Archive Page

Jasmin Ouschan Ends Fisher’s Run, Wins WPBA Soaring Eagle Masters

Kelly Fisher and Jasmin Ouschan

When Jasmin Ouschan returned to compete in events on the Women’s Professional Billiard Association (WPBA), no fan of the game expected that it would take long for her to reach her stride and return to the top of the results. They would have been right.

Ouschan’s return to the WPBA was in mid March where she turned in an uncharacteristic 17th place finish at the WPBA Northern Lights Classic, Ouschan then travelled to Las Vegas in late March where she finished third in the WPBA Predator event, losing in the semi-finals to Kelly Fisher. The Predator Germany Women’s Open last month was Ouschan’s next major event, and she again lost to Fisher, finishing in 5th place. 

That brings us to the WPBA Soaring Eagle Masters that took place July 22nd – 24th at the Soaring Eagle Casino in Mount Pleasant, Michigan. Ouschan kicked things off with comfortable wins over Susan Williams and June Maiers before drawing Fisher in the winners side final eight. To say that Fisher had been a nemesis to Ouschan this year would be a huge understatement. Fisher has been a nemesis to every player on the tour, as she has won five straight women’s events and not only dominates the Women’s Money List, but is also in the top 10 on the overall Money List for 2022. 

None of those accolades helped her on the table though, as Ouschan toughed out a close 8-6 win to send Fisher to the one loss side. Next up for Ouschan was Florida’s Kaylee McIntosh. Ouschan had eliminated McIntosh from the Vegas event with a lopsided 4-0/4-1 scoreline, but McIntosh’s game has been rising by leaps and bounds all year. “Playing her (Jasmin) in Vegas was my first match against a very well known top rank player and I let the nerves get to me and didn’t play my best game.” said McIntosh. Although McIntosh dropped their rematch 8-4, she says she will learn from it. “This past weekend I again, didn’t play my best against her and it showed. I had many opportunities where I should have gotten out but didn’t. I’m taking my matches against Jasmin as learning experiences. I’m just trying to get over whatever mental hurdle I have when playing her because I have yet to bring my best game against her. I respect her game a lot and look forward to playing her again in the future.”

The hot-seat came down to Ouschan vs WPBA newcomer Margareta Fefilova. Fefilova has recently relocated from Belarus to America and had been patiently waiting for the WPBA to allow her to play on tour. With the recent World Confederation of Billiards Sports decision to lift the ban on Russian and Belarusian players, Fefilova was able to play. While American fans are quickly learning about Fefilova, she is no stranger to the winners circle as she has many top finishes over in Europe. Ouschan took that match 8-5 to sit in the hot-seat and await an opponent. 

On the one loss side, Fisher was on a tear. In back to back matches, she eliminated Caroline Pao, Angeline Ticoalu, Jennifer Barretta, McIntosh and Fefilova to earn her place in the finals against Ouschan. “It was a grueling schedule, playing five matches back to back on the one loss side” said Fisher. The match against McIntosh stuck out for Fisher. “We’ve never played before and she impressed me. She really has got a great game and etiquette! One to watch for the future.” said Fisher. For McIntosh, it was yet another learning experience. “After losing my match to Jasmin I really went into a mindset of ‘I have nothing to lose’. I was getting the opportunity to play the #1 ranked player in the world and not many get to experience that. I played with confidence and I felt as though I could win. Even though I lost, I was extremely happy with my play during the match.” said McIntosh after the match. 

The finals was a repeat of the first clash between Ouschan and Fisher, as the match was decided by small mistakes. “When Jasmin beat me on the winners side, we both played very well. She was playing great and I couldn’t shake her off. That’s pretty much the exact same thing that happened in the final match. There were just a couple little kisses that didn’t work out for me. We both played great and I thought I was playing well enough to win. She was just more consistent and won. It was a well deserved win for her and I guess I will just try to start a new roll in the next one” said Fisher. 

Next up for the ladies on the WPBA, is the CSI / Predator US Pro Billiard Series event on August 17th – 21st and the Cambridge Red Deer Hotel in Alberta Canada. 

Go to thread

Van Boening and Barretta Highlight North American World Games Contingent

The list of North American representatives for the 2022 World Games has now been finalized and a team of six players will represent the continent. 

On the Men’s side, Shane van Boening and Tyler Styer will represent the USA, while John Morra will represent Canada. Van Boening and Styer earned their positions on the list as the top two American players on the BCA Points List.

