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Fisher stays atop WPBA rankings with come-from-the-loss-side win at Sledgehammer Open

Kelly Fisher, Janet Atwell and Kristina Tkach

The late Helena Thornfeldt remembered in heartfelt 1st Annual event named in her honor

She was nicknamed the Sledgehammer because of her powerful break. Whenever conversations about Helena Thornfeldt broke out among friends and competitors at the 1st Annual WPBA Cherokee Sledgehammer Open, named in her honor this past weekend (Wed., Oct. 19 – Sun., Oct. 23), more than just a few of the gathered women had cause to remember it; the loud whack of initial contact and the way the balls spread out as though desperate for space beyond the rails to dissipate the energy of it. It had taken over two years for the pool community’s widespread respect and admiration for the late Helena Thornfeldt to arrive at a gathering in her honor. The WPBA Hall of Famer died in August of 2019 and though Janet Atwell, in an attempt to organize a 2020 event, began work on it almost immediately, COVID had other ideas, that persisted.

This past weekend, Atwell’s room, Borderline Billiards in Bristol, TN had one of Thornfeldt’s favorite things, sunflowers, on prominent display. A table was set aside to hold a variety of individual and collections of photos. The trophies that were handed to the winner, Kelly Fisher and runner-up Kristina Tkach were accompanied by two actual sledgehammers, made by Robert Ingold of Team SuperShaft. Atwell is working on the creation of a permanent wall plaque at Borderline Billiards with engraving space for the event’s present and future winners, along with a pair of crossed sledgehammers. The event began on Wednesday with words from Janet Atwell and a video made by Bonnie Arnold that featured, among other things, Thornfeldt singing a karaoke version of Born to be Wild. The event officially opened with the National Anthem sung by Christina Druen.

“I think it was an emotional event for everyone,” said Atwell. “Some went through some struggles with it.”

“Absolutely,” agreed Kelly Fisher. “A very emotional event, that first night. There wasn’t a dry eye in the place.”

Kelly Fisher

“We all missed her really,” she added, “and we hadn’t had a chance to show that or feel that, as a family, together. I know that for myself, during that final and a during a few other close matches as well, I could just imagine Helena saying things to me. I went outside at one point to get a breath of air and Monica (Webb) said something to me that Helena would have said and I got kind of fired up there. So for me, personally, she was definitely a presence in my heart and mind.”

Among those in attendance, including Fisher, Tkach and Atwell of course, was Jeannette Lee, who had, in a 2017 interview, called Thornfeldt “the best female straight pool player in the world.” Lee joined Atwell as a member of a ProAm team (one of many) that played a social tournament on opening night, full of blatant sharking and fun. Monica Webb, who ran a restaurant business with Thornfeldt for a number of years, was there, as well. So, too, was the WPBA’s Peg Ledman, a personal friend of Thornfeldt. Not present, though there in spirit, was Allison Fisher, who was in England being awarded an MBE title (a Member of the British Empire) for her “contributions to sport,” many of those, from Britain’s point of view, earned as a snooker player there. The event also featured a strong contingent of (now) relatively well-known junior competitors like Hayleigh Marion (for whom Borderline Billiards is a home room), Sofia Mast, Skylar Hess and recipient of a great deal of attention, 12-year-old Savannah Easton.

The $10,000-added Sledgehammer Open drew a total of 80 entrants to Borderline Billiards, 32 of them drawing byes exempting them from Stage One competition. The 48 others, 16 of whom drew opening round byes in Stage One, played in a double-elimination bracket until there were eight on each side of it. Stage Two awarded byes to the top 16 in the WPBA standings, as the double-elimination bracket got underway, and . . . they were off. 

Headlining the eight competitors who advanced to Stage Two from the winners’ side of the Stage One bracket was Sofia Mast, one of the 16 who’d been awarded opening round byes in Stage One. Her first opponent was Savannah Easton, setting up an early junior marquee matchup. Mast advanced on the winners’ side 7-2, while Easton would move to the loss side, winning three by an aggregate score of 21-5 and advancing to Stage Two. Also advancing on the winners’ side of the Stage One bracket were Kathy Friend, Jaye Succo, Nathalie Chabot, Christy Norris and the Callado sisters, Eleanor and Emilyn. Along with Easton, loss-side competitors advancing to Stage Two were junior competitors Skylar Hess and Precilia Kinsley, along with Nicole Albergaria, Dawn Oldag, Kim Housman, Lisa Cossette and Casey Cork.

