Chezka Centeno: The Next Ga Young Kim?

VVP

Registered
Yes, the thread title here represents a very strong statement. After all, Ga Young Kim is surely one of the ten best players in the history of women’s pro pool. I’d probably put her at #6, but that’s a debate for another day.

Obviously, Chezka Centeno is not yet mentionable with Ga Young Kim, and yet, she is on a similar trajectory.

I recall watching Ga Young Kim in the late 1990s. She had a really sweet stroke and ran the balls with great facility, but her decision making needed a lot of development. Her billiards knowledge was obvious, yet she had yet to learn how to apply it in both kicking and defensive play. I remember thinking that if she became a more complete player she could become one of the best ever. She did become a more complete player and improved her break and became one of the best of all time.

Chezka, to me, seems the same. She already has one of the sweetest strokes anyone has ever seen in a woman and she plays the patterns well, but her safety play, her kicking, her general tactical conceptualization and her break still need work. Yes, she reminds me of the youthful Ga Young Kim in this regard.

I think we may be watching the emergence of a legendary player here. It will be fun to watch. Wishing her every possible success as she continues to wow us with her exceptional play. The sky is the limit for Chezka.
She reminds me of Jayson Shaw, being fearless in her potting abilities, but as you said she needs to work on her overall skills, which I am sure she will agree with.
 

btal

Registered
i have never seen a female player with such natural talent as chezka. i watched a money match 4-5 years ago and although her position play was quite poor it was obvious she was something else. in 10 years im sure she will have joined the filipino pool pantheon
Reminds me of Jean Balukas. Maybe she'll follow her path to greatness.
 

skogstokig

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Chezka has been around for years, all right, but she mostly disappeared from the international stage from 2017 to late 2022, from what I can see.

As it happens, I didn't get back into pool until 2022 after a long absence. I then started watching pro pool and getting familiar with all the top players.

Chezka started showing up again on the global stage with last year's WPA 9-ball and 10-ball tournaments. That is when I first saw her.

I did notice that she played a bit slower in Las Vegas. But she played pretty damned fast the first time I saw her when she crushed Margaret Fefilova Styer.

apparently she was about to quit the game but rubilen talked her out of it (thank you rubilen!). i watched her some before and during covid, matching up on those star tables against good male players. tournament pool is a different thing of course, but i think she is really resilient. same attitude, pace and confidence whether she's down by a lot or she's playing the deciding rack. really impressive.
 

ChrisinNC

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Chezka only started to grace the international stage in a big way in 2023, as sjm noted. I went back last winter/fall to look at her career and noticed the near absence of any tournament play outside of Asia.

Covid obviously was a big reason. And many Filipino players don't travel far because of the cost.

What seems to have changed the situation in the past year was the 2023 World Cup of Pool title by Filipinos James Aranas and Johann Chua. They fairly well dominated the tournament against the best players in the world.

The victory opened the eyes of every Filipino player. Anton Raga mentioned seeing that win and being inspired when he almost won the 2023 European title. All of a sudden I started seeing Filipino players who had not shown up much at international events suddenly making appearances.

Around the same time, Francisco Sanchez Ruiz and a few other big stars made the rounds in the Philippines. The Filipino opponents more than held their own, giving them the confidence they could play with anyone.

It's almost as Covid dealt a blow to the psyche of all Filipino players stuck at home because it forced them to be so insular. They seemed to start thinking they were not good enough to play with the best in the world.

And now the cockiness or confidence is returning.

Chezka will improve all facets of her game playing top opponents. It's inevitable. And every tournament promoter should want her.

But nothing in life is guaranteed. The promise is there. It is up to her to make the most of it.
It would be great to see her competing in the future in open tournaments against the men. I think she could / will hold her own, and it will only serve to make her an even stronger player.
 

VTEC John

Active member
I wonder if Chezka's intimidation factor contributed to Seo Seoa's scooping that draw shot in LV. Didn't she have Chezka on the ropes at that point? Seoa outplayed her 13-11 and lost the shootout.
 

jbart65

Well-known member
The Seoa match was like a lot of matches of Chezka. She makes a bad shot, her opponents seem to establish control ... and then they make a mistake. On comes Chezka to clean up. Fast.

