BJ Ussery goes undefeated to win Invasion of the Triangle event in Raleigh, NC

Mike Davis, TD Xzavia Boykin and BJ Ussery

The headlined ‘Triangle’ actually refers to a trio of cities (Raleigh, Durham and the town of Chapel Hill) in the Piedmont area of North Carolina, encompassing three major research universities (North Carolina State, Duke and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill). Sometimes referred to as the Research Triangle, the area played host to a $2,500-added event, held under the auspices of Player Madness Tournaments, that led 53 competitors to ‘invade’ Brass Tap & Billiards in Raleigh, NC this past weekend (Jan. 1-2).

BJ Ussery led the ‘invasion’ with an undefeated run through that field of 53, downing multiple North-Carolina-state champion, Mike Davis, Jr., twice; hot seat and finals. It also featured the JIC’s 18 & Under boys’ champion, Landon Hollingsworth (who finished third) and Venezuela’s Jesus Atencio, who chalked up 2021 wins on the Lone Star Billiards Tour, the Ronny Park Memorial and the New City (NY) Heritage Super Tournament. Atencio opened his 2022 campaign in the Triangle with a 5th place finish, launched when Hollingsworth defeated him in the second winners’ side round and concluded after four wins on the loss side.  

Ussery and Davis advanced through the winners’ side to meet up with (respectively), Barry Mashburn and Hollingsworth in the winners’ side semifinals. Ussery dispatched Mashburn to the loss side 8-2, as Davis downed Hollingsworth (in their first of two meetings) 8-5. Ussery and Davis battled to double hill in their first of two, but it was Ussery who claimed the hot seat.

On the loss side, Mashburn picked up Atencio, who was three matches into his loss-side journey, which had recently eliminated Joey Tate (runner-up to Hollingsworth in the JIC’s 18 and Under Boys championship) 6-1 and Graham Swinson 6-4. Hollingsworth drew Mark Bolton, who’d followed his winners’ side quarterfinal defeat versus Mashburn with shutout over Jeffrey Underwood and a 6-2 win over Dylan Letchworth.

Mashburn downed Atencio 6-2, as Hollingsworth was shutting out Bolton. Hollingsworth and Mashburn battled to double hill in the quarterfinals that followed, before Hollingsworth prevailed for a second shot at Davis in the semifinals.

Though Hollingsworth took an early lead in the rematch, Davis fought back to win it, earning himself a second shot versus Ussery, waiting for him in the hot seat. In the extended race-to-11 finals, Davis never quite got his ‘game’ going, falling to Ussery a second time, 11-4.

Tour director Xzavia (X-Man) Boykin thanked the ownership and staff at Brass Tap & Billiards for their hospitality, as well as sponsor Classic Home Billiards. Further information about future Player Madness events can be found on the Player Madness Billiards Tournaments Facebook page.