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Hooten comes from the loss side, wins first regional title on Cuetec DFW Ladies 9-Ball Tour

Ginger Abadilla, Nancy Rios and Jennifer Hooten

Since the pandemic landed on our collective heads two or three years ago and curtailed a lot of competitive activity, there has been a slow, but steady return of players, who either stopped playing altogether or in the absence of venue opportunities and availability of personal equipment, brought their game home. In addition to this return, there has also been an emergence on the part of players who for one reason or another have never been heard from before (or at least, very little) and are currently not only coming to the tables, but winning events for the first time.

Case(s) in point: Jennifer Hooten of Garland, TX, who, prior to this past weekend (Sat., April 9), had only cashed once at a regional tour event, finishing 13th at a stop on the mixed-gender DFW 9-Ball Tour, two years ago; a finish that made her the top female finisher at the event. She also won the 2019 Texas State BCA Women’s Fair Match Singles event in 2019, which went unrecorded by us here at AZBilliards. She came from the loss side at this most recent event to record her highest event finish on the tour, claiming her first regional tour title on the $500-added, Cuetec DFW 9-Ball Ladies Tour that drew 21 entrants to Stixx and Stones Billiards in Lewisville, TX.

Nancy Rios, from Dallas, came into the event with no recorded cash payouts whatsoever and advanced to the hot seat for the first time. As a result, her first recorded cash payout anywhere was the distinction of being an event’s runner-up. However one might assess the nature of the 21-entrant competition, anyone who’s ever stepped up to a pool table with cash on the line will tell you: You never forget your first win and/or first cash payout and the benefit of increased confidence in your efforts pays dividends the very next time you step to the table.

Hooten opened her winning campaign with a double hill win over Judy Frank and followed it with a 4-1 victory over Julie Stephenson, who was racing to 6, and has been recording cash payouts on the Hunter Tour, the OB Cues Ladies Tour and now, the DFW tour for over 20 years. Hooten advanced to face Ginger Abadilla in one of the winners’ side semifinals. Rios started with a victory over co-tour director Monica Anderson 3-1 (Anderson racing to 4), and downed Deliza Baumbach, double hill to Krystle Suarez in the other winners’ side semifinal. 

With Suarez racing to 7, Rios advanced to the hot seat match with a double hill 3-6 win over Suarez. Abadilla joined her after sending Hooten to the loss side 3-1. In a straight-up race to 3, Rios claimed her first hot seat 3-1.

On the loss side, Hooten picked up Baumbach, who’d followed her winners’ side quarterfinal loss against Rios with victories over Ileana Sullivan 3-2 (Sullivan racing to 5) and Melissa Smith 3-1. Suarez drew Jennifer Pavlovick, who’d lost her opening match to Smith and was in the midst of a five-match winning streak that included the elimination of Julie Stephenson, double hill, and Tina Soto 5-2.

Pavlovick chalked up her fifth loss-side win, downing Suarez 5-4 (Suarez racing to 7). Hooten joined her in the quarterfinals with a shutout over Baumbach. Hooten put a stop to Pavlovick’s run in those quarterfinals 4-3 (Pavlovick racing to 5) and turned to a rematch against Abadilla in the semifinals.

Hooten allowed Abadilla only a single rack in the semifinals and moved on to what was the first (recorded) finals match for both her and her opponent. Hooten would need to win twice, and befitting a match, no doubt characterized by the mutual anticipation and eagerness, not to mention anxiety, of both competitors to claim their first regional tour title, the first set went double hill. With Rios racing to 3, Hooten won it 4-2. With emotions running in two separate directions (confidence and concern), Hooten chalked up all of the racks in the second set and claimed the title.

“Both of these ladies took advantage of the tour’s mission,” noted Co-Tour Director Monica Anderson, “designed to provide a fun, challenging, and rewarding tournament environment for both low, mid and high-level skilled players.”

“Our hot seat match (between Rios and Abadilla),” she added, “was a battle of two, skill level 3’s, who got there by taking advantage of missed opportunities by their higher-skill-level opponents.”

Anderson (along with co-tour directors Hooten and Abadilla) thanked the ownership and staff at Stixx and Stones Billiards, as well as title sponsor Cuetec, Fort Worth Billiards Superstore and Kamui. The next stop on the Cuetec DFW 9-Ball Ladies Tour, scheduled for July 9, will be hosted by Rusty’s in Arlington, TX.

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Compton, Garcia and Kazakis Score Cajun Coast Wins

Alex Kazakis, Tony Chohan, Mario He and Roberto Gomez

The 4th Annual Cajun Coast Classic brought a full house to Pool Do’s Sports Bar in Morgan City, Louisiana for a great week of action. 

The festivities kicked off on Wednesday with Justin Hall and Chip Compton competing in a two day, race to 15, one pocket challenge match. Day one of the challenge match stayed close, with Compton breaking a 7-7 tie to hold a slim 8-7 lead at the end of the day. Compton took control on day two though, and scored the 15-10 win to take down the $30,000 that was available in this one. 

While the fans were being entertained by these two champions playing one pocket, there was a twenty four player “Banks by the Rail” tournament being held on the Diamond 7 footers. This event saw players competing to be the first player to total eleven rails in each rack and a race to three racks with $2,500 in added prize money. 

