Roberts chalks up first 2021 event title on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour

Josh Roberts

Josh Roberts was among a fairly sizeable contingent of pool players who managed to stay active during the forced 2020 break, initiated by the pandemic. He cashed in 13 events last year, including an undefeated victory on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour, in the 1st Annual Carolina Cup in October. He finished as runner-up at another stop on the Q City tour and the 2020 Scotty Townsend Memorial, and made appearances, as well, at the Music City Classic, Derby City, the 10th Texas Open 10-Ball Championship and the 47th Texas Open 9-Ball Championship.

He’s cashed in four events so far in 2021 (two of them, One Pocket tournaments) and has been in good company. He finished fourth behind Fedor Gorst, Jesus Atencio and Jeffrey De Luna at the Rack ‘N Grill 9-Ball Shootout in Augusta, GA in February, and fourth behind Dennis Orcollo, Warren Kiamco and Scott Frost at the Iron City Open’s One Pocket Division in Birmingham, AL a month later. The latest entry on his AZBilliards’ resume, which dates back to 2007, came this past weekend (May 15-16) when he joined 31 competitors who signed on for the Q City 9-Ball’s $3,000-added Stroker’s Classic at Stroker’s Billiards in Sumter, SC. Roberts went undefeated through the Open field to claim his first 2021 title.

Roberts would face separate challenges in the hot seat and finals of this Stroker’s Classic; Robbie Shelley in the former and Wendell Thompkins in the latter. Thompkins, sent to the loss side by Shelley in the second round, would win six on the loss side to earn a rematch against Shelley in the semifinals and then, challenge Roberts in the finals. 

After sending Thompkins to the loss side, Shelley advanced to face Allen Mixon in one of the winners’ side semifinals. Josh Roberts met up with Josh Heeter in the other one. Shelley downed Mixon 11-8, as Roberts advanced to join him in the hot seat match, with an 11-6 win over Heeter. Roberts claimed the hot seat 11-9.

On the loss side, Thompkins was four matches into his loss-side winning streak, when he picked up Mixon. Thompkins had most recently chalked up wins #3 & #4 against Russell Scott 9-5 and junior competitor Landon Hollingsworth 9-4. Heeter drew Eddie Wahdan, who’d eliminated Shane Wilson 9-6 and PJ Stabler 9-4 to reach him.

Thompkins and Wahdan handed Mixon and Heeter their second straight loss; Thompkins, 9-6 over Mixon and Wahdan, 9-3 over Heeter. Loss-side opponents were starting to gain a little on Thompkins, though not quite enough. Wahdan continued the trend into the quarterfinals, chalking up seven against him, before Thompkins won his 6th loss-side match.

Shelley, in the semifinals rematch that followed, fought him to double hill before Thompkins prevailed. Roberts, in the true double elimination finals, kept it going, by winning the first and only set 11-6 to claim the event title.

Tour director Herman Parker thanked the ownership and staff at Strokers, as well as title sponsor  Viking Cues,, Dirty South Grind Apparel Co., AZBilliards, Federal Savings Bank mortgage division and Diamond Brat. The next stop on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour, scheduled for this coming weekend (May 22-23), will be a $500-added event ($1,000, with 64+ entrants), hosted by Payton’s Place in Knoxville, TN.