Archive Page

Chohan & Chua Take Raleigh

Tony Chohan and Alex Pagulayan

The Brass Tap & Billiards of Raleigh, NC has a long history of hosting tournaments and this year was no exception. After a layoff since 2019 due to the pandemic, owner Richard Kuntz welcomed players and fans back to the $15,000 added Beasley Open.

Presented by Doug Beasley of Beasley Custom Cues and special sponsors PoolActionTV.com and Brass Tap & Billiards, this year’s tournament had two events – One Pocket and Open 9 Ball. 

Everywhere you looked, there were recognizable faces. Led by BCA Hall of Famer Alex Pagulayan, Tony Chohan, John Morra, Josh Roberts, Mike Davis Jr, Justin Hall, Brandon Shuff, Jason Brown and home town favorite Shane Wolford joined the fray. Can Salim, Omar Al Shaheen, Johann Chua, Carlo Biado, Robbie Capito, Kun-Lin Wu, Chia-Chen Hsieh and WPBA star Chia Hua (Amber) Chen added an international flavor to this year’s event.

Posting their $200 entry fees, the $5,000 added double elimination One Pocket division drew 48 players. Played on Diamond tables and racing to three, the finals would be one extended race to four. After the players auction and draw, the matches began.

With twelve players receiving a first round bye, Josh Roberts and Can Salim were not so fortunate. Josh survived that match 3-1 and went on to defeat Asad Khan 3-0, Justin Hall 3-1 and Brandon Shuff 3-2. On a similar path, John Morra had wins over Francesco Candela 3-1, Larry Pierce 3-2, Hunter White 3-1 and Corey Sykes 3-0. Then, in a hard fought match to reach the hot seat, Morra prevailed over Roberts 3-2.

Meanwhile, in the other portion of the bracket, Alex Pagulayan and Tony Chohan were on the march to the hot seat. After drawing a first round bye, Alex defeated Carlo Biado 3-2, Tony Pete 3-0 and Shane Wolford 3-1. Tony was the victor over Jesse Gilbert 3-2 and then skunked Robbie House 3-0, Brady Norris 3-0 and Omar Al Shaheen 3-0. He then received his own 3-0 thumping by Alex! 

The hot seat match was all Pagulayan as he beat back Morra – also 3-0. John headed west and Alex moved to the finals.

Morra watched as Chohan edged out Biado 3-2 only to be relegated to third place 3-0. Looking for revenge, Tony went to the finals.

Still on a tear, Tony sliced through Alex in under an hour winning four games  straight to claim the title. Congratulations, Tony! Good tournament, Alex!

Johann Chua and Bader Al Awadhi

The $10,000 added Nine Ball Open began on Friday night following the players auction and draw. Ninety six players posted their $150 entry fees to play. The format was alternate breaks, rack your own with the nine on the spot and the two in the back, no soft breaks and races to 9/7. 

Racing across the top half of the bracket was Johann Chua and Chia-Chen Hsieh. Playing to get to the hot seat match, Chua spanked Hsieh 9-1. The bottom portion of the bracket saw Bader Alawadhi win over John Morra 9-5. 

Hot seat action again was all Chua as he locked up his seat in the finals 9-1. Bader went to the one loss side to await an opponent. Morra defeated Roberts 7-5 and then was eliminated by the same score leaving John with another third place finish.

The finals were one extended race to thirteen. Chua rocketed out to a 7-1 lead until Alawadhi caught a gear and tied the match at eight games each! Johann finally won the next two games to reach 10-8. Bader fought back to win a couple more until his opponent pulled away to win the match 13-10. Congratulations, Johann! Good shooting, Bader!

PoolActionTV.com would like to thank Richard Kuntz and his staff for another fantastic event.

We’d also like to thank Tournament Director Jason Hill and our commentators Larry Schwartz, Jeremy Jones, Alex Pagulayan, Josh Roberts, Mary Kenniston and Ray Hansen for an excellent job.

In addition, we’d like to thank our fans and sponsors. Our sponsors include JB Cases, Hanshew Jump Cues, Diamond Billiard Products, Lomax Custom Cues, Simonis, Aramith, Durbin Custom Cues, Savage Billiard Apparel, Fort Worth Billiards Superstore of Fort Worth, TX and the Action Palace of Dayton, OH.

Our next event is the 4th Annual $7,500 added Big Boi Classic at Peyton’s Place in Knoxville, TN. The dates are November 18th-20th – hope to see you there!

