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American Professional Emily Duddy “The Billiard Bombshell” Announces Partnership With N’ The Zone Sportswear joining their Growing All-Star “Pro Team”

Emily Duddy

Top Ranked WPBA Pro Emily Duddy is excited to join the N’ The Zone Sportswear “Pro Team” which includes an impressive group of brand ambassadors including Kelly Fisher, Monica Webb, Wei Tzu Chien & more. 

After earning WPBA Rookie of the Year in 2010 “The Billiard Bombshell” has had a successful 11 years on tour in the USA & internationally with a top WPBA Rank of #9.

Besides Emily’s competitive career, many are familiar with her strong social media presence (cumulatively 100k+ followers) & numerous TV Show Appearances including “The Hustlers” (TruTV 2015); “Harry” (Fox 2017); “The Today Show” (NBC 2019); “In a Man’s World” (BRAVO 2019).

“The Bombshell” can’t wait to show off her new N’ The Zone gear during  an upcoming photo shoot & competitive events.

Fisher comes back from hot seat loss to down Barretta and claim Ashton Twins Classic in Alberta

Holem, Plowman, Osborn and Lane win four concurrently-run Amateur/Open events

 

Two of pool’s old-school professionals battled in the hot seat and finals of the WPBA’s 4th Annual Ashton Twins Classic over the weekend (Dec. 2-5). Allison Fisher, who entered the tournament as the WPBA's #1 competitor,, and Jennifer Barretta (#3) fought to double hill in the hot seat match, before Barretta prevailed. Fisher came back from the semifinals to meet and defeat her in the finals and claim the 4th Ashton Twins Classic title, her 82nd pro title. Since the event debuted in 2017, it’s been won by two ‘new-school’ professionals, Brittany Bryant (2017, currently #2) and April Larson (2018, currently #23) and in the past two years, by old-school professionals, Vivian Villareal (2019, currently #48) and Fisher this year. The $20,000-added event drew 50 entrants to the Grey Eagle Resort & Casino in Calgary, Alberta.

 

The long weekend also featured four, concurrently-run Amateur and Open events; an Amateur Men’s 9-Ball (51 entrants), a Women’s Amateur 9-Ball (26), a Men’s 8-ball (71; the highest number of the weekend’s events) and a Women’s 8-Ball event (56). A summary of these four events, to include winners and runners-up will follow the Pro event details.

 

While the old-school professionals were represented in this year’s final, the new-school professionals were right there behind them, finishing 3rd (Russia’s Kristina Tkach, #22) and 4th (China’s Wei Tzu-Chien, #4). The tie for 5th place featured one each from the two categories; Janet Atwell (#11), who fell to Wei Tzu-Chien and the event’s 2017 winner, Brittany Bryant, who was eliminated by Tkach. The event’s 2018 champion, April Larson was on hand for this event, as well. She was sent to the loss side by Wei Tzu-Chien and was defeated in her first loss-side match by Kim Newsome (#24). Vivian Villareal did not make the trip to Canada.

 

Following an opening round bye, Fisher opened her six-match winning campaign with three victories in which she gave up a combined total of two racks; one each to (first) Stephanie Hefner and (third) Caroline Pao, with a shutout over Laura Smith in between. This set Fisher up to face Wei Tzu-Chien in one of the winners’ side semifinals (old-school/new-school). Barretta, in the meantime, had also been awarded a bye, and though not quite the domineering performance exhibited by Fisher, she did get by Stephanie Mitchell 9-2, June Maiers 9-3 and Monica Webb 9-2 to arrive at her winners’ side semifinal against Brittany Bryant (another old-school/new-school matchup).

 

Bryant chalked up as many racks against Barretta as all three of Barretta’s previous opponents combined, but fell two short, advancing Barretta 9-7 to the hot seat match. Wei Tzu-Chien chalked up three times as many racks as Fisher’s first three opponents combined, but fell three short, advancing Fisher 9-6 to meet Barretta. As befitted their status, Barretta and Fisher locked up in a double hill fight that saw Barretta down 5-8, before mounting a four-match comeback that left her in the hot seat and Fisher headed for a semifinal matchup versus Kristina Tkach.

 

Going into the money rounds on the loss side (17-24), there were still more than just a handful of potential winners vying to get back to the finals. Among them were Janet Atwell, who’d been defeated, double hill, by Caroline Pao and dropped into the loss side’s first money round. She subsequently got by Emily Duddy 9-7, Laura Smith 9-3, Monica Webb 9-6, and Jia Li 9-6, to draw Wei Tzu-Chien, coming over from the winners’ side semifinal.

 

Also lurking on the loss side was Kristina Tkach, who’d lost her first winners' side match (after a bye) to Kyoko Sone, and then launched an eight-match, loss-side winning streak that would take her all the way to the semifinals. After eliminating Ada Lio and Ashley Burrows to make it into the money rounds, she defeated Gail Eaton 9-1, Dawn Hopkins, double hill, Caroline Pao 9-5 and the WPBA’s #1-ranked competitor going into the tournament, Line Kjorsvik 9-2, to draw Bryant.

