Rounds 1 and 2
Kaylee McKintosh and Birthday girl Yuki Hiraguchi got the 2023 WPBA Soaring Eagle
Masters underway in Michigan on Day 1, Yuki was focussed and can now go and enjoy
her party after booking her place in the second round with an 8-5 win on the stream table
over the young American to set up a second-round match against Eleanor Callado after she
beat Edwidge Cavanna 8-0.
Sofia Mast joined Angela Janic in the booth for the opener, and they make it fun for all the viewers on the WPBA youtube channel. There are five matches a day, and they are free to watch.
Another whitewash for Bean Hung, who was in great form against Laura Smith. She will now play Loreejon Brown, who sent Olivia Cheng to the one-loss side 8-3.
Kelly Fisher wasted no time living up to her nickname Kwik Fire with a convincing 8-1 win over Canadian Leanne Lini. The Brit will play Jaye Succo, who beat Lonnie Fox-Raymond 8-4; Jaye was ranked 40 points below Lonnie.
The quiet softly spoken Lady from Japan, Kyoko Sone, set up a round 2 clash with April Larson, who overcame fellow American June Maiers 8-3. Kyoko, if you are reading this, Thank you for the Japanese green tea. It was lovely, can you bring me some more, please I finished it all.
Monica Webb had to forfeit her match due to an elbow injury that started at the last WPBA event
at Iron City Billiards, she was hoping it would be healed in time for Soaring Eagle but told me
She thinks ''It will take
US First Lady, in the rankings, not the Whitehouse, well not yet anyway, Caroline 'Kapao' got her Soaring Eagle campaign underway against the talented attacking left-hander Tina Larson. Caroline kept it tight against Tina, stifling her attacking mindset. It's fair to say she also felt a bit of pressure on the feature table, I don't recall seeing her center stage very often in the past if at all, but the good news is the more you do something, the more comfortable you feel and there is only ever one first time. Caroline, with more experience in the spotlight, outshone her opponent and won at a canter 8-4.
Another same score line of 8-4 for the Bulgarian Kristina, the 'Zlayer' Zlateva. I gave her that nickname. I also take credit for Caroline 'Kapao' also. I'm getting a bit of a reputation for giving pool players fun names. Another one I am trying to get approved is 'Silky Smooth' Seo Seoa. What do you think? Maybe you can suggest a better one. Anyway, I digress. Where was I? Oh yes, Kristina Zlateva safely through. Remember, I tipped the Zlayer to go a long way. Oh, stop it, Mark.
Brittany the 'Bombshell' Bryant was up against certainly the most experienced player Jeri Engh,
I first met this lovely Lady at a Predator Pro Billiard series tournament in Las Vegas. I was helping the guys get cleaned up before the tables could open for practice, and this lovely person came up to me and asked in a very posh voice, ''Excuse me, young man, could you tell me what time the tables open for us to practice''? I was astounded; the first person at 8 am into the arena asking when she could ''Hit some balls''. We became friends from that moment and actually keep in touch by email. I am so pleased that Jeri took a rack off the Canadian, but there was no fairytale as Brittany ran out 8-1 winner.
Another Bombshell, Emily Duddy, got off to an explosive start winning 8-4 over Kelly Cavanaugh, and her reward is a 2nd round match against Teruko Cucculelli. I love saying her name; I prefer it to typing it. A secret I have, but please don't tell her, I saw her personal table in a pool hall in Ohio, and it had a sign on it saying 'Keep off the table', shhh but I played a shot on it.
Another Canadian to go through was Veronique Menard, who represented Cana along with Stephen Lohem and Ben Francis last year in Austria started well in Michigan with another 8-4 win; so many score lines of 8-4, you could say the winners played twice as good as their opponents, Veronique (I love that name) will play Kristina Zlateva next.
Harin Lee, the cueist formerly known as Woojin, was third on the TV table against a player who needs no introduction, although she does need a nickname. The WPBA is actually running a competition on their Page on Facebook., and if Jasmin chooses your suggestion, you can win a Jam Up Jasmin Ouschan Signed shirt with her new nickname on it.
The match itself was very one-sided, maybe not as one-sided as the score might suggest because Harin had her chances, but it wasn't the Woojin of old, and Jasmin, without a nickname, for now, ran out an 8-2 winner and meets Naomi Williams next.
The road runner got off the start line like an ermmm, road runner and raced to an 8-3 win over
part-time referee Angela Williams, you should have called a few fouls, Angela.
Margarita Fefilova-Styer clearly showed she is up for this, another European who has now set
up a home with her husband Tyler in the US and has been playing a lot of smaller events stateside like Kristina Tkach and Zlateva. The hard work and jumping from event to event is
paying off, and the 3rd place finisher from last year's soaring eagle event will be hoping to
go even further this year, she got the better of junior Kennedy Meyman 8-1, and her next opponent will be Angela Janic.
Mary Avina is a player known more for her social media antics with a camera in her hand more
than a cue as she went down to Kim Newsome 8-6. Kim's next opponent will be another social media sensation but equally talented on both sides of the camera Savannah Easton, Beep Beep! Was that a camera clicking or the road runner gaining speed?