Go to thread

Hollingsworth chalks up sixth win on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour

Landon Hollingsworth

Still just practicing.

As this appears on the page, Junior competitor Landon Hollingsworth is either on his way or at Pat Fleming’s International Open in Norfolk, VA to compete in the 18 & Under Boys’ championship event of the 2022 Junior International Championship (JIC) series. As a warm-up to the event this past weekend (Sat., Oct. 29), he travelled to Columbia, SC to compete in a stop on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour at Overtime Billiards. He went undefeated through the $500-added event that drew 33 entrants and marked his sixth victory on the tour since 2020. It’s his second tour victory of this year (he won the last stop on the tour a month ago), to go along with finishing first in the JIC’s ProAm Division (which earned him a paid entry to Puerto Rico’s 10-Ball Open later this month), the Dynaspheres Cup’s Junior 9-Ball event (20 & Under) and a third place finish in Shane Van Boening’s Junior Open, held in conjunction with Matchroom Sport’s US Open last month.

The clearest sign of his progress since he first came on the scene is not just the visible improvement of his skills. On the Q City 9-Ball Tour (and elsewhere), his ranking, based on the number of games he has to win to complete a match has steadily increased.

“Four years ago,” noted Q City 9-Ball Tour director Herman Parker, “he came into our events as a ‘5.’ He’s a ‘10’ now.”

Hollingsworth and Hunter White (himself, a recently-former junior competitor, also a ‘10’ now) battled twice for this event title; hot seat and finals. Hollingsworth won them both.

They advanced through the field from opposite ends of the bracket with Hollingsworth facing Jason Blackwell in one winners’ side semifinal and White squaring off against Jesse Draper in the other. Hollingsworth fought a double hill battle before advancing to the hot seat match against Jason Blackwell. Hunter gave up only a single rack to Draper. Hollingsworth then gave White a taste of his own ‘winners’ side semifinal’ medicine, allowing him only a single rack to claim the hot seat.

On the loss side, in the first money round, Blackwell picked up Calvin Lee, who’d recently defeated Will Hammer and Josh Miller, both 6-4, which, versus Miller, was double hill. Draper drew Phil Stalls, who’d eliminated Stevie McClinton and Matt Lucas, both 6-3.

Draper advanced with a double hill win over Stalls. Blackwell did not, falling to Lee 6-3. Lee then defeated Draper 6-4 in the quarterfinals.

Lee almost made the semifinals ‘double hill’ interesting, but fell a game short, as Hunter White won 10-4 (Lee racing to 6). The likelihood of White falling to Hollingsworth a second time with only a single rack to show for it was slim. As had happened in the semifinals, the final match came within a game of double hill. Hollingsworth, though, completing what could only be described as good practice for this coming week on his schedule, completed his undefeated run through the field with a 10-8 victory for his sixth Q City 9-Ball Tour win.

Tour director Herman Parker thanked the ownership and staff at Overtime Billiards for their hospitality, as well as title sponsor Viking Cues, Breaktime Billiards (Winston-Salem, NC), 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 (Nov. 5-6) will be hosted by Janet Atwell’s Borderline Billiards in Bristol, TN.

Go to thread

Chohan, Thorpe & Woodward Take Buffalo’s

All year long, one pocket aficionados look forward to the biggest tournament of the year!

Held in Jefferson, LA, a suburb of New Orleans, players and fans streamed into James Leone’s Buffalo’s on Bloomfield for the Seventh Annual Buffalo’s Pro Classic. Local sponsors for this year’s event – Buffalo’s, PoolActionTV, Lomax Custom Cues, Joseph P. Long, Aramith, ART CO, Diamond Billiards and Fort Worth Billiards – added a total of $26,000! $20,000 was added to the Pro One Pocket, $5,000 to the Open Nine Ball and $1,000 to the One Ball One Pocket.

Some of the best one pocket players came to play including Buffalo’s house pro, defending champ and current US Open One Pocket and Midwest Open One Pocket champ Tony Chohan.  He was joined by current Scotty Townsend Memorial One Pocket champ Alex Pagulayan, current Iron City One Pocket champ Josh Roberts, this year’s Derby City One Pocket and Master of the Table Fedor Gorst, last week’s Big Tyme Classic One Pocket Champ Robert Frost and last year’s One Ball One Pocket king John Morra. 

