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Heeter downs Fowler, double hill, in finals of Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour stop

Josh Heeter

Just over two weeks ago (March 19-20), Billy Fowler and Josh Heeter faced off in the finals of the first-ever West Virginia State 9-Ball Championships, held under the auspices of the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour. Fowler won it 9-5 to chalk up his 8th recorded win on the tour, dating back to 2016. They’d met twice in the event; once in a winners’ side semifinal, won by Heeter and again, in the final, won by Fowler.

This past weekend (April 9-10), they met in an event final on the tour again. They met only once this time, though Fowler returned from the same relative position on the loss side as he had in West Virginia to challenge him. They reversed finish positions, with Heeter going undefeated this time to claim the title. The $500-added event drew 63 entrants to The Rock House in Gastonia, NC.

As had happened in West Virginia, they both emerged victorious from their respective winners’ side quarterfinal matches, but not to face each other in the winners’ side semifinals. Heeter squared off against Barry Mashburn, while Fowler faced Kelly Piercy. 

Piercy sent Fowler to the loss side 6-5 (Fowler racing to 10) and in the hot seat match, faced Heeter, who’d defeated Mashburn 9-3. Once again, Heeter claimed the hot seat, this time sending Piercy to the loss side 9-4.

On the loss side, Fowler picked up junior competitor Cole Lewis, who’d recently eliminated Michael Carter and Dayne Miller, both 8-3. Mashburn drew Zach Martin, who’d defeated Jesse Draper, double hill, and Thomas Sansone 5-3 to reach him. 

Martin downed Mashburn 5-4 (Mashburn racing to 9) and in the quarterfinals, was to face Fowler, who’d fought a double hill battle against Lewis, before prevailing 10-7. Fowler jumped over the quarterfinals when Martin couldn’t return on Sunday and forfeited the match.

Fowler took care of the last obstacle in his path to a second straight final against Heeter, Kelly Piercy 10-4 in the semifinals. Unlike the open (no handicap) event in West Virginia, in which Fowler, coming from the loss side, won just a single, extended, race-to-9 final match, he’d have to win twice to claim the handicapped event title in North Carolina. Heeter began with a single ‘bead on the wire’ in a race to 10. They battled to double hill, before Heeter prevailed 9-9 to claim the title.

Tour director Herman Parker thanked the ownership and staff at The Rock House, 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 16-17), will be hosted by Breaktime Billiards in Winston-Salem, NC. 

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Davis goes undefeated to win Stop #1 on Capital City Pool Tour

Mike Davis

Mike Davis, Jr. chalked up his first 2022 tour win last weekend (Feb. 19), although the win picked up a half-asterisk (for which we have yet to discovery a keyboard symbol) because in a finals race to 10, his opponent, Tony Pete, down 8-0, forfeited the remainder of the match. Davis went undefeated through the event’s maximum field of 32 at the $500-added, Capital City Pool Tour’s Stop #1, hosted by Break Time Billiards and Sports Café in Cary, NC.

Davis got by Tony Pete twice (counting the half-asterisk forfeit in the finals). After getting by Kevin Williams, Kyle Webber and Robert West with an aggregate score of 30-6, Davis faced Pete for the first time in a winners’ side semifinal. In the meantime, Jason Rogers, who’d sent Allison Tilley, Justin Knuckles and Barry Mashburn to the loss side, faced Solomon Pope.

Davis downed Pete 10-2, as Rogers defeated Pope 8-5. With three on the wire in a race to 10, Rogers battled to double hill (9-7) before Davis claimed the hot seat.

On the loss side, Pete picked up Mashburn, who, after his loss to Rogers, had defeated Yogi Liu 9-4 and Jesse Gilbert 9-3. Pope drew Christy Norris, who would be the event’s top female finisher. Norris dropped her opening match to Mark Bolton and then embarked on a five-match, loss-side streak that started with three matches in which she gave up only five racks (21-5). Then, Robert West chalked up five on his own against her and Justin Knuckles battled her to double hill before she prevailed.

Pope ended Norris’ streak 7-4 and advanced to the quarterfinals. With two on the wire at the start of race to 9, Pete was able to join Pope in the quarterfinals, once he had successfully navigated a double hill match versus Mashburn. In a straight-up race to 7, Pete then eliminated Pope 7-3 in those quarterfinals.

