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Peters Pockets Win On Gulf Coast Tour

Courtney Peters

Courtney Peters lost her second match, and fought her way through some of the toughest female competitors Texas has to offer, to capture the second stop on the 2021 Gulf Coast Women’s Regional Billiards Tour. In the end, Peters faced off with Kim Pierce, defeating her, 7-2, 5-3, in the true, double elimination final.

On April 24th-25th, 2021, sponsors Poison by Predator Cues, Predator Cues, APA of North Harris County, Alamo Billiards, Outsville Billiards, Team StraightPool Eye, Southern Streaming, and Slick Willies Family Pool Hall (5319 Westheimer) in Houston, Texas, facilitated another successful event for women pool players. This event was $500 added, drew 23 players, and paid out $960 in prize money. As always, Slick Willies provided premium amenities, including twenty-three, Brunswick 8’ Tables, in a smoke-free environment. Predator Arcos II Pool Balls and Accu-Racks by Outsville Billiards were provided for each table. 

Following a first round bye, and defeating Natalie Rocha in her second match, 7-6, Courtney Peters lost her third round match to Ming Ng, 7-3. Peters was relegated to the one-loss side, early, where she had much work ahead of her. Along with Peters, Ng also defeated Verda Jones, and Danni Ladd, 7-1, to reach the winners’ side, final four. Brenda Gunter bested Nikki Richard, 7-6, and Mary McHaney, 7-5, while newcomer Robyn Richardson ousted junior player Aubree Kennedy, 7-3, Blanca Camarillo, 7-5, and Bethany Leger, 7-5. Rounding out the final four, Kim Pierce denied Brittany Kromer, 7-1, newcomer Donna Charleston, 7-3, and Cari Balusek, 7-6. On the one-loss side, Richard won five in a row after losing her second round match. Richard eliminated Esther Castaneda, 5-3, Kennedy, and Balusek, 5-4, settling into the final eight. After losing her first match, Kromer was making a comeback on the one-loss side with wins over Rocha, 5-2, and Melissa Fuller, 5-1. Kromer fell to Leger, 5-4, just shy of the final eight. Michelle Abernathy dusted off Jones, 5-2, Charleston, and McHaney, 5-2.  Sara Bork made her bid, ending Ruth Paine, 5-3, and Camarillo, 5-3, but was eliminated by Peters, 5-3.  It was shutout-city on the winners’ side, as Ng and Pierce advanced, sending Gunter and Richardson to the west side. It was Ng versus Pierce for the hot seat, which was an all-too familiar scene. Once again, Pierce proved worthy, beating Ng, 7-6, and on her way to back-to-back victories. On the west side, Peters sent home Abernathy, 5-2, while Richard ended Gunter, 5-3. Peters went on to overwhelm Richard, 5-0, and Ng, 5-3, securing her fifth match win, and earning a spot in the finals. While Pierce was vying for her second, consecutive tournament win, Peters was searching for her first. Peters was in rapid-fire mode, ending the first set, 7-2. In the second set, Peters maintained her momentum, closing out the race, 5-3. This is Peters’ first Tour win of 2021, and just one of several  tournament wins in her Gulf Coast Tour career.  

The Tour welcomed new players Donna Charleston, Brenda Gunter, Ann Monzano, Robyn Richardson, and junior players, Aubree Kennedy and Lexi Balusek. Following a five match winning streak, Nikki Richard achieved a top four finish, while Brenda Gunter and Robyn Richardson placed 5th-6th. Finally, Gulf Coast would like to acknowledge Board Members Ruth Paine, Kim Pierce, and Ming Ng, who assisted with the players meeting and bracket updates.

The next event will be held June 5th-6th, 2021, at Slick Willies Family Pool Hall, located at 5913 Westheimer, Houston, Texas 77057. For more information, please visit www.GulfCoastWomensTour.com, or email lonestartour@gmail.com.  

