Padron goes undefeated to win youth-full Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour Championships

Joshua Padron
In spite of an initial cancellation and a number of competing events (like Derby City), the Viking Cues' Q City 9-Ball Tour set a participant record during its 2016 Tour Championships, held on the weekend of January 21-22. Hosted by The Brass Tap in Raleigh, NC, the $1,000-added event drew 82 entrants, breaking a previous entrant record by 13. The roster of competitors included two junior players, who finished among the event's final four. Emerging from the field, undefeated, was Joshua Padron, who downed one of those juniors, 16-year-old Hunter White, twice, to claim the event title.
Originally scheduled for the weekend of January 7-8, the event was canceled and re-scheduled when the Raleigh area went under a state of emergency, related to expected ice and snow storms. It was an unavoidable cancellation, which didn't prevent a list of potential participants, who'd had to travel some distance, from complaining about that cancellation in the pool world blog-o-sphere. 
"In spite of the cancellation, it was a tremendous field," said tour director Herman Parker. "If it hadn't been for Derby City, we'd have had 128."
In the year ahead, the tour will hold two tour championships, one in September and another at the end of the year, each catering to participation on different sized tables. One will play out on 'bar box' tables and the other, on standard 9-ft. tables.
Padron's victory and young Hunter White's standout performance in the runner-up category had a way of overshadowing a strong showing by Greg Burke. He and White traveled together to the championships from the Greenville/Spartanburg area. Burke lost his opening round match, and chalked up 11 matches (one bye) on the loss side of the bracket before meeting his traveling companion in the semifinals.
Padron advanced to a winners' side semifinal against Travis Guerra (runner-up on the preceding tour stop - January 14), while Hunter White squared off against Barry Mashburn. Padron downed Guerra 6-4, and in the hot seat match, faced, in their first of two, White, who'd downed Mashburn 8-4. Padron claimed the hot seat and waited for White to get back from the semifinals, against Burke, as it turned out.
On the loss side, the event's other notable junior, Peter Abatangelo (15), defeated Earl Davis 5-2, and in a meeting between pool student (Abatangelo) and teacher (George Crawford), Abatangelo prevailed, 5-1, to draw Guerra, fresh off his defeat at the hands of Padron. Mashburn had the misfortune of drawing Burke, who, by this time, had chalked up eight victories on the loss side, including David Brown 7-4 and Blade Best 7-2. 
Abatangelo advanced to the quarterfinals 5-3 over Geurra, as Burke was downing loss-side opponent # 8 (Mashburn) 7-3, to join him. Burke was now poised to face two junior players in a row. He took care of the first one, Abatangelo, 7-2 in the quarterfinals, but then ran into his traveling companion, Hunter White. The two battled to double hill, before White chalked up the final game and advanced to the finals, presumably with his ride home not in jeopardy.
With White racing to 8, and Padron to 6, White had to win twice to claim the title. He didn't. Padron took the opening and only set 6-4 to become the Viking Cues' Q City 9-Ball Tour's 2016 Champion.
Tour director Herman Parker thanked the ownership and staff at The Brass Tap for their hospitality, as well as title sponsor Viking Cues, Delta 13 Racks, Ruthless Billiards,, AZBilliards and Professor Q Ball. The next stop on the Viking Cues' Q City 9-Ball Tour, scheduled for January 28-29, will be hosted by Gate City Billiards in Greensboro, NC.