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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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The Texas Tornado goes undefeated to win the 3rd Annual Ashton Twins Classic

With its two previous winners ‘in the house’ – Brittany Bryant and April Larson – the 3rd Annual Ashton Twins Classic got underway on June 14, at 6 p.m. in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Though Bryant would get two chances, hot seat and finals, to win her second Ashton Twins Classic, the attempts were disrupted by a Texas Tornado known as Vivian Villareal, who went undefeated to claim the event title. Defending champion, April Larson, was sent to the loss side in the third round by Line Kjorsvik in a live-streamed match on Saturday and was eliminated in a double hill, loss-side match by Liz Cole to finish in the tie for 9th place. Emily Duddy, who was third in the inaugural event and battled Larson in the finals for the title last year, defeated one of the Ashton twins (Beverly) in a second-round match, and then, after being sent to the loss side by Cathy Metzinger, was defeated in her second loss-side match by the second Ashton twin, Joanne. The $8,000-added event drew 46 entrants to The Hidden Spot in Calgary.
 
After being awarded an opening round bye, Villareal got by her first three opponents by an aggregate score of 27-4, giving up two racks to Leandrea Gaff, and one each to Claire Pipestem and Valerie Franiel, which set her (Villareal) up to face Monica Webb in one of the winners’ side semifinals. Bryant, in the meantime, who was not awarded an opening round bye, worked her way to the other winners’ side semifinal with an aggregate score of 36-17, sending Elizabeth Jensen (1), Aryana Lynch (5), Sandy Badger (4) and Line Kjorsvik (7) to the loss side and turning to face Cathy Metzinger in the other winners’ side semifinal.
 
Monica Webb put up a fight against the Tornado, chalking up more racks against her in the winners’ side semifinal than all of Villareal’s previous opponents combined. Villareal, though, advanced to the hot seat match 9-5, and faced Bryant, who’d sent Metzinger west 9-1. Bryant proved to be Villareal’s second strong challenge in a row. She chalked up seven against her, but once again, Villareal advanced, sitting in the hot seat, waiting for what turned out to be Bryant’s return.
 
On the loss side, Webb picked up Teruko Cucculelli, who, after a defeat by Metzinger in a winners’ side quarterfinal, had downed Bonnie Plowman 9-3 and eliminated Kjorsvik 9-6. Metzinger drew Joanne Ashton, who, after eliminating Emily Duddy 9-6, had also eliminated Franiel 9-5 and Liz Cole 9-7 (Cole had just eliminated Larson).
 
Webb ended Cucculelli’s loss-side run 9-3, and in the quarterfinals, faced Metzinger, who’d eliminated the last-standing Ashton twin 9-2. Metzinger and Webb locked up in a double hill, quarterfinal battle that eventually advanced Metzinger to the semifinals against Bryant.
 
Bryant, apparently very determined to get a second shot at Villareal, allowed Metzinger only two racks in those semifinals. In what proved to be a nail-biting, extended-race-to-13 final, Bryant got out in front early, staking herself to a 5-1 lead, which by rack #13 had been extended to a 9-4 lead and then, quickly, an 11-6 lead.
 
Over the next 40 minutes of the match, Villareal had cut that lead down to a single game. She capped the four-game run by attempting an 8-9 combination which initially failed, only to have the 8-ball continue to travel and drop into a side pocket, leaving Villareal with a straight-on shot at the 9-ball in the opposite side pocket. It was 11-10, with Villareal breaking.
 
Bryant stopped the bleeding to reach the hill first at 12-10, but the Texas Tornado, which had been lurking on the horizon through much of the match, started to pick up some speed. She won game #23 and when Bryant missed a tough shot on the 7-ball in rack #24, Villareal jumped on it and won the rack to force a single deciding game.
 
