Archive Page

Lowery comes back to double dip San Fillipo and win Viking Cues Q City 9-Ball Tour stop

Mackie Lowery

Mackie Lowery’s come-from-the-loss-side win on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour on the weekend of July 6-7 turned 2019 into his best earnings year, to date. He surpassed his previous best earnings year (2018) just a little over halfway through 2019, by chalking up his first win of the year. Lowery had to come back from a loss in the hot seat match and contend with a competitor, Barry Mashburn, who’d lost his opening match and proceeded to win 11 on the loss side to face Lowery in the semifinals. The $1,000-added event drew 66 entrants to Steakhorse Restaurant & Billiards in Spartanburg, SC.
 
Lowery advanced to a winners’ side semifinal against Justin Martin, while Tavis San Filippo squared off against Alex Escamilla in the other one. Lowery sent Martin to the loss side 7-6 (Martin racing to 10), as San Filippo downed Escamilla 5-1 to join him in the hot seat match. Lowery and San Filippo battled to double hill before San Filippo prevailed 5-6 (Lowery to 7).
 
On the loss side, as Escamilla and Martin arrived, Mashburn was nine matches into his loss-side winning streak, that had most recently included back-to-back, double hill wins over Scott Green 9-4 and Ricky Bingham 9-6. Mashburn drew Martin. Escamilla picked up Dalton Messer, who’d defeated Landon Hollingsworth and Steven Ellis, both 6-4, to reach him.
 
Mashburn recorded his third straight double hill win, sending Martin to the figurative ‘showers’ 9-9. Messer recorded his third straight 6-4 victory, sending Escamilla home and then, opted out of a quarterfinal match, which leapfrogged Mashburn into the semifinals against Lowery.
 
Lowery stopped Mashburn’s 11-match loss-side run with a 7-6 win in those semifinals (Mashburn racing to 9) and turned his attention to his re-match against San Filippo, waiting for him in the hot seat. With San Filippo racing to 5 and already ‘in the money’ for the first time on the tour, he and Lowery played two sets and a total of 17 games. Lowery won all but three of those games, giving up three in the opening set and none at all in the second set to claim the event title.
 
Tour directors Herman and Angela Parker thanked the 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 (July 13-14), will be hosted by Borderline Billiards in Bristol, TN.

Fowler takes two out of three over Bagwell to win Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour stop

(l to r): Brian Bagwell & Billy Fowler

As general manager of the Steakhorse Restaurant & Billiards facility in Spartanburg, SC, it stands to reason that Billy Fowler would have intimate knowledge of the room’s pool tables and whatever eccentricities they might (or might not) display at any given time. At the very least, one would expect that Fowler would end up with a lot of practice on those tables. But then, you’d expect Steakhorse Restaurant & Billiards owner, Dayne Miller to have an equal, if not greater familiarity with the same tables. Fowler and Brian Bagwell played three matches to determine the winner of last weekend’s (May 11-12) Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour stop. Fowler took two out of the three to capture the event title. Miller, however, finished out of the money altogether and, one would suspect, went back to work when he was so eliminated. The $500-added event drew 44 entrants to the Steakhorse venue.
 
Fowler and Bagwell met first in the hot seat match. Fowler had sent Hank Powell to the loss side 8-5 in one of the winners’ side semifinals, while Bagwell sent Jason Gardner over 7-2 in the other one. Fowler took the first of the three against Bagwell 8-4 and sat in the hot seat, awaiting his return.
 
On the loss side, in Sunday matches, Powell and Gardner ran straight into their second loss. Powell, actually, did not return on Sunday and forfeited his match to Danny Rinehart, who’d defeated Steve Ellis and Nick Gaines, both 5-3 to reach him and then jumped right into the quarterfinals. He was joined by Jeff Abernathy, who’d defeated Dayne Miller 9-0 and Barry Mashburn, double hill, to draw and then defeat Jason Gardner 9-1.
 
With Abernathy racing to 9, Rinehart eliminated him in the quarterfinals 5-4. He then had his  loss-side winning streak ended by Bagwell 7-3 in the semifinals.
 
Fowler was giving Bagwell a single game on the wire in a race to 8. Bagwell, with some momentum on his side, won the double elimination’s opening set 7-3. Tied now at one match apiece, Fowler woke up soon enough to engage Bagwell in a double hill fight in the second set. Fowler won that second set to claim the event title, his fourth in as many years on the tour.
 
Fowler thanked tour directors Herman and Angela Parker for the first place prize, as the Parkers thanked Miller and Fowler and the 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 (May 18-19), will be hosted by Borderline Billiards in Bristol, TN.

Brock goes undefeated with a brand-new cue to win Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball stop

(l to r): Marcio Smith & Brandon Brock

When Brandon Brock showed up at the Steakhorse Restaurant and Billiards in Spartanburg, SC last weekend (April 13-14) to compete in a stop on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour, he arrived without a cue stick. Not exactly a way to enter a tournament looking for your first major win. He bought one, though (a stick, not the win); a Viking cue as it turned out and used it to go undefeated through a field of 59 entrants at the $1,000-added event and claim his first event title.
 
Brock faced Marcio Smith twice in this event. Both, according to our records, were looking to chalk up their first major win. Brock defeated Jeff Abernathy 6-4 in one of the winners’ side semifinals, as Smith was busy sending Rob Hart to the loss side 7-5. They met first in the battle for the hot seat, won by Brock 6-6 (Smith racing to 7).
 
