WPBA Nationals Day One

Kyoko Sone defeated Ga Young Kim on Thursday

November 12th, 2009 – Hollywood, FL:  This WPBA event began Thursday at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in earnest as 64 of the top ranked players for 2009 compete for much more than just the title.  Rankings after this event will determine what 48 players will receive their Exemption to the 2010 WPBA season.   Held at the Hard Rock Live, the WPBA Tour Championships is being held side-by-side with the Steve Mizerak 10 Ball Championships, produced by the Seminole Hard Rock.  The WPBA Tour Championships is being streamed live over the web for free thanks to Pooldawg.com, Presenting Sponsor for Web Streaming 2009.   

Wednesday evening featured a celebrity Charity Pro Am to benefit Vivian's Kidz hosted by former Miami Heat Pro, Jason Mashburn.  Prior to the Pro-Am, the WPBA  gave The Most Improved Player award to Canada's Denise Belanger, whose improvement from the rankings at year end 2008 to now earned her the award.  Rookie of the Year honors went to another Canadian, Veronique Menard.  The WPBA also honored Mr. James Bakula, formerly of Brunswick Billiards, with the 2009 WPBA Hall of Fame Trophy for Meritorious Service.   

Mr. Bakula was instrumental in supporting Women's Professional Billiards and our organization.   

The Charity Celebrity Pro Am was tons of fun, and alongside the team play, there was a silent auction with great sports and TV memorabilia which in total raised a lot of money for Vivian's Kidz Charity.  

There was only one major upset in the first round of play when veteran WPBA player and Hall of Famer, Vicki Paski defeated one of the shining stars of the next generation, Sarah Rousey, hill-hill. There were quite a few exciting hill-hill matches featured in the first round including Anna Kostanian vs. Monica Webb, Tracie Hines vs. Val Finnie, Belinda Calhoun vs. Allison Fisher, Julie Kelly vs. Cathy Metzinger and Eleanor Callado vs. Kelly Fisher.  Monica, Tracie, Allison, Julie and Kelly all advanced but certainly each was tested to the fullest.  

The second round, 8pm matches heated up considerably with the stunning hill-hill match between Japan's Kyoko Sone and the current #1 Ranked Player, Ga Young Kim.  Kyoko came out the victor between the two, sending Ga Young to the one loss side for the first time in several tournaments.  The next volley was lobbed by Angel Paglia when she defeated veteran Helena Thornfeldt, 9-5.  Angel jumped out to a 6-0 lead and held strong but Helena fought back to 4-7 midway through the match, breaking and running 3 racks out of her 5 games.  Angel reached the hill first and Helena could only post one more before Angel struck the final blow by breaking & running in the final rack to advance to the third round.   

The 10pm match-ups saw Julie Kelly lose to Kelly Fisher, while Monica Webb advanced versus Nicole Keeney. Jeanette Lee, who earlier today unveiled the custom-made Orange County Chopper “Black Widow Bike” commissioned by her sponsor, Liquid Wick, defeated Laura Smith to advance to the third round.  Karen Corr, Xiaoting Pan, Gerda Hofstatter, Jasmin Ouschan, Allison Fisher were among those that also advanced to the 3rd round.   

The featured web match for the first round Friday will be between four-time Collegiate Champion Eleanor Callado and top Regional Player, Cathy Metzinger.   

Tournament Brackets are available to view on wpba.com and are updated after the last match of each round is completed.