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Female Pro Billiard Champions to appear as celebrity guests at the 2024 VNEA World Pool Championships in Las Vegas at the Westgate Resort and Casino

The VNEA (Valley National 8-Ball League Association) has just announced that female Billiard World Champion “Kwikfire” Kelly Fisher and Pro Billiard Champ Wei Wei “The Wave” -Wei Tzu Chien- will make a celebrity guest appearance for two days at the 2024 VNEA World Pool Championships in Las Vegas, NV. 

The 44th Annual VNEA World Pool Championships will begin on Thursday, May 23rd, and conclude on Saturday, June 1st, 2024. Nearly 5,000 amateur players from 40+ states and nearly 10 countries have secured spots at the VNEA World Pool Championships, and they will compete against each other in Las Vegas at the Westgate Resort and Casino. They will compete for the right to be called the 2024 VNEA World Pool Champions in their respective divisions.

The VNEA welcomes Billiard World Champion and BCA Hall of Famer “Kwikfire” Kelly Fisher and Pro Billiard Champion Wei Wei “The Wave” Wei Tzu Chien to the festivities. Fisher and Chien will make a two-day celebrity guest appearance on Tuesday, May 28th, and Wednesday, May 29th, 2024.

As part of their appearance in Las Vegas, Fisher and Chien will host two events for the amateur VNEA players to participate in. The first event will be a “COACHING ACADEMY.” The coaching academy will take place on Tuesday, May 28th, and Wednesday, May 29th, from 9:30 am-11:30 am and 12:30 pm-2:30 pm. Each VNEA player accepted at pre-registration for the coaching academy will receive up to four hours of instruction divided between two classes. The coaching academy will cover a variety of topics like breaking, cue ball positioning, table approach, safety play, and more. VNEA players must pre-register at the VNEA Booth Onsite.

The second event Fisher and Chien will host is “CHALLENGE MATCHES.” On Tuesday, May 28th, the challenge matches will begin at 5 PM, and on Wednesday, May 29th, they will begin at 7:45 PM. This is a great time to watch the pros play up close and ask them questions.

VNEA Executive Director Gregg Elliott and VNEA Office Manager Mike Wiltse met with Steve Rau, Fisher and Chien’s manager, to discuss the details of this special appearance at the 44th Annual VNEA World Pool Championships in Las Vegas.

Rau thanked Elliott and Wiltse for the invitation and added: “Fisher and Chien will make a great addition to the event because of their ability to teach sound fundamentals as well as their willingness to interact with the players and their fans.”

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Kelly Fisher wins two-match battle with Kristina Tkach to win WPBA Borderline Invitational

Kelly Fisher

Janet Atwell hosts first Borderline Brunswick Invitational in a new Borderline Billiards facility

Unlike pool tours that measure member performance on more or less of a yearly basis, wiping the slate clean to start fresh once a tour’s new season gets underway, the Women’s Professional Billiards Association’s (WPBA) Leaderboard is a snapshot of its last 10 events; a sort of ‘what have you done for me lately’ look at a player’s accomplishments on the tour, represented in points-earned. With two of the WPBA’s top competitors (Jasmin Ouschan, #3 and Allison Fisher, #7) not in attendance for this past (long) weekend’s Borderline Brunswick Invitational (May 1-5), there were opportunities, both literally and figuratively, ‘on the table’ for those who were in attendance to advance a notch or two on the Leaderboard. 

None of them could have de-throned either Tzu-Chien Wei from her #1 spot or Kelly Fisher from #2, who battled twice against Kristina Tkach to claim the title. Fisher and Tzu-Chien have competed in nine of the 10 qualifying events dating back to the 2022 Puerto Rico Open and had too much of a ‘points’ lead to be caught in a single event. If Tzu-Chien had opted out of the Borderline Invitational, Kelly would have left Bristol, TN in the top spot. As it turned out, Tzu-Chien finished in the tie for 5th place, adding enough points to her 10-event total to retain the top spot. 

There were a couple of individual noteworthy performances at the $20,000-added Borderline Brunswick Invitational that drew 80 entrants to the new Borderline Brunswick Arena in Bristol, TN, formerly just Borderline Billiards. The new site is within walking distance of the old one, and did not host this event without a lot of predictable ‘opening’ issues, as workers at the new site coordinated their schedules to create and ‘polish’ the interior in time for this event. Room owner Janet Atwell not only pulled it all together in time (there was a ‘soft opening’ of the doors a week earlier for the general public), but did so after weeks and weeks of frustrating delays, discovered issues with the architecture, the everyday hassles of opening a new business and sustaining an ankle injury. She also competed in the event she was hosting, looking for an opportunity to sustain or improve on her #11 position on the WPBA Leaderboard.

Atwell joined April Larson in the streaming booth for the Fisher/Tkach final and in addition to insightful observations about shot-making choices and table situations, the girls got to chatting a bit, with April asking her early-on how she was feeling about the opening of her new pool room.

