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Farrar goes undefeated in short field on Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour

3rd Annual Carolina Cup on tap for this weekend

Chalking up his first win on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour in a little over a year, Kelly Farrar did it this past weekend (Sat., Sept 24) the way he did it a year ago, going undefeated and defeating the same opponent twice in the hot seat and finals. Last year at Brown’s Billiards in Raleigh, NC, he defeated Scott Johnson twice. This year, it was Justin Knuckles at the $250-added event that drew a short field of 18 entrants to Mickey Milligan’s in New Bern, NC.

Both advanced through the short field to arrive at their respective winners’ side semifinals; Farrar versus Brian Overman and Knuckles against Glen Spikes. Farrar got into the hot seat match with a 7-3 victory over Overman and was joined by Knuckles, who sent Spikes west 7-2. Farrar took his first of two against Knuckles 7-5.

On the loss side, Overman and Spikes ran right into their second straight loss. Overman drew Danny Farren, who’d defeated Ron Ford 8-1 and Jack Whitfield 8-4 to reach him. Spikes picked up Delton Howard, who’d survived a double hill match against Thomas Sansone and eliminated Thomas Cook 8-3 to reach him.

In what were battles for advancement to the first money round, the quarterfinals, Howard and Farren defeated Spikes and Overman by the same 8-2 score. Howard followed up with a strong 8-1 victory over Farren in those quarterfinals.

The Knuckles/Howard semifinal turned into a double hill struggle for a shot at the event title. With Howard racing to 8, Knuckles claimed that shot. 

The final was a carbon copy of their hot seat match. Same result. Farrar won it 7-5 to chalk up his second title on the tour.

Tour director Herman Parker thanked the ownership and staff at Mickey Milligan’s for their hospitality, as well as title sponsor Viking Cues

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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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Chasing dawn, Martin and Whitfield split top prizes on Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour

Justin Martin

With a little less than half of the field still in play, the Saturday, August 3 stop on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour featured a large number of its better players, as defined by their tour ratings. Justin Martin, who races to 10 in his matches, was among the event’s final 12 and went on to win the event, undefeated*. Also present among the final 12 were BJ Ussery (racing to 12 in his matches) and JT Ringgold (racing to 11). The $250-added event drew 29 entrants to Mickey Milligan’s Billiards in New Bern, NC.
 
Martin was to have faced Jack Whitfield twice in this one, but did so only once. Martin got into the hot seat match following a 10-5 victory over Danny Farren in one of the winners’ side semifinals. Whitfield joined him after a 7-5 win over Junior Avery in the other one. In what proved to be the title match, battling for the hot seat, Martin gave up only a single rack, downing Whitfield 10-1.
 
Farren and Avery moved to the loss side of the bracket and faced Ringgold and Travis Guerra, respectively, for advancement to the first money round. Ringgold eliminated Farren 11-6, as Guerra downed Avery 6-4.
 
The first money round match, the quarterfinals, came within a game of going double hill. It was Ringgold who fell a rack short of forcing a deciding game, and Guerra advanced 6-9.
 
In what proved to be the event’s final match, Whitfield earned a second shot at Martin in the hot seat with a 7-4 victory over Guerra. The final match did not occur. It was 6 a.m. on Sunday morning and Martin and Whitfield opted out, leaving the undefeatEd Martin as the event’s official winner.
 
Tour directors Herman and Angela Parker thanked the ownership and staff at Micky Milligan’s 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 (August 10-11), will be hosted by a new venue for the tour, Shore Thing Billiards in Myrtle Beach, SC.  

Ringgold adds to his list of victories (the most) on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour

JT Ringgold

Eight months ago, with a distinct ‘home field’ advantage playing in his home town of New Bern, NC at Mickey Milligan’s Billiards, JT Ringgold chalked up what was his 13th overall victory on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour. It was seven more than his closest competitor in the category, and the last time, in a handicapped tournament, that he would race to 10. On Saturday, June 15, Ringgold returned to Mickey Milligan’s to win his 14th event title on the tour. Unlike the quest for #13, #14 started and stayed on the winners’ side of the bracket. The 13th featured an opening-round loss, seven wins on the loss side (with an aggregate score of 74-16) and a double dip win in the final that saw him win all but three of the 23 matches he played. The 14th title came at the end of four matches, two of them against Justin Clark. The 13th title event drew 18 entrants to Mickey Milligan’s. The $250-added, 14th title event drew 15.
 
