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Messer goes undefeated to win his first Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour stop

Dalton Messer

He’s been competing more, and it shows. Dalton Messer closed out 2018 with a Saturday, Dec. 29 victory on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour. Messer, who, until 2018, had cashed in a total of only four of the tour’s events over the past two years, cashed in six events on this year’s tour, including two runner-up and two third-place finishes. He’s earned over five times as much this year as he earned in 2016 & 2017 combined. Messer went undefeated through a field of 41 entrants at the event hosted by Randolph’s Billiards in Hickory, NC.
 
Messer had to get by different opponents in the hot seat match and finals. He’d worked his way through to a winners’ side semifinal against David Lear, while his eventual opponent in the finals, Matt Harrell, was squaring off against Brian Francis. Messer got into the hot seat match with a double hill win over Lear, as Francis sent Harrell to the loss side 6-2. Messer claimed the hot seat in a 5-2 win over Francis and waited on what turned out to be Harrell’s three-match, loss-side trip back to the finals.
 
On the loss side, Harrell, playing in the first money round, picked up Josh Newman, who’d defeated Josh Williams and Kirk Overcash in two straight double hill matches to reach him. Lear drew Brandon Canipe, who’d recently eliminated Daniel Gambill 6-5 (Gambill racing to 9) and Travis Guerra 6-2.
 
Harrell gave up only a single rack to Newman, and advanced to the quarterfinals 6-1. Lear and Canipe locked up in a double hill fight that eventually sent Lear to join Harrell. Harrell downed Lear 6-5 (Lear racing to 7) and then, defeated Brian Francis 6-2 in the semifinals.
 
With Harrell, looking for his second win on the tour, racing to 6, Messer, looking for his first win on the tour, defeated him 5-4 in the only set necessary to secure the event title.
 
Tour directors Herman and Angela Parker thanked the ownership and staff at Randolph’s, 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, the third of the tour’s ‘official’ 2019 calendar is scheduled for this weekend (Jan. 5-6) and will be hosted by Brown’s Billiards in Raleigh, NC.

Walsh and Gambill split top money on Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour

Chris Walsh and Daniel Gambill played two matches during the Saturday, February 4 stop on the Viking Cues' Q City 9-Ball Tour. Walsh took the first one to claim the hot seat and Gambill won the second in the first set of a true double elimination final. They opted out of a second set and split the top two prizes, leaving Walsh as the official winner. The event drew 45 entrants to Randolph's Billiards in Hickory, NC.
 
The first match followed a 9-3 victory by Gambill over Dustin Barkley, and a 7-2 win by Walsh over Rick Roper in the two winners' side semifinals. Walsh claimed the hot seat and his last match victory 7-3 over Gambill.
 
Barkley and Roper moved to the loss side and met up with Tim Monk and Brandon Canipe, respectively. Monk had downed Rocky Hawk 7-3 and Brian Capps 7-6 (Capps racing to 10) to draw Barkley. Canipe eliminated Jake Medlin 6-1 and Jeff Young 6-2 to draw Roper.
 
Barkley and Roper advanced to the quarterfinals; Barkley 6-1 over Monk, and Roper 7-5 over Canipe. Barkley gave up only a single rack to Roper in the quarterfinals that followed, and then had his short, loss-side streak ended 9-3 in a re-match against Gambill in the semifinals.
 
As noted at the outset, Gambill took the opening set of the finals 9-5 over Walsh. They left it at that, allowing to Walsh to claim the official event title, while the two split the first two cash prizes.
 
Tour director Herman Parker thanked the ownership and staff at Randolph's Billiards, as well as title sponsor Viking Cues, Delta 13 Racks, GoPlayPool.com, AZBilliards and Professor Q Ball. Parker also noted that through a combination of cash donations (approximately $800) and goods and services ($500) by local businesses, the tour was able to raise money to help long-time tour member and supporter, Josh Newman, in support of medical expenses for his mother, who was recently diagnosed with lung cancer.
 