Bryant broke the last rack, sunk a ball and had a clean, albeit bridge-necessary shot at the 1-ball. She dropped the 1-ball in a lower corner pocket, but as she drew back from the shot, her right wrist nudged the 9-ball forward, out of its original position by about an inch. Tournament officials took a minute or two to sort that out to Villareal’s satisfaction, as Bryant contemplated the difficult shot she’d left herself on the 2-ball. She made the 2-ball, but on a much easier shot, rattled the 3-ball in a corner pocket.
 
Villareal pocketed the 3-ball and played safe, leaving Bryant with a potential jump shot to make the 4-ball. She opted for a kick off the long rail, putting the 4-ball back up-table on a short rail with the cue at the opposite end of the table, leaving Villareal a long, sharp cut shot. A subsequent missed bank shot by Bryant left Villareal with a long-rail cut shot at the 4-ball, which she made, and proceeded to drop the next four balls, including the 9-ball to claim the 3rd Ashton Twins Classic title. 
 

1st WPBA Signature Tour Stop of 2018 to be held at Emerald Billiards

$29,000 GUARANTEED PURSE, 64 PLAYER FIELD, & ARAMITH BALLS AS SPONSOR 
 
The Women’s Professional Billiard Association is excited to announce the 1st Signature Tour Stop of 2018. Emerald Billiards, located at 2511 Old W. Spanish Trail; New Iberia, LA, will be hosting the 64-player event with a guaranteed purse of $29,000. A field of 64 elite players will travel from all over the world for a shot at the title & the top prize of $5,500. 
 
WPBA President Dean Roeseler has this to say regarding the event: “The WPBA Board is proud to bring you the second tour stop of the year in New Iberia, LA. This event will be a "signature stop" (50% points) and will be a 3 day event beginning Friday June 22nd at 10am.  Emerald Billiards owner Keith Hulen is dedicated to making this a great event. We have 2 more events on the schedule for this year and will make those announcement when contracts are completed.”
 
EVENT SCHEDULE (times approximate):
Thursday  June 21st: Black Widow Exhibition 7pm-10pm
Friday   June 22nd: Match play from 10am-11pm 
Saturday  June 23rd: Match play from 10am-12am
Sunday   June 24th: Match play from 10am-finals 8:30pm
 
CONFIRMED PLAYERS INCLUDE:
 
#1 Ranked – Line Kjorsvik
“Duchess of Doom” Allison Fisher
“The Assassin” Monica Webb
“Double B” Brittany Bryant
“9mm” Jennifer Barretta
“The Black Widow” Jeanette Lee
“Texas Tornado” Vivian Villarreal
“G-Force” Gerda Hofstatter Gregerson
“Billiard Bombshell” Emily Duddy
“The Grinder” April Larson
“The Sledgehammer” Helena Thornfeldt
“Lone Star” Kim Newsome
“The Terror” Teruko Cucculelli
“The Texas Belle” Belinda Calhoun
“The Honey” Sandy Badger
“The Queen of the Hill” Loree Jon Hasson
“Jumpin” Janet Atwell
Jessica Barnes
 
Exhibition Event with “The Black Widow” Jeanette Lee June 21st 7pm-10pm
“The Black Widow” Jeanette Lee will be doing an exhibition with challenge matches the night before the main event, June 21st from 7pm-10pm. For tickets to the main WPBA event or “The Black Widow” exhibition call: 337.319.0530
 

Edmonton hangs on to win first Alberta Cup trophy

Team Edmonton

Modeled after the Mosconi Cup ("with a twist," according to organizers), Cue Sports Live (CSL) held its first Alberta Cup, on the weekend of June 16-18. The 10-ball event pitted two of that Canadian province's cities against each other in teams of seven players each, drawn from six months of qualifiers. The cities of Edmonton and Calgary were represented by teams consisting of five men and two women, selected by slightly different processes. This 1st Annual Alberta Cup, was hosted by The Hidden Spot in Calgary, and saw the city of Edmonton claim the first title 15-13 over the city of Calgary.
 
