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New Champions Launch at Space City Open IX

Roberto Gomez

Gomez, Bayaua, Compton, Almaraz, and Martinez, III Earn Titles

Roberto “Superman” Gomez captured the Space City Open IX, 128-player 9-ball division, defeating John “Mr. Smooth” Morra in the finals, 9-2, 7-5, taking home his first 9-ball division title. Gomez earned a well-deserved, $1,500 bonus, and new “All-Around” title, for his stellar play across all three divisions. Taking home first titles, Houston’s Ernesto Bayaua showed off his skills, defeating Alex Calderone in the one pocket division final, 4-3, while Oklahoma’s Chip Compton ousted Las Vegas’ Gary Lutman in the 9-ball banks division final, 4-3. In the ladies open 9-ball division, Mille Almaraz went undefeated, besting Ming “The Empress” Ng in the finals, 7-4. Finally, in the junior 9-ball division, Lazaro “Little Laz” Martinez, III, defended his 2019 title, marking up three consecutive title wins in his division. 

The Derby-like, Space City Open IX, was held December 2nd-5th, 2021, at Big Tyme Billiards in Spring, Texas, with four days of free live streaming provided by Southern Streaming. The event featured 178 players, competing in five divisions, over four days. The event drew players from Oklahoma, New Mexico, Nevada, and even Canada. Roberto Gomez returned to defend his 2019 one pocket title, along with champions John Morra, Chip Compton, Tommy Tokoph, Ernesto Bayaua, Manny Chau, Alex Calderone, Charlie Bryant, and WPBA Touring Professional, Loreejon Jones, all vying for a piece of the $56,195 payout and $1,500 “All-Around” bonus. 

Space City would like to thank those who were instrumental in the production of this event; John Newsome, Kim Newsome, Ruth Paine, Chuck Adams, Mike Fabacher with Southern Streaming, owners and staff at Big Tyme Billiards, Mike McDonald and Alamo Billiards, Poison by Predator Cues, Predator Cues, Outsville Billiards, Jerry Olivier, and Brutal Game Gear. Vendors for this event included Jerry Olivier Cues and Cue Repair, Joe Salazar Connoisseur of Custom Cues, and Brutal Game Gear. Special “thanks” to Jerry Olivier Custom Cues and Cue Repair and Brutal Game Gear who added an additional $500 to this year’s junior division. 

The open, ladies, and junior 9-ball divisions were played on twenty-four, Diamond bar tables. The one pocket and banks were played on six, nine foot tables. Predator Arcos II ball sets and Accu-Racks were used on all tables, supplied by event sponsors Predator Cues and Outsville Billiards, respectively. Big Tyme Billiards provided a smoke-free environment, and some of the best playing equipment Texas has to offer, for the billiard extravaganza.

Roberto Gomez (Chris Castaneda)

The true double elimination, 128-player open 9-ball division kicked off Saturday morning at 10am, and concluded on Sunday evening. In the final sixteen on the winners’ side, Ernesto Bayaua sent Manny Chau west, 9-2, Eric Aicinena overwhelmed Felipe Yniguez, 9-4, and John Morra overpowered Joey Bourgeois, Jr., 9-3. Las Vegas’ Scott Kitto slid by Andy Jethwa, 9-7, Roberto Gomez denied Kenneth Price, 9-5, and Austin’s Justin Espinosa eased past Steve Lenz, 9-8. Derek Fontenot beat Eric Cantrell, 9-4, and San Antonio’s Rick Moreno outplayed Jessie Moore, 9-4. The next round witnessed Aicinena oust Bayaua, 9-4, Morra deny Kitto, 9-3, and Gomez detour Espinosa, 9-3. Rounding out the final four, Fontenot bested Moreno, 9-3. 

Advancing to the hot seat, Morra thwarted Aicinena, 9-2, while Fontenot upset Gomez, 9-4. Morra defeated Fontenot in the hot seat match, 9-6. On the one-loss side, Steve Lenz fought his way into the final eight with wins over Charlie “Hillbilly” Bryant, 7-3, Price, 7-3, and Bayaua, 7-2. Blaine Barcus eliminated eight players, including Cantrell, 7-3, Moore, 7-2, and Kitto, 7-4. Chau dusted off New Mexico’s Donivan Pedroncelli, 7-3, Cesar Arrechiga, 7-2, and Espinosa, 7-2, while Moreno ended Bourgeois, Jr., 7-3. Barcus maintained momentum, ousting Lenz, 7-4, but falling to Gomez by the same score. Chau handily beat Moreno, 7-2,  and Aicinena, 7-4. Gomez defeated Chau, 7-2, and Fontenot, 7-1, to meet Morra in the finals. In the first set, Morra could not gain ground, while Gomez had the break down cold. Gomez dominated the first set, 9-2. In the second set, Morra seemed to regroup, but Gomez inched ahead to capture the second set, 7-5, and his first, Space City, open 9-ball division title.

Ernesto Bayaua

In the single elimination, 38-player one pocket division, teeing off in the final eight, Alex Calderone defeated Roberto Gomez, 4-2, while Kenneth Price made quick work of J.C. Torres, 4-1. Ernesto Bayaua slid past John Morra, 4-3, and John Gabriel overwhelmed Mark Nanashee, 4-1. Final four action witnessed Calderone eliminate Price, 4-1, and Bayaua escape Gabriel, 4-3. In the final match, it was a fight to the finish for Calderone and Bayaua. Players traded safeties and games, for hours, until a determined Bayaua pulled ahead to close out the set, 4-3, earning his first Space City, one pocket division title.

In the single elimination, 36-player 9-ball banks division, final eight action witnessed Chip Compton defeat Alex Calderone, 4-1, and John Morra shut out Kenneth Price, 4-0. Local favorite, Tommy Tokoph, curbed Mark Nanashee, 4-1, and Gary Lutman sent Gabriel packing, 4-1. Down to the final four, Compton struck a blow against Morra, 4-2, and Lutman upset Tokoph, 4-3.  In the final match, Compton edged out Lutman, 4-3, to win his first, Space City, 9-ball banks division title.

Mille Almaraz

The 34-player, ladies open 9-ball division, featured defending champion, Ming Ng, returning champion, Natalie Rocha, Indiana’s Toni Tucker, and Canadian, WPBA Touring Professional, Suzanne Peters. Making their way to the winners’ side, final four, La Le overcame Mary “Princess” Avina, 7-6, Michelle Yim, 7-4, and Suzanne Peters, 7-2, while Ming “The Empress” Ng passed Michelle Abernathy, 7-3, Toni Tucker, 7-4, and Christy Grigsby, 7-4. Mille Almaraz detoured Ruth Paine, 7-3, Yvonne “The Casher” Asher, 7-1, and Natalie Rocha, 7-6. Laurie Clouette came on strong, with wins over Sara Bork, 7-4, Brandi Scott, 7-5, Loretta Miller, 7-2, and Teresa “Princess of Pool” Garland, 7-6. On the west side, reaching the final eight, Tucker shut out Rocha, 5-0, while Garland took out McHaney, 5-3. Peters overwhelmed Pierce, 5-2, and Petrosino sent Grigsby home, 5-3. On the winners’ side, Ng bested Le, 7-2, and it was Almaraz over Clouette, 7-2. In her hot seat match debut, Almaraz took down the defending champ, 7-5, further securing her position in a very tough field. Back on the one-loss side, Tucker took out Garland, 5-2, and Le, 5-3, while Petrosino ended Peters, 5-3, and Clouette, 5-0. Tucker claimed five matches before Petrosino stopped her run, 5-3. This was Petrosino’s eighth, match win, an incredible run to reach the final three, after losing her very first match to Melissa Smith, 7-5. Petrosino was forced to settle for third place, after suffering a 5-3 loss at the hands of Ng. The rematch between Almaraz and Ng was set in motion. A confident Almaraz took control of the first set, and did not look back. She defeated Ng, 7-4, to capture her first, Space City, women’s open 9-ball division title.

