Jared McGee and Greg Dix Final Two Standing at GSBT Saturday Night Ring Game

Although generally I wouldn't offer up a write-up about something I watched online (mainly because it is almost impossible to keep up with the chat boxes and watch the matches), tonight I have to say I enjoyed interacting with many people I haven't spoken with before all the while watching quite an entertaining $200 per person ten ball ring game held at Smoke House Billiards in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, where you will find the Great Southern Billiard Tour in action again tomorrow.

If you are in the area, the main event kicks off with one-loss side matches beginning at 1 p.m., winner's side at 2 p.m., and a second chance tournament at 3 p.m.  The undefeated players bracket has Greg Dix v. Josh Roberts, Jared McGee v. R.C. Morris, Larry Jackson v. Mickey Huck, and B.J. Hucks v. Scott Lewis.

The one-loss side pits Donald Strickland v. Phillip “Ski Bo” Britt (winner plays Greg Little), Joey Stevens v. Cliff Cribb (winner plays Mike Basha), Jason Heyward v. Daniel Herron (winner plays Josh Salins), Rick Harrison v. Jerry Simmons (winner plays Wendell Thompkins), Tim Holston v. Steve Rhodes (winner plays Brian Mitchell), Christy Norris v. Mike Bremmer (winner plays Pete Sellars), Jeff Haton v. Billy Jackson (winner plays Chris Carbaugh), and Teddy Moore v. Brad Jackson (winner plays Joshua Johnson).

So as you can see, there is still PLENTY of action happening tomorrow, so stop in and play or show your support for the room and tour!

Back to the main reason I am still up this late – the ten ball ring game was just getting started when I first signed on.  There were seven players on hand:  Josh Roberts, Jason Heyward, Jared McGee, Larry Jackson, Michael Newsome, Scott Lewis, and Greg Dix.  Only two players end up with a prize at the end of the night - $1000 for first, $300 for second.

How it all plays out – hope I don't bore you with all of the chip counts and dollar amounts, but you will see that the night ended up playing out quite interestingly:  the first three players knocked out of the game were Michael Newsome, Josh Roberts, and Jason Heyward – all three went out at the same time – these guys did not have many chances at the table, it was not lack of ability for sure.  The most dominate player at the moment, Scott Lewis.  Lewis kept these guys in their seats for the most part.  The racks were worth two chips ($40 value at that point) and the chip count read McGee 20 chips, Lewis 31, Jackson 6, and Dix 13 chips.  

Lewis managed to maintain his lead thereafter with 29 chips, Dix was the closest behind with 19, McGee 18, and Jackson 4 chips.  It was obvious Jackson was in trouble and shortly thereafter, he fell out of the game as Dix ran out rack ten.

With that win, Dix took the lead at 31 chips, Lewis took middle ground with 25, and McGee was struggling with only 14 chips.  Dix broke dry the next rack and Lewis took full advantage of that fact running out to tie up the chip lead with Dix 29, leaving McGee slagging behind 12 chips.

Thereafter, a re-draw took place with the games escalating to $80/game (4 chips per game).  The line-up started with Lewis, Dix, then McGee.  Lewis wasted no time and stole that rack – chip count bubble busting for McGee at that point 8 chips, Lewis jumps way out ahead at 37, and Dix was at 25 chips.  McGee finally had his opportunity at the table and boy does this kid shoot fast – I call him a kid because he is merely 18 years old.  He took advantage of a ten ball combination to help keep him in the game – chips Lewis 33, Dix 21, and McGee 16.

In the next rack, McGree breaks and attempted another combo, but missed giving Lewis the table in which he ran out – it was starting to look as though the winner was forging ahead – the chat room said Lewis and I hung on to Greg Dix cause this guy shoots the balls like he is mad at them, but he is one consistent cookie as well.  Lewis 41, Dix 17, McGee 12.