Same thing happened in her Vegas Open match vs Ouschan. Jasmine goes up a set, wins the first match in the second set ... then blows a shot. Boom. Chezka runs out the set and wins the shootout.

Funny, I'll be watching a Chezka match on Youtube, see her lose the first set and look at the time left on the replay. Usually not much time is left, so I figure she is about to lose.

Then boom. She runs off a bunch of racks, sometimes in two minutes or less. Now, all the commentators are speculating on how fast she will run out each rack. Like it's a sport. That is the effect she has.

Living on the edge lately, Chezka is. Amazing to watch, though.
 

Sheldon

dontneednostinkintitle
Silver Member
Saw her in action today!

MyYZuZY.jpeg



 
Last edited:

gambler67

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
Yes, the thread title here represents a very strong statement. After all, Ga Young Kim is surely one of the ten best players in the history of women’s pro pool. I’d probably put her at #6, but that’s a debate for another day.

Obviously, Chezka Centeno is not yet mentionable with Ga Young Kim, and yet, she is on a similar trajectory.

I recall watching Ga Young Kim in the late 1990s. She had a really sweet stroke and ran the balls with great facility, but her decision making needed a lot of development. Her billiards knowledge was obvious, yet she had yet to learn how to apply it in both kicking and defensive play. I remember thinking that if she became a more complete player she could become one of the best ever. She did become a more complete player and improved her break and became one of the best of all time.

Chezka, to me, seems the same. She already has one of the sweetest strokes anyone has ever seen in a woman and she plays the patterns well, but her safety play, her kicking, her general tactical conceptualization and her break still need work. Yes, she reminds me of the youthful Ga Young Kim in this regard.

I think we may be watching the emergence of a legendary player here. It will be fun to watch. Wishing her every possible success as she continues to wow us with her exceptional play. The sky is the limit for Chezka.
i disagree i think Chezka will end up with a much better career then Kim, in the very biggest moments Kim made some very catastrophic mistakes something that doesn't seem to be in Centenos DNA
 

sjm

Older and Wiser
Silver Member
i disagree i think Chezka will end up with a much better career then Kim, in the very biggest moments Kim made some very catastrophic mistakes something that doesn't seem to be in Centenos DNA
Disagree with what? All I said was that because she reminds me of the young version of Ga Young Kim, Chezka's possibilities are without limit. Allison, Jean, Han Yu and Siming are probably the only four women that ever had a "much better" career than Ga Young, so if you're right, Chezka will be one of the five best woman pros of all time. Perhaps she will and I wish her well.
 

gambler67

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
Disagree with what? All I said was that because she reminds me of the young version of Ga Young Kim, Chezka's possibilities are without limit. Allison, Jean, Han Yu and Siming are probably the only four women that ever had a "much better" career than Ga Young, so if you're right, Chezka will be one of the five best woman pros of all time. Perhaps she will and I wish her well.
in my opinion she has what she needs to be the very best, i never seen a player on the womens side that makes other players change how they play and you can see they fear going up against her, i never seen that before on the international stage, the pace and the ease to which she finishes the games reminds me of the 1990's when tiger woods was more or less lapping the field
 

sjm

Older and Wiser
Silver Member
in my opinion she has what she needs to be the very best, i never seen a player on the womens side that makes other players change how they play and you can see they fear going up against her, i never seen that before on the international stage, the pace and the ease to which she finishes the games reminds me of the 1990's when tiger woods was more or less lapping the field
It will be a pleasure to watch.
 

mjantti

Enjoying life
Silver Member
Just a sidenote, Chezka won the prestigious but unfortunarely now retired Amway Cup back in 2016 when she was 16. Amazing performance against top women players.
 

jbart65

Well-known member
Chezka did make some very costly mistakes when she lost to Chou in the predator womens showdown. A few poor safeties and two misses she should made. She still has to clean up her game.

Her most dangerous opponent is herself. That has to change for her to become an all time great.
 
Last edited:
Top