Pan Wins WPBA Year End Tour Championship

NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. – China’s Xiaoting Pan won her first and last WPBA title of 2010, pocketing the final nine to the roar of a sold-out crowd in the WPBA’s prestigious year-end Tour Championships.

Pan defeated veteran pro Karen Corr of Ireland 7-4 in the match taped for later broadcast by ESPN/ESPN2. The tour championship was hosted by the Seneca Niagara Casino & Hotel and included sponsorship by the American Poolplayers Association (the world’s largest pool league); Diamond Billiard Tables; Iwan Simonis billiard cloth; Aramith balls, Delta13 rack, Cuetec Cues, Pooldawg and Mueller Recreation Products.

Enjoy the following blow-by-blow of the final match!
(Race to 7, alternate break)

Xiaoting Pan-file photo

Game 1 Break: Corr makes nothing. Pan makes 1, 2, plays safe on 3. Corr misses bank. Pan runs out to lead 1-0.
Game 2 Break: Pan Makes the 7, runs the rack to take a 2-0 lead.
Game 3 Break: Corr makes 1 on the break, but then misses. Pan has open shot and runs out to go up 3-0.
Game 4 Break: Pan Makes 1 on the break then scratches on safety attempt. Corr runs the remainder of the rack and is down 1-3.
Game 5 Break: Corr makes nothing on the break. Pan plays safe but Corr makes tough cut on 1 and runs out to narrow the gap 2-3.
Game 6 Break: Pan makes nothing on the break. Corr plays safe on 1. Pan executes a jump shot and makes it, nearly runs the rack but comes up short on 8 and misses cut. Corr makes both 8 & 9 to tie the match at 3-3.
Game 7 Break: Corr Makes the 5, has no shot on the 1, so plays safe, but leaves a shot. Pan runs out for a 4-3 lead.
Game 8 Break: Pan makes nothing on the break. Corr has an open shot on 1, but is hooked on 2 and misses. Pan plays safe. Corr returns safety with a kick safety. Pan misses a jump shot. Corr miscues, and with ball in hand. Pan runs out for a 5-3 lead
Game 9 Break: Corr makes nothing on the break. Pan rolls out. They trade safeties until Pan scratches on a kick. Corr runs 2, 3, plays safe on 4 ball. Pan makes thin cut on 4, but jaws 5. Corr kicks 5 in and runs out! Now down 4-5.
Game 10 Break: Pan makes nothing on the break. Corr makes the 1, hidden on the 2, kicks but leaves a look. Pan runs 2, 4 but misses 5-9 combo. Corr scratches trying safety. Pan runs out to lead 6-4.
Game 11 Break: Corr makes the 1,5,7 and plays safe on the 2. Pan returns the safe. Corr kicks, leaves a look. Pan thin cuts in the 2 and runs out for the game, match and Tour Championship title!

Xiaoting Pan and Karen Corr both thanked the fans and sponsors, as well as special thanks to the Seneca Niagara Casino & Hotel, a first-time host site for the WPBA who thrilled players and fans alike with the outstanding event site, first-class accommodations and impeccable staff and hospitality!

PRESS NOTE: Photos of the final four available from shari@sharkmarketingco.com courtesy of Tony Fox, foxfoto.com
About the Women’s Professional Billiard Association (WPBA)
The WPBA was established in 1976 under the name of the Women’s Professional Billiard Alliance and will celebrate its 35th anniversary in 2011 as the oldest pro player organization in the sport. The WPBA sanctions and produces the Women’s Pro Billiard Tour, which features ESPN-televised events with the greatest women players from around the world. For more info about the WPBA, its top players and sponsors, visit www.wpba.com. The WPBA Classic Tour is sponsored by the American Poolplayers Association, Diamond Billiards, Iwan Simonis, Cuetec Cues, Delta 13, Pooldawg, Mueller Recreational Products and Aramith.

