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

Seaver picks up her first Tiger Florida Tour title since March 2021

Stephanie Mitchell, Jeannie Seaver, Sofia Mast and Jessica Barnes

Jeannie Seaver’s gotten off to a slow start this year. Following a year (2021) in which she won three tour titles – two on the Tiger Florida Tour and one on the Sunshine State Pro Am Tour – it wasn’t until this past weekend (July 16-17) that she claimed her first 2022 tour title. In her fourth appearance on the tour this year, the victory moved her ahead of Stephanie Mitchell to the top spot in the current Tiger Florida Tour standings. She did it at Stop #4, going undefeated through a modified double elimination bracket, downing six opponents, including, in the finals, the junior competitor known as “The Pink Dagger,” 14-year-old Sofia Mast (#3 in the standings). The event drew 34 entrants to Shooters Billiards in Port St. Lucie, FL.

Initially, in the double elimination phase of the event, its 34 competitors were racing to be among the final four standing on both sides of the bracket. Among the eight who advanced to the single elimination phase were the top six in tour standings when the event began. The four who advanced to single elimination without a loss were the top four; (in order) Stephanie Mitchell, Vanessa Seaver, Jeannie Seaver and Sofia Mast.

Mitchell, in a quest to maintain her position at the top of the standings, had to deal with an opening-round, double hill match against Xare Qualis. She survived that and then defeated Ivette Fernandez and Margie Soash, both 7-3 to earn her winners’ side slot in the final eight. Vanessa Seaver got by Erin O’Brien 7-4, Jessica Karamia Human, double hill and Katie Bowse 7-1 to advance. Sister Jeannie defeated Aalyssa Gonzalez 7-4, Roe Guarnero 7-3 and Jessica Barnes 7-3 to arrive, while The Pink Dagger (Mast) sent Chris Baumgart 7-4 and Crystal McCormick 7-3 to the loss side, before battling Kaylee McIntosh to double hill, eventually sending her over as well.

Two of the four who just missed advancement from the winners’ side came right back after winning their only loss-side match. Barnes moved over and survived a double hill fight versus Julia Spinella, returning to square off against Vanessa Seaver in the opening round of the single-elimination phase. McIntosh faced Guarnero on the loss side, defeated her 5-2 and was faced with Mitchell in the single-elimination group.

Joining those two from the loss side were Human, defeated by Vanessa Seaver on the winners’ side and then defeating Susan Damschroder 5-3, Sandy Cheng, double hill and Margie Soash 5-1 to face Mast in what amounted to the event’s quarterfinals. Rounding out the single-elimination field of 8 was Tracy Mullen, who followed her initial, first-round loss to Crystal McCormick with victories over Chris Baumgart 5-2, Ashley Jones 5-3, Kira Brown 5-2 and finally, in a double hill battle, Katie Bowse. Mullen picked up Jeannie Seaver in the event quarterfinals.

Due to time constraints, the quarterfinal and semifinal matches were reduced to races to 5. Three of the quarterfinals were decided by 5-2 scores; Jeannie Seaver over Mullen, Mast over Human and Barnes over Vanessa Seaver. Mitchell advanced over McIntosh 5-3. In the semifinals that followed, Mast and Barnes locked up in a double hill battle that eventually sent Mast to the finals. She was joined by Jeannie Seaver, who eliminated Mitchell 5-3. 

After agreeing to a final race-to-3 (again, due to time constraints), Seaver and Mast opted to split the top two prizes and played the race-to-3 anyway. Seaver claimed the event title 3-1, moving her into the top spot in tour standings. Mitchell’s tie-for-third finish (with Barnes) dropped her into second place, while, as runner-up, The Pink Dagger moved up a notch, from fourth to third place in the standings.

Tour director Mimi McAndrews thanked Dave Citron and his Shooters Billiards staff for their “welcoming hospitality,” along with Josh Arnold and Stephanie Mitchell for their assistance with running a smooth event. She also thanked title sponsor Tiger Products, AZBilliards, Boynton Billiards, Andy Cloth, Eastern Billiards, Stitch-It-To-Me Embroidery and Brutal Game Gear. The next stop on the Tiger Florida Tour, scheduled for Saturday, August 28, will be hosted by Diamond Billiards in Cape Coral, FL.

Go to thread

Cuellar goes undefeated to win Stop #3 on Tiger Florida Tour

Nicolle Cuellar, Vanessa Seaver and Jessica Barnes

Coming off of her best recorded earnings year (2021), Florida’s Nicolle Cuellar is getting a bit of a late start to better those earnings in 2022, although her undefeated run at the Tiger Florida Tour’s (TFT) third stop this past weekend (Sat. May 7) has started her off in the right direction. Her last recorded win on the TFT occurred last August. Cuellar has, in fact, had two good years at the tables, 2020 being her best recorded earnings years until the total figure improved in 2021. She’s been combining work on the TFT with appearances on the Sunshine State Pro Am Tour over the past few years, and earlier, dating back to when her efforts began notation here at AZBilliards 10 years ago, on the Flamingo Tour. The TFT’s $750-added event last weekend, Stop #3 on the 2022 tour, drew 36 entrants to Brewlands North in Lakeland, FL.

