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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,, Break Time Billiards of Winston-Salem, NC, Dirty South Grind Apparel Co., Realty One Group Results, Diamond Brat,, 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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Bryant takes two out of three over Walker to grab Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball title

Brian Bryant

Billy Walker came back from a defeat in a winners’ side semifinal match against Brian Bryant to win the opening set of a true double elimination final against him. Bryant, though, rallied in the second set to claim the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball title, at a stop held on Saturday, April 29. The event drew 21 entrants to The Clubhouse in Lynchburg, VA.
In their first of three matches, Bryant downed Walker 9-3 (Walker racing to 7). Scott Largen, in the meantime, defeated Lee O’Neal 7-2 in the other winners’ side semifinal. Bryant and Largen battled to double hill in the hot seat match, before Bryant won it and waited on Walker’s return.
On the loss side, Walker ran into Chris Woodrum, who’d defeated co-tour director Angela Parker 6-5 and the previous week’s Q City 9-Ball Tour winner, Cameron Lawhorne 6-1. O’Neal drew Kelly Farrar, who’d eliminated Brian Glisson 6-3 and Greg Taylor 6-4.
Walker got into the quarterfinals with a 7-2 win over Woodrum. He was joined by O’Neal, who’d survived a double hill fight versus Farrar. Walker then defeated O’Neal 7-3, and spoiled Largen’s hopes for a re-match against Bryant with a 7-2 win in the semifinals.
Walker took the opening set of the true double elimination final 7-4. Bryant won the second set 9-4 to claim the event title.
Tour directors Herman and Angela Parker thanked the ownership and staff at The Clubhouse, 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 May 5-6, will be hosted by Borderline Billiards in Bristol, TN. 

Guerra wins second set of true-double final over Capps to win Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball stop

Travis Guerra

Travis Guerra's been poking at the winners' circle on the Viking Cues' Q City 9-Ball Tour all year long. He was runner-up at a stop in January (to Greg Taylor), and a couple of weeks later, finished fifth in the 2016 Tour Championships. He made it as far as the semifinals, twice; once in April and once in May. He broke through to chalk up his first event victory of the year at a stop on July 1-2, which drew 30 entrants to Randolph's Billiards in Hickory, NC. It was his first win on the tour since he'd gone undefeated in an 8-ball event, two years ago. This time around, though he made it to the hot seat, Brian Capps gave him a run for his money in the double elimination finals, taking the first set.
They'd missed battling for the hot seat by a match. Guerra advanced to that hot seat match with a 6-4 win over Matt Lucas in one winners' side semifinal. Justin Clark, in the meantime, racing to 6, downed Capps (racing to 10) 6-1 in the other winners' side semifinal. In a straight up race to 6, Guerra claimed the hot seat over Clark and waited on the return of Capps.
On the loss side, Capps picked up Trey Frank, who'd just eliminated Tim Monk and Jeff Young, both 7-2. Lucas drew Clint Clark (no relation to Justin), who, racing to 10, had shut out Joe Sims, and given up only a single rack to Steve Reece.
With Clark and Capps both racing to 10, they both advanced to the quarterfinals; Clark 10-4 over Lucas, and Capps 10-3 over Frank. In what was arguably the best match of the weekend (two top-tier players racing to 10) Capps and Clint Clark battled back and forth to double hill, before Capps prevailed to take on his second Clark in a row (Justin) in the semifinals.
Justin put up a bit of fight in those semifinals and came within a game of forcing a deciding game against Capps, but Capps closed it out at 10-4, for a shot at Guerra in the hot seat. With a dose of momentum on his side, Capps gave up only a single rack to Guerra in the opening set of the true double elimination final. Fortunes reversed in the second set, as they often do when it's nearing 2 a.m. on a Sunday morning after two days of pool shooting, and Guerra got out in front in the second set and stayed there, winning it 6-3 to claim the event title.
Tour director Herman Parker thanked the ownership and staff at Randolph Billiards, 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 July 8-9, will be hosted by Mickey Milligan's in New Bern, NC.

Ailstock splits double elimination final versus Hall to win Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball stop

Jonathan Ailstock

Jonathan Ailstock brushed aside a double hill defeat in the opening set of a true double elimination final on the Viking Cues' Q City 9-Ball Tour and came back to down Collin Hall in the second set to claim the event title. The event, held on the weekend of June 3-4, drew 28 entrants to The Clubhouse in Lynchburg, VA.