About Seneca Niagara Casino & Hotel
Seneca Niagara Casino & Hotel in located just minutes from the world-famous Niagara Falls in Western New York, near the Canadian border. The property is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week and 365 days a year, and self- and valet-parking are always free. Guests can enjoy 147,000 square feet of gaming space with 4,000 slot machines and 100 table games, eight restaurants, live entertainment and a AAA Four Diamond Award-winning, 26-story hotel with 594 deluxe suites, a spa and salon, fitness center and indoor pool. Please visit www.senecaniagaracasino.com for more information

Ga Young Kim Defends Title

Ga Young Kim Defends US Open Title & Regains #1 Ranking

(Ga Young Kim Photo courtesy of WPBA Staff)

(Norman, OK) August 4th, 2010: It was a star-studded week at the Riverwind Hotel and Casino where the Women’s Professional Billiard Association held its prestigious 2010 US Open Championship.  Sixty-four beautiful and talented billiard professionals converged on the Norman, Oklahoma venue in search of the championship title.

Thursday thru Friday’s match-play narrowed the field to eight finalists and included seven hours of ESPN original programming. Kyoko Sone reached her first WPBA TV appearance with wins over Julie Comitini, Jennifer Barretta, Megan Smith and Allison Fisher. She was defeated 7-4 by Julie Kelly who also made it to TV along with Vivian Villarreal, Jasmin Ouschan, Kim Shaw, Karen Corr, Ga Young Kim and Gerda Hofstatter.

Ouschan, hoping to maintain her #1 ranking, would have to get past an always aggressive Vivian Villarreal in the quarterfinals to keep her title hopes alive.  It was a tight match as the score went hill-hill with Vivian breaking in the final game. After repeated safety shots on the 1-ball, it was Ouschan who made the first mistake giving Villarreal a look at a sliver of the 1-ball. Villarreal successfully pocketed the 1-ball with brilliant shape on the 2-ball and closed out the game and the match to knock out Ouschan.

With Ouschan out of the tournament, the #1 ranking on the tour was up for grabs and several top players were still in contention to grab those points. In other quarterfinal matches, Corr bested Shaw 7-5, Kelly sank Sone 7-4, and Kim defeated Hofstatter 7-3.

Corr started Sunday’s semifinal matches dominantly with a shut-out against Villarreal, while, Kim made quick work of Kelly with a 7-2 win and was on her way to face Corr in the finals. Kim and Corr have met many times in the finals with close matches. Kim had an opportunity to close out the match at 6-3 but came up short on the 7-ball and was left with a tough shot, which she missed.  Corr capitalized on the mistake, stayed focus, and found herself facing a hill-hill game for the championship. With the final break of the match, Kim pocketed two balls and left a perfect opening on the 1-ball. She ran the first 2 balls with tough position on the 4-ball. Expeditiously, she pocketed the four thru the eight, but overran her position on the nine.  Without a moment’s hesitation, Kim aimed thin and fired the nine in the corner for her second consecutive US Open Title. This win puts Ga Young Kim back on top of the WPBA rankings.

ESPN/2 coverage of the 2010 US Open Championship airs:

Quarterfinals: Sunday, Sept. 26, 1-5pm on ESPN2, and

Semis and Final: Sunday, Oct 3, 2–5pm on ESPN2.

WPBA extends many thanks to its sponsors: American Poolplayers Association, Cuetec Cues, Simonis Cloth, Delta-13 Rack, Diamond Billiards, Pooldawg, and Mueller Recreational Products. The WPBA would also like to thank the venue host, Riverwind Casino in Norman, Oklahoma who just recently updated their property to include a newly built hotel with a laundry list of amenities.

The next event, the WPBA Atlanta Classic, will be held at the Gwinnett Convention Center in Duluth, Georgia, Sept. 30 – Oct. 3rd during the first ever Atlanta Billiard Show produced by pro player Dawn Hopkins.

We look forward to seeing you in Duluth or at any event you may be able to attend.  In the meantime, please visit HYPERLINK “http://www.wpba.com”www.wpba.com for the most up to date information and live streaming details for the women’s pro tour.