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Jennifer Kraber takes the Win At the Inaugural Jerry Olivier Ladies Tour

Yvonne Asher, Jennifer Kraber, Gail Eaton and Rhea Brooks

Jerry Olivier, custom cue maker extraordinaire from Houston, TX rolled out the red carpet for his newly sponsored Ladies 9-Ball Tour at Skinny Bob's Billiards, the weekend of March 10th-11th.  Jerry won over the hearts of all the ladies of the former OB Cues Ladies Tour and brought sponsorship to a new level.  It's not very often that a Title Sponsor partakes in the tournament activities of an event but Jerry was with us all weekend, providing sponsor banners for each and every stop, personalized crystal trophies for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners for each and every stop, personalized payout materials, stickers, banners plus participated in the group photo with all 58 ladies in attendance for this inaugural event. 
To quote Jerry:  “It is an honor to be a part of your team. Thank you all for this opportunity!   And, to all 58 Ladies that played, THANK YOU!   Without you, none of this is possible.   I'm looking forward to the future with this Tour”.  Jerry, WE thank you for your sponsorship, friendship and most of all your genuine care and love for the game and for allowing all players to continue to flourish in our pool dreams and endeavors.  We will make you proud!
It was also a joy to be playing at the famous Skinny Bob’s Billiards, home of the Texas 10-Ball Open and Texas Open.  Skinny Bob’s, a fan favorite billiard room, was our home all weekend and we appreciate John Cielo and his staff for taking care of us and our fans, supporters, family and friends for this fantastic showing.
Like all of our tournaments, it is a two-day double elimination 9-ball tournament.  Many champions and title holders were at this event, so without a doubt it would be a strong tournament to the finish.  It was anybody's guess who would take home the 1st place prize.  Players from Missouri, Alabama and all over Texas brought their “A” game.  The Jerry Olivier Ladies Tour is also a member of NAPT (North American Pool Tour).  This stop was a qualifying event for the NAPT Division I Pro Event in August at Shooters Sports Bar and Billiards in Grayslake, IL.  For more information on NAPT, be sure to check out
By the end of Day 1, the top 16 returned to continue their winning ways.  On the winner’s side, it was Jennifer Kraber vs. Gail Eaton and Rhea Brooks vs. Board Member, Yvonne Asher.  Jennifer, from Austin and local Skinny Bob’s champion, made her way to the winner’s side by defeating Ming Ng 7-3 as her first match, then Kristin Wilburn 7-2; Kelly Jones 7-1 and a tough match against Chris Fields 7-6.
Gail, from Boerne, always a top finisher in many, many tournaments, was blazing her winning trails with wins and three back-to-back-to-back hill-hill matches; defeating Margaret Fuentes 7-1; Belinda Lee 7-6; Robyn Petrosino 7-6 and Orietta Strickland, current tour champion, 7-6.
Rhea’s winning record included wins over Jennifer Yo 7-3; Teresa Garland 7-6; Michelle Cortez 7-6 and Ellen Robinson 7-2.
Board Member Yvonne Asher playing strong and consistent all weekend scored wins over Diana Cardona 7-3; Marilana Nieves 7-2; Ashley Julian 7-4 and Kim Sanders 7-2.
On the other side of the bracket, matches were Kelly Jones vs. Tina Soto; Board Member Teresa Garland vs. Ming Ng; Board Member Shayla Neris vs. Kim Pierce and Nicole Menitz vs. Belinda Lee.
Placing 13th-16th was Tina Soto from Everman, Teresa Garland from Houston, Shayla Neris and Nicole Menitz both from Austin.  9th-12th was Kelly Jones from Alabama, Kim Pierce and Kim Sanders both from Austin and Chris Fields from Arlington.
7th-8th winners were Belinda Lee from Pearland and Ming Ng from Houston; 5th-6th went to Ellen Robinson from San Marcos and Orietta Strickland from Plano.  4th Place went to Yvonne Asher who had her best tournament and highest finish ever since playing on the OB Cues Ladies Tour and now Jerry Olivier Ladies Tour.  Jerry also has two players that he sponsors and they are none other than Board Members Teresa Garland and Yvonne Asher.  Jerry sure knows how to pick them and besides their inner and outer beauty; they play pretty sporty as well.  Congratulations to all!
Rhea Brooks from Missouri was having a great tournament.  She played Jennifer Kraber for the hot seat match but Jennifer, always consistent and a tough opponent to draw, defeated her 7-3.  In the semi-finals match, Gail Eaton scored a rematch with Jennifer, as she narrowly defeated Rhea 7-6 to earn her right to the finals match.  Great tournament showing Rhea!
In a true double elimination format, Gail would have to defeat Jennifer twice to earn first place and while she tried her best to score a first set win, Jennifer fought hard to the finish and made it one set only securing the first place title with a 7-6 score.  Way to shoot, Gail and Jennifer!  Awesome job!

