Gail Eaton, aka “Virginia Slim”, took the Gulf Coast Women’s Regional Tour by storm during its WPBA 40th Anniversary Event held on June 11th, 2016. Eaton went undefeated, taking on the formidable Natalie Rocha in the finals, and claiming her first victory this season, 7-5.
The Gulf Coast Tour hosted its fourth event of the year at Bogies Billiards and Sports Bar in Houston, Texas, thanks to room owners David and Shannon Richardson, and tour sponsors Delta-13 Rack www.delta13.com, and the APA of North Harris County www.facebook.com/apanorthharriscounty. Some of the most talented women in semi-professional pool competed in this one-day event, on (8) 9’ Brunswick Gold Crown professional tables with Simonis Cloth, vying for a place in the Gulf Coast Tour winners’ circle.
On the battle field, 2013 Gulf Coast Tour Champion, Gail Eaton, fought her way undefeated, through a distinguished field of talent. The road to the final four winners’ side saw Eaton claim wins over Mercedes Vasquez, 7-1, and Liz Yorek, 7-2, while Ricki Casper ousted Karen Reilly, Teresa Garland, 7-2, and Natalie Mans, 7-3. Kim Pierce, otherwise known as “Texas Heat”, turned up the flames with wins over Tam Trinh, 7-1, and Tangela Hunt, 7-0, while Natalie Rocha defeated Joyce Davis, 7-3, and Terry Petrosino, 7-2. On the one loss side, after losing her second match to Pierce, Trinh eliminated Reilly, 5-2, Tiffany Mundie, 5-2, Yorek , 5-3, and Mans, 5-3. In similar fashion, Bonnie Mason, who lost her first round to Davis, 7-6, ousted Amber Keithley, 5-2, Yvonne Ramirez, 5-3, and Hunt, 5-3, before falling to T. Petrosino, 5-2. Back on the east side, Eaton overcame Casper, 7-4, while Rocha sent Pierce west, 7-2. On the west side, Casper eliminated T. Petrosino, 5-3, and Trinh fell to Pierce, 5-3. The hot seat match saw Eaton take down Rocha, 7-2, as Pierce slid by Casper on the one loss side, 5-4. Unfortunately for Pierce, the rematch with Rocha didn’t go as planned. Rocha advanced, 5-1, staring at a final match-up with Eaton, and looking for her second win on the Gulf Coast Tour. The finals pitted a former tour champion looking for her first win of the season, and a former event winner, in search of her second, career win. This match-up promised to be nothing short of intense. The final set commenced, as both players exhibited collection and focus, fighting equally hard for the win. When the smoke cleared, it was Eaton who pulled ahead to secure the match, 7-5. Congratulations to Gail Eaton on her first win of the season!
In honor of the WPBA’s 40th Anniversary, 25-year WPBA veteran, Gail Eaton, gave a short, heart-felt speech during the players’ meeting about what it has meant to her to be a WPBA Player and Board Member, throughout the years. “ It’s good to see people bringing friends, and keep supporting the events, and that feeds back in to the WPBA, and the more the organization can do for you” – Gail Eaton.
Reflecting on the current status of the tour, Kim Newsome, Gulf Coast Women’s Regional Tour Director, had this to say. “We’re cultivating new players, and we’re now 62 WPBA Members strong. We are producing results. The winner of our September qualifier and our end-of-year point leader will both receive a spot to compete in the 2017 WPBA Masters, not to mention our top players will be invited by the WPBA to participate in the 2017 Regional Tour Championships. It’s an exciting time.”
Gulf Coast is happy to announce Natalie Rocha’s “return to competition”, following a bout of serious illness. The tour is thrilled to have her back in action! The tour would also like to recognize Bonnie Mason, who achieved her highest finish to date at this event. Also at this event, Gulf Coast welcomed its newest WPBA Members, Desiree Ruiz and Natalie Mans. Teresa Garland and Tam Trinh staged business booths at this event, and Roger Allen performed cue repair, which was all well-received.
The Gulf Coast Women’s Regional 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 Sunday, August 28th, 2016, at Skinny Bob’s Billiards in Round Rock, Texas (SkinnyBobs.com). Free practice begins at 10am, and the players’ meeting begins at 11am. There will also be a Poison Lone Star Billiards Tour 9-ball event beginning on Saturday, August 27th, sign-up 11am-1pm. For more information about the WPBA sanctioned, Gulf Coast Women’s Regional Tour, please visit www.GulfCoastWomensTour.com. “Follow” us on Twitter @gulfcoasttour and “Like” us on Facebook @gulfcoasttour1.
The WPBA (Women’s Professional Billiard Association) is the governing body of women’s professional billiards in the U.S., and this year, celebrates its 40th anniversary. The Gulf Coast Women’s Regional Tour is a sanctioned, WPBA Regional Tour, a 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 prestigious 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.
1st Gail Eaton $390
2nd Natalie Rocha $260
3rd Kim Pierce $190
4th Ricki Casper $80
5th-6th Terry Petrosino, Tam Trinh $40 ea