With one on the wire in a race to 8, Pete downed Rogers 8-5. The finals began, but didn’t last as long as they might have, when, at 8-0, Pete opted out of continuing. Davis claimed the event title.

Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Break Time Billiards and Café for their hospitality. For further information about upcoming stops on the tour, visit Capital City Pool Tour’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/ccpooltour/

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Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour launches series of seasonal Open events

Lisa Cossette

Martin and Cossette take Open and Ladies events at inaugural Winter Classic

In the future, there’ll be a Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall Classic on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour. They are a component of a larger plan that tour director Herman Parker is initiating to feature more Open (non-handicapped) events on the tour schedule. In the inaugural Winter Classic, held this past weekend (Feb. 5-6), Justin Martin and Lisa Cossette went undefeated through the Open and Ladies fields to claim the two titles. 

“I want to attract the culture of people who want to play in Open events, rather than handicapped events,” he said, following the completion of the Winter Classic. “I’m planning on 10-12 this year and my goal, down the road is to have it be 50-50; that’d be ideal.”

“I don’t know if it’ll get there,” he added, “but this year, I want to do, on average, about one (Open event) a month.”

The inaugural Winter Classic, featuring its Open tournament and a Ladies event, which, according to Parker, is a side of the tour that he is trying to grow. Three women who competed in the Ladies tournament, also competed in the Open event. The $1,500-added events ($1,000 in the Open and $500 in the Ladies) drew 52 and 18 entrants, respectively, to Break Time Billiards and Sports Bar in Winston-Salem, NC. The 18 women were the largest number of female entrants to ever compete in an Open event on the tour. One of them, 11-year-old Noelle Tate, who finished 4th, became the youngest competitor of either gender to cash in a Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball event in the nine years of its existence.

So, we’ll start there and focus on the 11-year-old for a moment. Noelle Tate is just one member of a family of competitors who are making a name for themselves at the pool tables. Noelle is a younger sister to Bethany and Joey Tate. They were all competitors during last year’s nation-wide series of events, known as the Junior International Championships (JIC), which began its second season just last month. JIC founder, tour director and something of a ‘parental unit’ at JIC events, Ra Hanna, had announced, prior to the start of the JIC’s second season, that part of the second-year plan was to move the junior competitors into the arena of regional tours and Open events. Noelle Tate and (in the Open event) Landon Hollingsworth are manifestations of that plan. Tate came into the event and lost her second-round match to Marianne Merrill. She went on to win four on the loss side, including a 5-2 win over the woman who was favored to win the tournament, Christy Norris. She was eliminated in the quarterfinals by Katie Bischoff 5-3.

The eventual winner, Lisa Cossette, advanced through the field to a winners’ side semifinal against Norris, as Shannon Johnson and Amanda Mann squared off in the other one. Cossette and Johnson, following victories over Norris (double hill) and Mann (7-4), advanced to the hot seat match, at which Cossette prevailed 7-3.

Norris moved to the loss side and ran into Tate, who’d recently eliminated Casey Cork, double hill and Beth Allen 5-2. Mann picked up Katie Bischoff, who’d downed Marianne Merrill and Allie Tilley, both 5-2, to reach her. Tate defeated Norris 5-2 and was joined in the quarterfinals by Bischoff, who’d shut Mann out.

Bischoff eliminated Tate in that quarterfinal (5-3), but not soon enough to keep the 11-year-old out of the money in what was the first money round. Bischoff moved on to defeat Johnson in the semifinals 5-3. An appropriate double hill fight ensued in the single-match finals with Cossette claiming the title over Bischoff 7-6.

Justin Martin

Martin and Ussery battle twice to claim first Winter Classic title

Nine times out of 10, the winner and runner-up of an event, if they’ve competed against each other twice, have done so in the hot seat match and finals. Not so, this time around. Justin Martin and BJ Ussery, both heavily favored as potential winners of the event, met first in the third round. Martin sent Ussery to the loss side 7-1, where he began a seven-match, loss-side winning streak that would offer him a second shot against Martin in the finals.