Edmonton sported a team made up of seven players, which included their captain Garry Hauck. Eight qualifiers were held from which four males (Hauck, Rob Phillips, Carlos Barbosa, and Roger Colbert) and one female (Sandy Badger) were chosen. Hauck selected one more male (Brian Butler) and one more female (Cathy Metzinger). Calgary did things just a little differently, ending up with a team of seven players and a non-playing captain, Barry Hooey, who was chosen before the qualifying players had been identified. As with Edmonton, the qualifiers produced four males (Jason Onespot, Eric Vargas, Ben Francis, and Albert Augustin) and a female (Joanne Ashton), after which Hooey added one male (Joe Spence) and one female (Bev Ashton)
 
Edmonton got on the board first in Day One by winning the team match 8-1 (the only match that went to 8; all others were races to 5). Alternating between scotch doubles and singles, Edmonton took the next four, as well, and were up 5-0, having won 21 of the 32 games played. With one match to play on this opening day, a singles match, Calgary was, psychologically at least, in something of a must-win situation. Calgary's captain, Hauck, chose his personal pick for the team, Joe Spence, who stepped up to the challenge and downed Edmonton's Carlos Barbosa 5-1, which was also the score of the day's matches with Edmonton on top.
 
Calgary had some work to do on Day Two and they started off on the right foot, winning three straight double hill matches. Calgary's Joanne Ashton then downed Edmonton's Cathy Metzinger 5-2 to knot the teams at 5-5.
 
Edmonton wasted no time getting back into the swing of things, as Day Two progressed. Edmonton Captain Garry Hauck and his scotch doubles partner Rob Phillips defeated Calgary’s Ben Francis and Jason Onespot 5-2 to retake the team lead at 6-5. Edmonton went on to win five more, including a shutout by Edmonton’s scotch doubles team of Brian Butler and Sandy Badger over Calgary’s Erik Vargas and Joanne Ashton. Each team chalked up one more win to complete the Alberta Cup's second day, which ended with Edmonton up 12-6; three more matches away from victory.
 
  
As they'd done the day before, Calgary came to the tables on the final day (featuring all singles matches), looking to make up lost ground, and promptly chalked up four games to cut Edmonton's lead to 12-10. Calgary's Joanne Ashton, hoping to get her team within one, was on the hill in game #7 in this match (4-3) against Edmonton's Cathy Metzinger, when she (Ashton) scratched, shooting at the 9-ball. Metzinger closed out the game, putting the two of them at double hill (4-4).  Metzinger broke dry and with eight of the 10 balls in holes, Ashton found herself looking at an almost identical layout from the one she'd faced in the previous game.
 
"Well, this shot looks familiar," Ashton called out, as she took aim at the 9-ball. For the second game in a row, Ashton scratched shooting at the 9-ball, but this time, it cost her not only the game, but the match. It was Edmonton's first win of the final day and gave them the momentum shift they'd been looking for. 
 
Calgary chalked up match #24 to draw them back to within two at 13-11. Edmonton's Carlos Barbosa got to the hill first in game six (4-2) of match #25, but in game seven, missed a tough cut to give Calgary's Jason Onespot the break he needed to finish the rack and draw within one. Onespot broke and ran to force a deciding game. In that deciding game, Barbosa got to the 8-ball, looking at an easy layout on the 9-10, when he miscued and sunk the 8-ball in the wrong pocket. Onespot sunk the 9-ball, and left himself with perfect shape on the 10-ball. He sunk it to cheers from the Calgary fans in attendance, because the team was within one at 13-12.
 
At 3-3 in match #26, Edmonton's Rob Phillips, playing against Calgary's Erik Vargas, broke and ran to reach the hill first. In game #8, Phillips got as far as the 8-ball, poised to win the game, but scratched. Vargas finished the game, forcing a ninth and deciding game. Phillips promptly broke and ran to win the match, and put Edmonton on the hill at 14-12.
 
With the Alberta Cup on the line, Calgary's captain Brian Hooey put up the team's eventual MVP and his personal team pick, Joe Spence. Edmonton countered with Roger Colbert. Spence won 5-3, and, as the saying goes, the hometown and room Calgary crowd went wild, with their team now a single game away from double hill at 14-13.
 