To no one’s surprise, this event came down to two champions in the end with Roland Garcia facing World Champion Carlo Biado for the hot-seat. Biado took the hot-seat with a 3-0 win, but Garcia bounced to score a hill-hill win over Can Salim in the semi-finals and then defeated Biado 5-2 in the extended final race to five. 

The main event got underway on Friday with a $7500 added open 9-Ball event on the Diamond 7 footers. Both Garcia and Biado were eliminated relatively early in this one, with Tony Chohan handing both players their final losses. 

The winners side of this one came down to Roberto Gomez and Alex Kazakis. Kazakis took the hot-seat 7-5, but Gomez made quick work of Mario He on the one loss side 7-2, and the rematch was on between Gomez and Kazakis in the finals. Gomez evened the score with Kazakis, by scoring a 7-5 win of his own in the first set of the finals, but Kazakis took charge in the second set and scored a 7-3 win for first place. 

The event was produced and streamed by Jeff and Ileana Sullivan with Sullyvision. Sullivan gave special thanks to Pool Do’s Sports Bar and the Cajun Coast Visitor’sCenter for the awesome southern hospitality and all his main sponsors – Aramith, Iwan Simonis Billiards, Fort Worth Billiards, JB Cases – Custom Pool Cue Cases, Jeffery Tucker Custom Cues, Action 24/7, Joseph Long Attorney at Law, Digital Pool Tournaments, Molina Mike and 1PKT.com.

Aryana Lynch Chalks Up the Win on DFW 9-ball Ladies Tour Stop #1

The 2021 DFW 9-Ball Ladies Tour Season kicked off their 1st of 6 stops on Saturday, February 27th at Rusty’s in Arlington, TX. 30 ladies from various parts of the state wanted to play some 9-ball and play they did. Lots of players primarily from the DFW Metroplex participated in this one-day event but there were also players from Houston, San Angelo, San Antonio and Victoria, TX who made the trek to Big D and we thank everyone who came out for some nail-biting competition.

The DFW 9-Ball Ladies Tour is an extension of the DFW 9-Ball Tour. All ladies 9- ball events are handicapped (SL 3 to SL 7), Fargo rated, double-elimination tournaments. They are all guaranteed $500 money added, $40 entry fee, one day events, non-smoking venues and played on 7’ Diamond bar tables.

The mission of the DFW 9-Ball Ladies Tour is to give lower-level skilled players an opportunity to test their mettle against higher level skilled players. Our higher- level skilled players also provide advice, pool knowledge and are inspirations for all on how we want to play when we grow up. It is a win-win for everyone, maybe not with cash, but a reward in knowing that we share a love and passion for this game and can help someone out in the process.

DFW 9-Ball Ladies Tour is proud to be sponsored by Fort Worth Billiards Superstore, OB Cues, Dallas Eight Ball League and Doc’s Billiards Office. We thank all sponsors for their interest in pool and keeping the competitive flame burning for lady pool players all over the country.

April Gonzales

Before the action commenced for the day, one of our junior players, April Gonzales (SL 3), will be celebrating her 13th birthday on March 4th, so we wanted to make it an early memorable occasion for her. She is our little princess, and always a good sport, while we tried to “harmoniously” sing Happy Birthday, shared pizza with everyone, delicious pool ball cupcakes, sodas (graciously given by her Dad), and photo opportunities galore. Happy 13th Birthday April! We love you!

Aryana (SL 6), no stranger to the winner’s circle, had a winning record of 36-9. This girl can play, and she is only 18 years old. Her closest tournament match was against Alicia Stanley (SL 7) and both players were playing very well as champions so often do. They both performed some well executed defensive plays, but it was Aryana who took the win 6-4 and the rest of her tournament day was smooth sailing from there. She went undefeated to take the 1st place title and $500.

Jennifer Pavlovick, Aryana Lynch and Yvonne Ramirez

Main Event top finishers and payouts:
1st – Aryana Lynch (SL 6) – $500
2nd – Jennifer Pavlovick (SL 5) – $340
3rd – Yvonne Ramirez (SL 5) – $220
4th – Ileana Sullivan (SL 4) – $140
5th/6th – Monica Anderson (SL 5), Linda Long (SL 4) – $100 7th/8th – Yvette Cox (SL 5), Tiffany Pryor (SL 5) – $75

As some of the ladies were not quite ready to go home early, we had a Second Chance event with a $20 entry and $100 added by the Tour with 7 players vying for the SC Crown.

Janet Ybarra, Ginger Abadilla and Rachelle Dytko

1st – Ginger Abadilla (SL 3) – $130* 2nd – Rachelle Dytko (SL 5) – $80* 3rd – Janet Ybarra (SL4) – $30

*They chopped it up and Rachelle got the extra $10. From the picture below, it looks like they are all repping Hustlin – not a pre-requisite for playing in the Second Chance

Thank you to Rusty’s (Jeff and his hard-working crew), to all our sponsors, players and fans and everything you do for the game we love. We cannot thank you enough!

Our next ladies’ event will be Saturday, April 2nd at Snookered Billiards & Bar, 9550 Dallas Parkway, Frisco, TX. For registration info, go to the DFW 9-Ball Tour web page, dfw9bt.com

DFW 9-Ball Ladies Tour Committee
David “Doc” Reyes
Jennifer Hooten
Ginger Abadilla
Monica Anderson