“I’m absolutely blown away,” Atwell told her, although, at the moment she was asked, she added “I’m wondering when I’m going to get some sleep.”

“It’s been a roller coaster of emotions,” she went on to say, noting that it took some perseverance to get to the point at which she owned the 130-year-old building and became the beneficiary of the good fortune that led to her being able to stay in the downtown Bristol area where she had launched the original Borderline Billiards 18 years ago. In addition to changing from tenant to property owner, the shift allowed Atwell to maintain the original name, because the new Borderline Billiards, as with the old Borderline Billiards, exists on the state line between Virginia and Tennessee.

“A lot of stars had to align to let me stay downtown,” she said. “I didn’t want to leave the downtown community.” 

“There’s still a lot of things to do to get it where I want it,” she added. “You know, you have a budget, start out at a certain point and the ideas continue. I’ve added a lot more money, but it’s added more to the value, too.”

In noting enthusiastic responses from those in attendance (including Larson herself), Larson asked her if the reality of the new room was better than she’d imagined it would be. 

“It is,” she replied. “It’s one thing to build a nice place, but when people react positively, it’s not just for me, but for the people who love pool and the community, too.”

Atwell went on to note that while she had not done as well as she might have hoped in competing for the first title in her new room, she felt good about the effort that she’d put in to it. It was an effort, she explained, that was aided by an unexpected difference.

“Haven’t hit a ball to speak of in three or four months,” she explained to Larson and a larger audience in the chat room of the stream. “I stayed down on my shots, ‘cause I didn’t have the energy to jump up.”

Atwell finished in the tie for 17th place, as 13-year-old Savannah Easton, finishing 4th, slipped ahead of her, eventually taking charge of the 10th spot on the Leaderboard. Easton defeated Atwell 8-4 in the second round of the event’s Stage 2, just ahead of sending Tzu-Chien Wei to the loss side 8-6 in a winners’ side quarterfinal. Two years ago, at the old Borderline Billiards, Easton had chalked up her best finish at a WPBA event (5th), until this past weekend, when her 4th place finish became the best. 

The Borderline Brunswick Invitational began earlier in the week with a Stage 1, double-elimination bracket with 48 players. That number was reduced to 16; eight from the winners’ side of the bracket and eight from the loss side. Those 16 joined 32 seeded competitors in the final Stage 2.  

Fisher’s path through the final field of 48 went through Tina Larsen 8-1, April Larson 8-3, and Kaylee McIntosh 8-3, to arrive at winners’ side semifinal against Pia Filler, who was one of the 16 who advanced from Stage 1. Kristina Tkach, in the meantime, got by Laura Smith (0) and Susan Williams (5), before meeting and defeating one of the event’s two youngest competitors, Sofia “Pink Dagger” Mast (3) and drawing the other, the aforementioned Savannah “Roadrunner” Easton in the other winners’ side semifinal. 

Fisher and Tkach gave up two racks each to Filler and Easton and met for the first time in the hot seat match. Tkach claimed it 8-4 and waited to see who’d be coming back from the semifinals.

On the loss side, Filler drew Tzu-Chien Wei, who’d followed her winners’ side quarterfinal loss to the “Road Runner” with victories over Loree Jon Brown 8-6 and April Larson 8-4. The “Road Runner” picked up Kristina Zlateva, who’d followed her loss to “The Pink Dagger” with a four-pack of wins, three of which went double hill; versus Margarita Fefilova (DH), Kennedy Meyman (1), Kaylee McIntosh (DH), and Brittany Bryant (DH).

Easton stopped Zlateva’s run 8-2 and advanced to the quarterfinals. There’s no telling what could have happened, had Filler not defeated Tzu-Chien Wei 8-4 and advanced to join Easton in those quarterfinals. Pre-supposing that Tzu-Chien would have defeated Easton in what might have been their quarterfinal (by no means a “given”), it would have put the WPBA’s top two competitors face-to-face in the semifinals.

As it turned out, Filler downed Easton 8-1 in those quarterfinals to earn a rematch against Fisher. Filler did a little better in the rematch, but Fisher defeated her a second time (8-4) to earn her own rematch against Tkach. 

It looked, right out of the gate, as if there were going to be no stopping Kelly Fisher in the final. She broke the first rack and dropped four balls. And then, shooting at the 8-ball, she overshot her ‘position’ with the cue ball and then, shooting at an oblique angle, failed to drop the 9-ball. Tkach did and followed by dropping three on her own break, and running to the 9-ball. She missed the relatively easy shot,  giving Fisher the opportunity for a quick ‘payback.’ She took it and tied the score.

Winning off of each other’s break became something of a habit as the two of them fought back and forth to a 3-3 tie. Fisher broke and ran rack #7, starting a three-match run. Tkach fought back, winning three to tie it again at 6-6. Fisher took the lead back, off of a three-ball break and run, then took advantage of a scratch on Tkach’s break to go up by two and then, reached the hill, ahead by three at 9-6.

Tkach kept it interesting by pulling within two in rack #16. Fisher, though, a hard person to deny at this stage of a match, completed her trip to the winners’ circle with a final rack to claim the first Borderline Brunswick Invitational title.

