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.