Sliva battles back for NWPA Win

The sun was shining on July 18-19th 2009, as Jillian's Billiard Club hosted the 4th NWPA tour stop of the year.  On scenic Lake Union waterfront, Jillian's houses 32 9-foot Brunswick tables, an enormous arcade, restaurant, and 2 full bars.  The atmosphere is playful for all ages until 9:00 p.m. and there is even a private suite available for company parties or other special events, where in-house catering is available.  For any of your entertaining needs, Jillian's has it all: “Eat, Drink, and Play.” (Located at 731 Westlake Avenue in Seattle, Washington.)

Twenty-eight players from Washington, Oregon, and British Columbia came out to battle for the $500 added prize fund, as well as add tour points to earn a spot for the Regional Tour Championship in early 2010.  After an event-filled Saturday, the field was widdled down to 8 players on Sunday, including 2008 tour winner Liz Cole who was favored to win the event considering her dominating performances to claim titles at the previous two stops.  

The winner's bracket matches included Regene Wentzell vs. Elizabeth Jensen and Carissa Biggs vs. Liz Cole.  Both Regene and Liz would advance through their matches to battle for the hot seat which Regene won 7-5.  The one-loss bracket matches included NWPA newcomer Shelby Locati vs. former Dufferin Tour Champion Mary Ellen Homenchuk, along with tour regular Kit Dennis vs. 2008 Tour Runner-Up Cindy Sliva.  Shelby and Kit both lost their morning matches and finished tied 7/8th.   Great showing ladies…  As fate would have it their morning wins would be enough to advance Cindy and Mary Ellen through their second matches of the day, past Carissa and Elizabeth who ended their tournament tied 5/6th.  Cindy would also beat Mary Ellen and Liz to make to her first final of 2009.  Congratulations on your strong shooting ladies!

The Final: Regene Wentzell and Cindy Sliva.  

Regene's path to the final: Bye, Shelby L. (6), Tamre R. (4), Elizabeth J. (2), Liz C. (5)

Cindy's path to the final: Loss to Andrea S. (5), Wendy S. (6), Elaine E. (3), Mary O. (5), Tamre (4), Kit D. (6), Carissa B. (4), Liz C. (5)

The final was one race to nine, and Cindy won the lag.  Cindy, straight out of the gate, was shooting extremely well and ended up taking a 3-0 lead before Regene took her break. It didn't stop there, as upon her return, Cindy increased the lead to 6-0 before faltering in rack 7 where an unintentional safety had Cindy kicking at the 7-ball.  She made a good hit, but the opening allowed Regene to run out and get on the board.  A couple more misses late in the rack allowed for Regene to bring the score to 6-3.  Cindy took game 10 to get within two of the win.  Cindy was stroking every shot in the next couple racks, but a ball-in-hand on the 9 and a 9-ball hanger allowed Regene to creep within two games of Cindy.  Game 13 would start out with a multiple safeties by both players to jockey around the foot spot cluster (their was some concerns with racking).  Cindy would take the game after a rattle on the 6-ball left Regene forced to play a kick defense.  Just missed, Cindy was left with a long shot on the 6, which she made, and then ran out to reach the hill first.  Game 14 was more of the same as Regene broke and made the 6 and 7-balls.  She made the 1, but then followed the 2 in trying to cheat the pocket.  With ball-in-hand and five balls remaining, Cindy made the 3 and 4 easily, but missed knocking the 5 out for better shape.  She attempted a carom off the 5 into the 8-ball and missed.  Regene made the 5 easily, but came back down table and snookered herself behind the 9-ball.  She played the kick shot to cut the 8 in the corner, but ended up hitting it too thin and leaving the 8-ball in front of the pocket.  Cindy made the 8 easily, and set herself up perfectly to make the 9 in the opposite corner.  Game and match go to Cindy… Great finish Regene, and welcome back to the NWPA. (Regene was a regular on the tour back in the days of Hsin Huang, but has since been staying closer to home with leagues and local events.)

Superstar Notable- Cindy lost her first match of the tournament to defending WWA BCA 9-Ball Champion Andrea Saenz-Maes.  She battled all the way back to take the title.  Kudos to you for an outstanding tournament!!!