Archive Page

Ming Ng goes undefeated to successfully defend her Texas Open title

Jenna Bishoff, Ming Ng and Autumn Duncan (Shayla Neris)

In what was only their second ‘big’ event at Skinny Bob’s Billiards in Round Rock, TX, which they purchased last May, the Sanders (Kim and Tracey) held one of the missing events from the 47th Annual Texas Open that had acted as something of a ‘soft opening’ to the renovated facility a few weeks ago. On the weekend of November 21-22, they held the (missing) $5,000-added, 47th Annual Texas Ladies Open, which drew 46 entrants to their location.

Ming Ng went undefeated through that field to defend the title she’d won last year, facing separate opponents in the hot seat and finals. Autumn Duncan navigated through the winners’ side to face Ng in the hot seat match, while Jenna Bishoff, sent to the loss side by Duncan, won six on the loss side to face her in the finals.

While the Sanders concur with the general idea that there’s something to be said for the calmer atmosphere inherent with reduced numbers and (arguably) an all-female crowd, Kim Sanders, for one, prefers the way it was before. She’s hoping that it will be that way again.

“Most of the women are like me,” she said. “They prefer to have it along with the rest of the tournaments. Before, when you had the Ladies event with the Open, the men and women came together and played pool together.”

“The combination makes them feel like they’re part of something bigger,” she added. “It’s just a different atmosphere.”

As pleased with the outcome of the Ladies event as they were with the earlier, larger pair of events, they continue to look forward to a planned week-long 48th Annual Texas Open in 2021.

“It went really well,” said Kim of the Ladies event. “We had a hiccup the first day when one of the matches went a little long, but after that, everything went smoothly.”

Ming Ng’s path to the winners’ circle, after an opening round bye, went through Gigi Callejas 7-1, Jennifer Kraber 7-3 and Kim Pierce, also 7-3, before arriving at a winners’ side semifinal match versus Bernie Store. Autumn Duncan, in the meantime, was also awarded an opening round bye and then downed Cari Balusek 7-2. She sent Bishoff to the loss side and defeated Jackie Karol, both 7-5, before squaring off against Ellen Couvillion in the other winners’ side semifinal.

Ng downed Store 7-2 and hooked up with Duncan, who’d survived a double hill battle versus Couvillion. Ng claimed the hot seat 7-5 over Duncan and waited for Bishoff to complete her loss-side run.

It was Couvillion who ran into Bishoff on the loss side, four matches into her winning streak that had most recently included wins over Michelle Yim 7-1 and Courtney Peters 7-3. Store drew Jennifer Kraber, who, after her defeat at the hands of Ng, went on a four-match winning streak that was about to end and had recently resulted in a shutout over Ricki Casper and a double hill win over Jackie Karol.

Store ended Kraber’s streak 7-2, as Bishoff downed Couvillion 7-4. Bishoff ended Store’s brief time on the loss side 7-1 in the quarterfinals, and then, downed Duncan in the semifinals 7-5.

Ng closed out her undefeated run with a 7-3 victory over Bishoff in the finals.

The Sanders thanked their staff for their hard work as well as sponsors Sanders Roofing & Exterminating, LLC, MinTS Amusements, Hanshew Custom Cues, ABC Supply Co. and GAF.

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.

Cucculelli Upsets Fisher at WPBA Dr Pool Classic

Teruko Cucculelli (Photo courtesy of Erwin Dionisio)

With an 8-5 win over #1 ranked Allison Fisher, Teruko Cucculelli is through to the final eight on the winner’s side at the WPBA Aramith / Dr Pool Classic. 
 
Cucculelli, hailing from Lancaster Ohio, had wins over Suzanne Peters and Jenna Bishoff to get her day started, but those paled in comparison to her win over Fisher. 
 
“I’m elated to have beat the #1 ranked player on tour. I felt very fortunate to capitalize on the opportunities that were given to me. Allison is a true champion and, although i had won the match, she had kind words of encouragement.” said Cucculelli after the match. 
 
