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APA World Championships Enjoy Record Participation

The Anigons of Osaka, Japan

Attendance at World’s Largest Pool Tournament Continues to Soar

Back in August 2010, the APA National Team Championships set a Guinness World Record for the “World’s Largest Pool Tournament.”  It might be time to get the folks from Guinness on the phone again.

 
This year’s event, rebranded two years ago as the APA World Pool Championships to better reflect the global field, set a new record for participation with a whopping 2,361 teams, nearly 400 more than last year.  The championships were APA’s second major Vegas event following the Poolplayer Championships in April.
 
The more than 15,000 folks in attendance were treated to far more than they anticipated when they won their free trip to the championships during the World Qualifiers.
 
In addition to nearly round-the-clock tournament action for 10 straight days, APA members had the chance to rub elbows with the likes of “The Black Widow” Jeanette Lee, Internet Trick Shot Sensation Florian “Venom” Kohler and billiard Hall of Famer “Dr. Cue” Tom Rossman.  Other pro players spotted at the APA World Championships included Francisco Bustamante, Ewa Laurance, Corey Deuel, Vivian Villarreal and Mike Massey, just to name a few.
 
Competitors capped off the experience of a lifetime with APA’s always epic poolside bash at the Westgate pool overlooking the Vegas strip.
 
Throw in more than $1.2 Million in cash and it all added up to a party unlike any other.
 
In the 713-team 8-Ball World Championship, Sharktank of Owen Sound, Ont., defeated Biggelbach’s of Portland, Ore., in a nail-biter to take home $25,000 in cash and the championship title.  As Runners-Up, Biggelbach’s received $15,000 in prize money.  The 8-Ball World Championship can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dzCkInvuiaY.
 
Teams in the 8-Ball Championship squared-off in a modified single-elimination format that ensured each team played at least twice before elimination. All 8-Ball Division teams automatically received $350 in national qualifier money, and the top 8 teams won at least $5,000. The 8-Ball Division began play on Aug. 13 and concluded on Aug. 18.
 
In the 500-team 9-Ball World Championship, it was Anigons of Osaka, Japan, defeating Racks on the Rocks of Peoria, Ill., in the finals.  Anigons became the first team from Japan to secure a title at the APA World Championships since they began sending representatives in 2007. Anigons took home $15,000 in 1st Place prize money. As Runners-Up, Racks on the Rocks received $7,000 in cash.  The 9-Ball World Championship can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FIt5tuf6y6U.
 
The 9-Ball Championship was held Aug. 9-13, with each team competing in a modified single-elimination format that ensured each team played at least twice before elimination. All national qualifiers received a minimum of $350, with the top 8 teams winning at least $2,000.
 
After winning their divisions in weekly APA 8-Ball and 9-Ball League play and then placing in World Qualifiers throughout the United States, Canada and Japan, teams consisting of five to eight players, qualified to compete in the 2018 APA World Championships.
 
In the inaugural Team Captains Championship that included 380 teams, Q-Bert 222 of San Diego, Calif., defeated the Mizfits of Snohomish, Wash., to take home $10,000 in prize money.  As Runners-up, the Mizfits took home $5,000.  The Team Captains Championship can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uTZwejy6XZI.
 
The finals of the Masters Championship featurEd Hugh & the Hustlers of Wallingford, Conn., defeating Not MMMMMMKay of Houston, Texas.  Hugh & the Hustlers took home $10,000 in 1st Place prize money, while Not MMMMMMKay received $5,000 as Runner-Up in the 256-team event.  The Masters Championship can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dbgmw8yh-fg.
 
In the finals of the 256-team Ladies 8-Ball Championship, it was Chicks Ahoy of Newport News, Va., defeating Manny’s Angels of Edison, N.J., to win $10,000 in 1st Place prize money.  As Runners-Up, Manny’s Angels received $5,000 in cash.  The Ladies 8-Ball Championship can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=ofVcSFe6RTI.
 
In the Jack & Jill Doubles Championship, which also included 256 teams, it was Stumble Inn J&J of Godly, Ill., winning $3,500 in the finals with a victory over Last Minute of Fall River, Mass. Last Minute received $2,300 as Runner-Up.  The finals of the Jack & Jill Doubles Championship can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kOdowbsJ9tk.
 
Championship match coverage was provided free online courtesy of www.PoolDawg.com.
 
In addition, the APA conducted nearly round-the-clock MiniMania tournaments, which took place daily and were open to all APA members. The MiniMania tournaments offered multiple formats with 100% prize money payback that awarded nearly $260,000.
 
The APA, based in Lake Saint Louis, Mo., sanctions the world’s largest amateur pool league, with leagues throughout the United States, Canada and Japan.  Nearly 250,000 members compete in weekly 8-Ball and 9‑Ball League play.  The APA is generally recognized as the Governing Body of Amateur Pool, having established the official rules, championships, formats and handicap systems for the sport of amateur billiards.
 
The APA produces four major tournaments each year—the APA World Pool Championships, the APA Poolplayer Championships, the APA Junior Championships and the U.S. Amateur Championship—that, together, pay out nearly $2 Million in cash and prizes annually!
 
The APA and its championships are sponsored by Aramith, Action Cues and PoolDawg.
 
For more information on the APA World Pool Championships, visit the official APA website at www.poolplayers.com.