Ringgold and Clark met first in a winners’ side semifinal (match #3), as Larry Pierce and Ron Sellers squared off in the other one. Pierce sent Sellers to the loss side in a shutout, as Ringgold took his first of two over Clark 11-4. Ringgold settled into the hot seat after an 11-3 win over Pierce.
 
Sellers and Clark moved to the loss side and entered the matches that would determine whether they had a chance of going home with any cash. Clark did. Sellers didn’t. Clark got into the first-money-round quarterfinals with a 6-3 win over Matt Raden, who’d eliminated Walter Berry and Chris McSorley, both 7-3, to reach him. Danny Farren, who’d defeated Lisa Cossette 7-3 and Robert Perez 7-5, eliminated Sellers 7-1.
 
The next two battles were hotly contested, representing, as they did, a difference of $100 between the quarterfinal and semifinal winners and losers. Clark dropped Farren out of the race, double hill, in the quarterfinal to send him home with $50. Clark then eliminated Danny Pierce, double hill in the semifinals and saw him pocket $150.
 
The financial gap between 1st and 2nd place was $150 ($400/$250) and the battle for it, just as fierce. Clark, granted five on the wire at the beginning of a race to 11, chalked up one more rack against Ringgold than he had in the winners’ side semifinal and forced a 16th deciding game, but Ringgold added a 14th notch to his Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball ‘gun’ with an 11-5 win.
 
Tour directors Herman and Angela Parker thanked the ownership and staff at Mickey Milligan’s, as well as title sponsor Viking Cues, 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 (June 22-23), will be a $1,500-added event, hosted by a new venue for the tour – Break and Run Billiards in Chesnee, SC. 

Carroll and Williams split top prizes on Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball stop in New Bern, NC

Billy Carroll and David Williams allowed their hot seat match to stand as the final result, during an April 1-2 stop on the Viking Cues' Q City 9-Ball tournament. Carroll, as the eventual hot seat occupant, was given the official titleThe $250-added event drew 33 entrants to Mickey Milligan's Billiards & Pub in New Bern, NC.
 
In addition to its roster of five competitors who cashed in the event, the tournament featured three generations of the Ringgold family; grandfather Vernon, his son Terry, and grandson J.T. Ringgold, who'd split the top two prizes in last week's event with Scott Roberts. All had been eliminated by the time the tournament moved into its money rounds. Terry, representing the middle generation, had defeated his Dad, Vernon, in the matches that determined the four-way tie for 13th place. Moving into the subsequent 9/12 matches, there was a chance looming that father Terry might, at some point, face his son, although the way the brackets were playing out, it wouldn't happen until the quarterfinals. Father Terry lasted one more round than his son, J.T.
 
Carroll and Williams got into the one and only match they played, for the hot seat, following Carroll's double hill win over Junior Avery, and Williams' 4-6 win over Danny Farren (Farren racing to 8). In a result that may have played into the later decision not to play a second time, Carroll shut Williams out to get into the hot seat.
 
Avery and Farren moved to the loss side, where they promptly picked up their second loss from two competitors in the midst of lengthy loss-side winning streaks. Avery drew Ron Canterbury, who'd defeated Randy Hodges 6-3 and Roy Musser 6-4 (Musser had eliminated J.T. Ringgold in the previous round). Farren drew Mike Rowe, who'd survived a double hill match against Brent Thomas, and then, ended the Ringgold family's participation with a 4-2 win over Terry. 
 
Canterbury knocked out Avery 6-1, while Rowe, playing in his seventh loss-side match, eliminated Farren 4-4 (Farren to 8). In his seventh loss-side match, Canterbury ended Rowe's streak in the quarterfinals 6-1, only to have Williams end his streak 4-3 in what proved to be the last match of the weekend, the semifinals. Carroll and Williams opted out of the finals, leaving Carroll as the official winner.
 
Tour director Herman Parker thanked the ownership and staff of Mickey Milligan's, as well as title sponsor Viking Cues, 13 Delta Racks, AZBilliards and Professor Q Ball. The next stop on the Viking Cues' Q City 9-Ball Tour, a $500-added event, scheduled for this weekend (April 8-9), will be hosted by Legends Billiards in Inman, SC. 

Father and son battle it out on the Q City 9-Ball Tour

Terry and J.T. Ringgold, father and son respectively, battled twice to claim the title at a Q City 9-Ball Tour on the weekend of June 25-26. The son won both matches at the $250-added event that drew 18 entrants to Mickey Milligan's in New Bern, NC.
 
They met first in the hot seat match. Terry had defeated Danny Farren 4-5 (Farren racing to 7) as J.T. sent Randy Hodges to the loss side 9-4. J.T. showed no mercy in the subsequent battle for the hot seat. He shut his father out, and waited on his return.
 