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Wiktor Victorious Again at Alfa Las Vegas Open

Wiktor Zielinski

Heading into this year’s Alfa Las Vegas Open, Wiktor Zielinski said the fact that he won last year’s event wasn’t even registering in his mind.

“To be honest, I didn’t even think about it,” said the 22-year-old from Poland. “I just wanted to play my best and see what happened.”

What happened was he took opportunities when they arrived and battled through tough layouts and breaking woes when they didn’t, as Zielinski won his second consecutive Alfa Las Vegas Open, defeating Sanjin Pehlivanovic in straight sets in the finals Sunday at the Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. Zielinski, who picked up $25,000 for the victory, needed to survive a shootout against Duong Quoc Hoang in the semifinals to reach the finals and repeat as champion.

“I wanted so bad to win this one,” said the Pole. “Hopefully, I showed my best game.”

He certainly showed perseverance, battling back from a lack of open shots in crucial situations.

After splitting the first two games of the opening set of the semifinals, Hoang reclaimed the lead with a break-and-run but allowed Zielinski to tie the match when he missed the 1 ball. The 36-year-old from Vietnam reclaimed the lead with a one rail kick in on the one ball and had a chance to increase his lead but misplayed position on the 4 ball then left an opening on a safety attempt. The Pole tied the match, then took his first lead of the set after his opponent fouled but Hoang evened the score again when his opponent missed a jump shot on the 3 ball in the following rack. The Pole recovered and sealed the first set victory when he won a safety exchange in the deciding game, 4-3.

After Hoang jumped out to a 2-0 advantage and sailed to a 4-1 second set win,
the two players split the first four games of the deciding set before Zielinski finally got a ball to fall on the break – two, to be exact – then ran out and take the lead.  His opponent used a push after his break followed by a safety to tie the match 3-3 and force a shootout.

Even in the extra frame, Zielinski struggled to catch a break.

After pocketing the first two spot shots while his opponent missed the first two, he had a chance to close out the match. Zielinski made the match-winning shot then watched as the cue ball scratched in the opposite corner pocket. He recovered in the next inning, rolling in the game-winner to set up a matchup with Pehlivanovic.

Both players solved their breaking issues early in the championship match, with Zielinski building a 2-0 advantage with back-to-back breaks and runs before failing to pocket a ball on the break in the third game. The 21-year-old from Bosnia and Herzegovina cleared the table to climb onto the scoreboard then added a break-and-run of his own to tie the score. He had a chance to take the lead but missed a makeable combination shot on the 1 and 8 balls. Zielinski cleared the table but his opponent tied the match in the next game when the Pole scratched while attempting a safety. Now at the table with the break and a chance to win the set, Pehlivanovic failed to pocket a ball on the break and his opponent used a safety on the 1 ball to find and opening and run out to secure a 4-3 victory.

After splitting the first two racks of the second set, the match was all Zielinski, who went from not being able to buy a break to catching multiple good rolls down the stretch – including a missed 7 ball in the third game and a misplayed safety in the fourth game by Pehlivanovic to help build a 3-1 advantage. Zielinski got one more piece of good fortune in the fifth game when his opponent missed a bank shot of the 2 ball into the side pocket which left a wide open table. After pocketing the 9 ball and leaving a mostly straight in 10 ball for the game winner, the Pole raised a fist and looked to the sky in triumph.

“I knew that it was going to be tough,” said Zielinski. “Sanjin is a world class player. I knew that it wouldn’t be easy. I played almost perfect in the first set and the second one I was a bit more lax.”

Monday will see the conclusion of the women’s Alfa Las Vegas Open with two semifinal matches beginning at noon followed by the championship at 4 p.m. local time. Sunday night saw defending champion Kelly Fisher reach the quarterfinals with a shootout victory over reigning Puerto Rico Open champion Wei Tzu-Chien only to fall in three sets Silviana Lu of Indonesia. Lu will face Seo Seoa, who defeated reigning World Women’s 9-Ball champion Chieh-Yu Chou in straight sets, 4-3, 4-3. The second semifinal will involve Bulgaria’s Kristina Zlateva matching up against Meng-Hsia Hung of Australia, who staged an epic shootout with Turkey’s Eylul Kibaroglu in the quarterfinals, needing seven innings in the extra frame to win, 7-6.

Watch Live on World Billiard TV YouTube channel, Billiard TV and at

Brackets and scores can be found at

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Polish Power and Fisher Back to Defend Crowns at Alfa Opens and World 10-Ball

For the past five years or so, competitors from Poland had been going deep in large professional pocket billiards tournaments and challenging the world’s best.

Polish competitors like Mieszko Fortunski, Wiktor Zielinski and Konrad Juszczyszyn would routinely reach the final 16 or quarterfinals of a major tournament or world championship – like in 2021, when eight Poles qualified for the 64-player, single-elimination phase of a world championship.

