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Mabe, Swinson and Sykes split top three prizes on Viking Cues Q City 9-Ball Tour stop

Anthony Mabe

The Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour ran into another tournament during their visit to Brown’s Billiards in Raleigh, NC on Saturday, January 5. Table assignments for the two events in a single room messed with the timing of both, and at the conclusion of the Q City 9-Ball quarterfinal match, it was 5 a.m. on Sunday morning. The three remaining competitors – Anthony Mabe, Graham Swinson and Corey Sykes – opted out of playing the two remaining matches and split the top three cash prizes. As the undefeated occupant of the hot seat, Anthony Mabe claimed the official event title. The event drew 37 entrants to Brown’s Billiards.
 
The hot seat match proved to be the title match. Anthony Mabe had survived a double hill match against Brian Bryant in one of the winners’ side semifinals, as Graham Swinson was working on his 6-6 victory over Barry Mashburn (Mashburn racing to 9). Mabe defeated Swinson 7-4 to claim the hot seat and presumably went looking for a cup of coffee.
 
On the loss side, Bryant and Mashburn ran right into their second straight loss. Bryant fell 10-3 to Corey Sykes, who’d defeated co-tour director Angela Parker and David Smooth, both 10-2, to reach him. Mashburn was eliminated by Randy Tate (father of Junior Champion and Atlantic Cup team member, Joey Tate) 6-5, who’d previously eliminated Josh Padron 6-5 (Padron racing to 7) and Billie Spatafora 6-3.
 
Sykes and Tate played the night’s, or more accurately, the morning’s last match, the quarterfinals. Sykes won it 10-2 to take his place in the how-to-split-up-the-last-three-cash-payouts discussion. He took third, Swinson was runner-up, and as the undefeated hot seat occupant, Mabe claimed the title.
 
Tour directors Herman and Angela Parked thanked the ownership and staff of Brown’s 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 (Jan. 12-13), will be a $1,000-added event ($1,500-added, if entrants exceed 80), hosted by Steakhorse Billiards in Spartanburg, SC.

Junior National Champion Tate chalks up ‘official’ win on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour

Joey Tate

It is not often that a final tournament match is called off because one of the competitors has to get to school in the morning. Such was the case on Saturday, October 15, when 12-year-old Joey Tate, winner of the Billiard Education Foundation’s Junior National Championships (14 and under division) last month in Las Vegas, and Corey Sykes opted out of a final match on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour. Tate had defeated Sykes in the hot seat match, but Sykes took the first set of a true double elimination final before the decision not to play a second set was made. As the hot seat occupant, Tate became the event’s ‘official’ winner, chalking up his first regional tour win. The event drew 22 entrants to Brass Tap in Raleigh, NC.
 
Originally from the Chicago area, Tate and his family have relocated to the Raleigh area, making Brass Tap something of a home room for the youngster. It might be a little early to start thinking of him as the ‘house pro’ of the room, but his performance in this most recent event is certainly a qualifying credential. He and Sykes advanced to the winners’ side semifinals, with Tate facing Michael Chapman and Sykes squaring off against another, slightly older junior player, Peter Abatangelo. Tate sent Chapman to the loss side in a double hill battle, while Sykes defeated Abatangelo 10-3. With Tate racing to 6 (a number that will likely rise in the weeks and months ahead) and Sykes racing to 10, the two fought to a deciding game, won by Tate, giving him a 6-9 win and possession of his first hot seat.
 
On the loss side, Chapman picked up Jason Rogers, who’d defeated Mike Rowe 9-4 and Randall Bowman, double hill, to reach him. Abatangelo drew Ryan Tremblay, who’d eliminated Ben Spivey 6-2 and Greg Pullman 6-3. Rogers downed Chapman double hill and in the quarterfinals, faced Tremblay, who’d ended the junior’s tournament with a 6-4 win.
 
Rogers won the quarterfinal match over Tremblay, double hill (9-5), and was then eliminated, double hill (10-8), by Sykes in the semifinals. It proved to be the last of six double hill matches among the event’s final 12 competitors. Sykes took the opening set of the true double elimination 10-3 over Tate, at which point, they opted out of a second set. Tate will be travelling to Moscow in about a month to represent the US in the Junior World Championships, and as a result, is working ahead of time (even on Sundays) at making up the three weeks of school he’ll miss while competing in the event. The added workload was a factor in their mutual decision not to pursue a deciding match.
 