Lazaro Martinez III

The junior 9-ball division commenced on Sunday, featuring 13 competitors from across Texas. On their way to the winners’ side, final four, Gabriel Martinez defeated Aniyah Maldonado, 7-2, and Ace Smith, 7-2, while Lazaro “Little Laz” Martinez, III, bested Vania Davila, 7-0, and Jayden Holt, 7-1. Mary Grigsby outran Makenzlee Cameron, 7-4, and Cameron King, 7-4, while Kevin Gallegos slid past Nathan Garay, 7-6, and Eva Grigsby, 7-4. On the one-loss side, after suffering a first round loss to Holt, Tyler Miller was on a mission, eliminating Davila, 5-2, King, 5-0, and Maldonado, 5-3. Holt dusted off Cameron, 5-1, while Smith ended Garay, 5-2. Smith vanquished Holt, 5-2, and along with Miller, reached the final six, and the money. On the east side, the Martinez brothers faced off in the final four, with Gabriel advancing, 7-1, while M. Grigsby lost her bid for the hot seat to Gallegos, 7-2. G. Martinez made quick work of Gallegos, 7-0, to capture the hot seat. On the west side, Laz ousted Miller, 5-2, and M. Grigsby defeated Ace, 5-3. Laz went on to eliminate Grigsby and Gallegos, to meet brother Gabriel in the finals. Gabriel gave it his best shot, but was outmatched by Laz, suffering a two-set defeat. With this victory, Laz secured his third, consecutive, Space City, junior 9-ball division title.

The Space City Open is the largest pool tournament in Texas, featuring five divisions, and is held annually, the first week in December. For more information, visit www.SpaceCityOpen.com. 

Champions Reignite at Space City Open VII

Josh Roberts (Photo courtesy of Chris Lue, Next Action Media)

James Davis, Jr., “Junior”, of Austin, Texas, went undefeated in a 128-player field, to win the Space City Open VII, open 9-ball title, becoming the second player to win it twice. Josh “The Beast” Roberts not only defended his one pocket title, but finished second in banks, and thirty-third in the 9-ball, earning himself the “All-Around” title, and a hefty $1,500 bonus. First-time competitor, Evan Lunda of Detroit, Michigan, cleaned up in the 32-player, 9-ball banks division, going hill-hill with only a single opponent. In the 32-player, ladies 9-ball, Ming “The Empress” Ng redeemed herself in the second set of the true, double elimination final, securing her second title, and becoming the first, two-time winner in this division. Nine junior players, including eight young men, and one young lady, traveled from across Texas to compete in their very own division. Lazaro “Little Laz” Martinez, III, of San Antonio, Texas, went undefeated in this category, earning the first win in this division debut.
 
For years, Space City Open has featured top players from across America, and this year was no exception. Former Mosconi Cup players, contenders, and champions alike were in attendance, vying for a piece of the $53,415 payout. Space City Open superstars included Justin Hall, Josh Roberts, Danny Smith, Shane McMinn, John Morra, Charlie “Hillbilly” Bryant, Richie Richeson, Alex Calderone, Sylver Ochoa, Ernesto Bayaua, James Davis, Jr., Can Salim, Chris Robinson, Evan Lunda, Jamie Baraks, Manny Perez, Justin Espinosa, Tommy Tokoph, and Jesus Atencio.  
 
This year’s $7,500 added, Space City Open VII, was held December 6th-9th, 2018, and implemented a number of positive changes, including a $1,500 All-Around bonus, and a seventeen-and-under, juniors 9-ball division. In its seventh year, the “derby-like” event, now hosting five divisions over four days, was also held at a brand new venue. Big Tyme Billiards in Spring, Texas, stepped up to host, generously adding $4,000 to the purse, providing twenty Diamond bar tables and six nine foot tables, on which to compete. Twenty-six, brand new, Cyclop “Zeus” ball sets, and Accu-Racks by Outsville, were provided by Space City. The bar tables were a popular change from the eight foot tables used in previous years (for the open 9-ball division), and the format changes for one pocket and banks were also a huge hit. These divisions were still held on nine foot tables, but in a single elimination format as opposed to double, and the consensus was clear. Players loved the expediency, along with the added pressure and intensity of the “one-and-done” arrangement. For the first time, all divisions filled, with players on stand-by.
 
The open 9-ball division presented a monstrous, challenging field, played on the great equalizer; the bar table. On the road to victory, James Davis, Jr. defeated Matt Williams, Charlie Bryant, 9-8, Evan Lunda, 9-8, and Shelby Green, 9-5, to reach the winners’ side final eight. Espinosa logged wins over Angelina Dean, 9-1, Marshal Ward, 9-2, Eric Aicinena, 9-4, and Victor Rojas, 9-7, while Danny Smith defeated Mike Landry, 9-2, Colton Berzins, 9-1, John Morra, 9-5, and Mike Alonzo, 9-8. Jamie Baraks made quick work of Beto Cavazos, 9-3, Rick Moreno, 9-3, David Thomas, 9-7, and Shane McMinn, 9-4. Houston’s Andy Jethwa passed Grady Cooper, 9-1, Mark Galicia, 9-5, Sylver Ochoa, 9-8, and Corey Flud, 9-6. Richie Richeson ousted Alan Myers, Jerry Miller, 9-8, David Chow, and Billy “Big Tyme” Sharp, 9-4, while Alex Calderone overcame Chase Wheeler, 9-2, Ricki Casper, 9-6, Aaron Springs, 9-7, and Germany’s Can Salim, 9-8. On the one loss side and in the money, Kenneth Price upset Chris Robinson, 7-5, and bested Flud, 7-7, while Morra topped Curt Sheldon, 7-3, and Shelby Green, 7-2. Bryant subdued Angel Mentzel, but fell to Sharp by the same score, 7-2. Galicia upended Aicinena, 7-4, but fell to Salim, 7-2, while Moreno won an impressive five matches, ousting Springs, 7-3, and Rojas, 7-4. Following a second round loss to Morra, Ernesto Bayaua made a phenomenal comeback, securing five matches, including wins over Derek Fontenot, 7-3, and Poon, 7-0. Jesus Atencio, on a similar mission, marked up five on the one loss side, among the ruins, Reginal Samples, 7-1, and Alonzo, 7-5. Jimmy Krone racked up five victories on the one loss side, but was stopped by Ochoa, 7-4. Ochoa was taken out by McMinn, 7-6, wrapping up top sixteen action. Back on the east side, Espinosa throttled Perez, 9-1, Baraks triumphed over Smith, 9-7, while Davis, Jr. snuck by Jethwa, 9-7, and Calderone inched by Richeson, 9-8. Espinosa squeaked by Baraks, 9-8, and Davis Jr. served it up cold to Calderone, 9-4. The hot seat match-up marked an Austin-area shoot-out, and a short-lived set for Espinosa, who sustained his first blow from Davis, Jr., 9-5. On the west side, Morra took a stand, ending Price, 7-3, and Perez, 7-2, while Salim took out heavy hitters  Sharp, 7-3, and Smith, 7-2. Bayaua recorded his seventh win on the one loss side, ending Moreno, 7-1, and Jethwa, 7-3. Ochoa finished off Atencio, 7-3, but fell to Richeson, 7-5. Salim went on to defeat Morra, 7-5, and Calderone, 7-3, while Bayaua buried Richeson and Baraks, 7-3. Bayaua registered his ninth win, but no more. Winning the case game against Bayaua, Salim secured his sixth win, and slid into third place. Espinosa was ready for Salim, but got off to a slow start. At a 6-3 deficit, Espinosa came back to win, 7-6, earning himself a second shot at Junior, and the title. Once again, Espinosa found himself in troubled waters, as Davis was in perfect rhythm with the table, and couldn’t be denied. Davis Jr. surged to a 9-3 win, and his second 9-ball title since the inception of Space City. 
 