Kristina Tkach

The opening round of Stage Two, with Kelly Fisher (among others) idle with opening round byes. Kristina Tkach played and won her opening round against Casey Cork 8-3 and then downed Stephanie Mitchell 8-3 in a match that set her up to face Fisher. Savannah Easton opened the Stage Two part of her title bid with a successful, double-hill match versus J. Pechauer Northeast Women’s Tour (JPNEWT) veteran Kia Burwell. Easton advanced to face another JPNEWT veteran and the #1-ranked American player in the WPBA rankings, Caroline Pao, where she (Easton), as they say, met her match; Pao winning the contest 8-5. Mast lost her opening Stage Two match to Meng-Hsia (Bean) Hung 8-2, and moved west for an eventual rematch against Easton. 

Fisher, in the second round, downed Eleanor Callado 8-3 and then, in a late match, fell to Tkach 8-6. Tkach advanced to the other winners’ side semifinal against Pao.

“She obviously had worked very hard and perfected that cut break and I just wasn’t getting my break going,” said Fisher. “She obviously played very well to beat me. I knew she was in good shape and thought “Oh, my!”

At the other end of the bracket, Margaret Fefilova, with relative ease, was working her way through the winners’ side for an eventual matchup against Jennifer Baretta in the other winners’ side semifinal. Fefilova got by Lisa Cossette 8-3 before running into what turned out to be her toughest opponent (as gauged by racks-against), Janet Atwell, who chalked up five against her. Fefilova moved on to down Ashley Rice 8-2 and record a shutout over the #3 competitor in the WPBA rankings, Brittany Bryant, which set her up against Baretta.

Fefilova got into the hot seat match with an 8-3 win over Baretta and was joined by Tkach, who’d sent Pao to the loss side 8-4. On Saturday night, Tkach claimed the hot seat 8-2 over Fefilova and would wait until Sunday afternoon to see who came back from the semifinals.

It was Kelly Fisher. But she wouldn’t play that semifinal until Sunday. In the meantime, Pao and Baretta had business to attend to on what was left of Saturday night. Baretta picked up Savannah Easton, whose improbable and impressive run among this roomful of professional female pool players was still happening as the bracket whittled down to its final six. Easton had followed her loss to Pao with a loss-side, double-hill win over Beth Fondell and then, looking to advance into the first money round (17th/24th), she had the opportunity to avenge her Stage One loss to Sofia Mast. She did so, in a match that appropriately came within a game of going double hill. Easton then eliminated Laura Smith and won a double-hill battle against Emily Duddy. She then downed Monica Webb 8-6 and Dawn Hopkins 8-3.

Larry Easton, Savannah’s father, no stranger to his daughter’s talent, turned to Atwell as he was watching this, as amazed as many of the spectators at how far his daughter had come, in a lot of ways.

“I don’t even know what to say,” he told Atwell.

“She’s got great cue ball control, thinks ahead and plays very smart for her age,” Atwell would comment later. “She’s very strategic and plays great safeties. She plays like an adult and (her career) is off to a great start.”

Pao, in the meantime, drew Fisher, who’d started what she called a “grueling Saturday,” playing five matches in a row from noon to 8:30. She played and eliminated Meng-Hsia Hung (at noon), Janet Atwell (2 p.m.), Susan Williams (4:30) and the WPBA’s #2-ranked competitor, Brittany Bryant (6:30), all 8-4. Fisher defeated Pao 8-3 (8:30), as Baretta elicited a variety of mixed emotions from all assembled by ending Savannah Easton’s run 8-1. There was a lot of spectator applause in the moment, some of it for both of them, but a lot of it for the talented junior.

“People were excited to see her play,” said Atwell, “and happy with her finish.”

In a quarterfinal battle appropriate to the circumstances, played the following morning, Fisher and Baretta went double hill before Fisher prevailed. In the semifinals, Fisher went back to the loss-side pattern she’d established and punching her ticket to the finals, defeated Fefilova 8-4. Fisher might have played six matches to be in the finals, but thanks to Tkach, it required eight, including a loss. The rematch came within a game of double hill, but not before Fisher found herself down 2-5 and later, 5-8; Tkach a rack away from the hill.

“I was spurred on by pure determination really and the will to win it,” she said of her comeback. “I told Helena, I looked at her picture and like that, ‘Come on, do this for you’ kind of thing and whether you believe in that kind of thing or not, it’s not about who or what it takes to spur you on, but doing whatever it takes.” 

“Whatever it was,” she added, “things turned around. I dug in my heels, hit a gear and took charge of the match.”

From 2-5 down, Fisher won eight of the last 11 games, including the last five in a row. Quite the gear, all things considered. Whether it was herself, Helena, or just the adrenaline of a final push to the finish line, Fisher brought it all to bear and claimed title to her close friend’s first and likely not the last memorial.

Helena Thornfeldt

The 1st Annual WPBA Cherokee Sledgehammer Open came about through the efforts of any number of people, all of whom host Janet Atwell thanked, from the players and spectators to the members of her staff. She also thanked event sponsors the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, Brad Hendricks Law Firm (Little Rock, ARK), Patty and Walter Harper of Knoxville and the streaming services of DigitalPool with Upstate Al, Zach Goldsmith and a number of competitors who joined them in the booth.

