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Kim Benson dominates in her first appearance on NWPA

Jing Liu, Ford and Kim Benson

On June 21-22, 2014, the NWPA’s fourth tour stop of 2014 was hosted by The Black Diamond in Spokane, Washington.  The Black Diamond added $500 to the event and a Kwikfire Cue Raffle (donated by Suzanne Smith) added another $350 to the prize fund ($250 to the main event and $100 to the Second Chance.)
The NWPA would like to thank our sponsor Ozone Billiards and Volturi for their support for the 2014 season. Please check out their websites and show them your appreciation at and 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-seven ladies came out to compete Saturday morning. New players to the tour included Kim Benson (HI), Christy Morgan (ID), and Cheryl Rosean (MT) . The tournament was run on 8 9-foot Brunswick Gold Crowns 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. 
Sunday morning, only eight players remained. A side match ups included Suzanne Smith vs. Liz Cole and Jing Liu vs. Kim Benson. Suzanne and Jing both advanced through their morning matches, by the scores of 7-5 and 7-3, advancing them to the hot seat match. Jing and Suzanne battled it out in a hill-hill match up where a failed safe by Jing looked to be all the opportunity Suzanne would need to advance to her first final of the 2014 season. Suzanne missed an open shot on the 7 ball to leave Jing tough. Jing proceeded to pocket each of the last balls, culminating with an amazing 9 ball shot to advance to the finals and solidify her position on top of the tour’s overall standings. B side match ups included Amber Foster vs. Patricia Tipton and Carissa Biggs vs. Mary Olson. Amber and Mary both advanced through their morning matches by the same score of 6-5.  Fired up from their morning losses Liz and Kim rallied back through their next round, by the score of 6-4 and 6-2. Liz then squared off against Kim. Kim maintained a lead throughout the match and advanced by the score 6-4. Kim then played Suzanne, and Kim looked to be well on her way when a stumble on her final 8 ball allowed Suzanne back to the table with a fairly easy 2 ball out. Suzanne pocketed the 8 ball and scratched, giving Kim ball in hand to win the set 6-4.
Jing Liu path to the final: Rebecca S (6), Kim T (1), Patricia T (4), Kim B (3), Suzanne S (6)
Kim Benson path to the final: Dyamelle C (3), Natalie S (6), Elizabeth J (3), loss to Jing L (3), Mary O (2), Liz C (4), Suzanne S (4)
The final was one race to 9, alternating break. Throughout the entire final, Kim shot with such amazing confidence and precision, ultimately only missing four balls throughout the set, capitalizing on Jing’s mistakes as the match proceeded. Kim expanded her lead steadily throughout the match, allowing her opponent very few opportunities to find a rhythm. Kim defeated Jing 9-0 in just over an hour match to claim her first tour stop win on the NWPA. Congratulations to both ladies for an excellent tournament.
With Jing’s finish, she maintained her position on top in overall standings. Suzanne jumped up 7 spots with her 3rd place finish, and Liz maintained 2nd place in overall standings coming in 4th place. Great tournament ladies!  The NWPA’s next event is at The Parlor in Bellevue, WA on August 9-10.  
Eleven ladies returned on Sunday for the $200 added Second Chance tournament. There was no entry fee with the extra money and the true double elimination tournament was a race to 3 on the A side and race to 2 on the B side.  Rebecca Slyter ended up winning top prize, defeating Mary Coffman two sets in the final. Good work ladies, nice shooting.


Cole comes from the loss side to take down North in NWPA Stop #3

Liz Cole (Courtesy of Sandro Menzel)

Liz Cole's victory at the third stop on the Northwest Women's Pool Association Tour jumped her up six slots on the 2014 tour rankings, into second place. Jing Liu, who entered the tournament at the top of the rankings, maintained that position by chalking up 30 ranking points, in the tie for 17th place. Kim Toops, entering in the #3 slot, also finished in that tie, and dropped to fourth, when Cole moved ahead of her. Cole, winner of three stops on the NWPA Tour in 2013, picked up her first in 2014 at the May 3-4, $500-added event that drew 29 entrants to Ballad Town Billiards in Forest Grove, OR.
Cole's path to the finals made two initial stops on the winners' side of the bracket, with victories over Gretchen Sziebert, a shutout, and Stacy Eilts 6-2, before running into Mary Olson, who defeated her 6-4. The victory moved Olson into a winners' side semifinal against Kira North. Fran Johnson and Sheila Clark squared off in the other. North survived a double hill fight against Olson, as Clark downed Johnson 6-3. North claimed the hot seat 6-4 over Clark and waited on Cole.
Cole moved over and just did get by Suzanne Smith 6-5, before shutting out Juliana Goodman and drawing Johnson. Olson picked up Suwanna Matarazzo, who'd been sent to the losers' bracket by Goodman and then, defeated Patricia Tipton, Adrianne Beach, Natalie Seal, and, in a live-stream broadcast, Rebecca Slyter 6-4, to draw Olson. 
Cole eliminated Johnson 6-1, earning herself a rematch in the quarterfinals against Olson, who'd defeated Matarazzo 6-3. Cole had the last say in a double hill contest, and then, defeated Clark 6-3 in the semifinals. In a single race-to-9 final, Cole defeated North 9-4 to claim the event title.