Kelly Fisher comes from the loss side to double dip Ga Young Kim in finals of Tornado Open

Kelly Fisher and Vivian Villarreal

Kelly Fisher, who won the Women's Open 10-Ball event of the 2nd Annual Tornado Open over the weekend (Sept. 28-Oct. 3) played for 14 hours straight; from noon on Sunday, October 2 to 2 a.m. on Monday morning, October 3, when she completed a two-set final against Ga Young Kim. Along the way, she'd competed against a host of familiar opponents, including Allison Fisher (twice; two double hill matches), Monica Webb and Jessica Barnes. The $25,000-added women's event drew 62 entrants to the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, FL.
 
"I was absolutely thrilled," she said, pool-side, from her hotel on Monday afternoon, "because while I've won tournaments all over the world, it's been a long, long time since I've won an event here in the USA. 
 
"I really don't know who's in front in our head-to-head battles over the years," she added of her matches against Ga Young Kim. "It's quite close, I know that. Very, very close."
 
Following victories over Julie Kelly, Crystal McCormick, Barnes and Eun J. Park, Fisher had her first meet-up with Allison Fisher in a winners' side semifinal. Kim, in the meantime, having received an opening round bye, defeated Gerda Hofstatter, Laura Smith, and Brittany Bryant to pick up Chezka Centeno in the other winners' side semifinal.
 
The Fishers locked up in their first of two double hill battles, which eventually advanced Allison to the hot seat match. Kim joined her after completing a double hill battle of her own against Centeno. Kim claimed the hot seat 7-3 over Allison Fisher and waited for Kelly to come back from the loss side.
 
On the loss side, Kelly Fisher picked up Monica Webb, who after falling to Eun J. Park on the winners' side in the third round of play, won four straight, including victories over Ewa Laurance, Brittany Bryant (double hill) and Jia Li 7-4. Centeno drew Karen Corr, who'd gotten by (among others) Ewa Laurance and teenage phenom April Larson before being sent to the loss side by Allison Fisher. Corr eliminated Joanne Ashton and Eun Ji Park to face Centeno.
 
Kelly Fisher defeated Webb 7-5, and in the quarterfinals, faced Centeno, who'd downed Corr 7-4. Fisher then navigated her way through two straight double hill matches to reach the finals, defeating Centeno in the quarterfinals, and in the semifinals, turning the double hill tables on Allison Fisher.
 
Fisher won both sets of the double hill final (7-5, 7-4) to complete her run, and claim the Women's 10-Ball title.
 
"You've got to keep her real tight," said Fisher of those final two matches. "(Kim) is a very fluent player, and really dangerous if she gets going."
 
Though acknowledging that, having been playing for so many years, she "doesn't really prepare for whom (she's) playing," Fisher admitted that her experience over the years with Kim, led to some decisions.
 
"She's very good at jumping and kicking," said Fisher, "so if I'm pushing out, I'm not going to leave her with a jump or kick.
 
"That actually happened," she added. "I tried for the shot, rather than leave her with a jump."
 
Kelly's taking a week off to bask in the sun, before flying back to the UK on October 10. Ten days later, she'll be in China for an 8-ball event with a major US title under her belt for encouragement.

Challenge of Champions Back in Gear

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

WHO: Billiards International presents ESPN BILLIARDS:

WHERE: LIVE from the Trump Taj Mahal, Atlantic City, New Jersey

 

WHEN: September 20, 2pm EST:      The WPBA HALL OF FAME CHALLENGE CUPSeptember 20, 3pm EST: THE MEN’S INTERNATIONAL CHALLENGE OF CHAMPIONSSeptember 21, 3pm EST:      THE WOMEN’S TOURNAMENT OF CHAMPIONSSeptember 22, 2:30pm EST:   TRICK SHOT MAGIC

 

CONTACT: David Thomson, Medium Pool, 310-450-8525; Mediumpool@gmail.com

 

ATLANTIC CITY, NJ (August, 2016) – Pocket Billiard Champions, from around the world, go head-to-head in a three-day extravaganza of action packed professional pool.

            The HALL OF FAME CHALLENGE CUP, MEN’S INTERNATIONAL CHALLENGE OF CHAMPIONS, WOMEN’S TOURNAMENT OF CHAMPIONS, and TRICK SHOT MAGIC will be held September 20, 21, and 22 at the Official Host Site Trump Taj Mahal, Xanadu Theater, in Atlantic City, New Jersey, close to the cities of Philadelphia, Wilmington, Newark, New York City, Baltimore and Washington, DC.

            The matches will be taped for ESPN/ESPN2 with a live audience for television broadcast that represents the highest viewed billiard programming on US network television.

            The events are widely considered the toughest tournaments to win in professional billiards.  Once each year, international champions are battling in short, sudden-death shootouts with pressure-cooker formats and the largest prize money in pool's special events.  And, the winners claim one of the most coveted titles in pool – Champion of Champions!          FREE ADMISSION to the events in the Taj Majal Xanadu Theater on a first come, first seated basis and open to all ages.

            On September 20 at 2pm, Trump Taj Mahal will host the WPBA sanctioned HALL OF FAME CHALLENGE which will highlight 2 accomplished women champions and Hall of Fame members contending for the title “Hall of Fame Challenge Cup Champion.”

 

Ewa Laurance (USA) is the holder of multiple World and US Open 9-ball titles, and has also won the Swedish, European and US National Championships in her 20 year plus, remarkable career.  A former #1 ranked player in the world, Ewa has received Player of the Year honors, been named WPBA Sportsperson of the Year and, in 2004, was inducted into the prestigious Billiard Congress of America Hall of Fame.

