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Bishoff Walks Away with the Win at Red Shoes Billiards

Jenna Bishoff

Red Shoes Billiards in Alsip, Illinois, is known for hosting quality pool tournaments. The weekend of August 24 was no exception. The seventh stop of the year for the North Central Pool Tour (NCPT) was a 10-ball tournament that featured some of the best women players in the region. 
 
Jenna Bishoff, on a break from the road, posted early wins against Laura Bendikas (7-5) and Vanessa Hood (7-2). To secure the hot seat, she battled it out with Amy Latzko, winning on the hill (7-6). Before losing to Bishoff, Latzko cruised through the bracket with wins over Kelly Nickl (7-3) and Laura Semko (7-1). She would best Semko (6-2) again on her way to the finals.
 
In the final set, Bishoff was quickly up 4 to 0, punctuated by a break and run in game 3. Latzko finally got on the board with a win in game 5. And a 1-10-ball combination in game 8 brought her within 2 games of breaking even with Bishoff. But Bishoff took control of the match after that. She won the next 4 games in a row to finish the event with a final score of 9 to 3.  
 
To see the full list of players and bracket, visit leaguepoolestats.com. Players in the money were:
1st Jenna Bishoff ($305)
2nd Amy Latzko ($110)
3rd Laura Semko ($40)
 
More NCPT events–both open and women’s–are in the works for the current year. Watch for upcoming tournament announcements at NCPTplay.com and the NCPT Facebook page.
 

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.

Cohen Claims Top Spot at the Fifth NCPT Stop

Scott Cohen

The North Central Pool Tour (NCPT) hosted its fifth event of the year at Pyramid Sports Bar and Pizzeria on Saturday, June 29. Twenty-seven players signed up to compete in the open 10-ball tournament. By the end, the two players vying for the top spot were Scott Cohen (McHenry, IL) and Mason Koch (Menasha, WI).
 
Young gun Koch cruised through the A side to claim the hot seat. He downed Joe Ulanowski (7-2), Olivia Cheng (7-4), Tom Karabatsos (7-4), and Marcus Wronski (7-4) on his undefeated streak. He even sent fellow finals contestant Scott Cohen (7-4) to the one-loss side in a late-round A-side match. Undeterred, Cohen rebounded with solid wins against Donald Branson (6-3), Andrew Mackey (6-5), and Marcus Wronski (6-2) to secure a rematch against Koch.
 
In the final set, one race to nine, Koch started off strong. He was quickly up 2-0 on Cohen, snagging his second win with a bank on the 10. But then Koch made some uncharacteristic mistakes. Cohen closed the gap–and then some–winning the next six games in a row. Koch attempted a late-match rally with some impressive play, even making a four-rail bank shot on the 9. But the late hour may have affected his focus as he then missed two 10 balls. Cohen cleaned up the match with a 9 to 4 finish. 
 
To watch streamed matches from this event, visit the RailbirdsTV’s YouTube page at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uy7rtHkZxl4&feature=share. To see a full list of players and the brackets, visit challonge.com. The final standings for the event are:
1st Scott Cohen ($450)
2nd Mason Koch ($285)
3rd Marcus Wronski ($180)
4th Andrew Mackey ($115)
5/6th Donald Branson and Robert Madison ($75)
7/8th Greg Pitts and Mensur Kahric ($45)
 
The NCPT thanks Pyramid Sports Bar and tour sponsor Eric Nelson for adding $300 to this event. A big thanks, too, to RailbirdsTV for streaming all the action. The new tour directors for the NCPT (Vanessa Hood, Laura Semko, Rho Reyes, and Laura Bendikas) are sincerely grateful to Kelly Nickl for all her work over the past 3 years. She set the groundwork for the successful continuation of this tour.
 
The NCPT will be hosting two ladies division events July 20 at City Pool Hall and August 24 at Red Shoes Billiards. At least one more open event is also in the works for the fall. Visit the NCPT facebook page or NCPTplay.com for more details! You can also find the NCPT on Instagram and Twitter.

