‘Judo→Alba→Pro’ Choi Hye-mi crowned LPBA ‘new queen’ four years after debut

Choi Hye-mi (29, Welcome Savings Bank) defeated Kim Ye-eun (24) to become the new queen of the Women’s Professional Billiards LPBA.

Choi Hye-mi defeated Kim Ye-eun 4-2 (4-11, 11-4, 11-5, 11-5, 6-11, 11-8) in the final of the 2023-24 NHL Card LPBA Championship at the Goyang Kintex PBA Stadium in Goyang, Gyeonggi-do, on April 8.

With this victory, Choi became the 14th queen of the LPBA. The 12th Korean player to win the title, Choi earned 30 million won in prize money and 20,000 ranking points, jumping from No. 40 on the money list to No. 5 (32.72 million won).

Choi is no stranger to athletics, having competed in judo while in school. As an adult, Choi cued up at a pool hall part-time and was only a hobbyist, not a professional athlete.

However, in 2019, Choi became a professional billiards player by overcoming a 7.3:1 competition ratio at the LPBA Open Challenge held for hobbyists. With this victory, Choi made history as the first professional billiards player to win the title.

On the other hand, Kim Ye-eun, who became the youngest player to win the SK Rent-a-Car Championship at the start of the 2020-21 season at the age of 21 years and 7 months, fell just short of her third career title.

The final matchup between Choi Hye-mi, a first-time finalist, and Kim Ye-eun, a fifth-time finalist, was tense early on. Kim scored 11 points in seven and eight games, including two bank shots, to take the first set 11-4, but Choi responded with four high-run points in the next set to make it 11-4 (15 games).

In the third set, Choi’s focus showed. Choi was down 1-2 heading into the fifth inning of the third set. However, she scored two points in the fifth and three in the sixth to take a 6-2 lead and then took the set 11-5 in 11 games. 보스토토 도메인

With momentum on her side, Choi Hye-mi racked up one or two points in the fourth set while Kim Ye-eun was stuck in a 3-9 hole. She eventually took the set 11-5 in 13 games and began to consolidate.

Backed into a corner, Kim fought back in the fifth set. After Choi Hye-mi was held scoreless in games two through six, she quickly took control of the set, 11-6, and showed her intentions to catch up.

But Choi’s desire to win was stronger. Kim held a slim 8-7 advantage going into the seventh, but Choi scored four quick points, including a one-bank shot, to close out the match 11-8.


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