Editor’s note: Helena Thornfeldt died on August 20, 2019 at the age of 52. Originally from Borlange, Sweden, she was living in Villa Rica, about 35 miles west of Atlanta, when she died. She had opened a new restaurant, Pizza Mania, 15 days before she passed. The “Sledgehammer” turned professional in 1994, was a three-time European straight pool champion and won the 2002 US Open Championship in New Mexico, downing Allison Fisher in the finals. In the year she was inducted into the WPBA Hall of Fame in 2017, she was ranked 9th among American pool players. We here at AZBilliards join with members of the ever-expanding pool community in mourning her loss and in the years to come, celebrating the life of such a vibrant, widely-admired and respected member of our community at an annual Sledgehammer Open.

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Ivanovskaia Snatches Victory from Defeat’s Jaws to Advance to World Games Semifinal

Veronika Ivanovskaia

WOMEN’S POOL
Veronika Ivanovskaia 9-8 Rubilen Amit

Thursday night, Rubilen Amit of the Philippines stunned Germany’s Pia Filler with a pressure-packed, come-from-behind 9-8 victory, winning three consecutive racks to secure a spot in the quarterfinals.

A mere 24 hours later, it appeared history might be repeating itself, as Germany’s Veronika Ivanovskaia jumped out to an early 6-2 advantage, only to watch it all evaporate as a handful of missed shots allowed her opponent to climb back into the match and tie the score, 8-8.

“I couldn’t finish easy tables anymore,” said Ivanovskaia. ”I was shaking and my head was all over.”

While the Filipino used a heavy dose of luck to advance the night before, this time her luck ran out, as Ivanovskaia received a timely roll after a missed shot to defeat Amit, 9-8, and advance to Saturday’s quarterfinals.

With the score tied at eight games each, Amit scratched on the break and gave the ball-in-hand to her opponent, who promptly missed a routine 3 ball minutes later. Fortunately for the German, the object ball rolled to a safe place on the table and forced her opponent to execute a kick shot. Amit’s kick left a wide-open table and, despite the rattled nerves along with the memory of a handful of missed shots, Ivanovskaia closed out the final rack with authority, rifling each ball into the pocket with confidence.

“I said to myself, ‘this is your final chance and if you don’t take it, then you’re just stupid,’” she said. “I just tried to stay committed on my shots and focus on my cue action and just make the
balls.”

Chieh-Yu Chou 9, Eunji Park 1
Chinese Taipei’s Chieh-Yu Chou led start-to-finish in her match against Korea’s Eunji Park and coasted to a commanding 9-1 victory in the quarterfinals of the World Games in Birmingham.

“I think I had a pretty good break today at the beginning and at the end,” said Chou.

After winning the first two racks, Park climbed onto the scoreboard to cut the deficit to 2-1. That would be her lone win of the match, as Chou won seven straight games to close out the set and advance to the semifinals.

Park’s play was the polar opposite of what she had exhibited a day earlier when she battled to the wire to defeat Monica Webb of the United States, 9-8, in the opening round, struggling with her break and ball pocketing throughout the evening session match.

“Yesterday, I think I had a good influence on the game by preparing my mind before the game and today, unlike yesterday, I lost because I was nervous,” said Park.

MEN’S POOL
Sanjin Pehlivanovic 11-9 John Morra
Francisco Sanchez-Ruiz 7-11 Aloysuis Yapp

Aloysius Yapp will meet Sanjin Pehlivanovic in The World Games semi-finals. Pehlivanovic overturned a 5-1 deficit to beat John Morra 11-9, while Yapp defeated Spain’s Francisco Sanchez-Ruiz 11-7.

Morra opened an early 5-1 lead over his opponent, but a scratch on the 7 ball allowed Pehlivanovic back in and the European 10-Ball Champion seized his moment, putting together a four-pack to tie the match.

The Canadian responded in the 11th to regain the lead at 6-5 but missed the 9 in the subsequent game. Pehlivanovic could only go safe and Morra made an up-table bank to lead 5-7.

The Bosnian took the next game and a golden break had him level at 7-7.  The match continued to swing back and forth before it was the Bosnian who arrived first on the hill, and he wasn’t going to let his opportunity slip and he closed out an 11-9 victory.

“I was down 5-1 because I started badly. The last couple of months every match I was losing, I won, so that is good and gives me confidence. I had a little bit of luck, the same as him but I am happy to be in the semi-final. When he scratched on the 7, that was the turning point and I tried to play every rack as if it was the last one.

“It would be a dream to win The World Games. This is an important match tomorrow so I will look forward to it. To be the first player from Boznia to win a billiards gold, for the country, I cannot find the words to describe how big that achievement would be.