In the one pocket division, Josh Roberts took no prisoners, eliminating Charlie Bryant, Jamie Baraks, and Chris Robinson, 4-3, while Alex Calderone defeated Greg Trent, Jim McCary, and Sylver Ochoa, 4-2. Local favorite, Richie Richeson, defeated Marc Garza and Manny Perez, by the same score, 4-1, and John Morra, 4-1. Ernesto Bayaua rounded out the final four, booking wins over Bobby Roland, Aaron Springs, 4-3, and Evan Lunda. In the final four round, Roberts shut-out Calderone, 4-0, and Richeson slid past Bayaua, 4-3. For the first time, Richeson found himself at the end of the board, facing the defending champion. The pressure was on, as both players were in close running for the All-Around bonus. In the final, numerous games came down to the case ball. The fans were treated to an offensive juggernaut; a display of maneuvers and banks, not soon forgotten, but even the creativity of the venerable Richeson, was not enough. With an accounting of two, eight-and-out runs, Roberts was up 3-2, with one ball remaining in game six. Following an unforced error by Richeson, Roberts took it home, along with his second, Space City Open one pocket title.
 
Evan Lunda was in charge of the banks. The Detroit product eliminated Jim Walker, 4-0, Danny Smith, 4-3, and Jose Barbosa, 4-1. His upcoming challenger, Shane McMinn, took out Mike Alonzo, Gail Eaton and James Davis, Jr. by the same score, 4-2. Josh Roberts overwhelmed Marc Garza, 4-1, Kent Berthelot, 4-0, and John Morra, 4-1, while Richie Richeson completed the final four, with wins over Bret Harlan, 4-0, Jamie Baraks, 4-2, and Justin Hall, 4-3. Lunda ended McMinn, 4-2, and Roberts robbed Richeson, 4-1. Lunda and Roberts found themselves in their first, banks final, vying for new milestones; Lunda, aiming for his first title, and Roberts, going for first-time champion of two different divisions. Lunda’s casual style showcased epic moves, and wowed spectators as he banked his way to victory. He shut out Roberts in the final of the single elimination schedule, 4-0, to win his first Space City Open title.
 
On Sunday morning, thirty-two women started battling it out in the ladies 9-ball division. The 2013 ladies 9-ball division champion, Ming “The Empress” Ng, began her trek with wins over Terri Resendez, 7-2, two-time ladies 9-ball champion, Gail “Virginia Slim” Eaton, 7-6, and Kim “Texas Heat” Pierce, 7-1, as Robyn Petrosino plowed through Ruth Paine, 7-0, Brittany Kromer, 7-3, and Teresa “Princess of Pool” Garland, 7-1. Yvonne “Casher” Asher made her way to the cash, defeating Karen Reilly, Tam “MZ Tam” Trinh, 7-3, and Jillian Nickerson, 7-6, while Ricky “The Ghost” Casper, drifted past Matty Sword, 7-1, Sara Bork, 7-3, and Hopey “Hurricane” Lawrence, 7-2. Ng went on to shut out Petrosino, 7-0, and Casper stopped Asher, 7-4. In the hot seat match, Ng emerged victorious over Casper, 7-4. On the one loss side and in the final eight, Pierce and Eaton shut out Garland and Nickerson, respectively, 5-0. Pierce derailed Asher, and Eaton eliminated Petrosino, moving into the final four. Eaton went on to eliminate Pierce, 5-0, and Casper, 5-4, to meet Ng in the finals. Ng, going for her second title, and Eaton, searching for her third, battled to the bitter end. In the first set, Ng simply couldn’t get it together, and Eaton was on fire, taking the first set, 7-1. Following a five minute break, the second set got underway. This time, Ng took her turn, beating Eaton 5-3, to win her second, Space City Open title. 
 
Nine players, seventeen and under, competed in the inaugural, juniors 9-ball division. Lazaro Martinez, III, aka “Little Laz”, outplayed April Gonzales, 5-2, and Alex Fonseca bested Jonathan Cortez, 5-1. Jacob Gonzales beat John Benavides, but fell to Kyle Yi, while Gabriel Martinez passed Nathan Garay, 5-1. Martinez, III logged a third win against Fonseca, 5-2, and G. Martinez ousted Yi, for a brother versus brother, hot seat match-up. G. Martinez denied his brother, and awaited his final opponent. On the one loss side, and in the final six, Fonseca eliminated Garay, and Yi overcame Benavides. Yi eliminated Fonseca, but fell to Martinez, III. Once again, “Little Laz” faced off with brother, Gabriel, in the final. The final told a different story, as Little Laz overwhelmed Gabriel, 5-2, 5-3, to win his first Space City Open title.
 
Space City Open VII goes down in the record books as the most successful one to date. “I have no words for the outpouring of support from the Texas pool community. Even with the last minute venue and format changes, the event over-filled. Billy Sharp and Deborah Sharp of Big Tyme Billiards came through for all of us” commented Kim Newsome, Space City Open Founder and Director. Space City Open extends a heartfelt “thank you” to everyone involved in the production of this event; John Newsome and Johnny Gonzales of Eagle Plumbing who sponsored the $1,500, All-Around bonus; staff members Kim Newsome, John Newsome, Erica Hanlon, and Chuck Adams who managed every facet of the event; Ceferina Ramirez and Ruth Paine for their contributions; Mike Fabacher with Southern Streaming who provided a free, four-day live stream; Chris Lue of Next Action Media, whose photographs captured the essence of the event; sponsors Roger Schuett with the APA of North Harris County, Mike McDonald of VaporKnightsUSA.com, Poison by Predator Cues, Cyclop Pool Balls, Chris Renfro with Outsville Billiards, Charlie and Heather Bryant of Brutal Game Gear, and David Taylor and Teresa Garland with Houston Best of Billiards; vendors Jerry Olivier Cue Repair, Joe Salazar Connoisseur of Custom Cues, Arthur Politte with Qxtender.com, Darrold Stiehl with Champions Cues, and Brutal Game Gear. 
 
