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Kent and Lawhorne split top prizes on Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour

Earl Kent

The first time Earl Kent recorded a payout finish on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour, nine days before Christmas in 2019, he and BJ Ussery negotiated a split of the event’s top two prizes. As occupant of the hot seat at the time, Ussery claimed the event title. This past weekend, May 14, at the same location, The Clubhouse in Lynchburg, VA, Kent, once again, split the top two prizes with his potential opponent in the finals. This time, however, Kent was in the hot seat and became the official winner, chalking up only his second recorded cash payout and his first tour win, albeit with the missed-final asterisk. The $500-added event drew 43 entrants to The Clubhouse.

He and Cameron Lawhorne worked their way through the field to arrive at Kent’s winners’ side semifinal against Chris Woodrum and Lawhorne’s against Brian Glisson. Kent got into the hot seat match 5-3 over Woodrum, as Lawhorne prevailed in a double hill match against Glisson (8-4; Glisson racing to 5). Battling for the hot seat became the defining match of the event with the two of them battling to a 12th deciding game and Kent finally winning it.

On the loss side, as matches dwindled down to the first money round (5th/6th), there was a junior competitor in the mix. Her name as Precilia Kinsley and is likely recognizable to anyone who’s been following the exploits of the Junior International Championships, now in their second season of events. After four events on the 2022 JIC so far, Kinsley is ranked 6th among 19 junior ladies in the 18 & Under division and finished 3rd at the JIC’s last stop in Phoenix, AZ a week ago. Like other junior competitors in the JIC, Kinsley has been encouraged to extend her ‘reach’ into regional tour events and according to Q City 9-Ball tour director, Herman Parker, she’s proved to be a formidable opponent.

“It was the first time she played with us,” said Parker, “and she won her first two matches; against another junior competitor and then, one of our regulars, Reid Vance, in a double hill match.”

She was sent to the loss side by the eventual winner, Earl Kent and eliminated by another Q City 9-Ball veteran, Scott Roberts, who ended up finishing third. Roberts advanced to down James Marvin, double hill, and Collin Hall 8-4 to draw Woodrum coming over from his winners’ side semifinal match. Glisson, arriving from the other winners’ side semifinal, picked up Thomas Sansone, who’d eliminated Clubhouse owner, Chris England 6-1 and Robert Cuneo 6-4.

In the first money round, Sansone and Roberts handed Glisson and Woodrum their second straight loss; Sansone advancing to the quarterfinals, double hill, as Roberts was busy eliminating Woodrum 8-2 to join him. Roberts and Sansone then battled to double hill in those quarterfinals, before Roberts advanced for a shot at Lawhorne in the semifinals.

In what would prove to be the event’s final match, Lawhorne defeated Roberts 8-6. The deal to split the top two prizes was made, with Kent taking the official event title, his first. 

Tour director Herman Parker thanked Chris England and his Clubhouse staff for their hospitality along with 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, May 21-22, will be hosted Still Cluckin’ in Providence, NC. 

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Coe double dips Helton to claim Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball title

Dustin Coe

Dustin Coe missed being the 2020 Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour champion last year, by two games. At the Jan. 12, 2021 event in Chesnee, SC, Coe advanced to the hot seat match, and lost, double hill, to Benny Walters. In the semifinal that followed, against the eventual tour champion, Derek Formby, Coe was eliminated in what was a second straight double hill match for both of them. In his first recorded cash-payout finish since that event, this past weekend (April 30-May 1), Coe repeated half of the pattern; advancing to the hot seat and being sent to the semifinals, by Brandon Helton. Coe came back from this one, though, winning three straight double hill matches, double-dipping Helton in the two-set double elimination final to claim the title. The $250-added event drew a short field of 21 entrants to Sonny’s Billiards in Princeton, WV.

