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07-09-2004, 08:28 AM
No. 1-ranked billiards player makes stop in Greenville
Thursday, July 08, 2004

By Jeff Chaney
The Grand Rapids Press

GREENVILLE -- The "Duchess of Doom" made her way to Greenville Saturday.

Allison Fisher, who is admirably known as the "Duchess of Doom" for the way she plays billiards, was a guest of the Comfort Zone, a pool, spa and billiards store in Greenville Saturday.

Fisher is the Women's Professional Billiards Association's No. 1-ranked player. She has 47 WPBA tournament titles and has been named Player of the Year for five consecutive years.

So it was a big day for Doug Shelden, the proprietor of the Comfort Zone.

"This is the first time we have done this," Shelden said. "We just decided it was nice to have a player of Allison's stature come and talk with players from Greenville and the surrounding area. Our billiards section has really taken off, and we thought this was a good idea."

Fisher said she usually doesn't have stops like the one she had Saturday. But she said she had a great time in the quaint setting of a store.

"I do more exhibitions in pool rooms than I do this," said Fisher, who is originally from England, but has lived in Charlotte, N.C., for the past nine years.

"I have done this before, but it isn't common. But this is good because a lot of people don't get to see what I'm really like," Fisher said. "This gives them a chance to see my true personality -- they only see the 'Duchess of Doom' because during tournaments I'm all business. Here it is more relaxing and they can see my true personality, my English sense of humor and my sarcastic wit."

A group of spectators turned out to get autographs and for the opportunity to win a chance to play Fisher in a game of 9-ball.

Greenville middle school physical education teacher Lori Hostetler was one of the several spectators Saturday.

Hostetler was one of the lucky spectators who won the chance to compete against Fisher.

Fisher quickly won.

"It is probably better that I didn't get a chance to shoot much," Hostetler said. "It stopped me from making a fool of myself. I'm a physical education teacher, so I'm better with gross motor skills rather than fine motor skills."

Fisher, 36, picked up the game of billiards at a young age.

"I watched the game on television, and I liked the look of it," Fisher said. "I got a small table from my parents when I was 7, and then moved up to a full table when I was 12. I really enjoy the game."

Fisher next will be in action Sept. 8-12 at the Cuetec Cues Florida Classic in Hollywood, Fla.