Martin advanced to a winners’ side semifinal against Graham Swinson, as Corey Sykes and Jeff Abernathy squared off in the other one. Martin shut out Swinson and was joined in the hot seat match by Sykes, who’d sent Abernathy west 7-1. Martin claimed the hot seat in a double hill fight over Sykes.

On the loss side, Swinson drew Ussery, three matches into his loss-side streak, which had recently eliminated Thomas Sansone 7-5 and Josh Padron 7-1. Abernathy picked up junior competitor Landon Hollingsworth, who’d defeated Niko Konkel and Barry Mashburn, both 7-1. Mashburn had been afforded the opportunity to face Hollingsworth when, in the previous round, Christy Norris, one of the three women who competed in the Open event, along with Allie Tilley and Beth Allen, forfeited her match to Mashburn.

Ussery downed Swinson 7-2 and was joined in the quarterfinals by Abernathy, who’d defeated Hollingsworth 7-3. Ussery then eliminated Abernathy 7-2 and in the semifinals, Sykes in a double hill match. Martin defeated Ussery a second time in the finals, this time 7-2 to claim the inaugural Winter Classic.

Tour director Herman Parker thanked the ownership and staff at Break Time Billiards, as well as title sponsor Viking Cues, BarPoolTables.net, Dirty South Grind Apparel Co., Realty One Group Results, Diamond Brat, AZBilliards.com, and Federal Savings Bank Mortgage Division. The next stop on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour, scheduled for this weekend (Feb. 12-13) will be hosted by Gate City Billiards Club in Greensboro, NC.

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BJ Ussery goes undefeated to win Invasion of the Triangle event in Raleigh, NC

Mike Davis, TD Xzavia Boykin and BJ Ussery

The headlined ‘Triangle’ actually refers to a trio of cities (Raleigh, Durham and the town of Chapel Hill) in the Piedmont area of North Carolina, encompassing three major research universities (North Carolina State, Duke and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill). Sometimes referred to as the Research Triangle, the area played host to a $2,500-added event, held under the auspices of Player Madness Tournaments, that led 53 competitors to ‘invade’ Brass Tap & Billiards in Raleigh, NC this past weekend (Jan. 1-2).

BJ Ussery led the ‘invasion’ with an undefeated run through that field of 53, downing multiple North-Carolina-state champion, Mike Davis, Jr., twice; hot seat and finals. It also featured the JIC’s 18 & Under boys’ champion, Landon Hollingsworth (who finished third) and Venezuela’s Jesus Atencio, who chalked up 2021 wins on the Lone Star Billiards Tour, the Ronny Park Memorial and the New City (NY) Heritage Super Tournament. Atencio opened his 2022 campaign in the Triangle with a 5th place finish, launched when Hollingsworth defeated him in the second winners’ side round and concluded after four wins on the loss side.  

Ussery and Davis advanced through the winners’ side to meet up with (respectively), Barry Mashburn and Hollingsworth in the winners’ side semifinals. Ussery dispatched Mashburn to the loss side 8-2, as Davis downed Hollingsworth (in their first of two meetings) 8-5. Ussery and Davis battled to double hill in their first of two, but it was Ussery who claimed the hot seat.

On the loss side, Mashburn picked up Atencio, who was three matches into his loss-side journey, which had recently eliminated Joey Tate (runner-up to Hollingsworth in the JIC’s 18 and Under Boys championship) 6-1 and Graham Swinson 6-4. Hollingsworth drew Mark Bolton, who’d followed his winners’ side quarterfinal defeat versus Mashburn with shutout over Jeffrey Underwood and a 6-2 win over Dylan Letchworth.

Mashburn downed Atencio 6-2, as Hollingsworth was shutting out Bolton. Hollingsworth and Mashburn battled to double hill in the quarterfinals that followed, before Hollingsworth prevailed for a second shot at Davis in the semifinals.

Though Hollingsworth took an early lead in the rematch, Davis fought back to win it, earning himself a second shot versus Ussery, waiting for him in the hot seat. In the extended race-to-11 finals, Davis never quite got his ‘game’ going, falling to Ussery a second time, 11-4.