Billy Thorpe and Robbie Langford

Wednesday night kicked off with the 32 player One Ball One Pocket tournament. Posting a $200 entry fee, the format was single elimination with races to four. Including the players auction, there was a total purse of $21,430! 

Two-time Derby City Classic One Pocket champion, Billy Thorpe, plowed through the field on his way to the finals leaving Shane Winters, Hunter White, Josh Roberts and John Morra in his wake. The always tough Robbie Langford beat Kenny Nguyen, Mike DeLawder, Ike Runnels and Evan Lunda to get there. The final match was all Billy as he smoked Robbie 4-0 to claim the title. Congratulations, Billy! Good tournament, Robbie! 

The following evening, the $2,000 entry fee double elimination one pocket event began with a rousing player auction and was followed by the players meeting and draw. Twenty eight players racing to five and competing for a record $228,600 total purse! WOW!!!

Play began with Corey Deuel edging out Justin Hall 5-4 while Fedor Gorst skunked Sky Woodward 5-0. Ike Runnels had Danny Smith down 4-0 but ended up losing the match 5-4! Josh Roberts outmoved Roberto Gomez 5-1 and Billy Thorpe escaped with a 5-4 win over Robert Frost as did Scott Frost over Alex Calderon by the same score. Chip Compton got off to a great start as he defeated Warren Kiamco 5-1. 

Gorst won over Deuel 5-4, Evan Lunda spanked Earl Strickland 5-0 and Chohan beat Smith 5-3. Jeremy Seaman skunked Omar Al Shaheen 5-0 and Thorpe dusted Compton 5-2. Frost had Alex Pagulayan 3-0 and watched his opponent win five in a row to claim the match.

Fedor and Evan went down to the wire with Gorst claiming the win while Tony breezed past Jeremy 5-0. Billy started out strong against the Lion but he went down 5-2.

Down to four on the winners side, Chohan battled Gorst to a 5-3 win while Roberts kept Pagulayan off the board with a 5-0 score. Tony and Josh moved to the hot seat match where Chohan sent Roberts west to await an opponent – score 5-1.

After losing to Gorst in the third round, Lunda defeated Mike DeLawder 5-1 and Compton 5-3. Moving into his match with Pagulayan, he hung tough but Alex pulled out the win 5-4. 

Calderon had a tougher road. After losing his first match, he beat Deuel 5-1, Strickland 5-2, Hunter White 5-4 and Thorpe 5-3. He went down to the case game with Gorst but was eliminated 5-4.

This set up the match between Fedor and Alex Pagulayan. A man on a mission, he defeated Gorst 5-1 and then Josh Roberts 5-2. And to the finals he went!!!

Since this was true double elimination, Alex would have to beat Tony Chohan both sets to claim the title. With tens of thousands of dollars on the line, both players put their heads down and played their hearts out. 

Alex won the first two games and then Tony won three in a row. Tied again at 4-4, you could’ve heard a pin drop in the arena. Nerves got them both as they both missed makeable balls but this one is finally in the books! Tony Chohan successfully defended his title!

Alex Pagulayan and Tony Chohan

Congratulations, Tony! Great tournament, Alex! 

While the Pro One Pocket was in progress, 115 players filled the house on Saturday night to play in the Open Nine Ball event. Familiar faces such as defending champ Warren Kiamco, Sky Woodward, Roberto Gomez, Corey Deuel, Omar Al Shaheen, Justin Hall, Chip Compton, Charlie Bryant, Chris Reinhold, James Baraks, Richie Richeson, Robb Saez, Shane Winters, Jeremy Seaman, Sergio Rivas, Mike DeLawder, Justin Espinosa, Joey Aguzin, Derek Fontenet, Robert Frost and Kristina Tkach joined the fray.

Played on seven foot Diamonds, players paid $100 to play in this double elimination portion of the event. The format was rack your own, alternate breaks with races to seven until down to the final sixteen players. At that point, it was single elimination – races to nine. 

Omar Al Shaheen and Jeremy Seaman tied for third place. James Baraks moved into the finals to face Sky Woodward. 

The finals were neck and neck until the very end! Sky won the match 9-8!!! Congratulations, Sky!! Good tournament, James!

It was a helluva week! Great pool everywhere you looked! Once again, PoolActionTV would like to thank James Leone and his staff for going the extra mile as they took care of all the players and fans. 

We’d like to thank Tournament Director Jason Hill for doing a great job running the show – always with a smile on his face!