The event started out with a double elimination bracket, which, being a 64-entrant bracket, featured four matches in the opening round of play and 28 byes. Three rounds later, when the bracket had narrowed to eight players, four on each side of the bracket, it became a single-elimination race to the finals.

Cuellar’s path to the winners’ circle, after being awarded one of the 28 byes, went through Angel Kotewa (1), Kimberly Housman (3) and Stephanie Mitchell (3), at which point, she became one of the final eight. Joining her among the four to emerge from the winners’ side of the bracket were Lisa Perez, Jeri Bouvette and Jessica Barnes. Facing those four from the loss side of the bracket were Helene Caukin (facing Barnes), Jessica Karamia Human (facing Cuellar) and the Seaver sisters; Vanessa, squaring off against Bouvette and Jeannie facing Perez.

Human, who’d been sent to the loss side in the final winners’ side round by Barnes, played only one match on the loss side, surviving a double hill match versus Kaylee McIntosh to join the final eight. Cuellar stopped Human’s bid right there, downing her 7-3 and advancing to the semifinals against Barnes, who’d defeated Caukin, double hill. 

Only one of the Seaver sisters survived the first single-elimination round and as it turned out, Lisa Perez faced them both. She faced Jeannie in that first round and battled her to double hill before advancing to meet Vanessa, who’d battled to double hill before defeating Bouvette to earn her spot in the semifinals against Perez.

Time constraints forced the semifinals and finals to be cut down to races to 5. Vanessa Seaver punched her ticket to the finals with a shutout over Perez. She was joined by Cuellar, who eliminated Barnes, double hill; a ‘heartbreaker,’ according to TD Mimi McAndrews, because in the deciding game, Barnes broke and hung the 9-ball in the teeth of the side pocket. Cuellar stepped to the table and though unable to work herself into shape for an easy combination on the 9-ball, ran the table to get it and advance to the finals. 

Cuellar completed her undefeated run with a 5-2 win over Vanessa Seaver. Having not competed in the TFT season opener back in January and finishing in the tie for 8th on the February stop, Cuellar was way down in the tour standings when she began her title quest at the third stop. Her victory moved her among the tour’s top 10, into 9th place on the list that now has Stephanie Mitchell at the top. Vanessa Seaver’s runner-up finish moved her into second place with Carrie Metz, Kaylee McIntosh and Jeannie Seaver behind her. Cuellar’s victory also netted her paid qualifier spot for the WPBA’s Soaring Masters event in July.

Tour director Mimi McAndrews thanked Larry Walthall and his staff at Brewlands for their hospitality, along with title sponsor Tiger Products, AZBilliards, Boynton Billiards, Andy Cloth, Eastern Billiards, Stitch-It-To-Me Embroidery and Brutal Game Gear. She also extended thanks to Josh Arnold and Stephanie Mitchell for their assistance with running the event. The next stop on the Tiger Florida Tour, scheduled for Saturday, July 16, will be hosted by Shooter’s Billiards in Port St. Lucie, FL.

Go to thread

“Kwikfire” goes undefeated to win second straight WPBA title

Kelly Fisher

Fresh off her undefeated win two weeks ago at the WPBA’s Northern Lights Classic in Minnesota, where she faced Allison Fisher for the first time in a final match since 2016, Kelly Fisher came to the CSI/Predator US Pro Billiard Series’ Alfa Women’s Las Vegas Open, held this past weekend (March 31-April 3) and went undefeated a second time to capture her second straight WPBA title. Though Allison Fisher was, once again, ‘in the house,’ the two did not meet up at this latest event. Allison was eliminated in the opening round of the single-elimination final phase to which they’d both advanced. The event drew 64 entrants to the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.

The event was divided into two phases; an opening, 64-entrant, double-elimination Phase 1, followed by a 16-entrant, single-elimination Phase 2 that eventually crowned Kelly as the champion. The format was best-two-out-of-three races to 4. If the competitors were tied after two matches, a “spot shootout’ followed to determine the winner.

Kelly, who was in a 16-player, Phase 1 bracket that included eventual runner-up, Brittany Bryant, advanced to be among the eight winners’ side entrants in Phase 2 without having to play a third match. She played a total of 27 games against three opponents in Phase 1 and gave up only three of them, downing Sarah Kapeller (4-0, 4-1), Ashley Burrows (4-0, 4-0) and Cathy Metzinger (4-1, 4-1). To join Kelly in advancement to Phase 2, Bryant, in the meantime, had to play 44 games and lost 18 of them. She got by Anna Riegler and junior competitor Savannah Easton, both 4-2, 4-2, before facing Jennifer Baretta, who won the opening set 2-4. Bryant came back to win the second set and the “spot shootout,” both double hill.