Finally, Space City would like to extend its deepest gratitude to the players who support this event, year in and year out. Without the players, none of this would be possible.
 
Space City Open is one of the biggest billiard events in Texas, and is held annually, the first week in December. For more information, visit www.SpaceCityOpen.com
 

Petrosino Repeats on Gulf Coast Tour

Terry Petrosino and Ming Ng

Terry “The Terrorizer” Petrosino outperformed a field of 32 players, to win the first Gulf Coast Women’s   Regional Billiards Tour event of 2018. This is her second, consecutive win on the Gulf Coast Tour, following her break-through win at the final event of 2017. 
 
On February 10th-11th, 2018, Bogies Billiards West in Houston, Texas, along with Cyclop Pool Balls Facebook.com/CyclopPoolBalls, Ozone Billiards OzoneBilliards.com, APA of North Harris County Facebook.com/APANorthHarrisCounty, Outsville Billiards, and www.VaporKnightsUSA.com, facilitated another successful event for female pool players, hailing from Texas and Louisiana, at the first stop on this year’s Gulf Coast Tour.
 
Following a brief players’ meeting, matches commenced, and Terry Petrosino was on her way with wins over Brittany Williams, 7-3, Loretta “The Gem” Lindgren, 7-3, and Natalie Rocha, 7-1. Ming “The Empress” Ng powered past newcomers Sandra Melo, 7-0, Brandi Gana, 7-5, and veteran Toni “Copperhead” Esteves, 7-4, while Gail “Virginia Slim” Eaton bested newbie Panda Rikeman, Sara Bork, 7-3, and Alicia Huff, 7-0. Rounding out the final four on the winners’ side, Aryana Lynch overcame San Antonio’s Ruth Paine, 7-1, Austin’s Ellen Robinson, 7-2, and Robyn Petrosino, 7-4. Ng overwhelmed Petrosino, 7-4, while Eaton defeated Lynch, 7-3. It was a short-lived hot seat match for Eaton, as Ng commanded the set, and the win, 7-1. On the one loss side, fighting for passage into the final eight, R. Petrosino eliminated Gana, 5-2, and Monica DeTuncq took out Huff, 5-3, while Robinson blew past Esteves, 5-0, and Yvonne Asher finished off Rocha, 5-4. R. Petrosino ousted DeTuncq, 5-0, but fell to T. Petrosino, while Robinson eliminated Asher, 5-2, and Lynch, 5-3. T. Petrosino bested Robinson, and Eaton, forging her way into the finals, earning a rematch with the player who sent her to the west side. Ng and T. Petrosino mounted up for race to the finish line. In the first set of the true, double elimination final, Petrosino overwhelmed Ng, 7-4. In the second set, Ng tried to recover, but Petrosino wouldn’t allow it. Petrosino secured the second set, 5-3, claiming her second, consecutive Tour victory. 
 
The Tour would like to welcome its newest members, Panda Rikeman, Ruth Paine, Vada Selsor, Calaia Jackson, Brandi Gana, Ming Ng, Liz Tijerina, and Brooke Dailing!
 
The next event will be held March 17th-18th, 2018, at Bogies Billiards and Sports Bar, located at 3040 FM 1960 East, in Houston, Texas. This event will be $1,000 added, and played on 8’ tables.
 
For more information about the Gulf Coast Women’s Regional Billiards Tour, visit www.GulfCoastWomensTour.com. Interested in becoming a Gulf Coast Tour Sponsor? Email Kim Newsome at lonestartour@gmail.com. 

Eaton Wins Gulf Coast Season Opener

Jennifer Yo, Gail Eaton and Natalie Rocha

Gail Eaton, a.k.a. “Virginia Slim”, went undefeated amidst a hefty field of 43 semi-professional players to capture the Gulf Coast Women’s Regional Billiards Tour 9-Ball Season Opener.  Eaton faced off with Austin’s Jennifer Yo in the final, capturing the first set, 7-4, and her first victory of 2017.
 
On January 7th, 2017, some of the most talented female pool players in Texas and Louisiana converged on Bogies Billiards and Sports Bar in Houston, Texas, to compete in the one-day, $500 added 9-ball event, vying for a place in the Gulf Coast Tour winners’ circle. Room owners David and Shannon Richardson, along with tour sponsors Cyclop Pool Balls www.facebook.com/CyclopPoolBalls, Ozone Billiards www.OzoneBilliards.com, and the APA of North Harris County www.facebook.com/apanorthharriscounty, facilitated another successful event for the women of the  Gulf Coast Tour, the first of 11 events scheduled for 2017. Growing by leaps and bounds, the WPBA sanctioned regional tour has already amassed a following of 55 player members this year, in addition to securing a new venue, CK Billiards, in Dallas, Texas. Last year the tour amassed 76 player members, the highest to date, and because this year’s numbers are already high, the tour anticipates breaking 100 player members before the end of 2017.  
 
Seasoned tour veteran, Gail Eaton, took on one of the fiercest Gulf Coast fields in recent months, surging to the winners’ side final four with wins over Mona Nesh, 7-5, Cindy Tillman, 7-1, and newcomer Sandra Gonzalez, 7-2. Jennifer Yo took down Nancy French, 7-4, Terry Petrosino, 7-6, and Julie Enzensperger, 7-4, while Loretta Lindgren defeated Crystal Ayres, 7-4, Yvonne Asher, 7-4, and Ricki Casper, 7-6. Coming off a recent win at the 2016 Space City Open, Natalie Rocha ousted Liz Mitchel, 7-1, Diana Cardona, 7-2, and Kim Pierce, 7-2. As the final four on the winners’ side rounded out, the west side witnessed a comeback by numerous, top contenders.  After suffering a 7-6 loss to Yo, Petrosino went through Mitchel, 5-3, Matty Sword, 5-3, and Pierce, 5-4, to reach the final eight. Kim Jenkins made her play, eliminating Celeste Espinosa, 5-3, Sara Bork, and Tillman, 5-1, until Casper ended her run, 5-1. Following a second round loss to Jennifer Yo, 7-4, French eliminated Gail Roles, 5-3, newcomer Emily Sumrall, 5-4, Cardona, 5-3, Mundie, and Enzensperger, 5-2, while Garland secured her bid with wins over Stacey Pelakakis, 5-2, Yvonne Asher, 5-4, and Gonzalez. Back on the east side, Rocha ousted Lindgren, 7-5, while Eaton defeated Yo, 7-4. Eaton went on to defeat Rocha for the hot seat, 7-5. On the one loss side, Casper eliminated Petrosino 5-4, but fell to Yo, 5-4, while Garland ended French, 5-3, but folded to Lindgren, 5-1. Yo was in high gear, booking her third win with Rocha, 5-4, and earning herself a shot at Eaton. In the final match, Eaton came out firing, but Yo refused to go down without a fight. Players traded games until Eaton pulled away, winning the first set, and her first victory of the year, 7-4. 
 