On the Ladies side, Jennifer Barretta and Monica Webb will represent the USA, and Brittany Bryant will represent Canada. Barretta and Webb were the top two American players on the WPBA points list and Bryant was the top Canadian on that same WPBA points list. 

The 2022 World Games will take place from July 7th – July 17th in Birmingham, Alabama. Competition will take place in 9-Ball, Snooker and 3 Cushion with players representing various countries throughout the world. 

The World Games were last contested in 2017 in Wroclaw Poland with Carlo Biado and Siming Chen winning 9-Ball Gold Medals. Daniel Sanchez won 3 Cushion Gold and Kyren Wilson too Snooker Gold. 

Kelly Fisher downs defending champ Tkach in finals of WPBA Sondheim Kiwanis Invitational

Kelly Fisher

It almost didn’t matter who won.

Almost.

It was just encouraging, not to mention great fun to watch 48 of the world’s best women pool players compete again under the banner of their signature organization, the Women’s Professional Billiards Association (WPBA), for the first time in nearly two years, when many of the same competitors met for the 2020 Ashton Twins Classsic in Alberta, Canada (won by Allison Fisher). The 2021 site for this 2nd Sondheim Kiwanis Invitational (Sept. 10-12) was once again, the Fairfield Convention Center in Fairfield, Iowa, where, two years ago, Taipei’s Tzu-Chien Wei and Russia’s Kristina Tkach met twice, with Wei winning their winners’ side semifinal matchup. Three loss-side matches later, Tkach came back to down Wei in the finals.

This year, in the absence of Tzu-Chien Wei, Tkach went undefeated to the hot seat, having, in an epic battle, sent soon-to-be Hall of Famer Kelly Fisher to the semifinals. Fisher came back from those semifinals and wasted no time establishing a rhythm that had eluded her in the hot seat match and dethroned the event’s defending champion. The $10,000-added event drew 48 invited entrants to the Fairfield Convention Center.

Fisher left Iowa almost immediately for a flight to Philadelphia and subsequent trip to Atlantic City, where today (Tuesday), she took the opportunity to talk about the win. She did so just minutes before facing Tkach again in the second round of Matchroom Sports’ US Open. 

“(Though) I’d been playing in Open events,” she said of her WPBA win, “it was the first all-women’s event since Covid and it was fantastic.”

“It felt quite surreal,” she added, “but within a day, it was like we’d never left.”

Fisher and Tkach were among 16 of the 48 entrants who received automatic entry into the second round. Tkach had to battle right from the start. She opened up against Michelle Monk and then, in order, downed Teruko Cucculelli and Jessica Barnes (for an aggregate score of 24-16) to arrive at her winners’ side semifinal match against Jennifer Baretta. Fisher got by Angela Janic (doing double duty by working the live stream of selected matches), Ashley Burrows, and Monica Webb with a much better aggregate score of 24-6 to arrive at her winners’ side semifinal matchup against Canadian Brittany Bryant, who’d faced Tkach in the quarterfinals of the 2019 event.

There were a number of notable, ‘under card’ matchups on both sides of the bracket in this event. April Larson, for example, the five-time BEF Junior Champion, downed Caroline Pao and Loree Jon Hasson before she was sent to the loss-side by long-time, frequent opponent Brittany Bryant in the winners’ side quarterfinals. Long-time rivals Jeannie Seaver and Stephanie Mitchell met up in the second round. On the loss side, Loree Jon and Line Kjorsvik met up (Kjorsvik advancing), as did Kjorsvik and Bryant (Kjorsvik advancing again). It was April Larson, who ended up stopping Kjorsvik’s loss-side run in a not-so-under-card setting.

Tkach downed Baretta 8-3 to earn her spot in the hot seat match. Fisher joined her after defeating Bryant 8-4. Fisher’s somewhat expected advance through the field hit a ‘speed bump’ in the hot seat match. Tkach chalked up more racks against her than all of her first three opponents combined (8-6) and claimed the hot seat by that score.

Her 24-6 start notwithstanding, Fisher was, as she put it, “off-footed at the start” of her hot seat match versus Tkach and made a couple of mistakes, to include scratching on a couple of occasions.

“It’s frustrating when you’re ‘off’ and can’t put your finger on why,” she said, “and then, when you scratch on top of it . . .”

On the loss side, Baretta picked up April Larson, who’d followed her defeat at the hands of Bryant with victories over two JPNEWT veterans, Kia Sidbury 8-3 and a second win over Caroline Pao 8-4. Bryant ran right into Line Kjorsvik, who had lost her opening round match and was on a six-match, loss-side run that had recently included wins over Loree Jon Hasson 8-4, Gail Eaton 8-5 and Dawn Hopkins 8-1.

