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Almaraz goes undefeated through veteran field on the Jerry Olivier Ladies Tour

Mille Almaraz, Gail Eaton and Tara Williams

Together, between the Gulf Coast Regional Women’s Tour, the old OB Cues Tour and the current Jerry Olivier Ladies Tour, Tara Williams and Gail Eaton have chalked up 22 (recorded) event titles (more, if you count tours and events other than those three) in careers that go back 12+ (Williams) and 22 +(Eaton) years. At this past weekend’s (Saturday, July 31) stop #3 on the Jerry Olivier Ladies Tour, they finished runner-up (Eaton) and 3rd (Williams), having both lost a match to a competitor, Mille Almaraz, who recently moved back to Texas from Las Vegas and was competing on the tour for the first time. Eaton, who’d won the last stop on the tour in June, and Williams faced each other in the event’s semifinals, as Almaraz went undefeated in the $2,000-added event that drew 27 entrants to Stixx and Stones in Lewisville, TX.

Almaraz’ path to the winners’ circle went through three straight 7-3 wins, over Jessica DeMello, Cristina Schneider, and Christy Grigsby, to arrive at a winners’ side semifinal against Courtney Peters. Tara Williams, in the meantime, started off with wins over Julie Collins 7-3 and Marlina Nieves 7-2. She then dispatched Gail Eaton to the loss side 7-4, to arrive at her winners’ side semifinal matchup versus Kim Pierce.

Williams shut Pierce out and advanced to the hot seat match. Almaraz joined her after sending Peters to the loss side 7-2. Williams and Almaraz came within a game of double hill, but it was Almaraz, who edged out in front to claim the hot seat 7-5.

On the loss side, Eaton had followed her loss to Williams with a double hill win over Natalie Rocha and a 7-5 victory over Cristina Schneider to draw Peters. Kim Pierce drew Kim Sanders, who’d lost a winners’ side quarterfinal to Peters and then, eliminated Marlina Sieves 7-2 and Michelle Cortez 7-4.

Eaton defeated Peters 7-4, while the two Kims fought to double hill. Kim Sanders prevailed to join Eaton in the quarterfinals. Eaton earned her rematch against Williams with a 7-4 win over Sanders.

In what was likely the ‘marquee matchup’ of the tour’s 3rd stop, the two wily veterans squared off to determine who would earn a second shot at the ‘newbie’ waiting for one of them in the hot seat. The match lived up to its unstated billing as the ‘one to watch.’ Eaton and Williams battled to double hill, before Eaton prevailed a second time.

It wasn’t over yet, though. Eaton chalked up and moved right into the finals, where she ran into her second straight double hill fight. Almaraz sealed the deal to claim her first Jerry Olivier Ladies Tour title.

Tour representatives thanked John and Anju Bergman, and their Stixx and Stones staff for their hospitality, as well as their new tour sponsor the On the Ball Company, which, as of the next stop – #4, a $2,000-added event, scheduled for Oct. 16-17 at Bogies Billiards in Houston, TX – will be known as the On the Ball Ladies Tour.

Tkach wins seven on the loss side to claim Michael Montgomery Memorial Ladies title

Kristina Tkach

It had been close to a year since Russia’s Kristina Tkach had chalked up any recorded wins or even cash payouts, but it didn’t appear to have had a serious affect on her game. At a $1,500-added Ladies Open 9-Ball event, one of four events at the Michael Montgomery Memorial Tournament, Tkach was on the loss side early, won seven in a row and then double dipped Tara Williams to claim the event title. The $1,500-added Ladies event drew 32 entrants to Snookered in Frisco, TX. Separate stories will detail the results of the memorial tournament’s other three events, which began on Wednesday, January 27 and was scheduled to finish on Sunday night, January 31; a $5,000-added One Pocket event (12 entrants), a $2,000-added 10-ball Mini Tournament (16 entrants), both won by Dennis Orcollo, and a $7,500-added 9-Ball Tournament, which was still on-going as this report was being prepared.

