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Biggs goes undefeated to create three-way tie for top spot in NWPA Tour rankings

In the end, it came down to dogged determination, rather than any dazzling display of superior skills. After a three-hour-plus final match, at the third stop on the Northwest Women's Pool Association Tour, on the weekend of May 16-17, Carissa Biggs, acting on an unforced error by her opponent, Natalie Seal, dropped the final 9-ball to chalk up an undefeated run that created a three-way tie for first place in the tour's rankings. The $500-added event, live-streamed throughout the weekend by Rail2Rail Productions, drew 26 entrants to Ballad Town Billiards in Salem, OR.
When the tournament began, Suzanne Smith sat atop the tour rankings, with Liz Cole and Jing Liu behind her, separated by a total of 80 points (Liu was the top-ranked player in 2014, with Cole second). Biggs and Seal, who would become the event's finalists, were in fifth and 14th place, respectively. Smith and Liu finished in the tie for fifth, adding 80 points to their ranking totals, while Cole finished fourth, adding 100 points to hers. Biggs' victory added 200 points to her total, while Seal added 160 as the runner-up. This created a three-way tie among Smith, Biggs and Cole, with Smith retaining the official top spot by virtue of a larger cash total in winnings. 
Biggs and Seal would meet twice; once in the hot seat and again, in the finals. Biggs advanced through Denice White, Adrianne Beach (who would be in the live stream broadcast booth at the end), and Tricia Heintz to meet Julie Valdez in one of the winners' side semifinals. Seal, winner over Juliana Goodman and Kim Toops (who'd just sent Liz Cole to the loss side), faced Jing Liu in the other. Seal survived a double hill battle over Liu, as Biggs defeated Valdez 6-4. Biggs claimed the hot seat 6-4.
On the loss side, Smith and Cole were working their way back for an eventual meeting against Valdez and Liu, both winning four to reach them. In the last two of those four, Smith had defeated Natasha Hook 6-4 and survived a double hill battle against Kim Toops to draw Valdez. Cole had gotten by Heintz and Melyssa Chasteen, both 6-1, to draw Liu. Smith's loss-side run came to an end at the hands of Valdez, double hill. Cole advanced 6-1 over Liu.
Valdez finished Cole's five-match, loss-side run with a 6-3 win in the quarterfinals. By the same score, her own three-match run on the loss side was stopped by Seal in the semifinals.
Displaying obvious signs of fatigue at this point, Biggs and Seal opened the final race-to-9 with a series of four games that made it clear it was going to be a long road to the winners' circle and left them tied at two games apiece. Seal was the first to break the back and forth pattern of the opening games, and won two in a row. Biggs, in a display of the aforementioned 'dogged determination,' then won four straight, which included the both of them attempting a 2-9 combination that eventually gave Briggs the game and tied the match at 4-4. 
Biggs took her first lead in the match at 5-4 and got her own two-game lead at 6-4. Seal closed the gap by a single game that saw them both make multiple attempts at the 9-ball, shooting long.  Seal was shooting at the 9-ball in the game that would have tied things up again, but found herself out of position. She missed her shot, and Biggs was up by two again.
Seal came back to close the gap yet again, but in game #14 at 7-6, Seal committed an unforced error, missing a straight-in shot at the 9-ball, and Biggs was on the hill. Seal came back to close the gap to within one again at 8-7. Biggs attempted a long jump shot in game #16 and gave Seal ball in hand, only to have it returned to her, when Seal scratched. Seal got another chance, but for the second game in a row, she missed her shot at the 9-ball, and Biggs closed it out at 9-7.