Larson moved into the quarterfinals with an 8-5 win over Baretta and was joined by Kjorsvik, who’d survived a double hill battle over Bryant. Larson ended Kjorsvik’s loss-side run 8-6 and turned to face Fisher in the semifinals. Former junior champion and soon-to-be house pro at Stixx and Stones Billiards in Lewisville, TX versus established world champion and soon-to-be-inducted Hall of Famer Kelly Fisher, just itching for a second shot at Tkach in the hot seat.

Larson, known as “The Grinder,” was already looking at one of her top finishes on the ‘pro circuit’ since her final year as a junior competitor in 2016. She’d won the 2nd Annual Ashton Twins Classic a year later, finished in 3rd place at the WPBA’s Ho-Hunk Classic in Minnesota a year after that, and earlier this year, was runner-up to Tkach at the 7th Annual Junior Morris Memorial Shootout in Texas, where she’ll be heading in a couple of weeks to take up that position as house pro at Stixx & Stones. Like Fisher, “The Grinder” was itching for a shot at the young woman against whom she has been competing for some time.

It didn’t happen. Fisher stopped Larson’s four-match, loss-side run with an 8-4 win to earn her shot at Tkach. She gave Larson credit for “coming back at her” in that semifinal and noted that the hot seat loss might have done her a favor.

“It was a good comeback for her,” Kelly said of April’s work in the semifinal. “I did get going in that (semifinal) and it put me in good stead for the final.”

As one might have expected from a world champion, she took full advantage of the opportunity she was provided and wasted no time establishing her credentials in the final matchup. She found the rhythm she needed and gave up only a single match to Tkach in the race-to-10 finals, claiming the event title.

Though wide, final score margins can often mask struggles in the back and forth of individual games, Fisher noted that she got off to a good start and basically, just never looked back. 

“I wanted to play well against (Tkach),” she said. “I didn’t care about win or lose . . . I mean, I care, but for me, it’s more about playing a good match; me, playing well. I started off, broke, ran out and got sharp pretty quickly. I was up 9-0, without an error that I can remember.”

“(Tkach),” she added, “got unfortunate with her break, missed a couple of shots. Things certainly went my way.

Waiting for her next match versus Tkach, which both knew was likely to occur, based on the bracket draws, she reflected on how their soon-to-be lag for the break might take on added significance.

“More than anything, though,” she said. “I just want to play well.”

Representatives of the WPBA thanked the Fairfield Convention Center and its staff for their hospitality, as well as sponsors Diamond Tables, Aramith Balls, Simonis Cloth, Ottumwa Radio, Mad Hatter Billiards, 2nd Avenue Corner Pocket in Cedar Rapids, Seven Roses Inn and Premier Car Rental. They also thanked Daryn J. Hamilton, a member of the WPBA Board of Directors, for acting as a sponsor, promoter and added money to the prize fund. They also extended thanks to Angela Janic, who “figured out how to do the live stream and then did a phenomenal job doing it.” 

DrillRoom, the first AI-powered billiard training app launches a major update

OrangeLoops, a software development company, is launching a new update for DrillRoom, the first mobile application that uses artificial intelligence and augmented reality to track and record shots & misses in pocket billiard drills.

The iOS application provides a wide selection of drills in speed control, shotmaking, cue direction, and positional play. It generates AI-based game stats that players can review after each drill or in their profile’s dashboard. During the experience, players are assisted by a virtual coach that provides audio feedback in real-time.

The update includes, among other improvements:

There’s a new subscription service, called DrillRoom Pro, that includes premium features such as:

Access to DrillRoom Pro is available for USD 4.99/mo or USD 39.99/yr (33% off).

Some feedback from the users:

“As far as using augmented reality to train for pool, many solutions are dicey. DrillRoom has been the best I’ve seen so far. It’s simple to use and works well overall.”

“This is awesome for home training and pool rooms that can use the app on a designated table with a TV close by for casting.”

The developers are working on implementing more community-driven features, such as leaderboards and user-created drills.

The application can be downloaded for free on the App Store. It is available for both iPhone and iPad.