Cucculelli will face #8 ranked Jia Li Saturday, while Fisher will wait for the winner between Laura Smith and Maureen Seto on Saturday. Cucculelli and Li are joined on the winner’s side by Jasmin Ouschan, Dawn Hopkins, Brittany Bryant, Taiwan’s Wei Tzu Chien, Jennifer Barretta and Kelly Fisher
 
The WPBA Aramith / Dr Pool Classic is being held at the Central Wisconsin Convention and Expo Center in Rothschild, Wisconsin. Online bracket coverage is available at compusport.us and online streaming of select matches is available at the WPBA’s Youtube page at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCz3nECcig-zgKYfFvkS15hQ

Bishoff takes two out of three versus Kraber to win Jerry Olivier Ladies’ Tour season finale

(l to r): Winner Jenna Bishoff & Tour Champion Kim Pierce

Looking for her second 2019 tour victory, her first having come on the North Central Pool Tour in Illinois (August), Jenna Bishoff shifted south a bit to join the Jerry Olivier Ladies Tour in League City, TX for its 7th tour stop and season finale, where she met up with Jennifer Kraber three times. The last two meetings were in the finals where Bishoff double-dipped Kraber to claim the event title. The $3,000-added event drew 45 entrants to Legends Billiards in League City.
 
Following victories over Natalie Rocha, Yvonne Asher, Ming Ng and Michelle Yim, Bishoff advanced to her first meeting with Kraber in one of the winners’ side semifinals. Kraber had gotten by Regina Gomez, Gail Roles, Aryana Lynch, and Calaia Jackson to draw Bishoff. Kim Sanders, in the meantime, faced off against tour director Teresa Garland in the other winners’ side semifinal.
 
Kraber won the first of three versus Bishoff 7-5 and in the hot seat match, faced Sanders who’d sent Garland west 7-4. Kraber gave up only a single rack to Sanders in the match that followed, winning what proved to be her last match and claiming the hot seat.
 
Over on the loss side, Bishoff picked up Autumn Duncan, who’d been sent to the loss side in the second round by Michelle Cortez in a double hill fight and was in the midst of a seven-match, loss-side winning streak that included recent victories over Belinda Lee 7-1 and Kim Pierce 7-2, and was about to come to an end. Garland drew Janeen Lee, who’d recently eliminated Calaia Jackson and Michelle Cortez, both 7-5.
 
Bishoff’s bid for a rematch against Kraber in the hot seat was almost stopped by Duncan, who battled her to double hill before giving way and settling for the two-way tie for 5th place. Lee, in the meantime, defeated Garland 7-5 to join Bishoff in the quarterfinals.
 
Bishoff then chalked up three straight 7-2 wins; against Lee in the quarterfinals, Sanders in the semifinals and Kraber in the opening set of the true double elimination finals. Bishoff punctuated her run with a shutout over Kraber in the second set of the finals to claim the tour’s season finale title.
 
In what was described as a “battle to the (tour) finish line,” Kim Pierce was announced as the 2019 Jerry Olivier Ladies Tour Champion. Kelly Jones was identified as the tour’s Most Improved Player, while Calaia Jackson picked up the Best Sportsmanship Award; all were awarded trophies for the accomplishment. Pierce and Jones received free entries for 2020. Jackson will receive one free entry. Jennifer Kraber received a $50 scratch-off ticket at the tour’s player with the most break-and-runs. Jackson was identified as the competitor with the season’s most 9-on-the-breaks.
 
Tour representatives thanked Mindy and Craig Cohen and their Legends staff, as well as title sponsor Jerry Olivier Custom Cues and tour affiliates Mz Tam and Strokin’ Billiards.

Bishoff Walks Away with the Win at Red Shoes Billiards

Jenna Bishoff

Red Shoes Billiards in Alsip, Illinois, is known for hosting quality pool tournaments. The weekend of August 24 was no exception. The seventh stop of the year for the North Central Pool Tour (NCPT) was a 10-ball tournament that featured some of the best women players in the region. 
 
Jenna Bishoff, on a break from the road, posted early wins against Laura Bendikas (7-5) and Vanessa Hood (7-2). To secure the hot seat, she battled it out with Amy Latzko, winning on the hill (7-6). Before losing to Bishoff, Latzko cruised through the bracket with wins over Kelly Nickl (7-3) and Laura Semko (7-1). She would best Semko (6-2) again on her way to the finals.
 