“Everyone is chasing after each other here and working on their game and it makes it very difficult for anyone to stand out,” said Wojciech Szewczyk. “We have a lot of passion for the game and we take it very seriously.”

Despite this passion, no one from the European nation had managed to earn a major victory –until last year, when Zielinski took home first place at Predator’s Pro Billiard Series Alfa Las Vegas Open and Szewczyk came from behind to win the Predator World 10-Ball Championship six days later. Both players along with women’s Alfa Las Vegas Open champion Kelly Fisher will be back to defend their titles beginning this week, with the Cue Sports International Expo kicking off this week. The 11-day event, which also includes the 3-Cushion World Cup, will begin Wednesday with the men’s Alfa Las Vegas Open and the women’s Open starting on Friday.

As Predator and CSI work to produce the toughest and fairest tests in professional pool, this year’s Pro Billiard Series events will see a format change. The single-elimination final stage of the Open tournaments will expand to three sets of a race-to-four from the two sets that it was previously. If the third set finishes in a 3-3 tie, a sudden-death shootout will occur. Competition in the double-elimination opening stage will remain a two-set race-to-four with ties decided by a shootout.

The format for the 128-player World 10-Ball Championship will remain unchanged, with players competing in race-to-eight double-elimination during the first half of the event before expanding to a race-to-10 during the single-elimination portion of the competition.

Zielinski survived a rollercoaster of a final day in last year’s Alfa Open, defeating Dimitri Jungo and Mika Immonen in shootouts to reach the finals where he took down Singapore’s Aloysius Yapp in straight sets. Six days later, Szewczyk trailed Edgie Geronimo 9-6 in the quarterfinals of the World 10-Ball Championships before taking advantage of a pair of open opportunities to come from behind and defeat his opponent. He then took down Albania’s Eklent Kaci and Christopher Tevez of Peru to earn Poland’s first world title. The weekend concluded with Fisher continuing a hot streak that would result in her earning a gold medal at the World Games later that summer and Player of the Year honors with Billiards Digest as AZBilliards, as the Hall of Famer posted an undefeated record and defeated Canada’s Britany Bryant in the finals of the women’s Alfa Las Vegas Open.

Professional events will be played on 18 nine-foot Predator Apex tables while over 6,000 competitors from the CSI Leagues will be competing on 276 of the seven-foot Apex table.

The prize fund for this year’s World 10-Ball Championship is also expanding to a total of $250,000 – up from $225,000 the previous year – with the winner’s share remaining $60,000. The two-week-long event kicks off third year of the Pro Billiard Series, which will include 21 total events this year that will pay out over $2 million in prize money.

Matches can be watched on Billiard.TV and on World Billiard TV, the official YouTube channel of CueSports International. A schedule of televised matches will be posted daily on the Pro Billiard Series and CSI Facebook and Instagram pages.

The Alfa Las Vegas Open starts at 9am local time tomorrow. Watch Live on World Billiard TV YouTube channel, Billiard TV and at

Brackets and scores can be found at

Follow @probilliardseries on Facebook, @probilliardseries on Instagram or @PBilliardSeries on Twitter.

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Fisher and Sanchez-Ruiz Wins AzB Player of the Year Awards

Kelly Fisher

Choosing the winners of the AzBilliards “Player of the Year” is never an easy task. While the Women’s award is usually a pretty easy choice, the Men’s award is a lot more difficult. 

The 2022 AzBilliards Women’s Player of the Year award goes to Kelly Fisher. Fisher appears to be back in the form that she showed in early 2010’s with a dominating year in 2022. Fisher has over $120,000 in winnings and seven major title wins in 2022. Most of her success came on the WPBA Tour, but she also had a win at the Predator Germany Women’s Open in June and possibly her biggest title of the year with her gold medal at the 2022 World Games in July. This is Fisher’s third AzBilliards Player of the Year award. 

As usual, the Men’s Player of the Year was a much tougher decision. Joshua Filler had to be a part of any Player of the Year conversation, with major wins at the World Pool Masters, UK Open, Derby City, EuroTour and European Championships. 

Filler looked to be in a Player of the Year race with Fedor Gorst for much of the year, with Fedor literally winning everywhere he was allowed to play. After his dominating performance at the Derby City Classic (wins in the Banks, One Pocket and Master of the Table) and defending his title at the Arizona Open, the WPA ban of Russian players went into affect and Gorst was forced to limit himself to competing in the US. Gorst made the most of those limitations and led the AzBilliards Money List for most of the year. Gorst has wins in nearly 20 US events (that we have record of) and over $250,000 in recorded prize money. 