Tkach’s trip to the winners’ circle began promisingly enough with a 7-2 win over Tina Soto, before she ran into Alicia Stanley and the only double hill match she’d play. Stanley advanced, Tkach went west to begin a seven-match, loss-side trek to the finals that she finished with an aggregate score of 42-7, an 86% winning percentage with her back to pool’s wall.

Stanley lasted one more round on the winners’ side before being defeated 7-2 by Ming Ng, who moved on to face Tara Williams in one of the winners’ side semifinals. Williams had gotten by Melissa Smith and Monica Anderson, both 7-3, and Ricki Casper 7-5 to reach the winners’ side semifinal. Courtney Peters, in the meantime, having survived an opening round double hill battle versus Amy Jones, went on to defeat Christina Schneider 7-4 and Calaia Samar 7-2 to draw Tam Trinh in the other winners’ side semifinal.

Tara Williams dispatched Ming Ng 7-3 and advanced to the hot seat match. She was joined by Peters, who’d won a double hill match over Trinh. Williams gave up just a single rack in claiming the hot seat and waiting in it on the return of Tkach.

It was Ming Ng who drew Tkach, four matches and only four racks for opponents into her loss-side streak. Tkach had defeated Amy Jones (1), Erica Hanlon (2), Robyn Petrosino (0) and Monica Anderson (1) to draw Ng. Trinh drew Krystal Suarez, who’d recently downed Ricki Casper 6-4 and survived a double hill fight against Alicia Stanley.

Tkach and Suarez made Ng and Trinh’s loss-side trips short. Suarez eliminated Trinh 6-2, as Tkach was busy defeating Ng 6-1. Tkach then finished Suarez’ six-match, loss-side trip with a shutout.

Tkach then gave up two racks to Peters in the semifinals and turned to face Williams in the hot seat, waiting. She took the opening set of the true double elimination final 7-5 and followed with a 6-4 win that allowed her to claim the event title. 

Tournament representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Snookered Billiards and Bar for their hospitality, as well as sponsors Omega, Predator, Simonis, ACME, Doc’s Billiards Office, LBS Championship Pool, Staggs Plumbing, Clutch Shot Billiards Apparel, John Eagle Honda of Dallas, Molina Mike, Dunski Dungeon, 1st Choice Appliance Repair, D Real Pool Promotions, Outsville, Hanshew Jump Cues, PDQ, Rackem Live Stream, Diamond, Off the Rail and OB Cues.

Chris Fields Dominates DFW 9-Ball Ladies Tour Finale Event

DFW 9-Ball Ladies Tour held their last event for this 2020 challenging year on Saturday, October 24th at Snookered Restaurant and Billiards in Frisco, TX.  Special thanks to Craig and Jana Lucas, owners of Snookered for hosting our stop and we hope to be back next year for more fun-filled and competitive tournaments.

The DFW 9-Ball Ladies Tour Committee (Ginger Abadilla, Jennifer Hooten, Monica Anderson and David “Doc” Reyes, tournament director) would also like to thank OB Cues as our ladies’ tour sponsor for all of our tour stops.    OB Cues, made in Plano, TX, strives to provide high performance billiards equipment including the latest popular products in playing shafts, playing cues, break and jump cues plus other equipment.  Be sure to check them out at obcues.com for more information.

We can’t say enough about Fort Worth Billiards Superstore and Albert Trujillo.  They have been a DFW 9-Ball Tour sponsor since 2018 and continue to support the ladies’ tournaments every stop as well.  Fort Worth Billiards Superstore has a wide range of gameroom, pool and billiards equipment, tables, furniture, accessories, darts, shuffleboards, and much, much, much more.  Anything and everything you need for your sports and gameroom pleasures can be found at https://www.billiardsuperstore.com/

A little bit of history about the DFW 9-Ball Ladies Tour which was formed in 2019 was to provide an avenue of competitive 9-ball tournament opportunities in the DFW Metroplex for a wide-range of skilled level female pool players.   All ladies tour stops are handicapped events based on a player’s Fargo rating (minimum 200 games must be established).  If you don’t have a Fargo rating, we will use an APA skill level if you have one.  If you don’t have either of those, we will set your skill level based on known ability.  Our tour skill levels begin with 3’s all the way to 7’s.   A handicapped tournament, such as ours, will give all players an opportunity to test their mettle against the best as well as hopefully pick up a few pointers along the way.  But most of all, we encourage fun and relaxation while escaping life with some 9-ball pool therapy.

