Tina Larsen Wins “Midwest Women’s Pool” Qualifier

Tina Larsen Wins “Midwest Women's Pool” Qualifier

Dave's Goodtime Billiards, in West Peoria, Illinois hosted the Midwest Women's Pool Tour's second qualifier on November 15, 2003. The Miller family, proprietors of Dave's Goodtime Billiards, warmly received the tour, and made sure that the tour members felt very welcomed. They to provided a pristine playing arena, and their equipment was in excellent playing condition.

The tournament drew a field of 24 women from several states, to compete for cash and a paid entry to a WPBA 2004 Classic Tour event. Thanks to both, host Dave's Goodtime Billiards, and to Gilbert Cues, who donated a break/jump cue to help fund this event. The tournament proceeded to its conclusion, with the semi-finalists and finalists returning on Sunday, November 16, 2003 to determine their winnings.

In the loser's bracket, playing to determine who would take fifth and sixth places, and who would continue on to compete for the prize, one match-up was between Karla Chorny, of Waterloo, Iowa, and Amy Latzko, of Oak Forest, Illinois. The other was between Tara Davis, of Lansing, Michigan, winner of our inaugural event, and Laura Bendikas, of Chicago, Illinois. Amy and Laura were defeated, taking fifth and sixth, and Karla and Tara advanced from this round.

The winner's bracket saw Tina Larsen, of Palatine, Illinois, and Julia Gabriel battling it out. In due course, Tina gave Julia her first loss of 7 – 5, and sent her to the loser's bracket. The undefeated Tina took a seat to wait it out, while Tara and Karla continued on in the loser's bracket. Tara won the lag, and immediately dominated Karla by taking the first five games. Karla valiantly struggled to win the next two games, but lost her steam. Tara won the next two games, and defeated Karla 7 – 2, to put Karla in fourth place. Tara would now confront the last competitor on the loser's side – Julia.

Tara won another lag, and the first game of this match. Then Julia jumped ahead with the next two games. Tara tied it up in game four, but Julia grabbed the lead once more with the fifth game. They began to take turns winning the next several games, until Tara doubled up by winning games eight and nine. Julia tied it up in game 10. They each won one of the next two, but finally, game 13, match, and conquest of the loser's bracket went to Tara. She now had to defeat Tina twice to win the tournament.

After winning her third lag in a row, Tara won the first two games. It began to look like a copycat of the previous round, with Tara and Tina each going back and forth – until games eight and nine, when Tara double-up, winning both, and getting on the hill. The score was 6 – 3. Tina managed one more game, but Tara won the last game, and took the match. Only to have to play Tina again!

This time Tina and Tara each won a game to start. Then Tara went into overdrive and won four games in a row. The score was Tara 5 and Tina 1. Tara did not make a ball on the break in game seven, and Tina came to the table and played a safety. After several innings, Tara scratched on the six-ball. With ball-in-hand, Tina played the 6-and-out. Tina managed to win games eight and nine, before letting Tara take one more and get on the hill. With the score Tara 6 and Tina 4, Tina had to get to work. She won games 11 and 12. Now it was hill/hill. Tina made the two and six on the break, but didn't have a good shot on the one. She played a safety, and hooked Tara. Tara fouled, and gave Tina ball-in-hand. Tina played the three, and drew nicely to get on the four. She easily made the five and seven, and in making the eight, over-stroked it to get a bit tougher cut on the nine than she wanted. Nevertheless, the inimitable Tina drilled the nine to win the match – and the tournament.