Fisher, going undefeated, wins third straight WPBA Virtual 9-Ball Ghost Challenge

Kelly Fisher

The Dragon Boat Festival may have been in progress in Taiwan during the event, but the ‘beast’ on display at the WPBA’s third Virtual 9-Ball Ghost Challenge (June 21-June 26) was the UK’s Kelly Fisher. As they’d done in the second Virtual 9-Ball Ghost Challenge (June 1-6), Fisher and Taiwan’s Wei Tzu-Chien met in the finals of this one and for the third straight time, Fisher emerged as the event champion. Fisher had to win five on the loss side to face her in the finals of the previous event, but this time, she and Tzu-Chien battled twice; once, vying for the hot seat and then, in the finals. Fisher won both times, chalking up the second- and third-highest scores of the event (126, 125) while Tzu-Chien chalked up the event’s highest score (130) in the semifinals.

As the two played in the hot seat match on Thursday (June 25), Tzu-Chien was reportedly dealing with a highly distracting scenario in Taiwan, which was celebrating its annual Dragon Boat Festival, featuring all sorts of costumed mythical beasts and spectators having a grand time in the local bars. While the camera focused on the table showed no evidence of the gathered crowd, Tzu-Chien was competing in the midst of a lot of distractions. Fisher, not to be outdone in the distraction department, was playing in an un-air-conditioned room, where the temperature was hovering just above the 80s; a circumstance that played itself out on her brow occasionally.

As with previous events, each rack bore the potential for a player to earn either 10 points (for a runout with ball-in-hand after the break) or 15 points (for a runout played without ball-in-hand after the break). A miss in a rack would score the number of balls pocketed prior to the miss. All matches, until the finals, featured 10 racks. Until the semifinals, Fisher was the only player among the event’s 16, to score over 100 points for a single rack. There were 24 total matches played and only six scores over 100; four of them by Fisher and two by Tzu-Chien. Prior to the finals, Fisher averaged 109.75 points per 10 racks. Tzu-Chien, who was awarded a bye in the opening round, reached the semifinals with an average of 88.6 points per rack, but upped that percentage to 99, when she scored 130 points in those semifinals.

Fisher’s path to the hot seat went through LaLe 111-19, Dawn Hopkins 90-81 and in a winners’ side semifinal, Monica Webb 113-98. After her opening round bye, Tzu-Chien defeated Mary Rakin Tam 97-93 and then, in their first of two, she downed Jennifer Barretta 88-76, in the other winners’ side semifinal. Fisher claimed the hot seat with what was, at the time, the event’s highest score 125-81. She ran all 10 racks; five of them with ball-in-hand after the break and five, including the last two, without.

On the loss side, Baretta picked up Hopkins, who, after her defeat at the hands of Fisher in the second round, had defeated Kia Burwell 53-47 and Kris Bacon 75-26. Monica Webb drew event director Angela Janic, who’d been sent to the loss side by Baretta in the second round, and had gone on to eliminate Cheryl Baglin 53-26 and Mary Rakin Tam 67-64.

Baretta, who still sits atop the WPBA’s year-to-date seeding and ranking list (where Wei-Tzu Chien is #3 and Kelly Fisher is #5), defeated Hopkins 87-57, as Webb was busy eliminating Janic 89-48. Baretta and Webb locked up in a nail-biting quarterfinal that eventually sent Baretta (96-93) to the semifinals against Tzu-Chien.

Tzu-Chien found some kind of second, or possibly third gear in those semifinals. She went on to score what would prove to be the event’s highest single score, downing Baretta 130-27 for a second and (including the previous event) third shot against Fisher.

To no avail as it turned out. Together, they chalked up the event’s second and fourth highest score; Fisher checking in with her fourth 100-plus score and the event’s second highest, downing Tzu-Chien 126-103. Fisher ran 10 racks of the 13 in the final, seven of them with ball-in-hand after the break and three, without. Unlike their previous match in the finals of the second event, Wei Tzu-Chien actually finished ahead of Fisher (generally known as “Kwikfire”) in the finals of this one.

“You were faster than me,” Fisher said, chatting after the match. “How come?”

“Because you’re slow,” said Tzu-Chien.

“Slowfire,” commented Fisher.

“You did it again,” said event director, Angela Janic, congratulating Fisher after the finals. “There’s no question that you dominate this format. This thing is made for you.”

“That’s because I’m not any good at safety play, or getting out, or kicking,” said Fisher with a laugh.

The WPBA’s 4th Virtual 9-ball Ghost Challenge will take place July 19-23 and be followed on the weekend of July 31-August 2 with a Tournament of Champions, featuring the top eight players from the four events.

