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Ng goes undefeated to win Women’s Open Division of 46th Annual Texas Open

Ming Ng (Photo courtesy Jerry Olivier Pool Tour)

The two finalists at the $1,000-added Women’s Open Division of the 46th Annual Texas Open were coming off recent victories. Ming Ng had chalked up a win on the Gulf Coast Women’s Regional Tour in June, while her finals opponent, Taylor Hansen had won a Division I Pro event on the North American Pool Tour (NAPT) in mid-August. It was the second time in a little over two weeks that 20-year-old Taylor Hansen squared off against an opponent who’d been competing as long as she’d been alive. In August, Hansen defeated Eleanor Callado in the finals of the NAPT’s 4th Summer Classic. This time, though, the veteran prevailed. Ming Ng went undefeated through the field of 32, meeting and defeating Hansen in the finals to claim the event title.
Though Ng had a pair of relatively easy opening matches in this event, downing Nicole McDaniel and Tracie Voelkering, both 7-1, things tightened up pretty quickly. Robyn Petrosino managed more racks against her than Ng’s first two opponents combined (three), as Ng advanced to a winners’ side semifinal against Chris Fields. Ellen Robinson, in the meantime, who’d been challenged, double hill, by Courtney Peters in the opening round, shut out Michelle Abernathy in the second and sent Teresa Garland to the loss side 7-3 in the third, faced Taylor Hansen in the other winners’ side semifinal.
Both matches for advancement to the hot seat match went double hill, as did the hot seat match. It was Ng and Robinson who advanced as Hansen and Fields moved to the loss side. Ng claimed the hot seat, double hill, over Robinson and waited on Hansen’s return.
On the loss side, Chris Fields picked up Liz Galvan, who’d been defeated by Julia Rapp in the event’s opening round of play and was in the midst of a five-match, loss-side winning streak that was about to end, and had most recently included victories over Teresa Garland, double hill, and Kim Pierce 7-5. Taylor Hansen drew Jennifer Kraber, whom she’d faced at the end of the Texas Open’s Women's 10-Ball ring game. Kraber and Hansen ended up splitting 1st and 2nd in that event.  In the Women’s event, Kraber had been sent to the loss side by Chris Fields, double hill, in a winners’ side quarterfinal and then eliminated Nicole McDaniel 7-3 and Robyn Petrosino, double hill, to draw Hansen.
Fields advanced to the quarterfinals 7-2 over Galvan and was joined by Hansen, who’d defeated Kraber 7-5. Hansen then shut Fields out, advancing to a rematch against Robinson in the semifinals.
Hansen defeated Robinson 7-3 and came within a game of forcing a deciding match in the finals against Ng. Ng, though, edged out in front and won it 7-5 to claim the 46th Annual Texas Open Women’s title.
Co-tour directors James Davis, Sr. and John Palmore thanked Sue and John Cielo and their Skinny Bob’s Billiards staff, as well as Sleep Inn, Mints Amusement, and James Hanshew. They also acknowledged Ray Hansen and his PoolActionTV crew for the live stream of the event throughout the long weekend.

Casper goes undefeated to win inaugural Texas Open 10-Ball Ladies Championship

Ricki Casper

Fresh off a third place finish in the WPBA's Regional Tour Championships (RTC) in January, at which she was defeated in the semifinals by the eventual champion, Jeannie Seaver, Ricki Casper moved on to Texas and went undefeated through a field of 37, on-hand to compete in the inaugural Ladies event of the Texas Open 10-Ball Championships. The $500-added event, held on the weekend of February 16-19, was hosted by Skinny Bob's Billiards in Round Rock, TX.
Casper faced Jennifer Kraber twice in this inaugural event; once in the hot seat and again, in the finals. Casper advanced through the field to a winners' side semifinal against Julia Rapp, as  Kraber faced Gail Eaton (runner-up to Seaver in that RTC) in the other winners' side semifinal. Kraber downed Eaton 7-5, and in the hot seat match, faced Casper, who'd sent Rapp to the loss side 7-4. Casper took her first of two against Kraber 7-5 and sat in the hot seat, awaiting her return.
On the loss side, Eaton picked up Kim Sanders, who'd gotten by Kawania Watson 7-3, and Michelle Cortez 7-4 to reach her. Rapp drew Sophia Lopez, who'd just eliminated Kim Nguyen 7-2 and Nancy French 7-3.
Eaton downed Sanders 7-3, and in the quarterfinals, faced Lopez, who'd made Rapp's presence on the loss side a single-match trip with a 7-5 win. Eaton ended Lopez' loss-side journey 7-4, and then fell to Kraber 7-5 in the semifinals. Eaton would add $500 to her $300 for third place in the Ladies event by being the top female finisher in the Open event. Casper took the opening set of what would have been a true double elimination final 7-4 over Kraber to claim the inaugural event title.

