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Robertson goes undefeated to chalk up his first win on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour

Michael Robertson

It was already his best recorded earnings year. By a lot. It’s also been something of a return-to-the-tables year for one Michael Robertson, whose last recorded cash finish on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour, prior to three this year, was five years ago, when he finished 9th in the 2016 Tour Championships. If he’s of a mind to, he’ll get another crack at the Tour Championships in a couple of weeks. This past weekend (Nov. 20-21), Robertson went undefeated to claim his first recorded event title at a tour stop that drew 60 entrants to Gate City Billiards Club in Greensboro, NC.

Robertson and Travis Guerra battled twice in this one; Guerra, looking for his first tour win since his best recorded earnings year, 2017. Robertson had downed Don Lilly 6-3 in one of the winners’ side semifinals, as Guerra was busy sending Buzzy Gonzalez over 6-5 (Gonzalez racing to 7). They fought to double hill in their first meeting and it was Robertson who claimed the hot seat.

On the loss side, Lilly and Gonzalez walked right into their second straight loss. Lilly had drawn Justin Knuckles, who’d shut out Jon Kochanski, and then, eliminated both Matt Hall and Don Lilly, double hill. Gonzalez picked up Jason Rogers, who, defeated by Robertson in the second winners’ side round 6-5 (Rogers racing to 8), was working on an eight-match, loss-side winning streak that would carry him to the semifinals. He eliminated John Walker 8-2 and in the first money round, Ricky Carcamo 8-3, before ending Gonzalez’ weekend, double hill.

Rogers took one more step forward, downing Knuckles 8-3 in the quarterfinals. Guerra put a stop to that loss-side run in the semifinals 6-6 (Rogers again racing to 8). Robertson completed his undefeated, first win on the tour with a 6-4 victory in the finals.

Tour director Herman Parker thanked the ownership and staff at Gate City Billiards for their hospitality, as well as title sponsor Viking Cues, BarPoolTables.net, Dirty South Grind Apparel Co., Realty One Group Results, Diamond Brat, AZBilliards.com, and Federal Savings Bank Mortgage Division. The next stop on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour, scheduled for the weekend of Dec. 4-5, will be the 9th Annual, $1,000-added Tour Championships, which will be hosted by Janet Atwell in her room, Borderline Billiards in Bristol, TN.

Weachter goes undefeated, takes home first Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour title

Chad Weachter

Based on what we know, Chad Weachter took home more money winning this past weekend’s stop on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour (Sat., Oct. 16), than he’d earned in his last (and only) two cash finishes on the tour since 2017. In the meantime, the event’s runner-up, Justin Knuckles, with (now) four cash finishes on the tour this year (three times as runner-up and once, finishing third), won seven matches on the loss side for the right to meet Weachter in the finals. The event drew 28 entrants to Buck’s Billiards in Raleigh, NC.

Weachter and Knuckles met first in the second round of play and locked up in a double hill fight for advancement. Weachter won their first battle and advanced through the field for a winners’ side semifinal matchup against Paul Johnson. Robert Perez faced Jason Rogers in the other one.

Weachter got into the hot seat match with a 6-2 win over Johnson, as Perez downed Rogers 6-5 (Rogers racing to 8). Weachter claimed the hot seat, double hill, over Perez.

On the loss side, it was Johnson who drew Justin Knuckles, five matches into his seven-match loss-side run. Knuckles had just shutout Billie Spatafora and sent Logan Mook packing 6-2. Rogers picked up Delton Howard, who’d eliminated Jan Bailey 7-1 and Dale Lloyd, double hill, to reach him. 

Knuckles chalked up loss-side win #5, 6-2, over Johnson, as Rogers was busy dropping Howard 8-4. Win #6 for Knuckles was a double hill win in the quarterfinals over Rogers. Knuckles completed his loss-side run with a shutout over Robert Perez in the semifinals.

Two competitors, each looking for their first win on the tour, squared off in a true double elimination final. It required only a single set. Weachter defeated Knuckles a second time, 6-4, to claim his first tour title. 

Tour director Herman Parker thanked the ownership and staff at Buck’s Billiards, 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 this weekend (Oct. 23-24), will be a handicapped, Scotch Doubles tournament, hosted by Corner Pocket in Fayetteville, NC. 

Ringgold chalks up 11th tour victory on Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour

JT Ringgold

 

JT Ringgold continues to solidify his position as the top winner on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour. On the weekend of June 23-24, he added his 11th victory on the tour. His closest competitor in the category is James Blackburn, who, to date, has won five times on the tour. The $500-added weekend event drew 41 entrants to Speakeazy Billiards in Sanford, NC.
 