 

Tkach dispatched Bryant 9-2 and was joined in the quarterfinals by Wei Tzu-Chien, who’d eliminated Atwell 9-7. Tkach finished up her loss-side winning streak with a 9-3 win over Chien.

 

The commentators on the Cue Sports Live stream employed a slightly different vocabulary for the semifinal match, opting to call it a match between the ‘old guard’ and the ‘new guard.’ Fisher won the opening game of the semifinal match, and though Tkach responded to tie it up, she only did that twice and never got out in front. After the tie at the end of game #2, Fisher won three straight. Tkach came back with two, Fisher got another and Tkach won another two to create the second tie at 5-5. Fisher got out in front by two again, before Tkach chalked up her sixth and final rack. Fisher closed it out 9-6 for a second shot against Barretta.

 

The assembled were expecting a second double hill fight between the two ladies left standing. The race to 11 didn’t pan out that way, although it came close. Fisher took advantage of her second opportunity and downed Barretta 11-8 to claim her first (recorded) event title since she defeated Ga Young-Kim in the finals of the WPBA’s Ho-Chunk Classic in September of 2018.

 

From her home in Charlotte, NC a couple of days later, Fisher commented about her win and the prospect of future wins for her and players like her, like Jennifer Barretta, who's eight months younger than she is.

 

"It's like your own personal battle," she said. "You're constantly wondering 'Can you do it again?' 'Is it ever going to happen?' All those things go through your mind."

 

"There's not as much (time) distance (from former major victories) with me," she added, "but I was a prolific winner and as time goes on, you question and doubt. You're competing with yourself in personal growth."

 

Fisher is also assigning value to other considerations in her life; specifically her time at home with her family, which she noted she had not had much of in her past. Now, she's finding herself elevating that time on a priority scale above shooting pool. She has found that this shift in priorities tends to elevate the significance of each accomplishment.

 

"I don't play a lot these days, because some things (events) are not worth the time to be away from my family," she said. "I don't expect to be competing in 10 years time, so any victory is very valuable to me."

 

Concurrent Amateur/Open events take center stage

 

Kudos to Brian Champayne, who coordinated this long and multi-faceted event, which, as noted at the outset, included four other tournaments, including two which drew more entrants than the main event.

 

Up first on Thursday, January 2 were the Amateur Men’s and Women’s 9-Ball events. In the Men’s event, Tyler Edey and Kevin Osborn battled twice to claim the title. Edey won the first 7-1 to claim the hot seat. Osborn came back after downing Joe Spence 6-4 in the semifinals to defeat Edey 9-7 in the final and claim the Amateur Men’s 9-Ball title. Regene Lane went undefeated to grab the Women’s Amateur 9-Ball title. She and Cindy Nana fought a double hill hot seat match that eventually sent Nana to the semifinals, where she defeated Jenny Lucas 5-2. Lane defeated Nana a second time, this time 7-3 in the final to claim that 9-ball title.

 

On Friday, January 3, Tyler Edey was also in the finals of the most heavily-attended event of the long weekend, the Men’s 8-Ball, which drew 73 players. Edey was sent to the loss side in a double hill, winners’ side quarterfinal, as Stephen Holem advanced to the hot seat, downing Mike Robinson 6-1 in the winners’ side final. Edey worked his way back through five loss-side opponents, including a double hill win over Robinson in the semifinals to face Holem in the finals. Holem completed his undefeated run with a 7-4 victory over Edey.

 

In the Women’s 8-Ball event, which drew 56 entrants, Bonnie Plowman and Tasha Thomas battled twice, hot seat and finals, to determine the winner. Plowman, who finished undefeated, took the hot seat match 5-3, and when Thomas returned from a 4-2 victory over Jana Montour in the semifinals, defeated her a second time 6-4 to claim the event title.

Kelly Fisher comes from the loss side to down Tzu-Chien Wei at WPBA’s Aramith/DR Classic

Kelly Fisher

Kelly Fisher came to Rothschild, WI on the long weekend of November 20-24 in search of her first 2019 win and knew almost immediately that she might need to defeat some adversaries she’d faced before. There were, at the WPBA’s Aramith/DR Pool Classic, the usual array of suspects in that regard; Allison Fisher, Jasmine Ouschan, Jennifer Baretta, LoreeJon Hasson, Janet Atwell and Line Kjorsvik, to name just a few. And though she wouldn’t have to face China’s Siming Chen, who did not compete and who’d defeated her in the finals of the WPBA Masters last February in Michigan, she knew she might have to face Chinese Taipei’s Tzu-Chien Wei, whom she’d defeated in the semifinals of that WPBA Masters and then, been defeated by in the semifinals of August’s Sondheim Diamond Invitational in Iowa. She did face Wei this time around, twice as it turned out, losing the first, but coming back from the loss side to win the second and claim the event title. The $20,000-added event drew 48 entrants to the Central Wisconsin Convention and Expo Center in Rothschild.