Tour directors Herman and Angela Parker thanked the ownership and staff at Brass Tap, as well as title sponsor Viking Cues, Delta 13 Racks, AZBilliards and Professor Q Ball. The next stop on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour, scheduled for October 21-22, will be hosted by Borderline Billiards in Bristol, TN.  
 

Sykes and Ringgold split top prizes on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour

Corey Sykes

On Saturday, September 23, in the midst of his best recorded earnings year to date at the pool table, Corey Sykes chalked up an official win on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour. He completed the tournament undefeated, though he would split the top two prizes with his finals’ opponent, J.T. Ringgold, because by mutual agreement, they opted out of playing a final match. The event drew 27 entrants to Brown’s Billiards in Raleigh, NC.
 
 
 
Their shared victory was almost overshadowed by a preponderance of young talent that appeared in this event. Three of the event’s final 12 competitors (25%) had yet to complete high school. One of them, Joey Tate, who was playing on his home turf (he lives in Raleigh, NC), has yet to enter high school. Tate, who won the Boys 14 & Under division of this past August’s BEF Junior Nationals, is 12 years old, and came within a single match of being the person with whom Sykes negotiated to split the event’s top two prizes. It was his third appearance on the tour, having previously gone two and out, and finished in fourth place.
 
 
 
Tate advanced through the field to a winners’ side semifinal against Ringgold, while Sykes was squaring off against Jason Rogers in the other one. Ringgold (racing to 10) downed Tate (racing to 5) 10-3. Sykes, in the meantime, defeated Rogers (racing to 9) 10-6. In a straight-up race to 10, Sykes claimed the hot seat over Ringgold, double hill.
 
 
 
On the loss side, Tate picked up Justin Martin, who’d defeated Roman Bayda 10-5, and shut out Ben Spivey, to reach him. Rogers drew Travis Guerra, who’d eliminated the other two teenagers among the final 12 players; 15-year-olds Joshua Shultz 7-3, and Peter Abatangelo 7-1.
 
 
 
Tate and Rogers advanced to the quarterfinals; Tate, 5-2 over Martin (with Martin racing to 10), and Rogers, double hill over Guerra. The Tate/Rogers quarterfinal was a re-match, Tate having downed Rogers earlier in the event. With Rogers racing to 9, Tate defeated him a second time 5-3, and earned himself the right to a legitimate shot at entering the finals facing Ringgold in the semifinals.
 
 
 
It’s hard to imagine that anyone watching the semifinals would have been rooting for the elder Ringgold. Possibly Tate’s parents, who, though certainly supporting their son’s efforts, had to be figuring it was getting pretty close to being past Joey’s normal bed time. Other than that though, who wouldn’t be cheering for the underdog 12-year-old?
 
 
 
As he had done in the winners’ side semifinal match, the kid chalked up three of the five racks he needed to win that event semifinal match. But Ringgold, as he had done before, reached his requisite 10 to end the match, and in light of the subsequent decision not to play a final match, the event itself. As the only official undefeated competitor, Sykes claimed the event title.
 
 
 
Tour directors Herman and Angela Parker thanked owner Dave Huffman and his staff at Brown’s Billiards for their hospitality, as well as title sponsor Viking Cues, Delta 13 Racks, AZBilliards and Professor Q Ball. The next stop on the Viking Cues' Q City 9-Ball Tour, scheduled for September 30-October 1, will be a $500-added event, hosted by Peninsula Billiards in Newport News, VA.
 
 
 

Lim returns from hot seat loss to win NC State 10-Ball Open Championships

Reymart Lim

For the second week in a row, Reymart Lim returned from a hot seat loss to meet and defeat its occupant and capture an event title. On the weekend of July 15-16, he captured a Viking Cues' Q City 9-Ball title at Q Master Billiards in Virginia Beach, VA. On the weekend of July 22-23, the tour traveled to Raleigh, NC for the $1,000-added North Carolina State 10-Ball Open, and Lim, once again, was defeated in the hot seat match (by Keith Bennett) and returned from a semifinal, against last year's runner-up, Mike Davis, to down Bennett in the final and claim the title. The event, held under the auspices of the Viking Cues' Q City 9-Ball Tour drew 54 entrants to Brass Tap & Billiards in Raleigh.
 