Francisco Sanchez-Ruiz

While Francisco Sanchez-Ruiz’s year started with a win in the 9-ball event at Derby City, it looked for a couple of months as if Sanchez-Ruiz might have peaked at Derby and he would be off of the Player of the Year radar after that. He continued to play strong throughout the year though with a runner-up finish at the UK Open and then a win at World Cup of Pool (along with teammate David Alcaide). Late in the year, the talented Spaniard really hit his stride with a win on home soil at the PRP Nineball Open and then a win at the prestigious US Open 9-Ball Championship in mid October. Those wins moved Sanchez-Ruiz back into the Player of the Year conversation and in our opinion, his win a month later at the World 8-Ball Championship was enough to tilt the scales in his direction for the final award. All told, at year’s end, Sanchez-Ruiz had over $260,000 in prize money and a World Championship to display in his trophy case. He will also have the 2022 Men’s Player of the Year trophy in that case. 

Congratulations to both Sanchez-Ruiz and Fisher, and we wish them all of the best rolls in their 2023 quests to defend those titles. 

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Chou Shutouts Fisher To Win Kamui WPA Women’s World 9-Ball Title

Chieh-Yu Chou

Over the last six months, Chieh-Yu Chou of Chinese Taipei has put together a pretty impressive resume.

After earning a silver medal for her runner-up performance at last year’s World Games in Birmingham, Ala., she won the second-annual Predator World Women’s 10-Ball Championship in Austria, besting fellow countrywoman Tzu-Chien Wei in the finals with a commanding 9-3 performance.

Playing in the championship match of this weekend’s Kamui WPA Women’s World 9-Ball Championship, she somehow managed to top that performance, taking advantage of a couple of opportunities left by Allison Fisher early and blanking her opponent, 9-0, at Harrah’s Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City. Chou, who earned $30,000 for the win, becomes the first female competitor to hold the world titles in both 9-ball and 10-ball since Kelly Fisher in 2012.

“I’m very excited and it’s like a dream,” said Chou after the match. “The last 16 I thought I was going to lose and I won 9-8. I feel very lucky. I focused and continued my game so I’m really happy.”

After Chou climbed onto the scoreboard first with a victorious safety exchange in the first rack, the Fisher had a chance to even the score but missed a sharp cut on the 9 ball. Her opponent clicked the ball in to take a two-game lead, then broke and ran twice to increase her advantage to 4-0. Fisher returned to the table in the fifth game when her opponent failed to pocket a ball on the break but couldn’t find a clear shot at the 1 ball and opted to exchange safeties, which Chou took advantage of when her opponent left an open shot. Chou cleared the table then broke and ran twice more to increase her lead to a commanding 7-0.

“Today I was very comfortable so I was very focused,” she said.

That’s putting it mildly. She used another victorious safety on the 6-ball to climb onto the hill then used a tight cut shot on the 1 ball in to the side pocket to break to break-and-run once more and close out the championship match in a lightning fast 49 minutes.

“If you had asked me at the beginning of the week if I would like to be in the final, I would be quite pleased with it,” said Fisher. “No one wants to lose nine nil, but I couldn’t do anything about it.”

The victory ended the surprise run by Billiard Congress Hall of Famer Fisher, who had become a bit of a sentimental favorite after reaching the quarterfinals and pulling off an upset of young Filipino Chezka Centeno Saturday night. Playing another rising young star in Russia’s Kristina Tkach in the semifinals, the two competitors split the first 10 games until Tkach rattled the 5 ball in the corner pocket. Fisher cleared the table, then used a safety to force her opponent into a foul and tacked on a break-and-run to pull within one rack of the win.

After Fisher failed to pocket a ball on the break, the Russian attempted to pocket the 1 ball in the side and missed. After Fisher followed that miss with a foul after attempting to kick at the ball, Tkach worked her way through the balls and, with the 9 ball hanging near the corner pocket and the 6 and 7 balls further up the rail, elected to try a combination shot and missed. Fisher approached the table and began pondering her next shot but, failing to realize she had already used her time extension, was forced to drop, aim and fire at the ball as the shot clock was about to expire. She missed and Tkach began clearing the table but missed a makeable 9 ball in the corner pocket, allowing Fisher to rattle the ball into the corner pocket for the victory and a ticket to the finals.

Chou reached the finals by erasing an early deficit to South Korea’s Seo Seoa in the first semifinal of the day.

After taking an early 2-1 lead, Chou missed a jump shot on the 3 ball in the fourth rack. Seoa took full advantage, clearing table and winning the next five games to grab a 6-2 advantage. Standing at the table in the ninth rack, the South Korean attempted a safety on the 1 ball that left an opening which Chou walked directly through, winning three straight to cut the deficit to 6-5 before missing the 5 ball in the 12th rack. Seoa tacked on another win but left another opening in the next rack that allowed her opponent to see the 3 ball after a safety. Chou connected with the ball, then watched as the cue ball knocked the 9 ball into the corner pocket to pull within a game again.

“When I saw that ball, I thought there might be chance,” said Chou. “When I made that I said, “okay, my luck is coming. That was a turning point.”

Chou broke and ran twice to take the lead then used a safety exchange on the 1 ball to close out the match.

You can rewatch all feature matches on @worldbilliardtv on YouTube, or on Billiard TV available on every Smart TVs worldwide

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Seoa Beats Defending Champion Fisher To Earn Spot In The Women’s World 9-Ball Last 4

Seo Seoa

A Billiard Congress of America Hall of Famer with the last name of “Fisher” will be competing on the final day of the Kamui WPA World Women’s 9-Ball Championship but it isn’t the player most people were expecting.

