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“Jaybird” comes back from hot seat loss to down Roberts and claim NC State One Pocket crown

(l to r): Josh Roberts, TD Herman Parker, Speakeazy owner Jimmy Bullis & Josh Roberts

Jason “Jaybird” Brown and Josh Roberts have been battling at the game of One Pocket since, for sure, as far back as 2008, when they met in Lexington, SC at a Grady Matthews’ Legends of One Pocket event. “Jaybird” won and Roberts finished 4th. Roberts has been generally more active in One Pocket since then, cashing in (as far as we know) 27 events, winning six of them and placing 5th in one of them, playing one-handed; the Derby City Classic's One-Handed, One Pocket Mini in 2010. Our records indicate that Brown has cashed in 12 One Pocket events in that same time frame, though he’s won a slightly larger percentage; three out of that 12, including the 2008 win, one on the Lone Star Billiards Tour in 2011 and most recently, claiming the Super Billiards Expo’s 2015 One Pocket Player’s Championship, after defeating Corey Deuel twice, including in the finals.
 
So these two established ‘legends of One Pocket’ met again on the long weekend of November 15-17 to battle for the North Carolina State Open One Pocket title on the Q City 9-Ball Tour, sponsored by Beasley Custom Cues. Not surprisingly, they met twice – hot seat and finals – with Roberts winning the former and “Jaybird” winning the latter to claim the event title. The $2,000-added event ($500 from the room, $1,500 from Beasley Custom Cues) drew 30 entrants to Speakeazy Billiards in Sanford, NC, which, by the way, will host the coming weekend’s NC State 10-Ball Open (Nov. 23-24).
 
Roberts and Brown advanced to their respective winners’ side semifinal matches with Roberts facing Ron Frank and Brown squaring off against Hunter White. Roberts sent Frank over to the loss side 3-1. Brown joined him in the hot seat match after dispatching White, double hill. Roberts took the first of two against Brown 3-1 and sat in the hot seat.
 
On the loss side, two other strong contenders in the general One Pocket sweepstakes were still in business. One had defeated the other on the winners’ side and both were there when Frank and White joined them after the winners’ side semifinals. White picked up Tony Chohan, who’d sent Mike Davis to the loss side and was in the midst of a six-match, loss-side winning streak that would take him to the semifinals and included recent wins over Derek Leonard and Redgie Cutler, both 3-1. Frank picked up Davis, who’d most recently chalked up two straight shutouts over Christian Stevens and Norris Brady.
 
By identical 3-1 scores, Chohan and Davis eliminated White and Frank and squared off for their quarterfinal rematch. A somewhat predictable, double hill battle ensued; one of only two in the tournament’s final 14 matches. Chohan prevailed in what proved to be his last win.
 
“Jaybird” defeated Chohan 3-1 in the semifinals that followed to earn his rematch against Roberts in the hot seat. What the table giveth, the table can also taketh away. With the intangible, though indisputable advantage of momentum (especially given the average length of One Pocket matches), the “Jaybird” defeated Chohan in the finals 4-2 to claim the NC State One Pocket Open title.
 
Tour directors Herman and Angela Parker thanked Speakeazy owners, Jimmy and Wendy Bullis, and their staff for hosting the event, as well as Beasley Custom Cues and its owner, Doug Beasley, for his ongoing support of the games. As noted above, the Q City 9-Ball Tour will return to Speakeazy Billiards this coming weekend to host the $2,000-added NC State 10-Ball Open.

Wolford wins two of three events and is runner-up at a third on Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour

It was a busy weekend in Roanoke, VA. The Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball paid a visit to a new venue on their schedule – Wolf’s Den Billiards in Roanoke, owned by the Wolford family. In what brings a new degree of clarity to the phrase ‘home room,’ Shane Wolford won two out of the three events held over the weekend of March 9-10; the 53-entrant, handicapped Amateur event and a 10-entrant Open event. He was runner-up in the 17-entrant One Pocket event, which was held in the same location, but not specifically run by the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour.
 
The venue hadn’t just opened its doors when the tournament got underway. It was still plugging in the lights. According to tour director Herman Parker, when he arrived at the location on Saturday morning to begin registering players, the lights over the tables he was going to be using hadn’t even been hung. The situation was rectified by the time the registration process had been concluded and tournament play commenced.
 
In fact, Shane Wolford actually won only one of the three events, as defined by playing in an event final and winning that final match. He and Derek Leonard ended up splitting the top two payouts in the Amateur event, because when it came time for the finals of that event, Wolford was playing in the hot seat of the Open event, which he went on to win.
 