Lim advanced through three rounds to compete in a winners' side semifinal against BJ Ussery. Bennett, in the meantime, got through his first three opening rounds and met up with Brian White. Bennett and White locked up in a double hill battle that eventually sent Bennett to the hot seat match, where he was joined by Lim, who'd sent Ussery west 7-5. Bennett claimed the hot seat (as had Tim Monk the week before) 7-4.
 
Ussery moved over and picked up Mike Davis, who'd been defeated by White in a winners' side quarterfinal and was working on a modest, two-game, loss-side winning streak. He'd downed David Hunt and James Blackburn, both 7-3 to reach Ussery. White drew Cory Morphew, who'd eliminated Corey Sykes 7-4, and Glen Russell, Sr. 7-5.
 
White and Ussery picked up their second straight and eliminating loss. Morphew eliminated the possibility of a Davis/White re-match by shutting White out. Davis joined Morphew in the quarterfinals match by downing Ussery 7-4.
 
Davis and Morphew battled to double hill in the quarterfinals before the last 10-ball dropped, advancing Davis to the semifinals against Lim; a sort of 'old school' (Davis) versus moderately 'new school' (Lim) matchup. 'New school' won the day, as Lim eliminated Davis 7-4.
 
In another and third straight 'old school' versus 'new school' battle in the finals, 'new school' claimed the title. Lim took the single race to 9 (9-4) to capture the NC State 10-Ball Open title.
 
Tour director Herman Parker thanked the ownership and staff at Brass Tap & Billiards, as well as title sponsor Viking Cues, Delta 13 Racks, AZBilliards and Professor Q Ball. The next stop on the Viking Cues' Q City 9-Ball Tour, scheduled for July 29-30, will be hosted by Borderline Billiards in Bristol, TN.
 

Davis retains North Carolina State 9-Ball title

Mike Davis

Though warm weather and a host of competing events diminished the numbers, the North Carolina State 9-Ball Championships were held at Brass Tap and Billiards in Raleigh, NC, on the weekend of February 18-19. Held under the auspices of the Viking Cues' Q City 9-Ball Tour, the $400-added event saw 32 entrants compete, and for the second year in a row, saw Mike Davis, Jr. go undefeated to claim the title. 
 
In 2016, Davis faced separate opponents in the hot seat match and finals; Daniel Gambill and Stevie Moore, respectively. This year, he faced the same opponent, Jeff Abernathy, twice. Abernathy made it to the quarterfinals in 2016, before being defeated by Moore. This year, Abernathy found himself in a winners' side semifinal match against Corey Sykes, as Davis was squaring off against Delton Howard. Abernathy put up a double hill fight, but it was Sykes who advanced to the hot seat match against Davis, who'd sent Delton Howard to what proved to be a single, loss-side trip 9-4. Davis claimed the hot seat 9-5 and waited for Abernathy to get back.
 
On the loss side Abernathy picked up Ty Griffin, who'd defeated Barry Mashburn 7-4, and Brad Shearer 7-1 to reach him. Howard drew Justin Martin, who'd eliminated Michael Yingling 7-5, and in a double hill fight, Kenny Miller.
 
Martin shut Kenny Miller out and advanced to the quarterfinals. Griffin was battling against Abernathy and came within a rack of forcing a single deciding game, but Abernathy pulled ahead late to win it 7-5. Abernathy then gave up only a single rack to Martin in those quarterfinals, and then eliminated Sykes 7-4 in the semifinals.
 
In somewhat predictable fashion, Davis and Abernathy went at each other tooth and nail to claim the NC State title. they battled to double hill before Davis closed it out to claim the NC State 9-Ball Championship title.
 
Tour director Herman Parker thanked the ownership and staff at Brass Tap, as well as title sponsor Viking Cues, Delta 13 Racks, AZBilliards and Professor Q Ball. The next stop on the Viking Cues' Q City 9-Ball Tour, scheduled for this weekend (February 25-26), will be hosted by Borderline Billiards in Bristol, TN.

Fitch thwarts Davis bid to defend NC 10-Ball title

Shannon Fitch and Mike Davis

Mike Davis is the current North Carolina 8-ball and 9-ball champion. His bid to successfully defend his 10-ball title, won in 2015, was derailed on the weekend of July 16-17 by Shannon Fitch, who came back from a defeat in a winners' side semifinal to battle Davis to a case game in the finals and win it. The $800-added North Carolina State Open 10-Ball Championships, held under the auspices of the Q City 9-Ball Tour, drew 52 entrants to Brass Tap and Billiards in Raleigh, NC.
 
