Winner of Men’s and Women’s Divisions Advance to 2010 Pro Event
LAKE SAINT LOUIS, MO (November 19, 2009) —

Michelle Monk, Betty Session, Mary Rakin

Michelle Monk, Betty Session, Mary Rakin

The top amateur poolplayers in the country came to Strokers in Tampa, Fla., in early November to compete for the coveted U.S. Amateur Champion title.

Betty Sessions of Conyers, Ga., is the 2009 U.S. Amateur Women’s Champion after defeating Mary Rakin of Daly City, Calif., 9-3.  Sessions avenged an earlier round loss to Rakin that sent her to the one-loss bracket.

In the finals, Sessions came out strong in the 9-Ball set, jumping out to an early 3-1 lead before Rakin could win her first game.  The players traded victories in the next two games before Sessions rattled off four straight wins.  Rakin closed out the 9-Ball set with a win, but trailed 8-3.

On-the-hill to begin the 8-Ball set, Sessions won the first game and closed out the match 9-3, to take home her first U.S. Amateur Championship title.

She moves on to compete in the WPBA’s U.S. Open next year.  Rakin finishes at the Runner-up after an impressive performance in her first U.S. Amateur Championship competition.
Former champion Michell Monk of Orlando, Fla., finished in 3rd Place.

Brian Parks of Bakersfield, Calif., is the 2009 U.S. Amateur Champion in the Men’s Division after a thrilling 11-10 win over young gun Joseph Cole of Pelham, Ala.  The hill-hill battle was a nail-bitter, much to the delight of a large audience of spectators.

(L to R): Chris Walls, Daniel Gambill, Travis Gunn, Brian Parks, Joseph Cole, Dean Vince

(L to R): Chris Walls, Daniel Gambill, Travis Gunn, Brian Parks, Joseph Cole, Dean Vince

The players split the 8-Ball set 4-4.  In 9-Ball, they continued to trade wins through the first eight games.  Parks gained a narrow edge with consecutive wins in the ninth and tenth games of 9-Ball.  The 20-year-old Cole responded well under pressure, coming back to win the next two games and sending the match to-the-hill.

In the 13th and final game of 9-Ball, it was Parks, the seasoned West Coast shooter, winning his first U.S. Amateur Championship title.   Cole finished as Runner-up and is no doubt a name you’ll be hearing more in the future.
Defending U.S. Champion Travis Gunn of Hewitt, Texas, finished in 3rd Place, losing only to Parks and Cole.  Dean Vince of Wesley, Chapel, Fla., finished in 4th Place.  Daniel Gambill of Hickory, N.C., and 2008 Runner-up Chris Walls of High Springs, Fla., tied for 5th Place.

The 2009 U.S. Amateur Championship, produced and conducted by the American Poolplayers Association (APA), was held at Strokers in Tampa, Fla., Nov. 6-8.  Preliminary qualifying rounds were held throughout the country in mid-Sept., with more than 1,500 players attempting to qualify.

Sessions and Parks competed with the nation’s most highly skilled amateur poolplayers who were all vying for the U.S. Amateur title.  The Men’s Division consisted of 128 players, while the Women’s Division featured 30 players.  As Champions, Sessions and Parks will return next year to defend their coveted titles.
The U.S. Amateur Championship is a double elimination tournament that offers the nation’s top amateur players the opportunity to showcase their skills through a combination of 8-Ball and 9-Ball matches, in the only APA event that does not useThe Equalizer® handicap system.
The APA, based in Lake Saint Louis, Mo., sanctions the world’s largest amateur pool league, known as the APA Pool League throughout the United States, and as the Canadian Pool League in Canada.  More than 260,000 members compete in weekly 8-Ball and 9‑Ball league play.  The APA is generally recognized as the Governing Body of Amateur Pool, having established the official rules, championships, formats and handicap systems for the sport of amateur billiards.
The APA produces three major tournaments each year—the APA National Team Championships, the APA National Singles Championships and the U.S. Amateur Championship—that, together, pay out nearly $1.5 Million in cash and prizes annually!
The APA and its championships are sponsored by Cuetec Cues.
For complete coverage of the U.S. Amateur Championship visit http://www.usamateurchampionship.com/coverage/2009/

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