Abernathy Gets First Win on Jacoby Tour

Jeff Abernathy, Doug Ennis (tournament director) and B. J. Ussery

All Star Billiards in Raleigh, North Carolina hosted the fifth stop on the 2008-2009 Jacoby Custom Cues Carolina Tour February 14-15.  A twenty-seven player field turned out for the $1000 guaranteed added Main Event in which Jeff Abernathy defeated B. J. Ussery, earning $1000 for his first win on the Jacoby Tour.

To kick things off, an Early Bird Tournament was held on Friday night.  Robert Ray defeated Jim Faircloth (7-5) in the final match.  Results for this event were:  1st Robert Ray, $100 and 2nd Jim Faircloth, $60.

On Sunday, there were three mini-tournaments.  First place in the Junior Tournament went to Palmer Richardson, who defeated Jackson Jeffreys (7-3) in the final match.  Richardson received $50, while Jeffreys settled for $20.  Top honors in the Ladies' Tournament went to Cassandra Locke, who defeated Gladys Ratliff (7-3) in the final match.  

In the last mini-tournament on Sunday, Chris Baker took first place in the Second Chance Tournament, defeating Clint Clark (7-5).  Results of this event were:  1st Chris Baker, $140; 2nd Clint Clark, $80; and 3rd-4th Keith Crawford and Rachel Eliazar, $40 each.

In the Main Event, Abernathy faced one top player after another – four of them previous champions on the tour.  He managed to get by Larry Faulk (7-4), Keith Bennett (7-4) and Sidney Champion (7-5) before losing to B. J. Ussery (7-2) in his first match on Sunday.  Abernathy then proceeded to down Robert Ray (7-3), Tony Morrison (7-5) and Sam Monday (7-6).  Actually, Abernathy was ready to congratulate Monday, who had just pocketed the case 9-ball, when the whole room gasped as the cue-ball traveled the length of the table and found the corner pocket.

Meanwhile, Ussery had found the hotseat after defeating Thomas Lyons (7-2), David Brown (7-3), Terry Champion (7-2), Jeff Abernathy (7-2) and Sam Monday (7-6).

In the final match, a single race to nine, Ussery won the lag but lost control of the table shortly thereafter and Abernathy took the first game.  Ussery quickly won the next four games, including two break-and-runs, to take a 4-1 lead.  Not to be out done, Abernathy won the next five games, including two break-and-runs of his own, to go ahead 6-4.

In the eleventh rack, Abernathy made two balls on the break and had to play safe.  Not safe enough, apparently, because Ussery cleared the table.  They traded wins until Abernathy was on the hill.  Down 8-6, Ussery accepted the push-out and played safe.  Abernathy didn't make contact and, with ball-in-hand, Ussery cleared the table.  A break-and-run later, it was hill-hill with Ussery breaking.

Ussery scratched on the final break and it looked like Abernathy would run out.  It wasn't a done deal yet, however, as Abernathy barely avoided scratching mid-way through the rack.  Another mistake late in the rack left Abernathy close to the 8-ball and no angle.  Two safeties later, Abernathy took a stab at a long bank and missed wide.  Ussery had a chance, but missed the 8-ball in the side and conceded.  Final score:  9-8.

On Sunday evening, WPBA Hall of Famer Belinda Calhoun entertained the crowd with a Play-the-Pro session in which fans had the opportunity to challenge Calhoun in a game of 9-ball.  Everyone who participated received an autographed photo of Calhoun and a chance in two drawings.  Brian Lilley won a 9-ball that was signed by the top three finishers in the Main Event and Cassandra Locke won a 30-minute player analysis with Calhoun, a certified instructor with Colliding Spheres.

Congratulations to cue raffle winner Debbie Rook, who was the lucky winner of a Limited Edition cue, valued at $850, from Jacoby Custom Cues and to Chris Vollmar, who outlasted nineteen other participants to win $260 in the Break Contest.

Rock City Promotions wishes to extend special thanks to the staff and ownership of All Star Billiards and to OB-1 Cues for supporting the Jacoby Tour.

The next stop on the Jacoby Custom Cues Carolina Tour will be March 7-8 at On The Snap Billiards in Fuquay Varina, NC.  The event will guarantee $1000 added with $1000 for 1st place.