Pierce Turns Up the Heat at Gulf Coast Tour ‘21 Comeback Event

Kim Pierce

Kim “Texas Heat” Pierce of Pflugerville, Texas, dominated a 52-player field, double-dipping Ming “The Empress” Ng in the finals, 7-4, 5-3, to capture the 2021 Gulf Coast Women’s Regional Billiards Tour “Comeback” 9-Ball Event. Pierce was defeated by Ng in the hot seat, 7-3, but powered her way back to an overtime finals victory.

On March 27th-28th, 2021, sponsors Poison by Predator Cues, Predator Cues, APA of North Harris County, Alamo Billiards, Outsville Billiards, Team StraightPool Eye, Lisa Gutierrez, Southern Streaming, and flagship venue, Big Tyme Billiards in Spring, Texas, produced a “comeback” event for the record books. This marked the first tournament held in a little over one year, since the Gulf Coast Tour shut down amidst the Covid crisis in March 2020. This event drew 52 women players from all across Texas and Louisiana, with $1,000 added, paying out $2,040 in prize money. As always, Big Tyme provided premium amenities, including twenty-three Diamond Bar Tables in a smoke-free environment, and an attentive wait staff, throughout the weekend. Predator sponsored brand new Predator Arcos II Pool Balls for every table, while Outsville Billiards provided the Accu-Racks. All of these amenities made for a very enjoyable, tournament-going experience, and everyone was ecstatic to be back.

On her way to the winners’ side, final four, Kim Pierce defeated Yvonne “The Casher” Asher, Susi Morales, 7-4, Robyn Petrosino, 7-5, and San Antonio’s Jackie Rodriguez, 7-2. Newcomer Gail Cato of Texarkana bested Sandra Melo, Debra Leger, 7-2, Tiffany Johnson, 7-3, and Austin’s Michelle Abernathy, 7-3. Kawania Watson made her trek with wins over Brittany Kromer, 7-5, Jennifer Ramos, 7-3, Natalie Rocha, 7-6, and the “Princess of Pool”, Teresa Garland, 7-2. Rounding out the final four, Ming Ng curbed Sherren Drake, Sophia Lopez, 7-1, Elaine Kebodeaux, 7-3, and Danni Ladd, 7-1. On the west side, and in the final sixteen, Tiffany Benoit dusted off Kebodeaux, 5-3, but fell to Abernathy, 5-0. Rocha eliminated first-timer, Mary McHaney, 5-0, and J. Rodriguez, 5-0, while Maria Rodriguez sent home Johnson and Ladd, by the same score, 5-2. Rounding out the final eight, Melo ousted new player Dani Barnes, 5-2, but was overwhelmed by Garland, 5-1. Back on the east side, final four action witnessed Ng power through Watson, 7-3, and Pierce squeeze by Cato, 7-6. In an all-too familiar, hot seat match, Ng overcame Pierce, 7-3, inching closer to a 2021 premier win. On the one-loss side, Rocha eliminated Abernathy, 5-2, while M. Rodriguez slid past Garland, 5-4. Vying for a spot in the final four of the tournament, Watson took down Rocha, 5-3, while Cato overwhelmed M. Rodriguez, 5-1. Cato made an impressive run for the finish line, but was stopped short by Pierce, 5-3. Once again, Pierce would tee-off against Ng, this time, in a true, double elimination format. A renewed Pierce showed up in the first set, setting the tone, 7-4. In the second set, with Pierce on the hill, an intense safety exchange on the 8-ball ended badly for Ng, and propelled Pierce to a 5-3 victory. Congratulations to Kim Pierce on an impressive, “comeback” win, along with new players Gail Cato and Maria Rodriguez who garnered 3rd and 5th-6th place finishes, respectively.

Gulf Coast Tour Board Members Ruth Paine, Kim Pierce, Ming Ng, and D’Andrea McQuirter, assisted in running a seamless, two-day event. The Tour would like to thank Lisa Gutierrez and Eric Nelson for their generous sponsorship contributions, to help kick-off this comeback tournament.

The next event will be held April 24th-25th, 2021, at Slick Willies Family Pool Hall, located at 5913 Westheimer, Houston, Texas 77057. For more information, please visit www.GulfCoastWomensTour.com.