The Texas Tornado chalks up her third straight Texas Open title

Jennifer Kraber and Vivian Villarreal

Vivian Villarreal, who'll be spearheading her own Tornado Open tournament at the end of the month (September 30 – October 4), took time out from what must certainly be a flurry of activity in preparation, to chalk up her third straight Texas Open title on Labor Day weekend. The $2,000-added Ladies event drew a full field of 32 entrants, and was run concurrently with a $7,000-added Open event that drew a full-field 128, and was won by Skyler Woodward (separate story).
Villarreal's march to the winners' circle was almost (a relative word, of course) derailed in the finals by Jennifer Kraber, a frequent 'flyer' on the OB Cues Ladies Tour, and payout lists for 15 years. Kraber's threat came from deep on the loss side, as she lost her third round match, double hill, to Belinda Calhoun, and embarked on a five-match winning run to get to those finals.
Calhoun, in the meantime, advanced to a winners' side semifinal against Villarreal, while always-a-threat Liz Lovely faced Kim Sanders in the other one. Combined, Lovely and Villarreal gave up a single rack in those semifinals (Lovely gave it up to Sanders). Villarreal kept the trend alive by giving up only a single rack to Lovely in the hot seat match. One win away from her third straight Texas Open, the Texas Tornado idled in the hot seat, and watched as Kraber completed her loss-side run.
Kraber had defeated Julia Rapp 7-3 and Gail Eaton 7-2, when she ran into Sanders, coming over from the winners' side semifinal. Calhoun, coming over, picked up Ming Ng, recent winner over Nicole McDaniel 7-3 and Chris Fields 7-5. Ng eliminated Calhoun 7-4, as Kraber got locked up in a double hill fight against Sanders. Kraber prevailed to face Ng in the quarterfinals.
Ng came within a game of forcing Kraber into her second straight double hill match, but Kraber advanced 7-5, to get locked up in a double hill battle versus Lovely in the semifinals. Kraber advanced again, this time, facing a Tornado, she was going to have to defeat twice to claim the event title.
In a tight match, Villarreal and Kraber battled, while Charlie Bryant and Robb Saez were competing at an adjacent table in the semifinals of the Men's event. Villarreal reached the hill at 6-4, and in the 11th rack, was shooting at the 9-ball. It rattled (or, as PoolActionTV commentators would often say, "boinged') in a corner pocket, allowing Kraber to sink it and draw within a game of double hill, and two, to force a second set. Villarreal put a stop to any such notion and finished it at 7-4.