Ailstock and Hall had almost met in the hot seat match, but Hall was sent to the loss side 9-2 in a winners' side semifinal against Ron Frank. Ailstock, in the meantime, defeated Justin Clark 7-3 to join Frank in the hot seat battle, won by Ailstock 7-4.


Hall moved to the loss side and picked up Brent Hensley, who'd defeated Trey Frank (Ron Frank's son) 7-4 and Scott Roberts 7-5 to reach him. Clark drew Greg Taylor, who'd eliminated Steves  Dye and McClinton, 9-3 and 9-6, respectively. Hall defeated Hensley 7-3, while Clark downed Taylor 6-5 (Taylor racing to 9).


Hall took the quarterfinal match against Clark 7-2, and then, with the elder Frank racing to 9, eliminated him 7-7, for a shot at Ailstock in the hot seat. The two battled to double hill in the opening set of the true double elimination final before Hall prevailed, forcing a second set. Ailstock rallied and allowed Hall only three racks in the second set to win and claim the event title.


Tour director Herman Parker thanked the ownership and staff at The Clubhouse (who'd agreed to host the event, after a last-minute change of venue), 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 June 10-11, will be hosted by Corner Pockets in Fayetteville, NC.

Taylor double dips Guerra to take first 2017 stop on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour

After having their 2016 Tour Championship tournament canceled when ice and snow, in a declared 'state of emergency,' descended upon Raleigh, NC in the first full weekend of 2017, the Viking Cues' Q City 9-Ball Tour had to start their 2017 season before they officially closed the books (with the Tour Championship) on 2016. So it was that on Saturday, January 14, 39 entrants showed up at The Clubhouse in Lynchburg, VA to launch the tour's 2017 season. Greg Taylor and Travis Guerra played three times to determine the event's winner. Taylor, a former VA State Bar Table 8-Ball champion (2014), who's been away from the tables for a couple of years, came back from a loss in the hot seat match to double dip Guerra in the finals, and win his first Viking Cues' Q City 9-Ball event.
With some history at the table(s), Taylor entered the tournament with a relatively high handicap (racing to 8), while Guerra was racing to 5. Taylor sent Stevie McClinton to the loss side 8-4 in one winners' side semifinal, as Guerra was busy sending Keith Arnold over 5-1. The handicap worked to Guerra's advantage in the hot seat match, as he claimed it 5-5 over Taylor.
On the loss side, there was some scrambling going on for advancement in the 9/12 matches, three of which went double hill. Among those advancing from that point was Aaron McClure, who, after being defeated by Guerra in a winners' side quarterfinal, went on a four-match, loss-side streak that took him to within one match of earning a re-match against Guerra. McClure downed Mike McPherson, double hill, and then Mike Hagood 6-3 to pick up McClinton. Arnold drew Zach Hampton, who'd eliminated Barry Lacy 9-4, and Brandon Lowe, double hill.
McClure and Hampton handed McClinton and Arnold their second straight loss; McClure 6-1 over McClinton, and Hampton 9-4 over Arnold. McClure took the resultant quarterfinal match over Hampton 6-3 (Hampton racing to 9), and turned to face the last obstacle to a hoped-for rematch against Guerra, Greg Taylor, in the semifinals.
Taylor ended McClure's loss-side run to earn his own rematch against Guerra. And took full advantage. Taylor won the double elimination opener 8-2, and then won the second match 8-3 to claim the event title. 
Tour director Herman Parker thanked Chris England and his staff at The Clubhouse for their hospitality, as well as title sponsor Viking Cues, Delta 13 Racks, Ruthless Billiards,, AZBilliards and Professor Q Ball. The formerly cancelled, $1,000-added 2016 Tour Championships, which, according to Parker, has already confirmed 70 entrants, will be held on the weekend of January 21-22 at Brass Tap in Raleigh.

Wilkie makes it six straight on the Action Pool Tour with VA State 10-Ball Championship

