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On last 2011 GSBT stop, Brady wins his first

Defeated only once, by Glenn Russell in the opening set of a true double elimination final, Norris Brady hung on to prevail in the second set and capture his first-ever victory on the Great Southern Billiard Tour. The $1,500-added, Player Appreciation and End of the Year event was held on the weekend of December 17-18, and drew 52 entrants to Speak Eazy Billiards in Sanford, NC.

From among the winners’ side final four, Brady and his hot seat challenger, Chris Vollmar gave up only one rack between them to advance to the final winners’ side finals. It was Vollmar who gave up that single rack, to Mike Walker, as Brady shut out Tommy Cook. The hot seat match was the proverbial ‘horse of a different color,’ as Brady and Vollmar battled to double hill, before Brady sunk the ball that put him into the hot seat to await Russell.

Russell, in the meantime, was in the midst of a 10-match winning streak on the loss-side that began when he was defeated in the event’s opening round by Ray Cheek. With five down and five to go, Russell got by Cotton Trivett 9-5 and Shawn Ray 9-2 to pick up Cook. Walker drew B.J. Hucks, who’d defeated Paul Peters 9-6 and Billy Thorpe 9-4 to reach him. Russell downed Cook 9-5 and was joined in the quarterfinal match by Hucks, who’d defeated Walker 9-4. 

Russell then dropped Hucks into fourth place 9-6 and gave up only three racks in his subsequent semifinal victory over Vollmar. He opened the true double elimination final with a double hill win in the opening set, but fell short in the second. Brady took the second set 9-5 to secure his first-ever win on the GSBT.

Tour directors Shannon and Marge Daulton awarded a Free Entry to the 9th through 12th place finishers Scott Roberts, Cotton Trivett, Paul Peters and Wendell Thompkins. The Daultons took time out to thank not only the owner and staff of Speak Eazy Billiards in Sanford, NC for their support in hosting the tour’s final event of the year, but all of the venue owners who’ve contributed to the success of the tour throughout the year. They also thanked their sponsors: Andy Gilbert Custom Cues, Nick Varner Cues and Cases, Mike Davis Exterminating, Tiger Products and Delta-13 racks.

Ussery goes undefeated to win GSBT Tour Championship/Carolina Open 9-Ball Title

B.J. Ussery has finished either first or second in 12 of the 17 tournaments in which he’s been officially entered since January 30, 2011. The streak began on that day with a victory on the Jacoby Custom Cues Carolina Tour and continued this past weekend (November 9-14) with his second straight undefeated GSBT victory; this time in the 9-ball event of the Great Southern Billiard Tour Championships/Carolina Open. Ussery had to get by Carey Dunn twice – once, in the battle for the hot seat, and again, in the finals – to complete his undefeated trip through 68 entrants, who’d shown up at Fast Eddie’s in Goldsboro for the $5,000-guaranteed total purse event.

Until he ran into Larry Nevel among the winners’ side final four, Ussery (who had to reach 11 games) had given up only seven racks to four opponents; five of those to Sam Monday in the match that set up the match versus Nevel. Dunn, in the meantime, had sandwiched a double hill battle against Josh Newman, around a series of 9-3 victories that put him among the final four winners, facing Montez Lloyd. Dunn got into the hot seat match with a 9-5 win over Lloyd, as Ussery survived a double hill battle against Nevel. Ussery got into the hot seat with an 11-4 victory over Dunn and waited for him to get back.

Nevel moved over and picked up Lucas Hawkins, who’d defeated five opponents on the loss-side to reach him, including a victory over tour director Shannon Daulton, a 9-3 win over Joe Pierce and a double hill win over Glenn Russell. Lloyd faced Josh Newman, who’d survived a double hill battle versus Keith Bennett and gone on to defeat George Spires, Ron Park, and Alex Olinger

Hawkins, with a handicap advantage, dropped Nevel into the tie for fifth place 9-11, and moved on to the quarterfinals against Newman, who defeated Lloyd 11-7. Still working with a handicap advantage, Hawkins eliminated Newman 9-9 and turned to face Dunn in the semifinals. Dunn prevailed 9-8 for his second chance against Ussery.

Ussery needed only a single set of the true double elimination final to complete his undefeated bid. It was past dawn on Monday morning, November 14, when Ussery sunk the final ball to complete an 11-5 victory that secured the GSBT Tour Championship 9-Ball event.

A $50 prize was awarded to Terri Faulk for being the highest female finisher in the event. Tour directors Shannon and Marge Daulton thanked the owners and staff of Fast Eddie’s in Goldsboro, NC for their cooperation and hospitality in hosting the Tour Championships/Carolina Open, as well as sponsors Andy Gilbert Custom Cues, Nick Varner Cues and Cases, Mike Davis Exterminating, Tiger Products and Delta-13 racks. In addition to the guaranteed prize money, the event raised $1,200 for charity.