas in a row and giving up only a single rack through the two matches. She shut out Teresa Ballenger and gave up the single rack to Teresa Garland. Nicole Daniel put up a bit of a fight against her next, but Peters prevailed 7-5 and went back to giving up a single rack in her match versus Michelle Yim. This put her into a winners’ side semifinal against Kim Pierce. The aforementioned (twice) Robyn Petrosino, in the meantime, did get a bye and then defeated Ruth Paine, the also-aforementioned Tam Trinh 7-2 and Stephanie Reyes 7-1 to draw the also-aforementioned Ming Ng in the other winners’ side semifinal.

Peters got into the hot seat match with a 7-5 win over Pierce. And shades of that Gulf Coast Women’s Tour, Petrosino joined her, after surviving a double hill fight against Ng. Three years ago, it was Petrosino who grabbed the hot seat. This year, Peters took it 7-4 and waited on what turned out to be the return of Ming Ng.

On the loss side, Kim Pierce picked up Cristina Schneider, who’d lost a winners’ side quarterfinal, double hill battle to Ming Ng and then, defeated Terry Petrosino 7-3 and won another double hill fight against Janeen Lee. Ming Ng drew Tam Trinh, who followed her defeat at the hands of Robyn Petrosino with a four-match, loss-side winning streak that had most recently included wins over Michelle Yim and Jennifer Kraber, both 7-4.

Ng and Trinh locked up in a double hill struggle that eventually sent Ng to the quarterfinals. Schneider earned the rematch against Ng by defeating Pierce 7-5. Ng defeated Schneider a second time (7-3) to earn her own rematch against Petrosino in the semifinals.

Four of the last six standing in this Jerry Olivier Ladies Tour season opener in 2021 were four of the last six in that Gulf Coast Women’s Regional Tour event won by Peters three years ago; Peters, Ming Ng, Robyn Petrosino and Kim Pierce.

Ng was picking up speed on the loss side. She fought to double hill in her first loss-side match, gave up three racks in her second and in the semifinal rematch against Petrosino, only one. It was not, though, enough, to derail Peters’ undefeated run, which she completed, downing Ng 7-5 in the finals to claim the event title. 

Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Big Tyme Billiards for their hospitality, as well as title sponsor Jerry Olivier Cues. The next stop on the Jerry Olivier Ladies Tour, scheduled for June 19-20, will be a $2,000-added event, hosted by Skinny Bob’s in Round Rock, TX. 

Tkach wins seven on the loss side to claim Michael Montgomery Memorial Ladies title

Kristina Tkach

It had been close to a year since Russia’s Kristina Tkach had chalked up any recorded wins or even cash payouts, but it didn’t appear to have had a serious affect on her game. At a $1,500-added Ladies Open 9-Ball event, one of four events at the Michael Montgomery Memorial Tournament, Tkach was on the loss side early, won seven in a row and then double dipped Tara Williams to claim the event title. The $1,500-added Ladies event drew 32 entrants to Snookered in Frisco, TX. Separate stories will detail the results of the memorial tournament’s other three events, which began on Wednesday, January 27 and was scheduled to finish on Sunday night, January 31; a $5,000-added One Pocket event (12 entrants), a $2,000-added 10-ball Mini Tournament (16 entrants), both won by Dennis Orcollo, and a $7,500-added 9-Ball Tournament, which was still on-going as this report was being prepared.

Tkach’s trip to the winners’ circle began promisingly enough with a 7-2 win over Tina Soto, before she ran into Alicia Stanley and the only double hill match she’d play. Stanley advanced, Tkach went west to begin a seven-match, loss-side trek to the finals that she finished with an aggregate score of 42-7, an 86% winning percentage with her back to pool’s wall.

Stanley lasted one more round on the winners’ side before being defeated 7-2 by Ming Ng, who moved on to face Tara Williams in one of the winners’ side semifinals. Williams had gotten by Melissa Smith and Monica Anderson, both 7-3, and Ricki Casper 7-5 to reach the winners’ side semifinal. Courtney Peters, in the meantime, having survived an opening round double hill battle versus Amy Jones, went on to defeat Christina Schneider 7-4 and Calaia Samar 7-2 to draw Tam Trinh in the other winners’ side semifinal.

