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Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour launches series of seasonal Open events

Lisa Cossette

Martin and Cossette take Open and Ladies events at inaugural Winter Classic

In the future, there’ll be a Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall Classic on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour. They are a component of a larger plan that tour director Herman Parker is initiating to feature more Open (non-handicapped) events on the tour schedule. In the inaugural Winter Classic, held this past weekend (Feb. 5-6), Justin Martin and Lisa Cossette went undefeated through the Open and Ladies fields to claim the two titles. 

“I want to attract the culture of people who want to play in Open events, rather than handicapped events,” he said, following the completion of the Winter Classic. “I’m planning on 10-12 this year and my goal, down the road is to have it be 50-50; that’d be ideal.”

“I don’t know if it’ll get there,” he added, “but this year, I want to do, on average, about one (Open event) a month.”

The inaugural Winter Classic, featuring its Open tournament and a Ladies event, which, according to Parker, is a side of the tour that he is trying to grow. Three women who competed in the Ladies tournament, also competed in the Open event. The $1,500-added events ($1,000 in the Open and $500 in the Ladies) drew 52 and 18 entrants, respectively, to Break Time Billiards and Sports Bar in Winston-Salem, NC. The 18 women were the largest number of female entrants to ever compete in an Open event on the tour. One of them, 11-year-old Noelle Tate, who finished 4th, became the youngest competitor of either gender to cash in a Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball event in the nine years of its existence.

So, we’ll start there and focus on the 11-year-old for a moment. Noelle Tate is just one member of a family of competitors who are making a name for themselves at the pool tables. Noelle is a younger sister to Bethany and Joey Tate. They were all competitors during last year’s nation-wide series of events, known as the Junior International Championships (JIC), which began its second season just last month. JIC founder, tour director and something of a ‘parental unit’ at JIC events, Ra Hanna, had announced, prior to the start of the JIC’s second season, that part of the second-year plan was to move the junior competitors into the arena of regional tours and Open events. Noelle Tate and (in the Open event) Landon Hollingsworth are manifestations of that plan. Tate came into the event and lost her second-round match to Marianne Merrill. She went on to win four on the loss side, including a 5-2 win over the woman who was favored to win the tournament, Christy Norris. She was eliminated in the quarterfinals by Katie Bischoff 5-3.

The eventual winner, Lisa Cossette, advanced through the field to a winners’ side semifinal against Norris, as Shannon Johnson and Amanda Mann squared off in the other one. Cossette and Johnson, following victories over Norris (double hill) and Mann (7-4), advanced to the hot seat match, at which Cossette prevailed 7-3.

Norris moved to the loss side and ran into Tate, who’d recently eliminated Casey Cork, double hill and Beth Allen 5-2. Mann picked up Katie Bischoff, who’d downed Marianne Merrill and Allie Tilley, both 5-2, to reach her. Tate defeated Norris 5-2 and was joined in the quarterfinals by Bischoff, who’d shut Mann out.

Bischoff eliminated Tate in that quarterfinal (5-3), but not soon enough to keep the 11-year-old out of the money in what was the first money round. Bischoff moved on to defeat Johnson in the semifinals 5-3. An appropriate double hill fight ensued in the single-match finals with Cossette claiming the title over Bischoff 7-6.

Justin Martin

Martin and Ussery battle twice to claim first Winter Classic title

Nine times out of 10, the winner and runner-up of an event, if they’ve competed against each other twice, have done so in the hot seat match and finals. Not so, this time around. Justin Martin and BJ Ussery, both heavily favored as potential winners of the event, met first in the third round. Martin sent Ussery to the loss side 7-1, where he began a seven-match, loss-side winning streak that would offer him a second shot against Martin in the finals.

Martin advanced to a winners’ side semifinal against Graham Swinson, as Corey Sykes and Jeff Abernathy squared off in the other one. Martin shut out Swinson and was joined in the hot seat match by Sykes, who’d sent Abernathy west 7-1. Martin claimed the hot seat in a double hill fight over Sykes.

On the loss side, Swinson drew Ussery, three matches into his loss-side streak, which had recently eliminated Thomas Sansone 7-5 and Josh Padron 7-1. Abernathy picked up junior competitor Landon Hollingsworth, who’d defeated Niko Konkel and Barry Mashburn, both 7-1. Mashburn had been afforded the opportunity to face Hollingsworth when, in the previous round, Christy Norris, one of the three women who competed in the Open event, along with Allie Tilley and Beth Allen, forfeited her match to Mashburn.