Yapp earned his place in the semis with an 11-7 win against in-form Francisco Sanchez-Ruiz of Spain. Sanchez-Ruiz had early leads of 2-1 and 4-2 before Yapp found his stride to open up an 8-5 advantage. Despite winning games on his break, Sanchez-Ruiz wasn’t given chances by Yapp, who closed out an 11-7 win.

The Olympic Channel is live streaming The World Games and billiards will feature on July 16 and July 17 when the finals take place. A full streaming schedule and links are at https://www.theworldgames.org/pages/twg2022streaming. The match schedule, results, and live scores are at esnooker.pl

Follow @wcbsbilliards on social media for full coverage of the billiards program from our team in Birmingham, Alabama.

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Park Survives and Advances in Opening Round of World Games

Eun-Ji Park

WOMEN’S POOL
Eun-ji Park 9-8 Monica Webb

South Korea’s Eunji Park fought back from an early 3-0 deficit in her round-of-16 match and defeated American Monica Webb, 9-8.

Webb had an opportunity to increase her lead in the fourth game but missed the winning 9 ball. Park climbed onto the scoreboard then won the next two to tie the match and the two players battled back-and-forth the rest of the way, with neither competitor holding more than a two-rack lead. Park climbed ahead 7-6 after Webb missed the 4 ball but the American quickly tied the score again when Park failed to pocket a ball on the break. Park pulled ahead again when she potted a successful combination shot on the 9 ball in the 15th rack but Webb was able to gut out the next game with a pair of victorious safety exchanges.

At the table with the break and a chance to win the match, Webb was unable to pocket a ball on the break and Park ran out the rack to snatch the victory.

“I feel like I played well, except for a couple of shots,” said Webb after the match. “I think she played well. She did her thing. I feel like I got a little unfortunate in that set, but with single elimination, that’s what we’re dealing with.”

Chieh-Yu Chou 9-6 Adriana Villar

Former Amway World Open champion Chieh-Yu Chou of Chinese Taipei came from behind and used an innovative jump shot to get past Costa Rica’s Adriana Villar, 9-6.

Chou jumped out to an early 3-1 advantage against Villar before the Costa Rican won four consecutive racks to build a 5-3 lead. Chou, starting to feel some pressure in championship competition, took a timeout to walk away and collect her thoughts.

“Before the timeout I felt like I was getting tense,” she said though her translator after the match. “After the time out, I relaxed and felt like I was okay.”

Villar, who struggled with her break at times, failed to maintain momentum as Chou on two of the next three to tie the match at six racks each. The player from Chinese Taipei, who was setting up the cue ball in the center of the table for break shots, regained the lead with a break and run in the 13th game to regain a 7-6 lead. After her opponent snookered her with a safety on the 2 ball, Chou jumped the cue ball over the blocking 7 ball, struck the 2 ball and watched the cue ball roll across table and pocket the game-winning 9 ball.

“I knew that was the route for the 9 ball but I know that was also lucky,” she said.

Chou then closed out the match with another break and run to eliminate Villar.  “I feel good about how I played but she’s a good player,” Villar said.

MEN’S POOL
John Morra 11-5 Hunter Lombardo

Sanjin Pehlivanovic 11-3 Omar Al-Shaheen*
*Al-Shaheen forfeited the match at 7-3

Canada’s John Morra will meet Sanjin Pehlivanovic in the Men’s Pool quarter-finals after a dominant 11-5 display against Hunter Lombardo.

Two sets of four consecutive games helped the Canadian to an 10-2 lead in the match. USA’s Lombardo, who only received the call to play this event at the end of last week, showed grit and determination in taking three games with his opponent on the hill, but the alternative break format was always going to afford Morra a chance to see out the win, and a runout in the 16th saw him complete an 11-5 win.

“I played well and was comfortable until 10-2, and then started to feel a little fatigued and made a few mistakes,” said Morra. “I broke well throughout the match, felt confident and was calm out there and comfortable with the conditions.

“I got tired towards the end of the match because I didn’t sleep too well last night. I was waiting for that opportunity to close out the match and I broke and ran out with a good shot on the 7; I wasn’t sure if it was going to drop but the pocket accepted the ball.

“I have represented Canada many times but never at this event, and it is awesome. It is an honor to be here, playing this event for the love of the game. The pure enjoyment and passion is what made me fall in love with the game and it is nice to know I still have it 20 years later.”

Despite his defeat, Lombardo was pleased to represent USA in this event and was determined to fight until the end despite a huge scoreboard deficit. “John played great. Every time he broke he seemed to run out and I broke dry a couple of times, and he capitalized when I missed a couple of balls early on.

“I hung in there and never quit; there was a time when things shifted a little bit but in the end he made a really nice out on the hill.”

Pehlivanovic, the European 10-Ball Champion, awaits Morra in the next round. The Bosnia and Herzegovina representative was 7-3 up against Kuwait’s Omar Al Shaheen when the 2021 World Championship runner-up forfeited the match.

