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Wagner Takes Women’s 8-Ball, 9-Ball and All-Around Titles at USBTC

Rebecca Wagner

CueSports International, Henderson, NV (Aug. 27, 2016)  — Rebecca Wagner of Las Vegas had the hometown advantage and made the most of it, earning the Women’s 8-Ball, Women’s 9-Ball and the All-Around Titles at the 2016 US Bar Table Championships at the Westgate Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.


Not bad for a woman who has only played one tournament since having her son, Lincoln, in October.


"The only tourney I played was an AWB stop and I won that," she said.


In fact, Wagner was so unsure about playing the USBTC that she waited until the very last minute to enter. She was at work and asked a co-worker to cover for her so she could go to the bathroom and enter the tournament 18 minutes before entries closed.


"The (USBTC) is in my backyard, so I felt stupid not playing," she said, even though she was not prepared and hadn’t been practicing.


In 2015, Wagner won the Chinook Winds Open 10-Ball tourney, beating world champion Allison Fisher twice in the finals to win. She also posted three first place wins in Arizona Women’s Billiard Tour stops throughout the year. In 2013, Wagner was the USBTC 9-Ball Champion and took second place in the 8-Ball Division.


Wagner, who is sponsored by Tony Hargain, owner of Hustlin USA Clothing Co., used her experience on the table to send opponent after opponent to the loser’s bracket. She beat Heather Cortez in the first round, 4-1, and followed that win up with wins over Bo Bowman, 4-1; Kimberly Whitman, 4-2; Tina Larsen, 4-1; and finally beating Jessica Frideres in the hot seat match, 4-1.


Frideres beat Juliana Goodman, 4-0; Sierra Reams, 4-0; and Melinda Huang, 4-0; in the winner’s bracket before losing to Wagner, 1-4. In the loser’s bracket, Frideres beat Tina Larsen, 4-1, to earn her way back to the final’s arena.


In the true double-elimination tournament format, Frideres had to beat Wagner twice and she knew it, jumping out to capture the first set quickly and decisively, 0-4. But in the second set, Wagner played smart and careful, keeping Frideres from the table and an opening shot as often as possible. The strategy worked and Wagner finished Frideres off in the second set by a score of 4-2.


Wagner said her only regret in the tournament was not playing better in the 10-Ball Division, where she placed second to Frideres.


"I did not capitalize on the opportunities given to me in the 10-Ball," she said.


The $20,000-added 23rd Annual US Bar Table Championship concludes today with the finals of the Men’s 8-Ball Division. Sponsors include: OB Cues, the Official Cue; Kamui, the Official Tip; Diamond Billiard Products, Cyclop Balls, Simonis Cloth, BadBoys Billiard Productions, FargoRate, Magic Ball Rack and Matchroom Sport.


The 2016 US Bar Table Championships are produced by CueSports International, the parent company of the BCAPL and USAPL. CSI also produces independent events, such as the US Open 10-Ball Championship, the US Open 8-Ball Championship and much more. For more information, visit or call 702-719-POOL.



CueSports International (CSI) ◊ 2041 Pabco Rd., Henderson, NV 89011 ◊702-719-7665 ◊ 866-USA-POOL


