The Rack Starz are a group of 12 brilliant and beautiful women poised to reinvent the game of pool, bring it into the mainstream and create a sensation that will captivate the world. The Rack Starz are not only athletes, but they are also moms, models, actresses, nutritionists, CEOs, and marketing analysts, with many holding advanced degrees. Among these women, more than 15 languages are spoken representing a multitude of cultures making the Rack Starz true ambassadors to the billiards world.
“Jackie Gleason got your attention; Paul Newman and Tom Cruise made pool cool, but the Rack Starz are ready to make pool bigger than the WWF and larger than life. Lying ahead is a once in-a-lifetime phenomenon so incredible and dynamic, you won’t want to miss it”. explains co-founder Robert Moore.
The Rack Starz popularity and fan base have helped make women’s billiards more popular than men’s thus creating a surge of interest in pool for girls and young women who are taking up the sport in record numbers. These athletes are already being sought out for television and personal appearances, and are quickly becoming a household name. The Rack Starz have created an insatiable desire for more with their “Shoot to Thrill, Play to Kill” approach.
The founders of Rack Stars have developed a project called Animals Behind the Eight Ball, working closely with numerous foundations and organizations around the country that support animal protection. A portion of the proceeds from all Rack Starz merchandise will be dedicated to helping this well-deserved cause.
I interviewed the lovely ladies at at Amsterdam Billiards, downtown New York City.
ASIANCE: What is your ultimate goal?
Rack Starz: To bring more awareness to billiards in general and also to show people we’re not a bunch of overweight, beer drinking, nacho eating girls. We’re beautiful women.
ASIANCE: What do you think is the number one skill?
Rack Starz: Balance between focus and discipline.
ASIANCE: So you want to spread more awareness like the WNBA.
Rack Starz: We are dedicating our time, energy and lives to it. We think it’s worth a little bit more attention than it is getting.
ASIANCE: What do the men think when you come in and beat them?
Rack Starz: They underestimate you, unless they know you. When we beat them, they are not happy about it. Sometimes they’re humbled. You can tell a lot about a guy by the way they treat you when you win.
If you are looking to meet men, it’s a good place.hahaha!
ASIANCE: Why did you choose animals?
Rack Starz: Species are dying, we wanted to draw attention to something that we loved and couldn’t speak for themselves. There is the helpless factor that tears at our heart strings.
The biggest challenge for female pool players is there is not enough money being generated by the sports for the pros to make a good living. We’re working on putting more eyes on the sport, bring more funding and opportunities to the sport so that people will see it as a valuable, entertaining, enterprise.
ASIANCE: How can girls become Rack Starz?
Rack Starz: There is a nomination process. We have girls choose who they want in and we vote on it. We’re looking at more global teams. There will probably be a West Coast one next.
Caroline was surrounded by pool growing up in New Jersey and the Philippines. However, it wasn’t until late 90s that she got hooked on the game. Pool was just a hobby for this NYU graduate who earned a Masters degree and entered the corporate world, but her heart was not content with just work. Caroline joined leagues and began competing at local tournaments and women qualifiers to help enhance her competitiveness.
As Caroline started winning tournaments and titles, as well as J. Pechauer Northeast Tour (JPNEWT) Women Qualifiers, pool became more of a passion. The turning point came in 2005 when she claimed the JPNEWT Player of the Year and was invited to play on the Women’s Professional Billiards Association (WPBA) Tour in 2006. She is currently ranked 28th on the WPBA Tour. During her precious free time, Caroline works on her business ventures, Billiard Life, an apparel line for pool and billiards, and Mezz USA, which distributes one of the most reputable cue lines in Asia.
What inspires you?
This analyst for a global finance company has been shooting pool since she was 16 years old. She also plays tennis and badminton and loved to swim as a child. Her hometown, NYC, is her favorite place on earth, and she says Central Park and FAO Schwartz were her stomping grounds growing up.
At first, Michele may seem shy and quiet, but do not be fooled. Michele is a former streetcar racer with the need for speed and thrills! Racing against the guys, Michele was obsessed with ‘suped up’ cars, stick shifts and high speed racing – until billiards filler her passion for competition. When she is not competing, Michele enjoys frequenting coffeehouses with “good Java”, bowling, belly dancing and therapeutic baking and cooking.
Her pet peeve about the billiards world is the lack of standardization of rules and people who do not respect the equipment in the poolrooms, and she hopes Rack Starz will bring more attention to the game and increase the level of professionalism involved.
Pool heroes: Willie Mosconi and Paul Gerni
What’s special about you?
I’m a master baker!
Train your head and hands to do, train your heart to dare
Supadra was born in Lopburi, Thailand, a small town whose claim to fame is the free-range monkeys who live there and are feted annually by the townspeople at the “Monkey Banquet”. She credits her family – her mother and grandmother who are “tough as nails yet kind as saints”, her father, a “happy go lucky, brilliant lawyer” for building her character, and her older brother for showing her how to use charm to succeed in life! Her athletic inspiration is tennis champ Roger Federer.
In addition to pool, Supadra enjoys playing both tennis and golf, and visiting the Florida Keys and Kauai, her other favorite places in the world. Through her involvement in the Rack Starz, she would love to change the sometimes-negative perceptions about pool and help the sport become more accepted and appreciated.
Nickname: Supa Girl
Dream dinner date: “Paul Newman, the all-time handsome man who could shoot pool, or Daniel Craig – I want to get the best of James Bond just once!”
She also owns Siam Natural, www.siamnaturalsoap.com
List of entire Rack Starz team:
Photo Credit: Gary Gershoff/Getty Images
(Above photo: (Top row L-R) Neslihan Gurel,Alison Fischer, Supadra Geronimo, Jennifer Barretta, Michele Li, Yomaylin Feliz, and Liz Ford, (Bottom row L-R) Borano Andoni, Caroline Pao, Gail Glazebrook, and Emily Duddy attend the Rack Starz 2012 calendar release party at Amsterdam Billiards on November 18, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Gary Gershoff/Getty Images for Rack Starz International))