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Atencio downs Davis, Jr. twice to claim 10th Annual NC State Open Championships

Jesus Atencio

Norris defeats junior competitor, Bethany Tate twice to win 2nd Annual Ladies Open

Whoever said that “showing up is half the battle” might have had pool in mind and could point to Venezuela’s Jesus Atencio as a case in point. This past Memorial Day weekend (May 28-29), Atencio signed on to the $1,000-added, 10th Annual North Carolina State Open Championships, held under the auspices of the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour and hosted by Break Time Billiards and Sports Bar in Winston-Salem, NC.

Atencio went undefeated through the field of 73 entrants to chalk up his 12th recorded cash payout of the year, but only his first event title. He is moving toward improving on his best recorded earnings year (2021), in which he cashed in 17 events, including victories on the Lone Star Billiards Tour, the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour and the New City Heritage Super Tournament. So, 29 cash finishes in two years, only four of them event victories, and Atencio is halfway toward making 2022 his best recorded earnings year. Primarily by just showing up. 

It was a competitive field, according to Tour Director Herman Parker, and although it did not include the 2021 champion (BJ Ussery), it did include Mike Davis, Jr. who has won the event four times, as well as NC State Championships in other disciplines over the years (8-Ball, 10- Ball). A glance at Davis’ earnings record over the years has its share of event wins, but like Atencio, the lion’s share of it has been the result of “just showing up.” 

Atencio and Davis, who’d last run into each other on a Player Madness Tournament in March, when they were to appear in the event final but opted out and split the top two cash prizes, met twice in the 2022 NC State Open. They advanced from different ends of the bracket to a winners’ side semifinal; Atencio versus Eric Roberts and Davis facing Adam Pendley.

Atencio defeated Roberts 7-3 and in the hot seat match, faced Davis, who’d sent Pendley west 7-2. Atencio and Davis battled to double hill, before Atencio prevailed to claim the hot seat. 

On the loss side, Roberts and Pendley ran right into their second straight loss. Roberts had picked up Brian White, who’d assured himself a $200 reward for his version of “showing up” by downing Josh Newman 7-5 in the first money round and then, and at least $100 more when he defeated Clint Clark 7-3 to face Roberts. Pendley drew Billy Fowler, who’d run the same early-money-rounds gauntlet, eliminating Danny Farren 7-5 and Michael Robertson 7-3.  

White and Fowler defeated Roberts and Pendley, respectively, both 7-4. Fowler advanced one more step, eliminating White in the quarterfinals 7-5, before having his run ended by Davis in the semifinals, also 7-5.

Atencio completed his second appearance and second win on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour with a 7-4 victory over Davis in the finals. 

Norris comes back from hot seat loss to double dip her junior opponent, Bethany Tate

The finalists in the short field of 10 that signed on to the $500-added, 2nd Annual NC State Ladies Open were appearing at opposite ends of their individual “showing up” spectrum. Christy Norris, who’s been showing up longer than her opponent, Bethany Tate has been alive, got to the hot seat match, but found herself facing a former Junior National Champion (at the age of 11 in 2018), a recent winner of the 18 & Under Girls division of the Junior International Championships series in February, and the third-place finisher in the Women’s VA State 10-Ball Championships in April. Norris lost to Tate, but came back to double-dip her in the event’s true double elimination final.

They’d both advanced to winners’ side semifinals against Allie Tilley (for Norris) and Shannon Johnson (for Tate). Norris gave up just a single rack to Tilley, while Tate gave up four to Johnson. Tate claimed the hot seat 7-2 over Norris, not knowing, and arguably not suspecting, that she’d won her last match of the event.

On the loss side, Tilley picked up Lisa Cossette, who’d defeated Bethany Tate’s younger sister, Noelle, double hill, to reach her. Johnson drew Katie Bischoff, who’d eliminated Dorothy Strater, also double hill. 