The importance of chalking up her first win of the year at this event was not lost on Fisher. As a professional, she’s not inclined to dwell on a given event’s individual importance, lest it interfere with the game(s) at hand, but having been on the mend since surgeries sidelined her for a few years, she was getting a little antsy.

“I was getting a worried for a moment there,” she said. “I’d had numerous semifinal wins (since last May; 3, to be exact), so I’m very pleased to have gotten this title.”

“I’m finally feeling that my game is back to where it was a few years ago,” she added.

Fisher was one of 16 seeded competitors who were awarded opening round byes, as the other 32 squared off against each other. Fisher drew Shanelle Loraine out of that original 32, defeated her and joined 12 other players who’d been awarded opening round byes in advancement to the third round. Only Gerda Gregerson, Melissa Little, Line Kjorsvik and Jenna Bishoff from that group of 16 seeded, went to the loss side, sent by (in order) Jeannie Seaver, Dawn Hopkins, Jasmin Ouschan and Teruko Cucculleli.

Fisher went on to defeat Monica Webb 8-1and then survived a double hill battle versus Jennifer Baretta to draw Tzu-Chien Wei in one of the winners’ side semifinals. Jasmin Oushchan, in the meantime, got by Joanne Ashton 8-1, survived her own double hill battle versus Kjorsvik, and downed Dawn Hopkins 8-2 to pick up Jia Li.

Wei defeated Fisher 8-5 and in the hot seat, faced Ouschan, who’d sent Li to the loss side 8-4. A double hill battle ensued for possession of the hot seat. Wei prevailed, sending Ouschan off to a second straight, double hill semifinal matchup against Fisher.

Over on the loss side, there were some top-notch matches brewing as the tournament’s elites moved toward picking up Fisher and Jia Li, coming over from the winners’ side semifinal. After losing to Jeannie Seaver in the second round, Gerda Gregerson embarked on a six-match, loss-side streak that saw her eliminate Eugenia Gyftopoulos, Catherine Tschumper and, moving into the early money rounds, Caroline Pao and Emily Duddy. She went on to down Brittany Bryant 8-5 and young Atlantic Cup Challenge competitor, April Larson 8-4 to draw Li.

Fisher drew Tamara Peeters, who was working on a six-match, loss-side winning streak of her own and fresh off something of an 8-1 upset over Teruko Cucculleli. Cucculleli had defeated Allison Fisher on the winners’ side, before being sent over by Jia Li in a winners’ side quarterfinal. She proceeded to eliminate Jessica Barnes, Beth Fondell and jumped into the money pool with an 8-4 win over Loree Jon Hasson. She downed Gail Eaton and Dawn Hopkins, both 8-6 and then, eliminated Cucculleli to reach Fisher.

Fisher gave up only a single rack to Peeters in advancing to the quarterfinals. She was joined by Jia Li, who’d sent Gregerson home 8-6. Fisher won a second straight 8-1 match, eliminating Li 8-1.

That little 16-2 run wasn’t destined to last, as Fisher squared off against Jasmin Ouschan in the semifinals. It was Ouschan’s second straight double hill match, and proved to be the second one in a row that she lost.

With lingering echoes of previous matchups and a nagging little voice that kept telling her that since she’d earned herself a second chance against Tzu-Chien Wei, she’d damn well better take advantage of it, Fisher launched into the finals, in search of her first 2019 win. There are, she noted, generalities about such endeavors, and specifics, related to particular opponents. You have to play ‘your game,’ regardless of opponent, while awareness of specific opponents can inform decisions about approach.

“My main thing,” said Fisher, “is to come out of the gate strong, to keep control of the table.”

“Looking back at previous matches against Wei,” she added, “it was about not allowing her to come back. She’s capable of coming back from behind, so I knew once I had (the lead), I had to keep it.”

As noted in a Biblical proverb – “The heart of Man (Woman) plans his/her way, but the Lord establishes his/her steps.” Fisher lost the opening four racks and immediately switched roles to become the person “capable of coming back from behind.” She allowed Wei only one more rack, before she chalked up 10 to claim that first 2019 title.

“I’ve been practicing quite hard,” she said a few days later from her home in Scotland. “It came down to being patient. I knew I was close (to getting back into previous form), and that there was room to grow.

“I want to win the big ones,” she added, “and it really is just a matter of practice.”

She’ll spend a few days at home, more than likely find time to do some of that practice and then head for China and competition in the 2019 Women’s World 9-Ball Championships, to be held from December 13-20.

WPBA representatives thanked the ownership and staff at the Central Wisconsin Convention and Expo Center for their hospitality, as well as sponsors Diamond Billiards Products, Aramith, Outsville and Simonis Cloth.

Bryant comes from the loss side to defend WPBA Blue Emu title at Borderline Billiards in TN

Crowning achievements for (l to r) Kyoko Sone & Brittany Bryant with Janet Atwell

It began on Thursday, May 30 with a preliminary tournament made up of 30 lower-ranked players from the Women’s Professional Billiards Association (WPBA) and ended on Sunday night, June 2 with the crowning of defending champion Brittany Bryant, who had to come from the loss side (five matches) to meet Kyoko Sone in the finals of the WPBA’s Signature Tour Stop, the Blue-Emu Southern Open. The $10,000-added event drew a total of 62 entrants, including Janet Atwell to her venue, Borderline Billiards in Bristol, TN.

