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Ussery wins by the toss of a coin on the Action Pool Tour

BJ Ussery, Tiger Baker and Brandon Shuff

They tossed a coin.

Normally, when two competitors at a pool tournament meet in the early hours of the morning to discuss a deal for opting out of a final match and splitting the top two cash prizes, one of the two has already claimed the hot seat. And more often than not, it’s the occupant of the hot seat who is declared the official winner.

This past weekend (Oct. 16-17), Brandon Shuff and BJ Ussery took a different approach to things on the Action Pool Tour, when it came down to the finals and determining the official winner. Much earlier, Shuff had won the hot seat match over Ussery, but when it came to the final match, they opted to flip a coin to determine the official winner. Ussery won the toss. The event – The 2021 Pineapple Morris Memorial 10-Ball Open – drew 27 entrants to Q Master Billiards in Virginia Beach, VA, where Pineapple Morris was the doorman at Barry Behrman’s annual US Open 9-Ball Championship for many years. 

Ussery’s path to the hot seat match, following a play-in round for his first opponent, went through just two opponents before arriving at a winners’ side semifinal match against Liz Taylor. He gave up only two racks to those first two opponents – Bruce Reed (0) and Chris Pyle (2). From the opposite end of the bracket, Shuff competed in the play-in round, downing Donnie Huett 7-2 and then, meeting and defeating Amory Capers 7-2 and James Blackburn 7-4, to arrive at his winners’ side semifinal versus Dwight Cherry.

Shuff sent Cherry to the loss side 7-4, as Ussery was shutting out Liz Taylor. Shuff claimed the hot seat 7-4.

On the loss side, Taylor picked up Jared Pitts, who’d lost a winners’ side quarterfinal match to Cherry and then, survived both a double hill match against Jimmy Bird and eliminated James Blackburn 7-3. Cherry drew Amory Capers, who’d recently eliminated Chris Pyle, double hill and Kenny Daughtrey 7-4.

Pitts and Capers advanced to the quarterfinals by the same score; Pitts defeating Taylor and Capers downing Pitts, both 7-4. Taylor’s finish in the tie for 5th place earned her an extra $100 as the event’s top-finishing female. Pitts took the quarterfinal match 7-3 over Capers before having his four-match, loss-side winning streak ended by Ussery 7-4 in the semifinals.

Ussery and Shuff flipped the coin that made Ussery the official winner.

Tour directors Kris Wylie and Tiger Baker thanked the ownership and staff at Q Master Billiards for their hospitality, as well as sponsors Haselman and Hunt, D.D.S., P.C. Family Dentistry, George Hammerbacher (Advanced Pool Instructor) and CueSports International. The next event on the Action Pool Tour, scheduled for the weekend of November 13-14, will be the 2021 VA State 8-Ball Championships, featuring Open and Ladies competition. The event will be hosted by Diamond Billiards in Midlothian, VA.

Bowden takes two out of three versus Capers to win Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball stop

Andy Bowden

Last March, Andy Bowden was runner-up at a Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour stop at the newly-renovated Clubhouse in Lynchburg, VA. In that event, he was sent to the loss side when he dropped a set to the eventual winner (Hank Powell) in the winners’ side semifinal. He won three on the loss side and the opening set of a true double elimination final, double hill, against Powell, who won the second set and claimed the event title. On the weekend of July 27-28, in a reversal of fortune scene, Bowden was the winner at a Q City 9-Ball Tour stop in Lynchburg, VA, sent Amory Capers to the loss side in a winners’ side semifinal match, and lost the opening set of the true double elimination final to Capers. Bowden won the second set to claim the title. The event drew 25 entrants to The Clubhouse.
As Bowden and Capers played out their winners’ side semifinal match to its 6-3 Bowden conclusion, Dylan Carr was busy in the other winners’ side semifinal, taking out the tour’s most prolific winner, JT Ringgold, 5-2 (Ringgold racing to 11). Bowden gave up only a single rack to Carr in the match that followed and waited in the hot seat for the return of Capers.
On the loss side, Capers drew Trey Frank, who’d faced and been defeated by Bowden in the semifinals of the March event and had eliminated Jonathan Ailstock 7-4 and Jordan Worley 7-3 to reach Capers. Ringgold picked up Brian Bryant, who’d taken out Scott Roberts, double hill, and David Parker 9-3.
Bryant locked up in a double hill battle against Ringgold and prevailed 9-10 to give Ringgold a rare three-win, two back-to-back losses run in a tournament. Capers downed Frank 7-4 to join Bryant in the quarterfinals.
Bryant ended up on the wrong end of his second straight double hill match, falling to Capers 7-8. Capers then spoiled Carr’s hopes for a rematch by defeating him 7-2 in the semifinals.
Capers took the opening set of the true double elimination final 7-3. He and Bowden battled back and forth to a single deciding 12th game in the second set, but it was Bowden who dropped the last ball to claim the event title.
Tour directors Herman and Angela Parker thanked the ownership and staff at The Clubhouse, as well as title sponsor Viking Cues, Bar Pool Tables, Delta 13 Racks, AZ Billiards and Professor Q-Ball. The next stop on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour, scheduled for this weekend (August 3-4) will be hosted by Mickey Milligan’s in New Bern, NC.