In the final set, Bishoff was quickly up 4 to 0, punctuated by a break and run in game 3. Latzko finally got on the board with a win in game 5. And a 1-10-ball combination in game 8 brought her within 2 games of breaking even with Bishoff. But Bishoff took control of the match after that. She won the next 4 games in a row to finish the event with a final score of 9 to 3.  
 
To see the full list of players and bracket, visit leaguepoolestats.com. Players in the money were:
1st Jenna Bishoff ($305)
2nd Amy Latzko ($110)
3rd Laura Semko ($40)
 
More NCPT events–both open and women’s–are in the works for the current year. Watch for upcoming tournament announcements at NCPTplay.com and the NCPT Facebook page.
 

China’s Siming Chen gets by Britain’s Kelly Fisher twice to win 2019 WPBA Masters

Kelly Fisher and Siming Chen (Photo courtesy of WPBA)

In what proved to be her best recorded earnings year, to date (2017), China’s 24-year-old Siming Chen won five major events between March and November, opening with a win at the Amway Cup in Chinese Tapei, followed by victories in the China Open (June), the Dynamic Klagenfurt (part of the Euro Tour in Austria; Oct.)  and a week apart in November, the Women’s World 9-Ball Championships (Nov. 8-11) and the All-Japan Women’s Championship (Nov. 16-26).
 
In the Women’s World 9-Ball Championships that year, there was only one competitor among the top eight finishers who was not from China or Chinese Taipei. That lone competitor, who finished in the four-way tie for 5th place was Britain’s Kelly Fisher. Five months earlier, Fisher had finished in the four-way tie for 5th place at the China Open, sharing the spot with Chihiro Kawahara (Japan), Rubilen Amit (Philippines) and Xiao-Ting Pan (China).
 
And this is just that one year, her best recorded earnings year, to date. Chen’s been winning money on the international pool scene since 2009, when she was 16. All this, by way of an introduction to who she is – the #1-ranked female pool player in the world right now – and why, to no one’s surprise, she went undefeated through a field of 64 entrants to win the 2019 WPBA Masters, held from February 27-March 3 at the Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort in Mount Pleasant, MI. Also to no one’s surprise, Kelly Fisher recovered from an early round loss to Chen and fought back though nine matches on the loss side to face her a second time in the finals.
 
It’s not unusual for fans of the billiard sports to be more keenly attuned to players from their own countries and/or players who compete regularly in their country. We here in the US of A are aware of many female competitors who are not native to this country, but are well-known by virtue of their presence competing (and in some cases, living) here. Allison Fisher (Britain), Karen Corr (Ireland), Kelly Fisher (England), Ga Young Kim (South Korea), and Jasmin Ouschan (Austria), as just a few examples of those who competed at this year’s WPBA Masters. The home-grown female talent on hand was larger and made its presence known, just not for as long, as the visiting competitors flexed their considerable muscle and advanced toward the finals.
 
Jennifer Baretta made it to a winners’ side semifinal (right after defeating Janet Atwell), and made it to the quarterfinals before giving way to Kelly Fisher. Gerda (Hoffstater) Gregerson, a member of the WPBA Hall of Fame, originally from Austria, later from Sweden and currently residing in Charlotte, NC made it to a winners’ side quarterfinal against Siming Chen.
 
Siming Chen’s trip started with the proverbial bang, as she shut out Indiana’s Tonya Wiser and then ran right into Kelly Fisher for the first, though not the last time. Chen gave up only a single rack to Fisher in their first meeting and then defeated Billie Billing 9-1 to arrive at her winners’ side quarterfinal match against Gregerson. A 9-3 victory over Gregerson gave Chen a 36-5 game winning record moving into her winners’ side semifinal match against Jennifer Baretta.
 
Chinese Tapei’s Tzu Chien Wei, in the meantime, who’d cashed in three of the four events won by Siming Chen back in 2017, worked her way through a slightly more resistant field of competitors, downing Caroline Pao 9-2 in her opening match, and Jessica Barnes 9-3 in her second. She then survived a double hill battle against 20-year-old Russian Kristina Tkach to sport a 27-13 game record, going into her winners’ side semifinal match against Allison Fisher.
 