Angela Ticoalu got by Jeannie Seaver, Nicole Keeney and Woojin Lee with an aggregate score of 24-15 to qualify for Phase 2, as did Susan Williams from the same 16-entrant section of the opening bracket. Williams sent June Maiers, Vang Bui Xuan and Joanne Ashton to the loss side to join Ticoalu in the winners’ side advancement to Phase 2.

Allison Fisher chalked up an even more impressive Phase 1 than Kelly had. She, too, advanced to Phase 2 without having to play a third match against any of her three opponents, downing Susan Wilbur, Veronique Menard and Naomi Williams and giving up only two racks (to Menard, in their second race-to-4). Kyoko Sone joined Allison in advancement to Phase 2 from the same 16-entrant section of the opening bracket, downing Sandy Badger, 13-year-old junior competitor Sofia Mast and Amalia Matas Heredia.

Rounding out the field of eight winners’ side competitors to advance to Phase 2 were Jasmin Ouschan and Line Kjorsvik. Ouschan got by two of her opponents without having to play a “spot shootout” third match, downing Tamami Okuda 4-2, 4-1 and Beth Fondell 4-1, 4-2, before splitting her first two against Mary Tam 1-4, 4-3. Ouschan won the shootout 3-2 to advance. Kjorsvik did not play a third, tie-breaking “spot shootout” against any of her first three opponents either, joining Ouschan in advancement after defeating Gigi Callejas (4-1, 4-2), Camille Campbell (4-2, 4-0) and Melissa Helland (4-0, 4-1).

After five losers’ side rounds, Kaylee McIntosh, Woojin Lee, Angela Janic, Heather Cortez, Melissa Helland, Mary Tam, Amalia Matas Heredia and Ashley Burrows joined the eight winners’ side competitors in advancement to Phase 2, which in some ways, was notable for those left behind as much as for those who advanced. Among those who failed to make the cut were long-time WPBA veterans (in no particular order) Stephanie Mitchell, Teruko Cucculelli, Monica Webb, Jeannie Seaver, Liz Cole, Kim Newsome, Emily Duddy, Dawn Hopkins, Loree Jon Brown, Janet Atwell and Caroline Pao. It should also be noted that while both 13-year-old junior competitors, Sofia Mast and Skylar Hess, failed to advance, one (Mast) fell to an opponent (Angela Janic) who was among the final 16 and the other (Hess) was eliminated by someone (Cucculelli) who arguably should have been. It was the first appearance for these two extraordinarily talented and professionally-composed young women and WPBA competitors should be on notice that these two will be back and barring any unforeseen life changes, for many years to come.

The Final Four in this event competed in plenty of time for those so inclined to turn their attention to the NCAA Final Four, which got started well after the four ladies in Vegas got underway at about 2 p.m. on Saturday. It was an International Final Four, which was absent representation from the United States.  Kelly Fisher, representing the UK was matched up against Austria’s Jasmin Ouschan. Spain’s Amalia Matas Heredia, who, in February, chalked up her first win on the European Ladies’ Tour, faced Canada’s Brittany Bryant.

Kelly Fisher had kept her no-third-match streak going through the opening round against Heather Cortez, whom she defeated 4-1, 4-0 before drawing Angeline Ticoalu, who took the opening set against Fisher 4-2. Fisher came back to win the second set 4-1 and then, in something of a nail-biter, the “spot shootout” 6-5. Ouschan, who got by Kaylee McIntosh 4-0, 4-1 in the opening round of Phase 2 had her own nail-biter in the second round, where she won two straight double hill fights against Kyoko Sone to draw Kelly.

Advancing to the other semifinal, Bryant had played 24 games against two opponents, eliminating Woojin Lee 4-2, 4-1 and then Ashley Burrows 4-2, 4-3 to advance. Heredia proved to be Allison Fisher’s downfall in the opening round of Phase 2. Fisher took the opening set, double hill, but Heredia came back to win the second set and the “shootout,” double hill. Heredia went on to down Mary Tam 4-1, 4-3 to pick up Bryant.

Kelly Fisher downed Ouschan 4-2, 4-1 in their semifinal matchup. She was joined in the finals by Bryant, who’d defeated Heredia 4-2, 2-4 and 4-2 in the “shootout.” 

It’s not hard to imagine Fisher’s “I’ve got this,” and Bryant’s “Uh, oh, trouble right here in Sin City” when Fisher shut Bryant out in the opening set of the final. It’s also not hard to imagine the spectator’s rooting for Bryant in the second set when she and Kelly finished the 6th game, tied at 3 apiece. Fisher, though, completed her undefeated run by winning the second set to claim the event title.

Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino, as well as sponsors and partners the WPBA, Alfa Coin, CueSports International, Predator Group, Kamui, Seybert’s, Medalla Light, Rums of Puerto Rico, BCA Pool League and the USA Pool League.