Kelly Fisher’s four-year reign as defending champion came to an end in the most frustrating of ways, missing a pair of shots down the stretch after building a late lead to fall 9-8 to Seo Seoa of South Korea in the quarterfinals of the championships Saturday night at Harrah’s Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City.

After Fisher fought her way to a 9-4 victory in the round-of-16 against Melanie Sussenguth of Germany, she found herself trailing to Seoa throughout the first half of the match until she used a jump shot to clear the table and cut the lead to 6-5 then pocketed the 9 ball on the break to tie the match. Fisher had the opportunity to take lead in the next rack but scratched in the corner pocket, allowing Seoa to briefly regain the lead until she scratched on the break in the subsequent rack.

After Fisher climbed onto the hill with a victorious safety exchange in the 15th game, she appeared to be in position to clear the table and close out the set but missed a makeable 5 ball. Seoa used a combination shot on the 9 ball to tie the match and appeared to be in control of the deciding rack before she missed a makeable 8 ball in the corner pocket. Fisher banked in the object ball but then missed the winning 9 ball, allowing Seoa to pocket the ball after the two traded missed shots.

Seoa heads to the semifinals will face Women’s World 10-Ball champion Chieh-Yu Chou, who survived her round-of-16 match against Woojin Lee, 9-8, then cruised to the semifinals with a 9-2 victory over South Korea’s Jin Hye Ju.

As Kelly Fisher was being eliminated, fellow Hall of Famer Allison Fisher was turning back the clock a bit, defeating Chezka Centeno, 9-7, in the quarterfinals. Fisher jumped out to an early lead and maintained the momentum, carrying an 8-5 advantage until the Filipino tacked on a couple of games to close the gap to 8-7. Centeno had another opportunity in the 16h game after Fisher played a safety but she failed to contact the 2 ball with her kick shot, giving her opponent ball-in-hand and a pathway to close out the match.

“I can’t even believe it. It was a dream,” said Fisher of her win. “I dogged a couple of balls at the end there and I got really fortunate,”

Fisher’s opponent will be Kristina Tkach, who erased a two-game deficit down the stretch to defeat Jasmin Ouschan in the round-of-16 then gutted out a 9-7 win over Chihiro Kawahara in the quarterfinals.
Ouschan built an early 4-1 lead and had a chance to increase her lead further but missed the 2 ball. The Russian replied, winning the next three games to tie the score before missing a cut shot on the 1 ball. The Austrian returned serve by winning four of the next six racks to take an 8-6 lead and climb within one shot of the win. Ouschan, who has twice finished second the event, appeared to be in position to clear the table in the 15th game but missed a 3 ball in the corner pocket and gave her opponent new life.

“To be honest, I thought I was done,” said Tkach. “She gave me another chance and I thought ‘well, I will just go with the flow.’”

The flow allowed her to clear the table and break-and-run to tie the match, then finish off the comeback when she missed the 2 ball in the corner pocket only to watch as it rolled into the corner pocket on the opposite side.

Facing Kawahara in the quarterfinals, She built an early 4-1 lead but got uncomfortable in the chilly tournament room and watched the lead disintegrate. The two competitors traded racks until Tkach took an 8-7 lead when her opponent scratched on the break. The young Russian appeared to be positioned to run out the rack in the 16th game until she mishit her shot on the 4 ball and suddenly found her path to the 5 ball blocked by the 6 ball. She pulled out her jump cue and methodically slammed the ball in, then finished off the rack to close out the match.

Play resumes Sunday morning at 10 a.m. local time with Chou facing Seoa in the first semifinal and Fisher taking on Tkach in the second match of the day. The finals are scheduled for 4 p.m. Coverage of the event is available on the CueSports International YouTube channel as well as on Billiard TV, which is available on Roku and other streaming devices.

Follow all feature table matches LIVE @worldbilliardtv on YouTube, or on Billiard TV available on every Smart TVs worldwide

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Sussenguth Sends Ouschan To Losers’ Side On Day Two – Kamui WPA Women’s World 9-Ball Championship 2023

Melanie Suessenguth

In her second round match of the Kamui WPA Women’s World 9-Ball Championship, Jasmin Ouschan found herself trailing Billiard Congress of America Hall of Famer Karen Corr 4-0 in a race-to-seven before rallying to win the, 7-6.

The next night against Germany’s Melanie Sussenguth, the Austrian once again found herself staring up at a big deficit. This time, however, she was unable to pull off the late match rally, as the two-time World Women’s 9-Ball runner-up was defeated 7-2 in her winner’s qualification match Friday night at Harrah’s Resort and Casino in Atlantic City. Ouschan now moves to the one-loss side of the bracket in this 64-competitor, double-elimination tournament, where she will face the winner of the match between Caroline Pao and Xin Yu Hong Saturday morning.