Ng goes undefeated to claim Stop #2 on Jerry Olivier Ladies Tour

Ming Ng

Having won the season opener of the Gulf Coast Regional Tour in early January and a week later, finished as runner-up at the season opener of the 2020 Jerry Olivier Ladies Tour (JOLT), Ming Ng signed on to compete in Stop #2 of the JOLT and went undefeated to claim the title. She faced separate opponents in the hot seat and finals of this Feb. 29-March 1, $2,000-added  event that drew 27 entrants to Skinny Bob’s in Round Rock, TX.

Ng opened her campaign with victories over Sandra Melo and Tam Trinh before running into Angie Payne, who put up a double hill fight that almost sidetracked Ng’s march to the hot seat. Ng advanced to a winners’ side semifinal against Michelle Cortez, whom she’d face twice, before this was over. Natalie Rocha, in the meantime, who’d battled Ng twice (hot seat and finals) in that Gulf Coast Regional Tour season opener, worked her way through Rachel Hurst, Rosa Cantu and Jennifer Kraber to draw Teresa Garland in the other winners’ side semifinal.

Ng got into the hot seat match with a 7-5 victory over Cortez in their first of two. Rocha joined Ng following a 7-4 victory over Garland. Ng claimed the hot seat 7-4 over Rocha and waited on what turned out to be the return of Cortez.

On the loss side, Garland picked up Angie Payne, who, following her double hill loss to Ng on the winners’ side, downed Yvonne Asher 7-2 and Brittany Williams 7-4. Cortez drew a rematch against Kim Pierce, whom she’d defeated in the second winners’ side round. Pierce was in the midst of a four-match, loss-side winning streak that was about to end and had recently included victories over Jennifer Kraber 7-5 and Tam Trinh 7-3.

Garland eliminated Payne 7-4, as Cortez downed Pierce a second time, 7-5. Cortez and Garland battled to double hill in the quarterfinals before Cortez prevailed for a shot at Rocha in the semifinals.

Cortez completed her brief, successful loss-side run with a 7-4 win over Rocha in those semifinals. Momentum did not appear to be on Cortez’ side in the finals that followed. She’d battled to within a game of double hill in the earlier hot seat match, but could only manage a single rack in the finals. Ng completed her second undefeated 2020 run 7-1 to claim the event title.

A $100-added Best of the Rest Tournament was won by Jennifer Kraber. Yvonne Asher finished as runner-up.

Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Skinny Bob’s, as well as title sponsor Jerry Olivier Cues. The next stop on the Jerry Olivier Ladies Tour, scheduled for the weekend of April 4-5 will be hosted by Diamond Sports Bar in Port Arthur, TX.

World-class trio of Orcollo, Kiamco & Bustamante go 1, 2, 3 at 6th Annual Texas Open 10-Ball

Kraber goes undefeated to win her second Texas Women’s 10-Ball Championship

(l to r): John Palmore, Dennis Orcollo & James Davis, Sr.

Being Texas, it’s never enough to just hold an Open and Ladies 10-Ball tournament every year. Instead, Skinny Bob’s Billiards in Round Rock, TX hosts a six-day extravaganza (this year, from Feb. 12-17) that has a way of feeling like a month-long extravaganza, headlined by the annual Texas 10-Ball Open and Ladies 10-Ball Championships.

Things got underway on Wednesday, Feb. 12 with a 10-Ball mini-tournament, as more or less of a warm-up for events to come. On Thursday, the activity was a Scotch Doubles tournament that was eventually won by the team of Warren Kiamco and Ellen Robinson, who downed John Gabriel and Ellen Jones in the finals. Later in the day, a Banks/Rails game was won Sergio Rivas, who defeated John Demet in the finals. On Friday, an Open Ring game was won by Jeffrey DeLuna, with Sky Woodward as runner-up and John Gabriel in third place.

In the absence of a defending champion (Alex Pagulayan), a few relatively well-known Filipino competitors stepped in to fill the gap at the $4,000-added 6th Annual Texas Open 10-Ball, which got underway on Friday evening. Dennis Orcollo ended up going undefeated through the field. He downed Warren Kiamco twice (hot seat and finals) and waited patiently as Kiamco eliminated Francisco Bustamante in the semifinals. We’ll get back to them in a while, but first. . . the ladies.