The next stop on the Viking Cues' Q City 9-Ball Tour, scheduled for the weekend of February 11-12, will be a guaranteed $500-added event ($1,000-added with a full field of 48), hosted by Mister Cues II in Atlanta, GA. 

Ward goes undefeated to win his first Great Southern Billiard Tour stop

Shannon Daulton, Scotty Ward, Daniel Autrey and owner Marty Opyd

Scotty Ward's undefeated, first win on the Great Southern Billiard Tour was almost overshadowed by a 15-year-old competitor named Hunter White, who lost his opening match and won 10 in a row on the losers' side before finishing third. The $1,000-added event drew 70 entrants to Legends Billiards in Inman, SC on the weekend of February 28-March 1.
 
Ward moved among the winners' side final four and squared off against Matt Bulfin, while Daniel Autrey and Gary Cairnes met up in the other winners' side semifinal. Ward defeated Bulfin 8-4, and in the hot seat match, met up with Autrey, who'd sent Cairnes to the loss side 5-4 (Cairnes racing to 7). Ward and Autrey would end up playing twice; first, in the battle for the hot seat, won by Ward 8-4.
 
On the loss side, co-owner April Bradley, playing as a "3," was busy becoming the highest female finisher in the event, getting as far as the tie for 17th place; no small feat for a "3" in a field of 70 players. The youngster White, in the midst of his own "no small feat," chalked up loss-side wins number six and seven against David Lowery (6-1) and Ryan Hollingsworth (6-6, Hollingsworth racing to 9) and drew Bulfin. Cairnes picked up Josh Newman, who'd eliminated Brad Stone 9-3 and shut out Zach Baker to reach him. 
 
Four of the last five matches in the event went double hill. Newman moved into the quarterfinals with a 9-2 victory over Cairnes, while White played the first of his own three straight double hill matches; the first, defeating Bulfin. White then picked up his last victory, defeating Newman in the quarterfinals, double hill.
 
Autrey ended White's nine-match, loss-side winning streak with a double hill win in the semifinals. Ward then completed his undefeated run and first GSBT win with a double hill second victory over Autrey in the finals.
 
Tour director Shannon Daulton thanked co-owners Marty Opyd and April Bradley for their hospitality.

Jones chalks up nine on the loss side and two in the finals to win his first GSBT stop

Shannon Daulton, Thomas Jones, Tracie Majors, & Marty Opyd, owner of Legends Billiards

Thomas Jones had himself quite a weekend. Looking for his first win on the Great Southern Billiard Tour on the weekend of March 1-2, he found his goal almost immediately frustrated by one Chris Zayas, who fought him to double hill and then prevailed. Jones moved to the loss side and began a nine-match winning streak that would carry him all the way back to the finals, where he'd win two more against hot seat occupant, Tracie Majors. The $1,000-added event drew 62 entrants to Legends Billiards (formerly Raisin' Cain's) in Inman, SC.
 
Zayas would move on past Jones and eventually found himself in a winners' side final four match against Steve Walton. Majors, in the meantime, squared off against Marty Free. Walton hung on to win 5-4 over Zayas and met up with Majors, who sent Free to the loss side 5-3. Majors moved into the hot seat with a 5-2 win over Walton.
 
Jones, in the meantime, had chalked up four, shut out Chandler DeGusman and eliminated Josh Newman 5-5 (Newman racing to 10). This set him against Free, coming off the winners' side semifinal. Zayas picked up Wendell Thompkins, who'd gotten by Gage Edwards 9-4 and Dayne Miller 9-1. Jones chalked up another 5-5 win; this time, over Free (also racing to 10), and was denied a re-match against Zayas, when Thompkins defeated him 9-5.
 
Jones battled Thompkins to double hill in the quarterfinals before prevailing to take on Walton in the semifinals. He brought the semifinals to double hill, as well, finally advancing for a double-elimination shot against Majors in the hot seat. Jones chalked up identical 5-2 wins in both sets to claim his first GSBT title.
 