As had happened in the Open, the competitors who came to the loss side from the winners’ side semifinal, ran right into their second straight loss. Cossette shut out Tilley and in the quarterfinals, faced Bischoff who’d eliminated Johnson 5-3.

Bischoff won the quarterfinal match 5-1 over Cossette before having her very brief loss-side trip stopped by Norris 5-3 in the semifinals. Norris went on to win the opening set of the true double elimination final 7-3 and then allowed Tate only a single rack in the second set to claim the event title 5-1.

Tour director Herman Parker thanked the ownership and staff at Break Time for their hospitality, as well as title sponsor Viking Cues, BarPoolTables.net, 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, June 4-5, will be the Brian James Memorial, hosted by Borderline Billiards in Bristol, TN.

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Davis, Jr. and Atencio split top two prizes on Player Madness Tour

Mike Davis and Jesus Atencio

With the winner and runner-up of the inaugural Player Madness Tournament series of events in the house, BJ Ussery and Mike Davis, Jr. might have been expected to repeat their dash to the hot seat and finals, but for the second event of the Player Madness Tournaments, held this past weekend (March 5-6), it didn’t turn out that way. Davis did his part, advancing through the field of 71 to go undefeated to the hot seat and finals, but Ussery spent some time on the loss side of the bracket and didn’t make it past the 7/8 matches.  Jesus Atencio, who finished 5th/6th in the inaugural event, was to have faced Davis twice in this one, but they opted out of a final match and split the top two prizes. This second event of the series, called “Tha (sic) Iron Masters Matches” (the first was called “The Invasion of the Triangle”) was a $2,000-added event, hosted by Rockhouse Tavern and Billiards in Gastonia, NC.

Davis advanced through the field to face Atencio the first time in a winners’ side semifinal, as BJ Hucks and Jacob Brooks squared off in the other one.

Davis advanced to the hot seat match 7-5 over Atencio and faced Hucks, who’d sent Brooks to the left bracket 7-4. Davis claimed the hot seat 7-5 over Hucks and for all intents and purposes, his night was over.

On the loss side, Atencio picked up Kevin Hall, who’d recently defeated Kelly Farrar 7-4 and knocked Ussery out 7-3. Brooks drew Brian Francis, who’d eliminated Brian White, double hill and Jimmy Tanner 7-5 to reach him.

Atencio stopped Hall’s loss-side streak 7-3 and in the quarterfinals, faced Francis, who’d sent Brooks home 7-5. Atencio then dropped Francis 7-5 in those quarterfinals and in what proved to be the event’s last match, the semifinals, defeated Hucks 7-3. Davis and Atencio agreed on the split and joined the rest of the homeward bound.

Tour director Xzavia Boykin thanked the ownership and staff at the Rockhouse for their hospitality, as well as sponsor Classic Billiards. The dates for the next stop on the Player Madness Tournaments series, the NC State 8-Ball Championships, have not been officially set. Visit the Player Madness Tournaments Facebook page for further information.

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The Whites – Brian and Hunter – split top prizes on 2nd Annual Carolina Cup

Nikki Mancuso returns to the tables to go undefeated in short-field Ladies Cup

The Labor Day weekend and its multiplicity of places to go and things to do may have had an attendance impact on the 2nd Annual Carolina Cup, held under the auspices of the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour at Break & Run Billiards in Chesnee, SC over the past weekend (Sept. 3-5). While the 2020 inaugural event drew 77 entrants, the 2021 version hosted only 40 in the $1,000-added Open event and drew 13 for the $500-added Ladies Cup.

Brian and Hunter White (no relation) ended up splitting the top two prizes in the Open event. As the undefeated occupant of the hot seat at the time of their decision, Brian White became the event’s official winner. For the second year in a row, Hunter White was the event’s runner-up, having finished behind Josh Roberts in the inaugural event. Hunter had won nine matches on the loss side to earn his spot in the finals that never happened.