Our ladies tour events are always one-day tournaments with guaranteed $500 added monies with an entry fee of $30.  On Saturday, we had 28 ladies venture to Snookered to match up and catch up with favorite friends plus meet some new friends in the process.  We had seven (SL 3’s); ten (SL 4’s); four (SL 5’s); three (SL 6’s) and four (SL 7’s).  With this great variety of all skill levels, it would be a strong fight to the finish.  Our top three Snookered main event finishers are featured below:

Tara Williams, Chris Fields and Rachelle Dytko

 

Chris Fields was unstoppable in every match.  She played strong, precise and smart throughout the entire day.  In fact, her overall tournament record, while playing in a total of six matches, racked up a masterful win/loss record of 36-6.   

Payouts from the Main Event – total purse $1,340

1st – $480 – Chris Fields (SL 6)

2nd – $350 – Rachel Dytko (SL 4)

3rd – $230 – Tara Williams (SL 7)

4th – $120 – Orietta Strickland (SL 7)

5th/6th – $80 – Kitty Phoutthavong (SL 5); Brittany Ramirez (SL 4)

We also held a Second Chance tournament as we had the time, tables and ladies who wanted to keep on playing.  Eight ladies paid a $20 entry fee with the tour adding $100 and Snookered adding $50 for a total purse of $310.

Our Second Chance top 2 winners are:

Janet Ybarra and Tina Soto

 

Payouts from the Second Chance Event – total purse $310

1st – $160 – Tina Soto (SL 5)

2nd – $100 – Janet Ybarra (SL 3)

3rd – $50 – Monica Anderson (SL 4)

Congratulations also go out to Alicia Stanley for winning the OB Cues that was raffled off.

The DFW 9-ball Ladies Tour will be working on their 2021 schedule soon.  Be sure to keep up with updates and tournament announcements on the DFW 9-Ball Tour Facebook page.

Thank you to sponsors, hosts, players, fans and committee members for a successful 2020 tour year.  Looking forward to a bigger, better and safer 2021.  See you next year.

Williams comes from the loss side to down Ng in JO Ladies Tour season opener

(l to r): Ming Ng & Tara Williams

It is a reflection of a widely varied women’s tour field that Tara Williams, winner of the Jerry Olivier Ladies Tour season opener this past weekend (January 11-12), earned more in 2019, finishing in the money twice (4th in both the SBE Women’s Championship and the NAPT’s Desert Challenge) than the event’s runner-up, Ming Ng made last year, winning two events – the 46th Texas Open, Ladies division & a stop on the Gulf Coast Women’s Regional Tour – and finishing 4th at the 5th Texas 10-Ball Championships/Ladies. Williams and Ng advanced in the  JO Ladies Tour season opener to a winners’ side semifinal, where Williams was defeated. She won three on the loss side and double dipped Ng in the double eliminaton final to claim the event title. The $2,000-added event drew 43 entrants to Big Tyme Billiards in Spring, TX.
 
As Tara Williams faced Kim Sanders in one of the winners’ side semifinals, Ng squared off against Angie Payne in the other one. Sanders downed Williams 7-5 and was joined in the hot seat match by Ng, who’d defeated Payne 7-4. Ng claimed the hot seat 7-2.
 
On the loss side, Williams and Payne ran into competitors who’d been sent to the loss side by Ng and Williams in a winners’ side quarterfinal. Williams drew Jennifer Kraber, who, following her defeat at the hands of Ng 7-3, defeated Yvonne Asher 7-4 and survived a double hill battle versus Teresa Garland. Payne drew Michelle Cortez, who’d been defeated by Williams 7-4 and after picking up a forfeit win in the first money round (9/12), had defeated Terry Petrosino 7-1.
 
