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Poste and Powell split on Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour

JR Poste

It’s been a while since JR Poste chalked up a win on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour; five years, to be precise. And at that event in Wilmington, NC in August, 2016, he claimed the event title by virtue of being the undefeated hot seat occupant when he and BJ Hucks negotiated their way out of playing a final match. This past weekend (Sat., April 24), Poste chalked up another victory on the tour and once again, claimed the title by negotiating a split with his potential opponent in the finals. This time, it was Hank Powell. The event drew 32 entrants to Buck’s Billiards in Raleigh, NC.

Poste and Powell met twice at this event. Powell advanced through the field to arrive at a winners’ side semifinal versus 14-year-old Bethany Tate, a Billiards Education Foundation National Champion; Girls, 11 and under, 2018. Poste, in the meantime, faced Bruce Campbell in the other winners’ side semifinal.

With Tate racing to four, she fought the veteran Powell to double hill before Powell sent her to the loss side 8-3. Poste downed Campbell 7-1 to join Powell in the hot seat match. Poste claimed the hot seat 7-5 over Powell, in what would prove to be the deciding match of the event.

Tate moved over to face Daniel Adams, who’d defeated Chris Petoletti 6-5 (Petoletti racing to 7) and Robbie Crosby 6-3. Campbell picked up Shane Hardie, who’d eliminated Krystle Schmidt 7-2 and Bethany Tate’s older brother Joey 7-6 (Joey racing to 8). The way the draw turned out, had Joey defeated Hardie, he would have drawn Campbell next. If he’d then defeated Campbell, he might have drawn his sister in a sibling quarterfinal, but she, of course, would have had to defeat Adams, which she did not do, losing to him 6-1. Campbell downed Hardie 6-5 (Hardie racing to 7).

Adams took the quarterfinal match versus Campbell 6-4 and in what proved to be the last match of the night, was then defeated by Powell 8-4 in the semifinals. Powell and Poste negotiated their settlement, leaving Poste as the official negotiated winner of his second Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball event.

Tour director Herman Parker thanked the ownership and staff at Buck’s Billiards, as well as title sponsor Viking Cues,, Dirty South Grind Apparel Co., AZBilliards, Federal Savings Bank mortgage division and Diamond Brat. The next stop on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour, scheduled for this coming weekend, May 1-2, will be a $500-added event, hosted by Break & Run Billiards in Chesnee, SC.

Ussery goes undefeated to claim Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball title

BJ Ussery

One week after posting a report that speculated on the ‘return’ of BJ Ussery to the world of top level pool competition, Ussery dominated a field of 39 entrants at another stop on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour (Aug. 18-19) and went undefeated to claim his first (reported) win in over six years. Though a strict closing time at the Gate City Billiards Club in Greensboro, NC prevented a final match against Zac Leonard, Ussery did go otherwise undefeated to claim the title.
Ussery and Leonard met first in the battle for the hot seat. Ussery had faced and defeated Jeff Little 11-2 in one winners’ side semifinal, as Leonard was sending Bradley Barker to the loss side 7-2 in the other one. Ussery claimed the hot seat 11-3 in what proved to be his last match of the weekend.
On the loss side, Little and Barker walked right into their second straight loss. Barker faced JR Poste, who’d defeated Wayne Church 6-3 and Lester Douglas 6-1 to reach him. Little picked up Bo Blakely, who’d eliminated Joe Woo and Michael Moore, both 6-4.
Blakely and Poste advanced to the quarterfinals with identical 6-3 wins over Little and Barker, respectively. By the same score, Blakely won the quarterfinal match against Poste that followed.
In the final match, the semifinals, Blakely and Leonard battled to double hill, before Leonard finished it at 7-5 to earn a second shot against Ussery in the hot seat. The venue enforced its strict closing time, and as the undefeated hot seat occupant, Ussery, having defeated Leonard in the hot seat match, was declared the event’s official winner.
Tour directors Herman and Angela Parker thanked the ownership and staff at Gate City Billiards Club, as well as title sponsor Viking Cues, Delta 13 Racks, AZ Billiards and Professor Q-Ball. The Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour will return to Steakhorse Restaurant and Billiards for its next stop, a $1000-added event, scheduled for this weekend (Aug. 25-26). The added-money will increase to $1,500 if the event draws 80 entrants and to $2,000 with 100 entrants.

Carroll downs Poste twice to go undefeated on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour

Billy Carroll

Though Billy Carroll and JR Poste share the headline for the story emerging out of the August 11-12 stop on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour, it should be noted that the player who finished third has more than earned his spot in the story’s opening sentence. While it may be a little early to declare that BJ Ussery is ‘back’ from something of an extended leave of absence from high level pool competition, his performance at this most recent event is, at least, a sure sign that he’s still a force to be reckoned with.


But first, Carroll and Poste, who met twice in the $250-added event, which drew 23 entrants to Mickey Milligan’s in New Bern, NC. With Ussery already at work on the loss side, Carroll advanced through the field to face Robert Perez in one of the winners’ side semifinals. Poste drew Travis Guerra in the other one.


Carroll downed Perez 7-4 and in the hot seat match, faced Poste, who’d sent Guerra to the loss side 6-3. Carroll claimed the hot seat 7-5 over Poste, and waited on his return, or, possibly, if he had any sense of pool history, the return of Ussery.


On the loss side, it was Guerra who drew Ussery, four matches into his six-match, loss-side winning streak that had most recently included wins over Zac Leonard 11-5 and a shutout of Kameron Johnson. Perez drew Larry Pierce, who’d eliminated Jordan Oak 6-2 and Greg Smith 6-5 (it was Smith who’d sent Ussery to the loss side in the event’s second round).


In the first money round, Pierce downed Perez 6-3, as Ussery was busy allowing Guerra only a single rack in an 11-1 victory. In the quarterfinals that followed, Ussery defeated Pierce 11-4.


In what was essentially a handicapped race to 11, Poste began the semifinals with ‘five on the wire.’ He and Ussery both chalked up six racks, but the handicapped advantage gave Poste the victory he needed for a second shot at Carroll in the hot seat. Carroll completed his undefeated run with a 7-5 victory in the finals and his third win on the tour.


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, AZ Billiards and Professor Q-Ball. The next stop on the tour, scheduled for this weekend (August 18-19), will be hosted by the Gate City Billiards Club in Greensboro, NC.


Postscript – Eighteen years ago, BJ Ussery finished in the 32-player tie for 65th place at the 25th Annual US Open 9-Ball Championships. More remarkable than the feat itself is the evidence it provides of the caliber of player Ussery was keeping company with at the time. Sharing that tie for 65th place were (among others) Mike Davis, Shannon Daulton, Grady Matthews, Mike Zuglan, Allen Hopkins, Mika Immonen, and Steve Mizerak. It was also the year that Earl Strickland chalked up his fifth and what proved to be his last US Open 9-Ball title. In the years after that event, Ussery settled into a variety of Southern-based pool tours, regularly winning stops on the Southeast Open 9-Ball Tour, the Viking Tour, the Great Southern Billiard Tour, and The Jacoby Custom Cues Carolina Tour (to name just a few). Though he’s been away from the tables for a while now, he’s kept his hand in, so to speak. In 2014, he cashed in all three US Bar Box Championship events; 8-ball, 9-ball and 10-ball, and just last year, he finished fifth at the North Carolina State 10-Ball Open (held under the auspices of the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour), falling to long-time nemesis Mike Davis. Is BJ back? Inquiring minds would like to know.