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Fisher Wins by: Don “Cheese” Akerlow I flew into Portland Thursday at 4 pm, got my rent-a-car headed south to Hwy 99 through the rolling hills and over the coastal mountain range arriving at Chinook Winds in Lincoln City. I got to watch some of the early matches involving Allison Fisher, Ewa Laurance and Jeanette Lee, Ikumi Ushiroda, as well as our local talent Martha Hartsell, Linda Carter and Hsin Huang. It’s pretty much like any other tournament you’d find in any pool hall, some came dressed to kill, some were casual, but it did not by any means diminish their play. As great as these ladies are, they can still miss or dog a shot like the rest of us, but saying that, make no mistake these ladies can play. Beauty and brains are the normal not the exception. While sitting and watching, one thing that impressed me was, not only can these ladies shoot, they rarely make mistakes or take chances on shots. In a game like 9-ball, where each player is shooting at the last ball the other missed, calculated safeties are strategies that are practiced and must be executed precisely. There’s not a “go for it” attitude on a low percentage shot. Even the lesser known players possess these talents. Just watching them will make your game better. There was a turnout of thousands of fans that came to watch within the four days, autograph seekers and enthusiasts of the game. As I sat and watched, numerous autograph seekers, sought their quest after each match was finished with enthusiasm and bright-eyed as any child seeking their presents on Christmas or any birthday. What a thrill it Jeanette Lee after winning her second tough match to get to the finals is to have the WPBA National 9-Ball Championship here in the Northwest where pool is the game we love. I had the distinct honor of sitting in the press section covering two semi finals and the finals that are to be shown on ESPN (first scheduled showing is January 4th at 4pm Pacific Standard Time on ESPN2), with a crowd nearing 1,000 onlookers. The Master of Ceremonies, Steve Tipton, entertained the crowds before and between the matches with trivia, jokes and introduced the VIP’s as well as doing a little “hokey pokey” and sometimes even serenading while the ladies were waiting to play. Witnessing the behindthe-scenes action at one of these events is very interesting. You don’t have the smooth transitions as they appear on the finished broadcasts. What you do have is the players being cued when to start their play, a low key commentating being heard in the background and a camera man following the action going on at the table. Talk about distractions and sharking a player, this has to be the ultimate. Playing in the first semi-final were Monica Webb and Jeanette Lee. After the introductions play began. The crowd of approximately 1,000 spectators cheered and clapped for what was to begin an afternoon and evening of some exciting pool. Webb and Lee battled back and forth with Jeanette tying it at hill-hill. And the battle raged on until Jeanette finally won. She was so happy (WPBA continued on page 18) Karen Corr playfully eyeing the table

The Break December Issue 2003

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