Go to thread

Vetrono Steps Up on The Ladies’ ‘Win’ Ladder, Wins Tiger Florida Tour Stop #2

Carrie Vetrono, Jeannie Seaver and Stephanie Mitchell

Prior to this past weekend, Sat. Feb. 26, Carrie Vetrono had won only one major event, and it happened to be one that wasn’t reported to us here at AZ; The 2019 West Coast Challenge, Women’s 9-Ball Division in Kissimmee, FL. Vetrono got her second career win this past weekend at the second stop on the Tiger Florida Tour. With a modified double elimination format (double elimination to the winners’ side quarterfinals and then, single elimination to the finals), the $1,500-added event drew 42 entrants to Stixx Billiards in Oldsmar, FL.

In addition to her remote work with a NY law firm, running tournaments at Capone’s in Spring Hill, FL, being the owner/operator (with her Dad) of Capone’s BCA Pool League, and her arguably most important position as head wrangler of a four-year-old son, Vetrono can now (in her spare time, of course) add ‘Up-and-Coming Contender’ at future events on the Women’s pool circuit. Asked how long it might be now before she became the #1-ranked player on the WPBA, she laughed.

“If only,” she said. “As much as I would really love it, (given the multi-tasking noted above), I don’t see it in the cards.”

“I’ve been playing a lot more at Capone’s,” she added of this recent win, “and I’ve been playing with a lot of the guys over there (who’ve) helped me. My game has vastly improved, at least a ball or two over the past 6-8 months. I’m taking smarter shots and playing safeties when I need to.”

“I feel more confident of going for shots, too,” she went on to say, “and, of course, when they go in, that boosts the confidence even more.”

In addition to Vetrono’s (somewhat) ‘break out’ win, Florida Tiger Tour’s second stop had a few ‘headline’ matchups, including a first-round-of single-elimination rematch between the winner and runner-up of the tour’s first stop in late January (14-year-old Sofia Mast and Stephanie Mitchell), a Vetrono/Mitchell match and a final match between Verono and Jeannie Seaver.

It was initially a two-match race to the winners’ side quarterfinal; three for Mitchell and Mast, who were among the 20 entrants that played in a preliminary round. Vetrono got by Krystalann Williams and Nicolle Cuellar to arrive at her winners’ side quarterfinal versus Mast. Mitchell sent Erica Yeager-Lombard, Tracy Mullen and Abigail Schrader to the loss side to meet up with Kimberly Housman. Jeannie Seaver defeated Kim Caso and Dawn Logan to take on Helene Caukin. Kaylee McIntosh, who’d downed Christina Maher and Shanelle Loraine squared off against Michel Monk.

Mast advanced to the first round of single elimination with a double hill win over Vetrono. Mitchell and Housman battled to double hill, as well, with Mitchell ending up on the loss side. McIntosh downed Human 6-4 and Seaver got by Caukin 6-2.

Vetrono won her loss-side match against Jeannie Seaver’s sister, Vanessa, double hill. Mitchell ousted Miranda Orange 5-2. Danielle Marie Fee, who’d lost her opening match to Tiffany Stanaland, won four on the loss side, including a 5-2 win over tour director Mimi McAndrews, to meet and defeat Caukin in a double hill fight. Jessica Human was the fourth loss-side competitor to earn a slot in the single-elimination round of eight, with her 5-1 victory over Michel Monk.

Seaver moved into the event’s second quarterfinal, 6-3 over Fee, while McIntosh was busy eliminating Human 6-4. Vetrono got back in the mix with a 6-2 win over Housman and faced Mitchell, who’d avenged her loss against the teenager Mast in the first stop on the tour by eliminating her 6-3 in the quarterfinals of the second.

“I was up 5-1,” Mitchell recalled of her match against Mast, “when I missed a 9-ball. Then she won a few and I thought, ‘Well, we don’t want to go there,’ so I got back into it.”

“(Sofia) hangs out with all the adults,” she noted of her opponent. “She’s a professional and has better manners than people I know who are older than me.”

So, it was Vetrono against Mitchell and McIntosh versus Seaver in the semifinals.

Seaver advanced to the finals 6-2 over McIntosh and faced Vetrono, who prevailed over Mitchell by the same score. Vetrono completed her second major win 4-2 over Seaver and claimed the Tiger Florida Tour’s second event title.

Tour director Mimi McAndrews thanked Stixx owner Tom George and Kathy King, as well as manager Josh Maville and his staff for hosting the event and their continued support of the TFT. She also thanked title sponsor Tony Kalamdaryan and Tiger Products, Brutal Game Gear, Stitch It To Me, Boynton Billiards, Great Lakes Billiards, AZ Billiards and new sponsors Eastern Billiards and Andy Cloth. 

McAndrews sent a special shout out to Jerry Sotelo and Stephanie Mitchell for what she called “their invaluable help in running the event and fending off shot clock grumbles.” The size of the room, the number of tables (10) and attendees (42), led to a reduction of match lengths from 7/5 (winners’ side/losers’ side) to 6/5 in order to complete the event in the single day of Tiger Florida tour stops. The final match was also reduced to its race to 4.

The next stop on the Tiger Florida Tour, scheduled for May 7, will be hosted by Brewlands Bar & Billiards in Lakeland, FL.