Chen advanced to the hot seat match with a 9-2 win over Baretta, as Wei defeated Fisher 9-5 to join her. Chen claimed the hot seat 9-7 over Wei and waited for what turned out to be the return of Kelly Fisher.
 
Fisher, over on the loss side, was working on a nine-match winning streak that would carry her all the way back to a finals rematch against Chen. She started that trip with three victories in which she gave up only a single rack each to Ewa Mataya Laurance, Caroline Pao and Kaylin Wykoff. Jenna Bishoff put up a bit of a fight in the following round, chalking up more racks against Fisher (5) than her first three loss-side opponents combined. Fisher returned to form with a 9-1 victory over Janet Atwell and then gave up three to Kristina Tkach. This put Kelly Fisher into a match against Allison Fisher, fresh from the winners’ side semifinal.
 
Jennifer Baretta drew Jasmin Ouschan, who’d been defeated by Allison Fisher 9-7 in a winners’ side quarterfinal and then defeated Helena Thornfeldt 9-4 and Line Kjorsvik 9-7 to face Baretta.
 
Everybody got caught up in a double hill fight for advancement to the quarterfinals. Baretta eventually defeated Ouschan, and Fisher eliminated Fisher (that’s Kelly over Allison). Kelly Fisher ended Jennifer Baretta’s run 9-5 in those  quarterfinals and then got wrapped up in another double hill fight, which she won, against Tzu Chie Wen in the semifinals.
 
As she’d describe it later from an airport in Detroit, awaiting a flight to Newark, and eventually, home to England, three matches in a row on that last Sunday just about did Kelly Fisher in, and “the wheels sort of came off.” Siming Chen completed her undefeated run at the 2019 WPBA Masters with an 11-2 victory over Kelly in the finals.
 
WPBA representatives thanked the Soaring Eagle Resort & Casino for their hospitality, as well as sponsors Outsville AccuRack, Aramith, PoolActionTV, Simonis Cloth and Diamond Billiard Products.

Fisher goes undefeated for the second time in a month, winning WPBA Ho-Chunk Classic

Ga Young Kim and Allison Fisher (Photo courtesy of the WPBA)

Fresh off her August 16-19 victory at the NAPT Summer 10-Ball Classic, Allison Fisher proved once again that age is just a number, and a fairly insignificant one at that. On the long weekend of September 13-16, Fisher joined what turned out to be 63 WPBA entrants in a multi-stage/bracket format at the Ho-Chunk Casino in Wisconsin Dells, WI and went undefeated through that field to capture her second title in a month. Fisher had to get by Korea’s Ga-Young Kim twice to claim that title.
 
The multi-stage format of this event created preliminary, 32-entrant rounds of play for 64 invited and seeded players, based on current WPBA standings going into the event. The lower-ranked invitees faced off against each other on Thursday, Sept. 13, in a standard 32-player bracket. Sixteen players, eight on each side of the bracket, emerged and advanced to play against a group of 16 players already selected to compete on Friday. When that Friday bracket came down to a final 16, those 16 advanced to compete against the WPBA’s top 16 players on Saturday (chosen from among the invitees who were able to attend). It was in this third, Saturday bracket that Fisher began her quest for the title.
 
On Thursday in races to 7, Kaylin Wikoff, Caroline Pao, Tonya Wiser, Naomi Williams, Kristie Bacon, Cathy Metzinger, Jia Li, and Jenna Bishoff won two matches each to advance to Friday’s bracket. In her second match, Jia Li downed LoreeJon Hasson 7-5 to get into that winners’ side final eight. Metzinger was among the final eight as the result (in part) of a forfeit by Jeannette Lee in her opening round of play. Lee came back through two rounds of loss-side play to become one of the 16 that advanced to Friday. Hasson won her only match on the loss side of the Thursday bracket and advanced, as well, along with Maria Juana, Lisa Cossette, Susan Wilbur, Sonya Chbeeb, Bonnie Arnold and Stephanie Mitchell.
 