The event was not exactly a proverbial ‘walk in the park’ for the WPBA’s #4-ranked player. Bryant won the event, having won less than 60% of the games she played in it (70-49; 58.8%). The seven opponents she faced in races-to-8 chalked up an average of five racks against her. She got by Kelly Cavanaugh, Jessica Barnes and Mary Rakin by an aggregate score of 24-7, but against her other four race-to-8 opponents (LoreeJon Hasson, Allison Fisher, Melissa Little & Jennifer Baretta) she chalked up an aggregate of 32-26, or 55%. Not surprising necessarily, given the upgrade in the competition over those four matches. And then, of course, there was the third-round, 4-8 loss to Gail Eaton, which really did a job on the ‘numbers.’ Without that loss, Bryant would have finished with an overall game-winning average of just over 60% (62.8), rather than less.

“I go to every event to win it,” said Bryant, “but I didn’t go with any expectations this year. “There were actually a few more players who were higher up (in rankings) than there were last year when I won it.”

The ‘First Stage’ double elimination bracket yielded 16 players who advanced to the Final Stage; eight from the winners’ side and eight from the loss side of that bracket. Among those who emerged from that bracket was runner-up Kyoko Sone, who lost her opening round match, double hill to Mary Rakin. Rakin advanced to defeat Kelly Isaac 7-5 and become one of the eight winners’ side competitors to advance to the Final Stage. Sone moved to the loss side, where she defeated Toni Esteves and Janet Ritcey, both 7-2, to become one of the eight loss-side competitors to advance to the final stage.

The other winners’ side competitors to advance to the Final Stage were Jennifer Berzinski, Jessica Human, Hiroko Makiyama, Ashley Burrows, Stephanie Mitchell, Kia Sidbury and Billie Billings. The other loss-side competitors to advance were Autumn Duncan, Kelly Isaac, Susan Wilbur, Julie Cooper, Angela Janic, Stephanie Goens, and Catherine Tschumper.

Moving into the Final Stage, beginning on Friday, May 31, the 16 arrivals from the preliminary bracket faced 16 players more or less in the middle of the WPBA rankings (approximately #17-#32). The winners in this opening round of Final Stage play advanced to meet the WPBA’s top 16 players, who had been awarded opening round byes.

Of the WPBA’s top 16 players who waited until Friday evening to begin competing, only three failed to advance on the winners’ side past their opening match; Jessica Barnes (WPBA-ranked #16) was defeated 8-2 by Kyoko Sone, Gerda Gregerson (#8) lost to Mary Rakin 8-6 and Emily Duddy (#10) joined them on the loss side following an 8-3 defeat at the hands of Naomi Williams. Among the more notable matches in this round of play, and the only one to go double hill was the battle between Allison Fisher and Russian teenager Kristina Tkach, who, a week earlier, had been the only female to compete in the Open/Pro event of the 9th Annual George “Ginky” Sansouci Memorial in New York City (she finished in the tie for 5th place). She was defeated by Fisher here and went on to win two loss-side matches before being eliminated by Line Kjorsvik.

A final round on Friday night brought the field down to the winners’ side quarterfinals. Kyoko Sone had sent Line Kjorsvik to the loss side and on Saturday night, faced Mary Rakin, who, after her victory over Gregerson, had sent hostess and WPBA-ranked #9 Janet Atwell over. Brittany Bryant, who’d defeated Loree Jon Hasson was to meet up with Gail Eaton, who’d gotten by Melissa Little. Fisher followed up her win over Tkach with a victory over Jia Li and on Saturday night, faced Naomi Williams, who had just survived a double hill battle against Helena Thornfeldt.  The last of the winners’ side quarterfinals pitted Jennifer Baretta against Monica Webb.

These matches elicited the winners’ side semifinals, which began immediately afterwards. Sone, who’d downed Rakin 8-5 met Eaton, who’d sent Bryant to the loss side 8-4, as Fisher, who’d defeated Williams 8-3 met Baretta, who’d gotten by Webb 8-5.

“I have to give Gail so much credit,” said Bryant of her only loss in the tournament. “I have never seen her play that well. I was down 7-1, took a break, composed myself and got it to 7-4.”

“I wasn’t disappointed,” she added. “I didn’t play poorly and Gail took control when she needed to.”

Sone advanced to the hot seat match 8-3 over Eaton. Fisher and Baretta, almost predictably, fought to double hill before Baretta prevailed to join Sone in the hot seat match. Sone downed Baretta 8-4 to claim the hot seat and waited on what turned out to be Bryant’s fateful return.

Meanwhile, back at the loss-side ranch, Bryant and Melissa Little were laying in wait for Fisher and Eaton, respectively. Bryant had defeated Jessica Barnes 8-2 and Mary Rakin 8-3 to draw Fisher. Little had won four loss-side matches, including a double hill win over Naomi Williams and an 8-4 victory over Kjorsvik to draw Eaton. Little made it five in a row with an 8-5 win over Eaton and advanced to the quarterfinals. Bryant joined her after surviving a double hill fight against Fisher.

