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Wei Tzu Chien The Latest Top Professional Player To Join N’ The Zone Sportswear

Wei Tzu-Chien

Taiwan’s leading lady Wei Tzu Chien (The Shadow Killer) is thrilled to announce her new sponsorship deal with N’ The Zone Sportswear.

Not only is Wei one of the top Taiwanese champions, she is also one of the best female players in the world. Ranked as high as #4 in the WPA world rankings along with high placed finishes in major events across the globe.

Proud owner of N’ The Zone Sportswear, Jemal Elmore said “Wei’s personality on and off the table makes her a perfect role model for all female players all over the world. She has made a big impact not only in Asia but also here in the US on the WPBA Tour.
Wei speaks fluent Chinese and English and I think will be a great asset to N’ The Zone.”

“I am very proud to join N’ The Zone Sportswear,” said Wei Wei. “I really like their entire clothing line and can’t wait to be wearing my new custom designed shirts in the upcoming competitions.”

This collection is now available for purchase.

For more information regarding N’ The Zone Sportswear Please contact:
Email: admin@nthezonesportswear.com
Website : www.nthezonesportswear.com

Fisher goes undefeated to win the WPBA’s 9-Ball Ghost Challenge Tournament of Champions

Kelly Fisher

She knew, going into the final day of competition, that she’d already won the WPBA’s 9-Ball Ghost Challenge Tournament of Champions. Kelly Fisher knew this because no one in the lineup of two matches to be played that last day could catch her when it came to points. For its Tournament of Champions, held from September 1-5, the WPBA employed a new format, changing from the double elimination format of the four previous 9-Ball Ghost Challenge events (three of them won by Fisher) to a Round Robin format. This format assigned points, 4 to 7 of them, to each player upon completion of a series of head-to-head ghost challenge matches of 10 games each. 

Though originally planned for eight competitors, work-related circumstances brought that number down to 6 by the time the tournament started and just prior to the start, Line Kjorsvik had to back out for undisclosed reasons. On each of the five days, one of the five remaining competitors was scheduled to compete against Kjorsvik and in her absence, drew a bye. It was Wei Tzu-Chien on Tuesday, Dawn Hopkins on Wednesday, Monica Webb on Thursday, Jeannie Seaver on Friday and Kelly Fisher on Saturday. By that time, Fisher was sporting 23 points to Hopkins’ and Seaver’s 13, Webb’s 14, and Tzu-Chien’s 15. Even with 7 points for defeating an opponent by 40 points or more, none of them could catch Fisher. There was, though, at the end of the day (tournament), a ferocious final battle between Wei Tzu-Chien and Monica Webb upon which hinged three out of the four remaining payout spots (Fisher had already won).

As with the other four preliminary ghost challenge events, a player could score a maximum of 10 or 15 points per rack; 10 points if they ran out after choosing to take ball-in-hand after the break, or 15 points, if they chose to play from wherever the cue ball lay after the break. A miss in any rack would award the player the number of balls they successfully potted in that rack. The highest score of the five-day event was chalked up by Fisher on Friday, when she defeated Monica Webb 107-75. It was one of only four scores over 100. Wei Tzu-Chien tallied the second highest score on the same day, downing Dawn Hopkins 106-59. It was the only victory in the entire event that awarded its winner (Tzu-Chien) the maximum 7 points for a larger-than-40-ball differential in the final score. Fisher had the third and fourth highest score; 105-77 over Hopkins on Thursday and 104-91 over We Tzu-Chien the day before. 

The lowest score in a victory – 89 – happened twice. On Wednesday, Hopkins downed Seaver 89-57. On the following day, Thursday, Seaver scored 89 to Wei Tzu-Chien’s 84. 