The Gulf Coast Women’s Regional Billiards Tour is open to players of all ages and skill levels, however, the top 32 WPBA Exempt Professionals are not permitted to participate. The next Gulf Coast Tour 9-ball event will be held on February 11th, 2017, at Bogies West, 9638 Jones Road, in Houston, Texas. This event will be played on 8’ tables with Cyclop TV Set Pool Balls. Free practice begins at 10am, and the mandatory players’ meeting begins at 11am. For more information about the WPBA sanctioned, Gulf Coast Women’s Regional Billiards Tour, visit GulfCoastWomensTour.com. Follow us on Facebook @gulfcoasttour1 and Twitter @gulfcoasttour.
 
The WPBA (Women’s Professional Billiard Association) is the governing body of women’s professional billiards in the U.S. The Gulf Coast Women’s Regional Billiards Tour is a sanctioned, WPBA Regional Tour, part of the grass roots system that feeds the WPBA Pro Billiards Tour. Amateur and semi-professional, female players, who aspire to play women’s professional billiards, must qualify through this elite system in order to attain the sought-after title, WPBA Exempt Professional. Have you ever considered taking your game to the next level, looking for a different challenge? Are you tired of the same old week-in, week-out routines deterring the progress of your game? Is it your dream to play in a pro event, or turn pro? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, it’s time to find the WPBA Regional Tour nearest you. Exclusively, WPBA Regional Tour Players gain access to WPBA Pro Event Qualifiers and earn valuable WPBA Regional Tour Points which count toward earning invitations to the annual WPBA Regional Tour Championship and WPBA Pro Events. Live your dream, support and become a part of, the longest-running, professional billiard organization in the U.S., the WPBA.
 
If you are interested in starting a WPBA Regional Tour in your area, or participating on a WPBA Regional Tour, please contact the WPBA Office at 1.855.FOR.WPBA or visit www.WPBA.com. 

Lindgren Lands Second Gulf Coast Title

Yvonne Asher and Loretta Lindgren

Loretta Lindgren executed a come-from-behind victory in a 48 player field to secure the second stop on the WPBA sanctioned, Gulf Coast Women’s Regional Tour. Lindgren suffered an early loss to Belinda Lee, 5-3, and rebounded to meet hot seat winner, Yvonne Asher, in the finals. This was Asher’s debut in a Gulf Coast final, and a first-time, finals face-off for the pair. A seasoned Lindgren overcame Asher in overtime, 5-3, 5-1, to secure her second-ever, Gulf Coast Tour 9-ball title.
 
On February 27, 2016, the Gulf Coast Tour converged on Bogies Billiards West, in Houston Texas, and thanks to room owner David Richardson, tour sponsors Delta-13 Rack and the APA of North Harris County, the Gulf Coast women couldn’t have been more pleased with the success of this event. Great competition and impressive player numbers have set the tone for this year’s Gulf Coast Tour. In full swing for 2016, the “Coast” kicked off an amazing first quarter, with a running total of 53 official WPBA Members, averaging 44 players per event. Tour director, Kimberly Newsome, commented about the growing popularity of the tour. “I expected the tour to grow, but never this big, this fast. The WPBA has expanded our territory to include Louisiana and Oklahoma, and we’re currently in search of venues to host events in those states. We anticipate holding multiple qualifiers for the 2017 WPBA Masters and sending an increased number of invitees to the 2017 WPBA Regional Tour Championships. It’s going to be a year for the record books.”
 
The battlefield was explosive in this one-day, 9-ball extravaganza, as Lorna McEwan made her bid for the final four, with wins over Brandi Humber, D’Andrea McQuirter, Mercedes Vasquez, 5-4, and Toni Esteves, 5-4, while Robyn Petrosino powered through Kim Jenkins, 5-3, Ricki Casper, and Gail Eaton, 5-1. On her way as well, Yvonne Asher bested Angie Payne, 5-2, Natalie Rocha, 5-4, and Cindy Watson, 5-2, while Terry Petrosino (Robyn’s mother) defeated Mindy Williams, Jennifer Dooley, 5-1, and Belinda Lee, 5-1. As the winners’ side was shaping up, the one loss side witnessed 2015 tour champion, Ricki Casper, eliminate Mindy Williams, Tam Trinh, and Cindy Watson, by the same score, 5-1. Angie Payne had an incredible run after suffering a second round loss at the hands of Asher, 5-2, eliminating Mary Reyes, 5-3, Kim Pierce, Mercedes Vasquez, Sara Bork, and Belinda Lee, to face-off with Casper. Lindgren also made her way through the east side with victories over Karen Hughes, 5-0, Jennifer Dooley, 5-3, and Toni Esteves, 5-2, while Natalie Rocha defeated Liz Yorek, 5-1, and Michelle Yim, 5-3, to meet Lindgren. Back on the east side, R. Petrosino ousted McEwan, 5-2, and Asher slid by T. Petrosino, 5-4, ending the possibility of a mother-daughter, hot seat duel. Asher defeated R. Petrosino for the hot seat, 5-2, and it was anyone’s guess who would power down the one loss road to meet Asher at the end. Back on the west side, Casper ended McEwan’s run, and Lindgren eliminated T. Petrosino, by the same score, 5-4. Lindgren shut out Casper, 5-0, and R. Petrosino, 5-1. Asher was patiently waiting in the wings, anticipating her first final and possible tour title, while Lindgren was searching for second. In the finals, Asher remained vigilant, but Lindgren came on strong, taking the first set, 5-3. With a little extra wind in her sail, Lindgren picked up the pace, ending Asher’s impressive run for the title, 5-1.
 
The tour would like to welcome its 14 new WPBA members, and extend its deepest gratitude to all the Board Members and players who assisted in promoting and running the event. Gulf Coast is happy to announce that Veronica “Pistol” Perez is joining its Board of Directors. Ms. Perez has hosted a number of successful events at Skinny Bob’s Billiards in Round Rock, Texas, and with her assistance, the tour looks forward to increasing its presence in Austin, and surrounding areas.
 
Players, friends, and fans, the next Gulf Coast Tour 9-ball event will be held at Ariana’s located at 13802 Homestead Road, Houston, Texas, on Saturday, May 14, 2016. This is a bar table event, and the tables will be open. Free practice begins at 10am, and the players’ meeting begins at 11am. There will also be a Lone Star Billiards Tour 9-ball event beginning on Saturday, sign-up 11am-1pm. For more information about the Gulf Coast Tour, please visit www.GulfCoastWomensTour.com. 
 