The event itself was almost derailed by a power outage on Saturday that, instead of the normal dozen or so that might have returned to play on Sunday, forced the return of 30 competitors. Play resumed on Sunday, with both Fitch and Davis advancing to a winners' side semifinal; Fitch versus Matt Bulfin and Davis against Daniel Gambill.
 
Fitch moved to the loss side after a 7-4 victory by Bulfin. Davis advanced with a 7-2 victory over Gambill. As he had done last year, at the same location, Davis grabbed the hot seat. This time, with a 7-3 victory over Bulfin.
 
Fitch opened his three-match, loss-side campaign against renowned cue maker Daniel Heidrich, who, in the event's first money round, had defeated Corey Sykes 7-3 and then, eliminated 'young gun' (age 16) Hunter White. Gambill drew Kenny Miller, who'd defeated Chris Wilburn and Joshua Padron, both 7-5.
 
Fitch and Gambill chalked up identical 7-4 victories over Heidrich and Miller and advanced to the quarterfinals. Fitch took that contest 7-5 and then defeated Bulfin in the semifinals by the same score.
 
The final was a single race to 9, and it was clear from the start that it wasn't going to be easy. Fitch and Davis battled back and forth through numerous ties until they reached the final one at 8-8. Davis broke and came up dry. Fitch stepped to the table and ran it to claim the 2016 North Carolina State Open 10-Ball title.
 
Tour director Herman Parker thanked the ownership and staff at Brass Tap, as well as title sponsor Viking Cues, and Delta-13 Racks. The next stop on the Q City 9-Ball Tour, scheduled for July 23, will be hosted by Brian's Billiards in Roanoke Rapids, NC.

Padron takes two of three against Crain to win Q City 9-Ball stop

Josh Padron claimed the hot seat over Scott Crain during the November 21 stop on the Q City 9-Ball Tour, but gave up the opening set of a true double elimination final to force a third match between them. Padron prevailed in the deciding match to claim the title. The event drew 36 entrants to Buck's Billiards in Raleigh, NC.
 
Their first match, battling for the hot seat, came after Padron had sent Richard Anderson to the loss side 6-4, and Crain had defeated Anthony Mabe 4-4 (Mabe racing to 7). Padron claimed the hot seat decisively 6-1 and waited on Crain's return.
 
On the loss side, Mabe ran into Steve Page, who'd defeated Corey Sykes 10-1, and Jody Musselman 10-5 to reach him. Anderson drew Mike Mullins, who'd gotten by James Blackburn 7-2 and Andy Bowden 7-4. Page handed Mabe his second straight loss 10-4, as Anderson was busy shutting out Mullins 7-0.
 
Anderson then downed Page 7-5 in the quarterfinals, before having his short, loss-side trip ended 4-3 by Crain in the semifinals. Crain gave up only a single rack in the opening set of the true double elimination against Padron to force a second set. They battled to double hill in that second set, until Padron prevailed to claim the title.
 
The next stop on the Q City 9-Ball Tour, scheduled for this coming weekend, November 27-28, brings the Turkey Bowl to Statesville, NC. Chandley's Chalk and Cue will host the 8-Ball event.
 

Davis goes undefeated to claim NC State 10-Ball Championship

Mike Davis

Mike Davis worked his way, undefeated, through a field of 56, to win the 1st Annual North Carolina State 10-Ball Championships, held under the auspices of the Q City 9-Ball Tour. The $1,000-added event, held on the weekend of July 18-19, was hosted by Brass Tap and Billiards in Raleigh, NC.
 
Davis ran into a familiar foe among the winners' side final four. Keith Bennett, whose last recorded payout was at the 2013 US Open, when he finished in the tie for 13th place with Corey Deuel, Tommy Kennedy and Imran Majid, showed up for this 10-Ball event, and renewed acquaintances with Davis (among others). Steve Page, in the meantime, who would face Davis twice, met up with Chris Bruner in the other winners' side semifinal. Davis sent Bennett to the loss side 7-5, and in the hot seat match, faced Page, who'd shut out Bruner. Page almost sidetracked Davis' undefeated run with a double hill challenge. Davis prevailed, however, and sat in the hot seat, waiting on Page's return.
 
