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PQQLK9
02-08-2005, 04:23 AM
Rack 'em up

By Jason O. Boyd, Rocky Mount Telegram

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

As much as Jennifer Page enjoyed playing the game of pool, she certainly had a good reason for stepping away from something that took up nearly every day of her life back in 2002.

Page, now 27, has a 21/2 year-old little boy named Cody which is one of her main priorities in life. She stopped playing competitive pool because of her pregnancy and to raise her new son. But the chance to get back into the sport was something she couldn't turn down.

"When I first started, of course I was not that good," said Page, who was 16 when she first began playing pool at Custom Billiards, which is now Sharks-N-Shooters in Rocky Mount. "I had a lot of people that said I had a natural stroke and talent for the game."

She developed such a talent that she began playing in qualifying tournaments and even made it to two professional tournaments before stepping away from the game. Now she's back and has been preparing since January for the inaugural Carolina Women's Billiard Classic. The first tournament of the Women's Professional Billiard Association kicks off this Thursday at Nash Community College and will continue through Sunday's finals.

"I definitely feel more comfortable," Page said about essentially playing in her own backyard. "My expectations are to go and have fun and enjoy the experience. I want to do good, and I expect myself to do good. I'm looking forward to it.

"This is thanks to Tony Davis that I'm playing in it."

Davis is the CEO of Primequest Association, one of the major groups responsible for getting the WPBA to come to Rocky Mount. He's seen Page play before and is excited about having a local representative in the 64-player field.

"I'll go on record; I've played with her and watched her," Davis said. "She has come out of retirement and she has a legitimate chance. She's a strong player in our midst."

Page lives in the Wilson area, just 15 minutes from Sharks-N-Shooters, the place she calls home for mastering her pool skills. She played everyday at what was then Custom Billiards and, at the request of then owner Johnny Dew, got involved in some professional qualifying tournaments. It wasn't long before she was making a name for herself on the circuit.

She played Allison Fisher, currently ranked second in the world, in a qualifying tournament in Boone in 1999. Although she lost 9-4 to Fisher, she still qualified and made it to a national tournament in Maryland. In 2001 she won a qualifying tournament in Tennessee and made it to a pro tournament in Valley Forge, Pa.

In fact, she played right up until she was five months pregnant with her son.

"It got to where I could beat almost anybody that came in," Page said. "There's a lot of people that play better than me though, way better than I do. As far as the average Joe playing pool, I can pretty much win."

Fisher remembers her match-up with Page and had some advice for the 27-year-old.

"You just want to go out and have fun and do the best," Fisher said. "There are a lot of good players that come straight onto the tour that do well.

"If you do your best and stay on your game, often you will come off with good results. A lot of it comes with experience."

And that's something Page is trying to regain since the birth of her son. She gave up the daily trips to Sharks-N-Shooters but still plays as much as she can as she prepares for this week's tournament. She geared up for the tournament by being part of an exhibition held at Sharks-N-Shooters on Monday.

"I always wanted to play pool and wanted to continue," Page said. "I had (Cody) and thought about my priorities, so I just played here and there. It wasn't even one quarter of what I used to play. When I had him, I just couldn't see going out every night to play pool.

"I'm still not up to par like I used to be, but I'm playing pretty good. I'm satisfied with the time that I've been given to practice for the tournament. For some reason, I'm more excited about playing than I've ever been, even when I was 16 and playing."

Jason O. Boyd can be reached at 407-9959 or jboyd@coxnews.com



By Jason O. Boyd, Rocky Mount Telegram

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

As much as Jennifer Page enjoyed playing the game of pool, she certainly had a good reason for stepping away from something that took up nearly every day of her life back in 2002.

Page, now 27, has a 21/2 year-old little boy named Cody which is one of her main priorities in life. She stopped playing competitive pool because of her pregnancy and to raise her new son. But the chance to get back into the sport was something she couldn't turn down.

"When I first started, of course I was not that good," said Page, who was 16 when she first began playing pool at Custom Billiards, which is now Sharks-N-Shooters in Rocky Mount. "I had a lot of people that said I had a natural stroke and talent for the game."