Go to thread

Sofia Mast comes from the loss side, meets and beats Mitchell in Tiger Florida Tour finals

Sofia Mast

“I WON!!!” she declared on her Facebook page, with all three exclamation points. “Now, I pass out.”

Thirteen-year-old Sofia Mast of Land ‘o Lakes, FL, fresh off her victory in the 13 & Under division of the Junior International Championships’ 2nd season opener, less than two weeks ago (Jan. 14-16), competed on the ladies’ Tiger Florida Tour this past weekend (Jan. 22-23). Not only did she come from the loss side to qualify for the eight-player, single elimination phase of the event, advance to the finals and then defeat WPBA veteran competitor Stephanie Mitchell, but in her first loss-side match, she defeated another WPBA tour veteran and the Florida Tiger Tour’s 2021 Tour Champion Jeannie Seaver. The $500-added, 2022 season opener of the Florida Tiger Tour drew 32 entrants to Brewlands South in Lakeland, FL.

Asked if there was anything about Mast’s performance that stood out in her mind, Eastern Billiards and Andy Cloth-sponsored runner-up, Stephanie Mitchell had to laugh.

“Mostly,” she said, “that if I missed, she didn’t.”

It was, of course, not Sofia Mast’s ‘first rodeo.’

“I went to my first Tiger Florida Tour (stop) when I was 11, back in October, 2019,” she wrote. “My Dad thought I could get better if I played competitively rather than playing in leagues.”

“My mom,” she added, “thought he was crazy to have a kid play against grown ladies and think I could win. I dreamt about one day winning the whole thing (and) my dream started to feel more real as I kept playing in many of their events and placing closer and closer to first.”

“My dream,” she went on to say, “is now a reality, (so) never give up on your dream!”

This past weekend, Michel Monk kind of rattled the cage of those dreams, briefly, when she earned the distinction of being the only competitor to defeat Mast in the second round of play 7-5. Undeterred by setbacks, large or small, Mast persevered to win two on the loss side; the 5-2 win over Jeannie Seaver and subsequent shutout of Erica Pennington, which put her (Mast) into the single elimination phase against, first, fellow junior competitor, Kaylee McIntosh. 

Mitchell, in the meantime, had worked her way through her first three opponents during the double-elimination phase (Deborah Gerken, Kimberly Housman & Sonya Chbeeb) to arrive at her first opponent among the final eight, Helen Caukin. In the remaining two, single-elimination matches, Vanessa Seaver (Jeannie Seaver’s older sister) squared off against Jessica Barnes, while newcomer Xare Qualis faced Tracy Mullen.

Mast advanced 7-5 over McIntosh, Mitchell got by Caukin 7-1, Seaver downed Barnes, double hill and Mullen eliminated Qualis 7-4. And then there were four; Mast and Vanessa Seaver, Mitchell and Mullen.

Mast shut the elder Seaver sister out and advanced to the finals. Mitchell joined her after dispatching Mullen 7-4.

Things did not go well for Mitchell in the early stages of the final race to 7, but she rallied in rack #9.

“She was (on the hill) at 6 and I was at 2,” said Mitchell, “and I won the next three.”

In her effort to force a double-hill, single-game showdown by winning the 12th rack, Mitchell made an unforced error in what proved to be the final rack and missed her shot at the 5-ball. Mast wasted little time stepping to the table and closing out her first victory on the Tiger Florida Tour.

“She had really good composure,” noted Mitchell of her opponent, adding that even in ‘safety play,’ Mast would “kick it and hit almost anything. She played a few safes back that worked for her and then she’d run out.”

“I played well,” said Mitchell of her own single-loss performance. “I made almost everything I shot at and I’m proud of my own performance.”

“At 1 a.m.,” she added, “I found a second gear, but it was a little too late.”

Mast posted her “I WON!!!” notice on Facebook at 1:52 a.m.

Tiger Florida Tour director, Mimi McAndrews, who’d noticed Mast’s “determination,” even back when she’d first begun to compete on the tour, had nothing but the highest praise for the junior competitors’ skills, as well as her general demeanor at the tables. 

“She had a lot of focus, even back then,” said McAndrews. “A lot of concentration and a decent stroke. We were just impressed that she was coming out to play. She kept coming back and has gotten progressively better. Nobody expected that she’d get so good; not just in making balls, but in shape (for the next shot).”

“If you took a video without showing the player,” she added, “you’d never know that it was a child.”

They call her the “Pink Dagger,” which, even on the face of it, is an image that’s hard to wrap your head around. But it encapsulates the skills, determination, focus and an even more astounding ability to perform like an adult, while maintaining a grip on her childhood. This is no grim-faced teenager, so dedicated to the application of specific skills, that any semblance of a child has been lost. Sofia Mast, who is sponsored by Predator Cues, Jam Up Apparel and Dunnski Dungeon, is still a kid and enjoying every minute of it. So are those who are watching her mature. She’ll be competing in the 2nd stop on the JIC series next month (Feb. 11-13) at Diamond Billiards in Cape Coral, FL. You might want to consider getting there early. 