At the end of Day 1 on Tuesday, Fisher, having defeated Seaver by her lowest score of the entire event, 91-59, was in the lead with 6 points. Hopkins, who’d defeated Webb in the tightest match of the event, 94-90, had 5, while Seaver and Webb had four points each. Tzu-Chien had not played. Fisher’s single-point lead was never relinquished and by the end of day two, it remained a single-point lead. Webb had added six points with an 89-57 win over Seaver, while Kelly added five points with her 104-91 victory over Tzu-Chien. 

On Day Three, Fisher added six more points with a 105-77 victory over Hopkins, as Seaver and Tzu-Chien locked up in another of the event’s tight battles; an 89-84 win for Seaver. Tzu-Chien had been the only other player to win one of the four preliminary events. Her second loss in this Tournament of Champions, against Seaver, sealed her fate, making an opportunity to catch Fisher a low probability. At the end of Day Three (with one less match), Tzu-Chien was behind by nine points (17-8).

Day Four began at noon on Friday with a match between Fisher and Webb, which Wei Tzu-Chien was likely to have been watching very closely. If Webb pulled off a win, it would stop Fisher’s scoring at 21 points. Fisher, scheduled to play Kjorsvik on Saturday, would receive a bye on that day and if Tzu-Chien could add seven points to her score on Day Four, she’d go into the final day only six points behind (21-15), giving her a chance at tying or possibly winning (with a 40-point differential in her match versus Webb). The first ‘fly in that ointment’ was Fisher, who played her best match of the tournament on Friday, chalking up 107 points to Webb’s 75 and adding six points to finish her efforts with 23 points. Though an hour later, Tzu-Chien would bring her best game of the tournament to the table against Hopkins – a 106-59 win that would add the seven points she was looking to score – it fell short of Fisher’s lead by eight points.

Hopkins and Seaver played the opening match of the final day. Seaver defeated Hopkins 94-66 to add six points to her score, for a (significant) total of 19. Hopkins finished with a total of 17 points. This lent an air of possibility to the tournament’s final match between Tzu-Chien (with 15 points) and Monica Webb (with 14). If Webb won the match by less than 20 points, she’d end up with 19 points, overall, and so would Tzu-Chien, who would receive four points in such a loss. This would have created a three-way tie between Tzu-Chien, Webb and Seaver. 

There was, in other words, something at stake in the final match. The three-way tie would have triggered tie-breaking rules, governed by total ball count. If Webb won the final match, Tzu-Chien would finish in 2nd place (376 balls), Webb would be 3rd (341) and Seaver would finish in 4th (299). But if Tzu-Chien won the match, finishing with 20 points for 2nd place, Seaver would be 3rd with 19 and Webb would finish 4th with 18 points. Financially, the win for Webb wouldn’t have changed anything for Tzu-Chien, who would have finished 2nd in any case, but for Webb, it was a $200 difference between a 3rd or 4th place finish.

The match was correspondingly tight. Midway through the 10-rack match, Tzu-Chien was in the lead over Webb, but only by seven balls (49-42). As Tzu-Chien was organizing her 6th rack, Webb took aim at the 2-ball in her 6th rack. She’d pocketed one on the break and then, opting for ball in hand, she dropped the 1-ball. Looking at a high-percentage shot at the 2-ball (side to side in corner pocket), Webb applied some serious draw to the cue ball, which, on contact, came flying back, fast, for position on the 3-ball. The 2-ball, though, rattled hard in its designated pocket and Webb had to settle for only two balls in that 6th rack. Tzu-Chien broke and, with ball in hand, cleared her 6th rack and suddenly the score was 59-44.

In her 7th rack, Webb opted out of the ball-in-hand option in the hopes of closing in on Tzu-Chien’s lead with 15 points. She dropped two balls on the break and made a long, corner-to-corner shot to make her third ball. She completed that rack to chalk up those 15 points and for a moment, they were tied at 59-59. Tzu-Chien would re-capture the lead when she completed her 7th rack with 10 points to make it 69-59. 