Ringgold came within a match of going undefeated. Barry Mashburn won five on the loss side for the right to meet him in the true double elimination finals and won the opening set. Ringgold took the second set to claim the title.
 
Mashburn was sent to the loss side in a winners’ side quarterfinal match against Jason Rogers, who advanced to meet David Brown in one of the winners’ side semifinals. Ringgold and Joshua Shultz squared off in the other one. Brown sent Rogers to the loss side 8-4, and in the hot seat match, faced Ringgold, who’d defeated Shultz 10-4. Ringgold claimed the hot seat 10-5 over Brown and waited on the return of Mashburn.
 
Mashburn opened his loss-side run by giving up only a single rack over his first two matches; one to Anthony Mabe and none at all versus Dylan Letchworth. This set Mashburn up to face Shultz. Rogers drew Stevie McClinton, who’d eliminated Don Lilly, 7-6 and Donnie Stewart 7-1 to reach him.
 
Mashburn jumped immediately into the quarterfinals, when Shultz forfeited (citing a prior commitment, Shultz had left on Saturday). Mashburn was joined in the quarterfinals by McClinton, who’d defeated Rogers 7-5.
 
Mashburn took the quarterfinal 9-4, and then, defeated Brown in the semifinals 9-5. Carrying the familiar ‘momentum sword,’ Mashburn took the opening set of the true double elimination final 9-4 (Ringgold racing to 10). Ringgold then demonstrated the skill and experience that had, to that point, earned him 10 Q City 9-Ball titles. He defeated Mashburn 10-5 in the second set to claim his 11th title.
 
Tour directors Herman and Angela Parker thanked Jim Bullis and his Speakeazy staff for their hospitality, 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 this weekend (June 30-July 1) will be a $200-added event, hosted by Pal’s Billiards in Piedmont, SC.
 

Rogers gives up one, wins second set of finals to win Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball stop

Jason Rogers

Jason Rogers has been climbing steps in a victory ladder in this early going of 2018, although not in strict order. It’s been his best recorded earnings year, to date, and it’s only March. In competition on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour, he finished 5th on Jan. 6-7, was runner-up three weeks later, and a week after that (Feb. 3), he stepped down a rung to finish third. On the weekend of March 24-25, he found himself in the hot seat, and though he’d be defeated in the opening set of a true double elimination final by Jason Brattain, he rallied to win the second set and claim the event title, his first on the tour since August of 2015. This most recent event drew 40 entrants to Brown’s Billiards in Raleigh, NC.

 
The Rogers/Brattain matchup at the end almost happened early. Rogers advanced to a winners’ side semifinal against Frank Owens (who’d just sent Brattain to the loss side), while Anthony Mabe faced Brian Beckham in the other one. Rogers and Mabe gave up one rack each to their respective opponents; Rogers downing Owens 8-1 and Mabe defeating Beckham 7-1. Rogers and Mabe battled to double hill in the hot seat match, and were it not for the final game, Rogers might have faced Brattain in the semifinals. Rogers won that deciding game, and it was Mabe who moved over to the semifinals.
 
Owens and Beckham moved to the loss side and immediately ran into their second straight loss. Owens’ loss was a forfeit, prompted by his absence on the tournament’s second day. Advancing automatically to the quarterfinals was Randall Bowman, who’d defeated Jesse White 7-4, and Tyson Key 7-2. Beckham ran into Brattain, who’d defeated Josh Padron, double hill, and Justin Martin 6-5 (Martin racing to 10). Brattain downed Beckham 6-2 to join Bowman in the quarterfinal match.
 
Brattain then defeated Bowman 6-4 in those quarterfinals. Moving on to the semifinals, he eliminated Mabe 6-5 (Mabe racing to 7).
 
With Rogers racing to 8, Brattain took the opening set of the true double elimination final 6-5. Rogers, though, came back to win the second set 8-4 and claim the event title.
 
Tour directors Herman and Angela Parker thanked the ownership and staff at Brown’s 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 March 31-April 1, will be hosted by Randolph’s Billiards in Hickory, NC.
 

Bryant double dips Reece to grab Q City 9-Ball title

Brian Bryant

Brian Bryant came back from a loss in a winners’ side semifinal to successfully defeat the opponent that had sent him to the loss side, and then, double dip hot seat occupant, Avery Reece, to win the February 10-11 stop on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour. The event drew 46 entrants to Brass Tap in Raleigh, NC.
 