Nikki Mancuso

In the Ladies Cup, Nikki Mancuso went undefeated through the field, returning once again to the tables after a protracted absence. Most likely best known for her presence among members of the WPBA back in the ‘00s, her best recorded earnings year, to date, was 2004, when she was cashing in on the Viking Tour, a pair of WPBA events (Delta & San Diego Classics) and the Atlanta Women’s Open. In 2008, she and Katie Cowan “shared top honors” on the Carolina Ladies J. Pechauer tour’s debut stop that year. Eight years later, she showed up in Georgia to win the WPBA’s Georgia State 9-Ball Championships. Fast forward four years (Sept. 17-18, 2020), when she finished as runner-up to Janet Atwell in the Cue Time Shootout 9-Ball Open Women’s division in Spartanburg, SC. 

And on this past Labor Day weekend, she chalked up her first win since that “shared honor” victory with Katie Cowan, 13 years ago. She and Christy Norris battled twice for the Ladies Cup of this dual event; hot seat and finals. Mancuso won the first one 7-3 to claim the hot seat.

Norris moved over to battle the former APA National Women’s Amateur Champion (2018), Lisa Cossette. who had just eliminated Meagan McClain, double hill, in the quarterfinals. Norris downed Cossette 5-3 for a second shot at Mancuso, waiting for her in the hot seat.

Mancuso completed her run in the only set necessary in a true double elimination final. She gave up only a single rack to Norris and claimed her first (recorded) event title in five years.

Brian White

Hunter White wins nine on the loss side for rematch versus Brian White that doesn’t materialize

In the absence of a defending champion for this event (Josh Roberts), Hunter White had to be thinking that he could grab this title on his second try. For the second year in a row, he came within a single match, the finals, of doing so. He’d been sent to the loss side by Brian White and chalked up nine loss-side victories before earning a rematch and then, reaching an agreement not to play one and split the top two prizes.

With his eventual finals opponent already at work on the loss side, Brian White advanced to a winners’ side semifinal versus Ryan Hollingsworth. Billy Fowler, in the meantime, drew Rob Hart as his winners’ side semifinal challenger.

White advanced to the hot seat match with a 9-5 win over Hollingsworth and was joined by Fowler, who’d sent Hart west 9-7. White claimed the hot seat 9-5 over Fowler in what would prove to be his (White’s) last battle.

On the loss side, the other ‘White’ (Hunter) was working on loss-side win #7, having recently eliminated Zack Baker 7-5 and junior competitor, Landon Hollingsworth (no relation to Ryan) 7-1. White drew Hart. Ryan Hollingsworth drew Jacob Brooks, who’d defeated Josh Heeter, double hill and Clay Davis 7-1 to reach him.

White downed Hart 7-3, as Hollingsworth eliminated Brooks 7-2. White then defeated Hollingsworth in the quarterfinals 7-5. In what would turn out to be his final match, Hunter White downed Fowler 7-2 in the semifinals. The two ‘Whites’ opted out of the final, negotiated a split of the top two prizes, with Brian White as official winner and the 2nd Annual Carolina Cup was, as they say, in the books.

Tour director Herman Parker thanked Break & Run Billiards’ owners, Kevin Lawter and Tammy Collins for their hospitality, as well as title sponsor Viking Cues, BarPoolTables.net, Dirty South Grind Apparel Co., Diamond Brat, Federal Savings Bank’s Mortgage Division and AZBilliards. The next stop on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour, scheduled for Sept. 11-12, will be a $250-added event, to be hosted by Rock House Billiards in Gastonia, NC. 