Williams downed Kraber 7-3, as Cortez completed her side of the quarterfinal re-match equation with a 7-5 win over Payne. Williams downed Cortez a second time, this time 7-2, to earn a second straight rematch; this time against Sanders in the semifinal.
 
Their meeting in one of the winners’ side semifinals had come within a game of double hill (7-5). Their meeting in the overall semifinal wasn’t as close. Williams eliminated Sanders 7-3 for a shot at Ng in the hot seat.
 
Williams’ three-match work on the loss side of the bracket had been consistent; giving up three or less racks in each of the three matches. She maintained that pace and downed Ng in the finals by giving up three in the opening set, but only two in the second set that gave her the event title.
 
A $100-added Best of the Rest tournament drew eight entrants. Sandra Melo took home the top prize, with Monica Anderson finishing as runner-up.
 
Tour representatives thanked Billy and Debbie Sharp and their Big Tyme Billiards staff for their hospitality, as well as title sponsor Jerry Olivier Cues, Roger Allen (for providing cue repair), and Art Politte with QXtender for attending. The next stop on the Jerry Olivier Ladies Tour, scheduled for the Leap Year weekend (February 29-March 1), will be hosted by Skinny Bob’s in Round Rock, TX.

Callado wins four to capture NAPT Desert Challenge in Las Vegas

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

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

Hansen goes undefeated to take 4th Annual NAPT Summer Classic

Taylor Hansen and NAPT President Adrianne Beach

The two stories moved in opposite directions. For a while. Until they didn’t, and two female pool professionals met in the finals of the North American Pool Tour’s 4th Annual Summer Classic.
 
One story was about a young woman who’s already made her mark, winning VNEA junior Championships, chalking up wins on the North Star Ladies Pool Tour and at the age of 16, winning the US Bar Box Women’s 10-Ball Championships. Taylor Hansen, 20, is currently a member of Lindenwood University’s billiards team, under the tutelage of Mark Wilson, and competing with fellow-Minnesotan April Larson, who joined the program this past year. Hansen and Larson battled twice at the recent (June) American College Union International Tournament,  with Larson capturing her first of (presumably) many college titles ahead. Hansen has competed in the North American Pool Tour’s (NAPT) annual Division I Pro 10-Ball Summer Classic three of its four years already, and at this most recent event – August 15-18 at Shooter’s Sports Bar & Billiards in Grayslake, IL – she won it, going undefeated through a field of 27 entrants.
 
The second story was about an older woman who’s been competing professionally longer than Taylor Hansen has been alive. Eleanor Callado has been a regular winner on the West Coast Women’s Tour for a number of years, a regular competitor at WPBA events, and a competitor in all four of the NAPT’s Summer Classics, including 2017, when she finished as runner-up to Karen Corr. According to our records, she had a breakout year, financially, in 2009, but she recorded her best earnings year, to date, last year (2018). At this most recent NAPT Summer Classic, she lost her opening round match to Caela Huddleston and embarked on an eight-match, loss-side winning streak that led to her challenging Hansen in the finals. Her loss-side run had included a 7-4 victory over her sister, Emilyn Callado, who’s in possession of an equally impressive pool resume.
 
As Eleanor Callado was beginning her loss-side run, Hansen and Christy Dickerson advanced toward a meeting in the hot seat match. Hansen almost got sent over in her opening match as she survived a double hill battle versus Ellen Robinson. She reversed her fortunes in the second round with a shutout over Vanessa Hood and then, downed Veronique Menard 7-3 to draw Kaylin Wikoff in one of the winners’ side semifinals. Dickerson defeated her first opponent, Kelly Jones 7-5, before meeting up with the woman who’d sent Callado to the loss side, Caela Huddleston. Dickerson sent her over 7-5 and then defeated Laura Semko 7-3 to pick up Sarah Rousey in the other winners’ side semifinal.
 
Hansen shut out Kaylin Wikoff and in the hot seat match, faced Dickerson, who’d survived a double hill battle against Rousey. Hansen gave up only a single rack to Dickerson and claimed the hot seat. She had given up only 10 racks over 45 games.
 
