WPBA Great Lakes Classic Day Two

Yu Ram Cha

From the new Stardust Convention Center at the Blue Chip Casino, day two began with a web match featuring rookie Kathleen Moon and Ewa Laurance.  Ewa showed no mercy and defeated the young qualifier 9-0.   Liz Ford and Sarah Rousey matched up on the one loss side in what would normally be a 2nd round winner's bracket match.  Although Liz put up a good fight, eventually Sarah gained the advantage and won 9-7.  Meanwhile, Iris Ranola, who'd had a tough match up against Jeanette Lee in the 2nd round winner's bracket, came back today on the one loss side to face veteran player and Billiard Education Foundation Executive Director, Laura Smith.  
According to Iris, Laura played very well and defeated Iris 9-3.  While most of us who know Laura know how steady a player she is, many would still consider this a minor upset as Iris is one of the new stars of our tour.  Iris may have finally succumbed to the pressures of traveling as she'd been on the road along with many of our other top Pro's for various International events. Either way, she finishes disappointed, tied for 33rd.  Sarah Ellerby, back for her first event since mid 2008, also finished 33rd, along with top Arizona Women's Billiard Tour player, Nicole Keeney; Exempt pro Sueyen Rhee and former Exempt player, Morgan Steinman; all of whom were hoping to make more of a mark at this event.   
Round 3 winner's bracket action was fierce and included a fantastic web match between current #1 Ranked Monica Webb against up-and-comer Yu Ram Cha.  Both players were like dogs with bone, not yielding one to the other until the score was 6-5 Monica.  From that point, the wheels seemed to fall off of Monica's game as Yu Ram won the next 4 games to win the match and send Monica into the one loss side.  I spoke with Monica after the match and she said that she'd had opportunities to close out games but couldn't get it done, and that Yu Ram played well.  Monica goes on to face Kim Shaw for a berth in the final 16.  

Karen Corr played Jasmin Ouschan and perhaps fell victim to mental fatigue as Jasmin won 9-6.  Karen had finished very strong in International Events (including two 2nd place finishes) and it could be that all the traveling and hard playing has caught up with her. She goes on to face Helena Thornfeldt – this will be a feature web match at noon on Saturday so tune in to www.wpba.com to watch.  

Jeanette Lee faced off against Ga Young Kim but the Little Devil Girl proved too strong and won easily 9-4.  Vivian Villarreal, Xiaoting Pan & Kelly Fisher all advanced without issue, and once again Gerda Hofstatter and Allison Fisher matched up in “Groundhog Day” fashion (yes it's déjà vu all over again!).  Allison is playing very well and defeated Gerda 9-4.  Allison is definitely riding a high after finding out about her BCA Hall of Fame Nomination and she'll be inducted along with favorite Johnny Archer in a ceremony on October 22nd, in Chesapeake, VA.   

The one tight match of the round was Japan's Miyuki Sakai vs. former World 9 Ball Champion, Julie Kelly.  The match went hill-hill, and although Julie fought like a lion, Miyuki came through in the end and advances into the final 16.  

On the one loss side, a great match ensued between veteran's Laura Smith and Ewa Laurance.  It looked as though Ewa would pull through but Laura wouldn't give up and sank the 9 to win after a hard fought hill-hill match.  Last year's US Open surprise dark-horse, Pam Cimarelli, will play for a place in the final 16 on Saturday. Pam had defeated Helena Thornfeldt in the first round, but lost to Julie Kelly thereafter.  She'd since picked her way through the one loss side, including a sound victory over Janet Atwell, 9-2.  She goes on to face the #14 seed for this event, Melissa Herndon.  Melissa had won her first two matches “ugly” as she called it, but lost to Ga Young Kim in the 3rd round.   

Check back to www.wpba.com for the most up-to-date brackets (posted after each round is completed).