Ewa Laurance (born Ewa Svensson, February 26, 1964, Gävle, Sweden, and formerly known as Ewa Mataya and transitionally as Ewa Mataya Laurance) is a Swedish–American professional pool (pocket billiards) 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. She has been nicknamed "the Leading Lady of Billiards" and "the Striking Viking".
Laurance has won numerous major women's pool titles, including the WPA World Nine-ball Championship, US Open Nine-ball Championship, WPBA National Nine-ball Championship, International Trickshot Championship and the Swedish and European 14.1 Championships.
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." 
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 Mitch 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, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Pool & Billiards, and Quick Start Guide to Pocket Billiards[clarification needed]. She has also written monthly columns for Pool & Billiard magazine.
In 1982, at the age of 17, she married the colorful pool pro Jimmy Mataya, fourteen years her senior, 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. In 1994, she married actor Mitch Laurance, later also pool commentator for ESPN and twin brother of actor Matthew Laurance. For over a decade, she used the name Ewa Mataya Laurance, but by 2010 transitioned to simply Ewa Laurance.
- Induction into BCA Hall of Fame 2004
- "Laurance Lassos a Win," by Sally Timko, pages 28-29, InsidePOOL Magazine, December 2005
- "Everybody Loves Ewa," by Mike Geffner, page 52, Billiards Digest, April 2004,
- Her official web site
- "Ewa Mataya Laurance" profile, at the Internet Movie Database
- Ewa Laurance instruction column at poolmag.com
Loree Jon Jones
|WPA Women's World Nine-ball Champion
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