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

Richard West

Next up – a $2K-added event in Spartanburg with $48K Shaw/Bergman matchup in the wings
Richard West and BJ Ussery are among of group of Southern-state pool veterans who’ve been competing for over a decade on a variety of Southern-based pool tours. Though they’ve been more or less absent over the past few years, they, and others like Keith Bennett and Phillip “Skibo” Britt have begun to re-emerge and compete on the clockwork-regular, Southern-state- based Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour. On the weekend of February 2-3, at a $500-added event, hosted by Speak Eazy Billiards in Sanford, NC, they, along with Anthony Mabe, who won a stop on the tour in January, were the last five of 31 entrants standing; West in the hot seat, with “Skibo” facing Mabe, and Ussery preparing to battle Bennett in the first money round.
West would end up with the official event title, when he and Ussery, following the opening set of a true double elimination final, decided against a second set and chose to split the top two prizes. James McColl (aka Shaft) would finish in third place, “Skibo” in fourth and Mabe and Bennett finishing in the tie for fifth place.
Moving into the winners’ side semifinal of this one, it was McColl (Shaft) against Mabe and West against Ussery (in their first of two). Shaft downed Mabe 7-3 and in the hot seat match, faced West, who defeated Ussery 6-5 (Ussery racing to 11). West claimed the hot seat over Shaft 6-4.
Mabe and Ussery were automatically ‘in the money’ as they moved to the loss side. Mabe drew “Skibo” Britt, who’d defeated Tanya Parsley 9-2 and Brian Francis 9-3 to reach him. Ussery drew long-time adversary Keith Bennett, who’d eliminated Billie Spatafora 11-1 and Kelly Farrar 11-3.
“Skibo” and Mabe battled to double hill before “Skibo” closed it out 9-6 and advanced to the quarterfinals. The two Southern-state-tour veterans, Ussery and Bennett, in a match that could have featured 21 games in a straight-up race to 11, went 16, with Ussery advancing 11-5 to the quarterfinals.
Then it was Ussery and “Skibo”s turn; “Skibo” starting with ‘two on the wire’ in a race to 11. Ussery eliminated him 11-3 and turned to face Shaft (McColl) in the semifinals. Ussery gave up just a single rack to Shaft and advanced to his rematch against West in the finals.
Ussery commanded the opening set of the true double elimination final 11-1. At that point, he and West, tied 1-1 in matches, opted out of a second set and split the top two prizes.
Tour directors Herman and Angela Parker thanked the ownership and staff at Speak Eazy 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 Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour will be a $2,000-added event, hosted by Steakhorse Restaurant & Billiards in Spartanburg, SC, this weekend (February 9-10). The Parkers have limited the field to 128 (“no exceptions”), which, under normal circumstances, wouldn’t happen. Normally, there’d be no need to enforce a 128-player field.
For further information about the Viking Cues’ Q-City 9-Ball Tour’s $2K-added event, call Tour Directors Herman and Angela Parker at 336-686-5360.