“I understand he didn’t have his own cue,” said Pehlivanovic. “I feel bad for him because these things happen. I was happy with how I was playing and I will continue with that into the next round. The only thing is the break wasn’t quite working for me.”

One of the great aspects of The World Games is the number of other sports taking place, and Pehlivanovic was happy to find some time to take them in. “At home I do boxing for fitness, so it was incredible to watch some kick boxing yesterday; I loved it.”

The Olympic Channel is live streaming The World Games and billiards will feature on July 16 and July 17 when the finals take place. A full streaming schedule and links are at https://www.theworldgames.org/pages/twg2022streaming. The match schedule, results, and live scores are at esnooker.pl

Follow @wcbsbilliards on social media for full coverage of the billiards program from our team in Birmingham, Alabama.

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Earl the Pearl tops Friday night battles in the Diamond Open 9-Ball Players Championship

Earl Strickland

Fishers still alive in the WPBA 9-Ball Pro Players Championship. 

He’d played twice already. On Friday night at 9:30, Earl Strickland stepped to the tables of the Super Billiards Expo’s arena in search of his second win in the Diamond Open 9-Ball Professional Players Championship. On Thursday, after a bye, he’d lost his opening match, double hill, to Alan Rolon Rosada and at 11:30 a.m. on Friday, downed Tyler Henninger 9-6. Both matches were very lightly attended. Modest crowds, dotting the three-level risers to either side of the 16 tables, laid end to end, side by side.

Friday night, though, was different. This was weekend-is-here Earl the Pearl time. And he got himself an audience. While there were certainly people in the crowd of some 200 or so spectators who were itching to see a show; not a pool show necessarily, but an Earl show, as only he can bring it. Instead, they got the professional ‘Earl’s here to win’ show, full of rock-solid shooting that saw him take control of a 2-2 match and win six in a row before some of the audience had even settled in. People (though not many) started leaving, like baseball fans leaving a stadium when the score is 12-0 in the seventh inning, wanting to get ahead of the traffic jam. Those who remained were switching their attention between what was left of Earl’s match and what was going on at the tables on either side of him (Shannelle Lorraine and Ada Lio were playing south of him, while Jesus Atencio and Mason Koch were battling it out north of him). 

Gomez managed to chalk up three racks and the remaining crowd went wild. Very quietly and not for long.

Earl finished off Gomez, quickly, only giving up one more rack and moved to the lobby outside the arena where folks gathered around the hand-written brackets to see who was coming up against who in today’s (Saturday) matches. Earl was scheduled to play Bart Czapla at noon, in a match that will determine whether he advances to the 16-player, single elimination phase of the event. The first round of that phase will play out at 6 p.m.

Earl was among those looking to see what was coming up next, and he took the opportunity to play to the audience that had been relatively quiet during his win over Gomez. They were lined up two or three deep around him, cameras at the ready, as he gave them a genteel comedian to play with. Standing for one shot with a broad grin on his face, he said that the woman to his left was prettier than he was, riffing on this to talk about his sagging limbs and a “face that looked like a truck hit me and then backed up.” Manifestly not true, but it got a laugh. He embellished on that central joke for a while before moving on to chat with spectators who’d obviously been paying strict attention to his match as it played out; questions and comments about shot situations and potential solutions, back and forth.

Jayson Shaw, still on the winners’ side of the bracket, looking to advance to the final 16 today, as well (2:30 p.m. against Billy Thorpe), joined the throng gathered around him and it took about two seconds for them to launch into a discussion about the tables and how they ‘played’ in a given match.

“I hit this shot,” said Shaw at one point, “that went into the hole and bounced out. The cue ball jumped up onto the rail, travelled all the way down table, jumping over the side pocket and then went back on the table, giving me a straight shot at the 4-ball.”

Lives of the legends playing out in one of their homes away from home.

There’ll be 32 competitors in the Players Championship facing advancement to pool’s version of the Sweet 16 today. Among those 32, on the winners’ side of the bracket, will be Thorsten Hohmann, Warren Kiamco, Ralf Souquet, Fedor Gorst, Darren Appleton and Shane Wolford.  In addition to Strickland, other loss-side competitors looking to make the cut and who’ll have to play two rounds to do it (or not), will be Danny Olson, Lukas Fracasso-Verner, Joe Dupuis, Landon Hollingsworth, BJ Ussery, Jr. and Bucky Souvanthong. As of noon today, the potential for Strickland to face Rosado a second time remained alive, as Rosado stepped to the tables, looking for advancement beyond Eric Roberts.

The two Fishers continue to play for advancement to the final 16 of the WPBA Pro Players event 

Competition at the WPBA 9-Ball Pro Players Championship will dominate the afternoon schedule at the pro player arena. All 16 women who step to the tables at 2:30 p.m. today, haven’t played a match since Thursday; half of them on Thursday afternoon and the other half on Thursday night.

