The WPBA’s inaugural Satellite Tour event at Borderline Billiards, owned & operated by our very own top Exempt player Janet Atwell, was declared a complete success as players and fans alike lauded the hospitality and high quality of the venue and tournament. Karen Corr, who’d, been fighting off a cold this event, fought her way through and defeated Gerda Hofstatter in definitive style, 11-1.
The event kicked off with a Charity Pro-Am on Thursday, July 9th, benefiting C.H.A.D. (Caring Hearts for All Star Dads) which is a local organization that supports the needs of families who have fathers with life threatening illnesses. For more information on The Chad Team, please visit www.thechadteam.org.
Day one action began at 11:00am, Friday the 10th and saw some interesting matches right from the start.
Winner’s bracket matches raced to 9 while one loss side matches raced to 7. Internet fans world-wide were treated to free, live web streaming brought to you by our sponsor, www.pooldawg.com. Gerda Hofstatter had a tight first round match against top Regional Tour player, Kim Jones, going toe-to-toe and hill-hill with her. Gerda pulled out the victory and went on undefeated through the event to reach the finals. Allison Fisher was knocked into the one loss side in her second round match versus fellow Exempt Player, Megan Smith.
Allison had suffered a mishap after having come in contact with strong bleach fumes that affected her eyesight and it was a factor in her match. She didn’t let that stop her though, as she came back the following day, making her way through the one loss side winning her next 5 matches. She then faced veteran Ewa Laurance in the one loss side, where she and Ewa traded games.
Ewa, who had been playing well, had been bumped to the one loss side after facing Gerda Hofstatter in the 4th round. She continued to perform well; defeating Val Finnie then came out ahead against Allison, 7-5. She then went on to face Monica Webb and although she put up a great fight, Monica defeated Ewa 7-4. Ewa finished tied for 5th and will certainly take this experience with her into the upcoming WPBA US Open.
Julie Kelly proved she is always a contender in any WPBA Event, going undefeated through her first four matches, including a fantastic win over the 2008 Player of the Year, Kelly Fisher 9-7. Julie went on to face, who else, but Gerda. Gerda once again proved too strong and sent Julie into the 1 loss side, 9-5. Kim Shaw was waiting for Julie, but Kim had given her all to defeat Iris Ranola in her previous 1 loss side match and ran out of gas against Julie, who won 7-3. Julie then faced off against Monica Webb, who showed no mercy to the jovial Irishwoman, winning 7-2. Julie finished in 4th place, well done!
As this event was open to all including some unknown amateurs, there were some great standouts. The Hardwick sisters, Chelsea (16) and Allison (19) both finished well, although Chelsea went further into the draw. After winning her first round match against fellow amateur Catherine Tschumper, she faced Gerda Hofstatter (who seemed to be everywhere!). She posted a respectable score, losing 9-5 but really shined in the one loss side. She first matched up against Exempt player, Sarah Rousey. Showing no fear, she defeated Sarah 7-4. Chelsea ran over her next opponent, Mai Schiek 7-2 then faced Exempt player, Tiffany Nelson-Crain.
Tiffany, who has yet to heal from a neck injury, still played strong this event but Chelsea wasn’t deterred as she beat Tiffany 7-4. Her great run was stopped in its tracks though, by the 2009 BCA Hall of Fame Nominee, Allison Fisher and Chelsea lost 7-1. Congratulations on a great tournament, Chelsea! Another standout Briana Miller also happened to be the youngest competitor in the event. At only age 13 years, 10 months, she showed her chutzpah by defeating Exempt player Melissa Herndon in their first round match, 9-8. She went on to win her second match before facing Julie Kelly. Julie couldn’t take this young player for granted, as Briana held steady against the 2000 World 9 Ball Champion.
Julie came out ahead though, winning 9-7 but definitely impressed with the youngsters skills. Briana went on in the one loss side to defeat two other young up-and-comer players – Top Regional Tour Player, Liz Lovely (16) and WPBA Exempt player, Brittany Bryant (19) felt Briana’s sting as she defeated both before matching up versus Kim Shaw. Although Kim defeated Briana 7-3, all our Exempt players had complimentary things to say about Briana and we look forward to seeing her at the upcoming WPBA US Open where she qualified to play. Briana was the highest amateur finisher in the BB-ST event, tied for 9th place. “Well done!” shout out’s go to Denise Belanger, Stephanie Mitchell, Morgan Steinman and Liz Lovely who all finished tied for 17th.
The semi-final winner’s bracket match between Karen Corr and Monica Webb proved to be one of the most exciting of the event. Both had stomped their way through the tournament thus far, but found their match to be the biggest test of ability and mettle. Gerda Hofstatter was waiting in the hot-seat match position. Neither player was willing to give the other an inch, with the two wily veterans stubbornly exchanging games.
As they reached a hill-hill score, the live crowd and web streaming audience were whipped into frenzy, with the live chat room chatter going back and forth “Go Monica!” “Go Karen!” In the end, Karen stepped up and won the match, 9-8 and move on to the hot-seat match. Karen, remember, wasn’t feeling well, fighting a cold and flu like symptoms for this event. As such, she made uncharacteristic errors against Gerda in their hot-seat match, but Karen still put up a good fight. In the end, Gerda proved too strong, winning 9-7 and securing her place in the finals.
Monica Webb was waiting for Karen in the final one loss side match and the two went toe to toe. The web watchers were split, some rooting for Karen and others wanting to see Monica in the finals. An interesting side-note: Karen, who had been wearing a striped blouse, changed clothes into a blue/greenish polo shirt. The wardrobe change seemed to change her attitude. Although Monica took a 3 – 0 lead over the two-time WPBA Classic Tour Champion, Karen posted 7 consecutive games and defeated Monica 7-3, leaving Monica to finish in 3rd place.
The finals, being a single race to 11, were highly anticipated by all viewing on site and via the web. Gerda, who has been so close to winning lately, drew cheers of “Go Gerda! You can do it!” Meanwhile, several online chatters predicted a whitewash but not specifying who would win, while just as many called for Karen to win as for Gerda. Karen continued her game winning streak by taking an incredible 9-0 lead on Gerda! Gerda finally posted a game after taking ball in hand in game ten and running out, but Karen stopped her there and went on to win 11-1 and the title of Champion of the 2009 WPBA Borderline Billiards Satellite Tour Event.
The WPBA gratefully acknowledges Janet Atwell – owner/proprietor of Borderline Billiards and her sponsors; Dean Roesler – Tournament Director for this event; Pooldawg.com for their continuing support of the WPBA as the Presenting Sponsor for Web Streaming 2009; the fans who came to watch on site and watched online and our competitors, both Exempt and Amateur, for making this inaugural Satellite Tour Event such a success. Ewa Laurance had this to say “She (Janet) did a fantastic job! The event went smoothly and her room is just beautiful.” Tiffany Nelson-Crain echoed those sentiments, “The tournament was definitely a success and very well run. Janet has a beautiful poolroom and a lot of support from her locals, it was great to see.”
The WPBA is actively searching for billiard establishments to host Satellite Tour Events! If you’d like to host some of the Top WPBA Players in the world in a Satellite Tour Event, please contact Anne Craig at the WPBA office at email@example.com for more information. Next stop for the WPBA; the 2009 WPBA US Open 9 Ball Championships where defending Champion Kelly Fisher takes on a field of the best in the world.
photo Getty Images
photo Getty Images