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Casper Strikes First Blow on Gulf Coast Tour

Ricki Casper (Photo courtesy of Michael Moon Photography)

It was a fiery start for Houston’s Ricki Casper who took the 41 player field by storm at the first Gulf Coast Women’s Regional Tour 9-ball event of 2016. Casper took on the formidable Terry Petrosino in the finals making it an all-out test of wills, and setting the tone for a brand new season on the Gulf Coast Tour.
 
On January 2, 2016, drawing a season opener, record number of players, the Gulf Coast Tour hosted its first, one-day event of the New Year at Bogies Billiards and Sports Bar in Houston, Texas, and thanks to room owner David Richardson, and tour sponsors Delta-13 Rack and the APA of North Harris County, the Gulf Coast women started the New Year out with a bang! Tour director, Kimberly Newsome, reminisced about their 2015 accomplishments. “Gulf Coast finished on top last year, with the largest WPBA membership, procuring 11 invites to the 2016 WPBA Regional Tour Championships. Membership numbers increased 104% from 2014 to 2015, and I believe it’s a result of the competitive, atmosphere we provide, mixed with a little fun and craziness. It’s a perfect balance that allows players to take their game to the next level, and create friendships along the way. I think this positive “wave” is just another indicator of things to come.” 
 
On the battle field, 2015 tour champion, Ricki Casper, fought her way through a distinguished field of talent, booking wins over Kay Mikolajczyk, 7-0, Gail Eaton, 7-2, and Yvonne Asher, 7-2, while “Texas Heat” Kim Pierce ousted Liz Mitchel, 7-4, Angie Payne, 7-4, and Sara Bork, 7-3. Former tour champion, Belinda Lee, overcame Mercedes Vasquez, 7-4, Mindy Williams, 7-2, and Stacy Mendrick, 7-2, while Tiffany Waters bested Liz Yorek, 7-4, Yvonne Garcia, 7-5, Teresa Garland, 7-6, and Toni Esteves, 7-3.  Casper sent Pierce west, 7-2, and Lee made quick work of Waters, by the same score. Veteran player, Terry Petrosino, lost her second round match to Gail Eaton, 7-2, and secured a string of wins on the west side, eliminating Yorek, 5-1, Mikolajczyk, 5-2, Alicia Huff, 5-0, and Tangela Hunt, 5-1. Other one loss side action saw Garland defeat Asher, Natalie Rocha best Mendrick, 5-3, and Eaton overcome Esteves, 5-2. Petrosino made quick work of Garland, 5-0, and Waters, 5-2, while Eaton eliminated Rocha, 5-1, and Pierce, 5-2. Back on the east side, it was a hot seat duel between former Gulf Coast Tour Champions, Casper and Lee. As Petrosino charged on the west side, taking out Eaton, 5-4, Casper secured the hot seat over Lee, 7-4. When the dust settled, Petrosino had logged an astounding 9 consecutive wins, which included a final win on the one loss side, over Lee, for a shot at the title. Casper and Petrosino teed off in the final, competing for cash and tour points, in a true, double elimination format. Casper was determined to start her year off right, with a clean, undefeated record, and that she did. Petrosino fell to the former champion in the first set, 7-4. 
 
The tour would like to thank Teresa Garland for running this event, and all those who assisted.
 
The Women’s Professional Billiard Association (WPBA), the governing body of women’s professional billiards in the U.S., celebrates its 40th birthday this year! The Gulf Coast Tour is a sanctioned, WPBA Regional Tour, one of 13 regional tours positioned across the U.S. which make up the grass roots system that feeds the WPBA Pro Billiards Tour. Amateur and semi-professional, female players, who aspire to play women’s professional billiards, must qualify through this elite system in order to attain the sought-after title, WPBA Exempt Professional. “The Gulf Coast Tour is proud to be sanctioned by the WPBA, four years running.  We qualified Gail Eaton to play in the 2016 Soaring Eagle Masters held at Soaring Eagle Casino in Mt. Pleasant, MI., February 3-7, 2016, and qualified 11 of our top players for the prestigious, annual, WPBA Regional Tour Championships (RTC). Needless to say, the women of this tour are highly motivated, making progress with their games, and doing it with a positive spirit, and I love it,” raves Newsome. The tour would like to recognize its top, 2016 RTC finishers; Gail Eaton, 3rd, and highest Texas finisher; Kim Pierce, Loretta Lindgren, Elizabeth Mitchel, 17th; Ricki Casper, 25th. 
 
Players, friends, and fans, the next Gulf Coast Tour 9-ball event will be held Saturday, February 27, 2016, at Bogies WEST (9638 Jones Road, Houston). Free practice begins at 10am, and the players’ meeting begins at 11am. There will also be a Lone Star Billiards Tour 9-ball event beginning on Saturday, sign-up 11am-1pm.
 
For more information about the Gulf Coast Tour, please visit www.GulfCoastWomensTour.com. Follow us on Twitter @gulfcoasttour.  Find us on Facebook /gulfcoasttour1. 

Ng Repeats at Gulf Coast Finale

Gail Eaton and Ming Ng

Houston’s Ming “Empress” Ng came out firing during the final Gulf Coast Women’s Regional Tour 9-ball Event of the year, held at Bogies Billiards and Sports Bar in Houston, Texas, on Saturday, October 10th, 2015. Ng went undefeated through a talented field of 32 women, ousting 2013 Gulf Coast Tour Champion, Gail Eaton, in the final set, 7-6, giving Ng her second, consecutive victory. Also in the news, following a well-fought year of ups and downs, Ricki Casper earned the title 2015 Gulf Coast Women’s Regional Tour Champion. Casper won the first stop of the year and amassed two fourth place finishes and a top ten finish, earning herself the points and the title.
 
Bogies Billiards and Sports Bar, www.BogiesBilliards.com, along with tour sponsors Delta-13 Rack www.delta-13.com, and APA of North Harris County www.facebook.com/apanorthharriscounty, facilitated another successful event for the women of the Gulf Coast Tour who came out to compete for over $1,000 in prize money, packed into a one-day competition! It was the final stop on this year’s acclaimed Gulf Coast Tour, the sanctioned WPBA Regional Tour which emerged with its fledgling season in 2013, and has amassed the largest WPBA member following of 13 regional tours. With 54 WPBA Members and 6 stops to close out the year, Gulf Coast is looking to expand in 2016.  The tour has established a Board of Directors comprised of 7 women who will be working diligently to improve the tour on all fronts. Teresa Garland, Ricki Casper, Kim Pierce, Erica Hanlon, Karen Reilly, Toni Esteves, and Kimberly Newsome, will be working to develop new members, venues, sponsorships, and incentive programs, to keep the Gulf Coast Tour at the top of its game. “The commitment made by all of the Gulf Coast Tour players is encouraging and inspiring” says tour founder and director, Kimberly Newsome. “
 