Vivian Villarreal (USA) is one of the most exciting players to watch and is nicknamed the “Texas Tornado.”  She has been consistently ranked as one of the world’s top women’s billiard players for the past 20 years and held the #1 world ranking five times. She has won a total of 19 WPBA Classic Tour titles and is the ESPN World Open Champion.

 

On September 20 at 3pm, Trump Taj Mahal will host the INTERNATIONAL CHALLENGE OF CHAMPIONS presenting the top male players in the world:

 

Alex Pagulayan (Canada): 2016 Canadian Open Champion: 2016 Derby City Classic All Around Champion; 2016 Derby City Classic One Pocket Champion; 2015 3rd Annual Big Tyme Classic 9-ball Bar Table champion; 2015 3rd Annual Big Tyme Classic one pocket champion; 2015 Professional One Pocket Buffalo's Billiards 2000 Champion; 2015 DCC All-Around Champion; 2015 Derby City One Pocket champion;

 

Shane Van Boening (USA): 2016 US Open 8-Ball and 10-Ball Champion, 2015 World Masters Champion, 2015 US Bar Table Championship (9-Ball Division), 2015 Diamond “BIG Foot” 10-Ball Champion, 2012, 2013, and 2014 U.S. Open 9-Ball Champion, 2014 World Masters Champion, 2014 Derby City Classic 9-Ball Champion, 2012 and 2013 US Open 9-Ball Champion;

 

Kevin Cheng (Taiwan):  2015 US Open 9-Ball Champion;

 

Jayson Shaw (Scotland):  2016 Derby City Classic “BIG Foot” 10-Ball Challenge Champion; 2016 Bergan Open 9-Ball Champion; 2016 Pool & Billiard Hall of Fame 9-Ball Open Champion; 2016 Predator Pro-Am Tour Stop 5 Open/Pro Division Champion; 2016 Predator Pro-Am Tour Stop 12 Open/Pro Division Champion; 3 time, Back-to-Back Turning Stone Classic Champion.

 

            On September 21, at 3pm, Trump Taj Mahal presents the WPBA sanctioned TOURNAMENT OF CHAMPIONS which will highlight the 4 most accomplished women champions contending for the title Champion of Champions:

            Kelly Fisher (Ireland): Two-time winner of the Tournament of Champions, 2nd in the 2016 China Women’s Billiard World Champion, 2013 Amway Cup Champion, and 2012 WPA Women’s World 9-Ball Champion;

            Allison Fisher (Great Britain): Over 80 professional titles including 2016 WPBA Masters Champion, 2013 Ultimate 10-Ball Championship Women’s Runner-Up, and 2011 and 2012 US Open 9-Ball Champion.

            Jasmin Ouschan (Austria): 2015 WPBA Masters Champion, 2013 European Straight Pool and 9-Ball Champion and 2012 European 10-Ball Champion;

            Ga-Young Kim (South Korea): 2016 WPBA Rivers US Open Champion, 2015 Tornado Open 9-Ball Champion, 2015 Tournament of Champions.

            On September 22 at 2pm, the Trump Taj Mahal welcomes the return of the highest rated pool tournament ever shown on ESPN, TRICK SHOT MAGIC.  Four of the most talented trick shot competitors in the world will compete for a sudden-death prize in television’s most exciting format:

            Andy Segal (USA): #1 ranked in the world, 7 times ESPN Champion, 4 times World champion, 6 times Masters Champion and 2 times US Open Champion;

            Gabi ”Mr. Perfect” Visiou (Romania): 2016 ACSISA US Open Trick Shot Championship runner up, 2015 WPA World Artistic Pool Champion and 4 times ESPN World Cup of Trick Shots Champion;

            Jamey Gray (USA): WPA World Artistic Pool champion, currently rated # 2 in the world

            Will DeYonkers (USA): 2016 ESPN Qualifier Champion, 2015 Masters Champion, 2015 UTS Runner Up and Current World Follow Champion.

 

The latter three events are each regarded as the supreme test of skill and imagination in billiards. The players are so evenly matched that any one player could beat the others on any given day.

            The HALL OF FAME CHALLENGE, INTERNATIONAL CHALLENGE OF CHAMPIONS and the TOURNAMENT OF CHAMPIONS are 9-Ball with a format of two sets and, in the event of one set each, a one game, sudden-death tie-breaker.

            TRICK SHOT MAGIC presents the greatest individual trick shots selected by each player which, then, must be completed by their opponent.  The sudden-death tie-breaker to decide a match requires an incredible eight rail bank shot onto the face of a $100 bill. All in all, the 4 events offer the wildest shootout of the year.

            COME MINGLE WITH THE PROS: And, as if that weren't enough, for a few hours each evening, the pros will be practicing in the Xanadu Theater and be available for autographs to audience members and pool fans alike. You might also get tips on improving your game.

            Trump Taj Majal, the Official Host Site, is a 24-hour gaming and entertainment destination on Atlantic City’s world famous boardwalk.  When you decide to name your casino resort after one of the original Seven Wonders of the World, you are setting the architectural bar fairly high.  The landmark Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City lives up to its legendary name.  Unprecedented in craftsmanship, size and opulence, the awe-inspiring architectural masterpiece is a sight to behold.  Check into your palace away from home and enjoy luxurious accommodations, spectacular concerts and shows, thrilling gaming action, tempting gourmet and casual restaurants and a night life that never sleeps.  At the Trump Taj Mahal, the excitement goes on, and on, and on.  Located at 1000 Boardwalk at Virginia Avenue, the Taj Mahal offers 2010 rooms and suites plus more than 25 places to shop, eat, party and have fun.  Taj Mahal will make all three events in the Xanadu Theater ADMISSION FREE to pool fans of all ages.  Parking is available for a fee.

