The Women's Professional Billiard Association (“WPBA”) is pleased to announce the signing of a 3-year deal with Zingales Billiards in Tallahassee, Florida, to host the prestigious WPBA Regional Tour Championship (“RTC”). Each year, top-ranked players from each WPBA sanctioned Regional Tour receive special invitations to compete for thousands of dollars, a WPBA Pro Tour Card, and the auspicious title of “WPBA Regional Tour Champion”. The RTC happens only once a year, showcasing the greatest, semi-professional pool players in the U.S., aspiring to raise their game while competing on a WPBA Regional Tour.
In late 2015, after an extensive vetting process, Zingales was selected to host the 2016 RTC, and following all of the positive player reviews, WPBA made the decision to bring more stability to one of its longest-running, annual events. “We’ve signed a venue that the regional tour players love, and established firm dates in order for them to plan their trips in advance, for the next three years”, says Kim Newsome, WPBA President. Michael Zingale and the entire Zingale family couldn’t be happier. “I'm excited about the 3-year deal with the WPBA. The 2016 event was great. It was the first time we worked with the WPBA, and the first time we had a full field, women's event. The thing that stuck out the most from that event was how wonderful all the ladies were. There is always at least one issue when I have my open events with players. We didn't have one issue and the women were so polite to our staff and very complimentary of our place. The event really went well. I can't wait to see some of the ladies again and hopefully some new faces too. The 2017 RTC will be great and we can’t wait to watch the ladies in action. Many thanks to the WPBA for this opportunity,” says owner Michael Zingale.
This year, there will be some new upgrades in store for WPBA Regional Tour Players. New Delta-13 Elite Racks will be provided for all twenty (20) 9’ tables and some of the older tables have been improved with new anchors for rail bolts. “I always try and do a few upgrades to the room every year for the players. Upgrades are pricey, but well worth it in the long run”, says Zingale. Aside from the impeccable playing equipment, Zingales is adding an 85" and two (2) 70" TV’s for its guests. “Watching the live stream on the 85" will be awesome for spectators who can't get a birds-eye view of the table”, says Zingale.
For the next three years, the RTC will be held on January 12th-15th, 2017, January 11th-14th, 2018, and January 10th-13th, 2019, at Zingales Billiards, located at 1861 W. Tennessee St., Tallahassee, FL 32304. The annual event consists of sixty-four (64) WPBA Regional Tour invitees from across the U.S. and Canada, competing in a 4-day, round robin, double-elimination format. Spectators will enjoy watching the best semi-professional players that women’s billiards has to offer, in person, or via the WPBA Live Stream available at www.wpba.com. The WPBA invites everyone to share in the thrill of this billiard extravaganza!
The WPBA is the governing body of women’s professional billiards in the U.S., and this year, celebrates its 40th anniversary. The WPBA Regional Tour System is the grass roots system that feeds the WPBA Pro Billiards Tour. Amateur and semi-professional, female players, who aspire to play women’s professional billiards, must qualify through this elite system in order to attain the sought-after title, WPBA Exempt Professional. Exclusively, WPBA Regional Tour Players gain access to WPBA Pro Event Qualifiers and earn valuable WPBA Regional Tour Points which count toward earning invitations to the prestigious WPBA Regional Tour Championship and WPBA Pro Events. WPBA Regional Tours host WPBA State Championships, WPBA Qualifiers, and provide a list of benefits to their players under the umbrella of the WPBA.
The WPBA is looking for potential regional tour directors, across the U.S. and Canada, who may be interested in starting a regional tour in their area. In order to increase attendance and exposure, existing women’s events and billiard tours may also want to consider sanctioning with the WPBA. If you have experience running pool tournaments, connecting with players and pool rooms, and a desire to help the women in your area achieve their goals in the sport of billiards, please consider starting your own WPBA Regional Tour, holding a WPBA State Championship, or a WPBA Qualifier. Support and become a part of, the longest-running, professional billiard organization in the U.S., the WPBA.
Currently, there are two (2) qualifiers scheduled for the 2017 WPBA Masters to be held at Soaring Eagle Casino and Resort in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan, February 1st-5th, 2017.
Fat Racks Sports Bar & Billiards, San Antonio, Texas, November 12th-13th (Gulf Coast Tour)
Bogies Billiards & Sports Bar, Houston, Texas, October 8th-9th (Gulf Coast Tour)
Capone’s Billiards, Spring Hill, Florida, October 8th-9th (Jeannie Seaver 9-Ball Tour)
About the Women’s Professional Billiard Association (WPBA)
The WPBA was established in 1976 under the name “Women’s Professional Billiard Alliance” and celebrates its 40th Anniversary in 2016 as the oldest pro player organization in the U.S. The WPBA sanctions and produces the Women’s Pro Billiard Tour, featuring the greatest women players from around the world. For more information about the WPBA, its top players, events, and sponsors, visit www.wpba.com.
For more information contact Gerry Fausett, WPBA Office Manager, at 1.855.FOR.WPBA or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Women's Professional Billiard Association would like to congratulate Belinda Calhoun, WPBA Board of Director Vice President and long time Professional Player, on her election into the BCA Hall of Fame.