The $1,000-added Ladies 10-Ball Championship, which drew 20 entrants, got underway on Saturday. Unlike the Open Championship, the Ladies event featured its defending champion, Gail Eaton. It was won by its 2018 champion, Jennifer Kraber, who went undefeated through the field, downing Courtney Peters twice, hot seat and finals.

Following victories over Kim Pierce, Kelly Jones and Rachel Hurst, Kraber moved into a winners’ side semifinal against Ming Ng. After being awarded an opening round bye, Peters downed Latonia Taylor and Michelle Yim, to draw Nicole McDaniel in the other winners’ side semifinal.

Kraber and Ng locked up in a double hill fight that eventually advanced Kraber to the hot seat match. She was joined by Peters, who’d defeated McDaniel 7-1. Kraber won the first of two versus Peters 7-3 and waited in the hot seat for her return.

On the loss side, Nicole McDaniel drew Kim Sanders, who’d recently eliminated defending champion Gail Eaton and Rachel Hurst, both 5-3. Ming Ng picked up Michelle Yim, who’d defeated Ellen Robinson 5-3 and Kelly Jones 5-2 to reach her.

Yim and Sanders handed Ng and McDaniel their second straight loss; Yim, 5-3 over Ng and Sanders shut McDaniel out to join Yim in the quarterfinals. Yim then did unto Sanders that which Sanders had most recently done to McDaniel; shut her out to advance.

In the semifinals that followed, Yim became the third shutout victim in a row and gave Peters a second shot at Kraber in the hot seat. Peters chalked up two more racks in the finals than she’d chalked up against Kraber in the hot seat match, but they weren’t enough, as Kraber completed her undefeated run 7-5 to claim the Ladies 10-Ball title.

Orcollo backs up Derby City Master of the Table title with undefeated run at Texas Open 10-Ball
It’s only February and Dennis Orcollo has pocketed money that would be the envy of most pool players to earn in an entire year. He finished 16th in the Derby City’s One Pocket Division, 3rd in the 9-Ball Division and won the 9-Ball Banks, all of which earned him the coveted Master of the Table title. All of this followed his victory at the Music City’s Midnight Madness Tournament and his runner-up finish (to Skyler Woodward) in the Music City’s Open Division. He didn’t get a chance to meet Woodward in this event, although Warren Kiamco did.

Robocop (as they call him) got by Kenny Loftis, John Gabriel, Justin Hall, Kevin Guimond and Junior Jueco by an aggregate score of 35-12, giving up just over two racks per match (on average). Orcollo drew Naoyuki Oi in one of the winners’ side semifinals.

Warren Kiamco, in the meantime, started his campaign out with back-to-back shutouts of Thomas Smith and Pat Castro. He then defeated Josh Roberts 7-1, Robert Gomez 7-3 and won a knock-down, drag-out, double hill match versus Sky Woodward (this event’s 2016 champion) to arrive at his winners’ side semifinal matchup with a 35-10 aggregate score and having given up an exact average of two racks per match. Kiamco squared off in his winners’ side semifinal against a very familiar opponent, Francisco Bustamante, who’d sent this event’s 2015 and 2017 champion, Manny Chau to the loss side.

Orcollo sent Oi to the loss side 7-2 and was joined in the hot seat match by Kiamco, who’d defeated Bustamante 7-4. Orcollo and Kiamco played an entertaining double hill hot seat match that eventually sent Kiamco to the semifinals and left Robocop in the hot seat.

On the loss side, Naoyuki Oi drew James Davis, Sr. (known as Strop, because he’s originally from Bastrop, TX), who’d recently defeated two strong opponents in a row to reach him; first Josh Roberts 7-4 and then, Sky Woodward 7-5. Bustamante picked up Roberto Gomez, who’d defeated Junior Jueco 7-1 and Sergio Rivas 7-3 to reach him.

