Women’s Pro Billiard Association Masters Event Kicks Off
WPBA Masters / Mount Pleasant, MI
The Women’s Pro Billiard Association (WPBA) is ringing in the new year right out of the gate with the WPBA Masters tournament held at the Soaring Eagle Casino and Resort in Mount Pleasant, MI.
With the new year came a new format: Instead of a 64-player field, there are 48 players. After the first 32 kick off the first round, the top 16 seeds come into play in the second. The winners of the first round advance to play the top seeds, while the remaining 16 cool their heels and await an opponent—the losers of the second round. Instead of a redraw at the final sixteen players, the field will narrow to four—two on the winners’ side and two on the one-loss side—before redrawing into the semifinal matches.
With the new format in place and only two rounds being played, so far the top seeds have come out as expected, with only a few upsets. Jennifer “9MM” Barretta upset junior champ Brittany Bryant in a double-hill match, with Bryant going off to face Melissa Rademakers in the next round on the one-loss side. Nicole Keeney came out on top of New York player Liz Ford 9-5, while Ewa Laurance surprised Melissa Little in another hill-hill match. And Kim White, promoter of the Lone Star Billiard Tour, upended Vivian “The Texas Tornado” Villareal in yet another double-hill match 9-8.
The tour’s number-one seed, Jasmin Ouschan, is poised to play Julie “Motor Molly” Kelly in the next round of the winners’ bracket, and the number-two seed, Karen Corr, will play Line Kjorsvik. Another classic match-up will be between Ewa “The Striking Viking” Laurance and Jeanette Lee in the same bracket.
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