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Joey Tate goes undefeated to win July 4th weekend stop on the Carolina Pool Tour

Joey Tate

North Carolina’s Joey Tate is right on the verge of making his age an irrelevant fact. He turned 17 less than a month ago (June 28) and he’s in the midst of recording his best earnings year since he started showing up on AZBilliards’ database in 2017 at the age of 12. It could well be that his competitors over these past five years are growing tired of hearing that he’s a junior competitor, especially after he’s defeated one of them in a major event. This past July 4th weekend, he joined 32 other entrants at a $1,000-added stop on the Carolina Pool Tour (in collaboration with the Players Madness Tour) at Breaktime Billiards in Winston-Salem, NC and went undefeated to the finish line, defeating perennial North Carolina State Champion Mike Davis, Jr. in the finals.

As the Billiards Education Foundation’s 2022 Junior National Champion in the 18 & Under Boys Division, which is only the most recent of his accomplishments since he was a 7th grader, Tate brings to his forays into the ‘real world’ of regional tour competition, a sense of confidence, tempered by an awareness about the dangers of overconfidence.

“When you win,” he said after this past weekend’s victory, “you can get caught up in it, to the point of arrogance; not like in how you behave, but an arrogance in your own mind.”

“You still have to stay humble and hungry,” he added. 

He pointed to separate influences on him, which keep him in that ‘humble and hungry’ mode; his Christian faith, which grants him the opportunity to be, among other things, thankful for the victories, as well as his own experiences at the table and his observations of the top professionals.

“Through experience,” he said, “you can catch the thoughts that trigger arrogance and block them out. And watching pro players when they’re playing their best; you can see how focused they are and how clean their shots are.

“So,” he added, “it’s really about a combination of those things.”

Tate had his ‘hungry and humble’ hands full from the outset. He opened his six-match march to the win against Michael Yingling, who promptly battled him to double hill. Tate survived, advancing through another junior competitor, Cole Lewis 7-3, then, Adam Pendley 7-4 and in a winners’ side semifinal, in a second double hill fight, he defeated Josh Heeter. Tate advanced to the hot seat match. 

Tate’s eventual hot seat opponent, Cory Morphew, on the other hand, shut out three of the four opponents he faced to get to that match; Reene Driskill in their opening-round match, BJ Ussery in the third round and Chuck Ritchie in the winners’ side semifinal. The only opponent he didn’t shut out was Mike Davis, Jr., who chalked up five against him in their second-round match (33 entrants in the bracket made the opening round of the event a single match). Davis and Morphew would meet again in the semifinals, which, as it turned out, did not go well for Morphew. Neither did the hot seat match, won by Tate 7-4.

On the loss side, Heeter picked up Ussery, who’d followed his loss to Morphew with victories over Bruce Campbell 7-4 and Kelly Farrar 7-2. Ritchie drew Davis, who followed his loss to Morphew with a seven-match, loss-side run to the finals, that had recently eliminated Adam Pendley and Clint Clark, both 7-4.

Davis downed Ritchie 7-3 and in the quarterfinals, faced Ussery, who’d eliminated Heeter, also  7-3. Davis gave up only a single rack to Ussery in those quarterfinals and stepped into his rematch against Morphew in the semifinals. 

Davis downed Morphew 7-3 for a shot at Tate in the hot seat. Tate claimed the event title of Stop #8 on the Carolina Pool Tour with a 7-2 win over Davis.

Co-tour directors Nickolus Rogers and Xzavia Boykin of the Players Madness Tour thanked the ownership and staff at Breaktime Billiards and all of the players who attended the July 4th weekend event.

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Poste and Powell split on Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour

JR Poste

It’s been a while since JR Poste chalked up a win on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour; five years, to be precise. And at that event in Wilmington, NC in August, 2016, he claimed the event title by virtue of being the undefeated hot seat occupant when he and BJ Hucks negotiated their way out of playing a final match. This past weekend (Sat., April 24), Poste chalked up another victory on the tour and once again, claimed the title by negotiating a split with his potential opponent in the finals. This time, it was Hank Powell. The event drew 32 entrants to Buck’s Billiards in Raleigh, NC.

Poste and Powell met twice at this event. Powell advanced through the field to arrive at a winners’ side semifinal versus 14-year-old Bethany Tate, a Billiards Education Foundation National Champion; Girls, 11 and under, 2018. Poste, in the meantime, faced Bruce Campbell in the other winners’ side semifinal.

With Tate racing to four, she fought the veteran Powell to double hill before Powell sent her to the loss side 8-3. Poste downed Campbell 7-1 to join Powell in the hot seat match. Poste claimed the hot seat 7-5 over Powell, in what would prove to be the deciding match of the event.

Tate moved over to face Daniel Adams, who’d defeated Chris Petoletti 6-5 (Petoletti racing to 7) and Robbie Crosby 6-3. Campbell picked up Shane Hardie, who’d eliminated Krystle Schmidt 7-2 and Bethany Tate’s older brother Joey 7-6 (Joey racing to 8). The way the draw turned out, had Joey defeated Hardie, he would have drawn Campbell next. If he’d then defeated Campbell, he might have drawn his sister in a sibling quarterfinal, but she, of course, would have had to defeat Adams, which she did not do, losing to him 6-1. Campbell downed Hardie 6-5 (Hardie racing to 7).

Adams took the quarterfinal match versus Campbell 6-4 and in what proved to be the last match of the night, was then defeated by Powell 8-4 in the semifinals. Powell and Poste negotiated their settlement, leaving Poste as the official negotiated winner of his second Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball event.

Tour director Herman Parker thanked the ownership and staff at Buck’s Billiards, 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 1-2, will be a $500-added event, hosted by Break & Run Billiards in Chesnee, SC.