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Worden takes two out of three against Powell to win his first Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball stop

Travis Worden

“Nothing in the world,” said McDonald’s founder, Ray Kroc, “can take the place of perseverance.”
“Not,” he went on to say, “talent. . . genius. . . or education. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.”
Take the case of one Travis Worden, a relative newcomer to the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour, who, on the weekend of August 18-19, found himself in a hot seat match against tour veteran Hank Powell. It didn’t go well. Worden failed to chalk up a single rack against Powell. He did, however, apply some of the referenced perseverance, came back from the semifinals and downed Powell twice, both times double hill, to claim his first Q City 9-Ball title. The event, originally scheduled to be held at Shotmaker’s in Garner, NC, ran into some conflicting schedule issues and shifted location to Buck’s Billiards, where it drew 19 entrants.
Their first meeting followed a 6-2 victory for Worden over Christy Norris in one of the winners’ side semifinals. Powell, in the meantime, was locked up in a double hill fight against Barry Mashburn in the other winners’ side semifinal. Powell prevailed 7-8 (Mashburn racing to 9) and then promptly shut Worden out to claim the hot seat.
On the loss side, Norris picked up Billie Spadafora, who’d defeated Richard Lynch 5-3 and youngster Joey Tate 5-4 (Tate racing to 7). Mashburn drew Brian Overman, who’d eliminated Josh Shultz 6-3 and Donald Williams 6-4.
Spadafora and Overman handed Norris and Mashburn their second straight loss; Spadafora, 5-3 over Norris and Overman, double hill over Mashburn (6-8 with Mashburn racing to 9). Spadafora and Overman locked up in a double hill quarterfinal match, eventually won by Spadafora who advanced to face the about-to-persevere Travis Worden.
Worden defeated Spadafora 6-3 and turned to face Powell in the hot seat. With Powell racing to 7, Worden battled to double hill in the opening set and won it 6-6. This is about the time that a hot seat occupant generally realizes that it’s time to get serious and put his/her challenger away.
Didn’t happen. Worden fought Powell to a second double hill juncture and won the second set 6-6, as well. Worden claimed his first Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball title.
Tour directors Herman and Angela Parker thanked the ownership and staff at Buck’s Billiards for their ongoing and on this particular weekend, last-minute 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 24-25), will be a $500-added event ($1,000 with 64 or more entrants) hosted by Break & Run Billiards in Chesnee, SC. 

Aranas comes back from semifinals to down Woodward and win Beasley Custom Cues 9-Ball Open

James Aranas

The finals of the 2019 Beasley Custom Cues 9-Ball Open, held on the first weekend of June, was a rematch between the two finalists at the late January/early February 9-Ball division of the Derby City Classic in Indiana – the USA’s Skyler Woodward and Zoren “James” Aranas from the Philippines. At that earlier event, Woodward more or less swept the table (pun intended), winning not only the 9-Ball event (in which Aranas was runner-up) and the Bank Pool Ring Game, but he was the Classic’s Master of the Table winner, as well. Aranas came to the Beasley 9-Ball Open with a few impressive items on his 2019 resume, as well, including the runner-up finish in Indiana, a victory at the Pro Players Championship of the Super Billiards Expo in April, a victory at the Barry Behrmann Memorial and most recently, a 3rd place finish at the 9th Annual George “Ginky” Sansouci Memorial on Memorial Day weekend. That 3rd place finish necessitated the combined talents of Alex Kazakis in the hot seat match and Jayson Shaw in the semifinals to eliminate Aranas.

On the weekend of May 30-June 2, Aranas fell to Woodward in the hot seat match, but came back from the semifinals to defeat him twice and claim the Beasley Custom Cues 9-Ball Open title. Though more were expected and no one could argue with the overall quality of the field, the $10,000-added event drew 66 entrants to Brass Tap & Billiards in Raleigh, NC.

Aranas had much the rougher road on his way to the hot seat match against Woodward. Case in point: his opening round match against fellow countryman Dennis Orcollo, which went double hill before Aranas prevailed. He followed up with wins over David Tickle 9-4, and a somewhat surprising shutout over Dmitris Loukatos (who, like Aranas, had been knocked out of the Ginky Memorial by Jayson Shaw). In a winners’ side quarterfinal, Aranas defeated Brad Shearer 9-7 to draw (as if things weren’t tough enough) Francisco Bustamante in a winners’ side semifinal.

While pool does indeed operate with an “any given Sunday” kind of rule, meaning that at the highest levels of competition, almost anyone can be competitive and upset a generally stronger opponent, Woodward’s path to the hot seat match was, on paper at least, considerably less hazardous, and as the scores demonstrate, handled as might have been expected. He opened with a 9-1 victory over Michael Yingling, and followed with victories over Donald Williams 9-3, and Andrew Bruce 9-1, before running into arguably his toughest opponent to that point in a winners’ side quarterfinal – Omar Alshaheen. Again, the score told the story. Woodward prevailed 9-6 to draw Keith Bennett in the other winners’ side semifinal.

