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Williams goes undefeated to win her second 2022 DFW 9-Ball Ladies Tour stop

Jessica Demello, Tara Williams and April Gonzales

Veteran Williams and rookie, April Gonzales meet in hot seat and finals

In eight of the 12 years that Tara Williams has been competing in regional tours and professional tournaments, there have only been a handful of times when at least once in a given year, she didn’t finish as either the winner or runner-up at one tournament or another. She won 12 stops in four years on the OB Cues Ladies Tour, including one each in her first two (known) years competing on the tour (’09, ’10). The other 10 wins came in two years; six in 2015 and four in 2016, ahead of a hiatus from (recorded) competition in 2017 and 2018. It took her a while to get back into a groove when she came back. She won a stop on the Jerry Olivier Ladies Tour in 2020 and earlier this year, won her first stop on the DFW 9-Ball Ladies Tour.

This past weekend (July 9-10), she recorded her second win on the DFW Ladies Tour, leading one to speculate that she’s more or less back in stroke, working toward the level of consistency she exhibited midway through the new century’s second decade. Time will tell. This past weekend’s $500-added tour stop #4 drew 24 entrants to Rusty’s Billiards in Arlington, TX.

After a bye, Williams won her two opening matches against a pair of Jennifers, Cayot and Hooten, both 7-2, to arrive at a winners’ side semifinal against Krystle Suarez. Her eventual opponent in both the hot seat and finals, 14-year-old April Gonzalez, who competes in both the 18U and 13U Girls division of the Junior International Championships (she turned 14 in the middle of the JIC’s 2nd season), got by Jacky Halper 4-2 and shut out Jennifer Kim to face Rachelle Dytko in the other winners’ side semifinal.

Williams sent Suarez to the loss side 7-5, while Gonzales and Dytko locked up in a double hill fight that eventually sent Gonzales to join Williams in the battle for the hot seat. Gonzales forced a deciding game in the hot seat match, as well, but Williams prevailed 7-3 (Gonzales racing to 4) to claim the hot seat. 

On the loss side, Dytko drew Hooten, who’d followed her lost to Williams with victories over Jacky Halper 4-1 and Amber Stice, double hill. Suarez picked up Jessica Demello, who’d lost her winners’ side quarterfinal to Dytko and followed that with wins over Becky Smith 4-2 and Jennifer Cayot 4-2.

Demello and Dytko advanced to their rematch in the quarterfinals; Demello, downing Suarez 4-5 (Suarez racing to 7) and Dytko, surviving a double hill match versus Hooten. Demello won the first of two straight double hill matches for her, defeating Dytko in their quarterfinal rematch, but fell to Gonzales in the semifinals.

After three straight double hill matches (winners’ side semifinal win, hot seat loss and semifinal win), Gonzales put up a fight in her rematch against Williams. She came within a game of a fourth double hill match, but Williams pulled out in front to claim the event title 7-2 (Gonzales racing to 4).

Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Rusty’s Billiards, as well as sponsors Fort Worth Billiards Superstore, Kamui and Doc’s Billiard Office. The next stop on the DFW 9-Ball Ladies Tour, scheduled for the weekend of September 10, will be hosted by Stixx & Stones in Lewisville, TX.

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Suarez wins eight on the loss side, double dips Soto in finals of DFW Tour experiment

Tina Soto, Orietta Strickland & Krystle Suarez (Photo courtesy Jesse Garcia . Bound by Imagination)

With the idea of introducing a Ladies Division into their 2020 schedule, the Dallas/Fort Worth 9-Ball Tour ran a ‘trial run’ event on Saturday, September 28. It was, according to tour representatives, a success and plans are moving ahead to include four or five events in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. The trial event was won by Krystle Suarez, who, after being awarded a bye in the opening round, was defeated in the second round by Tina Soto, won eight on the loss side and then met and double dipped Soto in the finals to claim the event title. The event drew 35 ladies to Rusty’s Billiards in Arlington, TX.
 
Soto, who’d won her opening round versus Jennifer Hooten, advanced after her defeat of Suarez to send Phoebe Simon and Tam Trinh to the loss side and faced Corina Campbell in one of the winners’ side semifinals. Orietta Strickland squared off against Jessica Demello in the other one.
 
Soto and Campbell locked up in a double hill fight that eventually advanced Soto to the hot seat match. Strickland joined her after shutting Demello out. With Strickland racing to 7, Soto claimed the hot seat 5-5 and waited for Suarez to complete her loss-side run.
 
On the loss side, Campbell drew a re-match against Ricki Casper, whom she’d sent to the loss side in a third-round double hill battle. Casper was in the midst of six-match, loss-side winning streak that had recently included two straight shutouts over Christa Ramon and Nina Dolman. Demello picked up Suarez, five matches into her loss-side streak, having recently shut out Jennifer Pavlovick and downed Alicia Stanley 7-4.
 
Casper extended her loss-side streak, as she successfully navigated her rematch versus Campbell 6-1. Suarez joined her in the quarterfinals with a 7-2 victory over Demello.
 
Suarez ended Casper’s loss-side journey 7-2 in those quarterfinals and then earned her rematch against Soto with a 7-5 victory over Strickland in the semifinals. She and Soto battled to double hill in the opening set of the true double elimination finals, forcing a second set. Suarez upped her game a bit in the second set, shutting Soto out to claim the trial run of the DFW 9-Ball Tour’s Ladies Division.
 
Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Rusty’s Billiards, as well as sponsors Predator Cues, OB Cues, Fort Worth Billiards Superstore, and the Dallas 8-Ball League. The next stop on the DFW 9-Ball Tour, scheduled for October 19-20, will be hosted by the Billiard Den in Richardson, TX.