Ussery downed Swinson 7-2 and was joined in the quarterfinals by Abernathy, who’d defeated Hollingsworth 7-3. Ussery then eliminated Abernathy 7-2 and in the semifinals, Sykes in a double hill match. Martin defeated Ussery a second time in the finals, this time 7-2 to claim the inaugural Winter Classic.

Tour director Herman Parker thanked the ownership and staff at Break Time Billiards, 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 this weekend (Feb. 12-13) will be hosted by Gate City Billiards Club in Greensboro, NC.

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Ussery goes undefeated to claim Open 9th Annual NC State Championship

BJ Ussery

Norris comes from the loss side to win first separate Ladies division tournament

BJ Ussery was challenged early, twice, having to win his first two matches, double hill, versus Ron Canterbury and junior competitor Cole Lewis, before settling in and eventually going undefeated to win the 9th Annual NC State Championships, held under the auspices of the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour this past weekend (Nov. 5-7). He was challenged in the finals by Jeff Abernathy, who, looking for his first win on the tour since March of 2019, won five on the loss side to reach him. The $1,500-added event drew 38 entrants to Randolph’s Billiards in Hickory, NC. 

In the first-ever separate Ladies championship, Christy Norris won three on the loss side to challenge Nikki Mancuso Benish in the finals. Norris claimed the event’s first title with a victory in those finals. The $500-added Ladies event drew 16 entrants.

Ussery’s trip to the winners’ circle went through Abernathy in a winners’ side quarterfinal, advancing at that point to face JT Ringgold, looking for his victory on the tour since June of 2019. In the meantime, two-time 2021 BEF Junior National Champion (separate divisions) and winner of the recent Junior International Championships in the 18 & Under division, Landon Hollingsworth advanced to his winners’ side semifinal match against Kelly Farrar.

Ussery downed Ringgold 9-7, while Hollingsworth sent Farrar over 9-2 (matches were race to 9 on the winners’ side and 7 on the loss side). Ussery claimed the hot seat 9-4 over Hollingsworth and waited on Abernathy.

On the loss side, Farrar drew Abernathy, who’d followed his loss versus Ussery with wins over Barry Mashburn 7-4 and, moving into the first money round, Brian Francis 7-5. Ringgold picked up a rematch versus Trent Talbert, whom he’d defeated in the third round, and who was embarked on his own five-match, loss-side winning streak that had just eliminated Joey Tate 7-4 (Tate was runner-up to Hollingsworth at the JIC, 18 & Under event last month) and, double hill, Mike Bumgarner.

In what Tour Director Herman Parker called the “upset of the tournament,” Talbert defeated Ringgold 7-2 and advanced to the quarterfinals. Abernathy joined Talbert,  after downing Farrar 7-4.

Abernathy was working on his fourth loss-side victory, while Talbert was trying to win his fifth. Abernathy wasted little time eliminating Talbert 7-1 in those quarterfinals, and then, dispatched Hollingsworth 7-3 in the semifinals. 

At that point, in the wee hours of Sunday morning, Ussery and Abernathy negotiated a settlement that gave the title and a share of the top two prizes to Ussery.

Christy Norris

Norris, looking for her first win in almost two years, finds it

Prior to the 2021 NC State Championships, Christy Norris had only cashed in two (reported) events since January of 2020. That January, she won the Music City Classic’s Ladies Division and this past September, she finished as runner-up to Nikki Benish Mancuso in the Ladies Carolina Cup Bar Table 9-Ball event in Chesnee, SC. She and Mancuso battled twice in this one; once in a winners’ side semifinal and again, in the finals. They split the two matches, Norris winning the critical second match in the finals.

In their first of two (all winners’ side matches were races to 7), Mancuso sent Norris to the loss side 7-5 and advanced to the hot seat match. Betty Lee Sessions joined her after defeating Beth Allen 7-1. Mancuso defeated Sessions 7-4 to claim the hot seat.

On the loss side in races to 5, Norris picked up Casey Cork, who defeated Lisa Cossette 5-2 and Teri Stovall 5-3 to reach her. Allen drew Katie Bischoff, who’d recently shut out Mallory Waters and eliminated Sierra Ballard 5-2. Norris downed Cork 5-3, as Bischoff and Allen battled to double hill, before Bischoff advanced to the quarterfinals.