Strop and Oi locked up in a double hill fight, eventually won by Strop. Bustamante joined Strop in the quarterfinals after eliminating Gomez 7-4. Bustamante then sent Davis, Sr. home 7-3 in those quarterfinals.

Those who thought that Bustamante and Kiamco would get into a double hill fight for a shot at Orcollo in the hot seat were disappointed. Kiamco gave up just a single rack and advanced to the finals 7-1 over Bustamante.

One might have been forgiven for believing that with that 7-1 momentum, the final rematch between Kiamco and Orcollo would have been something of an epic struggle. It wasn’t, really. Orcollo shut Kiamco out 7-0 to claim the event title.

Tour directors John Palmore and James Davis, Sr. thanked John and Sue Cielo and their Skinny Bob’s staff for their continued support of this event, to include their hands-on assistance with varied aspects of running the tournament; entries, money management, etc. In addition, noted Palmore, “Kaye Watson is the glue that holds everything together for (Davis) and I. She helps with bracket management and most importantly, that all the the money is correct coming in and going out.” They also thanked event sponsors Simonis, Hanshew Jump Cues and Sleep Inn.

Ng Takes Gulf Coast Tour Season Opener

Kim Reiner, Teresa Garland, Ming Ng, Natalie Rocha and Ellen Robinson

Ming Ng fought through a field of twenty-two, tough, female competitors, escaping Natalie Rocha in the second set of the true, double elimination final, to claim the first stop on the 2020 Gulf Coast Women’s Regional Billiards Tour.  
 
On January 4th, 2020, sponsors Cyclop Pool Balls, Poison by Predator Cues, APA of North Harris County, Alamo Billiards, Outsville Billiards, and the Tour’s newest sponsor, Team Straight Pool Eye, facilitated a successful event for the Gulf Coast Women’s Regional Billiards Tour, paying out $940 in prize money, for the one-day, $500 added, women’s 9-ball event. The tournament was held at the legendary Slick Willies Family Pool Hall, located at 5913 Westheimer, in Houston’s upscale, Galleria area. The Gulf Coast Tour would like to thank Slick Willies’ Director of Operations, David Kimmey, for signing on to another season of events for women pool players. “We are proud to be back at Slick Willies for a second year, and thank them for their continued support” said Kim Newsome, Gulf Coast Tour Founder and Director. Slick Willies will host four events in Houston, and one in San Antonio, during the 2020 season. The next event will be held at Diamond Sports Bar and Billiards in Port Arthur, Texas, on February 8th-9th. 
 
Ming “The Empress” Ng made her way to the winners’ side final four with wins over Brittany Kromer, 7-3, and Michelle Yim, 7-4, while Teresa “Princess of Pool” Garland defeated Sandra Melo, 7-2, and Kim Reiner, 7-5. Ellen Robinson bested newcomer, Louisiana Le, 7-6, and Verda Jones, 7-1, while Natalie Rocha ousted first-timer, Brenda Gunter, 7-1, Carmel Luttrell, 7-2, and Courtney Peters, 7-5. On the one-loss side, Sherry Hildebrand ended Sandra Melo, 5-3, but was eliminated in turn by Vada Selsor. Michelle Abernathy overcame Ginger Abadilla, 5-3, while Kromer handled Gunter, 5-2. Luttrell passed Matty Sword, 5-2, Stacy Berry dismissed Terri Resendez, 5-3, and Le denied Kim Woodworth, 5-1. Rounding out the final four on the one-loss side, Selsor defended against Hildebrand, but fell to Peters, 5-2, while Kromer took out Abernathy, 5-1, and Jones, 5-3. Berry sent home Luttrell, 5-2, but lost to Reiner, 5-4, while D’Andrea McQuirter derailed Le, 5-4, only to be taken out by Yim, 5-4. It was down to the final eight players, and the action was heating up on the east side. Vying for the hot seat, Rocha dealt Robinson her first blow, while Ng shut-out Garland, pitting two of the finest, Houston players, in a hot seat showdown. Rocha was determined to change the narrative, but Ng resisted, and forged ahead to win the hot seat, 7-4. On the west side, Peters plowed through Kromer, 5-1, but was stopped by Garland, 5-4, as Reiner finished off Abernathy, 5-4, but fell to Robinson, 5-3. Final four tournament action witnessed Robinson conquer Garland, 5-2, but failing to advance further, losing to Rocha, 5-2. Rocha earned a rematch with Ng, along with a shot at redemption, and the title. In the first set, Rocha came on strong, defeating the current Tour champion, 7-5. In overtime, Ng shifted gears, defeating Rocha, 5-2, to win the Gulf Coast Tour, 2020 Season Opener.
 