Tzu-Chien checked Webb’s score on her monitor after breaking the 8th rack. She’d dropped four balls on the break and decided not to take ball in hand, looking for an ‘answering’ 15 points. All well and good, but she missed her first shot. At the end of the 8th rack, Tzu-Chien’s lead was  down to four balls at 73-69.

Tzu-Chien opted out of ball in hand again in approaching her 9th rack. Webb took ball in hand for her 9th rack. Kelly Fisher joined commentators Cheryl Baglin and Loree Jon Hasson in the virtual broadcast booth to watch the nail-biting finish to the tournament’s final match. They both ran their racks, but Tzu-Chien was awarded 15 for not taking ball in hand, while Webb added only 10 because she did. The score was now 88-79.

Assuming a runout for both of them in the final rack, Tzu-Chien could not be caught, even if Webb opted to not take ball in hand for 15 points. It made Tzu-Chien’s decision not to take ball in hand for the final rack an easy one. Webb, having dropped the 1-ball on the break was looking at a straight, side-to-side shot at the 2-ball and decided to go for the 15 points anyway. The table was clearing nicely for her until she put a little too much follow on her shot at the 8-ball and the cue ball followed it right in, finishing her match at 87 points. 

Tzu-Chien, with two balls left on the table, stepped to her monitor and noted that Webb had scratched. Already ahead in points by one – 88-87 – she stepped to the table to sink the 8-ball, attempting a sharp cut, and missed the shot, finishing things at 95-87.

“Well done, Wei-Wei,” said Fisher from her ‘virtual’ booth at home when Tzu-Chien and Webb stepped up close to their respective monitors. “It was tight. Close match, exciting.”

Event coordinator Angela Janic joined the remote broadcast ‘party’ and made the results official. Kelly Fisher won the event title with 23 points and a 407 ball total. Wei Tzu-Chien was 2nd with 20 points and a 376 ball total. Jeannie Sever was 3rd with 19 and 299. Monica’s loss in the final match dropped her into 4th place with 18 points and 341 total balls. Dawn Hopkins closed out the field with 17 points and 296 total balls.

“I’m really, really pleased,” said Fisher of her victory. “Very happy.”

She spoke then of what might have been; how she would have liked to “not miss as much” as she had and how, ideally, she and her competitors are always looking to chalk up the “perfect score.”

“We’re all very competitive,” she said, “trying to play the perfect game and be as consistent as we can. That’s what we practice for and all try to do”

“I really enjoy playing the ‘ghost,” she added. “It’s been a part of my practice routine for years. It suits my game because I’m not very good at safety play.”

Fisher thanked the WPBA for a “great event, as always.” She also expressed her enjoyment of the new format.

“ I liked the Round Robin format,” she said. “It’s a good way to make it an open, competitive game.”

The WPBA thanked tournament director Angela Janic, as well as livestream technician Jennifer Hamilton. They also thanked all of the event’s players, sponsors and commentators, to include Janic, WPBA’s President Dean Roeseler, Loree Jon Hasson and Cheryl Baglin. “Stay tuned,” noted the WPBA on its Facebook page for information about future virtual tournaments.

Tzu-Chien spoils Fisher bid for four in a row on WPBA Virtual 9-Ball Ghost Challenge

Wei Tzu Chien

In all, they’ve played against each other five times in the four WPBA Virtual 9-Ball Ghost Challenges. In the opening event of this four-event series, Kelly Fisher and Jennifer Barretta played against each other in the hot seat and finals. In the second event, Fisher won five on the loss side and faced Wei Tzu-Chien in the finals. They squared off again in the third event in the hot seat and finals and this past week, July 20-25, they repeated their hot seat and final routine. This time, though, for the first time, it was Tzu-Chien who came out on top, breaking Fisher’s run of three event wins in a row at this competition format.