“I expected to go back and forth with Allison,” she said. “It was actually the first time I had ever beaten her. I ended up breaking and running at double hill to win it.”

Bryant followed her double hill win over Fisher with a double hill win over Little in the quarterfinals and for the second time, she finished with a break and run. In the semifinals, Jennifer Baretta came within a game of giving Bryant a third straight, double hill challenge, but Bryant edged out in front at the end to win it 8-6.

“I was up 6-2 in that match and she came back (to almost tie it),” Bryant said. “And then, there was a big game swinger, when she could have tied it at 6-6, but I won to go up 7-5. She won a game and I won the next game to win the match.”

The finals between defending champion Bryant and Sone came within a game of going double hill, as well, but for the second time in a row, Bryant edged out in front at the end to win it 10-8 and claim the 2019 Blu-Emu Southern Open.

“We didn’t make a lot of mistakes,” said Bryant of the final match. “She broke and ran the opening game and we had a few safety battles. I was up 6-2 and she started to make a comeback.”

As with the semifinal match against Baretta, Sone had the opportunity to tie things up at 6-6.

“She missed a key 8-ball to tie it up (at 6-6),” she said, “so it was 7-5 and I won the next three.”

WPBA representatives thanked Janet Atwell and her Borderline Billiards staff for hosting the event, as well as sponsors Simonis Cloth, Aramith, Diamond Billiard Products and Outsville.com. The next WPBA event, scheduled for August 8-11, will be a $10,000-added Signature Event, to be held in Fairfield, IL. Further details will be available soon. Bryant said that she plans to be in attendance.

Al Shaheen Wins Texas Open

Omar Al Shaheen and ladies champion Ming Ng (Pool Action TV)

Congratulations to Omar Alshaheen for winning the 45th Annual Texas Open 9-Ball Championships at Skinny Bob's Billiards in Round Rock, TX! It was also Omar's Birthday, Happy Birthday!
 
The main event kicked off Friday night with a 128 player full stellar field. When it was all said and done, the action boiled down to two determined players in the Finals match.
 
The match would be an epic true double elimination battle between Omar and The Iceberg Justin Bergman. First set in the finals ended with a hill hill thriller with Justin on the winning end 9-8. Second set Omar Cruised to an 8-5 lead with Justin winning one more game before the set was closed out 9-6. Excellent job guys, was a pleasure to watch and enjoy.
 
The Warrior Warren Kiamco earned a very respectable third place finish, he played really strong for the entire event. Jalal Yousef scored 4th place in this stellar field, great job everyone.
 
Congratulations are also in order to Ming Ng for winning the Ladies 9-ball! Jennifer Kraber earned a tough fought 2nd. Scoring a well earned third was Emily Duddy and fourth went to Tam Trinh for her good efforts. Great showing Ladies!
 
Kelly Isaac & Roberto Gomez won the Scotch Doubles Jack & Jill 9-Ball, with a close second by Jennifer Kraber & James Davis Sr, congrats! Claiming third prize was Gail Eaton & James Davis Jr. Fourth was earned by Kimberly Brown & Omar Alshaheen, Thanks to everyone who participated and helped make the scotch doubles a successful turnout.
 
Mr. Smooth John Morra earned First place in the Mini tournament Wednesday night with some fantastic left handed playing against the Young Gun Sky Woodward. Amazing job fellas.
 
Gratz to Manny Chau and Ian Bowling for winning the banks ring game on Thursday, they ended splitting the prize.
 
Special thanks to Skinny Bob's Billiards and staff for hosting this longest running prestigious event! Sincere thanks to Double J Jeremy Jones, for bringing his world class commentary for everyone to enjoy.
PoolActionTV.com would also like to thank our fans and sponsors for another great event! Our sponsors include Steve Lomax of Lomax Custom Cues, Aramith, John Barton of JB Cases, James Hanshew of Hanshew Custom Cues, Mike Durbin of Durbin Custom Cues, Kamui, Simonis, Champs Bar & Grill and Club Billiards of Wichita, KS.
 
Join us this weekend for The Houston Open, 7th-9th at Legend's Billiards in League City,TX. See you all then!

Tkach comes from the loss side to win WPBA Sondheim Diamond Invitational in Iowa

Kristina Tkach (Erwin Dionisio)

Two young women, one working on her best earnings year to date and the other, coming off of her best earnings year-to-date (2018) squared off in the finals of the WPBA Sondheim Diamond Invitational in Iowa on the weekend of August 8-11. The former, Russia’s Kristina Tkach, a top performer for Roy’s Basement, came from the loss side to down hot seat occupant, Taipei’s Tzu-Chien Wei. Wei, who, according to our records, had her best year in 2018, had only cashed in one event thus far this year (3rd at the WPBA Masters in late Feb./early March). The $10,000-added event drew 48 entrants to the Fairfield Arts and Convention Center in Fairfield, Iowa.
 