She developed such a talent that she began playing in qualifying tournaments and even made it to two professional tournaments before stepping away from the game. Now she's back and has been preparing since January for the inaugural Carolina Women's Billiard Classic. The first tournament of the Women's Professional Billiard Association kicks off this Thursday at Nash Community College and will continue through Sunday's finals.

"I definitely feel more comfortable," Page said about essentially playing in her own backyard. "My expectations are to go and have fun and enjoy the experience. I want to do good, and I expect myself to do good. I'm looking forward to it.

"This is thanks to Tony Davis that I'm playing in it."

Davis is the CEO of Primequest Association, one of the major groups responsible for getting the WPBA to come to Rocky Mount. He's seen Page play before and is excited about having a local representative in the 64-player field.

"I'll go on record; I've played with her and watched her," Davis said. "She has come out of retirement and she has a legitimate chance. She's a strong player in our midst."

Page lives in the Wilson area, just 15 minutes from Sharks-N-Shooters, the place she calls home for mastering her pool skills. She played everyday at what was then Custom Billiards and, at the request of then owner Johnny Dew, got involved in some professional qualifying tournaments. It wasn't long before she was making a name for herself on the circuit.

She played Allison Fisher, currently ranked second in the world, in a qualifying tournament in Boone in 1999. Although she lost 9-4 to Fisher, she still qualified and made it to a national tournament in Maryland. In 2001 she won a qualifying tournament in Tennessee and made it to a pro tournament in Valley Forge, Pa.

In fact, she played right up until she was five months pregnant with her son.

"It got to where I could beat almost anybody that came in," Page said. "There's a lot of people that play better than me though, way better than I do. As far as the average Joe playing pool, I can pretty much win."

Fisher remembers her match-up with Page and had some advice for the 27-year-old.

"You just want to go out and have fun and do the best," Fisher said. "There are a lot of good players that come straight onto the tour that do well.

"If you do your best and stay on your game, often you will come off with good results. A lot of it comes with experience."

And that's something Page is trying to regain since the birth of her son. She gave up the daily trips to Sharks-N-Shooters but still plays as much as she can as she prepares for this week's tournament. She geared up for the tournament by being part of an exhibition held at Sharks-N-Shooters on Monday.

"I always wanted to play pool and wanted to continue," Page said. "I had (Cody) and thought about my priorities, so I just played here and there. It wasn't even one quarter of what I used to play. When I had him, I just couldn't see going out every night to play pool.

"I'm still not up to par like I used to be, but I'm playing pretty good. I'm satisfied with the time that I've been given to practice for the tournament. For some reason, I'm more excited about playing than I've ever been, even when I was 16 and playing."

Jason O. Boyd can be reached at 407-9959 or jboyd@coxnews.com

landshark77
02-08-2005, 08:02 AM
OK, so did she go thru the Q'ers like everyone else...or did she get on because Tony Davis requested a favor?? /ccboard/images/graemlins/confused.gif

Barbara
02-08-2005, 08:05 AM
The person paying for the WPBA to be there (the promoter) gets two entries into the tournament. They are called "The Promoter's Spots". He can give them out to whomever he wishes. This is how she got into the tournament.

Barbara

Chris in NC
02-08-2005, 08:15 AM
I know Jennifer, as she did play in our Women's NC Opens and WPBA qualifiers here in our room in Boone in past years. I was aware that she had quit playing due to having a child. When I heard of the tourney in Rocky Mount I was hopeful that perhaps she would be given a sponsors exemption spot.

There will be tremendous pressure on Jennifer playing in front of her home crowd, and hopefully she'll not set her expectations too high and just go out to have a good time. She's very talented and certainly capable of winning a few matches. I'm hoping she's still in the tourney when we get there for the Saturday evening sessions! - Chris in NC

landshark77
02-08-2005, 11:43 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Barbara:</font><hr> The person paying for the WPBA to be there (the promoter) gets two entries into the tournament. They are called "The Promoter's Spots". He can give them out to whomever he wishes. This is how she got into the tournament.

Barbara <hr /></blockquote>

Is she eligable to earn points and what not?