“Jaybird” comes back from hot seat loss to down Roberts and claim NC State One Pocket crown

(l to r): Josh Roberts, TD Herman Parker, Speakeazy owner Jimmy Bullis & Josh Roberts
Jason “Jaybird” Brown and Josh Roberts have been battling at the game of One Pocket since, for sure, as far back as 2008, when they met in Lexington, SC at a Grady Matthews’ Legends of One Pocket event. “Jaybird” won and Roberts finished 4th. Roberts has been generally more active in One Pocket since then, cashing in (as far as we know) 27 events, winning six of them and placing 5th in one of them, playing one-handed; the Derby City Classic's One-Handed, One Pocket Mini in 2010. Our records indicate that Brown has cashed in 12 One Pocket events in that same time frame, though he’s won a slightly larger percentage; three out of that 12, including the 2008 win, one on the Lone Star Billiards Tour in 2011 and most recently, claiming the Super Billiards Expo’s 2015 One Pocket Player’s Championship, after defeating Corey Deuel twice, including in the finals.
So these two established ‘legends of One Pocket’ met again on the long weekend of November 15-17 to battle for the North Carolina State Open One Pocket title on the Q City 9-Ball Tour, sponsored by Beasley Custom Cues. Not surprisingly, they met twice – hot seat and finals – with Roberts winning the former and “Jaybird” winning the latter to claim the event title. The $2,000-added event ($500 from the room, $1,500 from Beasley Custom Cues) drew 30 entrants to Speakeazy Billiards in Sanford, NC, which, by the way, will host the coming weekend’s NC State 10-Ball Open (Nov. 23-24).
Roberts and Brown advanced to their respective winners’ side semifinal matches with Roberts facing Ron Frank and Brown squaring off against Hunter White. Roberts sent Frank over to the loss side 3-1. Brown joined him in the hot seat match after dispatching White, double hill. Roberts took the first of two against Brown 3-1 and sat in the hot seat.
On the loss side, two other strong contenders in the general One Pocket sweepstakes were still in business. One had defeated the other on the winners’ side and both were there when Frank and White joined them after the winners’ side semifinals. White picked up Tony Chohan, who’d sent Mike Davis to the loss side and was in the midst of a six-match, loss-side winning streak that would take him to the semifinals and included recent wins over Derek Leonard and Redgie Cutler, both 3-1. Frank picked up Davis, who’d most recently chalked up two straight shutouts over Christian Stevens and Norris Brady.
By identical 3-1 scores, Chohan and Davis eliminated White and Frank and squared off for their quarterfinal rematch. A somewhat predictable, double hill battle ensued; one of only two in the tournament’s final 14 matches. Chohan prevailed in what proved to be his last win.
“Jaybird” defeated Chohan 3-1 in the semifinals that followed to earn his rematch against Roberts in the hot seat. What the table giveth, the table can also taketh away. With the intangible, though indisputable advantage of momentum (especially given the average length of One Pocket matches), the “Jaybird” defeated Chohan in the finals 4-2 to claim the NC State One Pocket Open title.
Tour directors Herman and Angela Parker thanked Speakeazy owners, Jimmy and Wendy Bullis, and their staff for hosting the event, as well as Beasley Custom Cues and its owner, Doug Beasley, for his ongoing support of the games. As noted above, the Q City 9-Ball Tour will return to Speakeazy Billiards this coming weekend to host the $2,000-added NC State 10-Ball Open.