Parks and Huang Win U.S. Amateur Championship Titles

Brian Parks

“To see where my game stacks up against the best of the best.” 
“There’s nothing else in pool like it.” 
“I want to leave a legacy.”
Those were just a few of the many reasons event participants cited for wanting to compete in this year’s U.S. Amateur Championship.
That’s what drove more than 2,100 of North America’s top amateur players to try and qualify.  That’s what brought 128 men and 39 women to Stroker’s in Palm Harbor, Fla., in early November to compete in this year’s U.S. Amateur Championship.
Yeah, there were some great perks too.  Like a getaway to Tampa, one of the premier vacation destinations in the world.  An all-expenses paid trip to a pro event next year courtesy of the APA for the winners of each division.  Oh, and let’s not forget the championship trophy – a combination of marble and bronze that more closely resembles a piece of fine art than something awarded at a tournament.
But winning the U.S. Amateur Championship is all about the title.  It’s about leaving your mark on the sport of pool.  It’s about having your name and your accomplishment forever etched in history on the Larry Hubbart Trophy.
Parks Drive for 5
In the finals of this year’s U.S. Amateur Championship, it was four-time U.S. Amateur Champion Brian Parks of Bakersfield, Calif., looking to defend his title against Jeremy Edwards of Granger, Ind.
Parks had gone undefeated coming into the final round. He was squaring off against a red-hot Edwards who also came into the final day undefeated before being bounced to the one-loss bracket by Parks.
The match opened in the 8-Ball set, with Parks winning the first two games, the second of which by perfectly executing a jump shot to pocket the 8-ball in the corner.  Edwards got on the scoreboard just moments later when Parks pocketed the 8-ball on the break, but also scratched.
Leading 2-1, Parks would take the next two games, with Edwards winning the following two games to make the score 4-3.  Parks would close out the 8-Ball set with another win and took a 5-3 lead going into the 9-Ball set.
The players traded the first two games of the 9-Ball set, with Parks taking the first and Edwards winning the second.
One of the more pivotal moments in the match came in the third game of the 9-Ball set.  Trailing 6-4, Edwards had the chance to draw within a game, but failed to pocket the 9-ball.  Parks instead capitalized on the mistake and took at 7-4 lead.
Parks would go on to win three of the next five games, and lead 10-6.  In the seventeenth game, after Parks pocketed the 8-ball, and had perfect position to pocket the 9-ball for the victory, Edwards conceded the match in a show of good sportsmanship.
The championship was Parks 5th U.S. Amateur Championship title in 11 appearances, the second time he’s secured the title in back-to-back years.  He’ll advance to the 2018 U.S. Open courtesy of the APA. 
For Edwards, the Runner-up finish was an impressive showing in only his second U.S. Amateur Championship.
Former champions David Rowell (’00) of Birmingham, Ala., and Henry Brodt (’98, ’99, ’15) of Laguna Beach, Calif., finished 3rd and 4th respectively.
[photo id=48246|align=right]Huang Finally Secures Coveted Championship
Melinda Huang of Los Angeles previously qualified for the U.S. Amateur Championship eight times, twice making it to the finals, but each time coming up just short of the title.  For Huang, it was a bitter pill to swallow.
After a two-year hiatus, she returned to Stroker’s once again determined to take home the championship.  
But opportunity doesn’t always come easy at the U.S. Amateur Championship.  Undefeated and seemingly well on her way to another final, Huang’s championship hopes were derailed by Amy Theriault.  
In the hot-seat match, Theriault, of Sandusky, Ohio, sent Huang to the one-loss bracket and secured a spot for herself in the final round.  If Huang was going to have a chance at the title she’d been chasing for more than a decade, she’d have to get past Rhea Brooks of St. Louis, Mo.
With her back against the wall, and her opponent on-the-hill, Huang rose to the occasion.  She forced a hill-hill showdown with Brooks, eventually defeating her 5-4.  The win setup an opportunity for redemption with Theriault.
Things seemed to finally come together for Huang in the final round.  The match opened in 8-Ball, with Huang dominating the set 6-0.
Theriault got on the board by winning the first two games of the 9-Ball set, but Huang would not to be denied this year.  She took three of the next five games and sealed the match with a 6-9 combo for the victory.
You could almost sense the relief from Huang as she grasped the trophy that had eluded her for so many years.
Huang moves on to compete in a WPBA event next year, courtesy of APA.
Theriault finished as Runner-up, her first appearance since 2010.  Brooks finshed in 3rd Place.
Match coverage, including the finals, of this year’s U.S. Amateur Championship and Women’s U.S. Amateur Championship can be found on the APA YouTube channel at
The entry window for the 2018 U.S. Amateur Championship is now open with the Preliminary Rounds scheduled across North America in mid-September.
The U.S. Amateur Championship is conducted by the APA, and is the only tournament produced by the APA open to both members and non-members.  Preliminary qualifying rounds were held throughout the country in mid-September.
As Champions, both Parks and Huang will return next year to defend their coveted titles.
The U.S. Amateur Championship is a double elimination tournament that offers the nation’s top amateur players the opportunity to showcase their skills through a combination of 8-Ball and 9-Ball matches, in the only APA event that does not use The Equalizer® handicap system.
The APA, based in Lake Saint Louis, Mo., sanctions the world’s largest amateur pool league, with leagues throughout the United States, Canada and Japan.  Nearly 250,000 members compete in weekly 8-Ball and 9-Ball League play.  The APA is generally recognized as the Governing Body of Amateur Pool, having established the official rules, championships, formats and handicap systems for the sport of amateur billiards.
The APA produces four major tournaments each year—the APA World Pool Championships, the APA Poolplayer Championships, the APA Junior Championships and the U.S. Amateur Championship—that, together, pay out more than $2 Million in cash and prizes annually!
The APA and its championships are sponsored by Aramith, Action Cues and Pool Dawg.
For complete coverage of the U.S. Amateur Championship visit

