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Chasing dawn, Martin and Whitfield split top prizes on Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour

Justin Martin

With a little less than half of the field still in play, the Saturday, August 3 stop on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour featured a large number of its better players, as defined by their tour ratings. Justin Martin, who races to 10 in his matches, was among the event’s final 12 and went on to win the event, undefeated*. Also present among the final 12 were BJ Ussery (racing to 12 in his matches) and JT Ringgold (racing to 11). The $250-added event drew 29 entrants to Mickey Milligan’s Billiards in New Bern, NC.
Martin was to have faced Jack Whitfield twice in this one, but did so only once. Martin got into the hot seat match following a 10-5 victory over Danny Farren in one of the winners’ side semifinals. Whitfield joined him after a 7-5 win over Junior Avery in the other one. In what proved to be the title match, battling for the hot seat, Martin gave up only a single rack, downing Whitfield 10-1.
Farren and Avery moved to the loss side of the bracket and faced Ringgold and Travis Guerra, respectively, for advancement to the first money round. Ringgold eliminated Farren 11-6, as Guerra downed Avery 6-4.
The first money round match, the quarterfinals, came within a game of going double hill. It was Ringgold who fell a rack short of forcing a deciding game, and Guerra advanced 6-9.
In what proved to be the event’s final match, Whitfield earned a second shot at Martin in the hot seat with a 7-4 victory over Guerra. The final match did not occur. It was 6 a.m. on Sunday morning and Martin and Whitfield opted out, leaving the undefeatEd Martin as the event’s official winner.
Tour directors Herman and Angela Parker thanked the ownership and staff at Micky Milligan’s 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 (August 10-11), will be hosted by a new venue for the tour, Shore Thing Billiards in Myrtle Beach, SC.  

Crawford goes undefeated in ‘lights out’ stop on Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour

George Crawford

They were all set to get underway on the August 4-5 stop on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour at Buck’s Billiards in Raleigh, NC when the lights went out. With no chance of restoring power in the immediate future, tour directors Herman and Angela Parker scrambled to find someplace where the event’s 25 entrants could go to shoot some pool. They found one about 11 miles/15 minutes away and shifted operations to Shotmakers Sports Bar and Billiards in Garner, NC. They settled into the event which was won by George Crawford, who went undefeated through the field, and twice, downed the tour’s most prolific competitor, JT Ringgold.
They met first in a winners’ side quarterfinal. With Crawford racing to 8, and Ringgold to 10, Crawford sent Ringgold to the loss side 8-8, advancing to meet Ricky Dickson in a winners’ side semifinal. Junior Avery and Bobby Glen squared off in the other one.
Crawford downed Dickson 8-2, as Avery got by Glenn 6-1. Crawford claimed the hot seat 8-4 over Avery and waited for Ringgold to get back to him from his five-match, loss-side run.
That loss-side run would encompass a total of 63 games, 50 of which Ringgold won to challenge Crawford a second time. He opened the trek back to the finals with back-to-back 10-1 victories over Casey Cork and Daniel Adams, which set him up to face Glenn. Dickson drew Anthony Mabe, who’d eliminated Chris Roades 7-5 and Lauren Kauffman 7-3 to reach him.
Ringgold and Mabe handed Glenn and Dickson their second straight losses; Ringgold advancing to the quarterfinals 10-3 over Glenn and Mabe, joining him after a double hill win (7-4) over Dickson. Ringgold then stopped Mabe’s run 10-3 in the quarterfinals, and stopped Avery’s single-game, loss-side bid 10-5 in the semifinals.
Ringgold put up a fight in those finals, chalking up one more rack against Crawford than he had in the winners’ side quarterfinal match that had sent him to the loss side. But it wasn’t enough. Crawford persevered in a double hill battle (8-9) that earned him his first Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball title.
Tour directors Herman and Angela Parker thanked the ownership and staff of both Buck’s Billiards and Shotmakers Sports Bar and Billiards for their cooperation and assistance with the ‘lights out’ change of venue, 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 11-12), will be a $250-added event, hosted by Mickey Milligan’s in New Bern, NC. 