Tour director Xzavia (X-Man) Boykin thanked the ownership and staff at Brass Tap & Billiards for their hospitality, as well as sponsor Classic Home Billiards. Further information about future Player Madness events can be found on the Player Madness Billiards Tournaments Facebook page.

Davis comes from the loss side, and returns to NC State Open 9-Ball winners’ circle

Mike Davis, Jr.

Mike Davis, Jr. won the first three NC State Open 9-Ball championships from 2014 to 2016. After relinquishing the title for three years, to (in order) Shannon Fitch (‘17), Reymart Lim (’18) and Keith Bennett (’19), Davis returned to compete in the 7th Annual NC State Open 9-Ball tournament and in spite of having his path to victory re-routed through the loss side of the event’s bracket, returned to meet and defeat Justin Martin in the finals and reclaim the title. The $500-added event drew 43 entrants to Randolph’s Billiards in Hickory, NC.

Davis advanced through the field to draw Justin Martin in one of the winners’ side semifinals, as Barry Mashburn faced Brian Capps in the other one. Martin sent Davis to the loss side 7-4 and in the hot seat match, faced Mashburn, who’d defeated Capps 7-5. Martin claimed the hot seat 7-4 over Mashburn and waited on Davis’ return.

On the loss side, in the first money rounds, Davis picked up Josh Heeter, who’d shut out Kirk Overcash and eliminated Jeff Abernathy 7-3 to reach him. Capps drew Mackie Lowery, who’d eliminated Hank Powell, double hill, and Edwin Delacueva 7-3.

Capps sent Mackie Lowery home with some cash in a 7-5 win. He was joined in the quarterfinals by Davis, who’d survived a double hill battle versus Heeter. Davis then denied Capps a second shot at Mashburn by downing Capps in those quarterfinals 7-2.

Davis moved on to deny Mashburn a second shot at Martin with a 7-3 win in the semifinals. In the finals that followed, Davis was looking to regain a title he’d last held in 2016. His opponent, Justin Martin, was looking to break a three-year streak of being the NC State Open 9-Ball tournament’s runner-up.

Davis won his fourth NC State Open 9-Ball title and handEd Martin his 4th runner-up finish. Davis completed his run with a 9-4 win in the finals.

Tour directors Herman and Angela Parker thanked the ownership and staff at Randolph Billiards, as well as title sponsor Viking Cues, Bar Pool Tables, Delta 13 Racks, AZ Billiards and Tickler Pool Ball Washing Machine. The next stop on the tour, scheduled for March 7-8, will be a $500-added event ($1,000-added with 64+ entrants), hosted by Break & Run Billiards in Chesnee, SC.

Ussery comes from the loss side to win win VA State 10-Ball Championships

(l to r): Reymart Lim, TD Tiger Baker & BJ Ussery

Taylor becomes only 4th woman since 2013 to win VA State Women’s 10-Ball title
 
It’s a little early to start making predictions or get too much of a ‘read’ on a tour’s point standings (at least those that run on a calendar year schedule), but the Action Pool Tour’s second stop provided some intriguing information. It wasn’t so much about who’s in the top spots at this point, but who, among last year’s top players are apparently starting out a little slow. Stop #2 on the Action Pool Tour – the 2020 VA State 10-Ball Open Championships – drew 73 entrants to Diamond Billiards in Midlothian, VA on the weekend of February 15-16. Six of last year’s top 10 players in the tour’s final standings competed in this event. Two finished out of the money, including the event’s defending champion, RJ Carmona. Three, including last year’s tour champion, Chris Bruner, finished in the first money round. Reymart Lim, who finished in 4th place overall last year and won this year’s season opener was this event’s runner-up. In his first appearance on the tour in seven years, BJ Ussery came from the loss side to earn a finals rematch against Lim, which he won to claim the event title.
 
Meanwhile, the 2020 VA State Women’s 10-Ball Championships drew 16 women to the same location. As they did last year, Liz Taylor and Janet Atwell battled twice to claim this title. The results of those two battles were a reverse of last year’s; Atwell, winning the first and Taylor, winning the final (more on this a bit later).
 
Ussery’s appearance on the Action Pool Tour is a reflection of his desire to play generally stronger opponents than those he tends to face on regional handicapped tours. The last time he’d appeared on the APT, he’d finished 7th in the inaugural (2013) VA State 10-Ball Championships.
 