            The trophies and winner checks will be presented by the Trump Taj Mahal. The tournaments are also sponsored by Aramith Tournament Balls, Simonis Cloth, Diamond Billiards, Executive Billiards Delta-13 Racks and Pool Dawg.

            The 2016 events are produced by Billiards International.  For best seats, please arrive early for each tournament session.

            Hotel rooms are available to make an enjoyable getaway at the spectacular at the Trump Taj Majal. Hotel reservations can be made online or by calling 609-449-1000.  Make your plans today to attend the HALL OF FAME CHALLENGE CUP, INTERNATIONAL CHALLENGE OF CHAMPIONS, the TOURNAMENT OF CHAMPIONS and, TRICK SHOT MAGIC, September 20, 21 and 22 at the Trump Taj Mahal, Atlantic City’s premier gaming destination.

 

###

Billiards International Presents ESPN Billiards

Shane Van Boening (Photo courtesy of Dave Thomson – Mediumpool.com)

Pocket Billiard Champions, from around the world, go head-to-head in a three-day extravaganza of action packed professional pool.
 
The HALL OF FAME CHALLENGE CUP, MEN’S INTERNATIONAL CHALLENGE OF CHAMPIONS, WOMEN’S TOURNAMENT OF CHAMPIONS, and TRICK SHOT MAGIC will be held September 20, 21, and 22 at the Official Host Site Trump Taj Mahal, Xanadu Theater, in Atlantic City, New Jersey, close to the cities of Philadelphia, Wilmington, Newark, New York City, Baltimore and Washington, DC.
 
The matches will be taped for ESPN/ESPN2 with a live audience for television broadcast that represents the highest viewed billiard programming on US network television. 
 
The events are widely considered the toughest tournaments to win in professional billiards.  Once each year, international champions are battling in short, sudden-death shootouts with pressure-cooker formats and the largest prize money in pool's special events.  And, the winners claim one of the most coveted titles in pool – Champion of Champions! FREE ADMISSION to the events in the Taj Majal Xanadu Theater on a first come, first seated basis and open to all ages.
 
On September 20 at 2pm, Trump Taj Mahal will host the WPBA sanctioned HALL OF FAME CHALLENGE which will highlight 2 accomplished women champions and Hall of Fame members contending for the title “Hall of Fame Challenge Cup Champion.”
 
Ewa Laurance (USA) is the holder of multiple World and US Open 9-ball titles, and has also won the Swedish, European and US National Championships in her 20 year plus, remarkable career.  A former #1 ranked player in the world, Ewa has received Player of the Year honors, been named WPBA Sportsperson of the Year and, in 2004, was inducted into the prestigious Billiard Congress of America Hall of Fame.
 
Vivian Villarreal (USA) is one of the most exciting players to watch and is nicknamed the “Texas Tornado.”  She has been consistently ranked as one of the world’s top women’s billiard players for the past 20 years and held the #1 world ranking five times. She has won a total of 19 WPBA Classic Tour titles and is the ESPN World Open Champion.
 
On September 20 at 3pm, Trump Taj Mahal will host the INTERNATIONAL CHALLENGE OF CHAMPIONS presenting the top male players in the world:
 
Alex Pagulayan (Canada): 2016 Canadian Open Champion: 2016 Derby City Classic All Around Champion; 2016 Derby City Classic One Pocket Champion; 2015 3rd Annual Big Tyme Classic 9-ball Bar Table champion; 2015 3rd Annual Big Tyme Classic one pocket champion; 2015 Professional One Pocket Buffalo's Billiards 2000 Champion; 2015 DCC All-Around Champion; 2015 Derby City One Pocket champion;
 
Shane Van Boening (USA): 2016 US Open 8-Ball and 10-Ball Champion, 2015 World Masters Champion, 2015 US Bar Table Championship (9-Ball Division), 2015 Diamond “BIG Foot” 10-Ball Champion, 2012, 2013, and 2014 U.S. Open 9-Ball Champion, 2014 World Masters Champion, 2014 Derby City Classic 9-Ball Champion, 2012 and 2013 US Open 9-Ball Champion;
 
Yu-Hsuan Cheng (Taiwan):  2015 US Open 9-Ball Champion;
 
Jayson Shaw (Scotland):  2016 Derby City Classic “BIG Foot” 10-Ball Challenge Champion; 2016 Bergan Open 9-Ball Champion; 2016 Pool & Billiard Hall of Fame 9-Ball Open Champion; 2016 Predator Pro-Am Tour Stop 5 Open/Pro Division Champion; 2016 Predator Pro-Am Tour Stop 12 Open/Pro Division Champion; 3 time, Back-to-Back Turning Stone Classic Champion.
 
On September 21, at 3pm, Trump Taj Mahal presents the WPBA sanctioned TOURNAMENT OF CHAMPIONS which will highlight the 4 most accomplished women champions contending for the title Champion of Champions:
 
Kelly Fisher (Ireland): Two-time winner of the Tournament of Champions, 2nd in the 2016 China Women’s Billiard World Champion, 2013 Amway Cup Champion, and 2012 WPA Women’s World 9-Ball Champion;
 
Allison Fisher (Great Britain): Over 80 professional titles including 2016 WPBA Masters Champion, 2013 Ultimate 10-Ball Championship Women’s Runner-Up, and 2011 and 2012 US Open 9-Ball Champion.
 