Seaver goes undefeated to win her second WPBA Regional Tour Championship

Almost to the day, one year ago, Jeannie Seaver, after 17 years as a competing professional, won her first Women’s Professional Billiards Association Regional Tour Championship. It had taken her just over 17 years and competition in 30+ WPBA events to reach that pinnacle. On the weekend of January 11-14, Seaver defended her 2017 RTC title with an undefeated run through a field of 52 entrants, downing Autumn Duncan twice (hot seat and finals) to earn the title. The $5,000-added event was hosted, as it was the previous year, by Zingale’s Billiard Room and Sports Bar in Tallahassee, FL.
 
Commencing with eight, round-robin ‘flights’ on Thursday and Friday, the 2017 RTC advanced to a final, double elimination bracket of 32 on Saturday, January 13. Seaver got by Terry Petrosino, Roe Guarnero and Ashley Rice to draw Kaylin Wikoff in one of the winners’ side semifinals. Duncan, who’d defeated Vanessa Hood, Kristy Ranalli, and Jenna Bishoff faced Lisa Cosette in the other one.
 
As Saturday turned into Sunday, Seaver got into the hot seat match with a 7-1 victory over Wikoff. Duncan joined her after sending Cosette to the loss side 7-5. Seaver sent Duncan to the semifinals with a 7-3 win that left her in the hot seat.
 
On the loss side, Cosette picked up Kim Pierce, who’d lost her opening round to Jessica Human, and was in the midst of a six-match winning streak that would propel her as far as the quarterfinals. She’d most recently won two straight double hill battles against Ashley Rice and Tam Trinh (loss-side wins #4 & #5) to face Pierce. Wikoff drew Jenna Bishoff, who’d been sent to the loss side by Duncan in a winners’ side quarterfinal, and defeated Guarnero 7-5 and Human 7-3.
 
Pierce advanced to her final match in the quarterfinals with a 7-4 victory over Cossette. Wikoff downed Bishoff 7-3 to join her. Wikoff advanced to what would prove to be her last match with a 7-1 victory over Pierce in those quarterfinals.
 
Duncan and Wikoff locked up in a double hill battle that ended Wikoff’s short, loss-side run, giving Duncan a second shot at Seaver. In a race to 9, Seaver completed her undefeated run with a 9-7 victory to capture her second RCT title.
 
WPBA representatives thanked Michael Zingale and his staff for their hospitality, as well as sponsors Simonis, Aramith and Predator Cues.  

Latzko Secures Qualifier Spot for the NAPT Inaugural 10-Ball Invitational

Amy Latzko

The Illinois ladies took control at Shooters Sports Bar & Billiards in Grayslake, Illinois, for the North Central Pool Tour’s (NCPT) third stop on April 16, 2016.
 
Women from Wisconsin and Illinois played for a coveted qualifier entry to the North American Pool Tour’s Inaugural 10-Ball Invitational on June 3-5 at Sky Breakers Lounge, Herndon, VA. The qualifier entry was generously co-sponsored by Tom Lubus of Tom’s Foolery, West Allis, WI and Shooters Sports Bar & Billiards, Grayslake, IL. (Shooters also added $100 to the final purse). Amy Latzko went undefeated to take the win.
 
Latzko found her groove early. She claimed wins over Connie O’Heron (6-1), Kelly Nickl (6-2), and Laura Semko (6-3). It would be Semko who faced her in the finals. After losing to Latzko, Semko rebounded with wins against Jennifer Barnes (6-2) and Vanessa Hood (6-5) on the one loss side. But she fell short against Latzko in the finals with a loss of 6-2.
 
Overall tournament results were: 1st, $250, Amy Latzko (IL) – 2nd, $130, Laura Semko (IL) – 3rd, $70, Vanessa Hood (IL).
Latzko will join Jacqui Schroeder (IL) in representing the NCPT at NAPT’s Inaugural 10-Ball Invitational. Schroeder secured the first qualifier and her paid entry, co-sponsored by Tom Lubus of Tom’s Foolery, West Allis, WI and NCPT, at tour stop #2, held on April 9, 2016 at The Ball Room, Portage, WI.
 