Match #28 pitted Edmonton Captain Garry Hauck's pick, Brian Butler, against Calgary's Ben Francis. Butler took a quick 3-0 lead, but Francis came right back and chalked up two. Francis broke in game six and ran to the 8-ball, before rattling it in the hole, and allowing Butler to finish the game and reach the hill first at 4-2. Francis fought back in game seven to draw within one at 4-3.
 
Calgary's Francis broke rack #8, and though he sunk the 7-ball, he had no shot at the 1-ball. Francis opted to play safe, looking to take advantage of the three-foul rule to get on the hill with Butler. He reckoned, though, without Butler's experience with the game of snooker. Francis tried twice to put Butler in a foul situation, and not only did Butler foil both attempts, but in the second attempt, he left Francis tough, forcing him to foul. With ball in hand, Butler sunk the 1-ball, and the 2-ball, before lining up and making a 3-10 combination that gave him the match win and his team, the 1st Alberta Cup. The Edmonton team pocketed $4,000 and each team member will have his/her name inscribed on a trophy, which will be held in the winning city until further competition. MVP awards went to Edmonton's Cathy Metzinger, who won four of her five matches, and Brian Butler, who won five out of seven, including the championship match. Calgary's Joe Spence picked up an MVP award, as well, for his five out of seven victories. All three of the MVPs were captain picks for the teams.
Event director Valerie Franiel thanked the owner of the Hidden Spot, Joanne Ashton, for her hospitality during event qualifiers and the actual Albert Cup competition, along with sponsors  Cuejo Custom Cues (Darcy Musurichan), Fuss Cupcakes (Kostas Broumas), Recreation World (Jay MacDougall for the Olhausen balls), Elaine Hicks-Reaper from ReMax, Spruce Grove, Discount Custom Apparels (Tim/Ron), Barry Hooey, David Harding, AZ Billiards (Promotions), E&B Plumbing, ScoreSaloon (Jenny Lucas), Fuze Graphics (Curtis Lea), and Jerry W. Briesath.
The entire event was streamed live, courtesy of CueSportsLive, with commentary by Dave Harding, PJ Massicotte, Jim Wych, and a number of participating members from both teams.
 
According to Franiel, this 1st Annual Alberta Cup featured 213 games, and 33 hours of play, supported by (among other things) endless hours of work by volunteers. There will, she said, be more to come.
 

Corr Wins Rivers Casino Open

Karen Corr and Si Ming Chen

Karen Corr defeated Siming Chen in a heart-pounding, sudden death finale, capping off a four-day competition featuring the top 48-ranked pros of the Women’s Professional Billiard Association. The event ran April 19th-23rd, bringing back the final four players for Sunday’s performance. Brittany Bryant (Canada) and Line Kjorsvik (Norway) also made the cut, tying for third place.
 
The 2017 Rivers Casino Open, held April 19th-23rd, proved very exciting for the spectators in attendance and those who tuned in via the WPBA live stream. With the click of a mouse, fans could tune in to live matches on any one of six tournament tables, which included live scoring updates.
 
The Charity Pro-Am kicked off Wednesday afternoon, with 8 teams, each team paired with a Pro. After three fast and furious rounds of play, it was determined that “Team Brittany Bryant” and “Team Monica Webb” scored the most game wins in each round, and would face each other in a head-to-head final. Team Webb overcame Team Bryant for the win, and a great time was had by all participants! There was also a “Challenge the Pro” session with all proceeds going to charity. Top ranked players took on all comers, offering their fans not only an opportunity to play their favorite pros, but a chance to autograph billiard memorabilia and snap photographs.
 