Jasmin Ouschan (Austria): 2015 WPBA Masters Champion, 2013 European Straight Pool and 9-Ball Champion and 2012 European 10-Ball Champion;
 
Ga-Young Kim (South Korea): 2016 WPBA Rivers US Open Champion, 2015 Tornado Open 9-Ball Champion, 2015 Tournament of Champions.
 
On September 22 at 2pm, the Trump Taj Mahal welcomes the return of the highest rated pool tournament ever shown on ESPN, TRICK SHOT MAGIC.  Four of the most talented trick shot competitors in the world will compete for a sudden-death prize in television’s most exciting format:
 
Andy Segal (USA): #1 ranked in the world, 7 times ESPN Champion, 4 times World champion, 6 times Masters Champion and 2 times US Open Champion;
 
Gabi ”Mr. Perfect” Visiou (Romania): 2016 ACSISA US Open Trick Shot Championship runner up, 2015 WPA World Artistic Pool Champion and 4 times ESPN World Cup of Trick Shots Champion;
 
Florian Kohler (France): Current ESPN Trick shot Magic Champion, 2 times world cup of Tricks shots winner, Guinness Book Record holder for most important number of balls jumped in a minute (68 balls),  Most viewed pool Trick shots artist on the internet: half a billion views combined, and 2 times and youngest Artistic Cup winner;
 
Will DeYonkers (USA): 2016 ESPN Qualifier Champion, 2015 Masters Champion, 2015 UTS Runner Up and Current World Follow Champion.
 
The latter three events are each regarded as the supreme test of skill and imagination in billiards. The players are so evenly matched that any one player could beat the others on any given day.
The HALL OF FAME CHALLENGE, INTERNATIONAL CHALLENGE OF CHAMPIONS and the TOURNAMENT OF CHAMPIONS are 9-Ball with a format of two sets and, in the event of one set each, a one game, sudden-death tie-breaker.
 
TRICK SHOT MAGIC presents the greatest individual trick shots selected by each player which, then, must be completed by their opponent.  The sudden-death tie-breaker to decide a match requires an incredible eight rail bank shot onto the face of a $100 bill. All in all, the 4 events offer the wildest shootout of the year.
 
COME MINGLE WITH THE PROS: And, as if that weren't enough, for a few hours each evening, the pros will be practicing in the Xanadu Theater and be available for autographs to audience members and pool fans alike. You might also get tips on improving your game. 
 
Trump Taj Majal, the Official Host Site, is a 24-hour gaming and entertainment destination on Atlantic City’s world famous boardwalk.  When you decide to name your casino resort after one of the original Seven Wonders of the World, you are setting the architectural bar fairly high.  The landmark Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City lives up to its legendary name.  Unprecedented in craftsmanship, size and opulence, the awe-inspiring architectural masterpiece is a sight to behold.  Check into your palace away from home and enjoy luxurious accommodations, spectacular concerts and shows, thrilling gaming action, tempting gourmet and casual restaurants and a night life that never sleeps.  At the Trump Taj Mahal, the excitement goes on, and on, and on.  Located at 1000 Boardwalk at Virginia Avenue, the Taj Mahal offers 2010 rooms and suites plus more than 25 places to shop, eat, party and have fun.  Taj Mahal will make all three events in the Xanadu Theater ADMISSION FREE to pool fans of all ages.  Parking is available for a fee.
 
The trophies and winner checks will be presented by the Trump Taj Mahal. The tournaments are also sponsored by Aramith Tournament Balls, Simonis Cloth, Diamond Billiards, Executive Billiards Delta-13 Racks and Pool Dawg.
 
The 2016 events are produced by Billiards International.  For best seats, please arrive early for each tournament session.
 
Hotel rooms are available to make an enjoyable getaway at the spectacular at the Trump Taj Majal. Hotel reservations can be made online or by calling 609-449-1000.  Make your plans today to attend the HALL OF FAME CHALLENGE CUP, INTERNATIONAL CHALLENGE OF CHAMPIONS, the TOURNAMENT OF CHAMPIONS and, TRICK SHOT MAGIC, September 20, 21 and 22 at the Trump Taj Mahal, Atlantic City’s premier gaming destination.
 

European ladies take 2-1 lead in annual Bland Cup tournament in Georgia

Photo courtesy of Kelly Fisher

It was anything but bland. The 3rd Annual Bland Cup tournament, held on Friday, June 24 at the home of Doctor Richie Bland in Carrollton, GA, a few miles west of Atlanta, featured 10 of the top women in the sport; five, playing for the USA (Monica Webb, Ewa Laurance, Vivian Villarreal, Jeanette Lee and Megan Smith) and five, for Europe (Allison Fisher, Kelly Fisher, Jasmin Ouschan, Line Kjoersvik and Helena Thornfeldt). Entering the tournament, the two squads were tied at one Bland Cup victory apiece. In the end, Europe chalked up its second win; this one, by a match score of 21-17.
 
This annual tournament came about as the result of a geographic proximity between Dr. Bland and Monica Webb. Bland, a world-renowned archer, and Medical Director of the Roy Richards, Sr. Cancer Center in Carrollton, is a pool enthusiast and plays in a local APA league, which utilizes facilities owned by Webb (Stix in nearby Villa Rica, GA). Three years ago, they arranged the first Bland Cup Tournament to benefit West Georgia College's Athletic Foundation. Webb transports two tables from her room to add to the single table Bland has in his home. They sell tickets to the single-day event (approximately $100 per ticket, with some variation for the sale of blocks of tickets), which attracts luminaries from the area like Carrollton's mayor, state congressman, and (on this particular occasion), the grandson of the founder of Coca-Cola. In all Webb estimated that there were 200 or so spectators at this year's exhibition event.
 