They met twice; once in a winners’ side semifinal and again, in the finals. Wei had advanced past Catherine Tschumper, Emily Duddy and Brittany Bryant to arrive at the winners’ side semifinal versus Tkach. Kelly Fisher, in the meantime, who was runner-up to Siming Chen at the WPBA Master’s event in which Wei had finished third, got by Kelly Isaac, Gail Eaton and April Larson to arrive at her winners’ side semifinal match against Line Kjorsvik.
 
Fisher sent Kjorsvik to the loss side 8-3 and in the hot seat match, faced Wei, who’d defeated Tkach 8-6. Wei claimed the hot seat 8-5 over Fisher and waited on the return on Tkach.
 
On the loss side, Kjorsvik picked up Bryant, who, after her defeat at the hands of Wei, had eliminated Sara Miller 8-3 and, in a double hill match, Jennifer Baretta. Tkach drew a re-match against Monica Webb, whom she’d defeated 8-3 on the winners’ side. Webb moved west to defeat Kelly Cavanaugh, Jenna Bishoff and April Larson (all 8-6), and then survived a double hill fight versus Emily Duddy to draw Tkach.
 
Tkach gave up only a single rack in the rematch against Webb and in the quarterfinals, faced Bryant, who’d defeated Kjorsvik 8-4. Bryant and Tkach locked up in what was something of a predictable double hill fight for advancement to the semifinals. Tkach won it to earn her re-match against Fisher.
 
One might have expected a similar double hill battle between Tkach and Fisher, both anxious for a rematch against Wei in the hot seat. It didn’t happen. Tkach took care of business and downed Fisher 8-5.
 
With the intangible momentum on her side, Tkach came into the finals and defeated Wei 10-5 to claim her third major title of 2019. She’d previously won the Super Billiards Expo’s Women Championship in March and Europe’s Dynamic Billiards Treviso Open Ladies Division in May.
 
WPBA representatives thanked the ownership and staff at the Fairfield Arts and Convention Center, as well as sponsors Diamond Billiard Products, Outsville, Simonis Cloth and Aramis Balls. 

Texas Tornado blows down from Canada and storms to undefeated WPBA victory in Louisiana

Vivian Villarreal (Photo courtesy of Erwin Dionisio)

Fresh off her victory over Brittany Bryant in the Ashton Twins Classic in Calgary last weekend (June 14-17), Vivian Villarreal flew down to New Iberia, Louisiana on the weekend of June 22-24 to join 62 other WPBA competitors in what was billed as the “Signature Tour Stop.” She went undefeated through the field. Punctuating her undefeated run, the Texas Tornado, sitting in the hot seat, almost shut out Allison Fisher in a true double elimination final to claim the event title. The $13,000-added event was hosted by Emerald Billiards and through the services of Ray Hansen and his PoolActionTV crew, was streamed live via Facebook.
 
It took Villarreal seven matches to claim the title, four of which went double hill. She started with a double hill win over Gerda Hofstatter Gregerson, got by Louisiana Le 7-2, and then, in a re-match against Brittany Bryant, whom she’d defeated twice in the Ashton Twins Classic, she won her second double hill match; up on the hill at 6-1, Villarreal watched Bryant fight back and force a deciding 13th game. Villarreal then got by Gail Eaton 7-5 (reaching an aggregate score of 28-19) to draw Jia Li in one of the winners’ side semifinals.
 
Allison Fisher, in the meantime, advanced to her winners’ side semifinal against Monica Webb, sporting an aggregate score of 28-13. She’d given up two racks (one each) to Kelly Cavanaugh and Meghan Buchanan, before running into teenage ‘phenom’ April Larson, who battled her to double hill, before she (Fisher) advanced to meet and defeat Jennifer Baretta 7-5 and then, draw Webb.
 
Fisher downed Webb 7-1 and, in the hot seat match, faced Villarreal, who’d chalked up her third double hill win against Li. Villarreal and Fisher battled to double hill, as well, before Villarreal closed it out to sit in the hot seat.
 
On the loss side, Webb picked up Line Kjorsvik, who, after being defeated by Jia Li in a double hill, winners’ side quarterfinal match, had chalked up two more double hill wins, eliminating Larson and Gail Eaton. Li drew Bryant, who was in the midst of a four-match, loss-side streak that included a 7-3 win over Emily Duddy and 7-2 victory over Gerda Hofstatter Gregerson.
 
Jia Li and Bryant locked up in a double hill fight that eventually advanced Li to the quarterfinals, where she was met by Kjorsvik, who’d shut out Webb. Li eliminated Kjorsvik 7-5, only to be eliminated by the same score by Fisher in the semifinals.
 
Having endured the double hill hot seat match against Villarreal and Fisher, spectators, as well as commentators on the stream, were expecting a tight final match, possibly two in the double elimination format. It never came to pass. The Texas Tornado blew into that final match, brimming with confidence, a sense of humor, and in spite of an alternate break format, she  was up quickly 4-0. In the fifth rack of this quick, and even to Villarreal, surprising run, Fisher left her with the necessity of making a jump shot from the middle of the table. Villarreal reached for a new bridge she’s recently acquired, and reaching deep over the table, using that bridge, she jumped the middle ball, sunk her target ball, made a long-table shot at the 8-ball and left herself in perfect position to chalk up the fifth rack.
 
