Jing Liu wins 5th Annual Martha Hartsell Memorial

Ford, Jing Liu, Liz Cole and Jim Lebold - Owner The Cue Ball
On April 25-26, 2015, the NWPA’s second tour stop of 2015 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 and Volturi Custom Cases for their support of the 2015 season. Please check out their websites and show them your appreciation at www.ozonebilliards.com/www.volturicuecases.com. The NWPA tour standings and 2015 schedule are available at www.nwpatour.wordpress.com. The NWPA 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-eight ladies came out to compete Saturday morning. 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 Jing Liu vs. Carissa Biggs and Liz Cole vs. Suwanna Matarazzo. Jing and Suwanna both advanced through their morning matches,  and then squared off for the hot seat.  2014 Tour Champion, Jing, defeated Suwanna 7-2 to earn her spot in the final while the other players duked it out to see who would join her. B side match ups included Rebecca Slyter vs. Melyssa Chasteen and Dara Koch vs. Suzanne Smith. Melyssa and Suzanne both advanced through their morning matches by the score of 6-3 and 6-2.  Fresh off her first loss, Liz rallied back to dominate 6-0, while Melyssa narrowly advanced over Carissa 6-5. Liz then squared off against Melyssa (her first loss had also been to Liz). Liz maintained a lead throughout the match and advanced by the score 6-4. Liz then played Suwanna again. After allowing her first match up slip away after being up 6-2, Liz was not to be denied. She defeated Suwanna 6-4 to earn a spot in the final. 2014 #1 and #2 showed would square off in their first finals of the 2015 season.
Jing Liu path to the final: Adrianne B (6), Tamre R (4), Kim T (2), Carissa B (5), Suwanna (2)
Liz Cole path to the final: Julianna G (3), Suzanne S (6), Melyssa C (6), loss to Suwanna (6), Suzanne (0), Melyssa (4), Suwanna (4)
The final was one race to 9, alternating break. Throughout the entire final, both players shot with confidence and made minimal errors. Exchanging racks, until 7-7, it seemed like there were all the makings of a hill-hill final. However, Jing had other plans. She closed out the final two racks to defeat Liz 9-7, winning her first event of the season.
With Jing’s win, she moved up to third in overall standings (she missed the first stop), while Liz moved up to 2nd, and Suzanne maintained her position at top of the standings. Great tournament ladies!  The NWPA’s next event is at Ballad Town Billiards in Forest Grove, OR on May 16-17.