Norris gave up just a single rack each to Bischoff in those quarterfinals and then, Sessions in the semifinals. She claimed the inaugural Ladies title of the NC State Championships with a 9-6 victory in her rematch against Mancuso in the finals.

Tour director Herman Parker thanked Randy and Rebecca Penley Canipe and their staff at Randolph’s for their hospitality, as well Kirk Overcash for adding $500 to the Ladies event. He also thanked 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 this weekend (Nov. 13-14), will be a $500-added ($1k with 64 entrants), hosted by Breaktime Billiards in Winston-Salem, NC.

Junior competitor Hunter Zayas wins* his first Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour stop

Hunter Zayas

He’ll take it.

Though 14-year-old Hunter Zayas’ first win on a major tour comes with an asterisk, indicating the absence of a final match, the fact that he made it to the hot seat undefeated was, in itself, something of a proverbial ‘feather in his cap.’ Added to that, the knowledge that he had, in fact, already defeated the opponent he would have faced in the final (Billy Fowler), most likely had the youngster justifiably pleased with his performance this past weekend (Nov. 21-22). The feat was performed at the $500-added annual Turkey Bowl event on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour that drew 41 entrants to Break & Run Billiards in Chesnee, SC.

Zayas and Fowler advanced to their respective winners’ side semifinal matches. Zayas squared off against Jason Gardner, as Fowler faced Jeff Abernathy. Zayas got into the hot seat match with a 6-3 win over Gardner and was joined by Fowler, who’d sent Abernathy to the loss side 10-6. Zayas began the only match he and Fowler would play, battling for the hot seat, with four beads on the wire in a race to 10. He and Fowler chalked up six racks each, but the advantage gave the hot seat to Zayas.

On the loss side, Gardner drew Montez Lloyd, who’d defeated Rudy Maybin 6-4 and Steven Ellis 6-2 to reach him. Abernathy picked up Ryan Hollingsworth, who’d eliminated Justin Duncan 8-3 and Shane Cooper 8-4.

Lloyd advanced to the quarterfinals 6-2 over Gardner. He was joined by Abernathy, who’d defeated Hollingsworth 9-5. Abernathy advanced one more step, downing Lloyd in those quarterfinals 9-3.

Fowler ended Abernathy’s brief sojourn on the loss side with a 10-4 victory in the semifinals. It was the last match of the evening, as Fowler and Zayas agreed to the split. As the undefeated hot seat occupant, Zayas laid claim to his first title.

Tour director Herman 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. With four stops left in 2020, the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour will visit Jac’s All-American Billiards, Brews & More in Newport, TN this weekend (Nov. 28-29) for a Scotch Doubles event.

Ussery, Manley split top prizes at 1st Annual Brian James Memorial Tournament in Bristol, TN

(l to r): Brian James and TD Herman Parker

If and when the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour holds its annual Tour Championship in September, it will once again honor one of its tour members with a Sportsmanship Award. The award will go to a player chosen by members of the tour. This year and in the years to come, that award will bear the name and honor the memory of Brian James of Rosedale, West Virginia, a long-time member of the tour, who passed away on June 3, following a prolonged battle with pancreatic cancer. James, a close friend of tour directors Herman and Angela Parker, had fulfilled a long-time dream earlier this year, when he competed at the annual Derby City Classic in January, finishing in a four-way tie for 5th place in the 9-Ball Mini Tournament. James was to have competed on the Q City 9-Ball Tour this past April, but the tour was halted due to the pandemic well ahead of his scheduled participation. By the time the tour was able to get back to the work of pool competition, James was no longer able to compete.

On the weekend of January 11-12 at Borderline Billiards in Bristol, TN (where James enjoyed playing the most), the tour held a fundraising tournament, attended by James, to help defray the costs of his ongoing health care. Through the raffling of cues, balls and an assortment of other products from keychains to clothing, the event raised $3,300. Six months later, this past weekend (June 13-14), the tour went back to Borderline Billiards and drew 74 entrants to a celebration of life tournament. BJ Ussery and Sammy Manley ended up splitting the top two prizes of the commemorative event that drew 74 entrants.

“Brian’s daughters, Nina and Jesse, came to the tournament,” said Herman Parker, “and had a very emotional meeting with the players, thanking everybody.”

“He was the most genuine person,” said Parker of his friend. “There was just never any drama with him, which is why the Sportsmanship Award will be named in his honor. He was a good family man and always courteous when it came to the game. He was one of those guys; a 100% gentleman.”