Brady holds off Heeter in double elimination final to capture Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball title

Norris Brady

When they met in the finals of the Feb. 1-2 stop on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour, they were both looking to capture their second-ever title on the tour. Josh Heeter captured his first title anywhere with a win on the tour, just over a year ago, when he lost his opening match and won 11 on the loss side to meet and double dip Brian White. Heeter was also runner-up to BJ Ussery in a tour event in October, and 4th in an event, also won by Ussery, in June. Norris Brady was making his first appearance on the tour since June of 2018, a year in which he won a stop on the tour and finished in the money two other times; 9th in the earlier NC State 9-Ball Championships (March) and 13th at a stop in June. Brady was also the tour’s first tour champion in 2013. They met twice in this most recent event in both sets of a double elimination final with Brady in the hot seat and Heeter having won three on the loss side to meet him. Heeter took the opening set of that final to force a second set, won by Brady. The event drew 68 entrants to Gate City Billiards Club in Greensboro, NC.
 
They’d both advanced to a winners’ side semifinal. Heeter, facing Clay Davis and Brady, squaring off against Stevie McClinton. Davis sent Heeter to the loss side, as Brady was busy defeating McClinton 9-5. Brady gave up only a single rack, claiming the hot seat 9-1.
 
On the loss side, it was Chuck Ritchie who drew Heeter, just after surviving two straight double hill fights against Jason Potts and Jeff Abernathy. McClinton picked up Brandon Butts, who’d defeated Jeff Little 5-2 and Zac Leonard 5-5 (Leonard racing to 8).
 
Butts prevailed in a double hill fight versus McClinton (5-6) and was joined in the quarterfinals by Heeter, who’d eliminated Ritchie 8-4. Heeter then eliminated Butts 8-2 in those quarterfinals to earn himself a rematch against Davis in the semifinals.
 
Heeter wreaked his vengeance on Davis 8-4, loading himself up on momentum that carried over into the first set of the double elimination final against Brady. Heeter took that opening set 8-1, so they loaded up for a second meet. This one stretched out a bit, as they both looked to claim the title. They battled to double hill before Brady prevailed to claim the event title.
 
Tour directors Herman and Angela Parker thanked the ownership and staff at Gate City Billiards Club, as well as title sponsor Viking Cues, Bar Pool Tables, Delta 13 Racks, AZ Billiards and Professor Q-Ball. The next stop on the tour, scheduled for Feb. 7-8, will be a $1,000-added event, hosted by The Clubhouse in Lynchburg, VA.

White is official winner of $2K-added, 114-entrant, stop on Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour

Brian White

There was good news and bad news for tour directors Herman and Angela Parker last weekend. The scheduled stop on their Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour (Feb. 9-10) drew a hefty 114 entrants to Steakhorse Restaurant & Billiards in Spartanburg, SC, due, in part, to an ongoing four-day, $56K, 8-Ball battle between Justin Bergman and Corey Deuel at the same location. It was originally to have been a battle between Bergman and Jayson Shaw, but some (shall we say) differences of opinion emerged regarding the table particulars of that matchup and at the last minute, Deuel stepped in and agreed to play the match against Bergman; a best-of five sets, racing to 30, with Deuel getting three on the wire for each set. It’s not often that the Parkers get to play host to that many players, but when it became known that entrants to his tournament would be granted free admission to watch the challenge match, the numbers swelled. And predictably, with a lot of Pro types racing to 11, 12 and 13 games, their tournament went on a little longer than their normal weekend tournaments; like, 7 a.m. Monday morning longer.
 
Deuel won the challenge match 3-1, and it spilled over into Monday evening. A couple of the sets were close; close enough to question whether giving Deuel three on the wire in those circumstances was such a good idea for Bergman.
 
Brian White, who is the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour’s current Bar Box Champion (from an event held last September) and winner of another stop on the tour, two days before Christmas, was declared the official winner of the tour stop when, at 7 a.m. Monday morning, he and Steakhorse Restaurant and Billiards house pro, Roberto Gomez agreed to a split of the top two prizes. White was the hot seat occupant at the time. Gomez had spent a lot of time on the loss side, winning nine matches to get to the finals that didn’t happen.
 