“I’m hoping to play in more of these (APT events) this year,” said Ussery. “I want to play against better players and compete in the some of the bigger events, like the US Open or the Super Billiards Expo.”
 
Any time at table, ultimately, is good time at table, but playing in a handicap system, no matter which one it is, carries a downside. According to Ussery, it’s less about the game and more about human nature.
 
“I get so used to giving up a handicap,” Ussery explained, “that when I get into a non-handicap game, it’s hard for me to bear down.”
 
His opening matches tended to demonstrate this. Ussery opened with an 8-6 win over Reggie Jackson, had a strong 8-1 victory over Jonathan Syphanthavong, and then gave up five against Shorty Davis. He had to win a deciding, 15th game in his fourth match, against Justin Martin. Nathan Childress chalked up six against him next, but Ussery prevailed and advanced to his first meeting against Reymart Lim, in one of the winners’ side semifinals. Lim had downed Barry Mashburn, RJ Carmona, Larry Kressel and shut out Greg Sabins (last year’s #12 in the point standings) to reach Ussery. Shane Wolford and Eric Moore (the APT’s 2016 Tour Champion) squared off in the other one.
 
By identical 8-1 scores, Lim and Wolford advanced to the hot seat match over Ussery and Moore. Lim and Wolford then locked up in a double hill fight that eventually sent Wolford to the semifinals and left Lim in the hot seat.
 
Ussery opened up on the loss side against Mike Davis, who was working on a five-match winning streak that was about to end and had included recent wins over Kelly Farrar 7-3 and Justin Martin 7-2. Moore picked up Scott Roberts, who’d been shut out by Greg Sabins in the second round and was working on his own seven-match, loss-side streak that included a successful 7-5 rematch against Sabins and a 7-5 victory over Nathan Childress, which led to Moore.
 
Ussery ended Davis’ streak 7-3 and in the quarterfinals, faced Roberts, who’d defeated Moore 7-4. Ussery ended Roberts’ streak and Wolford’s short visit to the loss side in the semifinals, both 7-5.
 
Going into the final match, Ussery was mindful not only of the earlier matchup, in which Lim had allowed him only a single rack, but previous matchups, as well. They’d faced each other on a number of occasions over the years, and playing against him, Ussery knew what the difference was.
 
“I knew he was a good player when we’d met before,” said Ussery, “but I knew then, that part of the reason he was beating me was that he’d been putting in the time.”
 
“These days,” Ussery added, “I’m as prepared as anybody.”
 
Ussery spoiled Lim’s bid for a second straight win on the APT. He defeated him 10-8 to claim his first APT title.
 
Taylor spoils Atwell’s bid for a third straight, sixth overall VA State 10-Ball Woman’s title.
 
[photo id=51605|align=right]Since 2013, there have been four women who’ve claimed the VA State Women’s 10-Ball title. Tracie Majors won it in 2014 and Meredith Lynch captured the title in 2017. Janet Atwell has claimed the title five times; once in its inaugural year (2013) and then, back-to-back, twice (’15,’16, ’18, ’19). Last year, Atwell was defeated by Liz Taylor, double hill, in the hot seat match and came back to down Taylor 8-2 in the finals to claim her second straight and fifth overall title.  This year, at the event that drew 16 entrants (one more than last year), they reversed things. Taylor was defeated in the hot seat match and came back to defeat Atwell in the finals and claim the 2020 women’s title.
 
It took them each three matches to meet for the first time in the hot seat match. Atwell got by Nicole King, Tina Nash and, in a winners’ side semifinal, shut out Hayleigh Marion. Taylor defeated Soo Emmett, Christy Norris and, in her winners’ side semifinal, survived a double hill match against Lisa Cossette. Atwell claimed the hot seat 6-1.
 
Taylor’s return faced a stiff challenge from Deeqa Nur, who’d been defeated in the opening round of play by Cheryl Sporleder and came back through five opponents to draw Taylor in the semifinals. Nur battled to double hill against two of those opponents. She picked up Hayleigh Marion, coming over from the winners’ side semifinal and defeated her, just ahead of downing Lisa Cossette in a double hill quarterfinal. Taylor spoiled the strong, loss-side bid 5-3 in the semifinals.
 