Tiger Florida Tour director Mimi McAndrews thanked Larry Walthall, Mike Dauskart and their staff for hosting the event and their continued support of the tour. They also thanked the 32 players who came out to compete in the 2022 season opener and Jerry Sotelo and Josh Arnold for their invaluable help running the Florida Tiger Tour events. Thanks were also extended to Randi Allen, Director of Marketing and Events and to title sponsor Tony Kalamdaryan and Tiger Products, Brutal Game Gear, Stitch It To Me, Boynton Billiards, AZBilliards, and new sponsors Eastern Billiards and Andy Cloth for their support. Congratulations were extended to Jeannie Seaver for winning the tour championship for the third year in a row; the only player to have done so in the history of the tour since 2009.

The next stop on the Florida Tiger Tour, scheduled for February 26, and likely to feature another appearance by the “Pink Dagger,” will be hosted by Brewlands North in Lakeland, FL. 

Chohan & Webb Take Iron City 9 Ball

Tony Chohan (Karl Kantrowitz)

This past weekend was the culmination of an action filled week at Iron City Billiards in Birmingham, AL.

Owner Michael Catanese welcomed players from all over to play in his Iron City Open 9 Ball and Ladies 9 Ball Championships. Top players included Efren Reyes, Roberto Gomez, Roland Garcia, Sky Woodward, Omar Alshaheen, Tony Chohan, Josh Roberts, Cliff Joyner, Manny Perez, Justyn Cone, Manny Chau, Sergio Rivas, Monica Webb, Ming Ng, April Larson, Jeannie Seaver and Kaylee McIntosh.

Friday night saw a players auction and draw for the $5,000 added Open 9 Ball. Played on seven foot Diamonds, 122 players ponied up their $100 entry fees. The format was double elimination, races to 9/7 with alternate breaks. 

After many matches, the field was whittled down to four undefeated players. Manny Perez was defeated by Sky Woodward 9-6 while Tony Chohan claimed victory in a close match over this week’s one pocket king, Josh Roberts, 9-8. Chohan and Woodward advanced to the hot seat match where Tony sent Sky packing 9-3 as he locked up a berth in the finals. Licking his wounds, Sky headed west to await an opponent. 

On the one loss side and looking for another shot at Tony, Josh squeaked past Manny Chau 7-6 and then knocked Sky out of the tournament 7-4 leaving him in third place. 

As this was true double elimination, Roberts had his work cut out for him as he’d have to win two sets to make a clean sweep of all three events.  However, Chohan was having none of that as he clinched the title 9-5!

Monica Webb (Jay Chiu)

While the Open 9 Ball was underway, the Ladies 9 Ball began on Saturday night. Again, a players auction was held followed by the draw. By Sunday evening, the field had been pared down to four players on the winners side. April Larson escaped with a 9-8 victory over Kaylee McIntosh while Monica Webb defeated Ming Ng 9-7. April and Monica moved into the hot seat match as their opponents moved to the one loss side. 

Once over on the west side, Kaylee edged out Julie Cone 7-6 while Ming defeated the always tough Jeannie Seaver 7-3. Kaylee thumped Ming 7-2 next and waited for her next opponent. She didn’t have to wait long as Webb beat Larson 9-4 in the hot seat match. 

Still on a tear, red hot Kaylee claimed victory over April 7-4 leaving her with a well deserved third place finish. 

Again, as this was true double elimination, Kaylee would have to defeat Monica twice to claim the title. Knowing this and hungry for her first big win, Kaylee put it all on the table and took Monica to the hill but was unable to close it out and force a second set. Monica won 9-8 and claimed the title.

What a week! PoolActionTV.com would again like to thank Mike and his staff for going the extra mile to take care of all the players and fans. We’d like to thank Tournament Directors Daryl Keplinger, Jason Hill and Ray Hansen for doing such a great job. We’d also like to thank commentators Jeremy Jones and Larry Schwartz for a great job.

Congratulations to Tony Chohan and Monica Webb for emerging unscathed in their paths to victory!!! And, once more – congratulations to Josh Roberts for his one pocket victories!!!

As always, we’d also like to thank our fans and sponsors. Our sponsors include Outsville, JB Cases, Hanshew Jump Cues, StraightPoolEye, Lomax Custom Cues, Durbin Custom Cues, Diamond Billiard Products, Aramith, Simonis, RG Billiards of Birmingham, AL, the Action Palace of Dayton, OH and Fort Worth Billiards Superstore of Fort Worth, TX.

Our next event is the 34th Annual Music City Open 9 Ball Championships held at JOB Billiard Club in Madison, TN – dates are January 12th-16th. Hope to see you there!!!

