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Ortiz wins her third straight stop on the 2022 Northwest Women’s Pool Association Tour

Chris Rogers, Molina Ortíz, Liz Cole, Mike Deitchman (commentator) and Mike Littman

Through her three straight wins on the Northwest Women’s Pool Association tour since July, her first-ever recorded series of events with us here at AZBilliards, Molina Ortiz has steadily improved her game-winning percentage. She won 62% of the games she played at Stop #1, 72% of them at Stop #2 and 74% this past weekend, Sept, 17-18. She has won 17 straight matches, went undefeated at all three events and downed Liz Cole in the finals of the last two. Only two players forced her into a double hill showdown; Cole in the finals of Stop #2 and Kathie MacDonald in the second round of this past weekend’s stop. The $1,500-added event drew 26 entrants to Sam’s Hollywood Billiards in Portland, OR.

At Stop #2, she and Cole went head-to-head in both the hot seat and finals. At this latest stop, they emerged from the lower part of the bracket and faced off against each other in a winners’ side semifinal, immediately after Ortiz had been challenged, double hill, by Kathie MacDonald. Mary McConnell, in the meantime, squared off against Suzanne Smith in the other winners’ side semifinal.

Ortiz sent Cole to the loss side 7-1 and was joined in the hot seat match by McConnell, who’d sent Smith over 7-3. Ortiz claimed her third hot seat with a 7-1 victory over McConnell. 

On the loss side of the bracket, Cole picked up Cristy Barsky, who was working on a five-match, loss-side streak that was about to end and had recently eliminated Susan Andree 6-2 and Melissa Rushton 6-4. Smith drew Katherine Robertson, who’d been defeated by Cole in a winners’ side quarterfinal and gone on to defeat current NWPA President Stephanie Drakulic 6-2 and Kathie MacDonald 6-4.

Cole downed Barsky 6-1, as Smith was eliminating Robertson 6-3. Cole followed with two straight double-hill wins, over Smith in the quarterfinals and McConnell in the semifinals.

When the finals got underway, Ortiz and Cole had met three times before; twice at Stop #2 and once, at this event. Ortiz came into the match with a 22-12 game record over Cole. She turned that into a 31-15 match record with a 9-3 win to claim her third straight NWPA title.

Tournament director Chris Rogers thanked the ownership and staff at Sam’s Hollywood Billiards, as well as sponsors Mike Littman (Littman Lights) and The Trough Bar & Billiards of Portland, OR, each of whom added $500 to the event’s prize fund. The next stop on the NWPA, scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 29, will be hosted by Phil’s Bar & Grill in Salem, OR.

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Ortiz goes undefeated to claim first 2022 title on Northwest Women’s Pool Association Tour

Chris Rogers (TD), Molina Ortiz and Stephanie Drakulic (Photo courtesy Sandro Menzel)

Youngest player to ever compete on NWPA Tour, 13-year-old Marissa Du, wins Second Chance 

Before this past weekend, the last time the women of the Northwest Women’s Pool Association (NWPA) gathered was this past December when they met for a tournament in Everett, WA to celebrate the tour’s 20th anniversary. It was the one and only stop of what could, only by default, be called a season; in effect, a combination season opener and finale. Prior to that event, they’d held their last stop, at the same location, in February, 2020, in what was the only stop of that season, thanks to the pandemic.

Though plans were afoot last December to get back into stroke for a 2022 season, those plans didn’t reach fruition until this past weekend, July 9-10, when they gathered once again, this time at Legends Billiards in Beaverton, OR, for the first of five events scheduled through December. Attended by competitors from four states (OR, WA, CA and ID) and one Canadian Province (BC), a show of hands yielded information that just a little under one-third of the entrants (15) were brand new players on the tour, including the winner, Molina Ortiz, who moved to Portland, OR two years ago from New York. Her FargoRate of 626 made her the highest-rated competitor in the third season-opening tournament in a row. In the finals, Ortiz downed the NWPA’s current President, Stephanie Drakulic, who was the tour’s runner-up to Liz Cole in standings for the two years prior to the unexpected hiatus. This past weekend’s $1,000-added event drew 47 entrants to Legends Billiards.

Ortiz and Drakulic met twice in this one; hot seat and finals. Though the tour’s two champions over the last five years were on hand – Liz Cole; ’20, ’19, ’18 and ’16 and Suzanne Smith; ’17 – Ortiz didn’t get the opportunity to compete against either of them. Smith was defeated in the opening round of play by Marian Poole, who advanced to meet Ortiz in the third round. Cole was sent to the loss side in the second round by Jeanne Christiansen, who was defeated in a winners’ side quarterfinal by Melissa Rushton, who advanced to meet Ortiz in one of the winners’ side semifinals. Drakulic experienced a kind of roller-coaster trip to the other winners’ side semifinal, winning her opener against Stephanie Lyon by shutout, her second-round match versus Andi Beebe, double hill and a 6-1 victory over Angele Silveira, to draw Kathie MacDonald in the other winners’ side semifinal.