Lovely wins two out of three versus Frideres to take Midwest 9-Ball Ladies title

Liz Lovely rallied from an opening set defeat at the hands of Jessica Frideres in the finals of the Midwest 9-Ball Tour's $700-added Ladies event, held on the weekend of July 8-10, to win the second set and claim the ladies' title. The event, held in conjunction with a One Pocket and Open event (separate stories) drew 24 entrants to Shooter's in Olathe, KS.
They met first in a winners' side semifinal, as Kathleen Morast and Karen Lincoln met in the other one. Lovely sent Frideres to the loss side 7-2, and in the hot seat match, faced Morast, who'd defeated Lincoln 7-5. Lovely claimed the hot seat 7-4 over Lincoln and waited on Frideres.
On the loss side, Frideres picked up Amy Boulware, who'd defeated Monica Dibben, double hill, to reach her. Morast drew Rhea Brooks, who'd gotten by Alisha Ropes 7-4. Frideres shut out Boulware, and in the quarterfinals, faced Morast, who'd eliminated Ropes, double hill.
Frideres took the quarterfinal match over Morast 7-3, and then eliminated Lincoln 7-4 in the semifinals. With a bit of momentum on her side, Frideres took the opening set of the true double elimination final 7-2. Lovely came back to take the second set 7-5 and claim the event title.

