A full field of 64 players from CT, RI, MA, NJ, NY, PA and several other states came together for two reasons over the weekend of September 10th – 11th at Yale Billiards in Wallingford, CT for the Women In Pool Inaugural Women’s 9-Ball Championship.
The field was made up of skill levels ranging from APA 3’s all the way up to Fargo 650 players for this non-handicapped event. Connecticut’s Ashley Nicole Benoit may not have had the highest ranking of all of the competitors, but she had the biggest drive to win as she scored impressive wins over Dawn Fox, Lindsey Bazinet, Stacie Bourbeau and Tina Malm on her way to the hot-seat.
On the one loss side, Pennsylvania’s Rachel Walters bounced back nicely from her loss to Malm on the winners side. Walters had wins over Bazinet, Alyssa Solt and Malm to earn her place in the finals. Walters would have to settle for second on this weekend, as Benoit was unstoppable on her way to a 7-3 win in the first set of the finals.
While all of the ladies in attendance were there with hopes to perform well in the tournament, event director Gloria Jean explained that the ladies were there for another reason. “In my 15 years of being a Tour Director, I have never seen a more vibrant, tenacious, happy, yet competitive group of women smile so much!” said Jean. “Women met like-minded Women with the same passion for the sport, the desire to improve, hone their skills, and relate to one another on a personal level. Many walked away with not just spectacular payouts but new friends to bond with and a once in a lifetime experience.”
Jean’s Women In Pool project was born from conversations on her podcast, where she has collaborated with such notables as Kelly Fisher, Allison Fisher, Joann Mason Parker, LoreeJon Ogonowski-Brown, Ewa Laurance, Mary Kenniston and many others. Jean created the project at the start of the year and says she has always wanted a tournament like this to be a part of it.
More information can be found online at www.facebook.com/womeninpool121 where fans can find out about the entire project.
Jean thanked the great staff at Yale Billiards, as well as her tournament director Ty Speedwell, Sharkstream for streaming the event, Bobby Hilton for refereeing, Joe Raccio, Curtis Rohrer, Crystal Atkinson, Andy Now and all of her sponsors, Iwan Simonis Cloth, Aramith Premium Balls, N’ The Zone Sportswear, Navigator Chalk, Dragon Billiards Instruction, Harriman Real Estate, Bulletproof Break Tips, Pool League Association, NM Billiards Sales and Service, Narragansett Brewery, Outsville Templates, PoolDawg, McConnaughy’s Irish Pickles and J. Pechauer Cues.