Thursday morning began the trek to Sunday’s semi-finals. Chen claimed the first semi spot with wins over Kristina Grim, 9-3, Naomi Williams, 9-0, Helena Thornfeldt, 9-3, and Line Kjorsvik, 9-4. The second semi spot was claimed by Karen Corr, with wins over Julie Kelly, 9-6, Jessica Barnes, 9-6, Janet Atwell, 9-6, Monica Webb, 9-7, and Brittany Bryant, 9-3. Challengers were grinding it out on the west side of the chart, hoping to make Sunday’s show. Brittany Bryant bested Kelly Cavanaugh, 9-4, Robin Parker, 9-1, and Jennifer Barretta, 9-7, before losing to Corr. Bryant went on to beat Julie Kelly, 9-6, for an opportunity to face Chen in the first semi-final. The 2017 WPBA Masters Champion and new number one ranked WPBA player, Line Kjorsvik, beat Suzanne Peters, 9-6, Teruko Cucculelli, 9-3, and Sandy Badger, 9-3, but fell to Chen. From the one-loss side, Line went on to eliminate Monica Webb, 9-6, earning herself a shot at Corr in the second semi-final. Chen overcame Bryant both sets, 4-1 and 4-2, to reach the finals. Corr experienced another sudden death match with Line, but this time, she prevailed. Corr won the first set 4-1, and Line answered back, taking the second set, 4-1. Corr responded, winning the sudden death game to face Chen in the finals.
 
Siming played lights out all week, with a stable of opponents who could score no more than four games against her. In the first set, she cruised to a 4-0, but Karen fought back and won the second set, 4-3. Even on sets, players lagged for the break in the sudden death decider. Corr won the lag, broke, and made a ball on the break. Siming never made it back to the table. Corr made a nerve-racking out, flirting with the side pocket while playing position from the 6-ball to the 7-ball. The crowd watched and gasped in horror as the cue ball settled on the rail with perfect shape on the 7-ball. In true, champion form, Corr completed the run, earning herself a brand new title, 2017 Rivers Casino Open Champion!
 
The WPBA would like to thank its sponsors for this event, Rivers Casino and their staff who provided a fabulous venue and outstanding service, Diamond Pool Tables who provided the playing equipment and set-up for the event, Simonis Cloth who provided the cloth for the playing surface, and Aramith Pool Balls who supplied the brand new balls sets. Thanks go out to Dave Jacoby for building the WPBA 40th Anniversary Custom Cue for which raffles tickets were sold during the week, and given away on Sunday.
 
For more information about the Women’s Professional Billiards Association, please visit www.WPBA.com.

Bryant goes undefeated to win inaugural Ashton Twins Classic in Calgary

Joanne Ashton, Brittany Bryant, Eleanor Callado, Beverley Ashton and Emily Duddy

Fresh off her fourth place finish in the North American Pool Tour's Women's 10-Ball Invitational in Herndon, VA, last weekend, Brittany Bryant traveled to Calgary, Alberta to compete in the inaugural Ashton Twins (Joanne and Beverley) Classic, on the weekend of June 11-12. Though challenged twice by Eleanor Callado, Bryant went undefeated through the field of 32 that had signed on to compete in the $2,000-added event, hosted by The Hidden Spot in Calgary.
 
Following victories over Kathie MacDonald, Liz Cole, and Emily Duddy, Bryant squared off against Veronique Menard in a winners' side semifinal. Callado, in the meantime, who'd defeated tournament namesake Joanne Ashton, Farla Salmanovitch and Janet Atwell, met up with Toni Sakamoto in the other winners' side semifinal. Bryant sent Menard to the loss side 9-5, and in the hot seat match faced Callado, who'd defeated Sakamoto 9-7. Bryant claimed the hot seat 9-4 over Callado, and waited on her return.
 
On the loss side, Sakamoto picked up Emily Duddy, who'd been defeated by Bryant in the third winners' side round. Duddy opened her loss-side campaign with a victory over Nathalie Chabot 9-1, and just did survive a double hill battle against Kathie MacDonald. Menard drew Janet Atwell, who'd been sent to the loss side by Callado, and then eliminated Liz Cole 9-6 and Sandy Badger 9-7.
 
Atwell and Menard locked up in a double hill fight that eventually advanced Atwell to the quarterfinals against Duddy, who'd ended Sakamoto's run 9-2. Duddy earned herself a shot at Callado in the semifinals with a 9-6 victory over Atwell.
 