Tara Williams dispatched Ming Ng 7-3 and advanced to the hot seat match. She was joined by Peters, who’d won a double hill match over Trinh. Williams gave up just a single rack in claiming the hot seat and waiting in it on the return of Tkach.

It was Ming Ng who drew Tkach, four matches and only four racks for opponents into her loss-side streak. Tkach had defeated Amy Jones (1), Erica Hanlon (2), Robyn Petrosino (0) and Monica Anderson (1) to draw Ng. Trinh drew Krystal Suarez, who’d recently downed Ricki Casper 6-4 and survived a double hill fight against Alicia Stanley.

Tkach and Suarez made Ng and Trinh’s loss-side trips short. Suarez eliminated Trinh 6-2, as Tkach was busy defeating Ng 6-1. Tkach then finished Suarez’ six-match, loss-side trip with a shutout.

Tkach then gave up two racks to Peters in the semifinals and turned to face Williams in the hot seat, waiting. She took the opening set of the true double elimination final 7-5 and followed with a 6-4 win that allowed her to claim the event title. 

Tournament representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Snookered Billiards and Bar for their hospitality, as well as sponsors Omega, Predator, Simonis, ACME, Doc’s Billiards Office, LBS Championship Pool, Staggs Plumbing, Clutch Shot Billiards Apparel, John Eagle Honda of Dallas, Molina Mike, Dunski Dungeon, 1st Choice Appliance Repair, D Real Pool Promotions, Outsville, Hanshew Jump Cues, PDQ, Rackem Live Stream, Diamond, Off the Rail and OB Cues.

World-class trio of Orcollo, Kiamco & Bustamante go 1, 2, 3 at 6th Annual Texas Open 10-Ball

Kraber goes undefeated to win her second Texas Women’s 10-Ball Championship

(l to r): John Palmore, Dennis Orcollo & James Davis, Sr.

Being Texas, it’s never enough to just hold an Open and Ladies 10-Ball tournament every year. Instead, Skinny Bob’s Billiards in Round Rock, TX hosts a six-day extravaganza (this year, from Feb. 12-17) that has a way of feeling like a month-long extravaganza, headlined by the annual Texas 10-Ball Open and Ladies 10-Ball Championships.

Things got underway on Wednesday, Feb. 12 with a 10-Ball mini-tournament, as more or less of a warm-up for events to come. On Thursday, the activity was a Scotch Doubles tournament that was eventually won by the team of Warren Kiamco and Ellen Robinson, who downed John Gabriel and Ellen Jones in the finals. Later in the day, a Banks/Rails game was won Sergio Rivas, who defeated John Demet in the finals. On Friday, an Open Ring game was won by Jeffrey DeLuna, with Sky Woodward as runner-up and John Gabriel in third place.

In the absence of a defending champion (Alex Pagulayan), a few relatively well-known Filipino competitors stepped in to fill the gap at the $4,000-added 6th Annual Texas Open 10-Ball, which got underway on Friday evening. Dennis Orcollo ended up going undefeated through the field. He downed Warren Kiamco twice (hot seat and finals) and waited patiently as Kiamco eliminated Francisco Bustamante in the semifinals. We’ll get back to them in a while, but first. . . the ladies.

The $1,000-added Ladies 10-Ball Championship, which drew 20 entrants, got underway on Saturday. Unlike the Open Championship, the Ladies event featured its defending champion, Gail Eaton. It was won by its 2018 champion, Jennifer Kraber, who went undefeated through the field, downing Courtney Peters twice, hot seat and finals.

Following victories over Kim Pierce, Kelly Jones and Rachel Hurst, Kraber moved into a winners’ side semifinal against Ming Ng. After being awarded an opening round bye, Peters downed Latonia Taylor and Michelle Yim, to draw Nicole McDaniel in the other winners’ side semifinal.

Kraber and Ng locked up in a double hill fight that eventually advanced Kraber to the hot seat match. She was joined by Peters, who’d defeated McDaniel 7-1. Kraber won the first of two versus Peters 7-3 and waited in the hot seat for her return.