Players came out in full force, posting the second largest attendance of the year. The event was played on (8) 9’ Brunswick Gold Crown tables with new tournament blue, Simonis cloth. The ladies raced to 7 on the winners’ side, and 5 on the one loss side. The road to the winners’ side final four saw Ming Ng defeat Amber Keithley, 7-0, Regina Gomez, 7-2, and Kim “Texas Heat” Pierce, 7-2. Natalie Mans poured it on with wins over Tam Trinh, 7-3, Sara Bork, 7-4, and Teresa Garland, 7-3. Sophie Salinas made her bid for the final four with wins over Brandi Humber, 7-4, Lisa Pinkston, 7-3, and Natalie Rocha, 7-5. Terry Petrosino kept her eye on the prize, ousting Kim Jenkins, 7-5, Gail Eaton, 7-4, and Liz Mitchel, 7-1. On the one loss side, following a second round loss to Petrosino, Eaton eliminated Erica Hanlon, 5-1, Trinh, 5-2, and Pierce, 5-3, while Garland bested Terri Resendez, 5-1, Mundie fell to Mitchel, 5-4, and Rocha ousted Bork, 5-1. Eaton went on to defeat Garland, 5-4, and Salinas, 5-2, while Rocha fell to Mitchel, 5-4, in turn, losing to Mans, 5-0. It was down to the final two players on the one loss side, and after 5 consecutive wins, Eaton’s momentum was unwavering. Eaton overcame Mans, 5-3, while Ng slid by Petrosino for the hot seat win, 7-6.  Eaton dusted off Petrosino, 7-6, securing her seventh consecutive win and setting the stage for an all-too familiar, finals match-up. In crowd pleasing form, as expected, these former pros took it to the hill, with Ng pulling ahead in the final game, to win her second, consecutive tour victory, 7-6.
 
New at this event were “live” online brackets, making it possible for players to follow tournament progress on their mobile devices. “The Gulf Coast Tour looks forward to implementing new programs for 2016 aimed at increased visibility and value for our venues, sponsors, and players. Online brackets will be accessible through GulfCoastWomensTour.com, however, we will still use paper charts on-site for our not-so-tech-savvy players and fans” says GCWRT founder and tour director, Kimberly Newsome. 
 
The Gulf Coast Tour would like to acknowledge, and thank, its 2015 venues, sponsors, and supporters: Bogies Billiards and Sports Bar, Bogies West, Skinny Bob’s Billiards, Ariana’s, Delta-13 Rack, APA of North Harris County, Derrell Montgomery, Chuck Adams, John Newsome, Roger Allen Cue Repair, James Hanshew Cue Repair, Walter Kelley Cue Repair, and Bobby Garcia at RE Visual Concepts who captured some spectacular action shots during the finale. Special thanks to Teresa Garland and Ricki Casper for assisting with the online brackets and raffle ticket distribution for the Gulf Coast Tour “players only” free door prize drawings.
 
The next big event on the Texas tournament calendar will be the Space City Open IV, December 3rd-6th, 2015, held at Bogies Billiards and Sports Bar, 3040 FM 1960 E., Ste. 101, Houston, Texas, 77073,  hosting 4 divisions, including a ladies open 9-ball division played on 8’ tables. For more information, visit www.Facebook.com/SpaceCityOpen or email SpaceCityEvent@gmail.com. Space City live streaming will be featured at www.SpaceCityOpen.com. 
 
The WPBA sanctioned Gulf Coast Women’s Regional Tour would like to thank all of the players who participated this year, and encourage everyone woman who loves to play pool, compete in a friendly atmosphere, or has the desire to improve their game, to join the Gulf Coast Tour. The next Gulf Coast Tour Event is tentatively set for Saturday, January 2nd, 2016. Tour and event updates will be posted on the Gulf Coast personal page www.Facebook.com/GulfCoastTour, business page www.Facebook.com/GulfCoastTour1, and the new tour website, www.GulfCoastWomensTour.com (in the works). “Follow” the tour and its players at www.Twitter.com/gulfcoasttour. For more information about the Gulf Coast Women’s Regional Tour, contact Kimberly Newsome at 713.825.1411 or email GulfCoastTour1@gmail.com. 

Lindgren Capitalizes on Gulf Coast Tour

Loretta Lindgren and Teresa Garland

Loretta Lindgren came out firing at this past weekend’s Gulf Coast Women’s Regional Tour 9-ball Event held May 16th at Ariana’s in Houston, Texas. Lindgren fought her way through a distinguished field of 26 women to capture her first-ever, regional tour victory. Ariana’s, along with tour sponsors Delta-13 Rack www.delta-13.com, and the APA of North Harris County www.facebook.com/apanorthharriscounty, facilitated another successful event for the ladies of the Gulf Coast Tour, with 26 players in attendance competing for over $1,000 in prize money! In business for over 33 years, the former "Rose Country Club", newly reopened and renamed, "Ariana's", added a generous $500 to the event, and owners Minh and Bill Hammond couldn’t have been more pleased with the turnout. Rose Country Club was leased for a period of time when the couple felt they were ready to retire from the bar business, but retirement didn't last long! Following the lease period, the old Rose Country was closed for a brief time for cleaning and repairs and debuted earlier this year as the all-new, "Ariana's", once again under the direction of the Hammond’s. 
 
On May 16th, 2015, Loretta Lindgren claimed the third stop on this year’s Gulf Coast Tour. Lindgren captured wins over Terri Resendez, 7-3, Diana Cardona, 7-4, Ricki Casper, 7-4, and Liz Mitchel, 7-0, while “Texas Heat” Kim Pierce also made her way through the winners’ side, besting Sara Bork, Jo Losoya, Teresa Garland, 7-5, and Tam Trinh, 7-3. In the hot seat match, Lindgren stole the show, defeating Pierce, 7-3. In the final 8 on the one loss side, it was Casper over Crystal Young, and Esparza over Vasquez, 7-6. Toni Esteves eliminated Bork, 7-4, and it was Garland over Francis Marron by the same score. Casper went on to oust Esparza and Trinh, 7-2, 7-3, while Garland made quick work of Esteves and Mitchel, 7-1, 7-2. Garland overcome Casper, 7-5, and took her revenge on Pierce, 7-2. The finals were a fight to the bitter end. Directly off a four-game winning streak, Garland came out of the gate firing. Her aggressiveness proved difficult for Lindgren the first set, and following a couple of unforced errors, Garland seized the set, 7-5. In overtime, Lindgren found her composition, and even though it was a tight race, she pulled ahead to win the second set of the true, double elimination final, 7-4. 
Gulf Coast Tour Director, Kimberly Newsome, was pleased with the turnout. “Our numbers are steadily increasing on the Gulf Coast Tour which is conducive to bigger payouts for our one-day events. In order to grow, we’re fielding brand new players which will enhance our tour, and boost the profile of women’s professional billiards. There is strength in numbers and cohesiveness, and I believe that’s why the Women’s Professional Billiard Association will celebrate its 40th Anniversary in 2016.” The Gulf Coast Tour is one of (13) WPBA Regional Tours across the U.S. For information on producing a regional tour in your area, contact Christy Birk/WPBA, office1@wpba.com. 
 