Duddy, who's in the midst of her best year, to date, as a pro (financially), fought Callado, back and forth, one victory at a time, to a 6-6 tie, and then pulled out in front to reach the hill first, ahead by two. Callado, though, fought back to tie it and force a case game. Callado won that game to earn a re-match against Bryant in the hot seat.
 
In spite of a relatively long wait, Bryant opened the single race to 11 with four straight racks. Callado chalked up rack #5, but Bryant came back to win four more to take a commanding 8-1 lead. With some applause-worthy shooting in rack #10, from an enthusiastic crowd, Callado chalked up her second. Bryant took racks #11 and #12 to reach the hill, and then closed it out to claim the event title.
 
The Ashton Twins and Tour Director Stephanie Toy thanked the ownership and staff at The Hidden Spot for their hospitality, as well as sponsors SBI Landscaping, Infinity Mechanical, Inc.,
Sierra Publishing Company, Jenny Lucas from Score Saloon (game by game scoring), Orange Theory Fitness, Nasty Boy Drywall Services, World Sports and Poker.com, Westcreek Consulting, and Randall Morrison for the on-line streaming service.

Montour maintains NWPA top ranking with undefeated win on third tour stop

Jana Montour (File photo courtesy of Ray Lassilat)

Jana Montour has advanced to the hot seat in all three of the Northwest Women’s Pool Association Tour stops this year, and won two of them. She began in March with a victory over Liz Cole. In April, her advancement to the hot seat, included a victory over Kim Jones, who came back from the loss side to defeat her in the finals. At the latest stop on the weekend of June 16-17, Montour, once again, sent Jones to the loss side, but this time, when she came back, Montour hung on to win and complete an undefeated weekend. The $750-added event drew 28 entrants to Malarkey’s in Tacoma, WA.

Montour and Jones met first in the third round. Montour had received a bye and defeated Sandy Badger. Jones had gotten by Sheila Clark and Cindy Sliva. In that first meeting, Jones got to the hill, ahead by five games. Montour roared back, and won six in a row.  That win put Montour among the winners’ side final four, where she faced Shari Ross. Suzanne Smith, in the meantime, met up with Deby Welfringer. A double hill win for Welfringer set her up for the hot seat match against Montour, who’d defeated Ross 7-5. Montour sent Welfringer to the semifinals 7-2, and awaited her second straight final against Jones.

Jones moved over and defeated Kathy Stanley 6-1 and Mary Hopkin 6-2 to draw Smith. Ross drew Liz Cole, who’d defeated Badger, double hill and  Kit Dennis 6-1. Ross ended Cole’s day 6-4, and in the quarterfinals, met up with Jones, who’d downed Smith 6-3. Jones then defeated Ross, 7-5 and earned her second chance versus Montour with a 6-4 win over Welfringer in the semifinals.

As had happened in their earlier match, Jones took an early lead in the race-to-9 finals. She was up by four games before Montour got on the board. Each then won a game to make it 5-2, Jones. Montour then won four straight to take her first lead, and another to go up 7-5. Jones won a game to pull within one.

Montour won the 14th rack to reach the hill first. Jones took the 15th rack to pull back within one, but Montour closed it out with a victory to complete her undefeated weekend. The victory left Montour atop the NWPA tour rankings, with Jones right behind her.

Kim Jones wins NWPA Tour Stop #2- Martha Hartsell Memorial

T.D. Ford, Jana Montour, Kim Jones and Jim Lebold owner of The Cue Ball

On April 28-29, 2012, The Cue Ball in Salem, OR hosted the 2nd Annual Martha Hartsell Memorial for the NWPA’s second tour stop of the season.  The tournament was held on twenty-two 9 foot Brunswick Centennial and Anniversary tables. Rail2Rail Productions hosted a free live stream all weekend.  We would love to thank our title sponsor Mueller for continuing their support of the NWPA. Please check out their website at www.mueller.com.  Billiards 911 sponsored the Trivia Challenge on the live stream, donating a prize package of a cue maintenance bundle including Undo the Blue, shaft smoother and burnisher, Prickster Tip Tool, Shaft Magic with Cue Cloth, and a talcum powder pouch. Congratulations to the winner, James Doyle of Roswell, GA.