On the loss side, Eleanor and Emilyn Callado were working on their respective winning streaks. Emilyn had lasted one more round on the winners’ side than sister, Eleanor. Eleanor got by Kelly Jones, Theresa Ballinger, Ronnette Chop and Tara Williams to draw sister, Emilyn, who’d defeated Chris Honeman, Vanessa Hood, and Laura Semko to get to that point. Eleanor defeated Emilyn 7-4 to draw Wikoff. Rousey picked up Marian Poole, who was working on her own four-match, loss-side winning streak that had included recent wins over Veronique Menard 7-5 and Tina Larsen 7-4.
 
Callado advanced to the quarterfinals with a 7-4 victory over Wikoff. Rousey joined her after surviving a double hill battle against Poole. Callado then chalked up two straight 7-5 wins, downing Rousey in the quarterfinals and Dickerson in the semifinals to earn a shot against Hansen in the finals.
 
Callado became only the second competitor to chalk up more than three racks against Hansen and in the finals, came within a game of forcing a single deciding game. Hansen, though, prevailed 7-5 to claim the event title.
 
Tour director Adrienne Beach thanked the ownership and staff at Shooter’s Sports Bar & Billiards, and noted that the next stop on the NAPT, scheduled for Sept. 19-22, will be the Division I Pro 3rd Annual Desert Challenge, to be hosted by Griff’s in Las Vegas.

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

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

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

Tkach downs defending champ Corr, wins SBE Women’s 9-Ball Pro Players Championship

Kristina Tkach (Photo courtesy of Erwin Dionisio)

The first time that Russia’s Kristina Tkach showed up on the AZBilliards’ database radar was almost exactly five years ago (April 12, 2014) when she finished as runner-up to Austria’s Jasmin Ouschan at a stop on the EuroTour; the Dynamic Billiard North Cyprus Open. Ouschan played the proverbial ‘lights out’ at that tournament, giving up only seven racks over six matches and none at all to Tkach in the finals. At the time, Tkach was 15 years old. Later that same year, Tkach won the European Girls Championship in 8-ball. Two years later, she came back to that North Cyprus Open and came from the loss side to win it. She also went on that year to win all three disciplines of the European Girls Championships (10-ball, 9-ball & 8-ball), all on the same weekend. In her best recorded earnings year, to date (2018), she chalked up three wins on the EuroTour.

This year, she showed up on US payout lists, with an appearance at the Derby City Classic, at which she cashed in the 9-Ball Division (47th) and 9-Ball Banks (91st). In February, she finished 7th at the WPBA Masters at which she ended up as one of the loss-side competitors to fall victim to Kelly Fisher, who, at the time, was working on a nine-match, loss-side winning streak that would eventually put her into the finals for an unsuccessful rematch against Siming Chen.

In the ‘what have you done for me lately’ department of the pool world, Tkach came to the 2019 Super Billiards Expo (March 28-31) at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center and went undefeated through a field of 47, on-hand for the Expo’s Diamond Women’s 9-Ball Pro Players Championship. Along the way, in the event semifinals, she eliminated the event’s defending champion, Karen Corr, who ended up winning more racks against her (6) than any of Tkach’s previous opponents, or her finals opponent, Sarah Rousey.

The Diamond Women’s Pro Players Championships were, of course, only one of 11 events at the SBE, including the 27th Annual Allen Hopkins’ Super Billiards Expo’s Diamond Open 10-Ball Pro Players Championships, the results of which have been posted in a separate article. Details about the ProAm Bar Box Championships and highlights of the varied Amateur events will be posted here in a third report.

Starting at the end, so to speak, it should be noted that while Tkach pocketed (pursed?) $5,000 and, like James Aranas in the 10-Ball Pro Players event, a Waterford crystal trophy, valued somewhere in the vicinity of $500, the trophy never made it to Tkach’s transportation out of the Expo Center. According to reports, the trophy came in two pieces; a base and its crystal bowl. As it was being carried out to a vehicle in preparation for Tkach’s exit from the Expo Center, the box it was in, was dropped, shattering the bowl into the proverbial ‘million pieces.’ The box was being carried by a member of Ms. Tkach’s entourage, who, according to varied reports initiated immediate plans to have the bowl replaced.