We’d also like to thank our expert commentators – Larry Schwartz, Jeremy Jones, Billy Incardona, John Henderson, Josh Roberts and Ray Hansen! Can’t get any better than this crew!

Last but not least, we’d like to thank our fans and sponsors. They include ART CO, JB Cases, CR’s Sports Bar, Hanshew Jump Cues, EnviroAssessments, Lomax Custom Cues, StraightPoolEye, Durbin Custom Cues, Aramith, Simonis, Diamond Billiard Products and the Fort Worth Billiards Superstore.

Our next stop is Leisure Time Billiards & Sports Bar in East Moline, IL for the $16,000 added Bar Box Classic featuring three divisions – Ten Ball, Eight Ball and One Pocket. Dates are June 1st-5th – hope to see you there!

Go to thread

Davis loses first set of finals, splits with Johnson on Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour

Clay Davis

Over the years, we’ve reported on any number of individuals who’ve won their first event on any given or multiple numbers of regional tours. We’ve also reported on competitors who’ve returned from long absences away from the tables and chalked up their first win since however long it may have been, most notably in these last two years. According to Herman Parker, tour director of the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour, Clay Davis’ official* (did not complete finals) win on last weekend’s (Feb. 26-27) tour stop marked his first win in almost eight years, predating the tour’s reporting to us about their events. He’d been competing all along, with his cash payouts on the tour being reported to us as far back as 2016. Ten of them altogether, but no tour wins.

“He’s the player who’s gone the longest time between wins on our tour,” said Parker.

Davis and Paul Johnson met only that once, in the first set of the tournament’s true double elimination finals. The $500-added event drew a hefty 62 entrants to Rock House Billiards in Gastonia, NC.

They were both a part of the two winners’ side semifinals. As Davis was battling Trent Talbert to double hill before prevailing, Johnson was being outdone by Rory Dover 6-3. Davis claimed the hot seat over Dover in a shutout.

On the loss side, Johnson picked up Runal Bhatt, who’d defeated Zach Martin 7-2 and Matt Lucas 7-4 to reach him. Talbert drew Cole Lewis, who’d recently eliminated Hunter White 8-5 (White racing to 10) and Andrew “Tiger” Carlisle 8-3.

Johnson downed Bhatt 6-5 (Bhatt racing to 7), as Lewis was busy shutting out Talbert. Johnson eliminated Lewis 6-4 in the quarterfinals that followed. 

The semifinal between Dover and Johnson was a straight-up, race-to-6 rematch of their winners’ side semifinal. This time, they battled to double hill, before Johnson finished it, in what was probably an unwitting attempt to face and prevent Davis from chalking up that first tour win in eight years.

Johnson continued that attempt in the opening set of the true double elimination final. With one ‘bead on the wire’ in a race to 7, Johnson won that first set 6-2, at which point, the two of them negotiated a split. As the occupant of the hot seat at the time, Davis claimed the official event title, chalking up that first (albeit, with an asterisk) title in eight years. 

Tour director Parker thanked the ownership and staff at Rock House Grill and Billiards, 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 5-6), will be a $500-added event, hosted by The Clubhouse in Lynchburg, VA. 

Go to thread

Junior Champion Hollingsworth goes undefeated to win Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour stop

Landon Hollingsworth

Two months ago, in late July, Greenville, SC’s Landon Hollingsworth attained something of a short-term goal when, in his third attempt, he won the Billiards Education Foundation’s Junior National Championships in Las Vegas. For the first time in the history of that event, players were allowed to compete in more than one division of the three each available for male and female competitors. In his third attempt at these national championships, Hollingsworth (16) took advantage, signing on to the 18 & Under division and the 16 & Under division. He won them both to become the first junior player to win two divisions in the first year of eligibility to do so.

“What I’d accomplished,” he said, “didn’t really hit me that day. It did the day after, though.”

This past weekend (Saturday, Sept. 11), he claimed his fourth Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour title when he went undefeated through the $610-added event that drew 54 entrants to Rock House Tavern Sports in Gastonia, NC. The win made 2021 Hollingsworth’s best recorded earnings year to date since, in 2018 at the age of 13, he began appearing on the payout lists of the tour and other events, scattered from coast to coast. Look for a profile of this young competitor in the October issue of our monthly magazine, Billiard Buzz (BUZZ tab on our Web site’s front page).

The Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour acknowledged the 20th anniversary of 9-11 with a brief message and a moment of silence before getting underway with the tournament. It didn’t finish until well into the early hours of Sunday, September 12.

In a sense, Hollingsworth defeated the Rock House Tavern Sports defending champion, Justin Duncan, in the finals. Duncan had won the previous Q City event at the venue last month (August 14). Defeated in a double hill battle by Hunter White in the fourth winners’ side round in this event, Duncan won five in a row on the loss side (two of them by forfeit) for the right to face Hollingsworth in the finals.

Hunter White, who split the top two prizes at last weekend’s Carolina Cup event with Brian White, advanced to face Brent Newman in one of the winners’ side semifinals. Hollingsworth, in the meantime, squared off against Q City 9-Ball Tour veteran Hank Powell. White got into the hot seat match with a 10-3 victory over Newman. Hollingsworth joined him after sending Powell to the loss side 8-4. An 8-3 win sent Powell off to the semifinals and left Hollingsworth in the hot seat.

On the loss side, Duncan began his trek back to the finals with a 6-1 victory over Brian Francis and then leapfrogged over a forfeit (by Hunter Zayas) in the first money round to draw Powell. Newman picked up Jason Blackwell, who’d eliminated Robert Perez 5-3 and Michael Robertson 5-2.

Duncan became the beneficiary of two straight forfeit wins, when Powell bowed out, advancing Duncan from the first money round (7/8) to the quarterfinals without having to lift his cue. Blackwell joined him after defeating Newman 5-3.

Duncan showed little signs of any ‘rest rust’ as he downed Blackwell 6-3 in those quarterfinals and then, in a rematch against Hunter White, earned the right to a shot at Hollingsworth, waiting for him in the hot seat. For the second time, Duncan and White fought back and forth to double hill, before Duncan dropped the last 9-ball.

Hollingsworth lost no time in claiming the event title. He gave up only a single rack in the finals to chalk up his fourth win on the Q City 9-Ball Tour.

Tour director Herman Parker thanked the ownership and staff at Rock House Tavern Sports, as well as title sponsor Viking Cues, BarPoolTables.net, Dirty South Grind Apparel Co., Diamond Brat, Federal Savings Bank’s Mortgage Division and AZBilliards. The next stop on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour, scheduled for Sept. 18-19, will be a $500-added event, to be hosted by Breaktime Billiards in Winston-Salem, NC.

The Whites – Brian and Hunter – split top prizes on 2nd Annual Carolina Cup

Nikki Mancuso returns to the tables to go undefeated in short-field Ladies Cup

The Labor Day weekend and its multiplicity of places to go and things to do may have had an attendance impact on the 2nd Annual Carolina Cup, held under the auspices of the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour at Break & Run Billiards in Chesnee, SC over the past weekend (Sept. 3-5). While the 2020 inaugural event drew 77 entrants, the 2021 version hosted only 40 in the $1,000-added Open event and drew 13 for the $500-added Ladies Cup.

Brian and Hunter White (no relation) ended up splitting the top two prizes in the Open event. As the undefeated occupant of the hot seat at the time of their decision, Brian White became the event’s official winner. For the second year in a row, Hunter White was the event’s runner-up, having finished behind Josh Roberts in the inaugural event. Hunter had won nine matches on the loss side to earn his spot in the finals that never happened.

Nikki Mancuso

In the Ladies Cup, Nikki Mancuso went undefeated through the field, returning once again to the tables after a protracted absence. Most likely best known for her presence among members of the WPBA back in the ‘00s, her best recorded earnings year, to date, was 2004, when she was cashing in on the Viking Tour, a pair of WPBA events (Delta & San Diego Classics) and the Atlanta Women’s Open. In 2008, she and Katie Cowan “shared top honors” on the Carolina Ladies J. Pechauer tour’s debut stop that year. Eight years later, she showed up in Georgia to win the WPBA’s Georgia State 9-Ball Championships. Fast forward four years (Sept. 17-18, 2020), when she finished as runner-up to Janet Atwell in the Cue Time Shootout 9-Ball Open Women’s division in Spartanburg, SC. 

And on this past Labor Day weekend, she chalked up her first win since that “shared honor” victory with Katie Cowan, 13 years ago. She and Christy Norris battled twice for the Ladies Cup of this dual event; hot seat and finals. Mancuso won the first one 7-3 to claim the hot seat.