First Triple Crown Women’s Invitational In The Books

Joann Mason-Parker and Monica Webb

This past week, the legendary Q-Masters Billiards of Virginia Beach, VA hosted StraightPoolEye’s Triple Crown Women’s Invitational. The brainstorm of StraightPoolEyes’ founder, Eric Nelson, the $10,000 added event had three divisions – Straight Pool, Ten Ball and One Pocket. Twenty three ladies paid a $450 entry fee for all three divisions.

A players meeting, players auction and draw was held on Sunday night while play in the Straight Pool division started on Monday. All preliminary rounds were fifty point matches while the final match was to one hundred points. Monica Webb defeated Janet Atwell to advance to the finals against the undefeated Joann Mason Parker. Janet finished in third place.

Monica took advantage of a couple of Joann’s missed break shots to shoot out to a big lead. Joann clawed her way back and by the last few racks of the finals, it was neck and neck. The final rack was a nailbiter as both players played cat and mouse but it was Monica who pocketed the last few balls to take the match 100-94. Congratulations, Monica! Good tournament, Joann! Thanks to Straight Pool Tournament Director, Ron Shepard, for running a fine event!

Now, on to the Ten Ball! The tournament played down to the hot seat match which featured the new versus the old guard. Veteran and former US Open 9 Ball Champion Joann Mason Parker was sent west by the straight shooting Kaylee McIntosh. There, Joann faced another veteran player, Liz Taylor. The match went down to the wire 5-4 with Liz moving on to the finals. Joann finished in third place.

Liz Taylor and Kaylee McIntosh

Racing to seven, the final match was a battle between Kaylee and Liz. As this was true double elimination, Liz would have to defeat Kaylee twice to claim the title. Liz won the first set 7-4 to force a second set. It was a squeaker going down to the case game! Liz pocketed the final ball to win the Ten Ball division 5-4! Congratulations, Liz! Good tournament, Kaylee! Thanks to the Ten Ball Tournament Director, Rho Reyes, for doing a first class job!

The final event of the Triple Crown was the One Pocket division. The hot seat match featured Monica Webb and Julie Melman Cone with Monica claiming her seat in the finals. Julie then faced Janet Atwell to vie for the remaining seat in the finals. Julie prevailed leaving Janet with another third place finish. Good job, Janet!

Racing to three, the One Pocket title was claimed in the first set by the undefeated Monica Webb 3-0. Congratulations, Monica! Good tournament, Julie! Thanks to the One Pocket Tournament Director, Alex Shapsevich, for a great job!

StraightPoolEyes would also like to congratulate our first Master of the Table, Joann Mason Parker! Fantastic performance, Joann!

StraightPoolEyes and PoolActionTV.com would like to thank the Behrman family, owners of Q-Masters, General Manager Gary Ornoff his staff for rolling out the red carpet for all the players fans.

We’d also like to thank the Triple Crown tournament sponsors for a fantastic inaugural event! They include becue, Simonis, Aramith, LS2 Helmets, the Punch Zaddy Band, Hanshew Jump Cues, IPKT, BulletproofEnterprise.com, Contractor Equipment & Supply, Olympic Technologies, Inc. and Fort Worth Billiards Superstore of Fort Worth, TX.

PoolActionTV.com would like to thank Jeremy Jones, Larry Schwartz, Mary Kenniston and Justin Cone for their topnotch commentary.

We’d also like to thank our sponsors. They include Acme Cases, Durbin Custom Cues, Clutch Shot Billiards Apparel, Digital Pool, Hanshew Custom Cues, Diamond Billiard Products, Aramith, Simonis, Lomax Custom Cues, Fort Worth Billiards Superstore of Fort Worth, TX and The Action Palace of Dayton, OH.

Our next event is The Rematch of the Battle4TheBorder – Team Michigan vs. Team Ohio! To be held at the Causeway Bay Hotel & Conference Center, the dates are December 3rd-5th. Hope to see you there!!!

Kaylee McIntosh Breaks Thru at The Tiger Florida Tour’s “Cues For The Cure!”

Debbie McIntosh, Kaylee McIntosh, Sofia Mast and Stephanie Mitchell

Kaylee McIntosh won her first event Saturday October 2nd  at the Tiger Florida Tour’s annual “Cues for the Cure” at The Corner Pocket in Largo, Florida. This $1700-added event drew forty women who came to have a good time, friendly competition and raise money for breast cancer awareness. All funds raised benefit Susan G. Komen Florida. McIntosh, who finished second last year in this even, was not about to let this one escape. Hot off an impressive finish in her first professional WPBA event, McIntosh confirmed that she belongs at the top! 

In this modified double-elimination format, the women played down to four on each side, and redrew onto a final single-elimination board.  The four finalists from the winner’s side included room owner Stephanie Mitchell, Shanelle Lorraine, Carrie Metz, and Sofia Mast. The one-loss side sent Michell Monk, Debbie McIntosh, Jessica Human and Kaylee McIntosh back to the Final Board.  The final match had Debbie McIntosh playing Kaylee McIntosh (yes, they are related) with Kaylee taking the win, title, money and trophy!