Kim Benson wins back-to-back NWPA events

On August 9-10, 2014, the NWPA’s fifth tour stop of 2014 was hosted by The Parlor in Bellevue, Washington.  The Parlor added $500 to the event and a Volturi custom case voucher raffle added another $350 to the prize fund ($250 to the main event and $100 to the Second Chance.) Some tickets remain on the raffle, so if you are interested please contact Suzanne Smith (
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.
Thirty ladies came out to compete Saturday morning. Only one new player joined in for the fun, Kirsten Fery out of Portland, OR. The tournament was run on 11 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 only two first round byes, but play moved along. As usual play finished early Saturday evening, many of the ladies were given complimentary comedy club tickets to The Parlor Live. Thanks to Parlor GM, Dave Lauer, for taking care of us! 
Sunday morning, eleven players remained. A side match ups included Jing Liu vs. Liz Cole (NWPA #1 and #2) and Shari Ross vs. Kim Benson. Liz and Kim both advanced through their morning matches, by the scores of 7-3 and 7-1, advancing them to the hot seat match. Liz and Kim battled it out for the hot seat, with Kim edging out Liz by the score of 7-4. On the B side, due to the early finish on Saturday, there were 3 matchups that needed to play before the money rounds. These matches include Rebecca Slyter vs. Sheila Clark, Stacy Eilts vs. Elizabeth Jensen, and Natalie Seal vs. Kim Toops. Rebecca, Elizabeth, and Natalie advanced into the money matches with the scores 6-4, 6-3, and 6-5 respectively. Following that round, the 7/8 matches were played, with Rebecca playing Suzanne Smith and Natalie playing Elizabeth. Suzanne and Elizabeth advanced by the scores of 6-1 and 6-3.  Fired up from their morning losses Shari and Jing matched up next against Elizabeth and Suzanne. While Shari advanced by the score of 6-3, Jing went hill-hill against Suzanne. In the final game, Suzanne broke dry and Jing attempted to play a safety on the 1. Suzanne proceeded to run out the rack to advance by the slimmest of margins, 6-5. Shari then squared off against Suzanne. Suzanne picked up some steam and won that match 6-2. Suzanne then played Liz (fresh off the hot seat loss), and Suzanne continued with her strong shooting and defeated Liz 6-1 to earn her first final appearance of the 2014 season. 
Kim Benson path to the final: Teri K (2), Patricia T (2), Suzanne S (2), Shari R (3), Liz C (4)
Suzanne Smith path to the final: Cassandra B (6), Melissa D (4), loss to Kim B (2), Jenny L (0), Rebecca S (1), Jing L (5), Shari R (2), Liz C (1)
The final was one race to 9, alternating break. Throughout the entire final, Kim’s stellar shot making and Suzanne’s missed safety opportunities would be the theme. Suzanne ended up down 5-2 before she would take her break. Kim expanded her lead steadily throughout the match, making fewer mistakes and maintaining her confidence throughout the set. Kim defeated Suzanne 9-4 to claim her second tour stop win on the NWPA, skyrocketing her to 3rd place in overall standings. Jing and Liz maintained their #1 and #2 spots, while Suzanne moved up to 4th with her finish. Should make for an exciting last two stops. Congratulations all the ladies for an excellent tournament.
The NWPA’s next event is back in Spokane WA at The Black Diamond on September 13-14, 2014. 

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.