On the loss side, Nicole McDaniel drew Kim Sanders, who’d recently eliminated defending champion Gail Eaton and Rachel Hurst, both 5-3. Ming Ng picked up Michelle Yim, who’d defeated Ellen Robinson 5-3 and Kelly Jones 5-2 to reach her.

Yim and Sanders handed Ng and McDaniel their second straight loss; Yim, 5-3 over Ng and Sanders shut McDaniel out to join Yim in the quarterfinals. Yim then did unto Sanders that which Sanders had most recently done to McDaniel; shut her out to advance.

In the semifinals that followed, Yim became the third shutout victim in a row and gave Peters a second shot at Kraber in the hot seat. Peters chalked up two more racks in the finals than she’d chalked up against Kraber in the hot seat match, but they weren’t enough, as Kraber completed her undefeated run 7-5 to claim the Ladies 10-Ball title.

Orcollo backs up Derby City Master of the Table title with undefeated run at Texas Open 10-Ball
It’s only February and Dennis Orcollo has pocketed money that would be the envy of most pool players to earn in an entire year. He finished 16th in the Derby City’s One Pocket Division, 3rd in the 9-Ball Division and won the 9-Ball Banks, all of which earned him the coveted Master of the Table title. All of this followed his victory at the Music City’s Midnight Madness Tournament and his runner-up finish (to Skyler Woodward) in the Music City’s Open Division. He didn’t get a chance to meet Woodward in this event, although Warren Kiamco did.

Robocop (as they call him) got by Kenny Loftis, John Gabriel, Justin Hall, Kevin Guimond and Junior Jueco by an aggregate score of 35-12, giving up just over two racks per match (on average). Orcollo drew Naoyuki Oi in one of the winners’ side semifinals.

Warren Kiamco, in the meantime, started his campaign out with back-to-back shutouts of Thomas Smith and Pat Castro. He then defeated Josh Roberts 7-1, Robert Gomez 7-3 and won a knock-down, drag-out, double hill match versus Sky Woodward (this event’s 2016 champion) to arrive at his winners’ side semifinal matchup with a 35-10 aggregate score and having given up an exact average of two racks per match. Kiamco squared off in his winners’ side semifinal against a very familiar opponent, Francisco Bustamante, who’d sent this event’s 2015 and 2017 champion, Manny Chau to the loss side.

Orcollo sent Oi to the loss side 7-2 and was joined in the hot seat match by Kiamco, who’d defeated Bustamante 7-4. Orcollo and Kiamco played an entertaining double hill hot seat match that eventually sent Kiamco to the semifinals and left Robocop in the hot seat.

On the loss side, Naoyuki Oi drew James Davis, Sr. (known as Strop, because he’s originally from Bastrop, TX), who’d recently defeated two strong opponents in a row to reach him; first Josh Roberts 7-4 and then, Sky Woodward 7-5. Bustamante picked up Roberto Gomez, who’d defeated Junior Jueco 7-1 and Sergio Rivas 7-3 to reach him.

Strop and Oi locked up in a double hill fight, eventually won by Strop. Bustamante joined Strop in the quarterfinals after eliminating Gomez 7-4. Bustamante then sent Davis, Sr. home 7-3 in those quarterfinals.

Those who thought that Bustamante and Kiamco would get into a double hill fight for a shot at Orcollo in the hot seat were disappointed. Kiamco gave up just a single rack and advanced to the finals 7-1 over Bustamante.

One might have been forgiven for believing that with that 7-1 momentum, the final rematch between Kiamco and Orcollo would have been something of an epic struggle. It wasn’t, really. Orcollo shut Kiamco out 7-0 to claim the event title.

Tour directors John Palmore and James Davis, Sr. thanked John and Sue Cielo and their Skinny Bob’s staff for their continued support of this event, to include their hands-on assistance with varied aspects of running the tournament; entries, money management, etc. In addition, noted Palmore, “Kaye Watson is the glue that holds everything together for (Davis) and I. She helps with bracket management and most importantly, that all the the money is correct coming in and going out.” They also thanked event sponsors Simonis, Hanshew Jump Cues and Sleep Inn.

Ng Takes Gulf Coast Tour Season Opener

Kim Reiner, Teresa Garland, Ming Ng, Natalie Rocha and Ellen Robinson

Ming Ng fought through a field of twenty-two, tough, female competitors, escaping Natalie Rocha in the second set of the true, double elimination final, to claim the first stop on the 2020 Gulf Coast Women’s Regional Billiards Tour.  
 