The two were (are) clearly the best competitors at this ‘ghost’ game they play, thousands of miles apart. Each player in a match faces 10 racks and can score either 10 or 15 points per rack, depending on whether or not they opt to take ball in hand following the break. If they do take ball in hand, a runout will earn them 10 points (a point for every ball and two for the 9-ball). If they choose not to take ball in hand after the break, a runout will earn them 15 points. A miss in a rack is a win for the ‘ghost’ and the player receives a point for each of the balls they dropped in that loss to the ‘ghost.’ If you run 10 racks, taking ball in hand on the break every time, you’d score 100 points. If you ran 10 racks and did not take ball in hand, ever, you’d score 150 points. There were 12 entrants for this 4th Ghost Challenge and they played a total of 22 matches; 44 different scores (two per match). In the 12 winners’ side matches (24 scores), the average score per player was 73. On the loss side (10 matches, 20 different scores), the average was 63.65. making the overall for the entire event 69.04. The average for a win was slightly higher at 78.59.

Wei Tzu-Chien’s average over her six games was 94.33. Kelly Fisher’s average over her five games was 103.2. There were only four individual scores over 100 among the 44 total scores. Wei Tzu-Chien chalked up the highest of those four (136) in the final against Fisher and the lowest (101) in her winners’ side semifinal match against Mary Rakin Tam. Fisher scored the other two – 122 in her winners’ side semifinal match against Dawn Hopkins and 111 in the finals against Tzu-Chien’s 136.

The lowest score in a win (55) went to Mary Rakin Tam in her second round victory over Sonya Chbeeb (41). The highest score in a loss was Fisher’s (111) in her loss to Tzu-Chien (136) in the finals.

Tzu-Chien opened her campaign with an 83-51 victory over event organizer Angela Janic and downed Jennifer Barretta 84-77 to pick up Mary Rakin Tam in a winners’ side semifinal. Fisher opened with a 93-47 victory over Jeannie Seaver and sent Monica Webb to the loss side 92-67 to draw Hopkins in the other winners’ side semifinal. The second highest score in the event went to Fisher in her 122-62 win over Hopkins. The fourth highest score in the event went to Tzu-Chien in her 101-70 victory over Tam. Fisher claimed the hot seat 98-76.

On the loss side, Hopkins picked up Seaver, who’d eliminated Chbeeb 89-22 and then won the event’s closest individual match by defeating Line Kjorsvik 63-62. Tam drew Monica Webb, who, after being defeated by Fisher, went on to defeat Heather Lakatos 63-32 and then, Angela Janic 69-57. In an unlikely coincidence, both Webb and Janic had defeated their first loss-side opponents by the identical 63-32 score.

Seaver defeated Hopkins 56-53 (second closest match), as Webb downed Tam 80-64. Seaver then eliminated Webb 86-70 in the quarterfinals.
Tzu-Chien, no doubt invested in getting a second shot at Fisher, waiting for her in the hot seat, downed Seaver 86-46 in the semifinals and then, chalked up her and the event’s best individual performance at the ‘ghost’ game with a 136-111 victory over Fisher.

The WPBA’s highly successful series of Ghost Challenge events will get back underway this Wednesday (July 29) with a Virtual 9-Ball Ghost Challenge Tournament of Champions, featuring the top eight players from the recently-completed series of four events.

Kelly Fisher comes from the loss side to down Tzu-Chien Wei at WPBA’s Aramith/DR Classic

Kelly Fisher

Kelly Fisher came to Rothschild, WI on the long weekend of November 20-24 in search of her first 2019 win and knew almost immediately that she might need to defeat some adversaries she’d faced before. There were, at the WPBA’s Aramith/DR Pool Classic, the usual array of suspects in that regard; Allison Fisher, Jasmine Ouschan, Jennifer Baretta, LoreeJon Hasson, Janet Atwell and Line Kjorsvik, to name just a few. And though she wouldn’t have to face China’s Siming Chen, who did not compete and who’d defeated her in the finals of the WPBA Masters last February in Michigan, she knew she might have to face Chinese Taipei’s Tzu-Chien Wei, whom she’d defeated in the semifinals of that WPBA Masters and then, been defeated by in the semifinals of August’s Sondheim Diamond Invitational in Iowa. She did face Wei this time around, twice as it turned out, losing the first, but coming back from the loss side to win the second and claim the event title. The $20,000-added event drew 48 entrants to the Central Wisconsin Convention and Expo Center in Rothschild.