Tour director Shannon Daulton thanked Legends' new owners, Marty Opyd and April Bradley, who were hosting their first-ever tournament. He also thanked sponsors Nick Varner Cues & Cases, Delta-13, Ozone Billiards, Tiger Products, Andy Gilbert Custom Cues, Lomax Cues, and Universe Clothing for their continuing support of the tour. The next stop on the Great Southern Billiard Tour is scheduled for March 9-10 at Shore Thing Billiards in Myrtle Beach, SC.

GSBT will hold benefit and memorial tournaments for Tony Morrison

Tony Morrison from 2010, pictured with Shannon Daulton, BJ Ussery and Jimmie Bullis

Friends of and competitors on the Great Southern Billiard Tour were saddened to hear of the death of Tony Morrison, a long-time friend and competitor on the tour himself. Tour director Shannon Daulton, who was informed of Morrison's death by motor vehicle accident on the final night of the US Open 9-Ball Championships, began immediate arrangements for a benefit tournament to help Morrison's family defer the cost of service expenses.
 
Morrison was a frequent competitor on the Great Southern Billiard Tour with numerous victories, dating back to 2008. Earlier this year (January) he finished second to Josh Newman at a GSBT stop in Albemarle, NC. In August, he faced Daulton in the finals of the Capital City Open in Raleigh, NC. He also competed on the Ozone Billiards, Jacoby Custom Cues and Viking Tours over the years. In 2006, he finished in the tie for fifth place at a stop on the Joss Northeast 9-Ball Tour. His best (recorded) year was in 2010, a year in which he competed on the GSBT seven times, winning once and 'cashing' in the other six. He also won a stop on the Ozone Billiards Tour that year, and finished in the money twice on the Jacoby Custom Cues Carolina Tour.
 
The benefit tournament, scheduled for this Saturday, October 26 will be hosted by the Gate City Billiards Club in Greensboro, NC. Registration for the handicapped, 9-Ball tournament will open at noon, with the tournament scheduled for a 2 p.m. (prompt) start. Entry fee for this event will be $40, with 50% of the fees going to Morrison's family. Other forms of donations will come by way of auctions/raffles (any and all donated items accepted), cash donations at any event and food sales. Checks can be made out to Annie Quick (Tony's mother) and sent to Gate City Billiards, 6004-A Landmark Center Blvd., Greensboro, NC 27407. Gate City Billiards will be donating 10% of gross sales for the entire day of the tournament.
 
"Please come out to honor Tony and support one of our own," said Daulton in a flyer prepared for the event. "All proceeds will go to Tony's family to assist with the burial expenses."
 
Services for Morrison are scheduled for Monday, October 28 at 2 p.m. at the Piney Grove Free Will Baptist Church, 2560 Winblow Road, Ellerbe, NC 28338
 
In addition to this weekend's benefit tournament, the GSBT has made arrangements for a Memorial Tournament to be held on the weekend of November 16-17 at Lucky Shots in Albemarle, NC. Check the GSBT Web site for further information. For further information on this weekend's tournament or direct donations to the family, contact the Gate City Billiard Club at (335) 856-8800.

Slaughter downs Roberts twice to go undefeated and take his first GSBT title

In the hot seat match and finals of the Great Southern Billiard Tour stop on the weekend of June 9-10, Mike Slaughter, looking to chalk up his first win on the tour, found himself facing an opponent, Josh Roberts, who was looking for his fourth trip to the finals since April of 2011. Slaughter got by Roberts both times to finish the weekend undefeated. The $1,500-added, 9-ball event on bar tables at Shore Thing Billiards in Myrtle Beach, SC, drew 51 entrants.

In a straight-up race to 7, among the winners’ side final four, Slaughter defeated Chase Gilbert 7-4. Roberts (AA), in the meantime, downed Larry Faulk (A) 11-5. In their first of two, with a four-game handicap, Slaughter sent Roberts to the semifinals 7-5 and waited for his return.

