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Padron goes undefeated to win youth-full Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour Championships

Joshua Padron

In spite of an initial cancellation and a number of competing events (like Derby City), the Viking Cues' Q City 9-Ball Tour set a participant record during its 2016 Tour Championships, held on the weekend of January 21-22. Hosted by The Brass Tap in Raleigh, NC, the $1,000-added event drew 82 entrants, breaking a previous entrant record by 13. The roster of competitors included two junior players, who finished among the event's final four. Emerging from the field, undefeated, was Joshua Padron, who downed one of those juniors, 16-year-old Hunter White, twice, to claim the event title.
Originally scheduled for the weekend of January 7-8, the event was canceled and re-scheduled when the Raleigh area went under a state of emergency, related to expected ice and snow storms. It was an unavoidable cancellation, which didn't prevent a list of potential participants, who'd had to travel some distance, from complaining about that cancellation in the pool world blog-o-sphere. 
"In spite of the cancellation, it was a tremendous field," said tour director Herman Parker. "If it hadn't been for Derby City, we'd have had 128."
In the year ahead, the tour will hold two tour championships, one in September and another at the end of the year, each catering to participation on different sized tables. One will play out on 'bar box' tables and the other, on standard 9-ft. tables.
Padron's victory and young Hunter White's standout performance in the runner-up category had a way of overshadowing a strong showing by Greg Burke. He and White traveled together to the championships from the Greenville/Spartanburg area. Burke lost his opening round match, and chalked up 11 matches (one bye) on the loss side of the bracket before meeting his traveling companion in the semifinals.
Padron advanced to a winners' side semifinal against Travis Guerra (runner-up on the preceding tour stop – January 14), while Hunter White squared off against Barry Mashburn. Padron downed Guerra 6-4, and in the hot seat match, faced, in their first of two, White, who'd downed Mashburn 8-4. Padron claimed the hot seat and waited for White to get back from the semifinals, against Burke, as it turned out.
On the loss side, the event's other notable junior, Peter Abatangelo (15), defeated Earl Davis 5-2, and in a meeting between pool student (Abatangelo) and teacher (George Crawford), Abatangelo prevailed, 5-1, to draw Guerra, fresh off his defeat at the hands of Padron. Mashburn had the misfortune of drawing Burke, who, by this time, had chalked up eight victories on the loss side, including David Brown 7-4 and Blade Best 7-2. 
Abatangelo advanced to the quarterfinals 5-3 over Geurra, as Burke was downing loss-side opponent # 8 (Mashburn) 7-3, to join him. Burke was now poised to face two junior players in a row. He took care of the first one, Abatangelo, 7-2 in the quarterfinals, but then ran into his traveling companion, Hunter White. The two battled to double hill, before White chalked up the final game and advanced to the finals, presumably with his ride home not in jeopardy.
With White racing to 8, and Padron to 6, White had to win twice to claim the title. He didn't. Padron took the opening and only set 6-4 to become the Viking Cues' Q City 9-Ball Tour's 2016 Champion.
Tour director Herman Parker thanked the ownership and staff at The Brass Tap for their hospitality, as well as title sponsor Viking Cues, Delta 13 Racks, Ruthless Billiards,, AZBilliards and Professor Q Ball. The next stop on the Viking Cues' Q City 9-Ball Tour, scheduled for January 28-29, will be hosted by Gate City Billiards in Greensboro, NC.

Musselman goes undefeated to win his second 2016 Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball title

