Eaton Wins Gulf Coast Season Opener
Gail Eaton, a.k.a. “Virginia Slim”, went undefeated amidst a hefty field of 43 semi-professional players to capture pool’s Gulf Coast Women’s Regional Billiards Tour 9-Ball Season Opener. Eaton faced off with Austin’s Jennifer Yo in the final, capturing the first set, 7-4, and her first victory of 2017.
On January 7th, 2017, some of the most talented female pool players in Texas and Louisiana converged on Bogies Billiards and Sports Bar in Houston, Texas, to compete in the one-day, $500 added 9-ball event, vying for a place in the Gulf Coast Tour winners’ circle. Room owners David and Shannon Richardson, along with tour sponsors Cyclop Pool Balls www.facebook.com/CyclopPoolBalls, Ozone Billiards www.OzoneBilliards.com, and the APA of North Harris County www.facebook.com/apanorthharriscounty, facilitated another successful event for the women of the Gulf Coast Tour, the first of 11 events scheduled for 2017. Growing by leaps and bounds, the WPBA sanctioned regional tour has already amassed a following of 55 player members this year, in addition to securing a new venue, CK Billiards, in Dallas, Texas. Last year the tour amassed 76 player members, the highest to date, and because this year’s numbers are already high, the tour anticipates breaking 100 player members before the end of 2017.
Seasoned tour veteran, Gail Eaton, took on one of the fiercest Gulf Coast fields in recent months, surging to the winners’ side final four with wins over Mona Nesh, 7-5, Cindy Tillman, 7-1, and newcomer Sandra Gonzalez, 7-2. Jennifer Yo took down Nancy French, 7-4, Terry Petrosino, 7-6, and Julie Enzensperger, 7-4, while Loretta Lindgren defeated Crystal Ayres, 7-4, Yvonne Asher, 7-4, and Ricki Casper, 7-6. Coming off a recent win at the 2016 Space City Open, Natalie Rocha ousted Liz Mitchel, 7-1, Diana Cardona, 7-2, and Kim Pierce, 7-2. As the final four on the winners’ side rounded out, the west side witnessed a comeback by numerous, top contenders. After suffering a 7-6 loss to Yo, Petrosino went through Mitchel, 5-3, Matty Sword, 5-3, and Pierce, 5-4, to reach the final eight. Kim Jenkins made her play, eliminating Celeste Espinosa, 5-3, Sara Bork, and Tillman, 5-1, until Casper ended her run, 5-1. Following a second round loss to Jennifer Yo, 7-4, French eliminated Gail Roles, 5-3, newcomer Emily Sumrall, 5-4, Cardona, 5-3, Mundie, and Enzensperger, 5-2, while Garland secured her bid with wins over Stacey Pelakakis, 5-2, Yvonne Asher, 5-4, and Gonzalez. Back on the east side, Rocha ousted Lindgren, 7-5, while Eaton defeated Yo, 7-4. Eaton went on to defeat Rocha for the hot seat, 7-5. On the one loss side, Casper eliminated Petrosino 5-4, but fell to Yo, 5-4, while Garland ended French, 5-3, but folded to Lindgren, 5-1. Yo was in high gear, booking her third win with Rocha, 5-4, and earning herself a shot at Eaton. In the final match, Eaton came out firing, but Yo refused to go down without a fight. Players traded games until Eaton pulled away, winning the first set, and her first victory of the year, 7-4.
The Gulf Coast Women’s Regional Billiards Tour is open to players of all ages and skill levels, however, the top 32 WPBA Exempt Professionals are not permitted to participate. The next Gulf Coast Tour 9-ball event will be held on February 11th, 2017, at Bogies West, 9638 Jones Road, in Houston, Texas. This event will be played on 8’ tables with Cyclop TV Set Pool Balls. Free practice begins at 10am, and the mandatory players’ meeting begins at 11am. For more information about the WPBA sanctioned, Gulf Coast Women’s Regional Billiards Tour, visit GulfCoastWomensTour.com. Follow us on Facebook @gulfcoasttour1 and Twitter @gulfcoasttour.
The WPBA (Women’s Professional Billiard Association) is the governing body of women’s professional billiards in the U.S. The Gulf Coast Women’s Regional Billiards Tour is a sanctioned, WPBA Regional Tour, part of 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. Have you ever considered taking your game to the next level, looking for a different challenge? Are you tired of the same old week-in, week-out routines deterring the progress of your game? Is it your dream to play in a pro event, or turn pro? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, it’s time to find the WPBA Regional Tour nearest you. 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 annual WPBA Regional Tour Championship and WPBA Pro Events. Live your dream, support and become a part of, the longest-running, professional billiard organization in the U.S., the WPBA.
If you are interested in starting a WPBA Regional Tour in your area, or participating on a WPBA Regional Tour, please contact the WPBA Office at 1.855.FOR.WPBA or visit www.WPBA.com.
Written By: Kim Newsome
Photos By: Kim Newsome
1st Gail Eaton $420
2nd Jennifer Yo $260
3rd Natalie Rocha $190
4th Loretta Lindgren $130
5th-6th Teresa Garland, Ricki Casper $60
7th-8th Terry Petrosino, Nancy French $40
9th-12th Kim Pierce, Kim Jenkins, Sandra Gonzalez, Julie Enzensperger $25
13th-16th Tiffany Mundie, Yvonne Asher, Cindy Tillman, Matty Sword
17th-24th Diana Cardona, Hopey Carter, Stacey Pelakakis, Aryana Lynch, Crystal Ayres, Sara Bork, Cheryl Gaffaney, Liz Mitchel
25th-32nd Stasie Knight, Lois Morgado, Celeste Espinosa, Joyce Davis, Mona Nesh, Marilina Nieves, Alicia Huff, Emily Sumrall
33rd-43rd Gail Roles, Liz Yorek, Monica DeTuncq, Karen Reilly, Veronica Perez, Mona Nesh, Tangela Hunt, Brandi Humber, Amber Keithley, Toni Esteves, Bonnie Mason