The WPBA thanked all of its fans for watching and supporting this event over the past week, its tournament director, Angela Janic, its behind-the-scenes technical guru Jennifer Hamilton (who celebrated her birthday on the day of this event’s final), its players, scorekeepers and guest commentators.

Fisher comes from the loss side to win second WPBA Virtual 9-Ball Ghost Challenge

After a slow start in which she won two winners’ side matches and was then moved to the loss side by Jeannie Seaver, UK’s Kelly Fisher came back and won five in a row for a shot at Chinese Taipei’s Wei Tzu Chien, waiting for her in the hot seat. Fisher took full advantage of the opportunity she’d created for herself and won her second straight WPBA Virtual 9-Ball Ghost Challenge, held from June 1-6, primarily in the US, but also from the UK (Kelly), Norway (Line Kjorsvik) and Chinese Taipei (Wei Tzu-Chien).

In addition to winning the event for the second time, Fisher also had the highest individual score in both events (120). Each rack, if run from the break, can represent either 10 or 15 points, depending on whether you take BIH after the break (10) or you don’t (15). If you fail to run the rack, you score the number of balls you did pocket in that rack. In this second event, the field of 16 averaged 64.43 points per rack (3,737 total points over 29 matches featuring 58 players). Though she’d fail to score above 90 points in her first two matches (85, 81) Fisher would finish the event (eight matches, 83 racks) with an average of 94.6 per match, which was achieved, in part, by scoring over 100 in two of her last three matches and 99 in a fourth.

Fisher seemed to be headed in the wrong scoring direction at the outset, as she defeated Kristie Bacon 85-46 in the opening round and was then defeated by Jeannie Seaver 87-81. Wei Tzu-Chien moved into the hot seat match with a 93-59 win over Seaver and was met by Webb, who’d sent Little to the loss side 88-28. In one of only three matches (Fisher scored the other two) that saw either competitor score over 100 points, Chien claimed the hot seat over Webb 107-74.

Over on the loss side, Seaver ran into Line Kjorsvik, who’d been sent to the loss side by Jennifer Barretta in a 74-73 nail biter in the opening round and was working on a three-match, loss-side winning streak that saw her send Dawn Hopkins (97-76), Ashley Burrows (73-63) and Kristie Bacon (61-45) home; check that, they were already home. It was Little who had the misfortune of running into Fisher, working on her (eventual) five-match, loss-side streak, having eliminated Kia Sidbury 86-36, and in a rematch featuring the winner and runner-up of the first event’s hot seat and finals, Jennifer Barretta 93-62.

Seaver advanced into the quarterfinals with a 70-66 win over Kjorsvik. Fisher joined her after eliminating Little 99-34. Seaver ended up as the unfortunate competitor on the other side of the event’s highest score (120-81) in those quarterfinals.

Fisher slipped a little in the semifinals that followed. Her loss side average dropped from 99.5 down to 95.6 when she defeated Webb 80-57 in those semifinals. Though she’d not maintained her high average, she’d prevailed for a chance to win it all.

“I feel good,” said Fisher at the conclusion of her match against Webb. “I had a little trouble in the last couple of matches, but so it goes; a couple of awkward layouts, a couple of unforced errors and a couple of silly errors.

Fisher’s reputation, as represented by her nickname (Kwikfire), was enhanced by her work in the finals. In the extended race to 13 racks, she was done, with a score of 113, as Tzu-Chien was preparing to break her 9th rack, having already scored 68 points. The dynamic of this created something of a nail-biter for Fisher, as she watched Tzu-Chien draw closer in the final racks. Those watching the stream watched Fisher, watching Tzu-Chien.

Tzu-Chien took ball-in-hand at the start of rack #9 and ran the table to bring her score to 78; 35 points away from Fisher with four racks to go and needing to score an average of 9 points per remaining rack to defeat Fisher. Tzu-Chien snookered herself shooting at the 6-ball in rack #10, and missed the shot, giving her 83 points total; 30 points away with three racks to go. If she were to use the ball-in-hand option for the remaining three racks and assuming a successful runout of each of them, she’d tie Fisher at 113 and the event would move to a rack-by-rack tie breaker.

Tzu-Chien took BIH in the 11th rack, but missed a shot after dropping four. Now at 87 points, Tzu-Chien would need to run the final two racks without BIH. Running one rack with and one rack without BIH would net her 112 points, one shy of a tie.

She broke the 12th rack and as it was her only option, she began her run without BIH. With Fisher watching anxiously, she ran to the 9-ball and then missed it. She scored only eight points, for a total of 95, which put the win out of reach. She broke the 13th rack anyway, dropped a single ball and missed the next one to finish the match.