Williams Rides the Wave on Gulf Coast Tour

Tara Williams and Jennifer Kraber

First-time competitor on the Gulf Coast Women’s Regional Tour, Fort Worth’s own Tara “Firecracker” Williams, came out firing at the ladies 9-ball event held at Skinny Bob’s Billiards in Round Rock, Texas, on Sunday, August 23rd, 2015. Williams fought her way through a talented field of 29 women, overcoming the 2014 defending champion Jennifer Kraber in the final, 5-4, to capture her first-ever, Gulf Coast Regional Tour title. 
Skinny Bob’s Billiards, along with tour sponsors Delta-13 Rack, and the APA of North Harris County, facilitated another successful event for the ladies, who competed for over $1,000 in prize money, in a one-day competition! It was the fourth stop on this year’s acclaimed Gulf Coast Tour, the sanctioned WPBA Regional Tour which emerged with its fledgling season in 2013, and has accumulated the largest WPBA member following of the (13) regional tours, to date. With 43 WPBA Memberships under its belt, and 6 major stops in 2015, the Gulf Coast Tour is looking towards expansion in 2016.  “Our goal is to build the Gulf Coast Tour organization through WPBA Memberships ($25 annually) which provide a laundry list of perks for our players. WPBA Membership is required to participate on our tour, but there are no other fees other than our $25 entry fee. We’re making this tour work through solidarity and sponsorship. WPBA Regional Tours are the grass-roots network that feed the women’s pro billiard tour, and that means continuously building our WPBA member base in order for all these pieces to expand, as a whole. It’s about getting the word out through press releases, social media, and business relationships, inside and outside of our industry”, states Kimberly Newsome, regional tour director, WPBA President and Touring Pro. “The WPBA will celebrate its 40th Anniversary in 2016, and we look forward to a very special year!”
Players came out in full force, with a near 50% increase over last year’s attendance. Local favorites included Jennifer Kraber, Kim Sanders, Julia Rapp, Veronica “Pistol Perez” Perez, and Kim “Texas Heat” Pierce. The road to the winners’ side final four saw Williams defeat Houston’s Tangela Hunt, 5-2, D’Andrea McQuirter, 5-1, and Angie Payne, 5-2, as Pierce made her way with wins over Rapp, 5-3, Loretta Lindgren, 5-2, and Perez, 5-0. Kraber ousted Teresa Garland, 5-4, Francis Marron, 5-0, and Tam Trinh, 5-1, while Michelle Cortez blew past Jennifer Yo, 5-2, Julie Enzensperger, 5-1, and Erica Hanlon, 5-2. Pierce fell to Williams, 5-1, while Cortez bested Kraber, 5-3, staging a Williams versus Cortez hot seat match. On the one loss side, after a second round loss to Hanlon, 5-1, Alicia Huff won an impressive four consecutive matches, eliminating Hunt, 4-0, Enzensperger, 4-1, Perez, 4-2, and Rapp 4-1. Lindgren also made a strong bid on the one loss side, with wins over Liz Mitchel, 4-3, Garland, 4-2, and Hanlon, 4-1, before falling to Trinh, 4-0. It was Kraber over Huff, 4-0, and Pierce eliminated Trinh, 4-3. Hot seat action witnessed Williams defeat Cortez, 5-1, while Kraber bested Pierce, 4-1. The defending champion blew past Cortez in similar fashion, 4-1, to tee off with Williams in the final round. In the first set of the true, double elimination final, Kraber’s momentum was unwavering, but Williams was determined to make her mark. Both players were closing in, but it was Williams who captured the final game to win the set, 5-4. Congratulations to Tara “Firecracker” Williams on her first Gulf Coast Tour win!
The Gulf Coast Tour will host its first $1,000 added 10-ball event and 2016 Masters Qualifier on September 12TH-13TH at Bogies Billiards & Sports Bar (3040 FM 1960 E). This will be the Gulf Coast’s first-ever, $1,000 added, 2-day event, and all members are encouraged to bring a new player in order to increase attendance! To view the event flyer, visit For more information about the Gulf Coast Women’s Regional Tour, contact Kimberly Newsome at 713.825.1411.