Gulf Coast welcomes all of its new members, and returning members, to the 2020 Tour! The Tour offers a number of member perks, including free, 15-minute pool clinics on tournament weekends, hosted by WPBA Exempt Professional, Kim Newsome, and renowned players, Ming Ng, and Kim Pierce. Clinics are aimed at helping women improve their overall game and mindset. For more information about Tour benefits, please visit www.GulfCoastWomensTour.com.
 
Board Members Ming Ng and D’Andrea McQuirter, along with Ellen Robinson and Teresa Garland, ran a seamless event, while Ginger Abadilla photographed the players in action. The Tour would like to thank these wonderful women for a job well done.
 
The next event is February 8th-9th, 2020 at Diamond Sports Bar and Billiards in Port Arthur, Texas.  This event is played on open bar tables. For more information, visit www.GulfCoastWomensTour.com. 

 

Bishoff takes two out of three versus Kraber to win Jerry Olivier Ladies’ Tour season finale

(l to r): Winner Jenna Bishoff & Tour Champion Kim Pierce

Looking for her second 2019 tour victory, her first having come on the North Central Pool Tour in Illinois (August), Jenna Bishoff shifted south a bit to join the Jerry Olivier Ladies Tour in League City, TX for its 7th tour stop and season finale, where she met up with Jennifer Kraber three times. The last two meetings were in the finals where Bishoff double-dipped Kraber to claim the event title. The $3,000-added event drew 45 entrants to Legends Billiards in League City.
 
Following victories over Natalie Rocha, Yvonne Asher, Ming Ng and Michelle Yim, Bishoff advanced to her first meeting with Kraber in one of the winners’ side semifinals. Kraber had gotten by Regina Gomez, Gail Roles, Aryana Lynch, and Calaia Jackson to draw Bishoff. Kim Sanders, in the meantime, faced off against tour director Teresa Garland in the other winners’ side semifinal.
 
Kraber won the first of three versus Bishoff 7-5 and in the hot seat match, faced Sanders who’d sent Garland west 7-4. Kraber gave up only a single rack to Sanders in the match that followed, winning what proved to be her last match and claiming the hot seat.
 
Over on the loss side, Bishoff picked up Autumn Duncan, who’d been sent to the loss side in the second round by Michelle Cortez in a double hill fight and was in the midst of a seven-match, loss-side winning streak that included recent victories over Belinda Lee 7-1 and Kim Pierce 7-2, and was about to come to an end. Garland drew Janeen Lee, who’d recently eliminated Calaia Jackson and Michelle Cortez, both 7-5.
 
Bishoff’s bid for a rematch against Kraber in the hot seat was almost stopped by Duncan, who battled her to double hill before giving way and settling for the two-way tie for 5th place. Lee, in the meantime, defeated Garland 7-5 to join Bishoff in the quarterfinals.
 
Bishoff then chalked up three straight 7-2 wins; against Lee in the quarterfinals, Sanders in the semifinals and Kraber in the opening set of the true double elimination finals. Bishoff punctuated her run with a shutout over Kraber in the second set of the finals to claim the tour’s season finale title.
 
In what was described as a “battle to the (tour) finish line,” Kim Pierce was announced as the 2019 Jerry Olivier Ladies Tour Champion. Kelly Jones was identified as the tour’s Most Improved Player, while Calaia Jackson picked up the Best Sportsmanship Award; all were awarded trophies for the accomplishment. Pierce and Jones received free entries for 2020. Jackson will receive one free entry. Jennifer Kraber received a $50 scratch-off ticket at the tour’s player with the most break-and-runs. Jackson was identified as the competitor with the season’s most 9-on-the-breaks.
 