On Friday afternoon, the Fishers, Allison and Kelly, squared off in a game of 8-ball that was not part of the official proceedings and did not involve cue sticks, felt cloth or actual pockets. Instead, they settled into another kind of table to play an 8-Ball Pool Board Game that’s on display and being pre-sold (prior to publication) to attendees at the SBE from a vendor booth surrounded by cue manufacturers. Kelly is acting as the game’s Brand Ambassador and has been at the booth where it’s being demonstrated a number of times, playing against, among others, Darren Appleton, who reportedly broke and ran the first game of it he played. 

While the game doesn’t employ any of pool’s tactile qualities with cues or aiming skills (there are basically no missed shots if you’ve lined up the cue and target properly), it does manage to offer a degree of strategy and tactics, very similar to the kinds of decision-making involved in the actual game of 8-ball. There are opportunities for bank shots (played out on strict horizontal/vertical target paths) safety play and you can scratch, for example, all of which plays out in ways unique to the board game.   

Though new to the game, Allison won the single game against Kelly. They could play a real game of 9-ball against each other before the end of the women’s tournament, but only, for starters, if both of them advance to the event’s final 16. Kelly, who’s only played a single match so far, defeating Jessica Barnes on Thursday night, was to play Liz Taylor at 2:30 today and if successful, would play the winner of an Ashley Burrows/Emily Duddy match in the opening round of the single-elimination phase at 8:30 p.m. Allison, who played two women from the J. Pechauer Northeast Women’s Tour (JPNEWT) on Thursday (Judie Wilson and Kathy Friend) will be facing Angela Janic at 2:30 and if successful, will also play at 8:30, against the winner of a Monica Webb/Kim Newsome match (check the SBE Web site for streaming options).

Other competitors, still on the winners’ side of the bracket, looking for a slot among the final 16 women, include Emilyn Callado, Brittany Bryant, Caroline Pao and LoreeJon Brown. On the loss-side of the bracket, at noon today, also looking for advancement to the final 16, will be,  among others, Janet Atwell, Jennifer Baretta, and both Kia Burwell and Judie Wilson, representing the JPNEWT. Matches at 6 p.m. on the loss-side of the bracket will determine the eight loss-side competitors among the Sweet 16.

Super Seniors get underway, as Amateur Ladies, Seniors continue, with Juniors in the wings 

The original Super Seniors tournament, with long lines hoping for a waiting-list entry, gathered early this morning, while the 996-entrant Open Amateur event looked to enter its Final 16 phase at 1 p.m. today. The four-brackets of the Amateur Ladies event is still ongoing, as is the (plain, so to speak) Seniors tournament. Two junior competitions (17U & 12U) are set to begin today, as well. 

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Danny Mastermaker collects first Super Billiards Expo title in debut of 6-Ball

The competition is starting to heat up at the 2022 Super Billiards Expo being held at the Greater Philadelphia Convention Center in Oaks, PA. The doors opened on Monday (April 18) with TAP League’s National Championships and by Tuesday, the SBE had crowned its first champion. Emerging from a field of 204 entrants, initially spread out over four single-elimination brackets, Danny Mastermaker grabbed that first title in the game format of 6-Ball, downing Fred Goodman in the finals 6-2, 6-2.

Though not by any means a new format, it made its debut here as an SBE event, playing out on Diamond ‘bar box’ tables. Utilizing the same rules as 9-Ball, with, as one might imagine, the 6-ball as the game’s ‘money’ ball, it has some advantages and disadvantages over the more popular standards; 8-ball, 9-ball and 10-ball. It is, also as one might imagine, a much quicker game. Here, at the SBE, it played out in races to six, best two out of three sets for advancement. For some, it was a familiar game, while for others, like Daniel Dagotdot, who was one of the four competitors emerging from the four brackets, it was a new experience. His thoughts on the game itself highlighted aspects of the game, which are something of a good news, bad news situation.

“It is so hard to make a ball on the break,” he noted of his first experience, “and if you break and don’t drop a ball, 90% of the time, you lose.”

It also creates a ‘do or die’ scenario, where if you step to the table after your opponent has broken, you better be prepared to finish the game from that point. An alternate break format softens the ‘do or die’ consequences somewhat, though Dagotdot made note of the same cautionary note about the nature of the game.

“Unless there’s a pack somewhere,” he said, “if you miss, you’re done, too.”

“I do like the game,” he added, “and you can’t ever really say you don’t get a chance.”

The game format appears to be attracting its share of ‘side action’ matchups at the SBE. Apparently, Dagotdot noted, players on the amateur end of the player spectrum like the odds better in a game that’s “fast-paced, with very little safety play and (not much) strategy.