What’s Hot at 41st Annual Texas Open 9-Ball Championship

What does a pistol dream? To be Smoking HOT! I know some pool players that are looking for their chance to prove how hot they can be at this year’s Texas Open 9-ball championship. It is going to be fun and there are some changes this year I think I am going to like.
I am heading out to Skinny Bob’s Billiards in Round Rock to watch my friends in great 9-ball pool action Saturday August 30th  thru Monday September the 1st, 128 elite players from around the US and Texas will be competing for over $10,000 in Open Division prizes at the longest running 9-ball tournament in US history. This year, they have added a $25 9-ball race-to-three tournament on Thursday 8PM that is open to anyone. Saturday night, the ladies’ 9-ball event begins. Expanded to a 48-player field for the first time this year so more hot players likeAmanda Lampert and Jennifer Kraber will compete against other marquee ladies. More on that later.
Returning 2013 finals match players are champion Warren Kiamco(Phillipines) and runner-up Charlie “Hillbilly” Bryant  (Houston, TX). Kiamco had knocked Bryant to the one-loss side. Bryant defeated Chip Compton in an elimination match to get his re-match as the crowd goes wild. Compton had to come-from behind facing Sylver Ochoa in their elimination match to face Bryant, but Ochoa lost ball-in-hand and the match after Chip broke and got a successful safe on a fortunate 9-ball kiss after a tough 3-ball kick shot in the hill-hill game.
In 2012, some of the most exciting moments included 80 year old Bob Vanover (8-time winner of Texas Open) thrilled the crowd with terrific ball control to put his opponent Gerald Jimenez in the loser’s bracket. Vanover played some astounding safety’s which induced about 6 Ball-in-Hand run-outs to win 9-7.
And I will never forget when 59-year old Gene Albrecht playing with broken ribs came up to me after winning his big day-2 2012 match against Chris Sharier 9-1 to make the final-32 players. Re-cap: Gene breaks up 8-1.  GA makes the 1 on the break and has no shot on the 2 on the other side of the table. He pushes out by kissing the 9 ball closer to the corner pocket as he is looking for the 3-9 combo later. CS makes him shoot the push-out shot and he plays a successful safety on the 2, gets ball-in-hand and makes the 3-9 combo to win and be part of the final 32 players. I was the only one who applauded and Gene came by and looks at me and right out of the “Color of Money” movie, he says “I’m Back!” Yes, you were Gene, he got tied for 9th.
The format is double-elimination, winner-breaks and every seat is a great seat. SkinnyBob says the secret is to sit on the top of the bleachers so that you can watch both sides and place bar orders easily.  I like being up-close and personal to the early round action on the Gold-Crown III 9’ tables with new blue Simonis 860 HR tournament cloth.
IMHO, the Texas Open is a better bargain than X-games, Formula1, and ACL fest for the thrill of being up-close to the extreme action and I don’t want to miss any of it. They have a new web-site this year that will allow keep track of the scheduled matches.
People from all over the Texas come to get out of the heat. Bob installs extra cooling, stadium seats inside for spectators and hire extra wait staff. Don’t forget the snack bar.  AZBilliards publishes the tournament brackets during play and has daily news about the world billiards scene. AZ also has columns by professional writers and publishes their own world rankings and money list.
The Open players’ meeting is Friday night. The ladies player’s meeting is planned for 6PM Saturday evening. This year, they are planning to do the draw early Friday night and announce the 9am and 10:30am Saturday matches so that players who have those 1st set of matches don’t have to hang around until 1am to find out their match is just a few hours away. Another great change for this year is a Friday 3PM $100 9-ball Ring-game, a game with lots of fast action.
I will take my wooden cue-stick shafts in to be conditioned by Ron Geyer of The Custom Cue Connection. It is always nice to play with a like-new shaft and Ron is known for his craft of using a lathe to hone the shaft perfectly smooth; There is usually a long line at his booth in the back.
The Skinny Bob’s Open T-shirt looks great this year and comes in 4 colors in Men’s and Women’s sizes with all the Open winner’s names on the back. They ran out last year so I will be getting mine early this year.
Again this year they are providing players with the Magic Ball Rackwhich is a diamond-shaped, thin vinyl template that has holes where you place the Aramith Belgium tournament billiard balls and get a perfect rack every time. The table has 2 spots marked on the felt where you align the top and the bottom hole, then just place the ball on a hole, and it self-centers itself to perfect spot. In 2010, they used a metal triangle rack called the Delta-13. Players have always complained about the racking process – it takes too much time and players can tilt the rack for an advantage. On TV, they have a surrogate racking specialist, but here the loser racks for the winner. It is important to have the head ball (one) touching the two balls directly behind it to get a good solid break. It is required to drive 4 balls to a rail on the break, else it is a foul.  We always play Texas Express Rules where the winner breaks, so I had to do a lot of racking. No more splinters.
There is a strategy to racking the balls called the 2-ball strategy. You want to place the 2-ball on the opposite side of the diamond from where the player breaks to increase the probability that the 2 will be far from the 1 after the break and make it harder for a run out. My daddy always told me, “Son, never run out of balls to shoot at too early”. But I think that only applies to 8-ball.
Bob is raffling a handmade “41st Annual Texas Open Championship” cue from James Hanshew of Hanshew Custom Cues. The lucky winner will be announced during the weekend. This cue will be part of the Open history, so I will buy my share of the raffle tickets this year. I have my lucky rock in my pocket, it could bring me luck this year. I wish I had one of those Hanshew jump-cues, they are sweet!
Trivia question: Who made the Texas Open famous by breaking and running out 11 racks in a row in the championship bracket without missing a shot? The Texas Open trophy is named after him: The Bob Vanover trophy. It would be fun to see if he can win a record 9th time!
The 2013 Women’s Classic finals was a re-match of the 2012 finals; Vivian “Texas Tornado” Villareal (San Antonio, TX), WPBA Touring Professional for over 10-years (19+ career titles) versus veteran WPBA Touring Professional Melissa “The Viper” Little (Westminister, Co). Watching Little come back from the one-loss side last year in the 1st final’s match looked like she was going to over-take 2012 champion Villareal, but it is so hard to beat “The Texas Tornado”  two times in a row with both players making masterful shots was amazing. I can see why Villareal got her nickname, she was shooting so fast I could hardly keep up. San Antonio is hot right now, just look at their pro-basketball team.
Kraber has been hot lately  – She is ranked 1st in the ladies OBCUEs Pool Tour rankings and won the Legends tour stop June 24th in League City over Lambert in a hill-hill match.  
In 2007, I bought Professional pool player and blogger Melinda Bailey“Mel” in the Calcutta and she won 3rd place in the ladies division.  That was fun winning on her. Bailey is the director of the Omega Billards Tour in D/FW area.
Local ladies Nicole McDaniel and Julia Rapp may see action against top players Bailey, Little, Villarreal, Belinda Calhoun, Veronica "Pistol" Perez, Emma Stewart, Kim Sanders, Amanda Lampert, Helen Hayes and Kim Pierce.
For Info :
Call/text/email Tournament Directors :
 James “Strop” Davis Sr 512-797-8947
John Palmore 512-971-1889  
 Veronica “Pistol” Perez 512-721-8229
or call
 Skinny Bob’s 512-733-1111 Http://
Live Streaming provided by Http://

