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WPBA: The Great Lakes Classic

21 June 2009 No Comment

On Saturday after the Cubs game, the Ultimate Sports Wife and I drove to New Buffalo, MI to spend Saturday night. It just so happened that on Sunday afternoon, the Women’s Professional Billiards Association’s Great Lakes Classic event was taking place in Michigan City, IN – a short 10 mile drive from the place we were staying.

Obtaining Tickets
The event took place at the Blue Chip Casino in Michigan City. The only issue with attending the event on Sunday was that it cost $55 per ticket – a fairly pricey proposition for an event that does not have many fans in attendance. Of course, with events of this stature there is no secondary ticket market so I had to pay the ticket price. Tickets earlier in the week for the earlier rounds were around half that price so if you just want to see a billiards event and are not concerned with whom you are seeing, I would recommend attending on Friday or Saturday. However, since this was the semi-finals and finals, the WPBA must have thought people would pay. And I did since it was the first billiards event I have ever attended.

Semi-Final #1
The first semi-final started at 1 pm between Karen Corr and Jasmin Ouschan. Ouschan defeated Corr 7 games to 3. This was the second time Ouschan defeated Corr in the tournament. In the 3rd game, Ouschan made the 9-ball on the break in what I believe is a rare event in billiards. The winner of a billiards match is the first player to win 7 games (in other words best-of-13).

What I did not realize was that it would be a much longer day than I first anticipated. The second semi-final match was not scheduled to start until 3 pm (rather than immediately following the first semi-final) and the final would not start until 5 pm.

In between Matches
Since the event took place at the Blue Chip Casino, there is plenty to do in between matches. First you can watch the entertainment at the event – the WPBA auctioned off two signed jerseys and the players in the next match are warming up. Or, better yet, you can head into the casino to grab some food or drinks and gamble. The Blue Chip Casino offers most of the most popular games – Poker, Blackjack, Roulette, Craps, and, of course slot machines.

Even the players wander around the casino in between matches. I saw Ouschan after her first match and asked for a picture. If the match ends in a sweep (7-0) you will probably have over an hour to roam the casino. If the match ends 7-6 you may be limited to only 30 minutes.

Semi-Final #2
The second semi-final pitted Xiaoting Pan vs. Kelly Fisher. Fisher defeated Pan 7-4 in a match where Pan came back to tie 3-3 but then faltered.

Final
In the final Ouschan defeated Fisher 7-2 with the match strongly in Ouschan’s hands the entire time. She took a quick 3-0 lead and never looked back.

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