Pacific Coast Classic Finals

JasminOuschan2

Jasmin Ouschan

THE FINALS
Story & Photos by Anne Craig – WPBA
Jasmin Ouschan vs. Xiaoting Pan
October 18, 2009: Lincoln City, OR
For Xiaoting Pan, this was her first chance to win a WPBA Tour event since 2008. For Jasmin, this was her opportunity to win her second title of this year. Both came into this match undefeated and both were shooting lights out.
Xiaoting won the lag and ran out to post the first game of the match, up 1-0. Jasmin broke in game two but came up dry but Xiaoting missed the 2/4 combination, giving Jasmin another chance at the table. The layout was wide open, and she went on to run out and tie the match at 1 all.
Xiaoting had the break in game 3, pocketing a ball and finding a relatively easy layout on the table as a result. Methodically she pocketed each ball and soon it was now 2-1 Xiaoting’s advantage. Jasmin had the break in game 4, and after pocketing a ball, made tough shape from the 1 to the 2 ball. She made a great cut shot on the 2, avoiding the scratch in the side and gained great shape on the 4 to continue running out. Shape on the 5 was less than ideal but she thin cut it in, coming around 3 rails for the 6, culminating with the 9 to tie it up at 2 all. Xiaoting broke in game 5, but was forced to push out and Jasmin made a great bank shot on the 1 to continue through the layout and ran out to go up 3-2.

Xiaoting Pan

Xiaoting Pan

Jasmin had the break advantage in game 6 and pocketed the 8 ball with tough position on the 1 ball. She played a safe, sending the cue ball up table to nestle behind the 5. Xiaoting tried the 3 rail bank shot but missed by a wide margin giving Jasmin ball in hand who ran out to take a 2 game lead, up 4-2. Xiaoting broke, but came up empty, a short safety battle ensued and during Xiaoting’s attempt at a safety on the 1 ball, she knocked in the 9 to get back within one game, down 3-4. Jasmin broke but failed to make a ball, but Xiaoting had no shot. Her safety came up short and Jasmin began running out till she got to the 6 ball. As she tried for her draw shot off the 6, she miscued, leaving a shot for Xiaoting who ran out to tie up the match at 4 all.
Xiaoting broke in game 9 but came up dry and left Jasmin an open shot to start her run. She made the 1 but was forced to play a safety on the 2 ball, which Xiaoting missed. Jasmin knew she had to take advantage of this opportunity and ran out to regain a one game lead, up 5-4. Jasmin came up dry on her break, and Xiaoting had an open shot on the 1 to begin with, in this rack. She missed the 2 ball badly though, and Jasmin stepped back to the table facing the choice between a difficult cut shot into the side pocket or a safety for the 2 ball. She opted for the cut and missed it but didn’t leave Xiaoting pretty as the object ball came to rest on the opposite side rail just below the side pocket. Xiaoting tried a reverse cross bank but missed, and Jasmin had another chance at the table. She tried to duck the cue ball behind the 5/8 but Xiaoting could see enough of the ball to play safe although that effort came up short, too. Jasmin scratched off the 2 ball, and with ball in hand, Xiaoting went for the unusual shot of the 2/9 carom. The 2 was about 10” off the bottom rail, with the 9 ball sitting another 8” above that in line with the corner pocket way up-table and Xiaoting aimed for the strange carom, and the crowd oohed and aahed as the 9 went straight in traveling 8’ away and we were tied again at 5 all.
Xiaoting broke in game 11, making the 6 ball. She had a very, very tough cut on the one ball, which she missed badly and left it wide open for Jasmin to take advantage of the error. To her frustration, her shape to the 4 ball was straighter than she’d wanted it and in trying to cheat the pocket with draw, she missed the ball. Xiaoting stepped up and also missed the ball, leaving it a duck in the pocket. Jasmin made the 4 but snookered herself behind the 7. She could see half the 5 and executed a beautiful short jump shot, with position on the 7. Her force follow came up short on the 8 which was just off the bottom rail, and she had a choice of a bank, or a safety as her coach, Michael, looked on in concern. She chose the safety although Xiaoting could see about ¼ of the ball as a result. Xiaoting’s return safety came up dry leaving Jasmin a bank shot which Jasmin missed. Luck was on Jasmin’s side though as the cue ball slowly rolled right up under the 9, giving Xiaoting nothing more than a one long rail kick shot. Xiaoting did hit the ball, but the 8 rolled up for perfect position for Jasmin who ran out and reached the hill in the most tense of all the games, 6-5.
Jasmin broke in game 13 and although she made a ball, missed the 2 ball playing position for the 4. Xiaoting was left to play a one rail kick slider on the ball and made it with great position to the 4. She took a quick look at the 6 which was tied up awkwardly with the 9, and missed the 4, leaving a 4/9 combination after she’d knocked away the 6 ball. Jasmin stepped up, shook the nerves out and made the 4/9 to win her second tournament of the year!
Dee Pigsley; Chairperson of the Siletz Tribe of Oregon, presented our winner and runner up with their custom made Pendelton blankets and blown glass trophy bowls. Many thanks go out to Chinook Winds Casino Resort, especially Josh Blacketer and Kelli Duhamel of the Marketing Department. The staff here at the casino was wonderful and treated our staff and players well. The shot clock volunteers provided by Merle & Boomer Humphries were a fantastic group of people and we hope to see them next year! Thanks to our sponsors; The American Poolplayers Association, Aramith, Brunswick, Cuetec, Pooldawg.com, Mueller Recreational Products and Simonis Cloth, for their continued support of the WPBA.
Next up; the final tournament of the season, the 2009 WPBA Tour Championships at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, November 11-15, 2009. See you there!