Jody Musselman has stepped up his participation in tournament pool this year. According to records here at AZBilliards, he's only cashed in a total of seven events since 2009. Five of those events were on the Viking Cues' Q City 9-Ball Tour this year. Prior to his first win on the tour this year, in October, he'd reportedly won only one other tournament event; a stop on the Viking Tour in 2009. On Saturday, Nov. 12, he added a second victory on the Viking Cues' Q City 9-Ball Tour to his resume, going undefeated through a field of 30, hosted by Corner Pockets in Fayetteville, NC.
Musselman had to get by J.T. Ringgold twice in this event; once in the event's second round, and again, after Ringgold had chalked up seven on the loss side, in the finals. With Ringgold at work on the loss side, Musselman advanced to a winners' side semifinal against Walt Baldwin. Jason Blackwell, in the meantime, squared off against Jeff Young in the other winners' side semifinal.
With Baldwin racing to 8, Musselman advanced to the hot seat match 7-6. Blackwell joined him after sending Young to the loss side 5-1. Musselman claimed the hot seat 7-3 and waited for Ringgold to wrap up his loss-side run.
On that loss side, after winning his first two, Ringgold downed Scott Roberts 9-5, and Tanya Parsley 9-2 to draw Baldwin. Young picked up Earl Davis, who'd gotten by Mike Ivey 5-1, and Donnie Bradshaw, double hill, to reach him.
Ringgold chalked up loss-side win #5 over Baldwin, while Young eliminated Davis 4-2. Ringgold then gave up only one rack over the next two matches to earn his second shot against Musselman. He gave up only one to Young in the quarterfinals and none at all to Blackwell in the semifinals.
Musselman, though, stymied Ringgold's 56-11 run over his last five loss-side matches in the finals. Racing to 7, Musselman allowed Ringgold only three to claim his second Viking Cues' Q City 9-Ball title.
Tour director Herman Parker thanked the ownership and staff at Corner Pockets, as well as title sponsor Viking Cues, Delta 13 Racks, Ruthless Billiards,, AZBilliards and Professor Q Ball. The next stop on the Viking Cues' Q City 9-Ball Tour, scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 19, will be hosted by The Clubhouse in Lynchburg, VA.

Askins goes undefeated to win his second 2016 Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour stop

Gatlin Askins punctuated a March, undefeated win on the Viking Cues' Q City 9-Ball Tour by shutting out his opponent, Ron Frank, in the finals of that event. On Saturday, September 10, Askins went undefeated again, though he allowed his opponent, Chris Baumann, three racks in the final. The event drew 34 entrants to the Corner Pocket in Fayetteville, NC.
Askins and J.C. Autry advanced to the hot seat match, once Askins had downed Brian Pate 8-1 in one winners' side semifinal, and Autry sent Daniel Adams west, double hill, in the other. Askins chalked up another 8-1 victory to claim the hot seat over Autry.
After a defeat at the hands of Adams in a winners' side quarterfinal, Baumann embarked on a five-match, loss-side streak that would give him a shot at Askins in the finals. He got by J.R. Post, double hill, and Earl Davis 6-3 to pick up Pate. Adams drew Matt Oxindine, who'd gotten by Chad Weachter, double hill, and Harold Locklear 6-4.
Baumann and Oxindine handed Pate and Adams their second straight loss; Baumann downing Pate 6-2, as Oxindine just did get by Adams, double hill (6-6, with Adams racing to 7). Baumann ended Oxindine's streak in the quarterfinals 6-3.
Baumann then eliminated Autry 6-2 in the semifinals to get his shot at Askins. Askins, though, ended Baumann's streak with an 8-3 win in the only set necessary in the finals.
Tour director Herman Parker thanked the ownership and staff at Corner Pocket, as well as title sponsor Viking Cues, Delta-13 racks, and Ruthless Billiards Apparel. The next stop on the Viking Cues' Q City 9-Ball Tour, a $250-added event, scheduled for September 17-18, will be hosted by Mickey Milligan's in New Bern, NC.

Norris goes undefeated to become first woman to win a stop on the Q City 9-Ball Tour

Christy Norris has been around the pool scene for just over a dozen years now, chalking up event victories all over the Carolinas and competing on a number of WPBA events. To this lengthening resume, on Saturday, January 23, Norris added a victory on the Q City 9-Ball Tour. The event, which drew 38 entrants to Corner Pockets in Fayetteville, NC, featured the largest field of females (10) to ever play on the tour. Norris went undefeated to claim the title.
She had to get by Walt Baldwin twice to do it. Both times required a final and deciding game against an opponent who needed to win one more game than she did (8) to claim a match  victory. She'd sent Robert Ash to the loss bracket in a winners' side semifinal 6-2, as Baldwin was sending Earl Davis over 8-3. In their first of two double hill battles, Norris prevailed to sit in the hot seat.
On the loss side, Ash picked up Justin Martin, who'd gotten by Brian Pate and Geno Hernandez, both 9-5 to reach him. Davis drew Robert Otto, who'd defeated Chris Baumann and Will Stevens, both 7-2. The Roberts went down; Robert Otto to Davis, double hill, and Robert Ash to Martin 9-2.
Martin downed Davis 9-4 in the quarterfinals and had his loss-side streak stopped by Baldwin 8-7 in the semifinals. Baldwin came back at Norris a second time, with the same result; a double hill fight that ended with the Norris victory that secured, for her gender, the first win on a Q City 9-Ball Tour stop.