On the loss side, Bennett ran into Jeff Abernathy, who'd gotten by Michael Robertson and Corey Sykes, both 7-5. Bruner picked up Mahmoud Salamah, who'd defeated Paul Swinson (winner of the previous week's stop on the tour) 7-4 and survived a double hill fight against Brad Shearer. Bruner and Bennett advanced to the quarterfinals; Bruner 7-3 over Salamah and Bennett 7-5 over Abernathy.
 
Bruner spoiled any ideas Bennett may have been entertaining about a re-match versus Davis with a 7-5 quarterfinal victory, and then, was himself eliminated by Page 7-2, in the semifinals. Davis won his second against Page 9-4 in the finals to claim the first NC State 10-Ball Championship.

Blackburn comes from the loss side to take GSBT stop at Borderline Billiards

Shannon Daulton, Joe Blackburn and Corey Morphew

On the weekend of May 17-18, Joe Blackburn, 69, became the oldest player to ever win a stop on the Great Southern Billiard Tour. He came from the loss side to do it, defeating Corey Morphew in the finals. The $1,000-added event drew 39 entrants to Borderline Billiards in Bristol, TN.
 
Blackburn and Morphew met first in a winners' side semifinal, as Corey Sykes met up with Jerry Vernado in the other. The two Coreys advanced to the hot seat match; Sykes 9-5 over Vernado and Morphew surviving a double hill battle. Morphew then defeated Sykes 9-6 and waited on Blackburn.
 
On the loss side, Blackburn picked up Jay Miller, who'd defeated Daniel Autry 4-3 and Scott Howard 4-4; Howard racing to 7. Vernado drew Brian Bagwell, who'd eliminated Borderline Billiards owner Janet Atwell and James Miracle, both 7-4. Once Blackburn had eliminated Miller 7-2 and Vernado had downed Bagwell 6-3, they faced each other in the quarterfinals.
 
Blackburn and Vernado locked up in a hill-hill quarterfinal that eventually advanced Blackburn to face Sykes in the semifinals. Another hill-hill victory, over Sykes, gave Blackburn a second shot against Morphew.
 
Morphew failed to chalk up a single rack in the opening set of a true double elimination final. He rallied in the second set, but racing to 9, fell a game short of forcing a deciding game against Blackburn, who completed his loss-side run with a second win (7-7) to claim the event title.
 
 Tour director Shannon Daulton thanked Janet Atwell and her staff at Borderline Billiards, as well as sponsors Nick Varner Cues & Cases, Delta-13, Ozone Billiards, Tiger Products, Andy Gilbert Custom Cues, Lomax Cues, and Universe Clothing. The next stop on the GSBT, scheduled for the weekend of June 21-22, will be hosted by Legends Billiards in Inman, SC.

Green goes undefeated to take 10th Annual VA State 9-Ball Championships

Eric Moore, Joshua Dickerson (TD) and Danny Green

Though Eric Moore would come back from winning five on the loss side to face him in the finals, Danny Green hung on to go undefeated and win the 10th Annual VA State 9-Ball Championships on the weekend of September 14-15. In addition to prize money, both Green and Moore received free entry to the US Open 9-Ball Championships next month, as did top female finisher, Daisy Blancaflora. The event drew 68 entrants to Diamond Billiards in Midlothian, VA.
 
Having sent Moore to the loss side 9-7 in the fifth round of play, Green moved into a winners' side semifinal against R.J. Carmona. Brandon Shuff, in the meantime, took on Ray Mart-Lim. Green and Shuff faced each other in the hot seat match with identical 9-4 wins over Carmona and Lim. Green and Shuff locked up in a double hill fight that eventually sent Shuff to the semifinals against Moore.
 
Moore's march back to the finals began with a 9-6 win over Corey Sykes and was followed by a 9-7 win over Max Schlothauer, which set Moore up to face Carmona. Lim drew David Hunt, who'd gotten by Ray Reyna 9-3 and Chris Futrell 9-5. 
 
Moore and Lim moved into the quarterfinals with 9-7 wins over Sykes and Hunt, and then battled each other to double hill before Moore advanced. Moore then took out Brandon Shuff 9-7 in the semifinals for a second shot against Green. Green took the final match 11-7 and the 10th Annual VA State 9-Ball Championship crown.