There were several players of some renown who didn’t make it to the money rounds of the handicapped tournament. Francisco Bustamante and Tony Chohan were among them. White advanced through the field to arrive at a winners’ side semifinal match against Keith Yates. Francisco Felicilda, in the meantime, squared off against teenager Landon Hollinsworth.
 
White got into the hot seat match with an 11-3 win over Yates. Felicilda, also racing to 11, gave up only a single rack to Hollinsworth and joined White. White claimed the hot seat 11-9, in what proved to be his last match.
 
Gomez, in the meantime, after an early-round loss to Josh Miller was at work on the loss side, racing to 13 through it all. He got into the money rounds with a 13-3 victory over Kevin Ping (racing to 6), chalked up his sixth loss-side win against Junior Gabriel 13-1 and picked up the youngster, Hollinsworth, coming over from the winners’ side semifinal. Yates drew Raymund Faraon, who’d eliminated two members of the Frank family, back to back; Trey Frank, double hill (12-5) in the first money round and then, Trey’s father Ron, double hill (12-7) to meet Yates.
 
Faraon went on to win his third straight double hill match (12-4) over Yates. He was joined in the quarterfinals by Gomez, who’d eliminated Hollinsworth 13-2. Playing with one on the wire at the start in a race to 13 in those quarterfinals, Faraon had chalked up only five, when Gomez won his 13th and advanced to the semifinals.
 
Felicilda started the semifinal match against Gomez with two on the wire in a race to 13. He managed to get to 8, before Gomez finished it, about 10 minutes after daylight started painting the Spartanburg sky and 15 minutes ahead of the official sunrise at 7:16 a.m.
 
The decision to split the top two prizes was made, everyone settled up and tour directors Herman and Angela Parker went back to their hotel to catch a few hours sleep before they had to check out shortly after noon.
 
The Parkers thanked Steakhorse Restaurant and Billiards’ owner, Dayne Miller for his hospitality (to include added money) and his entire staff for what had to have been a hectic weekend. They also thanked 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 (Feb. 16-17), will be hosted by Gate City Billiards in Greensboro, NC.

Heeter wins 11 on the loss side and double dips White on Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour

Josh Heeter

Tournaments won by players who’ve lost a single match and have returned from the loss side of a double elimination bracket to defeat the undefeated occupant of the hot seat are fairly common; most common when the loser of the hot seat match plays one match on the loss side (in the semifinals) and earns a rematch against the undefeated occupant of the hot seat. Less common is the player who loses his first match early and has to win a significant number of matches, say 10 or more, before even getting the chance to meet the hot seat occupant. Even less common is the player who loses his opening match, wins 10 or more loss-side matches, and then defeats the hot seat occupant to capture his first-ever event title.
 
Meet Josh Heeter. According to our records, he has cashed in only two events on the Viking Cues’ Q-City 9-Ball Tour, finishing third in 2016, and runner-up to Scott Roberts in 2017. On the weekend of January 12-13, he signed on to a $1,000-added Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball event, which drew 60 entrants to Steakhorse Restaurant & Billiards in Spartanburg, SC. Heeter was awarded an opening round bye and lost his first match to Mark Duncan. He proceeded to embark on an 11-match, loss-side trip that propelled him into a final match against the tour’s reigning Bar Box Champion, Brian White, and defeated him twice (the second time, in a double hill fight), to earn his first-ever regional tour title anywhere by winning a total of 13 straight matches. We’ll catch up with him on the loss side in a minute.
 
In the meantime, while Heeter was busy on the loss side, chalking up his 11, White advanced to a winners’ side semifinal against June Bug. Mike Bumgarner and Blade Best squared off in the other one. Each had won, at this point, four matches. White downed Bug 11-1 and in the hot seat match faced Bumgarner, who’d defeated Best 7-2 (five matches each). White won his sixth by defeating Bumgarner 11-1 and claiming the hot seat.
 
