Junior competitor Tanner Elliott goes undefeated on Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball tour

Tanner Elliott

In the end, really early on Sunday morning, April 3, the last two competitors standing at a stop on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour decided on a mutually-agreed-upon way to determine the event winner. Instead of just opting out of a final altogether, or beginning a potential two-set final at a time when the sun might have come up before it was done, they came up with a formula, turning the decision-making final into a single race, defined, not by their actual handicaps, but by the ‘race’ numbers they decided to employ for one match. Normally, Tri Hinton would have been racing to 8, while his 15-year-old opponent, Tanner Elliott, would have raced to 5 in a two-set final. Instead, they proposed a single 10-3 (Hinton-Elliott) race.

In the early hours of that Sunday morning, tour director Herman Parker was not inclined to question the somewhat arbitrary ‘race’ numbers they’d chosen, nor were the competitors. Officially, they might have played two sets that wouldn’t have exceeded 12 games each, instead, they played one set that wouldn’t have exceeded 12 games, which began with the handicap balance far more in favor of Elliott than it would have been otherwise. Elliott won the match, completing an undefeated run and claiming his first regional tour title at the $500-added event that drew 38 entrants to The League Room in Parkersburg, WV.

While the drama of the final match took all but the last block of the tournament’s time, there was some developing drama on the loss side of the bracket. Two competitors, Hinton and Joey Arbuckle, had been defeated by the same opponent on the winners’ side, Tyler Shultz, and then won seven on the loss side. Arbuckle’s seven came to an end in the quarterfinals. Hinton’s ended in the finals.

Elliott, racing to 5 throughout the tournament, advanced to a winners’ side semifinal against Shane Albaugh (racing to 10). Dusty Yeager and Nija Conley squared off in the other one. 

Elliott downed Albaugh 5-5, and in the hot seat match, faced Yeager, who’d sent Conley to the loss side 6-5 (Conley racing to 8). Elliott claimed the hot seat 5-3 over Yeager and waited for Hinton to complete his seven-match, loss-side run.

On the loss side, Albaugh and Conley ran straight into their second loss, against the aforementioned Hinton and Arbuckle. Hinton had chalked up loss-side wins #3 and #4 against Jerald Hesson 8-5 and Norman Payne 8-3 to draw Albaugh. Arbuckle had recorded loss-side wins #4 and #5 against Ryan Hershman 9-2 and in a rematch, eliminated Tyler Shultz 9-4 to pick up Conley.

Hinton defeated Albaugh 8-2, as Arbuckle and Conley locked up in a double hill fight that eventually did send Arbuckle to the quarterfinals. In that match, Conley (racing to 8) reached the hill first, ahead by six racks 7-1 (Arbuckle racing to 9). Arbuckle then won eight straight to advance.

Hinton stopped Arbuckle’s loss-side run 8-7 in the quarterfinals and then, downed Yeager 8-3 in the semifinals. The plan for a single-set, 10-3 final match between Hinton and Elliott was formulated and agreed upon. Elliott claimed his first event title by winning three games in a row before Hinton had won any.

Tour director Herman Parker thanked the ownership and staff at The League Room, as well as title sponsor Viking Cues, BarPoolTables.net, Break Time Billiards of Winston-Salem, NC, Dirty South Grind Apparel Co., Realty One Group Results, Diamond Brat, AZBilliards.com, Ridge Back Rails, and Federal Savings Bank Mortgage Division. The next stop on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour, scheduled for this weekend (April 9-10), will be a $500-added event, hosted by Rock House in Gastonia, NC. 

Go to discussion...


Leave a comment

Please log in to comment