Shaun Wilkie

Whether it's a back-and-forth contest through multiple ties or a situation in which a player comes back from a significant deficit, double hill pool matches are the Cadillacs/Mercedes-Benz/Jaguars of billiard competition. Add a degree of previous performance context to these double hill battles and you've got yourself what's known as a 'thriller.' 
Case in point: The finals of the 3rd Annual VA State 10-Ball Championships, held under the auspices of the Action Pool Tour on the weekend of February 7-8 at Diamond Billiards in Midlothian, VA. The Context: A field of 70 was on hand for the competition, including last year's runner-up, Shaun Wilkie, who, less than a month ago (January 18) had chalked up an unprecedented fifth straight win on the Action Pool Tour. Last year's winner, Adam Kielar, did not compete. 
Wilkie went on, undefeated, to claim the VA State 10-Ball title, but not before he had first, shut Matt Krah out in the battle for the hot seat, and then, was challenged by Krah in a double hill finals thriller that eventually gave Wilkie his sixth straight APT victory.
It took Wilkie four matches to reach a winners' side semifinal match against Chris Bruner; four, race-to-7 matches in which he gave up, on average, only two racks, including none in a match versus Nathan Childress and one in a victory over Mike Davis. Krah, in the meantime, chalked up three 7-3 wins and a 7-2 victory to reach the winners' side semifinal and a matchup against Greg Taylor.
Bruner got as close to Wilkie as anyone up to that point with five racks in the winners' side semifinal, but Wilkie won it and turned to face Krah, who'd sent Taylor west 7-3. Wilkie shut Krah out to claim the hot seat and waited on his 'loaded with context' return.
Over on the loss side, Bruner picked up Mike Davis, who'd won four on the loss side, including a 6-4 win over Chris Futrell and a 6-2 win over David Hunt to reach him. Taylor drew Chris Loar, who'd gotten by Jimmy Varias 6-2 and survived a double hill fight against Kenny Miller
Loar and Bruner squared off in a 'Chris' quarterfinal, once they'd defeated Taylor and Davis, both 6-3. It was Bruner who advanced to meet Krah in the semifinals with a 6-4 victory over Loar. 
Seemingly determined to earn himself a second shot against Wilkie in the hot seat, Krah gave up only a single rack to Bruner in those semifinals and with the sting of a hot seat shutout on his mind, got that chance. Krah put up a double hill fight, but Wilkie prevailed to win the VA State 10-Ball title and his sixth straight victory on the APT.

Taylor Wins VA 8-Ball Title, Mastermaker Defends VA State 9-Ball Crown

D. Mastermaker, G. Taylor, L. Kressel, J. Dickerson

The Virginia State 8 Ball Bar Table Championships was held on July 10, 2014 at The Clubhouse in Lynchburg, Virginia. Turnout was low, 19 players, since the event was held during the week.  The final four on the winner’s side had Danny Mastermaker playing Billy Walkerand Greg Taylor playing Daniel Adams. Walker beat Mastermaker 5-2 and Taylor beat Adams 5-1. One the one loss side, Mastermaker had to play his brother, Joey, whom he dispatched 5-1 as Adams eliminated Darren Musser 5-4.

While Mastermaker and Adams matched up to see who would finish 4th, Taylor played Billy Walker for the winner of the hot seat. Each match went to the hill with Mastermaker and Taylor each winning 5-4. After a quick break, Walker and Mastermaker played to see if Walker would get a second chance at Taylor. Mastermaker would prove to spoil Walker’s chance and also extract some revenge for his loss in the tournament earlier to Walker. In the finals, race to 7, Taylor surged to an early lead of 5-3 when Mastermaker got a roll. Taylor had a difficult shot where his last ball was close to the eight ball. He hit the shot so well he made them both and lost the game. Mastermaker managed to tie the set at 5 before Taylor dug deep and was able to close the set out.

1st – $750 – Greg Taylor
2nd -$450 – Danny Mastermaker
3rd – $250 – Billy Walker
4th – $150 – Daniel Adams

    The Virginia State 9 Ball Bar Table Championships was held 2 days later and drew a crowd of 27. Many of the same players from the 8 Ball event returned and there were a few other additions from Richmond.  From the beginning, it appeared that Mastermaker was set to defend his title which he won in 2012. In his first 4 matches he won a combined score of 28-11. Waiting for him in the winner’s side final was Larry Kressel. Kressel had an as impressive track record winning his first 4 matches by a combined score of 28-13. It was a tight match but Kressel won by a score of 7-5.

Mastermaker would end up playing his long time friend Chris Bruner to see who would go to the final to challenge Kressel in the finals. With the race on the one loss side shortened to 5, it would be anyone’s match. Bruner won the first 3 racks and one miss in rack 4 would be fatal. Mastermaker took advantage of the miss and through good play and solid safety play won the match 5-3; earning a rematch with Kressel in the finals. Kressel jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the match before Mastermaker would get his first game on the board. They would soon exchange games until the score was 7-7. Mastermaker would be the first player to reach the hill. With a solid break, he would make 2 balls and proceed to run out. Suddenly, the four ball hung in the corner pocket. This would allow Kressel to close out the rack and set up a hill-hill final. Kressel would break dry and give Mastermaker one more opportunity to defend his title. One more opportunity would be all he needed as he proceeded to run the rack out and defend his Virginia State 9 Ball Bar Table Championship.