The importance of chalking up her first win of the year at this event was not lost on Fisher. As a professional, she’s not inclined to dwell on a given event’s individual importance, lest it interfere with the game(s) at hand, but having been on the mend since surgeries sidelined her for a few years, she was getting a little antsy.

“I was getting a worried for a moment there,” she said. “I’d had numerous semifinal wins (since last May; 3, to be exact), so I’m very pleased to have gotten this title.”

“I’m finally feeling that my game is back to where it was a few years ago,” she added.

Fisher was one of 16 seeded competitors who were awarded opening round byes, as the other 32 squared off against each other. Fisher drew Shanelle Loraine out of that original 32, defeated her and joined 12 other players who’d been awarded opening round byes in advancement to the third round. Only Gerda Gregerson, Melissa Little, Line Kjorsvik and Jenna Bishoff from that group of 16 seeded, went to the loss side, sent by (in order) Jeannie Seaver, Dawn Hopkins, Jasmin Ouschan and Teruko Cucculleli.

Fisher went on to defeat Monica Webb 8-1and then survived a double hill battle versus Jennifer Baretta to draw Tzu-Chien Wei in one of the winners’ side semifinals. Jasmin Oushchan, in the meantime, got by Joanne Ashton 8-1, survived her own double hill battle versus Kjorsvik, and downed Dawn Hopkins 8-2 to pick up Jia Li.

Wei defeated Fisher 8-5 and in the hot seat, faced Ouschan, who’d sent Li to the loss side 8-4. A double hill battle ensued for possession of the hot seat. Wei prevailed, sending Ouschan off to a second straight, double hill semifinal matchup against Fisher.

Over on the loss side, there were some top-notch matches brewing as the tournament’s elites moved toward picking up Fisher and Jia Li, coming over from the winners’ side semifinal. After losing to Jeannie Seaver in the second round, Gerda Gregerson embarked on a six-match, loss-side streak that saw her eliminate Eugenia Gyftopoulos, Catherine Tschumper and, moving into the early money rounds, Caroline Pao and Emily Duddy. She went on to down Brittany Bryant 8-5 and young Atlantic Cup Challenge competitor, April Larson 8-4 to draw Li.

Fisher drew Tamara Peeters, who was working on a six-match, loss-side winning streak of her own and fresh off something of an 8-1 upset over Teruko Cucculleli. Cucculleli had defeated Allison Fisher on the winners’ side, before being sent over by Jia Li in a winners’ side quarterfinal. She proceeded to eliminate Jessica Barnes, Beth Fondell and jumped into the money pool with an 8-4 win over Loree Jon Hasson. She downed Gail Eaton and Dawn Hopkins, both 8-6 and then, eliminated Cucculleli to reach Fisher.

Fisher gave up only a single rack to Peeters in advancing to the quarterfinals. She was joined by Jia Li, who’d sent Gregerson home 8-6. Fisher won a second straight 8-1 match, eliminating Li 8-1.

That little 16-2 run wasn’t destined to last, as Fisher squared off against Jasmin Ouschan in the semifinals. It was Ouschan’s second straight double hill match, and proved to be the second one in a row that she lost.

With lingering echoes of previous matchups and a nagging little voice that kept telling her that since she’d earned herself a second chance against Tzu-Chien Wei, she’d damn well better take advantage of it, Fisher launched into the finals, in search of her first 2019 win. There are, she noted, generalities about such endeavors, and specifics, related to particular opponents. You have to play ‘your game,’ regardless of opponent, while awareness of specific opponents can inform decisions about approach.

“My main thing,” said Fisher, “is to come out of the gate strong, to keep control of the table.”