Tkach’s trip to the winners’ circle was handled with much more dexterity. As with the 10-Ball Pro Players, the 47 women were organized into an original, double elimination bracket, out of which emerged a final group of 16 (8 from the winners’ side and 8 from the loss side). The final 16 moved into two winners’ and losers’ side, single elimination brackets.

Tkach was not afforded the luxury of ‘easy going’ in her opening rounds. She first drew J. Pechauer Northeast Womens Tour director and always-dangerous Linda Shea. A 9-4 win in that opening round led to a match against Dawn Fox, who’d been awarded a bye in the opening round. Tkach downed Fox by the same 9-4 score, and then defeated Stacie Bourbeau 9-3 to become one of the eight winners’ side’s Final 8. Also advancing to the Final 16 from the winners’ side were Karen Corr, Kim Shaw, Kelly Wyatt, April Larson, Dawn Hopkins, Briana Miller and Kelly Isaac.

Meanwhile, on the loss side, Tkach’s eventual opponent in the finals, Sarah Rousey, earned her spot on the losers’ side’s final 8, when she defeated Kim Whitman 9-4. Rousey, who fell ill, temporarily, before her final winners’ side match against Kelly Wyatt, was forced to forfeit that winners’ side match. Joining Rousey from the losers’ side were Dawn Fox, Veronique Menard, Lai Li, Stacie Bourbeau, Tara Williams, Nathalie Chabot and Kaylin Wikoff.

The winners’ side single elimination bracket set Tkach and Corr onto a collision course that would end in the winners’ side final. Tkach downed Kelly Isaac 11-4 and Briana Miller 11-3 to draw Corr in those semifinals. Corr eliminated Kim Shaw 11-7 and April Larson 11-8 to face Tkach.

In the winners’ side finals that followed, Tkach chalked up more racks against Corr than all of Corr’s first three opponents combined; Tkach 11, Corr’s first three 8. Corr had won just over 77% of the games she played in three double elimination matches, (27-8), but entering the finals, only 59% of the two games she’d played in the single elimination phase. Tkach, by comparison, had a lower winning percentage than Corr in her double elimination matches (71%; 27-11), but in her two single-elimination matches, prior to meeting Corr, she’d won just under 76% of the  games (22-7). When the winners’ side final (event semifinal) was over, won by Tkach 11-6, Tkach advanced to the finals with a 71% game-winning percentage. Corr was eliminated, having won 62% of her games.

On to Sarah Rousey, who, on the loss side, had defeated Dawn Fox, Veronique Menard and in the loss-side bracket final, Tara Williams 11-5. She came into the finals having won 65% of her games, overall (60-32). That percentage was 71% through the first two matches (she’d forfeited the third match) and 61% in the three loss-side matches.

As happened in the 10-Ball Pro Players event, the SBE’s Web site failed to record the fact that a match between Kristina Tkach and Sarah Rousey happened at all. As noted in the earlier 10-Ball Pro Player report, a final did, in fact occur. Tkach gave up only four games in the race-to-11 finals to claim the event title, which, according to our records is her first major event victory here in the US.

Menard double dips Williams to win NAPT Division II Championships

Veronique Menard and Susan Williams

It was Canada versus the US in the finals of the North American Pool Tour's Division II Championships on the weekend of February 24-26. The US, in the person of Susan Williams, representing the Arizona Women's Billiard Tour, grabbed the hot seat, but Canada, represented by Veronique Menard, with the Circuit de Feminin du Quebec, came back to double dip Williams in the finals and claim the title. The $5,000-added event, hosted by Hard Times Billiards in Sacramento, CA drew 54 entrants, drawn from 10 Division II Regional Tours. The event was streamed live throughout the weekend by Rail2Rail Productions.
 
The 54 entrants were divided up into eight round robin 'flights,' each yielding four players who competed in a 32-player, double elimination bracket that assured each of them some portion of the $10,400 prize package. Winning their flights and advancing, along with their three closest point-earning competitors were Nicole Keeney, Tina Malm, Veronique Menard, Michelle Cortez, Meredith Lynch, Susan Williams, Jeannie Seaver, and Julia Gabriel.
 