Ortiz and Rushton battled to double hill before Ortiz advanced to the hot seat match. Drakulic downed MacDonald 6-4 to join her. Ortiz claimed the hot seat 6-3 and waited on Drakulic’s return from the semifinals.

On the loss side, Smith was working on a seven-match, loss-side winning streak that would end in the quarterfinals. She chalked up loss-side wins #5 and #6 against Donna Kingsbury 6-4 and Kat Guest 6-1 to draw Rushton. Cindy Sliva was working on a four-match, loss-side streak that had begun with the elimination of Liz Cole 6-4 in the third loss-side round and had recently eliminated Regene Lane and Jeanne Christiansen, both 6-1, to pick up MacDonald.

MacDonald stopped Sliva’s loss-side run 6-1 and, in the quarterfinals, faced Smith, who’d given up only a single rack to Rushton. Smith and MacDonald locked up in a double hill battle in those quarterfinals, eventually won by MacDonald, who advanced to her re-match against Drakunic in the semifinals.

Drakulic defeated MacDonald a second time, 6-3, to advance to her rematch against Ortiz in the finals. The final match came within a game of going double hill, but Ortiz edged out in front of Drakulic near the end to claim the NWPA’s first 2022 title.

As noted, 13-year-old Marissa Du from Seattle, won the event’s 12-entrant Second Chance tournament. Du is one of 16 girls competing in the 13 & Under Girls Division of the Junior International Championships’ second season. She traveled to Aiken, SC in March to compete in the third stop of that season, finishing in the tie for 5th/6th.

NWPA President Stephanie Drakulic and Tour director, Chris Rogers thanked Legends Billiards owner, Michelle Bean and its GM, Dave McDowell for their hospitality, as well as John Scudder, Diamond Pool Tables’ Northwest representative, for payment of the live-streaming equipment, instrumental in NWPA’s live-streaming of events on YouTube. Live stream information can be found at playnwpa.com/livestream. Sandro Menzel is the NWPA’s official photographer.

The next stop on the NWPA Tour, scheduled for the weekend of August 27-28, will be hosted by Players Pub & Grill in Kennewick, WA.

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Cole goes undefeated to win Northwest Women’s Pool Association’s season opener

(l to r): Chris Rogers (TD), Liz Cole, Cindy Sliva & Mike Bean (Legends owner)

Under the leadership of a new President, Stephanie Hefner, the Northwest Womens’s Pool Association (NWPA) opened its 2020 season with a $1,000-added, 10-ball stop at Legends Billiards Room in Beaverton, OR last weekend (Feb. 22-23). Hefner, who won the NAPT Division II Championships the previous weekend (Feb.16-17) in Phoenix, AZ, won this most recent event’s Second Chance tournament while finishing in the tie for 17th in the main event. Liz Cole, a long-time competitor on the tour went undefeated through the field of 56 entrants. Cole faced different opponents in the hot seat and finals, but battled another veteran tour competitor, Cindy Sliva, twice to claim the title.
 
Cole opened up with victories over Claire Lewis 6-1, Stacie Larson 6-2 and shut out Cindy Doty before running into Sliva for the first time in the winners’ side quarterfinal. Cole sent Sliva to the loss side 6-3 and drew Melissa Rushton in one of the winners’ side semifinals. Kira North, in the meantime, squared off against Donna Kingsbury in the other one.
 
North and Cole advanced to the hot seat match; North, 6-2 over Kingsbury and Cole, 6-3 over Rushton. Cole downed North 6-3 to claim the hot seat.
 
Cindy Sliva had opened her loss-side campaign with two 6-3 victories over MaryBeth Johnson and Deby Welfringer to pick up Kingsbury. Rushton drew Robin Adams, who’d been defeated by Sliva in the event’s third round and was in the midst of a four-match, loss-side winning streak that had entailed three double hill wins for her. With two of those double hill wins behind her, Adams downed Joyce Robinson 6-3 and then, chalked up her third double hill win, against Shirley Morgan to reach Rushton.
 
Rushton spoiled Adams’ bid for a rematch against Sliva and ended her streak 6-4 to advance to the quarterfinals. She was joined by Sliva, who’d defeated Kingsbury 6-1. Rushton put up a fight in those quarterfinals, falling just a game short of double hill, but Sliva prevailed 6-4 and then, gave up just a single rack to North in the semifinals.
 
Cole completed her undefeated run with a strong victory in the finals. She gave up only two racks and claimed the title 9-2 over Sliva.
 
Tour director Chris Rogers thanked the ownership and staff at Legends Billiards for their hospitality. The next stop on the NWPA Tour will be the Martha Harstell Memorial Tournament, a 9-ball event, scheduled for the weekend of March 28-29, to be hosted by The Cue Ball in Salem, OR.

Mendiola and Bayaua in Beast Mode on Poison Lone Star Tour

Manny Chau and Ernesto Bayaua

Houston’s David Mendiola tore through a field of 55 competitors in the amateur 9-ball division, beating Steve Lenz in the finals, 5-2, 5-3, to win his first, Poison Lone Star Billiards Tour title. Ernesto Bayaua went undefeated in the 50-player, open 9-ball division, defeating Manny Chau in the finals, 7-1, securing his second, consecutive win of 2018. 
 