Norris moved over to battle the former APA National Women’s Amateur Champion (2018), Lisa Cossette. who had just eliminated Meagan McClain, double hill, in the quarterfinals. Norris downed Cossette 5-3 for a second shot at Mancuso, waiting for her in the hot seat.

Mancuso completed her run in the only set necessary in a true double elimination final. She gave up only a single rack to Norris and claimed her first (recorded) event title in five years.

Brian White

Hunter White wins nine on the loss side for rematch versus Brian White that doesn’t materialize

In the absence of a defending champion for this event (Josh Roberts), Hunter White had to be thinking that he could grab this title on his second try. For the second year in a row, he came within a single match, the finals, of doing so. He’d been sent to the loss side by Brian White and chalked up nine loss-side victories before earning a rematch and then, reaching an agreement not to play one and split the top two prizes.

With his eventual finals opponent already at work on the loss side, Brian White advanced to a winners’ side semifinal versus Ryan Hollingsworth. Billy Fowler, in the meantime, drew Rob Hart as his winners’ side semifinal challenger.

White advanced to the hot seat match with a 9-5 win over Hollingsworth and was joined by Fowler, who’d sent Hart west 9-7. White claimed the hot seat 9-5 over Fowler in what would prove to be his (White’s) last battle.

On the loss side, the other ‘White’ (Hunter) was working on loss-side win #7, having recently eliminated Zack Baker 7-5 and junior competitor, Landon Hollingsworth (no relation to Ryan) 7-1. White drew Hart. Ryan Hollingsworth drew Jacob Brooks, who’d defeated Josh Heeter, double hill and Clay Davis 7-1 to reach him.

White downed Hart 7-3, as Hollingsworth eliminated Brooks 7-2. White then defeated Hollingsworth in the quarterfinals 7-5. In what would turn out to be his final match, Hunter White downed Fowler 7-2 in the semifinals. The two ‘Whites’ opted out of the final, negotiated a split of the top two prizes, with Brian White as official winner and the 2nd Annual Carolina Cup was, as they say, in the books.

Tour director Herman Parker thanked Break & Run Billiards’ owners, Kevin Lawter and Tammy Collins for their hospitality, as well as title sponsor Viking Cues, BarPoolTables.net, Dirty South Grind Apparel Co., Diamond Brat, Federal Savings Bank’s Mortgage Division and AZBilliards. The next stop on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour, scheduled for Sept. 11-12, will be a $250-added event, to be hosted by Rock House Billiards in Gastonia, NC. 

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

Hunter White

NC Governor eases restrictions in the state

North Carolina’s Governor Roy Cooper signed an executive order last Friday (Feb. 26) that returned indoor service at bars and increased seating capacity for indoor sporting events in the state. In what he likened to a ‘dimmer switch,’ Governor Cooper, with the stroke of his pen, used that switch to increase participation in pool tournaments and set the full-blooded Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour back in motion. After months of restrictions which had inhibited Tour Director Herman Parker’s ability to schedule events at certain locations, the tour returned to (more or less) business as usual with an event over the weekend (Feb. 27-28).

According to the executive order, many indoor facilities that had faced some of the state’s strictest restrictions will now be allowed to reopen with limits. In an ‘umbrella’ list of such facilities, the designation of ‘gaming facilities’ was included and cleared the path for such businesses to open at 30% capacity, with a cap of 250 people. High school sporting events and outdoor amusement parks, with the same 30% capacity, were included in the lifting of restrictions, although parades are still off-limits. The executive order re-emphasized the need to continue masking and social distancing practices.

The Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour and many of its core group of regular competitors got right back to it, with this past weekend’s event drawing 87 entrants to Gate City Billiards Club in Greensboro, NC. The event was organized in part to help defray medical costs and assist the family of Alissa Murph, who, in a series of follow-ups to a routine doctor visit, discovered that she had cancer. In all, the event raised close to $2,000 for Murph and her family.

Late on Sunday night (or early Monday morning, depending on how you look at it), Hunter White and BJ Ussery, though not forced to do so by any previously mandated curfews, agreed to a split of the event’s top two prizes. As the undefeated occupant of the hot seat at the time, White claimed the official event title.

White and Ussery did compete against each other, once, battling for the hot seat. White had sent Hank Powell to the loss side 9-4 in one of the winners’ side semifinals, as Ussery was busy sending Chad Snody over 12-4. White claimed the hot seat, winning what proved to be his last match, with a 9-9 victory over Ussery (Ussery racing to 12).