Following victories over Katrina Lyman, Revelina Um, and Liz Lovely, Susan Williams advanced to a winners' side semifinal against Tina Malm. On her end of the bracket, Veronique Menard got by Laura Bendikas, Marion Poole, and Jeannie Seaver, to draw Maria Juana in the other winners' side semifinal.
 
Williams had been alternating between relatively easy matches (if anything at this level can be considered 'easy') and highly competitive matches, including a double hill fight against Lovely in the winners' side quarterfinals. By comparison, she got into the hot seat match with a 7-2 win over Malm.  Menard, on the other hand, saw Juana chalk up two more racks against her (5) than any other opponent to that point. In their first of three, Menard and Williams locked up in a double hill battle that eventually left Williams in the hot seat.
 
On the loss side, Malm met up with Jeannie Seaver, the WPBA's most recent Regional Tour Champion from that January event in Tallahasse, FL. After her defeat at the hands of Menard in a winners' side quarterfinal, Seaver got by Leslie Bernardi 7-1 and Stephanie Hefner 7-2 to draw Malm. Juana drew Lovely, who, following her defeat at the hands of Williams, had downed Nicole Fleming, double hill, and Meredith Lynch 7-5.
 
Malm squeaked by Seaver 7-6, and in the quarterfinals, met up with Lovely, who'd eliminated Juana 7-5. In her 'easiest' loss-side match, Lovely downed Malm 7-2. In what proved to be her toughest loss-side match, Lovely fell to Menard 7-3 in the semifinals.
 
Menard took the opening set of the true double elimination final against Williams 7-4. She took the second set by the same score, and claimed (for Canada) the event title.
The North American Pool Tour thanked the ownership and staff at Hard Times in Sacramento, along with sponsors J. Pechauer Cues, EYO Cues, Rail2Rail Productions, Tara Williams, and MZTam Trinh Designs. Though the complete NAPT schedule of events is still undergoing revisions, the next firmly scheduled event will be the Summer Classic, to be hosted by Shooter's in Chicago on the weekend of August 17-20. Another event has been firmly scheduled for November 2-5 at Mark Griffin's new pool venue, Griff's Billiards in Las Vegas. 

OBCLT 2016 Tour Comes to a Close with Williams Taking the Final Stop Win and Tour Champion Title

OB Cues Ladies 9-Ball Tour held their 6th and final tour stop December 3 & 4th at Rusty’s Billiards in Arlington, Texas.  Thirty-three players were on-hand to close out the 2016 tour year and see who would take top honors for the annual awards.  The owner and manager, Jeff Pitts and the entire bar and wait staff did a wonderful job taking care of all the ladies as always.  Rusty’s is a great room to visit and play at, so be sure to hit them up whenever you can!

 

At the players meeting, board member Monica Anderson announced yearly awards.  The Best Sportswomanship Award went to Teresa Garland of Houston, for her positive attitude both on and off the table, regardless of the match outcome.  The Most Improved Player was Corina Campbell of Carrollton.  Corina had a banner year on the OB tour, finishing 6th in the ranking and posting a second place in one tour stop, earning her well-deserved title of Most Improved for 2016.   For the 3rd year running, Tara Williams of Fort Worth secured her first place ranking on the tour by winning four tour stops and finishing 4th in the remaining two, securing the title as 2016 OB Cues Ladies Tour Champion.

 

Three additional awards are drawn at the tour finale, based on attendance and performance at the tour stops throughout the year.  For the Perfect Attendance award, seven players were eligible to be drawn for the $200 cash award.  Tara Williams, Orietta Strickland, Jennifer Yo, Natalie Mans, Shayla Neris, Monica Anderson, and Julie Enzensperger were at every event in 2016 and one of them would receive $200 cash even before the tournament started.  OB Cues Customer Service Manager, David “Doc” Reyes officiated the draw and Shayla Neris was the lucky recipient of the extra $200.  At every tour stop, when a player gets a 9-on-the-snap award or a break and run, they receive a scratch-off.  At the end of the year, each player who earned a scratch off also received an entry for a drawing for a $20 scratch-off and that winner was Marilina Nieves from San Antonio.  Same rules apply for a break and run and the lucky player whose name was drawn for the $50 scratch-off was Jeannie Kim of Dallas. 

