Ewa Laurance

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Ewa Laurance
Laurence in 2007
Born (1964-02-26) 26 February 1964 (age 59)
Gävle, Sweden
Sport country Sweden
Pool games9-Ball
Tournament wins
World Champion9-Ball (1994)

Ewa Laurance (former surnames Svensson and Mataya Laurance, born February 26, 1964) is a Swedish professional pool player, most notably on the Women's Professional Billiard Association nine-ball tour, a sports writer, and more recently a sports commentator for ESPN. In 2004, she was inducted into the Billiard Congress of America's Hall of Fame.[1] She has been nicknamed "the Leading Lady of Billiards" and "the Striking Viking".

Playing career[edit]

Laurance has been playing pool since she was 4 years old. She moved to the United States in 1981 at 17 years old, after competing in the 1980 WPBA World Straight Pool Championship in New York City. In 1983, she became the first female European player to win a professional pool event in the United States, winning the Clyde Childress 9-Ball Open.

Laurance has won numerous major women's pool titles, including the WPA World Nine-ball Championship, WPBA U.S. Open 9-Ball Championship, WPBA National Championship, International Trick Shot Challenge and the European Pool Championship 14.1.

In 2005, Laurance bested three of her peers, WPBA Tour members Allison Fisher, Dawn Hopkins, and Gerda Hofstatter, at the Women's Trick Shot Challenge held at the New York Hotel Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, pocketing US$25,000 as the grand prize. Animated and expressive, she played to the audience and the cameras, "a true showperson in her element and a wonderful example to all trick shot artists."[2]


She was the co-host of the GSN original game show Ballbreakers. She has hosted the Ultimate Pool Party on ESPN. She has also been a model, appearing in TV commercials for No Nonsense brand pantyhose, and appeared on National Bingo Night on June 1, 2007. She frequently acts as a color commentator on ESPN telecasts of nine-ball tournaments, usually along with her husband Mitchell Laurance. She has recently been featured on commercials featuring Dick's Pawn Shop in Myrtle Beach, SC.


She has authored three books: The Ewa Mataya Pool Guide (paperback, ISBN 9780380776450), The Complete Idiot's Guide to Pool & Billiards (paperback, ISBN 9781592572878), and Quick Start Guide to Pocket Billiards (paperback, ISBN 9780071415200). She has also written monthly columns for Pool & Billiard magazine.[3][4]

Personal life[edit]

In 1982, she married the professional pool player Jimmy Mataya, forming pool's first "power couple". They later divorced, with Ewa retaining the surname Mataya, as she was already professionally well known by this name. They have a daughter, Nikki, born in 1985.[5]

In 1994, she married actor Mitch Laurance, later also pool commentator for ESPN and twin brother of actor Matthew Laurance.

Titles and achievements[edit]


  1. ^ Induction into BCA Hall of Fame 2004 Archived March 31, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ "Laurance Lassos a Win," by Sally Timko, pages 28-29, InsidePOOL Magazine, December 2005
  3. ^ "Ask Ewa!". Game On!. 2013-09-05. Retrieved 2021-01-15.
  4. ^ "Instruction". Pool & Billiard Magazine. Retrieved 2021-01-15.
  5. ^ Geffner, Mike (April 2004). "Everybody Loves Ewa". Billiards Digest. p. 52.

External links[edit]