New York City- Eight players have survived the first day of single knockout. Six countries are left which are Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, Sweden, USA, and Canada. The pro tournament is the longest women’s billiard event of any kind with 6 days of heavy pool action with a round robin event that evolves into a final single elimination chart where players will start out races to 10 in 10-Ball and eventually rise to races to 11,13, and 17 in the finals. All activities are taking place at Steinway Billiards Cafe and sponsored by Andy Cloth, J.Pechauer Cues , Viking Cues, Steinway Billiards. , Olhausen Balls, Pool & Billiard Magazine , the NAPL & Focused Apparel . Patron sponsors include Dr. Greg Diehl, Tom Gleich, and Dr. Michael Frank. Media partners include PKE Partners, IB Sports, NYC Grind, Gotham City Technologies, Nona Photography, and Charles Eames Photography. 7 days of live pool will be filmed and streamed by Inside Pool TV. Pay per view on www.Dragonpromotions.com for the live marquee matches Andy Cloth Women’s International Pool Championship taking place December 16th-21st at the same venue.
The day was full of upsets with alot of damage coming from the qualifier winners. Arizona’s Bernie Store had played in 2 qualifiers in California and Washington, losing in both. She received a wild card and has made good use of it with easily qualifying in her group with a huge win over top 3 American pro Jennifer Barretta of NY. “She played amazing against me. She made every tough shot”, said Barretta. Bernie then moved on and knocked out Canadian top pro Veronique Menard 10-5 and then faced Hiroko Makiyama of Japan. Ironically, Makiyama defeated Bernie in the Los Angeles qualifier and though Store held an early 4-2 lead in the sweet sixteen, she succumbed to Makiyama 10-6. Still, a very well deserved 9th place at her first major pro event and getting some good cash as well!
In the biggest marquee match of the day, Jennifer Barretta played her best match of the event so far with a huge win over fellow top ranking American Jeanete Lee. Barretta came out with a 2-0 lead, and though Lee tied it at 2-2, Barretta took over from there and ended with a 10-6 victory to move into the elite 8. ” I couldn’t find my break and kept scratching. You can’t do that against Jen. She played good behind my errors and deserves it”, said the Black Widow who ends the event at 9th place.
Ga Young Kim of Korea barely broke a sweat with 10-1 and 10-3 wins over USA’s Samantha Barrett and Japan’s Akiko Kitayama. Her roomie Vivian Villareal of Texas dismantled Jeannie Seaver of Florida 10-3 to move to the quarters as well.
The most thrilling match of the day came from two players who came the furthest away. New Zealand’s Denise Wilkinson trailed Taiwan’s Jennifer Chen the entire match and at one point was down 3-8. Chen took a bathroom break, and the young Denise sheepishly smiled and admitted good naturedly to some fans she wasn’t playing so well. She got a bit of encouragement back, and before you know it Denise stormed back with 5 straight games to tie the match at 8-8! Chen was visibly rattled and could not take advantage of the open table and hooked herself on the 7-ball. She made a great 2 rail kick but Denise made a nerve racking length of the table 7-ball and ran out to take the 9-8 lead. Chen came back and held steady on a 10-ball combo to tie 9-9. In the final rack both players showed nerves especially when Chen missed a ball in hand! Safety play engaged with Chen the more experience player winning the exchange but missed a very makeable 4-Ball. A ray of hope for Chen when Denise snookered herself on the 5-Ball , but she made a terrific rail first to make it and completed a difficult and pressure pounding runout to the delight of her aunt and uncle who accompanied her on this long trip! Wilkinson plays in the final quarter finals today against Canadian champ Naomi Williams.
The pictures tell the tale….