After splitting the first four games, Sussenguth appeared to be in position to take the lead but left the 2 ball siting in the corner pocket’s jaws. With an open table, Ouschan could not capitalize as she overran position on the 9 ball and initiated a safety exchange which her opponent ultimately won. After the German used more safety play to tack on another rack, Ouschan had an opportunity to narrow the gap when her opponent scratched on the break but again failed to get out when she could not secure position on the 6 ball. After Sussenguth tucked the cue ball behind the 8 ball on a safety, Ouschan fouled when her attempt to jump the cue ball touched the blocking ball, handing Sussenguth ball-in-hand and a 5-2 advantage.

Ouschan had one last chance to make up some ground when her opponent failed to secure position on the 5 ball in the eighth game and the two traded safeties again. The Austrian went to her jump cue and popped the 5 ball into the corner pocket then she missed a cut shot on the 6 ball, allowing Sussenguth to take a commanding 6-2 lead. The German didn’t allow her opponent another shot, breaking and running to close out the set in the subsequent game.

In other matches from the winner’s side qualification, reigning champion Kelly Fisher pitched a 7-0 shut out over South Korea’s Woojin Lee, Filipino Chezka Centeno gutted out a 7-5 win against Rubilen Amit, Allison Fisher got by Eylul Kibaroglu, 7-5, and Pia Filler defeated Bulgaria’s Kristina Zlaveta, 7-3. Reigning World Women’s 10-Ball Champion Chieh-Yu Chou defeated Tani Miina, 7-1, Hye Ju Jin survived against Kristina Tkach, 7-6, and Japan’s Yuki Hiraguchi gutted out a 7-5 against Wan-Ling Wang.

Meanwhile, earlier in the day, it almost happened again to Margaret Fefilova Styer.

Playing Elise Qiu of France, she jumped out to a quick 4-0 advantage and was in the process of clearing the table in the fifth game when she missed a cut shot on the 6 ball. Qiu capitalized by winning the next three racks to pull within 4-3 and appeared positioned to tie the match but failed to convert a bank shot on the 6 ball. Fefilova Styer stroked in a long cut shot down the rail on the ball then finished off the rack to pull ahead by two games but forfeited the table again when she misplayed a safety on the 1 ball in the next game.

Qiu again took advantage of her opponent’s mistake, clearing the table then breaking and running to tie the match. Fefilova Styer left another chance in the 11th game after misplaying a safety but Qiu scratched in the side pocket after making the 2 ball. This would be the last time she would come to the table, as Fefilova Styer cleared the table to take a 6-5 lead and then broke and ran to close out the match.

Fefilova Styer had a bit of an easier time in her next match, defeating Veronique Menard of Canada, 7-4, and will face Kim Witzel of Germany when play resumes Saturday morning with eight matches from the one-loss side on Saturday at 10 a.m, local time. Live coverage begins at 10 a.m. local time on the CueSports International YouTube page as well as on Billiard TV.

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Amit Uses A Little Luck To Survive Women’s World 9-Ball Opening Day

Rubilen Amit

Chia Hua Chen was sailing along in her second-round match against Rubilen Amit, holding a decisive 5-0 advantage in a race-to-7, when she played a safety on the 2 ball after the break in the sixth game.

Needing some luck to get back into the match, Amit kicked at the ball and watched as it crossed the table twice then fell into the side pocket. The Filipino took full advantage of the fortuitous kick, clearing the table then winning six of the next seven racks to snatch a 7-6 victory and remain on the winner’s side of the Kamui World Women’s 9-Ball Championship at Harrah’s Resort and Casino in Atlantic City.

Amit was both lucky and good throughout the second half of the match, breaking and running four consecutive racks to tie the score, then using a successful safety exchange on the 1 ball to take the lead for the first time in the match, 6-5. Chen was able to tie the match in the following rack when she locked down her opponent with a safety of her own but then failed to pocket a ball on the break in the deciding match. Amit worked her way through the balls and left a mild cut on the 9 ball into the corner pocket for the win which she missed but watched as the ball bounced two rails and dropped into the side pocket, leaving her stunned and also victorious.

Margaret Fefilova Styer was in a similar situation in her opening round match against another Filipino, Chezka Centeno, on Thursday morning.

After the Filipino snagged the first game, she a missed 2 ball in the following rack and her opponent used the opportunity to take control of the match with five straight wins. At the table again with a chance to increase her lead in the seventh rack, Fefilova Styer missed a sharp cut on the 1 ball and the Filipino rallied, rattling off four straight wins to tie the match until a scratch on the break in the 11th game halted her momentum.

After the American used the unforced error to regain the lead, Centeno was able to use a victorious safety exchange to tie the match once more, then tacked on another break-and-run to close out the set and send her opponent to the one one-loss side of the bracket.

Centeno remained in stroke in the second round, defeating Dawn Hopkins, 7-4.

Later in the evening, reigning Predator World 10-Ball champion Chieh-Yu Chou literally jumped into the third round with a 7-3 victory over South Korea’s Seoa Seo.