On January 4th, 2020, sponsors Cyclop Pool Balls, Poison by Predator Cues, APA of North Harris County, Alamo Billiards, Outsville Billiards, and the Tour’s newest sponsor, Team Straight Pool Eye, facilitated a successful event for the Gulf Coast Women’s Regional Billiards Tour, paying out $940 in prize money, for the one-day, $500 added, women’s 9-ball event. The tournament was held at the legendary Slick Willies Family Pool Hall, located at 5913 Westheimer, in Houston’s upscale, Galleria area. The Gulf Coast Tour would like to thank Slick Willies’ Director of Operations, David Kimmey, for signing on to another season of events for women pool players. “We are proud to be back at Slick Willies for a second year, and thank them for their continued support” said Kim Newsome, Gulf Coast Tour Founder and Director. Slick Willies will host four events in Houston, and one in San Antonio, during the 2020 season. The next event will be held at Diamond Sports Bar and Billiards in Port Arthur, Texas, on February 8th-9th. 
 
Ming “The Empress” Ng made her way to the winners’ side final four with wins over Brittany Kromer, 7-3, and Michelle Yim, 7-4, while Teresa “Princess of Pool” Garland defeated Sandra Melo, 7-2, and Kim Reiner, 7-5. Ellen Robinson bested newcomer, Louisiana Le, 7-6, and Verda Jones, 7-1, while Natalie Rocha ousted first-timer, Brenda Gunter, 7-1, Carmel Luttrell, 7-2, and Courtney Peters, 7-5. On the one-loss side, Sherry Hildebrand ended Sandra Melo, 5-3, but was eliminated in turn by Vada Selsor. Michelle Abernathy overcame Ginger Abadilla, 5-3, while Kromer handled Gunter, 5-2. Luttrell passed Matty Sword, 5-2, Stacy Berry dismissed Terri Resendez, 5-3, and Le denied Kim Woodworth, 5-1. Rounding out the final four on the one-loss side, Selsor defended against Hildebrand, but fell to Peters, 5-2, while Kromer took out Abernathy, 5-1, and Jones, 5-3. Berry sent home Luttrell, 5-2, but lost to Reiner, 5-4, while D’Andrea McQuirter derailed Le, 5-4, only to be taken out by Yim, 5-4. It was down to the final eight players, and the action was heating up on the east side. Vying for the hot seat, Rocha dealt Robinson her first blow, while Ng shut-out Garland, pitting two of the finest, Houston players, in a hot seat showdown. Rocha was determined to change the narrative, but Ng resisted, and forged ahead to win the hot seat, 7-4. On the west side, Peters plowed through Kromer, 5-1, but was stopped by Garland, 5-4, as Reiner finished off Abernathy, 5-4, but fell to Robinson, 5-3. Final four tournament action witnessed Robinson conquer Garland, 5-2, but failing to advance further, losing to Rocha, 5-2. Rocha earned a rematch with Ng, along with a shot at redemption, and the title. In the first set, Rocha came on strong, defeating the current Tour champion, 7-5. In overtime, Ng shifted gears, defeating Rocha, 5-2, to win the Gulf Coast Tour, 2020 Season Opener.
 
Gulf Coast welcomes all of its new members, and returning members, to the 2020 Tour! The Tour offers a number of member perks, including free, 15-minute pool clinics on tournament weekends, hosted by WPBA Exempt Professional, Kim Newsome, and renowned players, Ming Ng, and Kim Pierce. Clinics are aimed at helping women improve their overall game and mindset. For more information about Tour benefits, please visit www.GulfCoastWomensTour.com.
 
Board Members Ming Ng and D’Andrea McQuirter, along with Ellen Robinson and Teresa Garland, ran a seamless event, while Ginger Abadilla photographed the players in action. The Tour would like to thank these wonderful women for a job well done.
 
The next event is February 8th-9th, 2020 at Diamond Sports Bar and Billiards in Port Arthur, Texas.  This event is played on open bar tables. For more information, visit www.GulfCoastWomensTour.com. 

 

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.