The NCPT is a regional women’s 9-ball tour sanctioned through the North American Pool Tour (NAPT, www.playnapt.com), with stops scheduled throughout Wisconsin, Iowa, and Northern Illinois.  Players earn points at every stop toward invites to NAPT Division I pro tournaments and the Division II Regional Tour Championships.
 
NCPT’s next tour stop on July 9 at Big Dog Billiards, Des Moines, IA is expected to be the biggest event to date! James Landrum of Big Dog Billiards, Des Moines, IA is adding a minimum of $500 to the prize purse with additional funds provided by Diveney Cues. Diveney has donated a custom cue worth $1500 and Landrum is currently selling raffle tickets at Big Dog Billiards with all proceeds going directly to the NCPT’s July 9th prize purse, bringing the potential add to a whopping $2000! 
 
Future NCPT stops continue to be scheduled, with the next confirmed stop being September 17, 2016 at The Rock Sports Bar & Grill, Sun Prairie, WI.
 
For more information about future tour stops and the NCPT, visit Facebook.com/northcentralpooltour, email northcentralpooltour@gmail.com, or call Kelly Nickl, 715-451-8901 or Laura Semko, 312-805-5358.

Youngest Players Claim 1st and 2nd at NCPT’s Tour Stop #1

On March 26, the North Central Pool Tour (NCPT) held its inaugural tournament at Dave Coles’ Carom Room, 614 E. Grand Ave. in Beloit, Wisconsin. The NCPT is a regional tour sanctioned through the North American Pool Tour (www.playnapt.com). It runs women’s 9-ball tournaments throughout Wisconsin, Iowa, and Northern Illinois. Players earn points at every stop toward invites to NAPT Division I pro tournaments and the Division II regional championships. 
 
Despite being a holiday weekend, 17 women came out to vie for the NCPT’s first tour-stop win. The field included veterans of the game as well as a few young talents. Women traveled from as far away as Minnesota; Peoria, Illinois; and from all over Wisconsin to play 9-ball on the Carom Room’s well-maintained 7-foot Diamond tables.
 
The action started off with some decisive victories from April Larson (MN), Taylor Hansen (MN), Vanessa Hood (IL), and Anna Isabel Tulauan (IA). Larson, Hood, Tulauan, and Donya Bundy (WI) would prove their skills deep into the winner’s side. 
 
One of the most anticipated matchups played out in the third round on the A side. The youngest players in the field, April Larson (15 years) and Taylor Hansen (17 years), met on the streaming TV table. After a close battle, Larson finally notched the win 6-5. She then cruised to the hot seat with commanding wins over Bundy (6-1) and Tulauan (6-1).
 
Not to be outdone, Hansen fought her way back through the B side for a coveted rematch with Larson in the finals. The young shooters traded games back and forth, keeping the score all tied up. But Hansen finally pulled down the win 6-4 to take the first set.
 
The second set would prove to be just as gritty early on. The ladies traded wins, keeping the score close again through 2-2. But in game 5, Larson missed the 8 to give Hansen a quick 2-ball out. Hansen took advantage of the win and kept Larson at bay for the rest of the match. The final tally: Hansen 6-4 over Larson. 
 
The overall  tournament results were:
1st $305 Taylor Hansen (MN)
2nd $185 April Larson (MN)
3rd $115 Anna Isabel Tulauan (IA)
4th $70 Donya Bundy (WI)
5th-6th $45 Jeannie Mallicoat (IL) – Vanessa Hood (IL)
 
A special thank-you to Dave Coles of the Carom Room for hosting this event and for adding $170 to the total purse.
 
Upcoming NCPT stops:
April 16, 2016 – NAPT DIVISION I PRO TOURNAMENT QUALIFIER EVENT, Shooters, Grayslake, IL
July 9, 2016 – UP TO $2,000 ADDED!, Big Dog Billiards, Des Moines, IA
September 17, 2016 – The Rock Sports Bar & Grill, Sun Prairie, WI
 
For more information about the NCPT’s tournament formats and upcoming events, visit Facebook.com/northcentralpooltour, email northcentralpooltour@gmail.com, or call Kelly Nickl at 715-451-8901.