WPBA Players Set to Compete at the U.S. Open 9-Ball Championships

Belinda Calhoun

WPBA players, past and present, are set to compete in the 2010 U.S Open 9-Ball Championships. Recently, promoter and producer Barry Behrman decided to open the field of to include female players. Before the creation of the WPBA Classic Tour, women competed at the U.S. Open as a separate division but this will be the first year for them to compete amongst the men for what is one of the most prestigious titles in the history of pool.  This will be a historic event as Barry has graciously agreed to seed and provide complimentary registration for all past women's champions (1984-1994) as well as male and female BCA Hall of Famers.

Many pool fans are familiar with the scattered success of the WPBA players against top men's pro's.  Notable success include the exploits of Karen Corr on the star-studded Joss Northeast tour, the many successes enjoyed by Jasmin Ouschan against the men, most notably in the 2008 World 14.1 Championship, in which she beat Mika Immonen and Oliver Ortmann in back-to-back races to 200. In addition, nobody who was there will ever forget Yu Ram Cha's 10-8 victory over Shane Van Boening at the Predator International10-ball Invitational in Las Vegas in May, 2009.  

Many top male pro's reacted favorably to hearing the news about the inclusion of women in the 2010 U.S. Open 9-Ball Championships. 2008 World 10-Ball Champion Darren Appleton said, “I am definitely in favor of it.  The women are dangerous and many are capable of having a good run in this event. It spices things up and I am sure it's what the fans will want to see.”

1996 U.S. Open Champion Rodney Morris also expressed his support of the announcement and said, “I think it's great for pool. It gives more exposure to our game and hopefully will bring in new spectators to the already successful event. It's great for the women to compete with us.”

The entry list for this event will include legendary female champions of the past including Belinda Calhoun, Loree Jon Hasson (formerly Jones), JoAnn Mason-Parker and Ewa Mataya Laurance along with the current top ranked players.  As the first WPBA player to officially enter the U.S. Open 9-Ball Championships, Sarah Rousey expressed her excitement and said, “After years of experiencing this great event as a spectator, I am thrilled to get a chance to play with the best men and women in the world!”

Some top players like Jasmin Ouschan have indicated that they will regrettably be unable to attend due to a previous scheduling conflict with the Women's World 10-Ball Championships. A number of other WPBA exempt players do plan to compete in the U.S. Open including Jennifer Barretta, Eleanor Callado, Amy Chen, Gerda Hofstatter and Morgan Steinmann.

For more information about the U.S. Open 9-Ball Championships or to register please visit www.usopen9ballchampionships.com.