1st – $1000 – Danny Mastermaker
2nd – $500 – Larry Kressel
3rd – $300 – Chris Bruner
4th $200 – Mike Haygood
5th $100 – Greg Taylor
6th $100 – Paul Oh


Photo Credit to: Photography.


Kielar goes undefeated to capture 2nd Annual VA State 10-Ball Championships; Majors wins Women’s event

Shaun Wilkie and Adam Kielar

Adam Kielar rode a match-by-match roller coaster through seven opponents during the 2nd Annual VA State 10-Ball Championships held on the weekend of January 11-12, and ended the ride with the event title. In a concurrently-run women's event, Tracie Majors faced five opponents and like Kielar finished undefeated to claim the event title. The dual events, held under the auspices of the Action Pool Tour and hosted by Diamond Billiards in Midlothian, VA, drew 80 entrants; 64 to the Open, and 16 to the women's tournament.
Kielar started his trip to the state championship winners' circle with a shutout over Alex Travino, and then as the winners' bracket narrowed, started to face increased competition. Paul Cogle chalked up three racks against him, Alan Duty got within two at 8-6 and in a winners' side final eight battle, Kenny Miller forced him into a double hill deciding game. He survived to face Shaun Wilkie, as Brian Deska squared off against Greg Taylor in the other winners' side semifinal. 
Fresh off his double hill struggle, Kielar gave up only a single rack to Wilkie and in the hot seat match, met Deska, who'd just survived his own double hill troubles against Taylor. Kielar gave up only three in the match against Deska, which left him in the hot seat, awaiting what turned out to be the return of Wilkie.
Wilkie had moved over to meet Reymart Lim, who'd defeated Eric Moore, double hill, and Chris Bruner 6-4. Taylor drew Kenny Miller, who, after his defeat at the hands of Kielar went on to drop Cody Phillips 6-2 and defeat Danny Mastermaker, double hill. Wilkie got by Lim 6-2, as Miller was busy chalking up his second straight double hill win; this time, against Taylor.
Wilkie gave up only two racks against Miller in the quarterfinals, and gave up only one to Brian Deska in the semifinals. Kielar, though, was not to be denied. He took the final match 10-4 to claim the VA State 10-Ball Championship title.
On the women's side, Tracie Majors charted a similar up and down course to the finals. She gave up two racks in an opening round match against Michele Jones, four against Jacki Duggan, and then had to fight a double hill deciding match against Tina Scott in a winners' side semifinal. In the hot seat match, Majors met Sheri Bruner, who'd sent Shanna Lewis to the loss side 8-2. She defeated Bruner 8-3 and sat in the hot seat, awaiting the only opponent who'd given her a double hill hard time, Tina Scott.
Scott had moved over to pick up Gwen Townsend, who'd gotten by Sarah Thomas 6-2 and Daisy Blancafor 6-4. Meanwhile, Shanna Lewis drew Cheryl Pritchard, who'd defeated Pauline Mattes and Jacki Duggan, both 6-4. Scott and Prtichard both survived double hill matches against Townsend and Pritchard to face each other in the quarterfinals, where Scott advanced 6-2 to meet Bruner in the semifinals.
Scott prevailed over Bruner in another double hill match to earn a re-match against Majors in the finals. Majors completed her undefeated run with a 10-5 win over Scott to claim the VA State Women's 10-Ball Championship.
These VA State 10-Ball Championships were the first event of the 2014 Action Pool Tour season, but the last official event to be overseen by Tour Director Ozzy Reynolds, who will move to Las Vegas in February to accept a position as a manager of Cue Sports International. He will continue to maintain administrative oversight of the Action Pool Tour, as Stephen Quan, long-time assistant, will handle tournament responsibilities going forward.
"I have 100% confidence that (Steve) will do a fantastic job," said Reynolds, "mainly because he's been doing everything anyway. We'd get it all set up and I'd go out and play, while he did everything else."
Reynolds is still a little stunned by this turn of events in his life.
"I'm excited for the opportunity," he said. "I never in a million years ever saw (a position like this with CSI) as an option, so I'm still pinching myself a little."
"I didn't realize that the tour would have the success that it's had, and would catapult my name into a position to even have this opportunity," he added. "The most rewarding part of the experience for me has been the wonderful people that I've met and interacted with over these past few years. It's one of the reasons that I wasn't upset about being eliminated early in this tournament (tied for 33rd), because it afforded me the opportunity to spend some quality time with the people I've been associated with. I anticipate maintaining relationships with many of these people."