Janet Atwell and Ada Lio won their matches 8-2 and 8-5, respectively, and will play each other
in round 2. One side note to the Ada Lio victory over Maureen Van Der Ven, Maureen was
back after her first WPBA last December in Wisconsin. After her first match back told me,
''I’m pretty happy with how I played in general. I know I stood up on a couple of shots resulting in a miss. It’s all good. I'm Learning lots of course, and the setup is top-notch!!''
Maureen will move to the one-loss side, where she will play Cathy Tschumper, who
lost her first match with Janet Atwell. If you win this next one, Maureen, I will cook you
another curry, providing you let me stay with you again, of course.
Ruuner up at Iron City in Alabama, Krystal Kristina Tkach continued her much improved
form with an impressive 8-2 win over Emilyn Callado, Kristina is up to a 729 Fargo now 13th
highest in the world for Women
Allison Fisher struggled in the early stages of her match with South Korean Seo Seoa, but it was easier to type than say, as the commentators will attest to. I know I've been the one holding the mic before, and the less experienced of the two started better, although these two have a history against each other. Seo actually beat Allison in the semi-final of the Las Vegas Open, and she went on to beat Bean Hung in the final.
Sofia Mast started way way faster than Wei Wei, but after ten racks, they were level, but
from then on, Wei Wei had it her way and ran out an 8-6 winner. Sofia gave the Chinese Taipei
player a real scare, but Wei TZu Chein moves on to the winner's round 2 for a match with Stephanie Mitchell. Sofia will be back Friday with another chance against Billie Billing.
Sandy Cheng and Susan Williams went toe to toe, and in a thrilling Hill hill finish, it was Williams who won the all-American contest and has a tough second-round match against in-form Kristina Tkach.
In case you are not familiar with the format of these WPBA events, there are 64 players. The
game is 9-Ball, One racked on the spot using an Outsville Accu-rack. Alternate break, 3-point rule, 40-second shot clock, cue ball fouls, and a three-foul rule.
April Larson, who is always good for entertainment, was the chosen TV match for the 2nd
round winners side against Japan's Kyoko Sone. They shared the first two racks, but then a miss on an eight ball by April changed the course of the match, and Kyoko pounced and opened up
a 3-rack lead at 4-1. She played a beautiful safe on the two ball in rack 6, which earned her an
opening which she took advantage of to open a four-rack lead; rack seven and the same pattern
as April, had another chance after a miss from Kyoko, but once again, April spurned her chance, and Kyoko made it 6-1 just two from the winning post. A scratch on the 1 let Kyoke back in yet
again, but Kyoke returned the favour on the 8, and the grinder is grinding and made it 6-3. A
really lovely clearance from Kyoko put her on the hill but with the break scratched in the side,
as was the pattern for most of this match, April just never got going, and Kyoko ran out the table to advance to round 3 with an 8-3 win. April will have to grind her way through the
Texan Kim Newsome and Savannah Easton from Las Vegas were given the job to
entertain us on the last stream of Day 1, and after winning the lag, the roadrunner lived up
to her nickname and broke and run to win the opening rack in a race to 8.
Interestingly Savannah preferred to go back to her Z shaft after using the Predator Revo
carbon shaft for a while. When I asked her why she liked the Z shaft, she said she can
feel the shots a lot better and play a more accurate position, I totally agree with her, and
that's why I use exactly the same shaft. 2-2 after four racks. But in what seemed the blink
of an eye, Savannah upped the speed as if she could sense Wylie Coyote breathing down
her neck and took a 3-rack lead at 5-2. After a few safety battles, Savannah notched up another
rack showing us that she isn't just a potting machine but has the all-around game at just 13 years old. It's frightening to think how good she can be. Kelly Fisher never even started playing
snooker until she was 12. A bit of a risky carom attempt on the 9, and Kim scratched and was
a little unlucky to see the four-ball go all around the table to leave Savannah a straight-in, unmissable combo on the 9 to put Savannah on the hill. Kim managed to grab a rack back but still had a lot to do at 7-3 down, but it was a long way back, and Savannah put in a good performance sending Kim to the one-loss side, and the Roadrunner advances unbeaten.
Other results from the outer tables in the 2nd round on Day One
Kelly Fisher 8 - 3 Jaye Succo
Bean Hung 8 - 1 Loreejon Brown
Eleanor Callado 3 - 8 Yuki Hiraguchi
Brittany Bryant 8 - 0 Bonnie Arnold
Teruko Cucculelli 8 - 4 Emily Duddy
Kristina Zlateva 7- 8 Veronique Menard
Caroline Pao 7 - 8 Ashley Rice
Jasmin Ouschan 8 - 4 Naomi Williams
Janet Atwell 8 -1 Ada Lio
Angela Janic 0 - 8 Margarita Fefilova Styer (On fire Styer)
Allison Fisher 8 - 1 Sara Miller
Kristina Tkach 8 - 1 Susan Williams (Kristina gonna be hard Tkach)
Nicole Keeney 3 - 8 Joanne Mason Parker
Stephanie Mitchell 2 - 8 Wei Tzu Chien
You can keep up to date with the bracket
and all the live scores at digitalpool.com
Stream table available on the WPBA Youtube channel, and it's FREE
Play starts on Friday at 10 am local time
Sponsors for this event are:
The League room