Players, friends, and fans, please note, the June 20th Gulf Coast Women’s Regional Tour Event has been rescheduled for September 12TH-13TH at Bogies Billiards (3040 FM 1960 E) due to a conflict with the OB Cues Ladies Tour. This will be a very special event where $1,000 will be added to the prize fund, and it will be the Gulf Coast’s first $1,000 added, 2-day event. It will be 10-ball, professional rules, played on 8’ tables. A separate press release on this new development is forthcoming.  
 
The next Gulf Coast Tour 9-Ball Event will be held at Skinny Bob’s Billiards in Round Rock, Texas, on Sunday, August 23rd. This event will be $500 added based on 32 players, and played on 9’ tables. For more information about the Gulf Coast Tour, please visit www.wpba.com or “Like” us at Facebook/GulfCoastTour. 

Nicole Keeney Grabs 1st Place at OB Cues Ladies Tour Stop #6 at Slick Willie’s Austin

First time host Slick Willie’s, Austin, Texas has joined the OB Cues Ladies Tour as a new host site and they had their inaugural event September 13-14 weekend.  The pool room has 34 tables and more than enough space to handle the astounding 67 players that came out for the fun and good times.  
 
In an effort to inject new faces to the tour, we ran a campaign to waive annual membership dues to APA players Skill Level 2 and 3.  We wanted to sell them on the experience and 23 new tour members came for the experience and 6 players were SL 2/3.  Welcome to all the new members and thank you for joining our OB Cues Ladies Tour family.  Here’s a little glimpse of the calm before the storm.  
 
Before we get to the tournament details we would like to extend special thanks to our title sponsor–OB Cues.  We are honored that your continued support and interest in the tour keeps us alive and kicking.  OB Cues offers a plethora of shafts, playing cues, jump cues, break cues, and everything is made in the USA.  Be sure to check them out at www.obcues.com
 
So now–let the games begin!
 
Marquee players in attendance were Jennifer Kraber (Austin), Tara Williams (Ft. Worth), Nicole Keeney (Colorado), Heather Pulford (formerly Austin, now San Francisco area) and Orietta Strickland (Dallas).    As the day winded down, 16 players were still in the Main Event and needed to continue their winning ways on Sunday.  Winner side matches included Giselle Miller (Austin, TX)  vs. Stephanie Reyes (both of Austin, TX); Michelle Cortez (Austin, TX) vs. Liz Mitchell  (Katy, TX); Nicole Kenney (Denver, CO) vs. Natalie Mans (Katy, TX); and Heather Pulford (San Francisco, CA) vs. Jennifer Kraber (Austin, TX).  B-side matches included:  Helen Hayes (San Antonio, TX) vs. Shannyn Brumbaugh (Austin, TX); Sara Bork (Katy, TX) vs. Tara Williams (Ft. Worth, TX); Robyn Petrosino (Houston, TX) vs. Kim Pierce (Austin, TX); Emma Davis (Austin, TX) vs. Shayla Neris (Austin, TX).  With a strong contingent of local representation, fans and supporters were hoping for a local player to climb through the top ranks.  As Sunday matches continued with strong shooting and awesome match play by all, 2 players remain undefeated out of 67 players.  Local Austinite Michelle Cortez tried her best to secure the hot seat but Nicole Kenney was stronger than ever and was sitting pretty waiting for an opponent in the finals.  Nicole beat Michelle with a score of 7-5.
 
Fighting tooth and nail and strong to the finish it would be Tara Williams to match up against Nicole in the finals.  But it was not without a few scares as Tara, behind in her match with Heather Pulford 2-6, made an unfortunate miss on a long straight-in 9-ball by Heather which changed the whole momentum of the match.  Tara feeling very lucky and happy to get back into the match as she came back and won 7-6.  Next up for her though was another tough challenge from another champion and current point’s leader Jennifer Kraber.  The Kraber/Williams match was rather topsy turvy as both players were struggling throughout the duration of their match.  Lo and behold–the score was hill-hill and Jennifer was at the table with the break.  Jennifer was set on a break and run but as she pocketed the 9-ball in the upper corner pocket, the cue ball came off the rail and scratched in the opposite corner giving the match win to Tara.  
 
Next up for Tara was yet another Austin opponent Michelle Cortez.  Never let it be said that Austin doesn’t groom strong players because there were plenty of local ladies whose games are sometimes too tough to handle.  After the close matches that Tara previously played, she was well in stroke and defeated Michelle 7-2.  Congratulations to Michelle for attaining one of her highest finishes ever playing on the tour!
 
The finals match was all it was expected to be.  Both ladies very strong and skilled players and both familiar with handling the pressure–so no trouble there.  In a true double elimination format, Tara would need to defeat Nicole twice to take the prize and at first it looked like she was on her way.  Tara took the 1st set 7-6 and was gunning to win the second set until an unfortunate error occurred wherein she hooked herself on an 8-ball to miss the second hill-hill match.  Nicole finished out the game and the match with a score of 7-5 and the $750 1st place prize money.  Congratulations Nicole on your awesome win!
 

 

Eaton Scores on Gulf Coast Tour

Kim Pierce and Gail Eaton

Gail Eaton went undefeated at the Gulf Coast Women’s Regional Tour 9-Ball Event, held at Bogies Billiards in Houston, Texas, this past Saturday, July 5th, 2014. Eaton, the 2013 Gulf Coast Tour Champion, wasted little time as she overcame Natalie Mans, 7-4, Kim Pierce, 7-4, and Toni Esteves, 7-0, to face Mindy Williams in the hot seat. For veteran WPBA Regional Tour player Williams, this would be her first-ever, hot seat match. Teresa Garland suffered a first round loss to Cindy Cole, 7-1, while Belinda Lee took an early hit from Pierce. Garland was eliminated by Pierce who won 3 consecutive matches with wins over Gale Roles, 7-3, Garland, 7-1, and Sara Bork, 7-2. Lee captured 4 consecutive match wins over Mans, 7-1, Michelle Yim, 7-2, D’Andrea McQuirter, 7-0, and Esteves, 7-1. These two powerhouses faced off on the one loss side, with Pierce advancing, 7-2. The winners’ side match saw Williams put up an outstanding fight, but Eaton proved too much, ousting Williams, 7-2.  Pierce eliminated Williams on the one loss side by the same score. This was Williams’ first time ever to play in a hot seat match and her highest finish in a main event, to date. 
 
Finals action had fans on the edge of their seats. Pierce came out firing, determined to go two rounds. Eaton was down 4-1, and in the blink of any eye, ties the set at 4-4. Teetering back and forth, the match is tied at 6 racing to 7, and Pierce misses the case 9-ball to win the match. In turn, Eaton pockets the 9-ball for her first 2014 Gulf Coast Tour win.
 
The WPBA sanctioned Gulf Coast Women’s Regional Tour would like to thank its sponsors, Delta-13 Rack, the APA of North Harris County, and Bogies Billiards & Sports Bar for all their support. The next Gulf Coast event is August 24th at Skinny Bob’s Billiards in Round Rock, Texas. This will be the weekend of the Lone Star Tour Texas Open Warm-Up Event. Don’t miss it! For more information on the Women’s Gulf Coast Regional Tour, visit www.gulfcoasttour.wordpress.com.