Cole comes back from the loss side to win Stop # 6 on the NWPA Tour

Liz Cole (Courtesy of Sandro Menzel)

Liz Cole retained her position atop the Northwest Women's Pool Association leader board with a come-from-the-loss-side victory at Stop # 6 on the tour. She lost a tight match among the winners' side final four against Sheila Clark, and after winning three on the loss side, returned to down Clark in the finals. The $500-added event, held on the weekend of October 19-20, drew 22 entrants to Parlor Billiards in Bellevue, WA.
Once she had survived the double hill match against Cole in one of the winners' side semifinals, Clark faced Kim Jones, who'd defeated Suwanna Matarazzo 7-2. In what would prove to be her final victory, Clark shut Jones out and sat in the hot seat, waiting for Cole.
Cole moved over to pick up Suzanne Smith, who has recently become a member of the NWPA Board of Directors, in charge of promotions and fundraising for the tour. Smith, who'd been another double hill victim of Clark in the second round of play, was in the midst of a five-match, loss-side streak of her own, having survived a double hill match against Elane Eberly and defeated Mary Olson, Kit Dennis and Natalie Seal 6-3. Matarazzo faced Mary Coffman, who'd defeated Robin Adams 6-2 and Gloria Villa 6-1, to reach her.
Coffman handed Matarazzo her second straight loss 6-3, and in the quarterfinals, had to contend with Cole, who'd ended Smith's loss-side run 6-3. Cole eliminated Coffman 6-4, and then, in the semifinals, downed Jones 6-2 to earn herself a re-match against Clark. She took full advantage, defeating Clark 9-3 to claim the event title.

Fifth Hunter Classics Stop, Stops at Pool Sharks in Las Vegas

Ying-Ya Lin, Joe Cannella and Susan Mello

45 women came to compete at Pool Sharks in Las Vegas, NV September 8-9,2001.  20 of these women were in contention for the WPBA Qualifier, and Ying-Ya came out on top winning the event and the qualifier.  Women came from Texas, Arizona, California, Missouri, Minnesota, Taiwan, Florida, Washington, Colorado and of course Nevada.
Wes Hunter donated another beautiful Hunter Classics Custom Cue worth a whopping $2,400 this time!  This spectacular cue has a tiger maple forearm with 6 ebony points, a tiger maple butt with ebony band, black and light blue veneers and stitch rings.  Ebony and ivory inlays with a black with white linen wrap complemented the cue.  Congratulations to Clint Smith from Westminster, CO who won the cue that everyone wanted to win.
The Hunter Classics Tour would like to thank Joe Cannella and John Kutcha who were great hosts for this event, showing the ladies a good time in their spacious pool room.  The last three matches were held in the "pit" of the pool room, which was one table, on sunken ground, surrounded by four rails of fans.  Thank you also to Thumbs for refereeing and Al Lawrence for running the board.  Summer and Hector worked behind the bar for us ladies.  And we can't forget the hard work of Susan Conlee, our local representative, who worked diligently getting the stop ready.  Thanks to Debra Aarens-Cerchi, a local Las Vegas artist and great player, who donated a pool/Shakespeare poster which was won by Joe LeBeau (you can purchase the same painting in the new Meuller catalog that will be coming out soon).
After the smoke cleared on Saturday, 12 women came back for the fight on Sunday.  On the winners side, Susan Mello (from Arizona) was playing Mary Olson (from Seattle) and Katie Moses (from Las Vegas) was playing Ying-Ya Lin (from Taiwan).  Eventually, it would be Mary and Ying-Ya playing for the hot seat.  On the one-loss side, Brenda Plantz was playing Melissa Morris (who had just come down on Saturday after playing in the Albuquerque WPBA pro event) and Kristin Haney was playing Gail Lave.  The other four ladies playing on the one-loss side were Kim Shaw versus Angel Paglia and Jenny Lee versus Jean Vaillancourt.  Coming in 7/8 was Brenda Plantz and Jenny Lee, coming in 5th/6th was Gail Lave and Kim Shaw.  The 4th and 3rd places were earned respectively by Katie Moses and Mary Olson.
Gail Lave and Brenda Plantz went hill-hill in a match to determine not only who continued in the tournament, but also who the new Tour point leader would be.  Gail Lave won the match and is now in first place by 1 point.  Brenda is in second place with Leslie Rogers close behind in third.
Ying-Ya defeated Jane Fujinaga 7-5, Summer Gage 7-3, Angel Paglia 7-4, Gail Lave 7-1, Katie Moses 7-5 and then Mary Olson 7-5 for the hot seat.  Ying-Ya waited for Susan Mello to come through the one-loss side.
Susan Mello's road to the finals was defeating J'Lene Barnes 7-2, Norma Deitz 7-6, Debra Aarens-Cerchri 7-6 and Kim Shaw 7-4 before she was defeated by Mary Olson 5-7.  Then Susan defeated Gail Lave 7-6, Katie Moses 7-5 and Mary Olson 9-2 before playing Ying-Ya in the finals.  This match would be one race to 11 with Ying-Ya winning 11-2, collecting $750 and the WPBA Qualifier and Susan Mello placing second and collecting $575.
The always exciting second chance tournament, this time with 19 ladies, was being held at the same time on Sunday with Debra Aarens-Cerchi from Vegas coming in 1st, Leslie Rogers from Texas coming in 2nd and Helene Caukin from Florida coming in 3rd.
Thanks to Julie Stephenson, Lucille Donahue and Melinda Bailey who helped run this stop and thanks again to Wes Hunter for his continued support of this tour!
Come visit us at our next stop at G-Cue Billiards in Round Rock, TX (outside of Austin) October 13-14 and visit us on the web for all information:  for more pictures from this tournament, please click here.