And, as he most assuredly would have wanted, the tournament began.

The winner and runner-up at this event never competed. Though Ussery would go undefeated to the hot seat, Sammy Manley, who defeated Jeff Abernathy in the opening round of play, but lost to Scott Roberts in the second round, won nine matches on the loss side for the right to face Ussery in the final match that didn’t happen.

Ussery advanced to a winners’ side semifinal against junior player Landon Hollingsworth. Jordan Gray, in the meantime, squared off against Daniel “Papa John” Adams in the other one.

Ussery earned his spot in the hot seat match with a 12-3 win over Hollingsworth (racing to 6). Gray downed Adams 6-4. In what would prove to be his final victory, Ussery claimed the hot seat 12-3; like Hollingsworth, Gray was racing to 6.

With four wins of his nine on the loss side behind him, Manley defeated Travis Guerra 5-1 and Jody Musselman 5-4 (Musselman racing to 6) to draw “Papa John” coming over from his loss in the winners’ side semifinal. Hollingsworth drew Hank Powell, who’d defeated Josh Miller 7-1 and Dalton Messer 7-4 to reach him.

Manley downed “Papa John” 5-2 and was joined in the quarterfinals by Powell, who eliminated Hollingsworth 7-3. Manley then sent Powell to the figurative showers 5-3 in those quarterfinals.

In his 9th victory on the loss side and 10th, overall, Manley defeated Jordan Gray 5-2 in the semifinals. He and Ussery agreed to split the event’s top two cash prizes and the 1st Annual Brian James Memorial Tournament at Borderline Billiards in Bristol, TN was in the books. According to the Parkers, future events in James’ name will be held around the time of his passing each year.

The Parkers thanked Janet Atwell and her Borderline Billiards staff, 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 (June 20-21), will be hosted by Randolph’s Billiards in Hickory, NC and feature two separate events. On Saturday, June 20th, the tour will mount its normal handicap event, which will, dependent on the number of entrants, conclude on Saturday night. On Sunday, June 21, the tour will hold an Open event (no handicaps), featuring races to 6.

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.

Davis comes from the loss side, and returns to NC State Open 9-Ball winners’ circle

Mike Davis, Jr.

Mike Davis, Jr. won the first three NC State Open 9-Ball championships from 2014 to 2016. After relinquishing the title for three years, to (in order) Shannon Fitch (‘17), Reymart Lim (’18) and Keith Bennett (’19), Davis returned to compete in the 7th Annual NC State Open 9-Ball tournament and in spite of having his path to victory re-routed through the loss side of the event’s bracket, returned to meet and defeat Justin Martin in the finals and reclaim the title. The $500-added event drew 43 entrants to Randolph’s Billiards in Hickory, NC.

Davis advanced through the field to draw Justin Martin in one of the winners’ side semifinals, as Barry Mashburn faced Brian Capps in the other one. Martin sent Davis to the loss side 7-4 and in the hot seat match, faced Mashburn, who’d defeated Capps 7-5. Martin claimed the hot seat 7-4 over Mashburn and waited on Davis’ return.

On the loss side, in the first money rounds, Davis picked up Josh Heeter, who’d shut out Kirk Overcash and eliminated Jeff Abernathy 7-3 to reach him. Capps drew Mackie Lowery, who’d eliminated Hank Powell, double hill, and Edwin Delacueva 7-3.

Capps sent Mackie Lowery home with some cash in a 7-5 win. He was joined in the quarterfinals by Davis, who’d survived a double hill battle versus Heeter. Davis then denied Capps a second shot at Mashburn by downing Capps in those quarterfinals 7-2.

Davis moved on to deny Mashburn a second shot at Martin with a 7-3 win in the semifinals. In the finals that followed, Davis was looking to regain a title he’d last held in 2016. His opponent, Justin Martin, was looking to break a three-year streak of being the NC State Open 9-Ball tournament’s runner-up.

Davis won his fourth NC State Open 9-Ball title and handEd Martin his 4th runner-up finish. Davis completed his run with a 9-4 win in the finals.

Tour directors Herman and Angela Parker thanked the ownership and staff at Randolph Billiards, as well as title sponsor Viking Cues, Bar Pool Tables, Delta 13 Racks, AZ Billiards and Tickler Pool Ball Washing Machine. The next stop on the tour, scheduled for March 7-8, will be a $500-added event ($1,000-added with 64+ entrants), hosted by Break & Run Billiards in Chesnee, SC.