Biggs goes undefeated to create three-way tie for top spot in NWPA Tour rankings

In the end, it came down to dogged determination, rather than any dazzling display of superior skills. After a three-hour-plus final match, at the third stop on the Northwest Women's Pool Association Tour, on the weekend of May 16-17, Carissa Biggs, acting on an unforced error by her opponent, Natalie Seal, dropped the final 9-ball to chalk up an undefeated run that created a three-way tie for first place in the tour's rankings. The $500-added event, live-streamed throughout the weekend by Rail2Rail Productions, drew 26 entrants to Ballad Town Billiards in Salem, OR.
When the tournament began, Suzanne Smith sat atop the tour rankings, with Liz Cole and Jing Liu behind her, separated by a total of 80 points (Liu was the top-ranked player in 2014, with Cole second). Biggs and Seal, who would become the event's finalists, were in fifth and 14th place, respectively. Smith and Liu finished in the tie for fifth, adding 80 points to their ranking totals, while Cole finished fourth, adding 100 points to hers. Biggs' victory added 200 points to her total, while Seal added 160 as the runner-up. This created a three-way tie among Smith, Biggs and Cole, with Smith retaining the official top spot by virtue of a larger cash total in winnings. 
Biggs and Seal would meet twice; once in the hot seat and again, in the finals. Biggs advanced through Denice White, Adrianne Beach (who would be in the live stream broadcast booth at the end), and Tricia Heintz to meet Julie Valdez in one of the winners' side semifinals. Seal, winner over Juliana Goodman and Kim Toops (who'd just sent Liz Cole to the loss side), faced Jing Liu in the other. Seal survived a double hill battle over Liu, as Biggs defeated Valdez 6-4. Biggs claimed the hot seat 6-4.
On the loss side, Smith and Cole were working their way back for an eventual meeting against Valdez and Liu, both winning four to reach them. In the last two of those four, Smith had defeated Natasha Hook 6-4 and survived a double hill battle against Kim Toops to draw Valdez. Cole had gotten by Heintz and Melyssa Chasteen, both 6-1, to draw Liu. Smith's loss-side run came to an end at the hands of Valdez, double hill. Cole advanced 6-1 over Liu.
Valdez finished Cole's five-match, loss-side run with a 6-3 win in the quarterfinals. By the same score, her own three-match run on the loss side was stopped by Seal in the semifinals.
Displaying obvious signs of fatigue at this point, Biggs and Seal opened the final race-to-9 with a series of four games that made it clear it was going to be a long road to the winners' circle and left them tied at two games apiece. Seal was the first to break the back and forth pattern of the opening games, and won two in a row. Biggs, in a display of the aforementioned 'dogged determination,' then won four straight, which included the both of them attempting a 2-9 combination that eventually gave Briggs the game and tied the match at 4-4. 
Biggs took her first lead in the match at 5-4 and got her own two-game lead at 6-4. Seal closed the gap by a single game that saw them both make multiple attempts at the 9-ball, shooting long.  Seal was shooting at the 9-ball in the game that would have tied things up again, but found herself out of position. She missed her shot, and Biggs was up by two again.
Seal came back to close the gap yet again, but in game #14 at 7-6, Seal committed an unforced error, missing a straight-in shot at the 9-ball, and Biggs was on the hill. Seal came back to close the gap to within one again at 8-7. Biggs attempted a long jump shot in game #16 and gave Seal ball in hand, only to have it returned to her, when Seal scratched. Seal got another chance, but for the second game in a row, she missed her shot at the 9-ball, and Biggs closed it out at 9-7.

Cole comes from the loss side to take down North in NWPA Stop #3

Liz Cole (Courtesy of Sandro Menzel)

Liz Cole's victory at the third stop on the Northwest Women's Pool Association Tour jumped her up six slots on the 2014 tour rankings, into second place. Jing Liu, who entered the tournament at the top of the rankings, maintained that position by chalking up 30 ranking points, in the tie for 17th place. Kim Toops, entering in the #3 slot, also finished in that tie, and dropped to fourth, when Cole moved ahead of her. Cole, winner of three stops on the NWPA Tour in 2013, picked up her first in 2014 at the May 3-4, $500-added event that drew 29 entrants to Ballad Town Billiards in Forest Grove, OR.
Cole's path to the finals made two initial stops on the winners' side of the bracket, with victories over Gretchen Sziebert, a shutout, and Stacy Eilts 6-2, before running into Mary Olson, who defeated her 6-4. The victory moved Olson into a winners' side semifinal against Kira North. Fran Johnson and Sheila Clark squared off in the other. North survived a double hill fight against Olson, as Clark downed Johnson 6-3. North claimed the hot seat 6-4 over Clark and waited on Cole.
Cole moved over and just did get by Suzanne Smith 6-5, before shutting out Juliana Goodman and drawing Johnson. Olson picked up Suwanna Matarazzo, who'd been sent to the losers' bracket by Goodman and then, defeated Patricia Tipton, Adrianne Beach, Natalie Seal, and, in a live-stream broadcast, Rebecca Slyter 6-4, to draw Olson. 
Cole eliminated Johnson 6-1, earning herself a rematch in the quarterfinals against Olson, who'd defeated Matarazzo 6-3. Cole had the last say in a double hill contest, and then, defeated Clark 6-3 in the semifinals. In a single race-to-9 final, Cole defeated North 9-4 to claim the event title.