On Friday in races to 8, Pao, Metzinger, and Arnold made it through their second day, winning two matches each to become one of the winners’ side final eight advancing to Saturday. Joining the event for the first time and winning their first two were Maureen Seto, Siming Chen, We Tzu Chien, April Larson and Kia Sidbury. Sidbury was originally scheduled to start on Thursday but a no-show for the tournament led to the 63-entrant field and an opening on Friday, into which she slipped. On the loss side of Friday’s bracket, Juana, Bishoff, Williams, Li, and Jeannette Lee advanced to their third day of competition. Lee had been defeated by April Larson, double hill, in Friday’s opening round and won two to join everybody on Saturday. Also winning two on the loss side and advancing to Saturday were Janet Atwell (defeated by Pao, double hill, in Friday’s opening round), Sara Miller and Robin Parker.
 
On Saturday in races to 8, Fisher said ‘hello’ to everybody and opened with an 8-1 victory over Juana, before running into Jeannette Lee (first of a series of classic women matchups during the day). Lee had defeated Kim Newsome 8-5 to start her day. Fisher defeated Lee 8-4 and then picked up the Texas Tornado, Vivian Villareal, who’d defeated Jennifer Barretta 8-2 in the previous round. An 8-2 win over Villareal sent Fisher to a winners’ side semifinal against Siming Chen, who’d defeated Line Kjorsivik 8-4 and Caroline Pao 8-3 to reach her. Melissa Little and Ga Young Kim squared off in the other winners’ side semifinal.
 
Fisher defeated Chen 8-2 and arrived at the hot seat match with an aggregate score of 32-9 (78%). Kim sent Little to the loss side 8-2, as well, and she came to the hot seat with an aggregate score of 32-14 (69%). Allison claimed the hot seat 8-3 over Kim and waited on her return from the semifinals.
 
On the loss side, Chen picked up Barretta, who was in the midst of a four-match, loss-side winning streak that had included victories over Jeannette Lee (8-5), Jia Li (8-4) and Brittany Bryant 8-5. Little drew The Grinder, teenager April Larson, who’d been defeated by Jia Li on the winners’ side of the final bracket, and was in the midst of a six-match winning streak that would take her as far as the semifinals. Larson had most recently eliminated Vivian Villareal and Caroline Pao, both 8-3.
 
Larson advanced to the quarterfinals with an 8-5 win over Little, and was joined by Chen, who’d defeated Barretta 8-2. Larson took the quarterfinal match over Siming Chen 8-5.
 
Larson’s remarkable run ended in the semifinals, when Kim defeated her 8-5. Kim’s second shot against Fisher, waiting for her in the hot seat, was a tightly contested, double hill battle. Fisher closed it out to claim the WPBA’s 2018 Ho-Chunk Classic.

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. 

Seaver goes undefeated to win her second WPBA Regional Tour Championship

Almost to the day, one year ago, Jeannie Seaver, after 17 years as a competing professional, won her first Women’s Professional Billiards Association Regional Tour Championship. It had taken her just over 17 years and competition in 30+ WPBA events to reach that pinnacle. On the weekend of January 11-14, Seaver defended her 2017 RTC title with an undefeated run through a field of 52 entrants, downing Autumn Duncan twice (hot seat and finals) to earn the title. The $5,000-added event was hosted, as it was the previous year, by Zingale’s Billiard Room and Sports Bar in Tallahassee, FL.
 
Commencing with eight, round-robin ‘flights’ on Thursday and Friday, the 2017 RTC advanced to a final, double elimination bracket of 32 on Saturday, January 13. Seaver got by Terry Petrosino, Roe Guarnero and Ashley Rice to draw Kaylin Wikoff in one of the winners’ side semifinals. Duncan, who’d defeated Vanessa Hood, Kristy Ranalli, and Jenna Bishoff faced Lisa Cosette in the other one.
 
As Saturday turned into Sunday, Seaver got into the hot seat match with a 7-1 victory over Wikoff. Duncan joined her after sending Cosette to the loss side 7-5. Seaver sent Duncan to the semifinals with a 7-3 win that left her in the hot seat.
 