And so it was, that for the second year in a row, Liz Taylor and Janet Atwell battled for the State of Virginia’s Women’s 10-Ball title. In a reversal of fortunes, Taylor gave up only one rack to Atwell in claiming the event title 8-1.
 
Tour directors Kris Wylie and Tiger Baker thanked the ownership and staff at Diamond Billiards for their hospitality, as well as sponsors Full Stroke Billiards Apparel and Haselman & Hunt, D.D.S., P.C. Family Dentistry. The next stop on the Action Pool Tour, scheduled for March 28-29, will be a Double Points event – The East Coast Landscaping Bar Box Bash – to be hosted by Peninsula Billiards in Newport News, VA.

Roberts downs Davis twice to claim NC State 10-Ball Open title

One of the more persistent regrets of the pool industry is the absence of detailed history.  Major League Baseball could probably tell you what Babe Ruth had for breakfast on the day he set the home run record. There is no Major League Pool, of course, and the varied entities which comprise the governing bodies of the sport couldn’t, for example, provide its fan base with a definitive answer as to how many times Johnny Archer and Tommy Kennedy have faced each other over the years, and which of the two has the greater number of victories in those head to head matches.
 
They had a chance to meet again this past weekend (November 23-24) at the North Carolina State 10-Ball Open, held under the auspices of the Q City 9-Ball Tour and event sponsor Beasley Custom Cues. It didn’t happen. There was a chance that they could have met in the hot seat match, and when that didn’t happen, a second chance developed moving into the event’s quarterfinals. That didn’t happen either.
 
According to Kennedy, although their most memorable two matchups occurred in the hot seat and finals of the 1992 US Open 9-Ball Championships, when Kennedy claimed the hot seat over Archer and then defeated him a second time in the finals to claim his first, and as it’s turned out, only US Open title. Both matches were broadcast on ESPN.
 
“I beat him 13-1 in the hot seat match,” Kennedy recalled of that event 27 years ago, “and 9-1 in the finals. I think he’s ahead in overall matches, though, but not by too, too much. Probably 60-40.”
 
That same absence of detailed history holds, as well, for the winner and runner-up of this year’s NC State 10-Ball Open. Josh Roberts went undefeated at the $2,000-added event ($500 from the room owner and $1,500 from Beasley Custom Cues) that drew 42 entrants to SpeakEazy Billiards in Sanford NC. Roberts had to get by Mike Davis twice – hot seat and finals – to claim the event title and chalk up the two most recent events in the lengthy, though not specifically detailed history of their meetups in any number of events over the years.
 
Those four were the winners’ side final four at this North Carolina State 10-Ball Open. Roberts advanced to meet Kennedy in one of the winners’ side semifinals, as Davis advanced to pick up Archer in the other one. The possible hot seat match loomed, but Roberts sent Kennedy to the loss side 7-4, while Davis and Archer (another pair with a history) locked up in a double hill fight that eventually sent Archer over and allowed Davis to join Roberts in the hot seat match. Roberts claimed his second hot seat in as many weeks (he claimed it last week – Nov. 15-17 – at the NC State Open One Pocket Championships), downing Davis 7-4 this week and waiting on his return.
 
Over on the loss side, a number of potential winners of the event continued to lurk, including (among others) Tony Chohan, BJ Ussery, Jonathan (Hennessee from Tennessee) Pinegar and Barry Mashburn. Archer and Kennedy picked up two of them. Chohan downed Wayne Miller 6-1 and shut out Mashburn to meet up with Archer. Pinegar eliminated Michael Yingling and Ussery, both 6-3, to draw Kennedy (Ussery and Pinegar, being yet another matchup with some history).
 
The possible Archer/Kennedy matchup loomed yet again. Kennedy got off to a bad start and was down 5-1 to Pinegar, before he rallied to tie and then win it 6-5, doing his part. Chohan, though, eliminated Archer 6-2 and then dropped Kennedy 6-3 in the quarterfinals.
 
