As the clock struck midnight and the calendar turned to a new year, Billiard Congress of America Hall of Famer Kelly Fisher had one goal on her mind: defending her World Women’s 9-Ball Championship.
Given that the championship has belonged to her since 2019, she’s gotten rather attached to it.
“I’ve managed to hold onto my title through default for three years now so I’d like to keep it for a fourth year,” said Fisher, who defeated Jasmin Ouschan of Austria in the finals of the 2019 Open, the last one held before the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the event for four years.
Much as changed since Fisher last hoisted the trophy. For starters, the event has been acquired by Predator Group and Cue Sports International as part of its growing portfolio of international tournaments.
Additionally, the 64-player tournament has been relocated from China, where it had been held since 2009, to Harrah’s Resort and Casino in the New Jersey beach destination of Atlantic City as part of CSI League Atlantic City League Championships.
Lastly, Kamui, an industry leader in pool and billiards cue tips, chalk and supplies, has partnered with Predator and CSI as the official title sponsor of the Women’s World 9-Ball Championship, with company founder and Chief Executive Officer Masato Hiraoka attending this weekend’s tournament.
The first day of play kicks off with notable matches such as Chezka Centeno versus Margaret Fefilova Styer, Ouschan taking on Meng-Hsia Hung and Karen Corr facing LoreeJon Brown. Live streaming coverage of the tournament will be available on CSI’s YouTube channel as well as Billiard TV, which is available on Roku and numerous streaming applications.
This weekend’s World Women’s 9-Ball Championship, which carries a total prize fund of $148,000 with $30,000 given to the winner, also kicks off the third year of Predator’s Pro Billiards Series, which is slated to be the biggest schedule to date with 21 total events paying out over $2 million in prize money.
After the World Women’s 9-Ball Championship, the Series moves to the Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas for the CSI Expo and the Alfa Las Vegas men’s and women’s open, scheduled for February 22 through 27th. The Predator Las Vegas 3-Cushion World Cup will take place from February 26 through March 4 and the Predator World 10-Ball Championship, which carries a $250,000 prize fund, will be held from February 28 through March 4.
The Series’ spring schedule concludes with the Wisconsin Open at Ho-Chunk Gaming in the Wisconsin Dells, with men’s event scheduled for May 17th through the 20 and the ladies competing from May 18 until the 21st.
The Pro Billiards Series travels abroad over the summer with the Croatia Open men’s and women’s events scheduled for June 27 through July 2 in Murter and the Japan Open women’s tournament taking place from September 5 through the 8th in Shizuoka and the World 8-Ball Championship slated for September 7th though the 10th. Additionally, Predator will again be hosting the World Junior 9-Ball Championships in Shizuoka from September 6 through the 9th.
The Series returns state-side in the fall for the Michigan Open, with the men’s event scheduled for September 19 through the 23rd and the women’s event taking place from September 21 through the 24th. The following month, the third-annual Ohio Open men’s event will take place from October 11th through the 14th in Wilmington.
For the second consecutive year, the World Women’s 10-Ball Championship will be held in Ouschan’s hometown of Klagenfurt, Austria, with competition beginning on October 18, finishing on the 21st and carrying a prize fund of $150,000.
The Series will once again conclude in the tropical destination of San Juan, Puerto Rico with a men’s and women’s Puerto Rico Open, scheduled for November 14th through the 18th and the World Team Championships, which are slated to take place from November 16 through the 19th and carrying a $200,000 prize fund.
After a successful Pro Billiard Series women’s season in 2022, the Women’s Professional Billiards Association has decided to not sanction the events this year, which will not affect the players or their status. The Pro Billiard Series and the WPBA remain on good terms and we wish our former sanctioning partners the best for their upcoming season of events.
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