Jing Liu Goes Undefeated in NWPA Season Opener

On March 22-23, 2014, the NWPA’s first tour stop of 2014 was hosted by Malarkey’s Pool & Brew in Tacoma, WA.  The tournament was ran on 9 9-foot Gold Crowns with Rail2Rail Productions providing a free live stream all weekend. 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-eight ladies came out to compete Saturday morning. There were several new players to the tour including Kathie MacDonald (Victoria BC), Anna Busley (WA), Kristen Cambas (OR), and Lindsay Hays (WA). Ladies returning after a minimum of one year (or more) not playing on the tour included Western BCA Grandmasters Linda Carter, Carissa Biggs, and 2014 US Bar Table 10 Ball Champion Cindy Sliva.  Liz Cole also returned for the inaugural event, climbing to 24th in the WPBA rankings after her performance at the WPBA Masters in Mt. Pleasant, MI Feb 6-9, 2014. The format was 9-ball, alternating break, race to 7on the A side  and a race to 6 on the B side. There were several first round byes, but play sped right along, without any major upsets going through the early rounds.
Sunday morning, only eight players remained. A side match ups included Kathie MacDonald vs. Jing Liu and Liz Cole vs. Cindy Sliva. Jing and Cindy both advanced through their morning matches, by the same score of 7-4. Jing and Cindy then squared off in the hot seat match. Jing advanced by the score 7-6 to earn her spot in the final. B side match ups included Carissa Biggs vs. Anna Busley and Natalie Seal vs. Suzanne Smith. Anna and Natalie advanced through their first round of play 6-3 and 6-2, only to come up short in their next rounds, Anna and Natalie both fell to their opponents Liz and Kathie by the same score, 6-2. Kathie then squared off against Liz. Kathie seemed to have the edge in their match and advanced by the score 6-4. Kathie then played Cindy and defeated her as well, 6-4.
The final was one race to 9, alternating break. Throughout the entire final, Jing shot with confidence and precision, affording her opponent few and fewer opportunities as the match proceeded. Jing maintained and expanded her lead steadily throughout the match, allowing her opponent only four racks of the 13 games played. Jing was the 2013 NWPA Rookie of the Year and demonstrated how hard work and perseverance in the off season can contribute to growth as a player. Congratulations to Jing for her win and to Kathie MacDonald for such a strong debut performance. 
Great tournament ladies!  The NWPA’s next event is the 3rd Annual Martha Hartsell Memorial and will be hosted at The Cue Ball in Salem, OR on April 19-20.  
Seven ladies returned on Sunday for the $100 added Second Chance tournament. With a $10 entry, nearly all players received at least their entry fee back in the true double elimination tournament, race to 3 on the A side and race to 2 on the B side.  Rebecca Slyter ended up winning top prize, defeating Linda Carter 2-1 in the second set of the finals. Linda won the first set 3-2. Good work ladies, nice shooting.

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.

Liz Cole wins NWPA Tour Stop #5, undefeated at The Parlor

Liz Cole (Courtesy of Sandro Menzel)

The Parlor in Bellevue, Washington hosted the fifth tour stop of the Northwest Women’s Pool Associations’ 2013 season.  Located in beautiful downtown Bellevue, the Parlor offers a full variety of entertainment featuring The Parlor Live Comedy Club, the Ultra Lounge, and the Parlor Billiards & Spirits. In addition to the main floor, The Parlor has two private suites and full catering available for your company gatherings.  Check out all they have to offer at
The tournament was run on eleven Brunswick Gold Crowns with Centennial balls.  Twenty-eight players came out to compete Saturday morning and Rail2Rail Productions provided a free live stream all weekend.  The format was 9 ball, alternating break, race to seven on the A side and 6 on the B side.  New players to the tour included Jocelyn Liu, Helen Wragg, and Gloria Villa.  Play wrapped up early Saturday evening and only twelve players returned on Sunday morning with a chance to win the event.  On the A side, Liz Cole played Mary Hopkin, while Eve Stockstill took on Suzanne Smith.  Liz and Eve both advanced through their morning matches, 7-3 and 7-6, respectively to advance.  Liz continued in her winning ways, defeating Eve by a similar margin at 7-4.  B side matches included: Gloria Villa vs. Shari Ross, Denice White vs. Natalie Seal, Tamre Rogers vs. Kim Jones, and Stacy Eilts vs. Jocelyn Liu. Shari (6-1), Natalie (6-3), Kim (6-1), and Stacy (6-4) advanced through their morning matches to the money rounds against each other, where Natalie and Kim defeated their opponents Shari and Stacy by the same score (6-3).  Fresh off their first round losses, Mary then played Kim, while Suzanne took on Natalie.  Kim picked up steam defeating Mary 6-3, while Suzanne recovered from her morning loss defeating Natalie 6-2.  Kim and Suzanne then played each other.  Up 5-4, in a race to 6, Kim seemed to have the edge in this match, but a failed safety and a missed 4-9 combination gave Suzanne the opportunity to close out both of the last two games with early 9s.  Suzanne then went on to defeat Eve 6-3 to earn a place in her first final of the 2013 season.
FINAL Match- Liz Cole vs. Suzanne Smith
Liz Cole- path to the final: Sheila C (2), Jessica O (0), Natalie Seal (1), Mary H (3), Eve S (4)
Suzanne Smith- path to the final: Kathy S (3), Gloria V (2), Jocelyn L (4), loss to Eve S (6), Natalie S (2), Kim J (5), Eve S (3) 
The finals were one race to 9, alternating break.  Liz won the lag and both players didn’t really catch a groove until the middle of the set.  At 5-4 Liz, Suzanne missed a 9 to tie the match.  Liz capitalized there to take the 6-4 lead, and never looked back.  Then, a miss on the 1 ball and dry break, by Suzanne resulted in Liz running out both of those racks.  Liz picked up steam and Suzanne couldn’t withstand the heat.  At 8-4, both players made and missed shots.  Suzanne got into a tough position late in the rack and ended up making the 8 and scratching, giving Liz ball in hand on the 9 to win the tournament.  Liz closed the gap between herself and Mary for top slot in overall standings, while Suzanne jumped up from 9th to 3rd place overall.  With two more tour stops, it should be a battle, as always.  
Thanks again to The Parlor for their continuous support of the NWPA, our title sponsor Mueller, and all the ladies that make our tour what it is.  The next NWPA event has yet to be confirmed, but is planned for Oct 5-6, 2013.  Please confirm information on the next stop on the NWPA’s website :