Over on the loss side, Best was the competitor who drew Heeter, eight matches into his loss-side run. He’d most recently eliminated veteran competitor Keith Bennett 8-6 (Bennett racing to 11) and Chris Tuten 8-4. Bug picked up Matt Harrell, who’d most recently shut out Jacob Brooks and then downed the tour’s most prolific event champion, JT Ringgold 6-6 (Ringgold racing to 11).
 
Heeter chalked up win #9, 8-2 over Best, as Harrell got by Bug 6-5. In the ensuing quarterfinals, Heeter sent Harrell home 8-2, as well. Heeter earned his spot in the finals and loss-side win #11 with an 8-5 win over Bumgarner.
 
With White racing to 11, Heeter (racing to 8) took the first set of the true double elimination final 8-3. Heeter jumped out to an early, commanding lead in the second set and reached the hill first at 7-2. White put up a furious charge and won eight straight games to knot the match at 7-10. Heeter, though, stayed calm (apparently) and chalked up the deciding game to claim his first regional tour title.
 
Tour directors Herman and Angela Parker thanked Dayne Miller and his Steakhorse staff for their 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 (Jan. 19-20), will be a $250-added event, hosted by Mickey Milligan’s in New Bern, NC.

Two Whites compete in finals of Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour and split top two prizes

Brian White

Brian White and Hunter White (no relation) battled twice in an annual Christmas event on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour. Brian won the first match and they opted out of playing a second one, leaving Brian as the official winner of the $1,000-added event, which drew 52 entrants to The Steakhorse Restaurant & Billiards in Spartanburg, SC on Christmas weekend (December 22-23). It was for record-keeping and point purposes the first event on the 2019 Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball schedule.
 
They met first in the hot seat match, after Brian White had sent Ricky Baughman to the loss side 10-5 and Hunter White had sent Keith Yates over 8-3. Brian claimed the hot seat over Hunter 10-3.
 
On the loss side, Yates picked up Junior Gabriel, a tour veteran, who, in spite of competing in numerous events on the tour over the past few years, had yet to finish in the money, and was about to. Gabriel had been sent to the loss side by Baughman in a winners’ side quarterfinal, and had defeated James Moore 5-4 (Moore, racing to 7), and, for the first time, into a money round, downed Rob Hart 5-3. Baughman drew Stevie McClinton, who’d eliminated Chuck Cuneo and Billy Fowler, both 7-3.
 
Baughman advanced to the quarterfinals 7-4, as Gabriel fought a double hill fight versus Yates that eventually moved him (Gabriel) another step on the money ladder, into the quarterfinals against Baughman.
 
With Baughman racing to 7 in those quarterfinals, Gabriel took yet another step forward, downing Baughman 5-4. Hunter White, though, playing in what was the final match of the weekend, stopped Gabriel’s run 8-2 in the semifinals, for a second shot against Brian White, which, of course, didn’t happen. The Whites split the top two prizes, with Brian earning the official event title.
 
The tour also awarded the event’s top female finisher a ‘free entry’ prize to an upcoming event. Jordyn Worley, finishing just out of the money in the tie for 9th place, took home that prize.
 
Tour directors Herman and Angela Parker thanked Dayne Miller and his Steakhorse staff for their hospitality (to include money-added to the event), as well as title sponsor Viking Cues, Bar Pool Tables, Delta 13 Racks, AZ Billiards and Professor Q-Ball. With the 2019 tour officially underway, the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour will squeeze one more event into the 2018 calendar; a December 29-30 event, to be hosted by Randolph’s Billiards in Hickory, NC. 

White double dips Hammer to win Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Bar Table Championships

Brian White

In what proved to be his first 2018 major tournament win, Brian White returned from a loss in the hot seat match to down Will Hammer twice and capture the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Bar Table Championships, held on the weekend of Sept. 29-30. The $2,000-added event, open to invited members of the tour, drew 90 entrants to Steakhorse Restaurant & Billiards in Spartanburg, SC.
 