“It might develop as a format with that action angle to it,” said Dagotdot. “I saw a lot of players doing that in the first two days.”

Loye Bolyard, tour director of the Maryland State Championships series of events, played 6-ball growing up, but at this stage, doesn’t see it showing up on his event calendar any time soon. Like Dagotdot, he noted the most obvious difference that it makes in game play.

“It’s all about the break, but there’s really no downside to it,” he said. “The good thing is that anybody can play.”

Open Amateur tournaments are underway, as are the two Pro events

The SBE’s Open Amateur event, with 962 registered entrants got underway on Wednesday, sporting 16 double-elimination brackets. The TAP League National Championships concluded, while its Rally in the Valley event began. On Thursday, the two Pro events got underway; the Diamond Open 9-Ball Professional Players Championship and the WPBA 9-Ball Pro Players Championships. Today (Friday), as the Open Amateur Players championship entered its third day, the Seniors Amateur Players Championship and the Women’s Amateur Player Championships got underway. 

The 74-entrant Diamond Open 9-Ball Pro event finished two rounds of play on Thursday, with a list of the ‘usual suspects’ advancing. The only real (apparent) surprise in the early rounds, which included a lot of opening round byes, was Earl Strickland’s second round (after a bye), double-hill loss to Alan Rolon Rosado. Among those advancing to a third round today (Friday) were Darren Appleton, Mika Immonen (downing junior competitor Landon Hollingsworth), Thorsten Hohmann, Warren Kiamco, Ralf Souquet, BJ Ussery, Fedor Gorst, Jayson Shaw, Billy Thorpe, John Morra and Kristina Tkach, who was the only one who played two matches, albeit one, a forfeit win over Lukas Fracasso-Verner.

The 63-entrant WPBA 9-Ball Pro Players Championships had much fewer byes in its opening round and played a single round, followed by eight matches of a second round. Like the Open event, it featured its own set of ‘usual suspects’ advancing. Kelly Fisher was the only player to receive a bye and won her opener. Winning two and advancing to a third round were (among others) Kelly Fisher, Allison Fisher, Monica Webb and Kim Newsome. Playing their second round today (Friday) were (also among others) were Jennifer Baretta, Janet Atwell, Brittany Bryant, Carolyn Pao and Loree Jon Brown.

Junior players like Landon Hollingsworth, Payne McBride, Skylar Hess and Savannah Easton (among others) are competing in the Pro events and will be competing in two separate junior events (17 & Under, 12 & Under), beginning on Saturday. The winner of each division will win paid entry to Billiards Education Foundation’s Junior Nationals. The top 16 in each division will qualify for the event. Each division’s winner will be recognized by the BEF as the Pennsylvania Jrs. State 9-Ball Champion. 

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“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.

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Kelly Fisher goes undefeated, Allison Fisher is runner-up at WPBA Northern Lights Classic

Allison Fisher and Kelly Fisher (Photo courtesy WPBA)

There are any number of back stories to the $20,000-added, WPBA Northern Lights Classic, held this past weekend (March 16-20) that offer a striking ‘snapshot’ of the WPBA’s past, present and future. Encompassing all three of those time periods, at the event to which 64 entrants were invited to the Northern Lights Casino Hotel and Event Center in Walker, MN, were the competitors who squared off in the event finals; the Fishers, Kelly and Allison, who’ve played so many matches against each other over the years, that they have no idea how many times it has actually happened. 

The last time they faced each other in an event final was a little hazy to them, as well. Two days after the Northern Classic, from Allison’s home in Charlotte, NC, they pondered the question together over coffee. Kelly came up with a possibility, and after a moment or two of mutual reflection, they both settled on 2016 as the last time they’d met in a final. At that event – the 19th Annual International Women’s Tournament of Champions, held in September at the Taj Mahal Casino in Atlantic City – Kelly started both sets of the races-to-four finals, up 2-0, but Allison came back to win four straight, twice, and claimed the title.

“We’ve played against each other since then,” said Allison, “and the last time was pre-COVID, of course, but I think that was the last time we were in a final together.”

Kelly had won the WPBA’s Sondheim Kiwanis Invitational Tournament last year, while it had been just weeks over three years since Allison had last appeared in a WPBA event, which, as it turned out, was the last time they’d faced each other in a match that wasn’t a final. It was the 2019 WPBA Masters Tournament, held in September at the Soaring Eagle Casino and Resort in Michigan. Kelly had been sent to the loss side of the event in the second round by the eventual winner (Siming Chen) and went on a nine-match, loss-side run that would propel her to the finals. Six matches into that loss-side run, Kelly ran into Allison, who’d been sent to the loss side by Kristina Tkach in a winners’ side semifinal. Kelly advanced and was eventually defeated by Chen in the finals.