WPBA – Quarterfinals #3 & #4

WPBALogo

QUARTERFINALS #3

Story & Photos by Anne Craig – WPBA

Karen Corr vs. Jennifer Chen

October 17th, 2009: Lincoln City, OR

Karen Corr

Karen Corr

Quarterfinals #3 saw the return of Taiwan’s Jennifer Chen to the WPBA stage. She’s missed most of this season opening up her new billiard establishment, JC Billiards & Club. She’s proven she hasn’t lost a step though, as she tore her way through the brackets to reach her first TV round in quite some time. Meanwhile, Karen Corr is looking for her first WPBA Title in 2 years and has put herself in contention several times this season already, coming closest as the Runner-up at the WPBA’s US Open 9 Ball Championships.

Jennifer won the lag and broke but made nothing and Karen stepped up to make her way through the tricky layout that resulted. With determination in her eyes, she made quick work of things to take the first game of the match, 1-0. She had the break advantage in game 2 and had a wide open table after pocketing two balls. She missed the 5 ball cut up the side rail, sending it wide but leaving Jennifer with a rail to rail cut shot that she missed, giving Karen another opportunity back at the table. The result was a long cut draw shot, with her cue ball perfectly coming off the side rail for shape on the 8 and the 9 to take the fast 2-0 lead.

Jennifer broke but made nothing. Karen had no shot so she played safe and was rewarded with ball in hand after Jennifer failed to hit the ball. Playing with a sure touch, Karen ran out and the score was 3-0 as Jennifer looked on, frowning in frustration. Karen broke but failed to pocket a ball. After a safety exchange, Jennifer gained the advantage but unfortunately a spectator’s camera flashed just as Jennifer was shooting the 5 ball. She walked back to her chair in disgust. Karen had a kick shot on the 5 which to her credit she made, and ran out to make it 4-0. Steve admonished the crowd and warned that all cameras would be banned if it happened again.

Jennifer Chen

Jennifer Chen

Jennifer had something to prove as she broke, deliberately making her way through the rack. Her shape to the 7 was suspect, evidenced by the fact she missed the cut shot. Karen was forced to duck the cue ball behind the 9 and Jennifer pulled out her jump cue. She took dead aim, jacked up and nailed the 7 ball center into the side pocket! The crowd cheered, but then emotions ran the other way as they groaned in unison when Jennifer rattled the 8 ball in the corner pocket. Karen ran out and it was 5-0. With the break in game 6, Karen came up dry and Jennifer once again stepped up to try to post her first game of this match. She was forced to play safe on the 2 ball though it came up short of the mark. Karen could see enough of it to play a return safety and the chess game began. Jennifer blinked first, but there was no easy run out for Karen. The 5, 7 & 9 were tied up with each other, and Karen played great shape from the 4 to the 5 for the safety. She locked Jennifer up with the cue ball snuggled behind the 7/9 and Jennifer just missed the 1 rail kick shot. Ball in hand for Karen with 5 balls left on the table; she sank each one to reach the hill in a dominating performance, 6-0.