Former two-time junior champion Zach Hampton (14 and under, 2012/18 and under 2013) won the One Pocket tournament, downing fellow junior player Wolford 3-0 in the finals, both collecting the only cash prizes; $1050 for Hampton and $525 for Wolford. Wolford added $200 more for his actual victory in the Open event, downing James Blackburn 7-5 in the final (Wolford had defeated Blackburn earlier, double hill, in the hot seat match).
 
In the Amateur event, which played out over the two days of the pool room’s opening weekend, Wolford advanced to a winners’ side semifinal against Ron Frank, as Derek Leonard faced Matt Siple. Leonard sent Siple to the loss side 9-3 and turned to face Wolford, who defeated Frank 9-4. Wolford claimed the hot seat 9-6 over Leonard in what proved to be Wolford’s last match of the Amateur event.
 
On the loss side, Siple drew Jason Evans, a recent winner on the tour (Feb.), who’d just eliminated two straight competitors, double hill – Graham Swinson and Trevor Stanley. Frank picked up Jonathan Caldwell, who, like Evans, had eliminated two straight opponents in double hill matches; Frank King and Jonathan Ailstock.
 
Siple and Frank ended Evans’ and Caldwell’s two-match, double hill winning streak and advanced to the quarterfinals; Siple 7-5 over Evans and Frank 9-3 over Caldwell. Siple ended Frank’s run 7-4 in those quarterfinals.
 
Leonard took the last match of the event, the semifinals, 9-5 over Siple and agreed with Wolford to split the top two prizes, while Wolford continued his winning run on the Open event.
 
Tour directors Herman and Angela Parker thanked the Wolford family and their Wolf’s Den Billiards' 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 (March 16-17), will be hosted by Borderline Billiards in Bristol, TN.

Guerra goes undefeated during 8-ball event on the Q City 9-Ball Tour

Travis Geurra got by Derek Leonard twice to complete an undefeated run on the Q City 9-Ball Tour during the weekend of November 28-29. The 8-ball event drew an unexpected crowd of 52 entrants to Chandley's Chalk & Cue in Statesville, NC. 
 
Guerra and Leonard met first in the hot seat match. Guerra had defeated Rick Roper 5-3, as Leonard downed Matt Lucas 10-3 in the two winners' side semifinals. Guerra and Leonard battled to double hill (Leonard, 9 – Guerra, 4) before Guerra prevailed to sit in the hot seat.
 
On the loss side, Roper picked up Jonathan Ailstock, who, following a defeat at the hands of Lucas, eliminated Bryan Bryant 6-5 and Donnie Bradshaw 6-3. Lucas drew Mackie Lowery, who'd gotten by Clint Clark 8-8 (Clark racing to 10) and Brandon Lowe 8-4. 
 
Ailstock defeated Roper 6-4 to earn a quarterfinal rematch against Lucas, who'd eliminated Lowery 4-3 (Lowery racing to 8). Ailstock won the rematch 6-3, but was shut out by Leonard in the semifinals. With Leonard racing to 10, Guerra completed his undefeated run with a 5-6 win over Leonard in what proved to be the only set necessary.
 
The next stop on the Q City 9-Ball Tour, scheduled for the weekend of December 5-6, will be hosted by Randolph Billiards in Hickory, NC.
 

Blitch stops loss-side challenge by Wade to win GSBT

Shannon Daulton, Darrin “Gilligan” Blitch, Jeffrey Wade, & Joel Cain (owner of Raisin’ Cain’s)

Darren Blitch went undefeated on the May 19-20 stop on the Great Southern Billiard Tour, stopping a seven-match, loss-side challenge by Jeffrey Wade in the finals. The $1,000-added event drew 43 entrants to Raisin’ Cain’s in Inman, SC.

With Wade already on the loss side, Blitch moved among the winners’ side final four where he faced Tommy Barrett. Nathan Rose faced Christi Steele in the other winners’ side semifinal. Blitch sent Barrett west 7-3, as Rose defeated Steele 11-2. Blitch got into the hot seat with a 7-5 victory over Rose.

With two down and five to go, Wade defeated Derek Leonard and Scotty Ward, both 7-4, to pick up Steele. Barrett faced Zack Robbins, who’d sent Wade to the loss-side, followed him over, and defeated Mike Templeton 7-2 and Wendell Thompkins 7-6. Robbins downed Barrett 7-2 to set up a rematch versus Wade, who’d eliminated Steele 7-4. Wade exacted his revenge on Robbins, defeating him 7-5 in the quarterfinals.

Wade completed his loss-side run with a 7-5 victory over Rose in the semifinals. Blitch completed his undefeated weekend with a 7-3 victory in the finals.

Tour directors Shannon and Marge Daulton thanked the owners and staff at Raisin’ Cain’s, as well as sponsors Andy Gilbert Custom Cues, Nick Varner Cues and Cases, Mike Davis Exterminating, Tiger Products and Delta-13 racks.