On February 10th-11th, 2018, the Poison Lone Star Billiards Tour held its second stop of the season at Bogies Billiards West in Houston, Texas. The tournament amassed 94 players from cities throughout Texas and Louisiana, with a payout in excess of $7,000. The Tour would like to thank Bogies West and staff, title sponsor Poison by Predator Cues PoisonBilliards.com, and sponsors Cyclop Pool Balls Facebook@CyclopPoolBalls, Ozone Billiards OzoneBilliards.com, APA of North Harris County Facebook@APANorthHarrisCounty, OutsvilleBilliards.com, and www.VaporKnightsUSA.com for facilitating another successful event for the Poison Lone Star Tour players.
 
In the amateur division, David Mendiola made his way to the final four with wins over Kenneth Espina, 5-2, Bob Valliere, 5-4, Steve Williams, 5-0, and Rudy Sanchez, 5-0, while Steve Lenz took care of Jim Shipman, 5-0, Burak Temel, 5-4, and Dallas’ Joe Pelayo, 5-1.  Beaumont’s Carl Honey bested San Antonio’s Scott Spiegel, Richard “The Black Diamond” Stuart, Louisiana’s Shane LeBlanc, 5-3, and Bill Fuller, 5-3, while Brian Rosenbaum tagged Ron Wrobleski, Jong Yoo, 5-4, Angelo Martin, 5-1, and John Braud. On the one loss side, Yoo eliminated Fuller, 5-1, while Joey Bourgeois ended Braud, 5-3. Following five match wins, Chris Rogers went on to eliminate Sanchez, 5-2, while Pelayo slid by Felder, 5-4. Cruising to the hot seat, Lenz dealt Mendiola a blow, 5-2, while Rosenbaum denied Honey, 5-4. Lenz dusted off Rosenbaum for the hot seat, 5-3, seemingly on the road to a second, amateur division victory. On the west side, rounding out the final eight, Fuller fell to Bourgeois, and Pelayo denied Rogers, 5-2. Mendiola eliminated Bourgeois, 5-4, and Honey curbed Pelayo, 5-2. Mendiola forged ahead, edging out Honey, 5-4, and Rosenbaum, 5-4, earning himself a rematch with Lenz. In the finals, a collected Lenz attempted to fend off a relentless Mendiola, and it was a fight to the finish. Mendiola latched on, claiming the first set, 5-2. In the second set, Lenz tried to turn it around, but Mendiola’s momentum was too strong. The Houston player closed out the second set, 5-3, to win his first-ever, Poison Lone Star Tour title. 
 
In the open 9-ball division, Ernesto Bayaua was unstoppable. He secured wins over Dallas’ Vic Sorto, 7-1, Brian Rosenbaum, 7-2, Robert Wendel, 7-2, and New York’s Dale Briones, 7-2, while Denis Strickland overwhelmed Richie Richeson, 7-5, Joe Pelayo, 7-2, and Jong Yoo, 7-0. Young gun, Joey Torres, overcame Ronjan Mathur, Manny Chau, 7-5, and Bob Valliere, 7-1, while Lufkin’s Chad Reece bested Shane LeBlanc, 7-2, Joey Bourgeois, 7-4, and Chris Rogers, 7-5. Bayaua squeezed by Strickland, 7-6, while Torres tamed Reece, 7-5, pitting two Houston locals for the hot seat match. Bayaua made quick work of Torres, 7-1, which marked his twelfth, consecutive match win in the first two events. On the one loss side, following a third round upset by Chris Rogers, Tommy Tokoph took out Jong Yoo, while Chau overcame Briones, 5-3. LeBlanc took out Valliere, 5-1, and Felder extinguished Rogers, 5-2. Chau powered through Tokoph, 5-0, and Reece, 5-1, while LeBlanc finished off Felder, 5-2, but fell to Strickland, 5-0. Chau, the 2017 Tour Champion, sent home Strickland, 5-3, and Torres, 5-2, for a final match up against 2016 Tour Champion, Bayaua. With an incredible seven match wins to his credit, Chau headed into the finals with an undefeated Bayaua. In the final set, Bayaua set the pace, took the lead, and never looked back. Bayaua defeated Chau, 7-1, winning his second Tour event, and marking his thirteenth, straight match win this year. 
 
Special “congratulations” to Joe Pelayo of Dallas, Texas, on securing his highest, Poison Lone Star Tour finish to date! The Tour would also like to recognize Ruth Paine of San Antonio, Texas, for her assistance with the production of this event. Match recordings on the live stream table were facilitated by www.SouthernStreaming.com, and are now available for viewing in their online library. 
 
The next event will be held March 10th-11th, 2018, at Fat Rack’s Sports Bar and Billiards in San Antonio, Texas. For more information, please visit www.LoneStarBilliardsTour.com.