Brady holds off Heeter in double elimination final to capture Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball title

Norris Brady

When they met in the finals of the Feb. 1-2 stop on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour, they were both looking to capture their second-ever title on the tour. Josh Heeter captured his first title anywhere with a win on the tour, just over a year ago, when he lost his opening match and won 11 on the loss side to meet and double dip Brian White. Heeter was also runner-up to BJ Ussery in a tour event in October, and 4th in an event, also won by Ussery, in June. Norris Brady was making his first appearance on the tour since June of 2018, a year in which he won a stop on the tour and finished in the money two other times; 9th in the earlier NC State 9-Ball Championships (March) and 13th at a stop in June. Brady was also the tour’s first tour champion in 2013. They met twice in this most recent event in both sets of a double elimination final with Brady in the hot seat and Heeter having won three on the loss side to meet him. Heeter took the opening set of that final to force a second set, won by Brady. The event drew 68 entrants to Gate City Billiards Club in Greensboro, NC.
 
They’d both advanced to a winners’ side semifinal. Heeter, facing Clay Davis and Brady, squaring off against Stevie McClinton. Davis sent Heeter to the loss side, as Brady was busy defeating McClinton 9-5. Brady gave up only a single rack, claiming the hot seat 9-1.
 
On the loss side, it was Chuck Ritchie who drew Heeter, just after surviving two straight double hill fights against Jason Potts and Jeff Abernathy. McClinton picked up Brandon Butts, who’d defeated Jeff Little 5-2 and Zac Leonard 5-5 (Leonard racing to 8).
 
Butts prevailed in a double hill fight versus McClinton (5-6) and was joined in the quarterfinals by Heeter, who’d eliminated Ritchie 8-4. Heeter then eliminated Butts 8-2 in those quarterfinals to earn himself a rematch against Davis in the semifinals.
 
Heeter wreaked his vengeance on Davis 8-4, loading himself up on momentum that carried over into the first set of the double elimination final against Brady. Heeter took that opening set 8-1, so they loaded up for a second meet. This one stretched out a bit, as they both looked to claim the title. They battled to double hill before Brady prevailed to claim the event title.
 
Tour directors Herman and Angela Parker thanked the ownership and staff at Gate City Billiards Club, 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. 7-8, will be a $1,000-added event, hosted by The Clubhouse in Lynchburg, VA.

White takes two of three vs. Harrison to win Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour Championships

Hunter White

With his third victory on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour on the weekend of October 26-27, Hunter White made 2019 his best earnings year, to date. That best year had been 2016, when he also won three events on the tour, to go along with five other appearances in which he cashed that year. He’s exceeded those earnings this year with the three wins and cash finishes in three other events. White picked the tour’s 2019 Tour Championships (on 9-foot tables; a separate Bar Box Tour Championship will be held next month) to chalk up his third win of the year and had to come from the loss side to do it. The $1,000-added event drew 56 entrants to Borderline Billiards in Bristol, TN.
 
White advanced to a winners’ side semifinal against Chad Harrison, as Jason Evans and Jeff Abernathy squared off in the other one. Harrison downed White, double hill (6-7), as Evans was sending Abernathy over 10-7 (Abernathy racing to 9). Harrison claimed the hot seat 6-7 and waited on the return of White.
 
White and Abernathy picked up a pair of “Matts” on the loss side. White drew Matt Lucas, who’d recently defeated Edwin Delacueva, double hill (5-6) and junior player Landon Hollinsworth 5-3. Abernathy picked up Matt Harrell, who’d eliminated Brian Francis 6-2 and Kris Brower 6-3.
 
The “Matts” went down, so to speak. White defeated Lucas 8-3 and was joined in the subsequent quarterfinals by Abernathy, who put the second “Matt” (Harrell) down 9-1. White then defeated Abernathy 8-6 and in the semifinal, Jason Evans 8-5.
 
White didn’t want a repeat of his double hill loss in the winners’ side semifinal and was taking no chances in the true double elimination final rematch. He took the opening set 8-2 and then did it again, winning the second set 8-2 to claim the 2019 Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour Championships.
 
Tour directors Herman and Angela Parker thanked Janet Atwell and her Borderline Billiards staff for their hospitality, 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, scheduled for this weekend (Nov. 2-3), will be hosted by Shore Thing Billiards in Myrtle Beach, SC.