Snody and Powell got right back into the thick of things in their first matches on the loss side. Snody drew Barry Mashburn, who’d defeated Jeff Little 9-1 and moved into the first money round by eliminating Brent Kyles 9-3. Powell picked up Anthony Mabe, who’d gotten by Justin Knuckles and Bryan Pate, both 7-3.

Mashburn and Mabe both had their loss-side journeys terminated. Mashburn fell to Snody, double hill. Mabe was eliminated by Powell 7-3.

Powell took the quarterfinal over Snody 7-2 and then, due to the lateness of the hour and the prospect of a long drive home, forfeited the potential semifinal match versus Ussery. Ussery and White subsequently agreed to a split of the top two prizes and White’s official standing as the winner of the event.

Tour director Herman Parker thanked the ownership and staff at Gate City Billiards, as well as title sponsor Viking Cues, BarPoolTables.net, AZBilliards, Federal Savings Bank Mortgage Division and Dirty South Grind Apparel Co. The next stop on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour, scheduled for this weekend, March 6-7, will be a Scotch Doubles event, hosted by Jac’s All-American Billiards in Newport, TN.

Josh Roberts goes undefeated to win 1st Annual Carolina Cup Open

Kevin Lawter, Herman Parker, Josh Roberts, Tammy Collins and Hunter White

Held under the auspices of the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour, the $2,000-added inaugural Carolina Cup Open, held last weekend (Oct. 17-18), drew 77 entrants to Break & Run Billiards in Chesnee, SC. Many of them were tour veterans and some of them, cashing for the first time in a long time, thanks, of course, to the pandemic.

Josh Roberts, for example, who was runner-up to Randy Jordan at a Q City stop in Georgia in September has remained fairly active this year, cashing in seven events through March  (including three Derby City Classic tournaments) and then, taking a break until he appeared in that Q City event in Georgia. Hunter White, who’s won two stops on the tour this year (of four in which he’s cashed), hadn’t been heard from since mid-July. They met in the finals of the first Carolina Cup; Roberts, occupying the hot seat and White, winning five on the loss side for the right to face him. Roberts went undefeated to claim the inaugural title.

Roberts advanced through the field to arrive at a winners’ side semifinal match against Kelly Farrar. Josh O’Neal, in the meantime, after sending White to the loss side in a winners’ side quarterfinal, met up with BJ Ussery.

O’Neal sent Ussery to the loss side 9-7, as Roberts was busy dispatching Farrar 9-2. Roberts claimed the hot seat 9-4 over O’Neal and waited on White’s return.

White, in the meantime, had moved over and met up with Brian White (no relation) in the first money round. He defeated White 7-2 and then eliminated another Q City alum, Jeff Abernathy 7-3 to draw Farrar, coming over from the winners’ side semifinal. Ussery ran into 15-year-old Joey Tate, who’s more or less grown up on the tour. Tate had recently eliminated Clay Davis and Corey Morphew, both 7-3.

Morphew, who, according to our records, has been on the pool scene for about a decade now, had nothing but praise for the youngster who took him down.

“Great playing, kid,” he reportedly told him.

The ‘great playing’ continued. In his match against Ussery, Tate got out to a 6-3 lead which put him on the hill for advancement to the quarterfinals. Ussery pulled one of those proverbial ‘rabbits out of his hat’ and won four games in a row to win it 7-6. Hunter White, in the meantime, downed Kelly Farrar 7-5.

White then defeated Ussery in those quarterfinals 7-4. He took his final step toward a face-off against Roberts in the hot seat with a 7-4 victory over O’Neal in the semifinals.

According to tour director Herman Parker, Roberts played the final race-to-11 match as though he were late for a bus.

“It was 3-0 after about three minutes,” said Parker. “Josh plays very fast and once he comes out of the break, the rack can be over in about 45 seconds.”

Hunter White won four of the match’s 15 games. According to the 45-second-per-rack calculations, Roberts chalked up his 11 games in 8 minutes and 15 seconds to claim the inaugural Carolina Cup.

Tour directors Herman and Angela Parker thanked the ownership and staff at Break & Run Billiards, as well as title sponsor Viking Cues, Bar Pool Tables, JB Magic Templates, AZBilliards, Tickler Pool Ball Washing Machine, Skyline Construction, Federal Savings Bank Mortgage Division and Dirty South Grind Apparel Co. The next stop on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour, scheduled for this weekend, Oct. 24-25, will be a $300-added event, hosted by a new venue, Kickshot Billiards in Phelps, KY.