“We were hoping to hit 100 entrants and break our previous tour record of 96,” said tour director Herman Parker. “But in the last hour, we had several players who told us that they couldn’t make it.”
 
In addition to his two victories over Hammer in the finals, White had to defeat the tour’s most prolific winner, JT Ringgold, twice. Ringgold entered the tournament in search of his 12th win on the tour, and advanced to a winners’ side semifinal against White, as Hammer was facing Edwin Delacueva in the other one. In their first of two, White and Ringgold battled to double hill before White finished it 10-9, advancing to the hot seat match. Hammer joined him, following a 6-5 victory over Delacueva, who was racing to 7.  With White racing to 10, Hammer chalked up what proved to be his last match win of the weekend, 6-6, to claim the hot seat.
 
On the loss side, Ringgold opened what he hoped was going to be a three-match trip back to the finals against Josh Shultz, who’d defeated Trey Frank 6-2 and Stevie McClinton 6-1 to reach him. Delacueva drew Marty Opyd, who’d eliminated BJ Hucks 6-6 (Hucks racing to 8) and Clay Davis, double hill (also 6-6, Davis racing to 7).
 
Ringgold downed Shultz 10-3, and in the quarterfinals, faced Delacueva, who’d ended Opyd’s weekend 7-1. Ringgold took what proved to be his final step, defeating Delacueva in those quarterfinals 10-3. The semifinal, second matchup between Ringgold and White shaped up early as a repeat of their double hill, winners’ side semifinal, but White pulled away at the end to win it 10-8 and earn his re-match against Hammer in the finals.
 
White came out gunning in the opening set of the true double elimination final and allowed Hammer only a single rack. Hammer came back in the second set and chalked up five of the six racks he needed to win, but White got the 10 he needed to claim the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball 2018 Bar Table Championships.
 
Tour directors Herman and Angela Parker thanked Dayne Miller and his staff at Steakhorse Restaurant & 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 (Oct. 6-7), will be hosted by Shotmakers in Garner, NC.

Bulfin and Pierce split top prizes on Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour

Matt Bulfin

Were it not for the fact that the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour moves around a bit in its distinctly Southern geographic area, and derives at least a part of its ongoing success to that very mobility, tour directors Herman and Angela Parker might opt to hold all of their tour stops at the Steakhorse Restaurant and Billiards facility in Spartanburg, SC. Almost exactly a month ago (June 2-3), the room opened its doors for the first time, playing host to a stop on the tour. The venue, owned by a player with a tour stop victory on his resume (Dayne Miller), added $1,500 to that opening event, and drew 84 entrants. On the weekend of July 28-29, the tour re-visited the venue, which in the interim had opened walls to expand in size and brought in more tables. Once again, $1,500 was added to the event, which, this time, drew 90 entrants. In the end, Matt Bulfin and Derek Pierce opted out of a final match, and split the top two prizes. Bulfin, as the hot seat occupant at the time, was the event’s official winner.
 
Though he finished as runner-up to Chase Smith last September on the tour, Bulfin, until this weekend, had yet to chalk up a win on the tour, and, in fact, hadn’t won a stop anywhere (that was recorded) since he took home a title on Tommy Kennedy’s Southeast Open 9-Ball Tour, six years ago. His path to the winners’ circle at this most recent stop led him to a winners’ side semifinal match against Steven Ellis, while his eventual hot seat and finals opponent, Derek Pierce squared off against Dalton Messer.
 
Pierce and Messer battle to double hill before Pierce advanced to the hot seat 5-5 (Messer racing to 6). Bulfin joined him following a 9-4 victory over Ellis. Bulfin then played what proved to be his last match and claimed the hot seat 9-3.
 