On the loss side, Cosette picked up Kim Pierce, who’d lost her opening round to Jessica Human, and was in the midst of a six-match winning streak that would propel her as far as the quarterfinals. She’d most recently won two straight double hill battles against Ashley Rice and Tam Trinh (loss-side wins #4 & #5) to face Pierce. Wikoff drew Jenna Bishoff, who’d been sent to the loss side by Duncan in a winners’ side quarterfinal, and defeated Guarnero 7-5 and Human 7-3.
 
Pierce advanced to her final match in the quarterfinals with a 7-4 victory over Cossette. Wikoff downed Bishoff 7-3 to join her. Wikoff advanced to what would prove to be her last match with a 7-1 victory over Pierce in those quarterfinals.
 
Duncan and Wikoff locked up in a double hill battle that ended Wikoff’s short, loss-side run, giving Duncan a second shot at Seaver. In a race to 9, Seaver completed her undefeated run with a 9-7 victory to capture her second RCT title.
 
WPBA representatives thanked Michael Zingale and his staff for their hospitality, as well as sponsors Simonis, Aramith and Predator Cues.  

Corr goes undefeated to capture second of three Division I NAPT titles

(l to r): Molly Bontrager, Karen Corr, Eleanor Callado & Jia Li

She won the first one a little over a year ago; June, 2016. In the debut event of the fledgling North American Pool Tour at Breakers Sky Lounge in Herndon, VA, Karen Corr went undefeated through a field of 56 to capture her first and the first NAPT title. Two months later, the NAPT's first 10-Ball Summer Classic saw 16-year-old April Larson claim her first professional title. Just shy of a year later, August 17-20, Corr signed on to the $5,000-added, second 10-Ball Summer Classic and went undefeated again. Though it would be newcomer Molly Bontrager facing her in the hot seat match and veteran Eleanor Callado against her in the finals, Corr came within two matches (played and won by those two) of facing the same competitor she'd faced in the hot seat match and finals of the first 10-Ball Summer Classic, Jia Li.
 
Corr opened her march to the winners' circle by allowing only four racks against her through her first three matches. She gave up two against Amy Latzko in the opening round, none at all to Lisa Lehman in round two and two more against Meredith Lynch before running into Brittany Bryant in a winners' side quarterfinal. Bryant chalked up more against her (five) than all three of her previous opponents combined, but Corr advanced to her first match against Callado in a winners' side semifinal.
 
Molly Bontrager, in the meantime, moved into the other winners' side semifinal against Jia Li, Corr's opponent in the finals of the first NAPT event. Bontrager had shutout Rho Reyes, given up two to Nicole King, defeated five-time Junior National Champion, April Larson, and downed JPNEWT veteran Kia Sidbury for the right to face Li.
 
Corr downed Callado in their first of two, 7-3. Bontrager and Li battled to double hill before Bontrager advanced to the hot seat match against Corr. Corr sent Bontrager to a semifinal against Callado 7-4 and sat in the hot seat, waiting, as it turned out for Callado.
 
Over on the loss side, Callado picked up Sidbury, who, following her defeat at the hands of Bontrager, had eliminated Janeen Lee 7-2 and Kaylin Wykoff 7-3. Li drew Brittany Bryant, who, following her trip to the loss side, courtesy of Karen Corr, had downed Jenna Bishoff 7-2 and fought April Larson to double hill before advancing to face Li.
 
Callado got by Sidbury 7-2, and in the quarterfinals, faced Li, who'd put Bryant on the wrong side of her second double hill fight. Callado then ended Li's bid for a second NAPT finals match against Corr with a 7-4 win. It was Callado drawing that second chance card, as she eliminated Bontrager 7-4 in the semifinals. Corr downed Callado a second time, this time 6-1, to claim the NAPT Summer 10-Ball Classic, again.
 
NAPT President Adrianne Beach thanked the ownership and staff at Shooter's Bar, co-tournament directors Chris Rogers and Ford Rice, and the staff and crew of Railbird Productions which live-streamed the event throughout the weekend. The next NAPT Division I event, scheduled for September 28-October 1, will be hosted by Eagle Billiards in Dickson City, PA