Saez downs Gray in finals of 1st Texas Tornado Open; Villareal wins short-field Ladies event

Joey Gray and Robb Saez

Robb Saez and Joey Gray stepped into the finals of the 1st Annual Texas Tornado Open on the weekend of May 10-11 with some history between them. Back in April, they'd squared off in what amounted to a $5,000, race-to-21 quarterfinal match at the 1st Annual Smokin' Aces Bar Box Tournament in Poplar Bluff, MO, won by Saez. Three years ago, they met in the finals of both the 38th Annual Texas Open and a stop on the Midwest 9-Ball Tour, both won by Saez, who pocketed just over two grand, total, more than Gray in those two meetings. The payout difference in the finals of the $10,000-added Texas Tornado tournament that drew 80 entrants to Easy Eight Billiards and Sports Bar in McAllen, TX was $1,480, and once again, Saez came out on top, completing an undefeated run to claim the first of what Texas Tornado Vivian Villareal hopes will become a twice-yearly event.
"We're testing the waters," she said in the days just prior to start of the tournament, "If it's successful, we might try to do it twice a year."
Villareal, in addition to overseeing her first tournament, assisted by tour director Tito Fernandez, found time to compete in the Open, where she finished in the tie for 13th place, and a short field (seven entrants) Ladies Tournament, which she won, defeating Erin Lacy in the finals. 
If success is measured by participant response, it looks as though this first Texas Tornado Tournament won't be the last.
"Players, room owners and sponsors were very happy," said Fernandez, who was flying solo on this one, after something of an apprenticeship under Lewis Jones, tour director of the Fast Eddie's Tour. 
"There were some glitches," he admitted, "but overall, things ran smoothly."
Winner Robb Saez agreed, noting that while there were a few "quirks to fix," match scheduling worked well and didn't fall behind anywhere. He was also pleased with the tournament officials' decision to maintain the promised $10,000-added, which was to have been applied to a full 128-player field.
"They added the $10,000, in spite of not having the expected 128," said Saez. "Nobody does that. These people were short over 40 people and they added the $10,000, anyway. That's pretty awesome."
According to Fernandez, plans for next year include doubling that $10K-added and again, looking to guarantee that amount.
The entry list for this first-ever Texas Tornado Open contained a long list of usual suspects, from the big backyard of Texas (Villareal, Charlie Bryant, Sylver Ochoa) to the tables of the Midwest (Shane McMinn, John Gabriel, and of course, runner-up Gray). Saez and Gray met up first in a winners' side semifinal, while C.J. Wiley and Scott Kitto met in the other one. Saez took his first of two over Gray 7-5, and in the hot seat match, faced Wiley, who'd given up only a single rack to Kitto. Saez defeated Wiley 7-3, and waited on the return of Gray.
Gray had moved over and could not have been too pleased to draw Charlie Bryant right away. Bryant had defeated Sylver Ochoa 7-5 and John Gabriel 7-3 to reach Gray. Kitto, in the meantime, had his own problems, having drawn Shane McMinn, who'd defeated Rudy Sanchez 7-5 and shut out Nino Salazar, who was returning to competition after about 20 years away. 
McMinn eliminated Kitto 7-4, while Gray was doing likewise to the Hillbilly 7-5.
Gray went on to defeat McMinn 7-3 in the quarterfinals, and by the same score, downed C.J. Wiley in the semifinals, setting up a familiar match for Gray; one destined to have familiar results.
As he had done back in April at the Smokin' Aces Bar Box tournament, Gray took an early lead over Saez. He was ahead in that tournament quarterfinal 17-11, racing to 21, before Saez caught a gear and won 10 of the next 12. 
"He had me 5-1, racing to seven, in this one," said Saez, "and I beat him six in a row. He made a couple of unforced errors and I took advantage."
Villareal went undefeated through the short field of seven entrants, on-hand for the $1,000-added Ladies event. Everyone who played went home with a payout. Villareal defeated Sophie Lopez in the battle for the hot seat 7-3. Lopez moved over to a semifinal match against Erin Lacey, who'd just eliminated Rhea Brooks 7-4 in the quarterfinals. Lacey downed Lopez by the same score in the semifinals, for a shot at the Texas Tornado. Lacey put up a fight, forcing a case game, but Villareal prevailed to enshrine her own name in what will be the annals of her own namesake tournament.
Tour director Tito Fernandez thanked the ownership and staff at Easy Eight Billiards and Sports Bar for their hospitality, as well as sponsors Palenque Grill, Boggus Ford, Hampton Inn & Suites, Big Rio Grande Construction, Lopez Tires and Wheels, Texas Boiler Room, Villa Del Mar Restaurant, Careers Institute, Smiles Studio, Max Muscle Sports Nutrition, Voggo Business Consulting, Palenque Chicken, Taco Palenque, Mambo Seafood, Bellissima La Revista, G-Cues Billiard and Dart Supply, Mega Doctor News, FNT Horses & Carriages, LLC, Ozone Billiards and Texas Border Business.