Ironically, the next rack made its way back to McGee helping him boost his score to 20 chips, Lewis still in the lead at 37 chips, and Dix was floundering at 13 chips.  McGee was on a roll as he upped his count even more with the next win – McGee 28, Lewis 33, and Dix 9.  Lewis eventually got to the table but scratched allowing Dix to step up to a very UGLY spread – Dix did not seem to even flinch as he shot each ball like it was straight in and with no issues at all.  This is when all started to level out – it was tough at that time to determine who would be the final man standing.   McGee 24, Dix 17, and Lewis 29 chips.

Dix broke and hooked himself behind a ball (as if it mattered) – he preceded to jump consecutive balls in a row and then after a tad bit of a harder stroke scratched giving McGee the opportunity to combo in the ten ball for the win and take the lead.  McGee 32, Lewis 25, and Dix 13.

Dix did not seem to let that faze him as he managed to make it back to the table in the next rack to get out – somehow at this point, we went to dollar amounts instead of chips (and no I was not counting, thanks to Joshua Johnson, we were well advised as to who was sitting where).  McGee $560, and Lewis/Dix tied at $420.

Again, money changes and re-draw is performed.  The new order saw Dix go first, McGee second, and Lewis third at $160 per game.  Talk about great timing, Dix snapped the ten ball on the break to take back the top seat $740, McGee $400, and Lewis $260.  Dix was unable to get the job done in the next rack, but McGee made sure he did making the funds go to McGee $720, Dix $580, and Lewis $100 which ultimately forced Lewis all in.  Lucky for him, he also took the next rack with a combo keeping him in the game with $300, McGee top guy at $620, and Dix at $480.

Lewis breaks and scratches on the one ball and Dix jumps up and caromed the ten ball, then scratched as well.  Once fouled, the next in line had the option to take the shot or give it back, and McGee passed it back to Dix.  Dix had the luck of the Irish as he shot and the ten made its way to the pocket to score him the $800 chip lead, McGee was holding on to second place, and Lewis once again would have to go all in at $140.

Although in the lead at the beginning, Lewis was knocked out of the game at that point as Dix ended up giving the table to McGee almost tying up the dollar amounts – McGee $760, Dix $640.  McGee breaks and scores the ten ball jumping ahead $920, Dix $480.  Then he dry breaks, Dix gets hooked on the two ball that he is able to hit but nothing falls – McGee leaves the two in the pocket and Dix takes the three-ten combo for the win. Dix $640, McGee $760.

From here, the night seemed to flip flop – one minute it looked as though Greg Dix had it sealed up and then Jared McGee throws another iron on the fire.  The two exchange racks over the next games bringing the money count to $920 McGee, Dix $480.  When the figures went to Dix $640, McGee $760, the bet was increased again to $320 per game.

Dix broke but eventually allowed McGee to the table at which time he fouled on the one and gave the game back to Dix for the run out (Dix $960, McGee $440).  Dix could not seem to get out the following leaving only three balls for McGee to pocket (McGee leads $760, Dix $640).  McGee scratched on the break and a carom takes it home for Dix $960 over McGee's $440.

The next rack began to show the wear of the day's activities as it was getting late – both guys had trouble closing out the rack, but the tally ended being $1280 Dix, McGee $120.  Looks like it is over right? Nope, McGee, or I should call him Scrappy McGee (or JRock as the GSBT Tour Directors affectionately call him), continued to capitalize on the mistakes and opportunities that were presented to him in the end.  Those watching saw this young player slowly but surely grind his heels in and one by one tick away at Dix' money lead and eventually took home the final prize.

I cannot say enough about how exciting this ring game was throughout, but towards the end the intensity built up to the point where it was obvious I had to relay what I saw tonight by taking the time to write about these players.  Both of which play with tour sponsor Jimmy Reeves Custom Cues! How about that ironic twist!  Kudos to Jared and Greg for keeping the evening exciting – best of luck on Sunday!  I hope I didn't leave out anything substantial from the games.

More to come tomorrow on the actual event itself.  If you would like to participate in the second chance event, call Shannon Daulton directly at (865) 850-4572 or contact the venue at (843) 903-4288.