Jennifer had the break in game 7, and although she made a ball, she was forced to play a safe. Karen hit the 1 ball but scratched, as the 9 crawled near the bottom corner pocket. There was no combination shot to be had as most of the balls were at the opposite end of the table, so Jennifer began the task of running out. Jennifer slow rolled the 7 ball and it drifted off, rattling in the corner pocket. Karen ran out to win 7-0 and advance to the Semi Finals.

QUARTERFINALS #4

Story & Photos by Anne Craig – WPBA

Gerda Hofstatter vs. Xiaoting Pan

Gerda Hofstatter

Gerda Hofstatter

Gerda Hofstatter has been one of the steadiest players on the WPBA, having been featured on TV many times in the past year and a half and ranked in the top 10 consistently for over 10 years. But not since 2000 has she won a WPBA Title and once again she’s fighting her way towards that goal. Xiaoting Pan, who reached the Semi’s at this year’s WPBA Colorado Classic, won her last title in 2007 at the BCA Generationpool.com 9 Ball Championships and is poised to make another run for the trophy.

With the camera’s rolling, Steve introduced Gerda first, followed by Xiaoting as they stepped up to lag for the break in this last of the four Quarterfinal matches of the day. With Ga Young looking on, supporting her friend and having a lock on the #1 ranking for the season, the remaining players in the field were fighting for the #2 and 3 rankings year to date after this event. Gerda won the lag and we were off. She failed to pocket a ball on her break, leaving Xiaoting a long tough shot on the one ball into the opposite corner pocket. She chose instead to play a safety but didn’t snooker the cue ball liked she wanted to. The shot Gerda faced was no joy though and her return safety came up short.

Xiaoting played the 1 into the side but missed it so badly it came off the point back into the corner pocket. She gained shape on the 2 and continued on calmly. The crowd groaned as she missed a touchy 3 ball allowing Gerda to come back to the table and run out to take the first game, 1-0. Xiaoting had the break in game 2 but nothing fell for her even though she “stuck the landing” on the cue ball. The 3,4 and the 5.9 were tied up on the side rail so for Gerda, picking her way through would take finesse and confidence. The angle she ended up with on the 3 forced her to play a safety as she tried to stop the cue ball behind the 4 but it snuck out giving Xiaoting an open shot on the 3. Her cue ball got loose and she ended up perpendicular to the 4 ball on the rail and only 6” away from the ball. No problem for her though as she banked short rail into the corner pocket. Unfortunately, the cue ball ended up behind the 9 and she kicked one rail with the 5 ball sitting in front of the side pocket. She whiffed the ball, giving Gerda ball in hand, which she took full advantage of to win game 2, up 2-0 with the break in game 3. She made a ball on the break and posted the first break and run of the match to go up 3-0.

Xiaoting Pan

Xiaoting Pan

Xiaoting went into game 4 knowing she needed to make her move and with that in mind, pocketed a ball on her break then made a great 1/6 combination. But, she hooked herself on the 1 and had to kick at it, leaving Gerda to kick at it, starting a safety battle. Gerda blinked first though and Xiaoting had another opportunity to run out and post a game in this match. She overshot her mark on the 8 ball, leaving herself perpendicular to the ball, but no problem as she sliced it in with shape on the 9 to avoid the bagel, down 1-3.

