Player of the Year

Finnish-born Mika Immonen, who won his second consescutive U.S. Open 9-Ball Championship title, the world 10-ball crown and the International Challenge of Champions, was the unanimous choice for male Player of the Year in voting conducted by the United States Billiard Media Association, the USBMA announced today. Immonen, 37, was named on all 21 ballots turned in by members of the media group. Jasmin Ouschan, of Austria, who won half of the Women’s Professional Billiard Association’s six Classic Tour events, was the USBMA’s choice for woman Player of the Year.

Immonen, who resides in New York City, enjoyed his best year ever as a pro, adding the Galveston World Classic 10-ball title and Qatar Open title to his 2009 haul. Overall, Immonen won five of the seven events that featured a top prize of more than $20,000. His 2009 winnings topped $230,000.

Meanwhile, Ouschan made her mark by winning the WPBA Great Lakes Classic, the WPBA Pacific Coast Classic and the WPBA Tour Championship. She also placed third in the women’s world 10-ball event and second to Allison Fisher at the World Games. Despite finishing second to Korea’s Ga Young Kim in the WPBA year-end points standings for 2009 (26,500 to 26,000), Ouschan picked up 12 votes for player of the year. Kim received four votes, while Karen Corr received two votes.

Jasmin Ouschan wins the 2009 WPBA Tour Champs

THE 2009 WPBA TOUR CHAMPIONSHIPS THE FINALS

Jasmin Ouschan

Jasmin Ouschan

November 15th, 2009: Hollywood, FL The Finals were set as two fierce competitors entered the arena, ready to do battle for the title of the 2009 WPBA Tour Champion. Jasmin Ouschan is coming into this final poised to win her third WPBA title of the season, and Xiaoting was looking for her first win since the 2008 BCA Generationpool.com event. The crowd was amped up and ready for a great match as the competitors stepped into the arena for the lag which Jasmin won. She broke and pocketed two balls; the table layout was wide open with one exception, the 2 ball which was tied up with an unmake-able combo so Jasmin elected to play safe. Xiaoting kicked at the 2 ball, hitting it but leaving Jasmin an open shot for the side pocket. Jasmin ran out to take the first game of the match. Xiaoting broke and was forced to play a safety, and after a short exchange, Jasmin gained the advantage by making a tough cut on the 1 ball. She earned decent position on the 2 but missed it, perhaps thinking too much about getting to the 3 ball. Xiaoting took advantage of the error, running out to the 7 but she snookered herself behind the 9. She jumped and made the 7 in the side but the cue ball came right back around behind the 9 again! She chose to kick at it 2 rails and missed the ball entirely giving Jasmin ball in hand for the easy 1-2 punch to go up 2 games to nothing.
Jasmin broke in game 3, pocketing two balls with a touchy little cut on the 1 ball to start the rack. Nailing the shot beautifully, she sent the cue ball back and forth 3 times between the two side rails with position for the 2 ball up-table. From there it was just a matter of intense focus as Jasmin ran out to take a 3 game lead, 3-0. Xiaoting made the 1 ball on her break and after a tricky little cut on the 2 ball, continued on with the 3. She had left herself a long cut shot into the opposite corner pocket with only 4” separating the 3 and the cue ball and she undercut it slightly. She got another opportunity though when Jasmin missed the ball. Xiaoting made the 3 with great position on the 5 ball and ran out to WPBA 2009 Tour Championships – Final Match take her first game of the match, down 1-3. Jasmin had the break advantage in game 5, making the 1 and 3 balls with position for the 2 and put together her 3rd break and run of the match to go up 4-1. Xiaoting broke in game 6, pocketed a ball with position for the 2 and showed her stuff as she ran out and the score was now 4-2. That’s 4 breaks and runs in 6 games! Jasmin broke and although she made a ball, was forced to play safe. Xiaoting’s return safe came up dry as she left Jasmin a long shot on the 2. Pocketing the ball, Jasmin continued on and ran out the rest of the rack to go up 5-2 on Xiaoting. This was proving to be a fast match! Xiaoting’s break came up dry and the two became embroiled in a safety battle on the 3 ball. Xiaoting blinked first, allowing Jasmin yet another run out opportunity which she took full advantage of, and was on the hill, up 6-2.

WPBA Tour Finals

WPBA Tour Finals

Jasmin broke and she pocketed a ball but missed the 1 ball which set off a safety battle between them. Xiaoting ended up leaving Jasmin snookered behind the 7 and partially the 6 ball for the 2, all lined up across the short side of the table. The crowd cheered as Jasmin jumped the 7 ball, missing the 6 and hitting the 2 dead center of the side pocket for position on the next ball and she ran out for a final score of 7-2 and winning the title of the 2009 WPBA Tour Champion and her 3rd title of the season. Could the 2009 Player of the Year award be far behind? We’ll have to wait and see! That’s a wrap for the 2009 WPBA Season!
As always, the WPBA would like to give many thanks to our hosts, the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino and staff, especially Tribal Chairman Mr. David Cypress, and all the folks at Seminole Media Productions; Elrod Bowers, Dennis Pellarin, Bobby Frank, Erica and Lakisha. Special thanks to all our shot clock volunteers, especially Janis Holliman who earns the diehard fan of the tournament award. Thanks to Gene Weaver, APA League Operator here in the Ft. Lauderdale area. To the fans, you rocked the Hard Rock! And of course, to our sponsors: The American Pooplayers Association, Aramith, Brunswick Billiards, Cuetec Cues, Mueller Recreational Products, Pooldawg.com and Simonis, Inc. for another great season and their support of the Women’s Professional Billiard Association.