It was an event replete with double hill battles. Just under half (7) of the event’s final 15 matches went that route, including five straight from the 5th/6th matches to the two-set final. The first of the seven was fought between Helton and Robert Hamilton in one of the winners’ side semifinals. Helton sent Hamilton to the loss side with that double hill win and in the hot seat match, faced Coe, who’d defeated Joe Swim 7-3 in the other winners’ side semifinal. In a straight-up race to 6, Helton downed Coe 6-4 to claim the hot seat.

On the loss side, two competitors – Derek Bonds and Chris Woodrum – were in the midst of six-match, loss-side winning streaks that would take them as far as the quarterfinals (Bonds) and semifinals (Woodrum). Coming over from the winners’ side semifinal, Hamilton drew Bonds, who’d chalked up loss-side wins #4 and #5 against Mike Robertson 5-3 and Ron Frank 5-5 (Frank racing to 8). Swim picked up Woodrum, who’d chalked up his loss-side wins #3 and #4 versus Thomas Sansone and Dwain Barberie, both 6-2. For those keeping track, Barberie came into the 7/8 match, having chalked up one of the seven, final-15 double hill matches, downing Andrew Farley.

Bonds defeated Hamilton 5-4 (Hamilton racing to 7), as Woodrum eliminated Swim, double hill. Woodrum then stopped Bonds’ loss-side winning streak, double hill, in the quarterfinals.

The final three matches yielded the same double hill scores. Coe eliminated Woodrum in the semifinals (7-5; Woodrum racing to 6) and then double-dipped Helton in the finals (same score; Helton racing to 6).

Tour director Herman Parker thanked the ownership and staff at Sonny’s Billiards, 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 Ron Park Memorial will return for its second year to West End Billiards in Gastonia, NC this coming weekend (May 7-8). The 2nd Annual Ron Park Memorial will be a $250-added, Scotch Doubles tournament. 

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Robertson goes undefeated to win his second Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour stop in a month

Michael Robertson

Michael Robertson worked his way through a small field that was on-hand to compete in the Saturday, December 11 stop on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour. He went undefeated to win his second tour stop in a month, having gone undefeated to claim the November 20 tour stop at Gate City Billiards Club in Greensboro, NC. Robertson’s effort this past weekend was challenged at the end by Scott Roberts, who’d lost his second-round match and won seven on the loss side to meet him in the finals. The $500-added event drew 27 entrants to The Clubhouse in Lynchburg, VA.

With Roberts already on the loss side, Robertson advanced to a winners’ side semifinal against Earl Kent. Chris Woodrum, in the meantime, faced Anthony Rock in the other winners’ side semifinal. 

Robertson got into the hot seat match 6-3 over Kent and was joined by Woodrum, who’d sent Rock to the loss side 6-2. Robertson claimed the hot seat with a 6-4 win over Woodrum and waited for Roberts to complete his loss-side run.

On the loss side, it was Anthony Rock who ran into Roberts, four matches into his loss-side run. Roberts had recently eliminated Shane Woodrum (brother to Chris), double hill, and James Tyree 8-3. Earl Kent drew Collin Hall, who, most recently, had eliminated a father/son pair, in order; Father Greg Vaughan 7-2 and then, shut out son Garret Vaughan, who’d defeated Roberts in the second winners’ side round.

Roberts shut Rock out and was joined in the quarterfinals by Hall, who’d defeated Kent, double hill (7-4). Hall ended up on the wrong side of his second, double hill match, falling to Roberts 8-6 in those quarterfinals.

Roberts gave up just a single rack to Chris Woodrum in the semifinals that followed, earning a shot at Robertson, in the hot seat waiting for him. Robertson began that final match with two ‘beads on the wire’ in a race to 8. He and Roberts both won six racks, but Robertson’s two ‘beads’ gave him the ‘8’ he needed for the win.

Tour director Herman Parker thanked the ownership and staff at The Clubhouse 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, and Federal Savings Bank Mortgage Division. The next stop on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour, scheduled for this weekend, Dec. 18-19, will be a $500-added event, hosted by Sonny’s Billiards in Princeton, WV.