The event results hinged (more or less) on the battle for the hot seat, which determined whether Bryant would face an equal strength opponent, who’d already defeated him once, or a lower-strength opponent in the double elimination finals. Bryant was sent to the loss side by fellow “8” competitor, Jason Rogers 8-3 in one of the winners’ side semifinals. Reece, in the meantime, racing to 6, sent Anthony Mabe west 6-4 in the other one. Reece and Rogers battled to double hill for the hot seat, with Reece winning it 6-7 and Rogers moving over to the loss side for a re-match against Bryant in the semifinals.
 
On the loss side, Bryant ran into Scott Roberts (another player racing to 8), who’d defeated Lee O’Neal and J.R. Post, both 8-4 to reach him. Mabe picked up Cameron Lawhorne, who’d eliminated Cody Jones 5-1 and Jesse White 5-2.
 
Bryant downed Roberts 8-4, as Mabe just did defeat Lawhorne, double hill. Bryant took the double hill quarterfinal match over Mabe 8-6.
 
Bryant turned to his semifinal re-match against Rogers; in effect, thanks to the hot seat result, having to face an equal strength opponent only once (albeit, an opponent who’d defeated him previously), before facing a lower-strength opponent twice in the double elimination finals. Bryant defeated Rogers 8-5 in those semifinals and then, double-dipped Reece – 8-3, 8-2 – in the finals to claim the event title.
 
Tour directors Herman and Angela Parker thanked the ownership and staff at Brass Tap, 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 the weekend of February 17-18, will be hosted by The Clubhouse in Lynchburg, VA.

Lilly wins second Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball stop in a row

Don Lilly

When you get a wily veteran into the hot seat of a handicapped tournament, it’s hard to envision him (or sometimes, her) relinquishing it by losing two in a row in a double elimination final. That, however, is exactly what happened during the February 3-4 stop on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour. Mark Tademy, who’s been around long enough (and more) to have been a part of the ‘noble experiment’ known as the International Pool Tour (IPT) just over a dozen years ago, joined a roster of 42 entrants at the Gate City Billiards Club in Greensboro, NC, and advanced through the field to the hot seat. In the double elimination finals, however, he ran into Don Lilly, winner of the January 27-28 stop on the tour (and something of a wily veteran himself), who’d been sent to the loss side in the event’s third round and battled through seven, loss-side matches to reach the finals, double-dip Tademy and claim the event title.
 
Lilly, it should be noted, ended up in more or less the same position, as his finals opponent in the January 27-28 stop; Jason Rogers won nine on the loss side to face Lilly in the finals of that one, only to be defeated in the opening set of the true double elimination final. With Lilly at work on the loss side, Tademy (racing to 10 throughout the tournament) faced Dalton Messer in one winners’ side semifinal, as Alex Valencia squared off against Steve Reece (the tour’s 2017 Tour Champion) in the other one.
 
Tademy downed Messer 10-4 (double hill), as Valencia sent Reece to the loss side 6-4. Tademy gave up only a single rack to Valencia in the hot seat match, and appeared poised to chalk up an undefeated run.
 
With two notches on his loss-side belt, Lilly defeated Zac Leonard 6-2, and NYC-area visitor, Oscar Bonilla 6-6 (Bonilla, like Tademy, racing to 10). This set Lilly up to face Reece. Messer drew Steve Hughes, who’d sent Lilly to the loss side, and after joining him, defeated Shyne Barnes and Cody Jones, both 7-3.
 
Lilly and Hughes advanced to a re-match in the quarterfinals; Lilly, 6-1 over Reece and Hughes, 7-3 over Messer. Lilly successfully wreaked vengeance on Hughes in those quarterfinals against Hughes, defeating him 6-2 and advancing to face Valencia in the semifinals. A double match ensued there, eventually advancing Lilly to the finals against Tademy.
 
The opening set of the true double elimination final came within a game of double hill, but Lilly closed it out at 6-8 and they moved to the second set. Tademy failed to chalk up a single rack in the second set, and according to tour director Herman Parker, was reluctant, at first, to claim his runner-up prize money. He did, eventually, as did Lilly, who claimed his second Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball title in a row.
 
Tour directors Herman and Angela Parker thanked the ownership and staff at the Gate City Billiards Club, 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 the weekend of February 10-11, will be hosted by Brass Tap in Raleigh, NC.

Rogers falls just short, Lilly survives double hill final to win Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball stop

Don Lilly

If your favorite dictionary doesn’t define ‘frustration’ with pictures of countless pool players who’ve endured long, loss-side journeys, only to be defeated, double hill, in a tournament final, it probably should. Jason Rogers qualified for this hypothetical photo gallery by losing his opening match and winning nine on the loss side to reach the finals of the January 27-28 stop on the Viking Cues’ Q City-9-Ball Tour, hosted by Corner Pockets in Fayetteville, NC. Rogers was defeated in that final match by Don Lilly, who, in so doing, completed an undefeated run through a field of 34, a little less than a quarter of which (8) were women.
 