The event drew 33 players, most of them tour regulars. However, several new and returning players entered including Julie Stallings (Junction City, OR), Angela Higgins (Portland, OR), Jennifer Windell (Oregon City, OR), Andrena Browne (Springfield, OR), Laura Hardie (Portland, OR), Tina Tillett (Coos Bay, OR), and Kim Allen (Oregon City, OR.) Remaining funds from the Johnny Archer/Nick Varner raffle in early April resulted in an additional $250 added to the main event payout, to bring the total to $1000 added.  Player rewards included autographed photos of Johnny/Nick, coffee from local Portland company Coava Coffee Roasters (www.coavacoffee.com), QClip donation , and instructional video Point The Way by well-known road player/guru Timothy Miller (The Monk).  We would love to thank all parties that made donations to the NWPA.  In addition to the player raffle, scratch tickets were awarded for 9 ball breaks and break & runs.

With 33 players, the tournament format was a race to 7 on the A side and a race to 6 on the B side. Saturday was action packed and only eight players returned on Sunday in the main event.  On the A side, it was Jana Montour vs. Kris Robbins and Liz Cole vs. Shelby Locati and on the B side it was Eve Stockstill vs. Sheila Clark and Kim Jones vs. Suzanne Smith.  Jana and Liz both advanced through their morning matches, 7-6 and 7-3, to force a repeat of our first stop’s hotseat (and final) match which had a similar result, Jana advancing by a score of 7-5.  On the B side, Eve and Kim both defeated their opponents by similar score of 6-4.  During Sunday’s second round, Kris and Kim defeated Eve and Shelby by identical 6-2 scores.  Kim just seemed to pick up speed from there, going on to defeat Kris (6-0).  Kim then defeated Liz, in a hill-hill nail biter where a scratch on the break by Liz, resulted in Kim taking a 1-9 combo for the win.

THE FINAL- Jana Montour vs. Kim Jones was one race to 9, alternating break.
Path to the final- Jana M: Elaine E (0), Talya M (4), Kim J (3), Kris R (6), Liz C (5)
Path to the final- Kim J: Julie S (6), Angela H (3), loss to Jana (3), Tamre R (2), Suzanne S (4), Shelby L (2), Kris R (0), Liz C (5)

Jana won the lag, but right from the beginning did not appear comfortable at the table. She was somewhat inconsistent with her position play and shot making, which appeared to associated with indecision in her pattern play.  Kim took advantage of every opportunity with superb run out patterns and safeties, jumping out to a 7-0 lead before an accidental hook left Kim attempting a jump over the 8 ball resulting in a bad hit. Jana ran the 7, 8, 9 to win her first rack. Kim bounced right back with the next rack to reach the hill first.  With her back against the wall, Jana fought through the next two racks to make the score 8-3 before a safety on the 2 ball resulted in an opportunity for Kim to pocket an off angle 2-9 carom to win her first event of 2012. 

Congratulations ladies!  Our next event will be June 16-17 at Malarkey’s Pool & Brew in Tacoma, WA.

Main Event Payouts
1st 600 Kim Jones
2nd 400 Jana Montour
3rd 275 Liz Cole
4th 200 Kris Robbins
5/6th 125 Eve Stockstill/Shelby Locati
7/8th 95 Sheila Clark/Suzanne Smith

Seven players returned for the $175 added Second Chance Event.  The tournament ended up being a Race to three on both sides, the final being one race to four.  Sandy Badger defeated Debbie Cicchiti in the final

Second Chance Payouts
1st 80 Sandy Badger
2nd 60 Debbie Cicchiti
3rd 40 Talya Makus
4th 25 Alisha Rogers
5/6th 15 Tina Tillett/Tamre Rogers
7th 10 Eileen Stephens