The FireCracker on Fire

Tara McCracken, Royce Bunnell and Nicole Keeney

The OB Cues Ladies 9-Ball Tour (previously known as the Hunter Classics Tour) held its second stop of the year at Bogies Billiards in Houston. Royce Bunnell, of OB Cues, was on hand at the tournament as OB Cues took over sponsorship for the first time at this stop. A BIG thank you goes out to Royce and his company for taking over the reigns - we appreciate your support!

Fifty two women came to compete in the $2,000-added tournament and it was a tough fight for all. Players from Texas, Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, and Illinois participated in the April 19-20th event. We would like to extend a special thanks to Jon and Jerry and their staff for hosting the stop - the ladies love coming to Bogies and enjoy all the tables and the 24-hour access to your pool room. As always, your service and hospitality were outstanding and we so much appreciate all you do for us.

Tara "FireCracker" McCracken from the Dallas area was quietly making her way through the brackets, almost unnoticed, until Sunday when she took down the formidable player Lisa Marr from Arkansas 7-5 then Regional Tour Champion and semi-pro Susan Mello from Arizona, 7-3. That meant Tara would have to wait in the hotseat to see who her opponent would be in the finals.

Also up for grabs was the WPBA Qualifier for the June WPBA North Carolina event. Only ten players paid the extra $20 fee to be eligible for the Qualifier and on Sunday morning, six were still vying for it. In the end, it would come down to the semi-final match between Susan Mello from Arizona and Nicole Keeney from Colorado. It was a close fight with both players playing well for the crowd, and in the end Nicole would win the WPBA Qualifier with a close score of 7-5. Congrat's Nicole! This 20-year-old young woman is already a force to be reckoned with and she has a brilliant future in the pool world.

Nicole then played Tara in the finals and with the Qualifier already settled and Tara playing well, Tara continued her undefeated trek by besting Nicole 7-4. Congratulations, Tara!! Tara won $750 for her first place finish, Nicole won $570 for 2nd place (plus $500 WPBA Qualifier), Susan Mello won $415 for 3rd place, and Lisa Marr won $74 for 4th place.

Other top finishers included Heather Lloyd and Helen Hayes (5th/6th and $165), Cristina Dela Garza and Deanna Henson (7th/8th place and $110) and 9th-12 place was filled up by Terry Petrosino, Catherine Naes (highest finish to date!), Ricki Lee Casper, and Cheyna Wigley (new player) who each won $85.

Congratulations to all the ladies!

There were also numerous raffle winners throughout the two-day event. But the biggest raffle winners of them all was Cristina Dela Garza, a regular tour player, who won the last OB Cues Cue and Helen Hayes, another regular tour player, who won a Wes Hunter custom cue!

Thanks to all the players, host site, tour sponsors, fans, and spectators. We look forward to seeing everyone at the OB Cues Ladies 9-Ball Tour stop June 21-22 at The Billiard Den in Richardson, Texas

Maine Event Complete Results, $2,000 added:
1st place – Tara McCracken - $750
2nd place – Nicole Keeney – $570 + WPBA Qualifier (BCA Heritage event)
3rd place – Susan Mello - $415
4th place – Lisa Marr - $275
5/6th place – Heather Lloyd and Helen Hayes - $165
7/8th place – Cristina Dela Garza and Deanna Henson – $110
9-12th place – Terry Petrosino, Catherine Naes, Ricki Lee Casper, and Cheyna Wigley - $85
13-16th place – Melinda Bailey, Michelle Ram, Samm Diep and Tina Lehrmann - $50
17th-24th place - Belinda Lee, Shayla Neris, Gaylan Goodnight, Natalie Mans, Kim Pierce, Amanda Lampert, Sue Chong and Michelle Abernathy - $25

A Second Chance tournament was held on Sunday and 22 players showed up to continue with their quest to win this event. Top finishers were:

1st - Michelle Ram
2nd - Melinda Bailey
3rd - Sue Chong
4th - Amanda Lampert
5th/6th - Kim Pierce/Sherri Smith