Bruce Bullard Defeats Allen Hopkins, Sr. in Hill-Hill Nail-Biter on Jacoby Tour

Bruce Bullard; Doug Ennis, tournament director; and Allen Hopkins, Sr.

Break Time Billiards in Wilmington, North Carolina hosted the 12th stop on the Jacoby Custom Cues Carolina Tour July 12-13, drawing a field of 28 players for the $1000 guaranteed added Main Event.  Hometown favorite Bruce Bullard defeated Allen Hopkins, Sr. in the final match, earning $1000 for first place plus entry into the 2008 Carolina Open, courtesy of Fast Eddie's in Goldsboro, NC.  The 2008 Carolina Open is set for October 7-12 at Fast Eddie's and will immediately follow the season finale of the Jacoby Custom Cues Carolina Tour on October 4-5.

To kick things off, an Early Bird Tournament was held on Friday night.  Robert Ray defeated Cary Dunn (7-5) in the final match.  Results for this event were:  1st Robert Ray $160; 2nd Cary Dunn $90; 3rd Jimmie Hinton $60; 4th Younger Chapman $40; and 5th/6th Russell Sasser and Ernie Mayhew, $25 each.

In the Junior Tournament on Sunday, first place went to Caleb Grissom who defeated his younger brother Gabe Grissom in the final match (7-5) to take the first place prize of $40.  Many of the regular junior players on the Jacoby Tour were in Tucson, AZ for the 2008 Junior Nationals.  Congratulations to Adam Davis, Mac Harrell and D. J. Outlaw for finishing in 5th, 7th and 9th place, respectively, in the 19-and-under boys division.

Also on Sunday, a Second Chance Tournament was won by Peaches Fuller who defeated Mouse (7-6) in the final match.  Final results:  1st Peaches Fuller $100; 2nd Mouse $40.

In the Main Event, Allen Hopkins, Sr. defeated Randy Wilson (7-3), Keith Bennett (7-5), Larry Faulk (7-1) and Mike Davis (7-5).  Hopkins then defeated Bruce Bullard (7-3) to take the hotseat.

Meanwhile, Bullard's first match was against none other than Michael Fuller who is on track to repeat as Player of the Year on the Jacoby Tour.  Bullard squeaked by Fuller (7-6) and then cruised by Allen Hopkins, Jr. (7-0).  Bullard was tested by his next two opponents, but managed to defeat both Robert Ray and Cary Dunn by the same score (7-5).  After losing the hotseat match to Allen Hopkins, Sr. (7-3), Bullard defeated Cary Dunn a second time (7-5) to set up a rematch with Hopkins in the final.

The final match – a single race to 9 – saw Hopkins jump out to a 2-0 lead.  Bullard quickly answered with three games of his own, including a 9-ball on the break.  From that point forward, neither player would hold more that a one game advantage.

In the sixth rack, Bullard scratched on the break and Hopkins ran out to tie the score at three games apiece.  In the next game, Hopkins failed to get a rail while attempting a safety, so Bullard took ball-in-hand and ran out.  Hopkins tied the score again at 4-4 after Bullard scratched.

In the ninth rack, Bullard snookered himself to give Hopkins ball-in-hand and a 5-4 lead.  Hopkins had ball-in-hand again in the tenth rack, but missed the 5-ball and Bullard tied the score.

Hopkins missed a difficult 6/9 carom in the eleventh rack which left Bullard an easy run out.  Then Hopkins evened the score again at six after Bullard scratched as he attempted a 5/9 carom.  A dry break for Hopkins resulted in a runout for Bullard.  Bullard came up empty as well and Hopkins tied the score at seven games apiece after a successful 4/9 carom.

A 9-ball on the break put Hopkins on the hill, but a missed 6/7 combo in the sixteenth rack left Bullard an easy runout and breaking in the final game of the hill-hill match.  Another 9-ball on the break sealed the victory for Bullard as the crowd erupted in cheers for the hometown hero that had just defeated a former world champion.  The spectators at Break Time had been on the edge of their seats as they watched this battle from the bar, the lounge, and the adjacent restaurant which features large windows that allow for viewing the playing area.

Congratulations to Ernie Mayhew who was the lucky winner of a Limited Edition $750 cue raffle from Jacoby Custom Cues.

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

The next stop on the Jacoby Custom Cues Carolina Tour will be August 9-10 at Brown's Billiards in Raleigh, NC.  The event will guarantee $1000 added with $1000 for 1st place plus entry into the 2008 Carolina Open, courtesy of Fast Eddie's.  

Story and photo courtesy of Rock City Promotions.