Texas Tornado takes one away from the boys on Fast Eddie’s Tour

Vivian Villarreal

Vivian Villareal, ranked # 7 on the WPBA list of players for 2009, joined 61 entrants on hand for the Fast Eddie's 9-Ball Tour stop in San Antonio, TX on the weekend of February 6-7 and got by them all.  She and Jennifer Kraber were the only women entered in the $1,500-added Open event, and Villareal became the first woman in nine years to win a stop on the Fast Eddie's tour.

The weekend tournament also featured a 10-entrant ladies event, held on Sunday and won by Kim Margeneau, who defeated Barbara Wisdom 7-5 in the finals. Wisdom had defeated Kyu Yi by the same score in the semifinals to face Margeneau.

From among the winner's side final four in the Open event,  Villareal, known as the Texas Tornado, faced Sean Black and sent him west 9-6 for a meet-up with Charlie “Hillbilly” Bryant. Bryant had just finished sending Villareal's eventual finals opponent, Eduardo Ramirez over 9-7. Hillbillies being no strangers to tornados, Bryant dug in and battled Villareal to double hill before relinquishing the hot seat to the lady tornado.

Over on the one-loss side and already in the money, Rick Stanley lay in wait for Ramirez.  Stanley had gotten by Brian Sanders 7-3 (Sanders having been sent west by Villareal) and then dropped Fast Eddie's veteran David Gutierrez into the tie for seventh place 7-4. Black picked up Zaid Thwieb, who'd defeated Andy Jethwa 7-5 and Ismael Ramirez 7-4 to reach him.  Eduardo Ramirez began his three-match trip back to the finals with a 7-2 win over Stanley, as Black went hill-hill to defeat Thwieb. Ramirez advanced to the semifinals against Hillbilly with a hill-hill win over Black and followed that up with a hill-hill win over Hillbilly to set him up against the Texas Tornado.

In the modified double elimination final that followed, Villareal made a second race-to-seven set unnecessary. Ramirez stayed close, but in the end, Villareal pulled out in front to take it by two at 9-7 and bring home the $1,180 first place prize.