For the second time, Fisher had nothing but praise for the WPBA and the individuals who organized and coordinated this and the previous ghost challenge events.

“I know it’s a tough schedule for you,” Fisher told event organizer Angela Janic and fellow stream commentator, Dawn Hopkins at the conclusion of the week-long event. “We really do appreciate all your hard work. It allows us to play, to do what we enjoy doing, and what we do for a living. Without you guys we couldn’t do that, so we really do appreciate it.”

Fisher and runner-up Wei Tzu-Chien are long-time opponents and friends and noting this friend’s frustration at the end of the match, Fisher suggested to the woman she knows as “Wei-Wei” to not say what she was thinking.

“I can’t speak English, right now,” said Tzu-Chien. “There is an appropriate Chinese term for what just happened.”

“Aiyee ya!!,” she added.

2020 Derby City Classic 9-Ball – Jennifer Barretta Vs. Joey Korsiak

Barretta and Thorpe Wins Highlight Derby City Day Eight

Jennifer Barretta (Photo courtesy of Dave Thomson – Mediumpool.com)

Diamond Derby City Classic XXII, January 24-Feb.2, 2020
 
Caesars Southern Indiana, Elizabeth, IN
 
This just in! The All Around Champion leaderboard has Billy Thorpe ahead of Orcollo by 4.2 points.
 
DIAMOND 9-BALL CHAMPIONSHIP
 
David Thomson
 
408 entrants. 9 on the spot, compliant break, Outsville Template Rack.
 
Jennifer Barretta vs. Joey Korsiak was the nail-biter of the day in the Accu-Stats Arena.
 
Jennifer proved fighting fit as she overcame a 4-1 deficit to tie the match at 7.
 
On the 8, which would have, put her on the hill, alas, she mis-cued. 
 
Joey, with only 2 balls to pocket, captured that spot and was soon breaking. Then, mid-rack, it was his turn to commit the unforgivable. He missed a makable ball in the side.
 
Jennifer, exercising perfect fundamentals, looked like she’d been coached at Mark Wilson’s pool school. With grace and poise, she, calmly, closed out the rack.
 
Barretta, now battle ready, broke the last rack. It was compliant. Composed and considerate, she negotiated the layout with extraordinary ease. Within moments, she was straight in on the 9. There was no chance of mishap now. Smiling and relaxed, she powered the remaining orb home. 9-8.
 
More action in the Accu-Stats TV Arena had Corey’s .887 Total Performance Average(TPA) over Mika’s .796 pretty much speak for itself. 9-5, 
 
Then, Skyler Woodward and Omar Al Shaheen had the audience’s attention.
 
Omar, empowered by his decent performance in Banks and One Pocket, was in his comfort zone and never wandered from the task.
 
Skyler, playing catch-up was about to tie the match at 7 when he hooked himself, missed the kick and Shaheen was on the hill and on his way upward. 9-6.
 
They would meet again in the evening’s Banks Ring game.
 
Shane Van Boening, Joshua Filler, Justin Bergman, LeeVann Corteza, Justin Bergman are all undefeated.
 
Efren Reyes was removed by John Demet and Mieszko Fortunski, who gave Melling his first loss as did Jayson Shaw to Konrad Juszczyszyn.
 
Konrad, having his best result ever, later eliminated Melling who had been sent to the booth by Jesus Atencio.
 
German Can Salim canned Jeff DeLuna, and Shaw, to be later eliminated by Filler.
 
Lee Vann Corteza exited Olinger, Immonen, and Bustamante. Dennis Orcollo got Gomez and Tyler Styer.
 
Chris Melling had sent Corey Deuel buying back.
 
Billy Thorpe, before being ejected by Japan’s Naoyuki Oi, had gotten Max Eberle who had sent Tim DeRuyter home.
 
Justin Bergman removed Marty Turpin and later handed Tyler Styer his 1st loss and much later, removed Omar.
 
Francisco Bustamante relieved Evan Lunda.
 
James Aranas got over Josh Roberts and, fellow countrymen be damned, killed Bustamante and Kiamko.
 
Last Chance for 9-Ball. It commences at noon, the Finals at night.
 
Check out the schedule at Accu-Stats.com.
 
FRIDAY NIGHT BANKS RING GAME
 
Featuring Skyler Woodward, Billy Thorpe, Jayson Shaw, Jonathan Demet, Justin Hall and Omar Al Shaheen.
 