And then, two racks later, with Villarreal one rack away from reaching the hill first, the momentum shifted, briefly. Villarreal broke the rack, and though she sank a ball, she missed her opening shot at the 1-ball. Fisher calmly stepped to the table and cleared it to get on the board at 7-1. Villarreal reached the hill in the next rack, and suddenly, for the first time in nine racks, things started to tighten up. Villarreal became just a tad more cautious, as Fisher promptly won two in a row to make it 8-3. It was as far as Fisher got. Villarreal chalked up rack #12 to capture the event title.

The Texas Tornado goes undefeated to win the 3rd Annual Ashton Twins Classic

With its two previous winners ‘in the house’ – Brittany Bryant and April Larson – the 3rd Annual Ashton Twins Classic got underway on June 14, at 6 p.m. in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Though Bryant would get two chances, hot seat and finals, to win her second Ashton Twins Classic, the attempts were disrupted by a Texas Tornado known as Vivian Villareal, who went undefeated to claim the event title. Defending champion, April Larson, was sent to the loss side in the third round by Line Kjorsvik in a live-streamed match on Saturday and was eliminated in a double hill, loss-side match by Liz Cole to finish in the tie for 9th place. Emily Duddy, who was third in the inaugural event and battled Larson in the finals for the title last year, defeated one of the Ashton twins (Beverly) in a second-round match, and then, after being sent to the loss side by Cathy Metzinger, was defeated in her second loss-side match by the second Ashton twin, Joanne. The $8,000-added event drew 46 entrants to The Hidden Spot in Calgary.
 
After being awarded an opening round bye, Villareal got by her first three opponents by an aggregate score of 27-4, giving up two racks to Leandrea Gaff, and one each to Claire Pipestem and Valerie Franiel, which set her (Villareal) up to face Monica Webb in one of the winners’ side semifinals. Bryant, in the meantime, who was not awarded an opening round bye, worked her way to the other winners’ side semifinal with an aggregate score of 36-17, sending Elizabeth Jensen (1), Aryana Lynch (5), Sandy Badger (4) and Line Kjorsvik (7) to the loss side and turning to face Cathy Metzinger in the other winners’ side semifinal.
 
Monica Webb put up a fight against the Tornado, chalking up more racks against her in the winners’ side semifinal than all of Villareal’s previous opponents combined. Villareal, though, advanced to the hot seat match 9-5, and faced Bryant, who’d sent Metzinger west 9-1. Bryant proved to be Villareal’s second strong challenge in a row. She chalked up seven against her, but once again, Villareal advanced, sitting in the hot seat, waiting for what turned out to be Bryant’s return.
 
On the loss side, Webb picked up Teruko Cucculelli, who, after a defeat by Metzinger in a winners’ side quarterfinal, had downed Bonnie Plowman 9-3 and eliminated Kjorsvik 9-6. Metzinger drew Joanne Ashton, who, after eliminating Emily Duddy 9-6, had also eliminated Franiel 9-5 and Liz Cole 9-7 (Cole had just eliminated Larson).
 
Webb ended Cucculelli’s loss-side run 9-3, and in the quarterfinals, faced Metzinger, who’d eliminated the last-standing Ashton twin 9-2. Metzinger and Webb locked up in a double hill, quarterfinal battle that eventually advanced Metzinger to the semifinals against Bryant.
 
Bryant, apparently very determined to get a second shot at Villareal, allowed Metzinger only two racks in those semifinals. In what proved to be a nail-biting, extended-race-to-13 final, Bryant got out in front early, staking herself to a 5-1 lead, which by rack #13 had been extended to a 9-4 lead and then, quickly, an 11-6 lead.
 
Over the next 40 minutes of the match, Villareal had cut that lead down to a single game. She capped the four-game run by attempting an 8-9 combination which initially failed, only to have the 8-ball continue to travel and drop into a side pocket, leaving Villareal with a straight-on shot at the 9-ball in the opposite side pocket. It was 11-10, with Villareal breaking.
 
Bryant stopped the bleeding to reach the hill first at 12-10, but the Texas Tornado, which had been lurking on the horizon through much of the match, started to pick up some speed. She won game #23 and when Bryant missed a tough shot on the 7-ball in rack #24, Villareal jumped on it and won the rack to force a single deciding game.
 
Bryant broke the last rack, sunk a ball and had a clean, albeit bridge-necessary shot at the 1-ball. She dropped the 1-ball in a lower corner pocket, but as she drew back from the shot, her right wrist nudged the 9-ball forward, out of its original position by about an inch. Tournament officials took a minute or two to sort that out to Villareal’s satisfaction, as Bryant contemplated the difficult shot she’d left herself on the 2-ball. She made the 2-ball, but on a much easier shot, rattled the 3-ball in a corner pocket.
 