On the loss side, Abernathy and Hart ran right into their second straight loss. Abernathy picked up Chris Gentile, who’d defeated Jason Blackwell 8-4 and survived a double hill (8-10) battle versus BJ Ussery. Hart drew Dakota Harris, who’d eliminated Steven Ellis 6-4 and Hunter White, double hill (6-8).
 
Gentile downed Abernathy 8-4 and in the quarterfinals, faced Harris, who’d ended Hart’s weekend 6-4. Gentile then downed Harris 8-3 to meet Smith in the semifinals.
 
A double hill fight ensued, eventually won by Smith (7-7). With Smith racing to 7 in the finals, Brock completed his undefeated run with a 6-5 win over Smith. 
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 (April 20-21) will be hosted by Randolph  Billiards in Hickory, NC.

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 gets by Smith twice to win 6th Annual Turkey Bowl at the Steakhorse in Spartanburg

Hunter White

Two former winners on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour squared off on Thanksgiving weekend (Nov. 24-25) in the finals of the tour’s 6th Annual Turkey Bowl. Hunter White, who, as a junior player, won three events on the tour two years ago, went undefeated through a record field of 76 entrants (last year’s Turkey Bowl drew 66). White had to defeat Chase Smith twice, whose last appearance in a Q City 9-Ball winners’ circle occurred in September 2017. The $1,000-added event, which featured competitors from eight states (WI, MI, VA, TN, NC, SC, GA & FL) and Germany, was hosted by Steakhorse Restaurant & Billiards in Spartanburg, SC.
 
They met first in a winners’ side semifinal, as former BEF Junior Champion (14-and-under Boys, 2013) Sergio Rivas and Lauren Kauffman squared off in the other one. In their first of two, White and Smith battled to double hill before White finished it 7-5 (Smith racing to 6). Rivas joined White for the hot seat match, having shut Kauffman out. White claimed the hot seat in a double hill win over Rivas and waited for Smith to return.
 
On the loss side, Smith picked up Rob Hart, who’d defeated Mackie Lowery 5-4 (Lowery racing to 6) and Josh Long 5-2. Kauffman drew David Anderson, the winner of the very first stop on the tour, six years ago, who’d eliminated Michael Chapman 8-5 and another junior player, Cameron Lawhorne 8-1.
 
Anderson jumped right into the quarterfinals when Kauffman forfeited their match. He was joined by Smith, who’d downed Hart 6-1. With Anderson racing to 8 in the quarterfinal match, Smith defeated him 6-1 to face Rivas in the semifinals.
 
Rivas slipped a gear, so to speak, and managed to chalk up only one rack of the 10 he needed to win the semifinal. Smith, in the meantime, chalked up the six he needed for a re-match against White in the finals.
 
White and Smith fought a second double hill battle, with the same result. With Smith racing to 6 in the first of potentially two sets, White chalked up his seven racks first and claimed the event title.
 
Tour directors Herman and Angela Parker thanked Dayne Miller and his Steakhorse staff, 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 (Dec. 1-2), will be hosted by Speakeazy Billiards in Sanford, 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.

Brown goes undefeated to win $1,500-added Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball event

Jason Brown

Junior National Champion Tate wins nine on the loss side to finish as runner-up

When Jason Brown (known as Jaybird) finished in the tie for 7th place at a March 2004 stop on the Joss Northeast 9-Ball Tour, and entered the AZBilliards database for the first time, the player he faced in the finals of the August 25-26 stop on the 2018 Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour hadn’t been born yet. Brown went undefeated through a field of 82, on-hand for the $1,500-added event, hosted by Steakhorse Restaurant & Billiards in Spartanburg, SC. His opponent in the finals was 13-year-old, two-time BEF Junior National Champion, and member of this year’s Atlantic Cup Challenge team, Joey Tate, who’d lost a match in the third round of play and won nine on the loss side to earn a shot against him in the finals. Tate was one of six juniors who competed in the event.

As Tate was toiling away on the loss side, Brown advanced to a winners’ side semifinal against Marcio Smith. Trey Frank and Tyler Mayfield squared off in the other winners’ side semifinal. Brown got into the hot seat match with an 11-3 victory over Smith, and was joined by Frank, who’d sent Mayfield to the loss side 6-4. Brown claimed the hot seat 11-3 over Frank, and waited on the return of the reigning 14 & Under Junior National Champion.

Tate, in the meantime, was mowing ‘em down on the loss side. Four matches into his loss-side winning streak, he defeated Scott Roberts, and then, Jeff Jordan, both 6-3, to draw Smith. Mayfield picked up Jeff Jordan’s brother, Randy, who’d recently defeated Dustin Brown and Matt Lucas, both 10-1.

Tate and Smith battled to double hill before Tate advanced to the quarterfinals (6-6; Smith racing to 7). He was joined by Randy Jordan, who’d eliminated Mayfield 10-3. Tate had allowed Randy’s brother, Jeff, three racks in their earlier matchup, but shut brother Randy out to advance to the semifinals.

In a straight-up race to 6 in those semifinals, Tate completed his loss-side run 6-2 for a shot at Brown in the hot seat. Tate would have needed to defeat Brown twice in the finals to claim the title, but Brown completed his undefeated run with an 11-4 victory over Tate, who presumably went home to prepare for school the next morning.

Tour directors Herman and Angela Parker thanked Dayne Miller and his staff at Steakhorse Billiards for their hospitality, along with title sponsor Viking Cues, 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 (Sept. 1-2), will be a $500-added event, hosted by Speak Eazy Billiards in Sanford, 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.