Bulfin and Pierce split top prizes on Viking Cues' Q City 9-Ball Tour
Skip Maloney
Aug. 2, 2018
Matt Bulfin
Matt Bulfin
Were it not for the fact that the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour moves around a bit in its distinctly Southern geographic area, and derives at least a part of its ongoing success to that very mobility, tour directors Herman and Angela Parker might opt to hold all of their tour stops at the Steakhorse Restaurant and Billiards facility in Spartanburg, SC. Almost exactly a month ago (June 2-3), the room opened its doors for the first time, playing host to a stop on the tour. The venue, owned by a player with a tour stop victory on his resume (Dayne Miller), added $1,500 to that opening event, and drew 84 entrants. On the weekend of July 28-29, the tour re-visited the venue, which in the interim had opened walls to expand in size and brought in more tables. Once again, $1,500 was added to the event, which, this time, drew 90 entrants. In the end, Matt Bulfin and Derek Pierce opted out of a final match, and split the top two prizes. Bulfin, as the hot seat occupant at the time, was the event’s official winner.
 
Though he finished as runner-up to Chase Smith last September on the tour, Bulfin, until this weekend, had yet to chalk up a win on the tour, and, in fact, hadn’t won a stop anywhere (that was recorded) since he took home a title on Tommy Kennedy’s Southeast Open 9-Ball Tour, six years ago. His path to the winners’ circle at this most recent stop led him to a winners’ side semifinal match against Steven Ellis, while his eventual hot seat and finals opponent, Derek Pierce squared off against Dalton Messer.
 
Pierce and Messer battle to double hill before Pierce advanced to the hot seat 5-5 (Messer racing to 6). Bulfin joined him following a 9-4 victory over Ellis. Bulfin then played what proved to be his last match and claimed the hot seat 9-3.
 
Messer moved to the loss side and picked up the tour’s most successful competitor, JT Ringgold, who’d eliminated Marty Opyd, double hill, and Rob Hart 10-4. Ellis drew Dustin Coe, who’d defeated Donnie Stewart 6-1 and Brian White 6-8 (White racing to 10).
 
By identical 6-3 scores, Coe and Messer moved to quarterfinals over Ellis and Ringgold. Messer then gave up only a single rack to Coe (6-1) and advanced to the semifinals against Pierce. With Messer racing to 6, Pierce got his second shot against Bulfin by downing Messer 5-4.
 
Bulfin and Pierce, as noted at the outset, opted out of a final match. Bulfin, in the hot seat, officially recorded his first tour victory.
 
Tour directors Herman and Angela Parker thanked Steakhorse Restaurant and Billiards’ owner Dayne Miller and his staff (profusely), in addition to title sponsor Viking Cues, Delta 13 Racks, AZBilliards and Professor Q Ball. In addition to the regular payouts for the event’s top 16 competitors, the tour awarded $50 to the event’s top junior Hunter White. The next stop on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour, scheduled for this weekend – August 4-5 – will be hosted by Buck’s Billiards in Raleigh, NC.