Hopkin moves into first place in NWPA rankings after undefeated win on Stop #4

Mary Hopkin – Courtesy Sandra Menzel

Mary Hopkin picked up her second victory on the 2013 Northwest Women's Pool Association Tour by going undefeated on the tour's fourth stop. She had won the tour's second stop in April. The win moved her into the #1 slot in the tour's standings, replacing Liz Cole, who has won the other two stops on the tour, but was absent for this most recent event. The  $500-added, June 22-23 event drew 22 entrants to Black Diamond Billiards in Spokane, WA.
It was a five-match journey for Hopkin that was almost derailed in the battle for the hot seat. She had defeated Adrianne Beach 7-1, Amber Foster 7-5, and among the winners' side final four, Alicia Kvasnicka 7-3, when she met up with Natalie Seal in that hot seat match. Seal had survived a double hill, opening match against Sheila Clark, defeated Joyce Robinson 7-2, and Elaine Eberly 7-5, before meeting and defeating Alisha Rogers 7-5 in the other winners' side semifinal. Hopkin and Seal, in their first of two, battled to double hill before Hopkin prevailed to sit in the hot seat, awaiting her return.
On the loss side, Kvasnicka ran into Elaine Eberly, who, after being sent west by Seal, had shut out Sharon Bledsoe and defeated Suzanne Smith 6-4. Rogers drew Suwanna Matarazzo, whom she'd sent to the loss side in the second round, and was on a four-match, loss side streak that included victories over Julie Valdez 6-1 and Amber Foster 6-4. Kvasnicka defeated Eberly 6-2, and in the quarterfinals, faced Rogers, who'd successfully defeated Matarazzo a second time 6-4.
Kvasnicka dropped Rogers into the fourth place slot 6-4, earning herself a shot against Seal in the semifinals. Both were looking for a second chance against Hopkin, but it was Seal who earned it, allowing Kvasnicka only a single rack in their semifinal match.
Seal got her second chance against Hopkin, with thoughts of their double hill hot seat match relatively fresh on her mind. Hopkin, though, had those thoughts in her head as well, and left little to chance. She defeated Seal 9-4 to claim the event title, as well as first place in the tour rankings.