This event was a blast with a variety of other headlines that would have been appropriate in addition to Kaylee’s first win. For example, this was the first mother-daughter final on the TFT!  Yes, Debbie McIntosh is Kaylee’s mother and Debbie came in second place!

Another headliner was the fantastic finish by Sofia Mast.  Mast is not even old enough to get a learner’s permit.  She can’t drive at her age but wow, this girl’s got game!  Mast sent Kaylee to the one-loss side earlier in the day in a double-hill match, making it to the Final Board undefeated.  Finishing 3rd/4th was Mast’s best finish on the FTF.

John Hake, Chad Kosier, Josh Arnold and Rollie Dixon

And the other headline grabber was the outrageous men in pink – pink bras!  The participants – John Hake, Chad Kosier, Josh Arnold and Rollie Dixon – made fancy bras that the players and spectators stuffed with money throughout the day!  Josh Arnold raised the most money and won a bar tab at the room.  All of the guys were great sports and the bra contest added great fun to the day!

All players received Cues for the Cure T-shirts. The players also won prizes playing bingo and in the raffle. Jacob Mast had the winning number of Hershey Kisses in the apothecary jar, and Krystalann Williams guessed the closet number of M&Ms in the three glass buffet jars! All monies raised through the day benefitted Susan G. Komen Florida. 

We thank everyone enough for their support and contributions to this worthy event!  We want to thank and recognize Nicolle Cuellar (Stitch It To Me) who made the event T-shirts; thank you to Michell Monk and Rollie Dixon (Brutal Game Gear) for the gift certificates for the raffle! Thanks, always to good friend, player and supporter Janice Sessions (Florida Coastal Ladies Tour) for adding money to the prize fund. Thanks also to Dixie Sutton and Estates by Dixie and the Bay Area APA. A huge shout out to Deanna Laney for her amazing help with the bingo and raffle. Of course, we couldn’t run the tournament without Jerry Sotelo and Josh Arnold – the smoothest-run Cues for the Cure tournament! And most importantly, the event would not be the same without Stephanie Mitchell and The Corner Pocket and staff, and Stephanie’s support of the TFT and the Cues for the Cure! And last but not least, thanks to all of the players and spectators who came out to participate, posted your photos and contributed to the success of this event!

As ALWAYS we thank and appreciate our title sponsor, Tiger Products and Tony Kalamdaryran, Larry Wood with Boynton Billiards, Simonis Cloth and AZ Billiards. 

Some of the matches can be viewed on our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100007959257491.

Nicolle Cuellar Takes Tiger Florida Tour Stop #3

Michell Monk, Nicolle Cuellar and Kaylee McIntosh

TFT veteran Nicolle Cuellar reminded everyone that she is a force to be reckoned with when she won the Tiger Florida Tour Stop #3 at Brewlands Bar & Billiards – North in Lakeland, Florida.  Cuellar has consistently finished in the top four, and seemed to be in a dry spell since her last tournament victory.  However, this was Cuellar’s night as she went undefeated to take the win over rising star Kaylee McIntosh, and ending Tour Champion Jeannie Seaver’s three-event winning streak along the way.

Both Cuellar and McIntosh made it to the Final Board undefeated.  McIntosh sent three players west, Erica Pennington 7-2, Deb Teichert 7-2 and Vanessa Seaver 7-6 to get to the Final Board.  Cuellar got past Mimi McAndrews and Jeanie Seaver in two double-hill matches and defeated Michell Monk 7-5.  Seaver and Monk made it back to the redraw, with Monk’s win over Teichert 5-2, and Seaver getting past Stephanie Mitchell 5-1, new-comer Leigh-Ann Bove 5-0 and sis’ Vanessa Seaver 5-3.  McIntosh made the final match winning over Seaver 7-3 and Cuellar overtook Monk 7-4.  Cuellar and McIntosh advanced to the Finals with Cuellar playing almost flawless and winning 7-2.

This event was a Qualifier for the WPBA Sondheim Invitational in Fairfield, Iowa in September. McIntosh won the Qualifier with her second-place finish and great play all day long.  We wish her the best as she plays her first WPBA event in September.

Thanks to owner Larry Walthall, owner of Brewlands Bar & Billiards North for hosting this Qualifier and the hospitality of Manager Doug Barriger and staff!  As always thanks to Jerry Sotelo and Josh Arnold for running a smooth tournament.   Thank you also to Janis Sessions and the Florida Coastal Ladies Tour adding money to the Qualifier spot.  Also, continued thanks to title sponsor Tony Kalamdaryan and Tiger Products, and sponsors Boynton Billiards, AZ Billiards, Simonis Cloth, Stitch It To Me and Brutal Game Gear for their support of the TFT!

 Some of the matches can been seen on the Tiger Florida Tour Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100007959257491.

 

The next scheduled event is the Annual “Cues for the Cure”  breast cancer awareness fundraiser on Oct. 3rd at The Corner Pocket in Largo, Florida.   

The Tiger Florida Tour is a NAPT/WPBA-recognized Division II Women’s Regional Tour. Visit www.tigerfloridatour.com for more information.