Messer moved to the loss side and picked up the tour’s most successful competitor, JT Ringgold, who’d eliminated Marty Opyd, double hill, and Rob Hart 10-4. Ellis drew Dustin Coe, who’d defeated Donnie Stewart 6-1 and Brian White 6-8 (White racing to 10).
 
By identical 6-3 scores, Coe and Messer moved to quarterfinals over Ellis and Ringgold. Messer then gave up only a single rack to Coe (6-1) and advanced to the semifinals against Pierce. With Messer racing to 6, Pierce got his second shot against Bulfin by downing Messer 5-4.
 
Bulfin and Pierce, as noted at the outset, opted out of a final match. Bulfin, in the hot seat, officially recorded his first tour victory.
 
Tour directors Herman and Angela Parker thanked Steakhorse Restaurant and Billiards’ owner Dayne Miller and his staff (profusely), in addition to title sponsor Viking Cues, Delta 13 Racks, AZBilliards and Professor Q Ball. In addition to the regular payouts for the event’s top 16 competitors, the tour awarded $50 to the event’s top junior Hunter White. The next stop on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour, scheduled for this weekend – August 4-5 – will be hosted by Buck’s Billiards in Raleigh, NC.

 

Meglino and Davis split top prizes in AllOutPool Tour’s One Pocket event

Mike Davis and Anthony Meglino

Say what you will about the game of One Pocket. Though generally played as races to three, the games, matches and tournaments do have a way of dragging on. It’s the attraction for many; the strategizing, the careful shot selections, the combination of skill and tactics, which stretch a single game out into something of an ordeal. For others (spectators included), it can be agonizing, and way too time consuming.
 
On the weekend of March 17-18, the AllOutPool Tour held its second stop; a $625-added One Pocket event, which, in spite of competition from the Scotty Townsend Memorial, some 10 hours due west in West Monroe, LA, drew 20 entrants to Park Avenue Billiards in Orange Park, FL. Many of the 20 players drove distances that exceeded match times; from Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and South Florida, some of them.
 
By the time Mike Davis had wrapped up his semifinal match against Brian White at around 2:30 a.m. on Sunday morning, his potential opponent in the finals, hot seat occupant Anthony Meglino, had been on the road, headed home, for about five hours. He’d agreed to split the top prizes before he left, and as the undefeated competitor, Meglino went into the books as the winner.
 
Meglino made it through five rounds. He won a preliminary round against Jimmy Hightower 3-0, then downed Jay Widerman 3-1, and Bobby Garza 3-0, to draw David Grossman in a winners’ side semifinal. Davis, in the meantime, had gotten by Chuck Loeffler 3-1, William Carver 3-1 and Clint Nichols 3-0 to pick up tour director Peter Ghostine.
 
Davis defeated Ghostine 3-0, while Meglino sent Grossman to the loss side 3-1, setting up the hot seat match that would, in effect, define the event. Of the 19 winners’ side matches, it was only the second that went double hill (Ghostine had downed Randy Flakes, double hill, in a preliminary round). Meglino won it to claim the hot seat, in what proved to be his last match.
 
On the loss side, Grossman picked up Clint Nichols, who, following his defeat at the hands of Davis, had defeated Randy Flakes 3-0, and Stu Fox 3-1, to draw Grossman. Ghostine drew Brian White, who’d been defeated on the winners’ side by Grossman, and on the loss side, downed Jesse Kent 3-0 and Bobby Garza, double hill (one of six, double hill matches out of 18 on that side of the bracket).
 
White battled Ghostine to double hill before advancing to the quarterfinals. He was joined by Nichols, who’d eliminated Grossman 3-1. White came out on top in his second straight double hill win, versus Nichols, in the quarterfinals. Davis defeated White 3-1 in the ensuing semifinals, and it was over.
 
Tour director Peter Ghostine thanked the ownership and staff at Park Avenue Billiards for their hospitality. He took time, as well, to extend thanks to all 20 of the players, who traveled the distance that they did, and played for the hours that they did to compete.