Tour representatives thanked Mindy and Craig Cohen and their Legends staff, as well as title sponsor Jerry Olivier Custom Cues and tour affiliates Mz Tam and Strokin’ Billiards.

Kraber records her first 2019 victory, going undefeated on Jerry Olivier Ladies Tour

Jennifer Kraber

It was her first (recorded) victory on the Jerry Olivier Ladies Tour since its debut in March of last year, when she went undefeated to claim the inaugural tour title. On the weekend of October 19-20, Jennifer Kraber joined 21 competitors for the 6th stop on the 2019 tour and went undefeated through the field, downing Michelle Cortez twice to claim the event title. The $2,000-added event was hosted by Fast Eddie’s Billiards in Embassy Oaks, TX.
 
Following an opening round bye, Kraber chalked up wins over Michelle Yim 7-4 and Angie Payne 7-2 to arrive at a winners’ side semifinal match against Kelly Jones. Cortez, in the meantime, after her opening round bye, got by Ellen Robinson and Teresa Garland, both 7-5, to draw Rachel Hurst in the other winners’ side semifinal.
 
Kraber moved into the hot seat match with a 7-4 win over Jones and was joined by Cortez, who’d sent Hurst to the loss side 7-3. Kraber and Cortez battled to double hill in their struggle for the hot seat before Kraber prevailed and Cortez moved over to the semifinals.
 
Jones and Hurst arrived on the loss side of the bracket and immediately picked up their second straight loss; Jones, falling 7-5 to Kim Pierce, who’d defeated Gail Roles 7-1 and Michelle Yim 7-3 to reach her and Hurst, defeated by Ellen Robinson, who’d eliminated Angie Payne 7-4 and Tam Trinh 7-2.
 
Robinson won the quarterfinal match that followed 7-3, but had her six-match, loss-side winning streak ended by Cortez 7-4 in the semifinals. By the same score, Cortez had her single-match, loss-side winning streak ended by Kraber in the finals, who claimed the event title.
 
Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Fast Eddie’s as well as title sponsor Jerry Olivier Custom Cues and MZTam.com. The next stop on the Jerry Olivier Ladies Tour (#7), scheduled for the weekend of November 16-17, will be the tour’s Season Finale, hosted by Legends Billiards in League City, TX. 

Callado wins four to capture NAPT Desert Challenge in Las Vegas

(l to r): Tara Williams, Gigi Callejas, Veronique Menard & Eleanor Callado

In a short field of 23 entrants, some of whom competed last year at the same event, Eleanor Callado won four straight matches to capture the North American Pool Tour’s (NAPT) 4th Desert Challenge title on the weekend of September 19-22 at Griff’s in Las Vegas, NV. Callado faced separate challengers in the hot seat and finals of this 10-ball competition – Gigi Callejas (hot seat) and Canada’s Veronique Menard (finals) – to complete her undefeated run.
 
Granted an opening round bye, as eight of the event’s 12 competitors squared off in a play-in round, Callado drew Kim Pierce off that play-in round and defeated her 7-5 to open her four-match march to the winners’ circle. She then faced Melissa Herndon in one of the winners’ side semifinals. Gigi Callejas, in the meantime, who’d defeated Christina Gonzalez 7-5 in the play-in round, went on to get by Tara Williams 7-5 and draw Veronique Menard in the other winners’ side semifinal.
 
Callado and Callejas advanced to the hot seat match with identical 7-4 wins over Herndon and Menard, respectively. Callado grabbed the hot seat with a 7-2 win over Callejas and waited on the return of Menard.
 
Over on the loss side, Menard picked up Nicole King, who’d defeated Laura Bendikas 7-3 and Kim Pierce 7-5 to reach her. Herndon drew Tara Williams, who’d eliminated Debra Aarens 7-3 and shut out Bernie Store.
 