One of those women, Lauren Kauffman, was responsible for sending Rogers to the loss side in the opening round of play. She would go on to earn free entry to a future tournament for being the top female finisher at the event. Rogers, in the meantime, began his loss-side trek, as Lilly advanced to a winners’ side semifinal against Bo Blakely. Walt Baldwin and Phillip Skibo squared off in the other one.
 
Lilly and Blakely battled to double hill before Lilly advanced to the hot seat match. He was joined by Baldwin, who’d sent Skibo to the loss side 8-7 (Skibo racing to 9). Lilly claimed the hot seat 6-4 over Baldwin and waited for what would turn out to be some anxious moments in his final match against Rogers.
 
On the loss side, Rogers and his opening round opponent, Kauffman, worked their way toward a meeting just outside the first money round. With four notches on his loss-side belt, Rogers downed a player known only as “Shaft” 8-4, while Kauffman defeated Blade Best, double hill. Both matches in the battle for 7th/8th place saw the winners shut out their opponents; Rogers’ re-match against Kauffman (8-0) and Mickey Hucks’ victory over Billie Spatafora (6-0).
 
Rogers drew Blakely, while Hucks picked up Skibo. Rogers and Hucks advanced to the quarterfinals; Rogers 8-2 over Blakely and Hucks 6-3 over Skibo. Rogers gave up only a single rack to Hucks and won the quarterfinal match. He gave up three to win the semifinal against Baldwin 8-3.
 
Rogers, with the higher handicap, was racing to 8 in the final, with Lilly racing to 6. They battled to double hill before Lilly finished it to complete his undefeated run.
 
Tour directors Herman and Angela Parker thanked the ownership and staff at Corner Pockets, along with 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 the weekend of February 2-3, will be hosted by Gate City Billiards Club in Greensboro, NC.

Bryan goes undefeated to take season opener of 2018 Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour

Adam Bryan

 

Adam Bryan chalked up back-to-back 6-3 wins in the hot seat match and finals, against different opponents, to complete an undefeated run on the season opener of the 2018 Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour. The $250-added event, held on the weekend of January 6-7, drew 37 entrants to Mickey Milligan’s in New Bern, NC.
 
Bryan advanced to a winners’ side semifinal against Dave Brown, as Richard Limo squared off against Brian Lane in the other one. Bryan defeated Brown 7-5, and in the hot seat match, faced Limo, who’d sent Lane to the loss side 5-3. Bryan claimed the hot seat over Limo in the first of his two straight 6-3 wins, and waited on what turned out to be the return of Lane.
 
On the loss side, Lane picked up Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball veteran J.T. Ringgold, who’d defeated Chris Hiatt 10-3 and Zach Leonard 10-1 to reach him. Brown drew Jason Rogers, who’d eliminated Cody Murphy 8-2 and Kenny Daughtrey 8-6.
 
Brown and Lane got right back to work, eliminating Rogers and Ringgold; Brown, 7-5 over Rogers and Lane, 5-6 over Ringgold (Ringgold racing to 10). With Brown racing to 7, Lane won the quarterfinal match 5-5.
 
Lane won his semifinal re-match against Limo 5-2. Bryan completed his undefeated run with a second 6-3 win, this time over Lane, in the finals.
 
Tour directors Herman and Angela Parker thanked the ownership and staff at Mickey Milligan’s, as well as title sponsor Viking Cues, Delta 13 Racks, AZBilliards and Professor Q Ball.
 

Junior National Champion Tate chalks up ‘official’ win on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour

Joey Tate

It is not often that a final tournament match is called off because one of the competitors has to get to school in the morning. Such was the case on Saturday, October 15, when 12-year-old Joey Tate, winner of the Billiard Education Foundation’s Junior National Championships (14 and under division) last month in Las Vegas, and Corey Sykes opted out of a final match on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour. Tate had defeated Sykes in the hot seat match, but Sykes took the first set of a true double elimination final before the decision not to play a second set was made. As the hot seat occupant, Tate became the event’s ‘official’ winner, chalking up his first regional tour win. The event drew 22 entrants to Brass Tap in Raleigh, NC.
 
