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Draper goes undefeated to hot seat, splits with Francis to claim first Q City 9-Ball win

Jesse Draper

A funny thing happened to Jesse Draper on his way to what would become his first recorded cash finish anywhere and his first regional tour win. This past weekend (June 25-26), he ran into two opponents – Joey Fox and Brian Francis – who, though they’d recorded cash finishes on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour before, were also looking for their first tour victory. Draper met Francis in a winners’ side quarterfinal, Fox in the hot seat match and though slated to face Francis a second time in the finals, they opted out of playing the match. Draper got his tour win, albeit with its ‘no final’ asterisk, Fox recorded his highest recorded finish on the tour, ever, and Francis had to settle for his third runner-up finish on the tour. The $500-added event drew 45 entrants to the Rock House in Gastonia, NC.

Once Draper sent Francis to the loss side in their winners’ side quarterfinal, he advanced to a winners’ side semifinal against Dustin Coe. Fox faced Aaron McClure in the other one. 

Draper downed Coe 5-3, as Fox was sending McClure over 7-3. Draper claimed his first hot seat 5-2 over Fox and waited to negotiate with Francis over the final that wasn’t going to happen.

On the loss side, Francis began with a 6-1 victory over Adam Pendley and followed that with a shutout over John Abernathy, to draw McClure. Coe drew Billy Fowler, who’d defeated Jimmy Tanner 10-3 and Dalton Messer, double hill, to reach him.

Francis advanced to the quarterfinals with a 6-4 victory over McClure, while Coe survived a double hill fight (7-9) versus Fowler to join him. Francis eliminated Coe 6-3 and in what would prove to be the final match of the event, defeated Fox in the semifinals 6-5 (Fox racing to 7).

Negotiations for the two-way split got underway and while Draper and Francis, each in their own way, had to settle for the just-shy-of-completely-satisfactory results of their weekend, Draper did earn himself his first event title. Both earned more than the four other players who went home with cash and significantly more than the other 39 entrants who’d competed.

Tour director Herman Parker thanked the ownership and staff at Rock House for their hospitality, as well as title sponsor Viking Cues,, Dirty South Grind Apparel Co., Realty One Group Results, Diamond Brat,, Ridge Back Rails, and Federal Savings Bank Mortgage Division. The Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour and significantly, Parker, will be taking a Fourth of July vacation this weekend. The next stop on the tour, scheduled for July 9-10, will be hosted by Overtime Billiards in Columbia, SC.

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Team Wyatt goes undefeated to win 2nd Annual Ron Park Memorial Tournament

Ron Park

The annual Ron Park Memorial, originated and held under the auspices of the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour, is shaping up to be something of a ‘moveable feast,’ in that each year could (although this is somewhat unofficial) see a new format.

“Who knows?” said Tour Director Herman Parker. “We’ll see.”

Last year, it was a straightforward 9-Ball event, while this year’s version of the memorial was a Scotch Doubles Tournament. The father/son Team Wyatt (Evan/Nate) went undefeated to claim the title, downing the team of Jason Blackwell and Mallory Walters twice, in one of the winners’ side semifinal and finals. The $250-added event drew 36 teams of two to the site of the first Ron Park Memorial – West End Billiards in Gastonia, NC.

Team Wyatt and Blackwell/Mallory met up in that winners’ side semifinal as Team Seeley (father David and son Sean) squared off against Kris Brower and Joey Fox. Team Wyatt prevailed 5-2 over Blackwell/Mallory and in the hot seat, met Team Seeley, who’d sent Brower and Fox to the loss side 5-4 (Brower/Fox racing to 7).

On the loss side, Blackwell/Walters picked up the team of Lisa Cossette and Chris Wrigley, who’d defeated Jimmy Tanner and Brian Goodson 5-3 and Ricardo Carcamo and (room owner) Josh Newman 5-4 to reach them (Carcamo/Newman racing to 8). Brower/Fox drew Lance Davis and Thomas Sansone, who’d recently eliminated the husband/wife team of Sidney and Gene Foard 7-3 and Mackie Lowery and Chad Vinesett 5-3.

Blackwell/Walters and Brower/Fox got right back to their winning ways, both teams advancing to the quarterfinals; Blackwell/Walters downing Cossette/Wrigley 5-3 and Brower/Fox defeating Davis/Sansone, double hill (5-4). With Brower/Fox racing to 7, Blackwell/Walters eliminated them 5-5.

Blackwell/Walters got their second shot at Team Wyatt with a 5-1 victory over Team Seeley in the semifinals. As the sun began its work of lightening the sky on Mother’s Day, at around 5 a.m. on Sunday, Team Wyatt finished a second win over Blackwell/Walters, this time 5-3, to claim the 2nd Annual Ron Park Memorial Tournament title.

Tour director Herman Parker thanked Josh Newman and his staff for their hospitality, as well as title sponsor Viking Cues,, Dirty South Grind Apparel Co., Realty One Group Results, Diamond Brat,, Ridge Back Rails, and Federal Savings Bank Mortgage Division.

The next stop on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour, scheduled for this weekend, May 14-15, will be a $500-added, 9-Ball event, hosted by the Clubhouse in Lynchburg, VA.

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Davis, Jr. and Atencio split top two prizes on Player Madness Tour

Mike Davis and Jesus Atencio

With the winner and runner-up of the inaugural Player Madness Tournament series of events in the house, BJ Ussery and Mike Davis, Jr. might have been expected to repeat their dash to the hot seat and finals, but for the second event of the Player Madness Tournaments, held this past weekend (March 5-6), it didn’t turn out that way. Davis did his part, advancing through the field of 71 to go undefeated to the hot seat and finals, but Ussery spent some time on the loss side of the bracket and didn’t make it past the 7/8 matches.  Jesus Atencio, who finished 5th/6th in the inaugural event, was to have faced Davis twice in this one, but they opted out of a final match and split the top two prizes. This second event of the series, called “Tha (sic) Iron Masters Matches” (the first was called “The Invasion of the Triangle”) was a $2,000-added event, hosted by Rockhouse Tavern and Billiards in Gastonia, NC.

Davis advanced through the field to face Atencio the first time in a winners’ side semifinal, as BJ Hucks and Jacob Brooks squared off in the other one.

Davis advanced to the hot seat match 7-5 over Atencio and faced Hucks, who’d sent Brooks to the left bracket 7-4. Davis claimed the hot seat 7-5 over Hucks and for all intents and purposes, his night was over.

On the loss side, Atencio picked up Kevin Hall, who’d recently defeated Kelly Farrar 7-4 and knocked Ussery out 7-3. Brooks drew Brian Francis, who’d eliminated Brian White, double hill and Jimmy Tanner 7-5 to reach him.

Atencio stopped Hall’s loss-side streak 7-3 and in the quarterfinals, faced Francis, who’d sent Brooks home 7-5. Atencio then dropped Francis 7-5 in those quarterfinals and in what proved to be the event’s last match, the semifinals, defeated Hucks 7-3. Davis and Atencio agreed on the split and joined the rest of the homeward bound.

Tour director Xzavia Boykin thanked the ownership and staff at the Rockhouse for their hospitality, as well as sponsor Classic Billiards. The dates for the next stop on the Player Madness Tournaments series, the NC State 8-Ball Championships, have not been officially set. Visit the Player Madness Tournaments Facebook page for further information.

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