Carmona goes undefeated to capture first regional tour title on Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour

Perhaps it was the change of 'scenery.' R.J. Carmona's been showing up on our payout lists for about eight years now, primarily as a competitor on the Action Pool Tour (APT). Our records indicate that since 2009, he's cashed on 22 occasions, averaging a finish in 9th place. That number was skewed a little as the result of his appearances at the US Open 9-Ball Championships last year and in 2013, at which he finished 33rd and 49th, respectively. Without those two large numbers, his average finish was 6th place, and included two runner-up finishes on the APT.
On the weekend of May 6-7, Carmona changed the competitive, though not necessarily for him, geographic scenery a little bit. While his 'home' tour (APT) was holding a stop in Midlothian, VA, Carmona traveled to Virginia Beach, VA (about two southeast hours away) to compete in a stop on the Viking Cues' Q City 9-Ball Tour. In so doing, he chalked up his first tour win, going undefeated through a field of 34 at a $500-added event, hosted by Q Master Billiards in Virginia Beach.
Carmona faced two different opponents in his final two matches, both of whom battled him to double hill. He'd sent Nilbert Lim (another APT veteran) to the loss side 10-6 in one winners' side semifinal, while Thomas Williams defeated Chris Gentile 5-6 (Gentile racing to 8) in the other one. With Williams racing to 5, Carmona claimed the hot seat, double hill (10-4), and waited on what turned out to be the return of Greg Sabins, who was in the midst of chalking up a nine match, loss-side winning streak. 
It was Gentile who ran into Sabins on the loss side. At the time, Sabins was six matches into his loss-side run which included recent wins over Jared Vogel 8-3 and Junior Avery 8-4. Nilbert Lim picked up Reymart Lim (no relation, though both are APT vets), who'd picked up a forfeit win over Floyd Watson and defeated Barry Henderson 10-2 to reach him.
Sabins got by Gentile 8-5, as Nilbert downed Reymart 8-8 (Reymart racing to 10). Nilbert Lim put up a double hill fight in the quarterfinals that followed, but Sabins prevailed 8-7, met and defeated Williams 8-3 in the semifinals, and moved into a double elimination final against Carmona.
Carmona had been here before, literally and figuratively. In February 2012, at Q Master Billiards, he was sitting in the hot seat facing a challenge from a loss-side competitor he hadn't faced on the winners' side. His opponent at the time, Michael Fuller, had missed his son's birthday to compete in the APT event, so when he (Fuller) returned from a short, loss-side run, he was. . well, motivated, and took the two necessary sets in the double elimination final to claim the title and dedicate the victory to his son.
To the best of anyone's knowledge, Sabins was not motivated by anything other than a desire to complete a nine-match, loss-side struggle to get to the finals. Though Sabins would put up a double hill fight, Carmona disappointed him, taking the title 10-7 in a single set. In addition to the prize money, the victory also qualified Carmona for entry into the North Carolina State 10-Ball Championships in July. 
Tour director Herman Parker was effusive in his praise regarding his tour's first visit to Q Master Billiards, thanking its ownership and staff, 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 May 13-14, will be a $500-added event ($1,000-added with over 48 entrants), hosted by Mr. Cues II in Atlanta, GA.

Carroll and Williams split top prizes on Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball stop in New Bern, NC

Billy Carroll and David Williams allowed their hot seat match to stand as the final result, during an April 1-2 stop on the Viking Cues' Q City 9-Ball tournament. Carroll, as the eventual hot seat occupant, was given the official titleThe $250-added event drew 33 entrants to Mickey Milligan's Billiards & Pub in New Bern, NC.
In addition to its roster of five competitors who cashed in the event, the tournament featured three generations of the Ringgold family; grandfather Vernon, his son Terry, and grandson J.T. Ringgold, who'd split the top two prizes in last week's event with Scott Roberts. All had been eliminated by the time the tournament moved into its money rounds. Terry, representing the middle generation, had defeated his Dad, Vernon, in the matches that determined the four-way tie for 13th place. Moving into the subsequent 9/12 matches, there was a chance looming that father Terry might, at some point, face his son, although the way the brackets were playing out, it wouldn't happen until the quarterfinals. Father Terry lasted one more round than his son, J.T.
Carroll and Williams got into the one and only match they played, for the hot seat, following Carroll's double hill win over Junior Avery, and Williams' 4-6 win over Danny Farren (Farren racing to 8). In a result that may have played into the later decision not to play a second time, Carroll shut Williams out to get into the hot seat.
Avery and Farren moved to the loss side, where they promptly picked up their second loss from two competitors in the midst of lengthy loss-side winning streaks. Avery drew Ron Canterbury, who'd defeated Randy Hodges 6-3 and Roy Musser 6-4 (Musser had eliminated J.T. Ringgold in the previous round). Farren drew Mike Rowe, who'd survived a double hill match against Brent Thomas, and then, ended the Ringgold family's participation with a 4-2 win over Terry. 
Canterbury knocked out Avery 6-1, while Rowe, playing in his seventh loss-side match, eliminated Farren 4-4 (Farren to 8). In his seventh loss-side match, Canterbury ended Rowe's streak in the quarterfinals 6-1, only to have Williams end his streak 4-3 in what proved to be the last match of the weekend, the semifinals. Carroll and Williams opted out of the finals, leaving Carroll as the official winner.
Tour director Herman Parker thanked the ownership and staff of Mickey Milligan's, as well as title sponsor Viking Cues, 13 Delta Racks, AZBilliards and Professor Q Ball. The next stop on the Viking Cues' Q City 9-Ball Tour, a $500-added event, scheduled for this weekend (April 8-9), will be hosted by Legends Billiards in Inman, SC. 