Menard downed King 7-5 and in the quarterfinals, faced Williams, who’d survived a double hill battle versus Herndon. Menard took the quarterfinal match 7-5 over Williams to earn a rematch against Callejas in the semifinals.
 
Menard earned her slot in the finals with a 7-3 rematch win over Callejas in the semifinals. Callado, though, punctuated her brief, but successful run on the Desert Challenge by giving up only a single rack to Menard in the event finals.
 
NAPT President Adrienne Beach thanked Mark Griffin and his staff for their hospitality, as well as Rail2Rail Productions for their live streaming of selected matches throughout the weekend. The next NAPT event, scheduled for October 24-27 will be the Division I Pro Coupe Du Quebec, hosted by Dooly’s in Quebec, Canada.

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

Ming Ng (Photo courtesy Jerry Olivier Pool Tour)

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

Jones goes undefeated second straight time to take Stop #4 on the Jerry Olivier Ladies Tour

(l to r): Kim Pierce, Kelly Jones & Tara Williams

Shades of Yogi Berra and his musing about ‘Déjà vu all over again.’ On the weekend of June 8-9 at JR Pockets Sports Bar and Grill in Denton, TX, Kelly Jones and Kim Pierce faced each other twice to claim an event title (Stop #4) on the Jerry Olivier Custom Cues Ladies Tour, just as they had on the weekend of April 13-14 (Stop #3) at the Diamond Sports Bar and Grill in Port Arthur, TX. With the same result – Kelly Jones claiming the title, Kim Pierce finishing as runner-up. At this most recent event, however, their first meeting came in the hot seat match (it was in a winners’ side semifinal back in April), while for the second straight time on the tour, they were the event finalists. The $2,000-added event drew 48 entrants to JR Pockets.
 
Jones’ path to the hot seat match was almost derailed at the outset. She was awarded an opening round bye before facing Michelle Cortez in the second round. Cortez battled her to double hill before giving way. Jones advanced to defeat Rachel Hurst and Belinda Lee, to face Angie Payne in one of the winners’ side semifinals. Pierce, in the meantime, without an opening round bye, defeated Ellen Robinson, Glynda Fuller, Tam Trinh, and Orietta Strickland to draw Ashley Nandrasy in the other winners’ side semifinal.
 
Jones got into the hot seat match with a 7-2 win over Payne and was joined by Pierce, who’d survived a double hill match against Nandrasy. Jones claimed the hot seat 7-5 and waited for the second straight time on the tour for the return of Pierce.
 
On the loss side, Payne picked up Tara Williams, who’d been defeated by Belinda Lee in the third winners’ side round and defeated Stacie Putnam 7-2, Rachel Hurst 7-4, picked up a forfeit win from Ricki Lee Casper and downed Kim Sanders 7-5. Nandrasy drew Aryana Lynch, who’d been sent to the loss side by Payne in a winners’ side quarterfinal and downed Michelle Yim 7-3 and Ellen Robinson 7-4 to reach Nandrasy.
 
Nandrasy advanced to the quarterfinals with a 7-4 victory over Lynch and was joined by Williams, who’d eliminated Payne 7-2. Williams made it six in a row on the loss side with a 7-2 victory over Nandrasy in those quarterfinals.
 
Pierce stopped Williams’ loss-side run with a 7-4 victory in the semifinals for a second shot (a second time) at Jones in the hot seat. Second verse, same as the first, as they say. Jones took the semifinal match 7-4 to claim her second Jerry Olivier Ladies Tour title.
 
A Best of the Rest event with 11 entrants saw Rachel Hurst take the top prize, with Nicole McDaniel in 2nd place. McDaniel was in the hot seat, but left to get home to her family. Corina Campbell finished 3rd and Melissa Smith came in 4th.
 
Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at JR Pockets, as well as title sponsor Jerry Olivier Custom Cues, MzTam.com and a “huge shout out” to Rackem TV for providing a live stream. The next stop (#5) on the Jerry Olivier Custom Cues Ladies Tour, scheduled for the weekend of September 14-15, will be hosted by Slick Willie’s Family Pool Hall in Austin, TX.