Noting something of a protracted absence away from a more regular schedule of WPBA events, together, they made note of the fact that it was good to gather with their mutual WPBA friends and acquaintances, old and new. 

“The WPBA competition is back on schedule and it was great to see a lot of the old faces, and some new faces, some youngsters, too,” said Kelly, “and the future is bright.”

“I think it’s wonderful that we had juniors at this event, especially by WPBA invitation,” said Allison. “It’s nice for us to see them, because they represent well, they look good, they’re playing great. . . 

“Professional,” Kelly interjected.

“Yes, they’re very professional,” Allison said, “and I think that’s the move, anyway. To invite more younger players as much as we can.”

It should be noted before moving on to the event itself, that in addition to its junior contingent which included 12-year-old Savannah Easton, it also featured 84-year-old Jeri Engh, making the demographic representation at this WPBA event, span almost four generations of the WPBA’s ongoing history.

Appearing in the same half of the upper bracket, the Fishers meet in the only two places possible 

They knew from the start, that they were not going to play in the hot seat match. Positioned in the upper half of the 64-entrant bracket, it put the Fishers in a possible first match against each other in the winners’ side semifinals. The second possibility was in the finals and both were exactly what happened.

Kelly Fisher got by Kelly Isaac (forfeit), Bonnie Arnold 8-4 and Dawn Hopkins 8-1 to reach Allison Fisher. Allison Fisher shut out Peg Haggerty and Catherine Tschumper before downing Kim Newsome 8-3 and Monica Webb 8-6, to draw Kelly. From the lower half of the bracket, Joann Mason Parker, who, prior to winning a stop on the Garden State Pool Tour, a 3rd place finish on the Tri-State Tour and cashing in three events of a New Jersey-based Women’s Invitational event last year, had not won or even cashed in a tournament in over a decade, sent LoreeJon Brown, Cathy Metzinger, Janet Atwell (double hill) and Brittany Bryant to the loss side, drawing Jennifer Baretta in the other winners’ side semifinal.

Kelly sent Allison to the loss side 8-6, as Baretta and Parker locked up in a double fight that eventually sent Parker to the loss side. Kelly claimed the hot seat 8-4 over Baretta and waited for Round 2 of Fisher v. Fisher.

On the loss side, Allison picked up Bryant, who’d followed her loss to Parker with a victory over Sara Miller 8-5 and survived a double hill battle against Ashley Burrows. Parker drew Monica Webb, who’d followed her loss to Allison Fisher in a winners’ side quarterfinal with victories over Sarah Rousey 8-2 and Angela Janic 8-4.

Parker’s somewhat improbable run was ended by Webb 8-5. Allison advanced to the quarterfinals after eliminating Bryant 8-5. Fisher leap-frogged over the quarterfinals on a Webb forfeit and then, defeated Baretta 8-5 for a second shot at Kelly, waiting for her in the hot seat.

In a race to 10, the two Fishers came within of game of forcing a 19th deciding game, but Kelly pulled out in front to claim the WPBA’s Northern Classic title 10-8.

“She’s at the top of her game,” said Allison of Kelly. “She’s always improving, rarely misses a shot. She’s a tough opponent and you have to be in top form to play her.”

“All the stuff she’s been doing in the past year is showing up in her game,” she added. “We’re good friends, so she’s helped me out with my game, too. It’s always fun playing her.”

“Both matches we played were really good, high standard, great quality matches,” said Kelly, “and the final was very, very exciting for spectators, I’d say; a high standard match.”

“Allison’s thoughts of retiring are going to have to go out the window,” she added. “She’s playing too good for that, to be honest. She’s playing great.”

Kelly will be headed for Las Vegas to be competing in both the WPA 10-Ball World Championships (March 28-April 1) and the WPBA Predator Event (March 31-April 3), both being held at the Rio All Suite Hotel and Casino. Allison will follow to participate in the later of those two events. 

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Van Boening and Barretta Highlight North American World Games Contingent

The list of North American representatives for the 2022 World Games has now been finalized and a team of six players will represent the continent. 

On the Men’s side, Shane van Boening and Tyler Styer will represent the USA, while John Morra will represent Canada. Van Boening and Styer earned their positions on the list as the top two American players on the BCA Points List.

On the Ladies side, Jennifer Barretta and Monica Webb will represent the USA, and Brittany Bryant will represent Canada. Barretta and Webb were the top two American players on the WPBA points list and Bryant was the top Canadian on that same WPBA points list. 

The 2022 World Games will take place from July 7th – July 17th in Birmingham, Alabama. Competition will take place in 9-Ball, Snooker and 3 Cushion with players representing various countries throughout the world. 

The World Games were last contested in 2017 in Wroclaw Poland with Carlo Biado and Siming Chen winning 9-Ball Gold Medals. Daniel Sanchez won 3 Cushion Gold and Kyren Wilson too Snooker Gold. 

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!!!