Stephanie Drakulic Q&A

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Ahead of the second staging of the US Women’s Open this August, we caught up with Portland’s Stephanie Drakulic who will be among the players to compete in the event in Seattle.

Drakulic plays an active role in the local cuesports community as President and webmaster of the Northwest Women’s Pool Association (NWPA) – which is the largest women’s regional cuesports tour in the US.

Having competed in pool since 2012, Drakulic has twice been selected for Team Oregon in the Northwest Cup and was named as the overall event MVP in 2021, as well as finishing as champion in North America Pool Tour Division II in 2020. In 2016, she was named as the 2016 NWPA Player of the Year.

It was at last year’s US Women’s Open that Drakulic would make her World Women’s Snooker Tour debut, earning her first match win on the circuit, and we caught up with her ahead of this year’s tournament…

How much are you looking forward to competing in snooker once again at this year’s US Open?

I’m so excited! What a privilege it is to be a part of this.

How did you find the experience of playing in the event in 2022?

The inaugural US Open was my second ever snooker tournament, and it felt surreal. I was a bit nervous but mostly just happy to be there, with little expectation of my own performance.

What did you learn from playing some of the more experienced players from Europe including Emma Parker and Mary Talbot-Deegan?

I learned that snooker can appear much easier than it actually is!

It was also painfully clear I have much to learn, particularly when it comes to keeping score.

The tournament will also see us return to the wonderful OX Billiards in Seattle – it’s a special cuesports venue isn’t it?

I first met its owner Mike Dominguez just before the COVID lockdown, while he was preparing to open his previous room, Baize. I never got to see Baize in person but was absolutely thrilled when he told me about Ox, particularly that it would have both snooker tables and 9-foot pool tables (9-foot tables are declining in the northwest, getting replaced by 7-foot tables). I’m a 9-foot player at heart so this news excited me deeply.

Ox Billiards has quickly become a household name to players all over the region. They’ve done so much to support players and billiards in general, by hosting some major tournaments, sponsoring local players, and generally raising the bar as far as equipment quality and utilising technology. For instance, they have a fixed streaming setup on their tables, allowing us all to watch events from home. Ox Billiards and their team are absolute gems!

Tell us about how you became interested in cuesports and playing competitively.

I was exposed to pool as a kid and always enjoyed it.

I started playing in a billiards club out of Hard Times Billiards in my hometown of Sacramento, CA. I realised I loved it, plain and simply, and jumped head first into tournament and league play immediately, and have only grown more in love with the sport.

What is it about snooker that appeals to you?

I love any cue sport, but there’s just something magical about a snooker table. I love the challenge of pocketing, especially coming from a pool table. The style of cueing is so different, and I love learning and developing my snooker game.

The thing I fell in love with about pool is pocketing – and there’s no greater feeling than making a long pot on a 12-foot snooker table!

Do you have any particular ambitions or goals for the future in snooker?

If I find myself living closer to a snooker community, I’d love to push myself and train just to get the experience and training that comes with playing snooker.

But until then I just enjoy the opportunities I get to spend time in a snooker table, and humbly hope I can make appearances at more high level snooker tournaments in the US.

Could we see you travel outside of America to play on the WWS Tour in the future?

Absolutely! Travelling is one of the things I love most about being a pool player. I have yet to play outside of the US or Canada, though, pool or snooker.

Away from the table itself, you are also heavily involved the NWPA as president. Is the administrative side of the sport something that you also enjoy?

I joined the board after moving to the area in 2017, bringing with me experience from being a board member on my previous regional tour, the West Coast Women’s Tour. I became president at the end of 2019.

I do enjoy many aspects of the administration side. Seeing our Tour grow to be the largest regional tour in North America and having pool rooms come to us wanting to host or get involved, is incredibly rewarding. Plus, my fellow board members all work tirelessly and I couldn’t be more grateful or proud of our team.

What are your hobbies and interests away from the baize and what have you been up since we last saw you?

I play pool tournaments as often as I can, but the majority of my time since August has been spent walking my dog Miles Davis. He’ll turn 15 shortly after the 2023 WWS US Open, in fact!

He looks like a small border collie, but he’s actually a mixed breed, half rat terrier, a quarter Italian greyhound, and a quarter Australia cattle dog. He’s quite the creature and seems to be getting younger every day.

What would your message be to others who might be interested in playing in this year’s US Open?

Life is short, be brave, play snooker!


Thank you to Stephanie for her time and we look forward to seeing her this August in Seattle.

Entry for the event is now open via WPBSA SnookerScores HERE.