Ussery chalks up his 6th win on the 2019 Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour

BJ Ussery

Though still a long way from beating his best earnings year to date (2005), BJ Ussery is making an “I’m back” statement on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour this year. On the weekend of October 12-13, he added his sixth victory on the tour since February with an undefeated run through a field of 40 entrants at Gate City Billiards in Greensboro, NC. In addition to his six victories on the tour, Ussery has also tallied three runner-up finishes, a 3rd, 4th and 7th-place finish, as well as a victory on the Southeast Open 9-Ball Tour.
 
Ussery faced separate opponents in the hot seat match and finals of this event, both of whom were also looking to add to their win totals on the 2019 tour. In the hot seat match, he battled Jeff Abernathy, who was seeking his third win on the 2019 tour. In the finals, Ussery faced Josh Heeter, who’d been defeated in the third round of play and won seven matches on the loss side to face him in the finals, hoping to chalk up his second victory on the 2019 tour.
 
Ussery advanced to a winners’ side semifinal against Anthony Mabe, as Abernathy squared off against Jeff Little. Ussery got into the hot seat match with a 12-3 victory over Mabe. He was joined by Abernathy, who’d shut Little out. Ussery claimed the hot seat 12-3 and waited on what turned out to be Heeter.
 
Three matches into his loss-side winning streak, Josh Heeter eliminated Matt Raden 8-2 and then shut out Tim Nelson to draw Little, coming over from the winners’ side semifinal. Mabe picked up Reené Driskill, who’d recently defeated Hunter Apple 4-2 and shut out Sydney Cork to reach him.
 
Heeter and Little locked up in a double hill fight that did eventually send Heeter to the quarterfinals 8-4 (Little racing to 5). Mabe joined him, following a 7-2 win over Driskill.
 
Heeter, who entered the quarterfinals having given up only six racks in his last 30 games, kept it at six racks in his last 38 games with a shutout over Mabe. He then gave up only four to Abernathy, who was racing to 9, to advance to the finals against Ussery.
 
As might have been expected, Ussery and Heeter locked up in a double hill fight to claim the event title. Ussery prevailed 12-7 to chalk up his sixth Q-City 9-Ball title in 2019.
 
Tour directors Herman and Angela Parker thanked the ownership and staff at Gate City 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, scheduled for this weekend (October 19-20) will be hosted by Borderline Billiards in Bristol, TN.

White, on his 19th birthday, wins his second straight 2019 Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour stop

 

Former junior competitor Hunter White is a single tour stop victory away from making 2019 his best earnings year to date. His previous best earnings year, 2016, featured three wins on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour. On the weekend of August 24-25, White chalked up his second win on the 2019 tour, backing up his win two weeks ago, when he came back from a loss in the hot seat to Billy Fowler and double-dipped him in the finals. At this most recent event, White and Fowler met in a winners’ side semifinal, but not again. Instead, Junior Gabriel, defeated in the third round of play, won seven on the loss side to challenge White in the finals; Gabriel took the opening set of the true double elimination final, but White came back to win the second and claim the title. The $1,000-added event drew 60 entrants to Break and Run Billiards in Chesnee, SC.
As noted, White and Fowler met for the first time since the weekend of August 10-11, squaring off in this event’s winners’ side semifinals. Mike Parkins, in the meantime, faced Rob Hart in the other one.
Parkins advanced to the hot seat match 5-5 (Hart racing to 7), while White downed Fowler 8-4. White then gave up just a single rack to Parkins and claimed the hot seat.
On the loss side, Gabriel chalked up wins #3 and #4 (the first two money rounds) against Aaron McClure (5-1) and Jason Evans, double hill, to draw Hart. Fowler picked up Jeff Abernathy, who’d eliminated Dale Stanley and Mackie Lowery, both 9-5.
With Hart racing to 7, Gabriel advanced to the quarterfinals over him 5-5. He was joined by Fowler, who’d defeated Abernathy 8-5. Gabriel spoiled Fowler’s hopes for a finals re-match against White with a 5-3 win over him in those quarterfinals.
By the same score, 5-3, Gabriel completed his loss-side run, downing Parkins in the semifinals and then, with White racing to 8 in the opening set of the finals, Gabriel took that opening set 5-5. Hunter came back to win the second set 8-2 to cap his birthday celebration with an event title.
Tour directors Herman and Angela Parker thanked the ownership and staff at Break and 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 Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour, scheduled for this weekend (August 31-Sept. 1), will be hosted by Speakeazy Billiards in Sandford, NC.