Pope, Young and Nielsen split top three prizes on the Viking Cues' Q City 9-Ball Tour
Skip Maloney - AzB Staff
Mar. 21, 2017
As is often the case, tournaments that end up chasing dawn, lead to an agreed-upon split in the event's top prizes. The last matches, scheduled long after everybody but the players and tour administrators have gone home, are generally only of interest to the players involved, who are more often than not, bone tired and unlikely to be at a performance level commensurate with their skills. Splits among an event's finalists are common. Three-way splits, avoiding both the semifinals and finals (sometimes double elimination finals) are rare, but, as in the case of the Viking Cues' Q City 9-Ball Tour stop on Saturday, March 18 (moving into Sunday morning), they happen.
 
In this case, it allowed one veteran member of the tour, Solomon Pope, to become the official winner and take home some cash for the first time since joining the tour a few years ago. By the same token, the decision to split the top three prizes denied Jeff Young the opportunity to chalk up his second win on the tour in a little over a week (he won the March 11-12 stop). When the decision was made, Young, having been defeated by Pope in the hot seat match, was scheduled for a re-match against Denmark's Peter Nielsen, whom he'd defeated in a double hill winners' side semifinal (4-8, with Nielsen racing to 9). It's anyone's guess how the next two, potentially three matches (double elimination final) would have turned out, but as with all prize splits at the end of a tournament, the players were content with not finding out. The event drew 38 entrants to Breaktime Billiards in Cary, NC.
 
As Young was locked up in the double hill fight that sent Nielsen to the loss side, Pope was working against Christy Norris in the other winners' side semifinal. He defeated her 7-5, and then downed Young in the hot seat match 7-1.
 
Lurking on the loss side as all this was going on, was pro-player Mike Davis, Jr., who was racing to 13 against all of his opponents. He got by Bryan Pate 13-4 in the 9/12 matches, but was denied entrance to the money rounds by Alan Shaw, who, like Pope, was a veteran member of the tour looking to cash for the first time.  Shaw, who'd defeated Jason Rogers previously 5-2, made it to the money rounds with a 5-7 win over Davis, and drew Nielsen. Norris picked up Chris Gentile, who'd defeated Mike Mullins 8-4 and Mike Rowe 8-1 to reach her.
 
Gentile downed Norris 8-2, as Nielsen sent Shaw home 9-2 (with his first cash winnings of $50). For those who were still around, the final match of the evening - the quarterfinals - saw Nielsen and Gentile lock up in a double hill fight, eventually won by Nielsen 9-7. And it was over, with Pope, sitting in the hot seat, as the official undefeated winner and Young and Nielsen in a single-loss tie.
 
Tour director Herman Parker thanked the ownership and staff at Breaktime Billiards, as well as title sponsor Viking Cues, Delta 13 Racks, AZBilliards and Professor Q Ball. The next stop on the Viking Cues' Q City 9-Ball Tour, scheduled for this weekend (March 25-26), will be hosted by a new venue for the tour, Peninsula Billiards featuring bar box tables in Newport News, VA.