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Kent and Lawhorne split top prizes on Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour

Earl Kent

The first time Earl Kent recorded a payout finish on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour, nine days before Christmas in 2019, he and BJ Ussery negotiated a split of the event’s top two prizes. As occupant of the hot seat at the time, Ussery claimed the event title. This past weekend, May 14, at the same location, The Clubhouse in Lynchburg, VA, Kent, once again, split the top two prizes with his potential opponent in the finals. This time, however, Kent was in the hot seat and became the official winner, chalking up only his second recorded cash payout and his first tour win, albeit with the missed-final asterisk. The $500-added event drew 43 entrants to The Clubhouse.

He and Cameron Lawhorne worked their way through the field to arrive at Kent’s winners’ side semifinal against Chris Woodrum and Lawhorne’s against Brian Glisson. Kent got into the hot seat match 5-3 over Woodrum, as Lawhorne prevailed in a double hill match against Glisson (8-4; Glisson racing to 5). Battling for the hot seat became the defining match of the event with the two of them battling to a 12th deciding game and Kent finally winning it.

On the loss side, as matches dwindled down to the first money round (5th/6th), there was a junior competitor in the mix. Her name as Precilia Kinsley and is likely recognizable to anyone who’s been following the exploits of the Junior International Championships, now in their second season of events. After four events on the 2022 JIC so far, Kinsley is ranked 6th among 19 junior ladies in the 18 & Under division and finished 3rd at the JIC’s last stop in Phoenix, AZ a week ago. Like other junior competitors in the JIC, Kinsley has been encouraged to extend her ‘reach’ into regional tour events and according to Q City 9-Ball tour director, Herman Parker, she’s proved to be a formidable opponent.

“It was the first time she played with us,” said Parker, “and she won her first two matches; against another junior competitor and then, one of our regulars, Reid Vance, in a double hill match.”

She was sent to the loss side by the eventual winner, Earl Kent and eliminated by another Q City 9-Ball veteran, Scott Roberts, who ended up finishing third. Roberts advanced to down James Marvin, double hill, and Collin Hall 8-4 to draw Woodrum coming over from his winners’ side semifinal match. Glisson, arriving from the other winners’ side semifinal, picked up Thomas Sansone, who’d eliminated Clubhouse owner, Chris England 6-1 and Robert Cuneo 6-4.

In the first money round, Sansone and Roberts handed Glisson and Woodrum their second straight loss; Sansone advancing to the quarterfinals, double hill, as Roberts was busy eliminating Woodrum 8-2 to join him. Roberts and Sansone then battled to double hill in those quarterfinals, before Roberts advanced for a shot at Lawhorne in the semifinals.

In what would prove to be the event’s final match, Lawhorne defeated Roberts 8-6. The deal to split the top two prizes was made, with Kent taking the official event title, his first. 

Tour director Herman Parker thanked Chris England and his Clubhouse staff for their hospitality along with 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, May 21-22, will be hosted Still Cluckin’ in Providence, NC. 

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DJ Brads wins 10 in a row, eight on the loss side, to claim Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball title

DJ Brads isn’t the first competitor to bring home his first recorded cash payout with a win on a regional tour event and isn’t likely to be the last. But losing his first match at last weekend’s (Sat., March 5) Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour stop and then wending his way through eight loss-side wins to double dip hot seat occupant, Greg Taylor, certainly caught the attention of those present who watched it happen. To include the attention of tour director, Herman Parker, who’ll likely be adjusting Brads’ handicap rating for future events. The $500-added event drew 24 entrants to the Clubhouse in Lynchburg, VA.

Brads lost that first-round match of his to Justin Knuckles and would successfully win their rematch in the semifinals later. Knuckles advanced through three more opponents to face Scott Largen in one of the winners’ side semifinals. Taylor and Rodney Strickland squared off in the other one.

Knuckles moved on to the hot seat match 6-2 over Largen. Taylor joined him after sending Strickland to the loss side 8-2. In a double hill battle, Taylor claimed the hot seat (8-5), sending Knuckles off to his semifinal rematch.

Three wins into his loss-side streak, Brads downed Wes Campbell 5-1 and shut out Ethan Carson to draw Strickland. Largen picked up Cameron Lawhorne, who’d recently eliminated James Marvin 8-3 and Earl Kent, double hill. Brads moved into the quarterfinals 5-1 over Strickland and was joined by Largen, who’d defeated Lawhorne 6-4.

Brads’ win #7 in those quarterfinals sent Largen home 5-4 (Largen racing to 6). This handed Brads his opportunity for redemption (or revenge, dependent on how you look at it) against Knuckles in the semifinals. He’d given up six and chalked up three racks in their first meeting. This time around, he tallied five racks, gave up only one and moved on for a shot against Taylor in the hot seat.

With Taylor racing to 8, Brads completed his trip to the winners’ circle with a 5-2 victory in the opening set of a true double elimination final and won the second set 5-3 to claim the title.

Tour director Herman Parker thanked the ownership and staff at the Clubhouse, as well as title sponsor Viking Cues, BarPoolTables.net, Break Time Billiards of Winston-Salem, NC, 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 (March 12-13) will be a $500-added event, hosted by Still Cluckin’ in Providence, NC. 

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Ussery and Kent split top prizes on Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour

2019 Tour Championships to end tour season this weekend in Chesnee, SC
 
On the weekend of December 14-15, BJ Ussery chalked up his seventh win* on the 2019 Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour. It was also the 9th time that he had finished as either the winner or runner-up this year, and also the 11th time that he’d finished among the top five. He competed in 13 of the tour’s events, as well as the Star City 10-Ball Shootout in Roanoke, VA, where he was runner-up to James Aranas and one Atlanta stop on the J. Pechauer Southeast Open 9-Ball Tour, which he won, downing Bernardo Esteban in the finals. In fact, 2019 was Ussery’s best recorded earnings year, dating back to AZBilliards’ first notations of his winnings, nearly 20 years ago, when he finished 65th at the US Open 9-Ball Championships in 2000.
 
Ussery and Earl Kent were to have met in the finals of the $1,000-added event that drew 42 entrants to The Clubhouse in Lynchburg, VA. By mutual agreement, they split the top two prizes and opted out of a final match.
 
Kent came through the loss side to earn the right to face Ussery in the finals. It was Ussery and James Blackburn who met in the hot seat match. Ussery had faced and defeated Billy Walker 11-4 in one of the winners’ side semifinals, as Blackburn downed Jason Holmes 9-3 in the other one. In what proved to be Ussery’s final match, he claimed the hot seat 11-5 over Blackburn.
 
On the loss side, Kent defeated Jason Evans 5-3 and then, Scott Roberts 5-2 to advance into the event’s first money round against Jason Holmes. Walker picked up Joshua Shultz, who’d defeated Daniel Adams, double hill, and Dylan Carr 6-2 to reach him.
 
Walker moved into the quarterfinals on the heels of a 6-4 win over Shultz. Kent joined him after eliminating Holmes 5-2. Kent took the quarterfinal match 5-3 over Walker.
 
Kent and Blackburn squared off in the event’s final match, the semifinals. Kent downed Blackburn 5-2 and earned himself a split with Ussery.
 
Tour directors Herman and Angela Parker thanked the ownership and staff at The Clubhouse 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 will be its annual Tour Championships, this year scheduled for December 21-22. The $1,000-added event will be hosted by Break & Run Billiards in Chesnee, SC.