As Aranas was busy defeating 784-Fargo-rated Bustamante 9-4, Woodward appeared to be a little less busy, handing the 566-Fargo-rated Keith Bennett a shutout (an uncharacteristic match for Bennett). Going into the hot seat match, Woodward had won 80% of the games he’d played (45-11). Aranas, on the other hand, won 45 of his 68 games for a 66% winning percentage. Their averages both went down at the end of the hot seat match. Woodward, sporting the lower Fargo Rate (788) downed the higher Fargo-rated Aranas (803) 9-4 to claim the hot seat.

Over on the loss side, while there were quite a few recognizable names still standing as the bracket came down to its final eight, there were a few names missing, as well. Among them were Alex Kazakis, who lost to countryman Dmitris Loukatos to finish in the tie for 13th place. Home town (Raleigh, NC) favorite, 14-year-old Joey Tate, who is the reigning 14-and-under Junior National Champion got knocked out of the running by Dennis Orcollo and finished in the tie for 17th. Tony Chohan was missing at the end, as well, having been defeated on the winners’ side of the bracket by Mike Davis and falling in his second loss-side match to Orcollo.

Coming off the winners’ side semifinal, Keith Bennett picked up Mike Davis, who’d eliminated Brad Shearer 7-2 and Brandon Shuff 7-5 to reach him. Bustamante drew Omar Alshaheen, who’d finished Orcollo’s weekend 7-4 and eliminated Roberto Gomez 7-5.

“Busty” and Alshaheen fought a predictable double hill match before “Busty” prevailed to advance to the quarterfinals. Davis joined him after winning his fifth loss-side match, a 7-4 win over Bennett.

Bustamante made short work of Davis, eliminating him 7-3 in those quarterfinals. Aranas, though, very much ‘in stroke’ at this point, defeated Bustamante 7-4 in the semifinals and earned his re-match against Woodward in the hot seat.

Aranas dropped his overall winning percentage to 59% in the finals. He did so by defeating Woodward 13-10 to capture the 2019 Beasley Custom Cues 9-Ball Open title.

Tour director Jon Brown thanked the ownership and staff at Brass Tap & Billiards, as well as title sponsor Beasley Custom Cues, Simonis Cloth, JB Cases, Aramith, and Outsville Accu-Rack. Selected matches of the event were live streamed throughout the weekend by Ray “Big Truck” Hansen and his PoolActionTV staff.

Lawhorne comes from the loss side to double dip Lilly on Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour

Cameron Lawhorne

On the weekend of April 21-22, at the Gate City Billiards Club in Greensboro, NC, Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball veteran Don Lilly was looking to chalk up his fourth tour win of the year, having won in January, and twice in February.  He navigated his way through the field of 40, made it to the hot seat, downing veteran competitor Mark Tademy, and waited on the return of what turned out to be one Cameron Lawhorne, who was looking for his first victory on the tour. Lawhorne had been defeated in the event’s third round, and won seven straight on the loss side, including two back-to-back double hill matches that put him into the finals. He double dipped Lilly to claim the event title.


With the eventual winner already at work on the loss side, Lilly advanced to a winners’ side semifinal against Donald Williams. Tademy, in the meantime, squared off against Tyson Key.

Lilly sent Williams to the loss side 7-2 and was joined in the hot seat match by Tademy, who’d given up only a single rack in a 10-1 victory over Key. Lilly sent Tademy to the semifinals 7-5, envisioning just one more hurdle between him and his fourth tour win.


That hurdle, Lawhorne, had chalked up two of his seven, loss-side wins when he eliminated Travis Shelton 5-4 and then, Morgan Sutherland 5-1 to draw Key. Williams drew Danny Jones, who’d gotten by Brandon Stiltner (the man who’d sent Lawhorne to the loss side in the third winners’ side round) 10-5 and Don Liebes (owner of Gate City Billiards) 10-3.


In the first of two, double hill matches, Lawhorne downed Key (5-4), and in the quarterfinals, faced Williams, who’d defeated Jones 8-1. Lawhorne then defeated Williams 5-7 (Williams racing to 8).


With Tademy racing to 10, Lawhorne denied him a second shot at Lilly with a 5-8 win in the semifinals. Lawhorne went on to win both sets of the true double elimination final against Lilly (racing to 7), giving up four racks in the first set and none at all in the second.  


Tour directors Herman and Angela Parker thanked Don Liebes and his Gate City Billiards Club staff 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 April 28-29, will be hosted by The Clubhouse in Lynchburg, VA.