Billy Thorpe strikes again. At $800 a ball, Skyler Woodward couldn’t contain him, but it took a while.
 
$1500 ante, Diamond added $3k, equals $12,000.
 
The difference this year, rather than the winner take all, they were paying $8k for first and $4k for second.
 
The last 2 standing played ’til one gutted the other and was declared the winner.
 
The action began at $50 a ball. Every 3 racks they would reshuffle the order and the $s would raise to 100, 200, 400, etc.
 
The shocker was that Shaw was the first to go, followed swiftly by Demet, then last year’s Banks semi-finalist Omar Al Shaheen. By $300 per orb, Hall was bankrupt. That left Skyler and Billy battling for the cash.
 
Woodward had $5700 and Billy had $3300. 3 racks later, The bank rolls were reversed and it was Sky $5700, Billy $3300.
 
That’s when the bloodbath began. at $700 a ball, Billy moved into slaughter mode. The sky was falling in on Woodward and with $2100 to Billy’s $6900, the action raised to $800.
 
Sky had 2 and a half bullets. Billy, smelling blood, upped it to smiling assassin mode and soon had the moolah!
 
Then it was all hugs and beers, back to good buddies and, “What time’s your 9-Ball match?”
 
Don’t miss a stroke at accu-stats.com
 
Accu-Stats thanks its Arena Sponsors: Diamond Billiards, Simonis Cloth, Cyclop Balls, Cuetec Cues, Cue and Case, MEZZ Cues, McDermott Cues, National Billiard Academy.

Thorpe Downs Hall for Derby One Pocket Title

Billy Thorpe (Photo courtesy of Dave Thomson – Mediumpool.com)

Diamond Derby City Classic XXII, January 24-Feb.2, 2020
 
Caesars Southern Indiana, Elizabeth, IN
 
David Thomson
 
DIAMOND ONE POCKET CHAMPIONSHIP
 
Race to 3, 365 entries, 1 man standing.
 
Billy Thorpe and Justin Hall put on a competitive one-pocket display that will be praised for decades. It can truly be said that it was unfortunate that there was only one winner. They both played their hearts out.
 
There were no signs of the weakness that being in a final can sometimes induce. No unnecessary tension created by considering the outcome. These free-stroking athletes were celebrating their mastery in the moment!
 
The two gallant young guns, aggressive from the get-go, could not be contained. In the opening racks, they both ran 8.
 
Yet, it was the intrepid Billy “Torpedo” Thorpe, now a 2 time DCC One Pocket Champion, who prevailed.
 
And, like a torpedo, he attacked from the depths to undermine the one-pocket skillset that Justin employed to tie the match at 2.
 
Hall also had the benefit of the break. The break is huge in one pocket. It’s like the power of the opening move in chess, You have to defend. Billy became the underdog.
 
Hall spread the balls well as they rippled toward his pocket.
 
Billy leapt to the table. It appeared that one may have leaked out.
 
This was no time for doubt. His Cuetec carbon fiber shaft powered the Cyclop across the ice blue Simonis. The audience gasped at his spunk.
 
Justin was first to observe as the ball sped, unobstructed,  into the back of the tight, Diamond pro-cut pocket.
 
What Billy proceeded to achieve is a rack for the ages. 
 
Justin’s strategy couldn’t be faulted. One millimeter of a roll and he was rendered powerless as he experienced Billy’s superlative ability in action, Only moments ago, Justin was in the vanquishing seat. Now, he saw his hopes vanish, one ball at a time.
 
8 and out. 3-2. Billy’s dream accomplished; Justin’s nightmare corroborated. 
 
Justin’s road to the finals included an encounter with Joshua Filler in the Accu-Stats TV Arena. Joshua’s Straight Pool pattern play, bank power, and shotmaking were in fine form. And, his “moving” improving. This match would be the test. 
 
Justin “Hollywood” Hall, 2012 Southern Classic Bank Pool and One-Pocket Champion, unblemished, still had his buy-back. The reason being he had obliterated everyone in his path.
 
He can, obviously, bank, he’s aggressive and will attack with calculated risk, as long as there is an exit plan. It’s “moving” where he excels.
 
That’s what got him to 2.1, and ahead 7 balls to 6 in the 3rd.
 
The moment that swung the match was when Filler’s fine execution of a formidable bank incurred a truly freaky scratch. Instead of 2-2, Hall had ball-in-hand anywhere behind the headstring. And, a spot shot! He hasn’t missed one of those since the Clinton era. 3-1. 
 
