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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.

Garcia and Martin split top prizes on 1st stop back for the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour

Roland Garcia

Five days before the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour got back to the business of pool tournaments, the governor of South Carolina, Henry McMaster, gave restaurants in the state the ‘green light’ to open up at 50% capacity. A day later (May 12), he signed an Executive Order extending South Carolina’s specific State of Emergency for 15 days, while noting that as of that day, the state had identified 7,927 cases of COVID-19, to include 355 deaths. According to Tour Director Herman Parker, that occupancy percentage was adhered to during the tour’s two-day stay at Break & Run Billiards in Chesnee, SC, where, this past weekend (May 16-17), Roland Garcia and Justin Martin split the top prizes at the $500-added event that drew 52 entrants. Parker estimated that total occupancy at any given time during the two-day event was about 80 people and that while no one was utilizing masks, an informal social distance protocol was able to be maintained.

 

Garcia and Martin opted to split the event’s top two prizes shortly after Martin won the first set of a true double elimination final on Sunday evening, thereby evening their match results at that point to 1-1. Garcia was declared the official winner of the event.

 

They’d met first in a winners’ side semifinal, as Justin Duncan and Landon Hollingsworth met in the other one. Garcia sent Martin to the loss side 12-4 (Martin racing to 10). Duncan dispatched Hollingsworth to the left bracket 6-4, and then, followed him over when Garcia downed him 6-4 to claim the hot seat.

 

On the loss side, Martin began his trek back to the finals against Sammy Manley, who’d defeated Clint Clark 5-6 (Clark racing to 8) and Billy Fowler 5-7 (Fowler, racing to 9). Hollingsworth picked up Hunter White, who’d lost his opening match to Romy Malonzo, and then embarked on an eight-match, loss-side winning streak that had most recently included victories over Jacob Brooks 9-4 and Kelly Piercy 9-2.

 

The four of them played 22 games for the right to advance to the quarterfinals. Manley and Hollingsworth won only three of those 22; Manley chalking up two against Martin and Hollingsworth managing only one against White.

 

Martin ended White’s eight-game winning streak 10-6 in those quarterfinals and then, spoiled Duncan’s hopes for a re-match against Garcia with a 10-4 victory over him. With that ever-intangible, though never underestimated ‘loss-side momentum,’ Martin battled Garcia to double hill in the opening set of the true double elimination final and then won it, to force a second set.

 

They didn’t play it. They opted to split the top two prizes and allow Garcia to claim the official event title.

 

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, Delta 13 Racks, AZBilliards, and Tickler Pool Ball Washing Machine. The next stop on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour is being planned. Visit the tour’s Facebook page for specific information on the date and time.

 

South takes two out of three versus Gabriel to win his first Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour stop

Gary South

When your finalists are battling to win their first event on your tour, you stick around to let them decide it on the table. When you’re either one of the finalists, you battle aches, pains and fatigue  to get it done and claim your first event title. Gary South and Junior Gabriel battled three times during the March 7 (and a few hours into March 8) stop on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour and were chasing dawn when they broke the last rack of the 31 games they played. South won 20 of those games and two of the matches to claim his first (recorded) regional tour win, anywhere.
 
It was Gabriel’s second runner-up finish on the tour, having finished 2nd at a stop last August at the same location – Break & Run Billiards in Chesnee, SC. He’d won seven on the loss side during that event to face Hunter White in the finals. As he did this past weekend, he won the opening set of the true double elimination final, but dropped the second. It happened to be Hunter White’s birthday. This most recent $500-added event, which drew 39 entrants to Break & Run Billiards was the fourth cash finish on the tour for both South and Gabriel and the best finish of all of them for South.
 
They both advanced to winners’ side semifinal matches; South, against junior player Landon Hollingsworth and Gabriel versus Randy Tate. South sent Hollingsworth to the loss side 7-5 and in their first of three, battling for the hot seat, faced Gabriel, who’d sent Tate over 6-3. South gave up only a single rack to Gabriel and claimed his first hot seat.
 
Landon Hollingsworth and Tate got right back to work on the loss side. Hollingsworth picked up Trey Frank, who’d defeated Sydney Cork and Brian Ervin, both 7-1, to reach him. Tate drew Billy Fowler, last year’s Bar Box Tour Champion, who’d eliminated Aaron McClure 9-3 and Ryan Hollingsworth (no relation to Landon) 9-1.
 
Landon Hollingsworth downed Frank 6-3 and in the quarterfinals, faced Tate, who’d eliminated Fowler 6-5 (Fowler racing to 9). The junior player, Hollingsworth defeated Tate 6-2 in those quarterfinals, but couldn’t get past Junior Gabriel, who ended the youngster’s night with a 6-3 victory in the semifinals.
 
With their first major event victory on the line, it was no surprise that the opening set of the true double elimination final went double hill. Gabriel won it to force a second set. South won that 7-4 to claim the event title.
 
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, Delta 13 Racks, AZBilliards, and Tickler Pool Ball Washing Machine. The next stop on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour, scheduled for March 14-15, will be a $500-added event, hosted by Mickey Milligan’s in New Bern, NC.