Faulk moved over to pick up Brian Capps, who’d defeated both Dylan Letchworth and Shawn Padgett, both 7-4, to reach him. Gilbert picked up Billy Thorpe, who was looking for his second straight win on the tour, having won the previous week in Havelock, NC. Thorpe had defeated Alex Olinger 9-7 and Josh Newman 9-3 to reach Gilbert. Both B players (Gilbert and Capps) defeated their A opponents (respectively; Thorpe and Faulk) 7-6. In the straight-up, race-to-7 quarterfinals, Gilbert prevailed 7-5.

Gilbert got within a game of forcing a double hill match in the semifinals, and facing Slaughter a second time, but Roberts prevailed 11-5, and got his second chance. He took the opening set 11-4, but Slaughter came back to win the second set 7-4 and secure the event title.

Tour directors Shannon and Marge Daulton thanked the ownership and staff of Shore Thing Billiards (to where the tour will return next month), as well as sponsors Andy Gilbert Custom Cues, Nick Varner Cues and Cases, Mike Davis Exterminating, Tiger Products and Delta-13 racks.

Kendrick thwarts loss-side challenge by Dorn to win his first GSBT stop

Shannon, Chris Kendrick, Travis Dorn, and Joel Caine

Chris Kendrick went undefeated on the Great Southern Billiard Tour stop on the weekend of March 17-18, but not before being challenged in the finals by Travis Dorn, who won seven on the loss side to meet him in those finals. It was Kendrick’s first win on the GSBT and the first appearance in the finals for both he and Dorn. The $1,500-added event drew 53 entrants to Raisin’ Caine’s in Inman, SC.

From among the winners’ side final four, Kendrick defeated Josh Newman 7-6 (Newman going to 10), while Steve Holman was busy sending Shonte Barnes west 7-5. Kendrick got into the hot seat with a 7-2 and waited on Dorn.

With two loss-side matches chalked up already, Dorn defeated Danny Turner 9-1 and Steve Cox 9-3 to meet up with Newman. Barnes drew Justin Mathis, who’d defeated Jake Weaver 7-5 (Weaver had been responsible for sending Dorn to the loss side) and Brandon Blackburn 7-4. Dorn downed Newman 9-6 to move into the quarterfinals against Mathis, who’d shut out Barnes.

Dorn chalked up his seventh and final victory with a 9-6 defeat of Holman in the semifinals. Kendrick completed his undefeated journey through the field of 53 with a 7-3 win in the opening set of a true double elimination final.

Tour Director Shannon Daulton thanked Joel Caine and his staff at Raisin’ Caine’s for their hospitality, as well as sponsors Andy Gilbert Custom Cues, Nick Varner Cues and Cases, Mike Davis Exterminating, Tiger Products and Delta-13 racks. Wishes for a speedy recovery were extended (and supplemented by all of us here at AZBilliards) to his co-director and personal partner, Marge Daulton, who is recovering from surgery at home, where she is expected to be for the next few weeks.

Ussery goes undefeated to win GSBT Tour Championship/Carolina Open 9-Ball Title

B.J. Ussery has finished either first or second in 12 of the 17 tournaments in which he’s been officially entered since January 30, 2011. The streak began on that day with a victory on the Jacoby Custom Cues Carolina Tour and continued this past weekend (November 9-14) with his second straight undefeated GSBT victory; this time in the 9-ball event of the Great Southern Billiard Tour Championships/Carolina Open. Ussery had to get by Carey Dunn twice – once, in the battle for the hot seat, and again, in the finals – to complete his undefeated trip through 68 entrants, who’d shown up at Fast Eddie’s in Goldsboro for the $5,000-guaranteed total purse event.