 

On Saturday, the top eight ladies returned to continue in the Main Event on Sunday morning. The final four remaining in the winner’s bracket were Tara Williams (Ft. Worth) vs. Jeannie Kim (Dallas) and Natalie Mans (League City) vs. Orietta Strickland (Dallas).  The four ladies returning on the one loss side were Melinda Bailey (Ft. Worth) vs. Tracie Voelkering (Ft. Worth) and Chris Fields (Weatherford) vs. Brittany Williams (Longview).   

 

Eliminated first round Sunday morning at the 7th-8th position was Chris Fields and board member Tracie Voelkering.  In the winner’s side matches, Tara defeated Jeannie and Orietta defeated Natalie to set the hot seat match.  Moving over to the one-loss side for the 5/6th place matches, Brittany was eliminated by Natalie and Melinda came out the winner over Jeannie.  For the next match, Melinda once again persevered, leaving Natalie to settle for the 4th place spot.

 

Tara made her way through Saturday with wins in a first round tournament matchup over Melinda Bailey (7-3), Shirley Fields (7-1), Jennifer Yo (7-2) and Snowy Belt (7-0).  On the other side of the winner’s bracket, Orietta was making her way through her Saturday matches with her speedy, yet consistent play.  She posted wins over Tina Soto (7-1), Chris Fields (7-4), and Tracie Voelkering (7-2).   In the hot seat match, Tara ended up on top in the match 7-3 and waited to see who would be coming through the one-loss side to meet her in the finals.

 

For the 3rd place match, Melinda was blazing trails and steadily fighting all through the tournament after her 1st match loss against Tara.  She had a successful run through the B-side eliminating Orietta to move to the finals against Tara and a rematch for revenge.  Congratulations to Orietta for a great tournament!

 

With Melinda and Tara in the finals, Melinda had quite a run to make it back to the finals surviving three hill-hill matches on her path to the finals.  However, in the finals, Tara got out to a quick lead and didn’t look back.  Melinda put forth her best effort to try and stop the tour champion’s effort, but came up short, with Tara winning the match with a final score of 7-2.  Congratulations to both ladies for an exciting finals match and great tournament finish! 

 

Thanks again to Rusty’s for our first and last tournament this year, and to all our board members who do a fantastic job all year around.  A special year-end thank you to the man behind the tour, always supporting the ladies and feeding us bananas, chocolate and other energizing food and goodies, such a great friend and wonderful person, Carter, we love you. 

 

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 www.obcues.com.  The new Digicue is available so be sure to get you one.

 

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/ players/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 in 2017.  Our first stop of the 2017 season will at Rusty’s Billiards in Arlington, Texas, February 4th-5th weekend.

 

Good Pool, Good Friends, Good Times – we are the OB Cues Ladies Tour!!!!!

Check us out at www.obcuestour.com or stay up to date with instant news by adding us on Facebook/obcuestour

 

Tournament Results & Payouts: $2000 monies added – 33 players

1st – Tara Williams – $800

2nd – Melinda Bailey – $640

3rd – Orietta Strickland – $465

4th – Natalie Mans – $340

5th/6th – Jeannie Kim, Brittany Williams – $160

7th/8th – Chris Fields, Tracie Voelkering – $80

 

Best of the Rest Tournament Results & Payouts: $100 monies added – 15 players

1st – Monica Anderson – $100

2nd – Snowy Belt – $75

3rd – Jennifer Yo – $40

4th – Tina Williams – $25

 

Goody-Giveaway Winners:

$50 Shell Gift Cards (5) – Aryana Lynch, Jeannie Kim, Tracie Voelkering, Lee Anne Barham, Jessica DeMello

$30 Tough Luck Draw for drawing the reigning Tour Champ first round – Melinda Bailey

OB Cues Raffle Winner:  Chris Beach and Joey Barnes