Gabriel goes undefeated, chalks up first major tour win on Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour

Junior Gabriel

Junior Gabriel has cashed on five occasions on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour over the past five years. He’s been runner-up twice – to Hunter White (2019) and Gary South (2020) – and this past weekend (Oct. 30-31), he broke through to win his first tour event. He went undefeated through a not-insubstantial field of 52 entrants at the $500-added event, hosted by West End Billiards in Gastonia, NC.

Gabriel battled Steve Ellis twice in the event. He and Ellis advanced to face each other in one of the winners’ side semifinal matches, while Graham Swinson and Jonjon Newman (brother to room owner Josh Newman) squared off in the other one. Gabriel moved on to his first (recorded) hot seat match with a 6-4 win over Ellis, as Swinson was sending Newman to the loss side 8-2. Gabriel’s trip to the winner’s circle was almost sidetracked when Swinson battled him to double hill, but Gabriel prevailed to claim the hot seat.

On the loss side, Ellis picked up Josh Heeter, who’d defeated Beth Allen 9-3 and, in the first money round, Clay Davis 9-2. Newman drew Billy Fowler, who also assured himself of a cash finish by eliminating Matt Lucas 10-4 and then, double hill, Dalton Messer 10-5.

Newman and Ellis got back on track with respective victories over Fowler (6-3) and Heeter (6-4). Ellis then defeated Newman in the quarterfinals 6-3. Ellis defeated Swinson by the same 6-3 score in the semifinals.

Swinson had almost sidetracked Gabriel’s first major win in the hot seat match. Ellis almost derailed it in the finals, putting up a double hill fight in the straight-up race to 6. But Gabriel hung on to win it and claim his first (recorded) title.

Tour director Herman Parker thanked Josh Newman and his West End Billiards staff for their hospitality, as well as title sponsor Viking Cues,, Dirty South Grind Apparel Co., Diamond Brat, Federal Savings Bank’s Mortgage Division and AZBilliards. The next stop on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour, scheduled for this weekend (Nov. 5-7), will be a double event. The 9th Annual NC State 9-Ball Championships, which will be hosted by Randolph’s Billiards in Hickory, NC, will feature a $1,500-added Open and a $500-added Ladies tournament.