"It's a very laid back, cocktail party-like arrangement," she said.
 
It's so laid back that no one kept scores of any kind, or remembers who played against whom at any given point. The lone exception is the one score that mattered; the race to 21 points (one point awarded for each individual game victory). While they played primarily one-on-one, there were a few Scotch Doubles games played, as well. It began at around 4:30 p.m. on Friday, and finished at around 8:30 p.m, after which the women played challenge matches until just after midnight.
 
"We try to arrange this when (the women) are all here in the US," she said, "and we use it, basically, to get together once a year."
 
"We enjoy each other's company," she added.

Ga Young Kim comes from the loss side to win 1st WPBA Rivers US Open

Ga-Young Kim

Coming in as the #1 seed, Ga-Young Kim probably didn't expect to be spending most of her time at the inaugural WPBA Rivers US Open on the loss side of the preliminary double elimination bracket. She and 15 other seeded competitors, including Allison Fisher (#2) and Monica Webb (#3) were awarded opening round byes, as 32 other women battled it out for the right to advance. It was Jeannie Seaver, defeating Kelly Cavanaugh 9-4, who advanced to face Kim in the event's second round. Seaver and Kim locked up in a double hill fight that ended with Kim moving to the loss side, from where she would advance to become one of the four players to advance to two, single elimination, semifinal matches, and eventually, chalk up the event victory. The 48-entrant WPBA Rivers US Open was held on the weekend of March 12-13, and hosted by the Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh, PA.
 
Jeannie Seaver followed her opening round victory over Kim with 9-5 victories over Jessica Barnes and Ewa Laurance, before running into Line Kjorsvik among the winners' side final four. Kjorsvik had arrived, having sent Michell Monk, Janet Atwell and Melissa Little to the loss side. The other winners' side semifinalists – Allison Fisher and Vivian Villareal – had collectively sent Monica Webb (Villareal), Emily Duddy and Joanne Ashton to the loss side. Fisher gave up only a single rack (to Duddy) over her first three matches.
 
Kjorsvik sent Seaver to the loss side 9-3 to become one of the four semifinalists. Fisher and Villareal battled to double hill before Fisher advanced to become the other winners' side semifinalist.
 
On the loss side, Monica Webb eliminated June Maiers 9-1 and Kim Newsome 9-4 to draw Seaver. A 9-3 victory over Seaver gave Webb one of the loss-side draws into the semifinals. 
Ga Young Kim, in the meantime, having eliminated six on the loss side, including Liz Cole and Melissa Little, faced Villareal. Kim ended Villareal's bid 9-3 to become the second, loss-side semifinalist.
 
The re-seeded, single elimination semifinal pitted Kim against Kjorsvik and Webb against Fisher, in two, race-to-4 sets. Kim took both sets against Kjorsvik, as Webb defeated Fisher 2-1. Ga Young Kim completed her title run with a 2-0 victory over Webb in the final matches.

Fisher splits two versus Webb to take 2016 WPBA Masters at Soaring Eagle

Allison Fisher (File photo courtesy of Alison Chang)

Allison Fisher, sent to the loss side by Monica Webb in the final winners' side round of the WPBA Masters tournament, came back from the loss side to eventually meet and defeat Webb in the finals. The event, held on the weekend of February 4-7, drew 48 entrants to the Soaring Eagle Resort and Casino in Mount Pleasant, MI.
 
A preliminary round of 32 advanced 16 competitors to face 16 seeded opponents, including the #1-ranked Ga Young Kim, Fisher (#2), Webb (#5), Jennifer Baretta (#9), and Brittany Bryant (#12). Double elimination play continued until there were two opponents left on each side of the bracket. Following two, 9-2 wins in her opening rounds, Kim was sent to the loss side by Bryant 9-6, where, after another 9-2 win, she locked up in a double hill battle against Ewa Laurance. Kim won that match, only to be eliminated from play by Fisher, 9-6, in the match that put Fisher into the re-seeded semifinals against Baretta.
 
Webb's winners' side path to the semifinals went through Laurance 9-3 and Teruko Cucculelli 9-6 before finishing up with the 9-4 win that sent Fisher to the loss side. Baretta's path to the semifinals went through two double hill tests (against Kathy Friend and Line Kjorsvik) before defeating Bryant 9-4 to secure the other winners' side slot in the semifinals.
 
Bryant and Fisher played one match on the loss side to earn their loss-side seed into the semifinal. Bryant defeated Cucculelli and Fisher downed Kim, by the same 9-6 score.
 
The re-seeded semifinal pitted Fisher against Baretta, and Bryant against Webb, in two, race-to-4 sets. Fisher and Webb took both semifinal sets 2-0 and squared off in the championship. With the same format, Fisher completed her WPBA Masters' run with a 2-0 set victory in the finals.

Black Widow Becomes APA League Operator

The World’s Most Recognized Poolplayer Takes Aim at New Role

 

LAKE SAINT LOUIS, MO (Oct. 21, 2015) — When “The Black Widow” Jeanette Lee sets her sights on a prize, it’s usually just a matter of time before she has it in her web.  After mastering a Hall of Fame career on the pool table, and achieving celebrity notoriety off of it, she’s now eyeing a new prize – success as an APA League Operator.