Daughtry takes two out of three versus Owens to win Q City 9-Ball stop

Overall, Kenny Daughtrey won 17 of the 11 games he played against Frank Owens during the July 23 stop on the Q City 9-Ball Tour. Five of the 17 came in a double hill, 5-5 loss (Daughtrey racing to 6) in the opening set of the true double elimination final. Dead even on games at that point, Daughtrey lost, one game shy of his handicapped goal, forcing a second set. As he'd done before, Daughtrey kept Owen one game 'off the hill' in that second set, and claimed the title. The event drew 20 entrants to Brian's Billiards in Roanoke Rapids, NC.
Daughtrey won three out of his final four matches 6-3. He sent Chad Weachter to the loss side by that score to get into the hot seat match. Owens, in the meantime, was busy surviving a double hill fight against Randy Hodges. Daughtrey claimed the hot seat 6-3 and sent Owens to the semifinals.
On the loss side, Daughtrey's father, Ken, Sr., was on site, rooting for his namesake, and competing in the tournament, with at least one eye on a potential father/son final. Thomas Williams, in the midst of a five-game, loss-side winning streak that would take him to the semifinals, ended that potential party 5-1, and then defeated Justin Blackman by the same score to draw Weachter, who'd sent him to the loss side in the first place. Hodges picked up the tail end of another father/son saga – Terry Ringgold – who'd defeated his son, J.T., 4-5 (J.T. racing to 9) and then eliminated Junior Avery, double hill. 
Hodges thwarted the elder Ringgold's plans with a 5-2 victory, as Williams was chalking up his fourth loss-side win 5-3 over Weachter. Williams' final victory was a shutout over Hodges in the quarterfinals.
In the semifinals, fired-up-with-a-shutout-win Williams faced itching-for-another-shot-at-Daughtrey Owens. Owens took the straight-up, race to 5, semifinal match 5-2, and got his shot. In the opening set, he battled to double hill and won it. In the second set, Daughtrey opted for a repeat of the hot seat win and won the set 6-3 to claim the event title.
Tour director Herman Parker thanked the ownership and staff at Brian's Billiards, as well as title sponsor Viking Cues, and Delta-13 Racks. The next stop on the Q City 9-Ball Tour, scheduled for the weekend of July 30-31, will be hosted by Breaktime Billiards in Wilmington, NC.

Fitch and Plummer split top prizes on Q City 9-Ball Tour

Opting out of a finals match for less than obvious reasons (illness, family emergency, work responsibilities, the odd hurricane or two) is generally frowned upon. It's not something that tour directors like to see happen because it has a way of reflecting poorly on the tour. By the same token, most tour directors who've been on their feet running an event all weekend, have a tendency to sympathize with players who, at 2 a.m., just want to call it a day. 
Shannon Fitch and Bryan Plummer, playing on the Q City 9-Ball Tour on Saturday, May 14,  elected to exercise this option, when, as the bell tolled 2, they were to have played a final match. Fitch, as the undefeated occupant of the hot seat, was declared the official winner of the event that had drawn 33 entrants to Buck's Billiards in Raleigh, NC.
It's hard to know who was most affected by the decision; the undefeated opponent in the hot seat (Fitch), or, in this particular case, the opponent who'd won seven on the loss side for a chance at winning the tournament (Plummer)?
With Plummer already at work on the loss side, Fitch advanced to a winners' side semifinal versus Frank Owens. Steve Page and Junior Avery squared off in the other one. Fitch downed Owens 11-2, and in the hot seat match, faced Page, who'd sent Avery over 10-3. Fitch claimed the hot seat over Page 11-7 and for all intents and purposes, his night was over.
On the loss side, Owens picked up JT Ringgold, who'd eliminated Austin Coble and Andy Bowden, both 9-3. It was Avery who drew Plummer, four matches into his seven-match, loss-side winning streak that had most recently included a double hill victory over Richard Howerton, and a 6-4 win over George Crawford.
Plummer moved into the quarterfinals on the heels of a 6-2 win over Avery. Owens joined him by defeating Ringgold 5-7 (Ringgold racing to 9). Plummer took the quarterfinal match over Owens 6-2, and earned himself a shot at the title with a 6-4 victory over Page in the semifinals. 
Plummer and Fitch opted out of the final. Fitch was declared the official title winner.
The next stop on the Q City 9-Ball Tour, scheduled for May 21-22, at the Gate City Billiards Club in Greensboro, NC, will be an 8-ball event that will serve as a qualifier for the North Carolina 8-Ball State Championships.