Davis put a stop to Chohan’s run 6-2 in the semifinals for a second shot at Roberts in the hot seat. According to tour director Herman Parker, in a single set, race-to-9, employing alternate break, Roberts “missed one ball, the entire set.” He gave up only a single game to Davis and claimed the NC State 10-Ball 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. The next stop on the Q City 9-Ball Tour, scheduled for Nov. 30-Dec. 1, will be a $500-added, 9-Ball Scotch Doubles event, to be hosted by Break ‘N Run Billiards in Chesnee, SC.

Cooke goes undefeated to win first major regional on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour

Thomas Cooke

Thomas Cooke dodged a few major ‘bullets’ and came back from a hot-seat loss to double dip a junior player in the finals of the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour stop at Mickey Milligan’s in New Bern, NC on the weekend of Sept. 28-29. It was, at least as far as our records indicate, not only Cooke’s first victory on the tour, but his first cash payout at any major event anywhere. The $500-added event drew 20 entrants to Mickey Milligan’s.
 
Among the ‘bullets’ he dodged (did not play) were tour regulars BJ Ussery, Barry Mashburn and Anthony Mabe. Junior competitor and runner-up Josh Shultz was unable to dodge two ‘bullets,’  but fired back and on the winners’ side of the bracket, defeated both Ussery and JT Ringgold (the tour’s most prolific event winner), who, together on the loss side of the bracket, advanced to a marquee matchup in the quarterfinals. Ringgold had his six-match, loss-side streak ended by Cooke in the semifinals.
 
With the tour’s ‘heavy hitters’ already at work on the loss side, Cooke and Shultz advanced to the winners’ side semifinals; Cooke facing Jack Whitfield and Shultz meeting David Givens. Cooke battled Whitfield to a deciding 11th game in their double hill match, before advancing to the hot seat match. Shultz downed Givens 6-2. Shultz took the first of his three versus Cooke 6-3 and waited in the hot seat for him to return.
 
Over on the loss side, Ussery and Ringgold were waiting for Whitfield and Givens, respectively. Ringgold had most recently defeated Reene Driskill and Barry Mashburn, both 11-3, to draw Givens. Ussery had shut out Anthony Mabe and defeated Gerry Shepherd 12-2 to face Whitfield.
 
Ussery and Ringgold advanced to the marquee quarterfinals; Ringgold 11-4 over Givens and Ussery, 12-4 over Whitfield. Ussery was a little ‘off,’ apparently, and when they returned the following day to play that quarterfinal match, Ringgold won it 11-4.
 
Ringgold was apparently not at the top of his game, either, as, racing to 11, he fell 5-5 to Cooke in the semifinals. With Shultz racing to 6 in the finals, Cooke took the opening set 5-4 and won the second set 5-3 to claim the event title.
 
Tour directors Herman and Angela Parker thanked the ownership and staff at Mickey Milligan’s 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 (October 5-6), will be a $1,000-added event, hosted by The Clubhouse in Lynchburg, VA.
 
The Tour is heading into a busy part of its schedule, with a number of high profile events between now and Christmas, beginning with its (9-ft table) Tour Championships on October 26 at Randolph’s Billiards in Hickory, NC. The bar table Tour Championships will be held December 19 at Break & Run Billiards in Chesnee, SC.
 
The month of November will be particularly busy with the tour’s first One Pocket invitational tournament, which has already been sold out. Scheduled for November 16-17, the event will be hosted by Speakeazy Billiards in Sandford, NC. A week later, at the same location, the tour will host the NC State 10-Ball Open, sponsored in part by Doug Beasley Custom Cues. A Scotch Doubles Tournament, scheduled for Thanksgiving Day weekend (Nov. 30-Dec.1) will be hosted by Break & Run Billiards in Chesnee, SC. Tour patrons should monitor the tour’s Facebook pages for further information about these and upcoming tournaments.
 

Ussery and Roberts split top prizes on Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour stop

BJ Ussery

Both competitors had something to play for in what would likely have been an entertaining final match of the August 31-Sept. 1 stop on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour. BJ Ussery would have entered the match looking for his fourth win and his eighth finish among the top three in eight events on the 2019 tour (he’d record the win, albeit with an *). Scott Roberts would have entered the match looking for his first 2019 win on the tour and his first since he won four events on the tour in 2017. Roberts had a little extra incentive, having been defeated in the second round of play and winning seven on the loss side to face Ussery, waiting for him in the hot seat. For undisclosed reasons, they opted out of the final match, leaving Ussery as the event’s official winner. The $500-added event drew 28 entrants to Speak Eazy Billiards in Sanford, NC.
 