 

“I’m so excited to be part of such an outstanding organization.  I never realized how much goes into being a League Operator, but APA is great about providing all the tools to be successful.  We plan to make the Tampa Bay APA one of the best and largest APA Leagues in the world,” said Lee.

 

Lee had been pondering this career move for some time.  Over the summer, she teamed up with longtime business associates Jason and Misty Dusel – who were already running an APA League in Buffalo, N.Y. – to take over the Tampa Bay APA from longtime League Operator Pat Giorgianni, who was retiring.  The transfer necessitated a major move for Lee and her family from their home in Indianapolis to Tampa.

Lee joins fellow Hall of Famer Ewa Laurance and other notable WPBA professionals Dawn Hopkins and Liz Ford as players turned APA League Operators.

Make no mistake though, Lee isn’t simply a pretty face to help promote the franchise.  She attended APA’s 7-day League Operator Training Seminar in September to get an introduction to the entire process of running a league by the standards that have made APA an award-winning franchise business.  She came away surprised by the amount of work APA League Operators put in, and amazed by the training and resources provided to help make them be successful.

“Training was very comprehensive, with lots of information.  With the tools APA offers, and the support staff they have in place, I have no doubt we’ll be highly successful in Tampa and make the APA members in the area very happy,” Lee added.

 

Lee will team with the Dusels to manage every aspect of the business, from handicapping skill levels to administration and sales.  It’s in the area of sales and marketing where she plans to shine.  That bodes well for Black Widow fans in the Tampa Bay area, as there’s a good chance they’ll be able to catch her at their favorite APA Host Location.  Fans outside of central Florida can still expect to see their favorite poolplayer at the APA National Team Championships in August.

The APA, based in Lake Saint Louis, Mo., sanctions the world’s largest amateur pool league, with leagues throughout the United States, Canada and Japan.  More than 250,000 members compete in weekly 8-Ball and 9‑Ball League play.  The APA is generally recognized as the Governing Body of Amateur Pool, having established the official rules, championships, formats and handicap systems for the sport of amateur billiards.

 

The APA produces three major tournaments each year—the APA National Team Championships, the APA National Singles Championships and the U.S. Amateur Championship—that, together, pay out more than $1.5 Million in cash and prizes annually!

 

The APA and its championships are sponsored by Aramith, Action Cues and PoolDawg.

 

For more information on the American Poolplayers Association, visit the official APA website at www.poolplayers.com.  For more information on the Black Widow, visit www.blackwidowbilliards.com.

Ewa Laurance Wins Hall of Fame Challenge Cup

Ewa Laurance – Photo courtesy of David Thomson mediumpool.com

It was as cold as a meat locker in the tournament room until ESPN tuned up the lights. Add the standing room only crowds and it was soon as sweltering as you’d expect in Southern Florida.
 
That was not all that was hot: How about Ewa Laurance 4-1, 4-2 stellar play over Jeanette Lee in event’s opening Hall of Fame Challenge? Jeanette, with her rock star itinerary, was way out of stroke. Ewa, killer instinct intact, devoured The Black Widow.
 
The loss didn’t faze the fans as the line formed to get Lee’s valuable signature on the Billiards International event program.
 
Ewa added another trophy to her vast collection.
 
Although the order of airing has not been determined, scheduled ESPN dates for all of the Billiards International events are December 13, 20, and 27. Mark your calendars, set your smart phones, these shows offer some of the closest, drama-filled footage captured to date.
 
Billiards International thanks its sponsors: Diamond Billiard Products, Simonis Cloth and Aramith Balls, Cue Mate, Mueller, Pool Dawg, and Seminole Casino  Hotel.
 

ESPN Billiards Tournament of Champions; Trick Shot Magic and Hall of Fame Challenge Cup

Ewa Laurance will face Jeanette Lee on September 29th

Pocket Billiard Champions, from around the world, go head-to-head in a three-day extravaganza of action packed professional pool.
 
The HALL OF FAME CHALLENGE CUP, MEN’S INTERNATIONAL CHALLENGE OF CHAMPIONS, WOMEN’S TOURNAMENT OF CHAMPIONS, and TRICK SHOT MAGIC will be held September 29, 30, and October 1 at the Official Host Site Seminole Casino Hotel Immokalee in Immokalee, Florida, close to the cities of Naples, Cape Coral, and Ft. Myers.
 
The matches will be taped for ESPN/ESPN2 with a live audience for television broadcast that represents the highest viewed billiard programming on US network television.
 
The events are widely considered the toughest tournaments to win in professional billiards. Once each year, international champions are battling in short, sudden-death shootouts with pressure- cooker formats and the largest prize money in pool's special events. And, the winners claim one of the most coveted titles in pool – Champion of Champions! ADMISSION is FREE on a first come, first seated basis.
 
On September 29 at 2pm, Seminole Casino Hotel Immokalee will host the WPBA sanctioned HALL OF FAME CHALLENGE CUP which will highlight the 2 most accomplished women champions and Hall of Fame members contending for the title Challenge Cup Champion. Ewa Laurance is the holder of multiple World and US Open 9-ball titles, and has also won the Swedish, European and US National Championships in her 20 year plus, remarkable career.
 
A former # 1 ranked player in the world, Ewa has received Player of the Year honors, been named WPBA Sportsperson of the Year and, in 2004, was inducted into the prestigious Billiard Congress of America Hall of Fame.
 
