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By default, Best, with dawn approaching, wins warm-up to NC State 8-Ball Championships

It was probably one of those things that looked good in the window, but terrible when you got it home. The Viking Cues' Q City 9-Ball Tour made a stop at the Brass Tap in Raleigh on the weekend of October 29-30 and 39 entrants showed up to participate in a rare 8-ball event that proceeded the NC State 8-Ball Championships the following week in Cary, NC. They made a decision to finish it in one day, instead of asking people (some of whom traveled a good distance) to return on Sunday. Somewhere in the vicinity of around 3 a.m., the players left were probably wondering whether the one-day idea was such a good one. As it turned out, when it got down to three players, the semifinalists (J.T. Ringgold and Travis Guerra) opted out of their match, and left the hot seat occupant, Blade Best, to claim the event title, unopposed in a final match.
Ringgold may have been the most affected by the shortened event. He lost his first match on Saturday to Peter Abatangelo and then won eight on the loss side to advance to the semifinals, at which point he and Travis Guerra opted out of the match. Assuming a 50-50 split, Ringgold went home with $300 (half the 2nd – $400 – and 3rd – $200 – payouts), instead of a potential $600, which might have come his way had he a) defeated Guerra, and b) went on to face and defeat Best in the hot seat. We and they will never know if they made a "good deal."
It was Guerra and Best who battled for the hot seat in this one. Guerra had sent Justin Clark to the loss side, double hill, in one winners' side semifinal, while Best sent Mike Mullins west 5-3. Best claimed the hot seat 5-1 over Guerra and for all intents and purposes, his night was over.
On the loss side, Ringgold was halfway through his eight-match, loss-side run, when he downed Glenn Smith 9-4 and Al Boone, double hill (9-3) to pick up Clark. Mullins drew Rich Anderson, who'd recently shut out Matt Lucas, and downed Clay Davis 7-3. Ringgold advanced to the quarterfinals 9-3 over Clark, and was joined by Mullins, who, in a straight-up race to 7, had defeated Anderson, double hill.
Ringgold ended the tournament with a 9-3 win over Mullins. He and Guerra opted out of their semifinal match, and Best went into the books as the event winner.
Tour director Herman Parker thanked the ownership and staff at the Brass Tap, as well as title sponsor Viking Cues, Delta-13 racks and Ruthless Billiards. The next stop on the Viking Cues' Q City 9-Ball Tour, scheduled for the weekend of November 5-6 will be the North Carolina State 8-Ball Championships, to be hosted by Breaktime Billiards in Cary, NC. In attendance will be defending champion, Mike Davis