With Roberts at work on the loss side of the bracket, Ussery advanced to a winners’ side semifinal matchup against Barry Mashburn. Tony Wall faced Anthony Mabe in the other one.
 
Ussery got into the hot seat match with a 12-7 win over Mashburn. He was joined by Wall, who’d defeated Mabe 5-5 (Mabe racing to 7). Ussery subsequently gave up only a single rack to Wall and claimed the hot seat 12-1.
 
It was Mashburn who ran into Roberts on the loss side. Roberts, four matches into his seven-match, loss-side winning streak had chalked up victories #3 and #4 against Richard Lynch (8-1) and 14-year-old Joey Tate (8-3). Just prior to meeting Roberts, Joey Tate had eliminated his 12-year-old sister, Bethany, from the competition. Mabe drew Gary South, who’d defeated Justin Martin 7-4 and Travis Guerra 7-1 to reach him.
 
Roberts defeated Mashburn 8-7 (Mashburn racing to 9). He was joined in the quarterfinal match by Mabe, who’d given up only a single rack to South.
 
Roberts took that quarterfinal match 8-2 over Mabe, and then, in what turned out to be the last match of the weekend, defeated Wall in the semifinals 8-4. He and Ussery agreed to the split with Ussery claiming the official event title.
 
Tour directors Herman and Angela Parker thanked the ownership and staff at SpeakEazy Billiards 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 (September 7-8), will be hosted by Brown’s Billiards in Raleigh, NC.

Worden takes two out of three against Powell to win his first Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball stop

Travis Worden

“Nothing in the world,” said McDonald’s founder, Ray Kroc, “can take the place of perseverance.”
“Not,” he went on to say, “talent. . . genius. . . or education. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.”
 
Take the case of one Travis Worden, a relative newcomer to the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour, who, on the weekend of August 18-19, found himself in a hot seat match against tour veteran Hank Powell. It didn’t go well. Worden failed to chalk up a single rack against Powell. He did, however, apply some of the referenced perseverance, came back from the semifinals and downed Powell twice, both times double hill, to claim his first Q City 9-Ball title. The event, originally scheduled to be held at Shotmaker’s in Garner, NC, ran into some conflicting schedule issues and shifted location to Buck’s Billiards, where it drew 19 entrants.
 
Their first meeting followed a 6-2 victory for Worden over Christy Norris in one of the winners’ side semifinals. Powell, in the meantime, was locked up in a double hill fight against Barry Mashburn in the other winners’ side semifinal. Powell prevailed 7-8 (Mashburn racing to 9) and then promptly shut Worden out to claim the hot seat.
 
 
On the loss side, Norris picked up Billie Spadafora, who’d defeated Richard Lynch 5-3 and youngster Joey Tate 5-4 (Tate racing to 7). Mashburn drew Brian Overman, who’d eliminated Josh Shultz 6-3 and Donald Williams 6-4.
 
Spadafora and Overman handed Norris and Mashburn their second straight loss; Spadafora, 5-3 over Norris and Overman, double hill over Mashburn (6-8 with Mashburn racing to 9). Spadafora and Overman locked up in a double hill quarterfinal match, eventually won by Spadafora who advanced to face the about-to-persevere Travis Worden.
 
Worden defeated Spadafora 6-3 and turned to face Powell in the hot seat. With Powell racing to 7, Worden battled to double hill in the opening set and won it 6-6. This is about the time that a hot seat occupant generally realizes that it’s time to get serious and put his/her challenger away.
 
Didn’t happen. Worden fought Powell to a second double hill juncture and won the second set 6-6, as well. Worden claimed his first Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball title.
 
Tour directors Herman and Angela Parker thanked the ownership and staff at Buck’s Billiards for their ongoing and on this particular weekend, last-minute hospitality, 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 24-25), will be a $500-added event ($1,000 with 64 or more entrants) hosted by Break & Run Billiards in Chesnee, SC.