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

Hunter White

Hunter White won four stops on the 2019 Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour, but didn’t win his first that year until August. The year proved to be his best earnings year, eclipsing his efforts in 2016, when he chalked up three victories on the tour. White got himself off to a quicker start this year and on the weekend of January 25-26, recorded his first 2020 tour win, albeit with an asterisk, because he and Ed Hernando opted out of a final match. The $500-added event drew 39 entrants to Break & Run Billiards in Chesnee, SC.
 
White and junior player Landon Hollingsworth battled for the hot seat in this one. White defeated Trey Frank 9-4 in one of the winners’ side semifinals; Frank, having been responsible for sending Hernando to the loss side just prior to facing White. Hollingsworth, in the meantime,  was busy shutting out Dalton Messer in the other winners’ side semifinal. White claimed the hot seat 9-4 over Hollingsworth in what proved to be White’s final match.
 
On the loss side, in the first money rounds, Messer drew Hernando, who, following his defeat at the hands of Trey Frank, had defeated Michael Dill 7-2 and Steve Ellis 7-3. Trey Frank picked up Thomas Manley, who’d defeated Josh Shultz, double hill, and spoiled a potential father-son quarterfinal by defeating Trey Frank’s father, Ron 5-3.
 
Messer forfeited his match against Hernando, who leapfrogged right into the quarterfinals. He was joined by Manley, who’d spoiled a Hernando/Frank rematch by defeating Trey Frank 5-3. Hernando finished Manley’s bid 7-4 in the quarterfinals that followed.
 
In the night’s last match, the semifinals, Hernando completed his five-match, loss-side run with a 7-1 victory over Hollingsworth. White and Hernando opted out of the final match, split the top two prizes and called it a night.
 
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, Delta 13 Racks, AZ Billiards and Professor Q-Ball. The next stop on the tour, scheduled for Feb. 1-2, will be hosted by Gate City Billiards in Greensboro, NC.

“Jaybird” comes back from hot seat loss to down Roberts and claim NC State One Pocket crown

(l to r): Josh Roberts, TD Herman Parker, Speakeazy owner Jimmy Bullis & Josh Roberts

Jason “Jaybird” Brown and Josh Roberts have been battling at the game of One Pocket since, for sure, as far back as 2008, when they met in Lexington, SC at a Grady Matthews’ Legends of One Pocket event. “Jaybird” won and Roberts finished 4th. Roberts has been generally more active in One Pocket since then, cashing in (as far as we know) 27 events, winning six of them and placing 5th in one of them, playing one-handed; the Derby City Classic's One-Handed, One Pocket Mini in 2010. Our records indicate that Brown has cashed in 12 One Pocket events in that same time frame, though he’s won a slightly larger percentage; three out of that 12, including the 2008 win, one on the Lone Star Billiards Tour in 2011 and most recently, claiming the Super Billiards Expo’s 2015 One Pocket Player’s Championship, after defeating Corey Deuel twice, including in the finals.
 
So these two established ‘legends of One Pocket’ met again on the long weekend of November 15-17 to battle for the North Carolina State Open One Pocket title on the Q City 9-Ball Tour, sponsored by Beasley Custom Cues. Not surprisingly, they met twice – hot seat and finals – with Roberts winning the former and “Jaybird” winning the latter to claim the event title. The $2,000-added event ($500 from the room, $1,500 from Beasley Custom Cues) drew 30 entrants to Speakeazy Billiards in Sanford, NC, which, by the way, will host the coming weekend’s NC State 10-Ball Open (Nov. 23-24).
 
Roberts and Brown advanced to their respective winners’ side semifinal matches with Roberts facing Ron Frank and Brown squaring off against Hunter White. Roberts sent Frank over to the loss side 3-1. Brown joined him in the hot seat match after dispatching White, double hill. Roberts took the first of two against Brown 3-1 and sat in the hot seat.
 
On the loss side, two other strong contenders in the general One Pocket sweepstakes were still in business. One had defeated the other on the winners’ side and both were there when Frank and White joined them after the winners’ side semifinals. White picked up Tony Chohan, who’d sent Mike Davis to the loss side and was in the midst of a six-match, loss-side winning streak that would take him to the semifinals and included recent wins over Derek Leonard and Redgie Cutler, both 3-1. Frank picked up Davis, who’d most recently chalked up two straight shutouts over Christian Stevens and Norris Brady.
 
By identical 3-1 scores, Chohan and Davis eliminated White and Frank and squared off for their quarterfinal rematch. A somewhat predictable, double hill battle ensued; one of only two in the tournament’s final 14 matches. Chohan prevailed in what proved to be his last win.
 
“Jaybird” defeated Chohan 3-1 in the semifinals that followed to earn his rematch against Roberts in the hot seat. What the table giveth, the table can also taketh away. With the intangible, though indisputable advantage of momentum (especially given the average length of One Pocket matches), the “Jaybird” defeated Chohan in the finals 4-2 to claim the NC State One Pocket Open title.
 
Tour directors Herman and Angela Parker thanked Speakeazy owners, Jimmy and Wendy Bullis, and their staff for hosting the event, as well as Beasley Custom Cues and its owner, Doug Beasley, for his ongoing support of the games. As noted above, the Q City 9-Ball Tour will return to Speakeazy Billiards this coming weekend to host the $2,000-added NC State 10-Ball Open.