Davis successfully defends NC State 8-Ball title
Skip Maloney - AzB Staff
Nov. 8, 2016
Mike Davis
Mike Davis
Though by any kind of figuring, Mike Davis was the odds-on favorite to win the 2nd Annual North Carolina State 8-Ball Championships, held on the weekend of November 5-6, and did, in fact, win it, successfully defending his title, it wasn’t without its moments of drama. He had to survive a double hill hot seat match, during which his opponent – Shannon Fitch, the current NC State 10-Ball champion – was able to take aim at the 8-ball in the deciding game. Later, Davis had to face a surging Chris Gentile, who’d won three on the loss side to face him in the finals. Davis weathered both storms to win the $400-added event on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour that drew 28 entrants to Breaktime Billiards in Cary, NC.
 
 
In a winners’ side semifinal, Davis defeated Mike Gulyassy 9-5 to get into the hot seat match, while Fitch downed Gentile 9-6 to join him. A tight hot seat match led to the circumstance of Fitch taking aim at the 8-ball in the deciding double hill last game. Though reportedly not a particularly easy shot, it was high up in the probability percentages. Fitch missed it, and Davis was in the hot seat.
 
 
Meanwhile, on the loss side, Gentile had picked up James Blackburn, who’d gotten by Dan Heidrich 7-3 (ending a five-match, loss-side streak by Heidrich), and shut out Jake Spataro. Gulyassy drew George Crawford, who’d lost his opening match and was on his own five-match, loss-side streak, having eliminated Steve Page 7-1 and Michael Robertson, double hill, to reach Gulyassy.
 
 
Gentile advanced to the quarterfinals 7-4 over Blackburn, and was joined by Crawford, who benefited from a forfeit by Gulyassy. Gentile then chalked up two straight double hill matches; versus Crawford in the quarterfinals, and Fitch, in the semifinals. 
 
 
Given the double hill drama of the three matches that preceded the final, the final itself was a little anticlimactic. Davis defeated Gentile 11-5 to retain his NC State 8-Ball Championship title.
 
 
Tour director Herman Parker thanked the ownership and staff at Breaktime Billiards, as well as title sponsor Viking Cues, Delta-13 racks and Ruthless Billiards. The next stop on the Viking Cues' Q City 9-Ball Tour, scheduled for the weekend of November 12-13, will be hosted by Corner Pockets in Fayetteville, NC.