Until he ran into Larry Nevel among the winners’ side final four, Ussery (who had to reach 11 games) had given up only seven racks to four opponents; five of those to Sam Monday in the match that set up the match versus Nevel. Dunn, in the meantime, had sandwiched a double hill battle against Josh Newman, around a series of 9-3 victories that put him among the final four winners, facing Montez Lloyd. Dunn got into the hot seat match with a 9-5 win over Lloyd, as Ussery survived a double hill battle against Nevel. Ussery got into the hot seat with an 11-4 victory over Dunn and waited for him to get back.

Nevel moved over and picked up Lucas Hawkins, who’d defeated five opponents on the loss-side to reach him, including a victory over tour director Shannon Daulton, a 9-3 win over Joe Pierce and a double hill win over Glenn Russell. Lloyd faced Josh Newman, who’d survived a double hill battle versus Keith Bennett and gone on to defeat George Spires, Ron Park, and Alex Olinger

Hawkins, with a handicap advantage, dropped Nevel into the tie for fifth place 9-11, and moved on to the quarterfinals against Newman, who defeated Lloyd 11-7. Still working with a handicap advantage, Hawkins eliminated Newman 9-9 and turned to face Dunn in the semifinals. Dunn prevailed 9-8 for his second chance against Ussery.

Ussery needed only a single set of the true double elimination final to complete his undefeated bid. It was past dawn on Monday morning, November 14, when Ussery sunk the final ball to complete an 11-5 victory that secured the GSBT Tour Championship 9-Ball event.

A $50 prize was awarded to Terri Faulk for being the highest female finisher in the event. Tour directors Shannon and Marge Daulton thanked the owners and staff of Fast Eddie’s in Goldsboro, NC for their cooperation and hospitality in hosting the Tour Championships/Carolina Open, as well as sponsors Andy Gilbert Custom Cues, Nick Varner Cues and Cases, Mike Davis Exterminating, Tiger Products and Delta-13 racks. In addition to the guaranteed prize money, the event raised $1,200 for charity. 

Ussery goes undefeated on GSBT

It was two Double-A battles between B.J. Ussery and Sam Monday on the Great Southern Billiard Tour’s August 13-14 stop in Raleigh, NC, and it was two victories for Ussery, as he completed an undefeated weekend. The $1,500-added event drew 58 entrants to Brown’s Billiards in Raleigh.

Ussery got into the hot seat match with a commanding 7-1 victory over Mike Fuller, as Monday was sending Norris Brady to the west bracket 11-6. In their first of two, battling for the hot seat, Ussery and Monday fought back and forth to double hill before Ussery prevailed, and waited in the hot seat for the re-match.

Over on the one-loss side, Fuller picked up Tommy Cook, who’d defeated Larry Faulk 7-3 and Ian Holt 7-4 to reach him. Brady drew George Crawford, who’d been sent west by Fuller from among the winners’ side final eight and gotten by Ray Floyd 9-4 and Dylan Letchworth 9-5.

Fuller and Crawford got their re-match in the quarterfinals, after Fuller had downed Cook 11-4 and Crawford had squeaked by Brady 9-8. Crawford wreaked his vengeance on Fuller with a second squeaker, a 9-10 victory (Fuller going to 11). Crawford’s four-match winning streak came to an end in the semifinals, at the hands of Monday who, after an 11-8 victory, went on to his own re-match against Ussery.

In a straight-up race to 11, Ussery took the opening set of the true double elimination final against Monday 11-8 to complete his undefeated weekend. It was Ussery’s first win on the GSBT in his second 2011 appearance (he’d finished second in March at Speak Eazy Billiards in Sanford, NC). This most recent victory marked the 10th time since January that Ussery has finished either first or second on either the GSBT or the Jacoby Custom Cue Carolina Tour.

Though not included in site payouts registering dollar amounts, Chris Vollmar, Larry Faulk, Ronny Park, and Ray Floyd received free entries for their 9th place finish. Tour director Shannon Daulton thanked David Huffman and his staff at Brown’s Billiards, as well as sponsors Andy Gilbert Custom Cues, Nick Varner Cues and Cases, Mike Davis Exterminating, Tiger Products, and Delta-13 Racks.