Her competitive accomplishments include winning The Texas River City Open, the 1985 Women's World 14.1 Title, the 1985 WPBA National Championships and the 1985 U.S. Open 9 Ball Championships. In addition, she holds two BCA National 8-Ball Championships titles. She's been named Player of the Year - 1985 by Billiards Digest; Pool and Billiards Magazine named her one of their "All Stars" that same year. Finally, Belinda was credited with running seven racks and out during the 1993 World 9-Ball Championships.
For nearly her entire career, Belinda has served the Billiard community including 6 years on the WPA Board and 20 years on the WPBA Board of Directors, currently serving as our Vice President. She is also the WPBA Regional Tour Committee Chair, Hall of Fame Committee Chair and runs Tiger SMART, a WPBA sanctioned Regional Tour.
Belinda was inducted into the WPBA Hall of Fame in 2006. Her induction into the BCA Hall of Fame is well deserved and earned from a stellar 37 year career that continues into the future.
On behalf of the WPBA membership, Sponsors, Affiliates and the Board of Directors, congratulations Belinda!
Going in with three titles already to her name, South Korea’s Ga-Young Kim again proved her dominance at the latest edition of the WPBA US Open. Held on March 9-13, 2016 at Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Kim outlasted the forty-seven other contenders making up the field in one of the most prestigious titles in women’s professional pool.
However, the Open was not without its challenges for the #1 world-ranked Kim, who was also the #1-seeded player in the tournament. To start, Kim went into the event struggling with a stye in her left eye, and came up short in her opening match—with a hill-hill upset loss to veteran player Jeannie Seaver, to set her on a course through the one-loss bracket.
Despite a ten-year hiatus from the tour, Florida-based Seaver was in top form, and went on to defeat tour legend Ewa Laurance (9-5). In her following match-ups, Seaver would then be eliminated by two of the eventual semifinalists and toughest names on the tour: Line Kjorsvik and Monica Webb. This performance would land Seaver in the 5th-6th place position for her second-best career tour finish. Along with Seaver, former WPBA “Rookie of the Year” Emily Duddy also had a noteworthy showing, ending up tied for 7th-8th place, her career best finish on tour.
One of the tour’s notable European champions, Line Kjorsvik (of Trondheim, Norway) positioned herself in the semis in undefeated fashion after her 9-3 win over Seaver, to then be met by Ga-Young Kim. After her early loss to Seaver, Kim came back with a vengeance with seven match wins to make it to the semis.
Under the pressure of the ESPN lights and cameras, each semifinal featured two races to four games. If a given player were to win both races to four, they would proceed to the finale, while if each player won one set, a “sudden death” tiebreaker game would determine the match winner.
In the first semifinal, Kim stayed steady and stunned the crowd with impressive kick and jump shots, while Kjorsvik was not able to capitalize on her opportunities. The first set of the semi was a 4-0 shutout, while the second went to 2-2 before Kim closed out with a 4-2 win. For the title match, Ga-Young Kim would face a hungry Monica Webb, who had just come away from a harrowing win over Allison Fisher. Fisher, an eight-time US Open Champion and recent WPBA Masters Champion was the other player to enter the semifinal undefeated, with hopes of a second tour win in 2016.
However, Webb came out of the gate strong and put down a 4-1 win in their opening set. In the second set, Fisher turned things around to win 4-2, which forced the final “sudden-death” game to determine who moved on to the final. Although Webb had an open table to run out in final rack, she lost position on the six and was forced to play a safe. This successful play resulted in a foul from Fisher, and Webb ran out with ball in hand to take the set.
The finale of the 2016 WPBA US Open was then set to feature the two players who had earlier losses on their records, Kim and Webb. With the victory in sight, Ga-Young Kim had a deadly-focused demeanor, which was reflected in her end result. Kim did not allow Webb to win a single game in either of their two sets, as she ran away with matching 4-0 wins to secure the title. In total, Kim won ten straight games on her final run to victory, including the last two games of the semifinal.
For those in attendance at Rivers Casino and watching the live ESPN3 stream, another brilliant display was put on by Ga-Young Kim—which was particularly impressive under the difficult condition of her eye, as WPBA president and commentator Kim White-Newsome explained.
“Ga-Young’s performance was nothing short of amazing, since we all know, as players, the slightest of issues can affect not only our physical, but mental game as well. I believe her resilience is part of what makes her one of the greatest players in our sport,” said Newsome.
The WPBA Women’s Professional Billiard Association would like to give special thanks to its sponsors for their support of the 2016 US Open 9-Ball Championships: Rivers Casino, Simonis/Aramith, Diamond Tables, and Delta-13 Rack.
1st: Ga-Young Kim - $7,500
2nd: Monica Webb - $4,500
3rd/4th: Allison Fisher, Line Kjorsvik - $2,750
5th-6th: Jeannie Seaver, Vivian Villarreal - $2,000
7th-8th: Kim Newsome, Emily Duddy - $1,750
9th-12th: June Maiers, Joanne Ashton, Melissa Little, Ewa Laurance - $1,500
13th-16th: Jennifer Barretta, Jessica Barnes, Helena Thornfeldt, Stacie Bourbeau - $1,250
17th-24th: Beth Fondell, Janet Atwell, Cheryl Pritchard, Sara Miller, Gail Eaton, Sandy Badger, Maureen Seto, Liz Cole - $1,000
25th-32nd: Erin McManus, Kia Sidbury, Kathy Friend, Laura Smith, Borana Andoni, Brittany Bryant, Vicki Paski, Dawn Fox - $750