Jeanette Lee has the most recognized nickname in pool, “The Black Widow.” She has enjoyed one of the most illustrious careers in billiards history. Repeatedly recognized by Billiards Digest as one of the sport’s most powerful people, Jeanette has claimed more than 30 national and international titles including US Open, WPBA Nationals, 2 Time International Challenge of Champions, World Bar Table Championship and World Games Gold Medalist. Formerly ranked as the #1 player in the world, she has received the greatest honors in her sport with her inductions into the WPBA Hall of Fame (2012) and BCA Hall of Fame (2013).
 
On September 29 at 3pm, Seminole Casino Hotel Immokalee will host the WPA sanctioned INTERNATIONAL CHALLENGE OF CHAMPIONS presenting the top male players in the world: Niels Feijen: 2014 World 9-Ball Champion, 2014 World Pool Masters Champion, and 2013-2014 European 9-Ball Champion;
Shane Van Boening: 2015 World Masters Champion, 2015 US Bar Table Championship (9-Ball Division), 2015 Diamond “BIG Foot” 10-Ball Champion, 2012, 2013, and 2014 U.S. Open 9-Ball Champion, 2014 World Masters Champion, 2014 Derby City Classic 9-Ball Champion, 2012 and 2013 US Open 9-Ball Champion;
Thorsten Hohmann: 2015 World 14.1 Tournament Champion, 2015 Archer Cup Champion, 2014 International Challenge of Champions, 2014 Manny Pacquiao Cup Champion; 2013 World 14.1 Tournament Champion;
Albin Ouschan: 2015 China Open Champion and 2014 WPA World 9-Ball Runner-Up.
 
On September 30 at 2pm, Seminole Casino Hotel Immokalee presents the WPBA sanctioned TOURNAMENT OF CHAMPIONS which will highlight the 4 most accomplished women champions contending for the title Champion of Champions:
 
Kelly Fisher: Two-time defending Champion, 2013 Amway Cup Champion, and 2012 WPA Women’s World 9-Ball Champion;
Allison Fisher: #1 ranked WPBA player, 2013 Ultimate 10-Ball Championship Women’s Runner-Up, and 2011 and 2012 US Open 9-Ball Champion;
Jasmin Ouschan: 2015 WPBA Masters Champion, 2013 European Straight Pool and 9-Ball Champion and 2012 European 10-Ball Champion;
Ga-Young Kim: 2013 and 2014 WPBA Master’s Champion, 2013 Utimate 10-Ball Women’s Champion and 2012 International Tournament of Champions.
 
On October 1 at 2pm, the Seminole Casino Hotel Immokalee welcomes the return of the highest rated pool tournament ever shown on ESPN, TRICK SHOT MAGIC. Four of the most talented trick shot competitors in the world will compete for a sudden-death prize in television’s most exciting format:
Nick Nikolaidis: Current overall World Champion;
Andy Segal: 4-time defending Champion and current Masse ́ Shot and Stroke Shot World Champion;
Gabi ”Mr. Perfect” Visiou: Current Draw Shot World Champion;
Florian Kohler: World Cup of Trick Shots Champion and VENOM Internet sensation.
 
The latter three events are each regarded as the supreme test of skill and imagination in billiards. The players are so evenly matched that any one player could beat the others on any given day.
 
The HALL OF FAME CHALLENGE, INTERNATIONAL CHALLENGE OF CHAMPIONS and the TOURNAMENT OF CHAMPIONS are 9-Ball with a format of two sets and, in the event of one set each, a one game, sudden-death tie-breaker.
 
TRICK SHOT MAGIC presents the greatest individual trick shots selected by each player which then must be matched by their opponent. The sudden-death tie-breaker to decide a match requires an incredible eight rail bank shot onto the face of a $100 bill. All in all, the 4 events offer the wildest shootout of the year.
 
COME MINGLE WITH THE PROS: And, as if that weren't enough, for a few hours each evening, the pro's will be practicing in the Casino and be available for autographs to audience members and pool fans alike. You might also get tips on improving your game.
 
Seminole Casino Hotel Immokalee, the Official Host Site, is Southwest Florida’s premier gaming destination, with 1,300 slots, including Tarzan, Wheel of Fortune and the Big Wheel. The 75,000-square-foot plus casino offers 34 live tables games, including Blackjack, Mini- Baccarat, Pai Gow, Let It Ride, Three Card Poker, Texas Hold ‘em Bonus Poker, Blackjack Switch and Spanish 21. Seminole Casino Hotel Immokalee will make all three events ADMISSION FREE to pool fans over the age of 21.
 
The trophies and winner checks will be presented by the Seminole Casino Hotel Immokalee. The tournaments are also sponsored by Aramith Tournament Balls, Simonis Cloth, Diamond Billiards, Executive Billiards Delta-13 Racks and Pool Dawg.
 
The 2015 events are produced by Billiards International. For best seats, arrive early for each tournament session.
 
Hotel rooms are available to make an enjoyable getaway at the spectacular at the recently renovated Seminole Casino Hotel Immokalee. Hotel reservations can be made online or by calling 800-218-0007. Make your plans today to attend the HALL OF FAME CHALLENGE CUP, INTERNATIONAL CHALLENGE OF CHAMPIONS, the TOURNAMENT OF CHAMPIONS and, TRICK SHOT MAGIC, September 29, 30 and October 1 at the Seminole Casino Hotel Immokalee, Southwest Florida’s premier gaming destination.