On the loss side, Danny Farren picked up Frank Owens, who'd defeated Montez Lloyd and Brad Burton, both 5-3, to reach him. Hodges drew Josh Heeter, who'd eliminated Zach Cortright 7-3 and Jack Whitfield, 7-4. Heeter and Owens advanced to the quarterfinals, handing Hodges and Farren their second straight defeat; Heeter 7-4 over Hodges and Owens 5-3 over Farren.
 
Heeter took the quarterfinal match over Owens 7-3, but had his loss-side streak ended by the elder Ringgold 4-3 in the semifinals. The father put up a bit of fight in the second match against his son, chalking up two racks. J.T. chalked up his nine to claim the title.
 
Tour director Herman Parker thanked Gerry Shepherd and his staff at Mickey Milligans for their hospitality, as well as sponsors Viking Cues, and Delta-13 racks. The next stop on the Q City 9-Ball Tour, scheduled for the weekend of July 2-3, will be hosted by Chandley's Chalk and Cue in Statesville, NC. 

Pike goes undefeated to take Q City stop at Mickey Milligan’s in New Bern, NC

Chad Pike, owner of City Cues in Elizabeth City, NC, has been a regular competitor on the Q City 9-Ball for a few years now. He's been a competitor at the game for a lot longer than that, dating back to our (AZBilliards') first recognition of him for finishing 17th on a Falcon Cue 9-Ball Tour stop 12 years ago. He went on to make appearances on the Great Southern Billiard Tour, the Viking Tour, the Action Pool Tour, and a couple of noteworthy appearances at the annual US Open 9-Ball Championships. On the weekend of January 30-31, 2016, he added another victory on the Q City 9-Ball Tour to his resume, going undefeated through a field of 38, on-hand for the $500-added event, hosted by Mickey Milligan's in New Bern, NC  
 
Pike's path to the winners' circle went through Jorge Ramos twice; once in the hot seat match and later, in the finals. He'd sent J.T. Ringgold to the loss side 7-3 in a winners' side semifinal, as Ramos was busy sending Greg Smith over 6-7 (Smith racing to 8). Pike claimed the hot seat 7-4 over Ramos.
 
On the loss side, Ringgold picked up William Roberts, who'd shut out Shane Hardie and defeated Jack Whitfield 6-2 to reach him. Smith drew Wayne Miller, who'd gotten by Danny Farren 4-2, and Christy Norris (the previous week's winner), double hill. 
 
With Smith racing to 8, Miller advanced to the quarterfinals 4-4. Ringgold defeated Roberts 9-3 to join him. With Ringgold racing to 9, Miller took the quarterfinal match 4-3.
 
The 6-4 race in the semifinals led to a final game showdown against Miller that advancEd Ramos to a second shot against Pike in the hot seat. A second double hill game led to the completion of Pike's undefeated run, and another title feather to his cap.

Swinson and Walton split top prizes on Q City 9-Ball Tour

You don't find men and women squaring off against each other in the finals of a tournament very much. It's rare, but it happens, as it did on Saturday, July 11 at Anytime Billiards in Jacksonville, NC. The occasion was a stop on the Q City 9-Ball Tour, which drew 33 entrants. As it turned out, though Paul Swinson and Lindsey Walton were scheduled to face each other in the finals, the match didn't happen. Swinson and Walton opted to split the top two prizes, leaving Swinson, in the hot seat, as the official winner of the event.
 
They both competed in a winners' side semifinal, though not against each other. Swinson faced Danny Farren, while Walton battled Wayne Haire. Swinson sent Farren west 6-4, while Haire did likewise to Walton 7-4. Swinson claimed the hot seat 6-5 over Haire.
 
On the loss side, Walton ran into her boyfriend, Jason Lawson, who'd defeated Dustin Boone and Paul Swinson's son, Graham, both 5-2. Farren drew Montez Lloyd, who'd eliminated Bo Miller and a player known only as Lupe, both 7-3. Farren survived a double hill battle versus Lloyd, while the girlfriend downed the boyfriend 5-4. 
 
Walton then defeated Farren, double hill, in the quarterfinals, and wrapped up both her loss side run, and her evening, with a 5-4 win over Haire in the semifinals. She and Swinson opted to split the top two prizes, with Swinson, undefeated, claiming the event title.
 
The next stop on the Q City 9-Ball Tour will be the NC State 10-Ball Championships. Scheduled for the weekend of July 18-19, the event will be hosted by The Brass Tap, in Raleigh, NC.