White comes from the loss side to double dip Ritchie in Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball event

Hunter White

Hunter White chalked up his second 2020 win on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour, one week shy of six months after winning the first one on the weekend of January 25-26. On the weekend of July 18-19, with tour director Herman Parker still recovering at home from a heart-related problem and Angela Parker ably filling in, the tour moved into Randolph’s Billiards in Hickory, NC. White and Chuck Ritchie played twice in this one, with White winning both sets of the true double elimination final. The event drew 31 entrants to the site.

White and Ritchie made it to their respective winners’ side semifinals. Ritchie advanced to the hot seat with a 7-5 win over Zac Leonard. White, though, got sent to the loss side 9-2 by Junior Young who turned to face Ritchie in the hot seat match. Ritchie won it 7-2 and waited on what turned out to be the return of White.

White opened his loss-side campaign against Sammy Manley, who’d defeated Hank Powell 5-2 and Junior Gabriel, double hill, to reach him. Leonard picked up junior player, Landon Hollingsworth, who’d eliminated Clint Clark, double hill, and Jeff Abernathy 6-1.

White downed Manley 9-2 and in the quarterfinals, was to have faced Leonard, who’d defeated Hollingsworth 7-5. White was able to leapfrog into the semifinals, when Leonard failed to appear on Sunday.

White downed Junior Young 9-1 in those semifinals. White thus completed his loss-side trip back to the finals having given up only three racks over 21 games.

The momentum served White well. He downed Ritchie 9-3 in the opening set, and though Ritchie would force a deciding game in the second set, White would that one as well, 9-6.

Tour director Angela Parker (and in absentia, Herman) thanked the ownership and staff at Randolph’s Billiards, as well as title sponsor Viking Cues, Bar Pool Tables, Delta 13 Racks, AZBilliards, Tickler Pool Ball Washing Machine, Skyline Construction, Federal Savings Bank Mortgage Division and Dirty South Grind Apparel Co. The next stop on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour, scheduled for this weekend (July 25-26), will be a $500-added event, hosted by Break & Run Billiards in Chesnee, SC.

Bumgarner goes undefeated to take 53-entrant Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball stop in Hickory, NC

The numbers came as a bit of surprise to tour directors Herman and Angela Parker, who were expecting a modest but respectable 30-or-so players to show up for the June 6-7 stop on their Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour. Instead, the event, hosted by Randolph Billiards in Hickory, NC played host to 53 entrants. Mike Bumgarner, who, according to our records, entered the tournament looking for his first win on the tour, found it. He went undefeated through the field, downing separate opponents in the hot seat match (Dalton Messer) and final (Hunter White).

Bumgarner and Zac Leonard met in one of the winners’ side semifinals, as Messer and Hunter White met in the other one. Bumgarner sent Leonard to the loss side 7-4, and was joined in the hot seat by Messer, who’d defeated White, double hill (6-8 with White racing to 9). Bumgarner sent Messer to a second meeting against White in the semifinals, claiming the hot set 7-2.

On the loss side, Hunter White began his trip back to the finals against Jose Irizarry, who’d defeated Jeff Abernathy (racing to 9) 6-2 and picked up a forfeit victory over Hunter Zayas to reach him. Zac Leonard drew Matt Harrell, who’d recently eliminated Travis Guerra 7-3 and Bobby McGrath 7-6 (McGrath racing to 10).

White defeated Irizarry 9-2, as Harrell and Leonard duked it out in a double hill fight that did eventually send Harrell 7-6 to the quarterfinals against White. White then promptly shut Harrell out to earn a second shot against Messer in the semifinals.

White gave up only a single rack to Messer in those semifinals, finishing his three-match, loss-side trip with a 27-3 game record. He gave up a little over twice as many racks to Bumgarner in the final than he’d given up in his three matches on the loss side. With White racing to 9, Bumgarner prevailed 7-7 to claim his first tour title.

The Parkers thanked the ownership and staff at Randolph’s Billiards, as well as title sponsor Viking Cues, Bar Pool Tables, Delta 13 Racks, AZBilliards, and Tickler Pool Ball Washing Machine. The next stop on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour, scheduled for this weekend (June 13-14), will be hosted by Janet Atwell at her room in Bristol, TN, Borderline Billiards.