Carissa Biggs Wins 4th Annual Martha Hartsell Memorial

On April 19-20, 2014, the NWPA’s second tour stop of 2014 was hosted by The Cue Ball in Salem, OR.  The Cue Ball has supported our tour from the very beginning and we would like to thank Jim Lebold for all that he does for women’s pool. Martha Hartsell was a fierce competitor whose life was cut short by cancer in 2010. Many of the women on tour were good friends with Martha and in her honor, continue to play the game that she loved, making lifelong friends and rivals along the way.  
The NWPA would like to thank our sponsor Ozone Billiards for their support for the 2014 season. Please check out their website and show them your appreciation at The NWPA tour standings and 2014 schedule are available at and is sanctioned by the WPBA. All skill levels are welcome to play and players can accrue points towards their semiprofessional status while gaining experience playing some of the top women players in the northwest.
Twenty-five ladies came out to compete Saturday morning, and with very few of the region’s top players in attendance (only four of the top twelve from the season opener), it really was an event where anyone could win. There were several new players to the tour including Patricia Tipton, Cassandra Bryant, Dyamelle Castilleja, and Sherri Denke. The tournament was run on 22 9-foot Brunswick Anniversary tables with Rail2Rail Productions providing a free live stream all weekend. The format was a race to 7, alternating break, 9 ball, with a race to 6 on the B side. There were several first round byes, but play sped right along. Tour players spent the remainder of their Saturday at Jake’s Bar, just down the road for ribeyes and  bartable action, an annual tradition for this event.
Sunday morning, only eight players remained. A side match ups included Rebecca Slyter vs. Kathy Stanley and Kim Toops vs. Suwanna Matarazzo. Rebecca and Kim both advanced through their morning matches, by the same score of 7-2, solidifying their top tour finishes to date by squaring off for the hot seat. The birthday girl, Kim, continued her stellar play in the hot seat match, defeating Rebecca 7-2 to earn her first final appearance in tour history. B side match ups included Carissa Biggs vs. tour veteran Julie Valdez and Jing Liu vs. Sheila Clark. Carissa and Jing both advanced through their morning matches by the score of 6-2 and 6-5.  Momentum stayed with Carissa and Jing as they marched through their next round as well, by the same score of 6-2. Carissa then squared off against Jing. Carissa maintained a lead throughout the match and advanced by the score 6-3. Carissa then played Rebecca, who had been sitting for some time and defeated her handily, not allowing a single rack win (6-0).
Kim Toops path to the final: Sarah M (2), Jing L (3), Julie V (4), Suwanna M (2), Rebecca S (2)
Carissa Biggs path to the final: Bye, Sheila C (1), loss to Suwanna (3), Dyamelle C (2), Julie V (2), Kathy S (2), Jing L (3), Rebecca S (0)
The final was one race to 9, alternating break. Throughout the entire final, Kim shot with the confidence she had possessed all weekend, capitalizing on Carissa’s mistakes as the match proceeded. Kim expanded her lead steadily throughout the match, allowing her opponent only three racks by the time she reached the hill. But Carissa Biggs had not an ounce of give up. She battled through each of the following games with such resolve; you could just sense a hill-hill match was in the making. Carissa did it; she fought hard and tied up the match at 8-8, one game for all the cheese.
The Final Game- Kim broke and pocketed the 7 in the side pocket. She made a cut on the 1 ball leaving herself a 2-9 carom for the win. She missed the carom, but ended up banking the 2 ball in the opposite corner. She then pocketed the 3 ball and left herself a draw cut shot on the 4 to get back up table for the 5 ball. She missed the 4 ball entirely, but kicked it towards the opposite corner, where it rattled. Carissa was hooked by the 8 ball, so she attempted to jump. Unfortunately, Carissa couldn’t clear the 8 ball, but she did end up pocketing the 4. With ball in hand and only four balls on the table, it looked like Kim would spoil Carissa’s come back. Kim pocketed the 5 and 6, but then rattled the 8 ball. Carissa stepped to the table and pocketed the 8, but left herself shooting a cut on the 9 to the side pocket. With her cue ball just barely off the side rail, she ended up overcutting the 9 leaving a fairly manageable cut for Kim. Kim then missed that 9 ball too, but left Carissa a bank shot. Carissa attempted the bank, but hit both points, and went to the center of the table, leaving Kim a back cut on the 9. Kim beared down on the ball, measured her line, and fired. The ball rattled and sat right in front of the pocket, with the cue ball about 4 inches from it in a straight line to the pocket. Kim’s disappointment was clear as she slapped her knee, knowing the opportunity to win was no longer hers. Carissa stepped to the table with bridge in hand and made the final 9 ball for the win. Both ladies shook hands as conclusion to the event. Later on, Carissa spoke to the memory of Martha “Winning this event here at The Cue Ball sponsored by Jim Lebold in memory of Martha Hartsell is very special to me. Martha was a great competitor and sportswoman whose life was cut way too short. Don't take one moment for granted!” 
With Carissa’s win, she moved up to second in overall standings, while Kim moved up to 3rd. Great tournament ladies!  The NWPA’s next event is at Ballad Town Billiards in Forest Grove, OR on May 3-4.