Gerda broke in game 5, pocketing two balls and the only tricky position play was from the 1 to the 2 ball. She had to give it a power draw stroke and rattled the one, leaving Xiaoting with an open shot. Xiaoting herself had to give it a solid draw stroke but she executed the shot no problem. She ran out the remainder of the rack and it was now 3-2, Gerda but Xiaoting would have the break in game 6. She came up dry but Gerda had no shot and Xiaoting was able to get back to the table and begin running out to tie up the match. She pocketed the one, then the two ball and came off of the 2 to hit the 9 which nearly dropped! The crowd oohed and aahed as Xiaoting drew the cue ball off the 3 nearly making the 9 carom shot but instead left an open shot for Gerda. She ended up out of line on the 8 but made the thin cut confidently to retake a 2 game lead, up 4-2. Gerda broke in game 7, pocketing a ball but had to push out, having been snookered on the 1. Xiaoting accepted the shot, attempting a safety but coming up a bit short. Gerda missed the 1 but Xiaoting had no open pocket so the safety battle continued on as they traded off 3 or 4 more times until Xiaoting had a very long nearly straight in shot on the ball and missed it, leaving Gerda a shot for the side pocket. Although she made the ball, the chess match continued on the 2 ball until Gerda was able to masse the cue, pocketing the 2 in the corner. She played perfect position on the 5 to break the 6/9 out but missed the 5! She left Xiaoting with a side pocket bank which she missed, and Gerda knew she was lucky to be back at the table with another chance. Playing solid position pool, she ran out to go up 5-2, needing only two games to reach another semi final match this season.

Xiaoting went into game 8 breaking, but scratched in the side. The 2, 7 and 9 were congregating near the foot spot, and instead of trying to play shape from the 1 up-table down to the 2, Gerda chose to attempt a safe. She didn’t snooker Xiaoting although she didn’t leave an open pocket, either. Xiaoting answered by snookering Gerda behind the 4 ball, and Gerda had to play a 2 rail cross rail kick to try to hit the 1. She failed and Xiaoting took ball in hand. With the 7, 3 and 5 spread out not more than 12” from each other on the side rail, Xiaoting had to carefully pick her way through. She overshot shape and the 3 ball nicked the 5 ball, opening up the cluster giving Gerda an easier layout than before to run out. Gerda missed the 3, but then so did Xiaoting again, and this time, Gerda wasn’t about to miss as the table opened wide up for the run out. She got out of line on the 5 but made a beautiful thin cut, but that still put her out of line on the 6 ball. She made that one, with better shape to the 7 and finally to the 8 & 9 to reach the hill, 6-2. It appears the Europeans were trying to take their dominance back from the Asian Invasion forces!

Gerda broke but failed to make a ball. The 8/9 were locked together near the foot-spot. Xiaoting made the 1 into the side pocket forcing following 3 rails around the table for a thin cut on the 2. From there, Xiaoting played perfect position, shooting the 8 into the side pocket and finally sinking the 9 to post her 3rd game of the match, still down 3-6 but had the break in game 10. She pocketed a ball but had to play a safe which came up woefully short. Gerda had a touchy cut into the side, which rattled in and out. She got a little lucky though as she didn’t leave Xiaoting an open shot, instead Xiaoting started another short lived safety exchange after Gerda blinked first. Xiaoting pocketed the one neatly, nearly making the 9 in the process. She then continued on in the rack, getting more confident with each stroke and ran out to get within 2 games, down 4-6. Gerda failed to pocket a ball on her break and Xiaoting played out a tough but beautiful run out to get back within one game, 5-6!

Xiaoting had the break in game 12, pocketing a ball with a wide open table layout. She had no problem as her confidence built and ran out to tie up the match, hill-hill. Gerda had the break in game 13 and although she made a ball, had no open shot on the 1. She chose to push out, separating the cue and the one by a full length of the table both near the first spot on each end rail. Xiaoting was indecisive, but finally chose to give the option back to Gerda. Gerda played a beautiful safety, forcing Xiaoting to kick at it which she did successfully, leaving the ball safe in the process. She massed off the side rail, hitting the backside of the 1 into the 8 ball, but her cue ball got away from her and scratched in the other corner pocket as the crowd groaned. Xiaoting took ball in hand with an easy layout to take this match away from Gerda who saw a four game lead evaporate by attrition. Xiaoting finished the match out, coming back from a four game deficit to reach the Semi Finals and leave Gerda disappointed, tied for 5th.