Villareal pocketed the 3-ball and played safe, leaving Bryant with a potential jump shot to make the 4-ball. She opted for a kick off the long rail, putting the 4-ball back up-table on a short rail with the cue at the opposite end of the table, leaving Villareal a long, sharp cut shot. A subsequent missed bank shot by Bryant left Villareal with a long-rail cut shot at the 4-ball, which she made, and proceeded to drop the next four balls, including the 9-ball to claim the 3rd Ashton Twins Classic title. 
 

1st WPBA Signature Tour Stop of 2018 to be held at Emerald Billiards

$29,000 GUARANTEED PURSE, 64 PLAYER FIELD, & ARAMITH BALLS AS SPONSOR 
 
The Women’s Professional Billiard Association is excited to announce the 1st Signature Tour Stop of 2018. Emerald Billiards, located at 2511 Old W. Spanish Trail; New Iberia, LA, will be hosting the 64-player event with a guaranteed purse of $29,000. A field of 64 elite players will travel from all over the world for a shot at the title & the top prize of $5,500. 
 
WPBA President Dean Roeseler has this to say regarding the event: “The WPBA Board is proud to bring you the second tour stop of the year in New Iberia, LA. This event will be a "signature stop" (50% points) and will be a 3 day event beginning Friday June 22nd at 10am.  Emerald Billiards owner Keith Hulen is dedicated to making this a great event. We have 2 more events on the schedule for this year and will make those announcement when contracts are completed.”
 
EVENT SCHEDULE (times approximate):
Thursday  June 21st: Black Widow Exhibition 7pm-10pm
Friday   June 22nd: Match play from 10am-11pm 
Saturday  June 23rd: Match play from 10am-12am
Sunday   June 24th: Match play from 10am-finals 8:30pm
 
CONFIRMED PLAYERS INCLUDE:
 
#1 Ranked – Line Kjorsvik
“Duchess of Doom” Allison Fisher
“The Assassin” Monica Webb
“Double B” Brittany Bryant
“9mm” Jennifer Barretta
“The Black Widow” Jeanette Lee
“Texas Tornado” Vivian Villarreal
“G-Force” Gerda Hofstatter Gregerson
“Billiard Bombshell” Emily Duddy
“The Grinder” April Larson
“The Sledgehammer” Helena Thornfeldt
“Lone Star” Kim Newsome
“The Terror” Teruko Cucculelli
“The Texas Belle” Belinda Calhoun
“The Honey” Sandy Badger
“The Queen of the Hill” Loree Jon Hasson
“Jumpin” Janet Atwell
Jessica Barnes
 
Exhibition Event with “The Black Widow” Jeanette Lee June 21st 7pm-10pm
“The Black Widow” Jeanette Lee will be doing an exhibition with challenge matches the night before the main event, June 21st from 7pm-10pm. For tickets to the main WPBA event or “The Black Widow” exhibition call: 337.319.0530
 

Boursse stops an 11-match, loss-side run by Deocharran to win Amateur Predator stop

Ryan Boursse, Rob Pole, Troy Deocharranand Rhys Chen

 

Ryan Boursse cut through a field of 91 entrants on hand for a July 8-9 Amateur event on the Predator Tour. He went undefeated in the $1000-added event, hosted by Amsterdam Billiards in New York City, but not before he was challenged in the finals by Troy Deocharran, who chalked up 11 matches on the loss side for the right to face him.
 
With Deocharran already at work on the loss side, Boursse advanced to a winners' side semifinal against Ron Bernardo. Rhys Chen, in the meantime, faced Rob Pole in the other winners' side semifinal. Boursse sent Bernardo to the loss side 7-4, and in the hot seat match, faced Chen, who'd defeated Pole 8-4. Boursse claimed the hot seat 7-4 over Chen and waited for Deocharran to complete his loss-side run.
 
It was Bernardo who ran into Deocharran on the loss side, eight matches into his run. He'd recently defeated Frank Tonn 7-3 and Zouraiz Ellahi 7-4. Pole drew Tim Fitzsimmons, who'd defeated Emily Duddy 7-4 and Duc Lam, double hill, to reach him.
 
Deocharran chalked up loss-side win #9 defeating Bernardo 7-4. He was joined in the quarterfinal match by Pole, who'd eliminated Fitzsimmons 8-4. Win #10 in that quarterfinal match sent Pole home 9-7.
 
 Deocharran completed his loss-side run with a 9-7 win in the semifinals over Chen. Boursse, though, ended Deocharran's bid for the event title with a 7-3 victory in the finals.
 
A Second Chance tournament that drew 16 entrants was won by Jason Carandang, who defeated Ambi Estevez in the final, double hill. Emily Duddy finished third, while K.C. Clayton ended up in fourth place.
 
On Aug. 5-6, Tony Robles' Silent Assassin Productions will present its 2nd Annual NYC 8-Ball Scotch Doubles Championships. The next official stop on the Predator Tour, scheduled for Labor Day weekend (Sept. 2-3), will be hosted by Steinway Billiards in Astoria (Queens), NY.