“Looking back at previous matches against Wei,” she added, “it was about not allowing her to come back. She’s capable of coming back from behind, so I knew once I had (the lead), I had to keep it.”

As noted in a Biblical proverb – “The heart of Man (Woman) plans his/her way, but the Lord establishes his/her steps.” Fisher lost the opening four racks and immediately switched roles to become the person “capable of coming back from behind.” She allowed Wei only one more rack, before she chalked up 10 to claim that first 2019 title.

“I’ve been practicing quite hard,” she said a few days later from her home in Scotland. “It came down to being patient. I knew I was close (to getting back into previous form), and that there was room to grow.

“I want to win the big ones,” she added, “and it really is just a matter of practice.”

She’ll spend a few days at home, more than likely find time to do some of that practice and then head for China and competition in the 2019 Women’s World 9-Ball Championships, to be held from December 13-20.

WPBA representatives thanked the ownership and staff at the Central Wisconsin Convention and Expo Center for their hospitality, as well as sponsors Diamond Billiards Products, Aramith, Outsville and Simonis Cloth.

Tkach comes from the loss side to win WPBA Sondheim Diamond Invitational in Iowa

Kristina Tkach (Erwin Dionisio)

Two young women, one working on her best earnings year to date and the other, coming off of her best earnings year-to-date (2018) squared off in the finals of the WPBA Sondheim Diamond Invitational in Iowa on the weekend of August 8-11. The former, Russia’s Kristina Tkach, a top performer for Roy’s Basement, came from the loss side to down hot seat occupant, Taipei’s Tzu-Chien Wei. Wei, who, according to our records, had her best year in 2018, had only cashed in one event thus far this year (3rd at the WPBA Masters in late Feb./early March). The $10,000-added event drew 48 entrants to the Fairfield Arts and Convention Center in Fairfield, Iowa.
 
They met twice; once in a winners’ side semifinal and again, in the finals. Wei had advanced past Catherine Tschumper, Emily Duddy and Brittany Bryant to arrive at the winners’ side semifinal versus Tkach. Kelly Fisher, in the meantime, who was runner-up to Siming Chen at the WPBA Master’s event in which Wei had finished third, got by Kelly Isaac, Gail Eaton and April Larson to arrive at her winners’ side semifinal match against Line Kjorsvik.
 
Fisher sent Kjorsvik to the loss side 8-3 and in the hot seat match, faced Wei, who’d defeated Tkach 8-6. Wei claimed the hot seat 8-5 over Fisher and waited on the return on Tkach.
 
On the loss side, Kjorsvik picked up Bryant, who, after her defeat at the hands of Wei, had eliminated Sara Miller 8-3 and, in a double hill match, Jennifer Baretta. Tkach drew a re-match against Monica Webb, whom she’d defeated 8-3 on the winners’ side. Webb moved west to defeat Kelly Cavanaugh, Jenna Bishoff and April Larson (all 8-6), and then survived a double hill fight versus Emily Duddy to draw Tkach.
 
Tkach gave up only a single rack in the rematch against Webb and in the quarterfinals, faced Bryant, who’d defeated Kjorsvik 8-4. Bryant and Tkach locked up in what was something of a predictable double hill fight for advancement to the semifinals. Tkach won it to earn her re-match against Fisher.
 
One might have expected a similar double hill battle between Tkach and Fisher, both anxious for a rematch against Wei in the hot seat. It didn’t happen. Tkach took care of business and downed Fisher 8-5.
 
With the intangible momentum on her side, Tkach came into the finals and defeated Wei 10-5 to claim her third major title of 2019. She’d previously won the Super Billiards Expo’s Women Championship in March and Europe’s Dynamic Billiards Treviso Open Ladies Division in May.
 
WPBA representatives thanked the ownership and staff at the Fairfield Arts and Convention Center, as well as sponsors Diamond Billiard Products, Outsville, Simonis Cloth and Aramis Balls.