CSI Bar Table Action Over in Reno


Bar Table Wrap-Up

The CSI Bar Table Championships in Reno have come to a close. Shane Van Boening had a great week, winning both the 9-Ball and 10-Ball Crowns. Let’s review the major divisions one at a time.

Corey Deuel played a great week of 8-Ball to skip through the bracket undefeated until Darren Appleton nipped him in the first set of the double-elimination final. Deuel won the second set and the title with a double-hill 5-4 win. The third spot on the podium was filled by Joseph Tourangeau while Brain Butler takes home fourth place honors. Billy Ussery, Jr. and Skyler Woodward tied at fifth.

Liz Lovely won the Ladies 8-Ball division by winning 4-0 in the final over Cindy Silva. Lovely had already sent Silva to the one-loss side where she bested Brittany Bryant (third place) to earn her place in the finals and face Lovely again. Heather Pulford finished only one step away from the podium in fourth.

Shane Van Boening went through both the 9-Ball and 10-Ball fields undefeated. Corey Deuel almost bit him in the 9-Ball where Van Boening won the match on the hill 9-8, but he shut down Justin Bergman 9-4, escaped Skyler Woodward 9-7 and then tousled Thorsten Hohmann 9-2 to send Hohmann left. Once there Hohmann relegated Skyler Woodward to third place (9-7) and then went on to lose 9-6 to Van Boening to earn second place.

In the 10-Ball final Shane whitewashed Warren Kiamco. Jayson Shaw took home third place while Jason Klatt grabbed fourth.

Britanny Bryant of Canada is the new Ladies 9-Ball champion. But it was close. She won by beating Heather Pulford on the hill. Liz Lovely finished the podium in third while Rhea Brooks took fourth.

Finally, the Women’s 10-Ball was won by Cindy Sliva. Sliva had lost the first set of the finals to Liz Lovely but won the second and determining set to walk away with the top star. Brittany Bryant took third place in this division and Heather Pulford took down fourth.