Originally from the Chicago area, Tate and his family have relocated to the Raleigh area, making Brass Tap something of a home room for the youngster. It might be a little early to start thinking of him as the ‘house pro’ of the room, but his performance in this most recent event is certainly a qualifying credential. He and Sykes advanced to the winners’ side semifinals, with Tate facing Michael Chapman and Sykes squaring off against another, slightly older junior player, Peter Abatangelo. Tate sent Chapman to the loss side in a double hill battle, while Sykes defeated Abatangelo 10-3. With Tate racing to 6 (a number that will likely rise in the weeks and months ahead) and Sykes racing to 10, the two fought to a deciding game, won by Tate, giving him a 6-9 win and possession of his first hot seat.
 
On the loss side, Chapman picked up Jason Rogers, who’d defeated Mike Rowe 9-4 and Randall Bowman, double hill, to reach him. Abatangelo drew Ryan Tremblay, who’d eliminated Ben Spivey 6-2 and Greg Pullman 6-3. Rogers downed Chapman double hill and in the quarterfinals, faced Tremblay, who’d ended the junior’s tournament with a 6-4 win.
 
Rogers won the quarterfinal match over Tremblay, double hill (9-5), and was then eliminated, double hill (10-8), by Sykes in the semifinals. It proved to be the last of six double hill matches among the event’s final 12 competitors. Sykes took the opening set of the true double elimination 10-3 over Tate, at which point, they opted out of a second set. Tate will be travelling to Moscow in about a month to represent the US in the Junior World Championships, and as a result, is working ahead of time (even on Sundays) at making up the three weeks of school he’ll miss while competing in the event. The added workload was a factor in their mutual decision not to pursue a deciding match.
 
Tour directors Herman and Angela Parker thanked the ownership and staff at Brass Tap, 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 October 21-22, will be hosted by Borderline Billiards in Bristol, TN.  
 

Sykes and Ringgold split top prizes on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour

Corey Sykes

On Saturday, September 23, in the midst of his best recorded earnings year to date at the pool table, Corey Sykes chalked up an official win on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour. He completed the tournament undefeated, though he would split the top two prizes with his finals’ opponent, J.T. Ringgold, because by mutual agreement, they opted out of playing a final match. The event drew 27 entrants to Brown’s Billiards in Raleigh, NC.
 
 
 
Their shared victory was almost overshadowed by a preponderance of young talent that appeared in this event. Three of the event’s final 12 competitors (25%) had yet to complete high school. One of them, Joey Tate, who was playing on his home turf (he lives in Raleigh, NC), has yet to enter high school. Tate, who won the Boys 14 & Under division of this past August’s BEF Junior Nationals, is 12 years old, and came within a single match of being the person with whom Sykes negotiated to split the event’s top two prizes. It was his third appearance on the tour, having previously gone two and out, and finished in fourth place.
 
 
 
Tate advanced through the field to a winners’ side semifinal against Ringgold, while Sykes was squaring off against Jason Rogers in the other one. Ringgold (racing to 10) downed Tate (racing to 5) 10-3. Sykes, in the meantime, defeated Rogers (racing to 9) 10-6. In a straight-up race to 10, Sykes claimed the hot seat over Ringgold, double hill.
 
 
 
On the loss side, Tate picked up Justin Martin, who’d defeated Roman Bayda 10-5, and shut out Ben Spivey, to reach him. Rogers drew Travis Guerra, who’d eliminated the other two teenagers among the final 12 players; 15-year-olds Joshua Shultz 7-3, and Peter Abatangelo 7-1.
 
 
 
Tate and Rogers advanced to the quarterfinals; Tate, 5-2 over Martin (with Martin racing to 10), and Rogers, double hill over Guerra. The Tate/Rogers quarterfinal was a re-match, Tate having downed Rogers earlier in the event. With Rogers racing to 9, Tate defeated him a second time 5-3, and earned himself the right to a legitimate shot at entering the finals facing Ringgold in the semifinals.
 
 
 
It’s hard to imagine that anyone watching the semifinals would have been rooting for the elder Ringgold. Possibly Tate’s parents, who, though certainly supporting their son’s efforts, had to be figuring it was getting pretty close to being past Joey’s normal bed time. Other than that though, who wouldn’t be cheering for the underdog 12-year-old?
 
 
 
As he had done in the winners’ side semifinal match, the kid chalked up three of the five racks he needed to win that event semifinal match. But Ringgold, as he had done before, reached his requisite 10 to end the match, and in light of the subsequent decision not to play a final match, the event itself. As the only official undefeated competitor, Sykes claimed the event title.
 
 
 
Tour directors Herman and Angela Parker thanked owner Dave Huffman and his staff at Brown’s Billiards for their hospitality, 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 September 30-October 1, will be a $500-added event, hosted by Peninsula Billiards in Newport News, VA.