Michelle Cortez Goes Undefeated On Gulf Coast Tour

Michelle Cortez and Jennifer Kraber

Michelle Cortez of Hutto, Texas, took the Gulf Coast Women’s Regional Tour by storm, going undefeated in the third 9-ball event of the 2013 season, held this past Saturday, October 19, 2013, at Skinny Bob’s Billiards in Round Rock, Texas. She overcame Austin local Jennifer Kraber for the hot seat, 7-5, and once again in the final match, 7-4. Cortez began her run with wins over Houston’s Tanyia Chuites, 7-1, Groveton’s Jenny Magee, 7-4, and Austin favorite, Kim Sanders, 7-3.  Kraber defeated Elizabeth Sullivan, 7-2, Dallas’ Cindy Cole, 7-2, and tour points leader, San Antonio’s Gail Eaton, 7-1, to reach Cortez for the hot seat showdown. After suffering a first round loss to Cole, 7-4, first timer April Flores won 3 consecutive matches, including wins over Sarah Durand, Gail Roles, and Boston newcomer Tram Trinh, all by the same score of 7-5. Kim Pierce was upset by Sanders in the second round, 7-2, and again by Cindy Cole on the one-loss side, 7-4. Cole was eliminated by Sanders, 7-3, settling for a respectable 5th-6th finish. Julia Rapp was initially sent west by Eaton, 7-3, but also won 3 consecutive matches with wins over Mindy Williams, 7-3, Jenny Magee, 7-4, and April Flores, before she was eliminated by Eaton, 7-0. Eaton went on to defeat Sanders for third place, but fell to Kraber, 7-3. The hot seat match between Cortez and Kraber was brilliant. Cortez’ break was solid, pocketing one to two balls with each blow. After a few unforced errors, Kraber’s score began to lag. With her consistent play throughout the final set, Cortez finished on top and undefeated, 7-4. Congratulations to Michelle Cortez for an impeccable win on the Gulf Coast Tour. The Tour would like to welcome all of its new members and invite them back for the final event on November 16, 2013, at Bogies Billiards & Sports Bar in Houston, Texas. The tour would like to thank its sponsors for this event, Poison by Predator Cues, Delta-13 Rack, and the APA of North Harris County, as well as Skinny Bob’s Billiards, home of the famous “Texas Open”, and the finest tournament host in Round Rock, Texas! Find out more at