Amanda Lampert Grabs 1st Place at OB Cues Ladies Tour Stop #1

Amanda Lampert, Orietta Strickland and Lisa Marr

It may have been Super Bowl Weekend February 1st-2nd but that didn’t stop the 52 ladies who showed up at Rusty’s in Arlington, TX to play in the first stop of 2014 on the OB Cues Ladies Tour. There were lots of new faces, lot of veterans, travelers from afar, as well as players who took off for a while but glad to see they are starting back up again. It was an awesome event to say the least and many, many strong match lineups all weekend long from champions all around. Additionally since it was Super Bowl Weekend, players were allowed to wear their favorite professional sports jerseys and here’s a snapshot of some of the ladies all dressed up: 
Several marquee players in the running for the $750 first place prize money were the OBCLT Regional Champion from 2007-2011 Lisa Marr; 2012 OBCLT Regional Tour Champion Kim Pierce, 2013 OBCLT Regional Tour Champion Amanda Lampert and 2013 Flamingo Billiards Tour Regional Champion Jeannie Seaver. With all these champions in the house, many folks were saying it was a toss-up who would win this event. Needless to say, it was going to be a slugfest with plenty of tough and strong action to reach the top.
By day’s end on Saturday, the top 16 players returning to continue their winning quest were as follows: one loss side matches were Jeannie Seaver vs. Melinda Bailey; Lisa Marr vs. Jeannie Kim; Corina Campbell vs. Tracie Voelkering; Chris Fields vs. Rhea Brooks. Undefeated players were Tara Williams and 1st time OBCLT player Sara Bork; Malinda Williams vs. Orietta Strickland; Amanda Lampert vs. Julie Stephenson and Jennifer Kraber vs. Emma Stewart (battle of the Austinites).
Finishing 13th-16th were Corina Campbell, Jeannie Kim, Melinda Bailey & Rhea Brooks. 9th-12th winners were Mindy Williams, Sara Bork, Tracie Voelkering and Emma Stewart (highest finish to date for Emma). Great job ladies! 7th-8th went to Julie Stephenson and Chris Fields; 5th-6th places went to Tara Williams and Jennifer Kraber. 4th place was Jeannie Seaver and 3rd place went to Lisa Marr. Both Jeannie and Lisa have been gone from this tour circuit for a while. It was great to see them back in action and needless to say, they still have it! Once a champion, always a champion and fun to watch and learn from both of these ladies!
Amanda and Orietta matched up against one another for the hot seat match and it was pretty much uncontested as Orietta won 7-2, giving little chance for Amanda to even get into the match. This semi- finals match between Lisa and Amanda was yet another strong showing between these two players. Having matched up against one another on many other previous occasions throughout the years, Amanda proved too much for Lisa with a win of 7-3.
The finals match between Amanda and Orietta is always a grind and Amanda would have to double-dip Orietta twice to take the crown. The first set was a back and forth battle of shots and safeties and Amanda prevailed the winner of set #1 with a score of 7-3. The second set was a repeat of the first with Amanda scoring the tournament win 7-4. Awesome work Champ!
Special recognition and thanks to OB Cues our main tournament sponsor. If you want to get serious about your game, check out OB Cues at
Also many thanks and love to all our families, fans, supporters—we greatly appreciate each and every one of you. Also to the many, many ladies/ player/friends who traveled from near and far; we loved seeing you all again and greatly appreciate you making the journey to play on the OB Cues Ladies Tour. We look forward to seeing everyone once again at Stop #2 – Slick Willie’s at Katy, Texas, March 15th-16th weekend. Good Pool, Good Friends, Good Times – we are the OB Cues Ladies Tour!!!!!


Ng Makes Waves on Gulf Coast Tour

Ming Ng and Gail Eaton

Ming Ng, Gail Eaton, and Kim Pierce were the final three standing in the 23 player field this past Sunday, January 26th, 2014, at the inaugural Gulf Coast Women’s Regional Tour, $500 added 9-ball event held at Bogies Billiards and Sports Bar in Houston, Texas. The event began with an 11:00am players’ meeting followed by some of best rivalries in women’s semi-professional pool.  Tour newcomer Rhea Brooks broke into the final 8 on the winners’ side with Beth Weaver, Liz Mitchel and Ricki Casper.  Gail Eaton, 2013 Gulf Coast Tour Champion, came on strong ousting Brooks, 7-3, while Loretta Lindgren overcame Weaver, 7-2.  Ming Ng bested Mitchel, 7-4, and Natalie Mans squeezed by Casper, 7-6.  Eaton dealt Lindgren a blow, 7-6, and Mans sustained a hit from Ng, 7-1, staging an all too familiar, Gulf Coast hot seat match. After losing her first match to tour rookie Sara Bork, Groveton’s Jenny Magee secured 4 consecutive matches before falling to Kim Pierce, 7-1. Pierce suffered an early loss at the hands of Ng, 7-3 and waded through 6 competitors, including Mans, 7-4, settling into the final four. Mitchel eliminated Bork, Casper, and Lindgren, joining Pierce in the final four line-up. Eaton handily secured the hot seat over Ng, 7-4, while Pierce bested Mitchel, 7-3. Vying for second, Ng came out firing against Pierce, winning 5 straight games before Pierce answered back with 4 games of her own. Unable to gain control, Pierce lost the set, 7-5. Tensions ran high as the final match commenced between Eaton and Ng. After a couple of unforced errors, Eaton lagged behind, losing the first set, 7-5. During the second set, tied at 5, Eaton jarred the 9-ball and Ng moved into striking position. Ng captured the final game for another come-from-behind win on the Gulf Coast Tour.
The tour would like to recognize its sponsors, Delta-13 rack (official rack) and the APA of North Harris County  For more information about the WPBA sanctioned Gulf Coast Women’s Regional Tour, please visit