Thanks to the accuracy of her jump cue abilities, Chou was able to build an early 4-2 advantage but missed a long 2 ball in the seventh game. Seoa cleared the table to cut the deficit to a single game and had a chance to tie the match in the eighth rack but left the 3 ball in the corner pocket’s jaw. With the cue ball blocked by the 5 ball, Chou again picked up her trusty jump cue, pocketed the ball and cleared the table, then used a break-and-run and a safety exchange to secure the victory.

In other notable matches from the first day of play, reigning champion Kelly Fisher trailed early in her second-round match against Germany’s Ina Kaplan but survived, 7-5, and Billiard Congress of America Hall of Famer Karen Corr jumped out to an early leads of 4-0 and 5-1 in her second-round match against Jasmin Ouschan but the Austrian battled back to win the set, 7-6.

Play resumes tomorrow at 9 a.m. local time with the first round of play from the one-loss side, with American Jennifer Barretta taking on Canadian Brittany Bryant and Margaret Fefilova Styer meeting Elise Qiu.

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Fisher Set to Defend World Women’s 9-Ball Title as New Pro Billiard Series Season Begins

As the clock struck midnight and the calendar turned to a new year, Billiard Congress of America Hall of Famer Kelly Fisher had one goal on her mind: defending her World Women’s 9-Ball Championship.

Given that the championship has belonged to her since 2019, she’s gotten rather attached to it.

“I’ve managed to hold onto my title through default for three years now so I’d like to keep it for a fourth year,” said Fisher, who defeated Jasmin Ouschan of Austria in the finals of the 2019 Open, the last one held before the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the event for four years.

Much as changed since Fisher last hoisted the trophy. For starters, the event has been acquired by Predator Group and Cue Sports International as part of its growing portfolio of international tournaments.

Additionally, the 64-player tournament has been relocated from China, where it had been held since 2009, to Harrah’s Resort and Casino in the New Jersey beach destination of Atlantic City as part of CSI League Atlantic City League Championships.

Lastly, Kamui, an industry leader in pool and billiards cue tips, chalk and supplies, has partnered with Predator and CSI as the official title sponsor of the Women’s World 9-Ball Championship, with company founder and Chief Executive Officer Masato Hiraoka attending this weekend’s tournament.

The first day of play kicks off with notable matches such as Chezka Centeno versus Margaret Fefilova Styer, Ouschan taking on Meng-Hsia Hung and Karen Corr facing LoreeJon Brown. Live streaming coverage of the tournament will be available on CSI’s YouTube channel as well as Billiard TV, which is available on Roku and numerous streaming applications.

This weekend’s World Women’s 9-Ball Championship, which carries a total prize fund of $148,000 with $30,000 given to the winner, also kicks off the third year of Predator’s Pro Billiards Series, which is slated to be the biggest schedule to date with 21 total events paying out over $2 million in prize money.

After the World Women’s 9-Ball Championship, the Series moves to the Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas for the CSI Expo and the Alfa Las Vegas men’s and women’s open, scheduled for February 22 through 27th. The Predator Las Vegas 3-Cushion World Cup will take place from February 26 through March 4 and the Predator World 10-Ball Championship, which carries a $250,000 prize fund, will be held from February 28 through March 4.

The Series’ spring schedule concludes with the Wisconsin Open at Ho-Chunk Gaming in the Wisconsin Dells, with men’s event scheduled for May 17th through the 20 and the ladies competing from May 18 until the 21st.

The Pro Billiards Series travels abroad over the summer with the Croatia Open men’s and women’s events scheduled for June 27 through July 2 in Murter and the Japan Open women’s tournament taking place from September 5 through the 8th in Shizuoka and the World 8-Ball Championship slated for September 7th though the 10th. Additionally, Predator will again be hosting the World Junior 9-Ball Championships in Shizuoka from September 6 through the 9th.

The Series returns state-side in the fall for the Michigan Open, with the men’s event scheduled for September 19 through the 23rd and the women’s event taking place from September 21 through the 24th. The following month, the third-annual Ohio Open men’s event will take place from October 11th through the 14th in Wilmington.

For the second consecutive year, the World Women’s 10-Ball Championship will be held in Ouschan’s hometown of Klagenfurt, Austria, with competition beginning on October 18, finishing on the 21st and carrying a prize fund of $150,000.

The Series will once again conclude in the tropical destination of San Juan, Puerto Rico with a men’s and women’s Puerto Rico Open, scheduled for November 14th through the 18th and the World Team Championships, which are slated to take place from November 16 through the 19th and carrying a $200,000 prize fund.

After a successful Pro Billiard Series women’s season in 2022, the Women’s Professional Billiards Association has decided to not sanction the events this year, which will not affect the players or their status. The Pro Billiard Series and the WPBA remain on good terms and we wish our former sanctioning partners the best for their upcoming season of events.

Follow all feature table matches LIVE @worldbilliardtv on YouTube, or on Billiard TV available on every Smart TVs worldwide

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Brackets and scores can be found at

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