Question: How did you get started playing billiards?

Answer: I first started playing in my native Sweden as a 14 year old. Being a bit of a tomboy, I played soccer, basketball and some hockey, but once I found billiards, that was it. Love at first sight… My girlfriend and I followed my brother and his friends to the local billiard room one day and I was hooked after having played only a couple of times.

The game was fun to play, but what really enticed me was watching the good local players, and realizing just how much there was to learn about the game.

I didn’t have the luxury of having a table in my home until I moved to the United States three years later, when I had a Brunswick Gold Crown installed in my basement, but the years of spending time in the poolroom was great – getting to be around other players and learning things that at that time you could only learn by watching others. Nowadays, you have the luxury of picking up a book, watching DVD or learning over the Internet.

—Ewa Mataya Laurance is one of the most visible superstars in the history of pocket billiards. Known as The Striking Viking, she took the billiard world by storm since she moved to the US from her native Sweden.

Following her childhood dream of becoming the best in the world, she continues to be a dominant presence on the international billiard scene.  Ewa is the current International and World Cup Trick Shot Champion, the holder of multiple World and US Open 9-ball titles, and has also won the Swedish, European and US National Championships in her incredible career. A former # 1 ranked player in the world, Ewa has received Player of the Year honors, been named WPBA Sportsperson of the Year, and in 2004, was inducted into the prestigious Billiard Congress of America Hall of Fame.