Filler should be commended for garnering such a high finish in this field of landmines. With some expert guidance, like Melling and Shaw, he could be a one-pocket contender.
 
Meanwhile, out in the Diamond Arena, The rumors that the, aforementioned, Melling’s prowess is improving were rumbling thru the hallways. Just ask the baffled 2013 Southern Classic One-Pocket Champion Justin Bergman who had just shaved a few whiskers from Al Shaheen. And, Gomez, who outblasted Jayson Shaw’s ambitions.
 
Hall had also routed the personable Robert Frost who had waxed poetic to the final 6.
 
And, what about this 21-year-old, Jesus Atencio who had swum so far upstream in his first ever DCC 1-Pocket event? It had taken Billy to tame the fearless Latino invader.
 
Then, there were 4. 
 
Melling and Gomez found each other again on the Accu-Stats TV table while Thorpe and the unbeaten Hall were designated in the Diamond Arena.
 
Both Melling and Gomez had rallied on their excellent safety, banking, and shotmaking skills. But, now that they were alone, Without the guidance of a “mover,” you could see they were fish out of water. They were first to admit, in some instances, they had no idea what to do.
 
It was Melling who committed the ultimate one-pocket cardinal sin. With ball-in-hand, he pocketed a ball in his opponent’s pocket while playing shape on another which left a perfect bank for Gomez. Those 2 balls, cost him that game and any further advancement.
 
You can be sure that they will enter, again, next year.  Success is addicting.
 
And then there were 3, Billy, Justin, and Roberto.
 
Billy’s 3-1 defeat of Justin demanded that he buy back.
 
Billy drew the bye. Justin derailed Roberto’s route at 3-0…in 37 minutes. They were playing real one-pocket now.
 
And, that’s how Thorpe and Hall rode to the hottest seat in Caesars Southern Indiana.
 
The All Around Champion points are adding up with Billy’s One-Pocket and Orcollo’s Banks results bounding up the leaderboard.
 
DIAMOND 9-BALL CHAMPIONSHIP
 
Efren got handed his first loss in the 2nd round by John Demet who also had a decent finish in the Banks event. Efren laughed, “He played good. I no lucky.”
 
Jeffrey DeLuna moved Maksim Dudanets to the one loss side, ditto with Tyler Styer and Michael Delawder.
 
The ladies are competing in the cosmopolitan field including: Kristina Tkach, Pia Filler, and, our very own, Jennifer Barretta.
 
We’ll have plenty more tomorrow.
 
9-Ball commences at noon. Check out the schedule at Accu-Stats.com
 
FRIDAY NIGHT BANKS RING GAME
 
Derby’s most casual cutthroat assembly clash in the murderer’s row of bankers in the, no safeties allowed, winner-take-all bloodfest.
 
Not to be missed!
 
Featuring Skyler Woodward, Billy Thorpe, Jayson Shaw, Jonathan Demet, Justin Hall, Omar Al Shaheen.
 
Don’t miss a stroke at accu-stats.com
 
Accu-Stats thanks its Arena Sponsors: Diamond Billiards, Simonis Cloth, Cyclop Balls, Cuetec Cues, Cue and Case, MEZZ Cues, McDermott Cues, National Billiard Academy.
 
 
 

Barretta Takes Top WPBA Points List Spot

Jennifer Barretta (Courtesy of Erwin Dionisio)

For Jennifer Barretta, it was a long journey and reaching the top of the hill came at a time when her mind was furthest from it. 
 
Barretta reached the number 1 position on the WPBA points list at the conclusion of the recently completed Ashton Twins Classic in Alberta Canada. Barretta had taken the hot-seat in the event, with a hill-hill win over WPBA Legend Allison Fisher. It was her first career WPBA hot-seat, and her first WPBA final match. Unfortunately, she came up short in the rematch with Fisher in the finals.
 
“It was bittersweet because I found out about becoming number 1 while I was crying my eyes out about losing in the finals in Calgary” said Barretta. 
 
“After nearly fifteen years on the tour, Barretta said she wasn’t even thinking about her points list position. “It came as a complete surprise. I look back on my journey, and I always say that if I knew how much there was to learn, I never would have started. I finally feel like I’ve mastered the game, and although there are small things left for me to learn, I never thought I’d be able to say that.” she said. 
 
While Barretta says many people helped her with mechanics, sighting and other physical parts of the game, she gives credit to Stu Mattana for all of her position play, strategy, kicking, and defense. “None of this could have happened without my coach and mentor, Stu Mattana”