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Gabriel comes back from brink of a loss to claim Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball title

Junior Gabriel

One game away from being double-dipped in the finals of the Saturday, July 9 stop on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour, Junior Gabriel rallied from 4-1 down to chalk up five racks in a row and claim his second tour title. It marked his 6th cash finish on the tour since he started showing up on its payout lists in 2018. He went undefeated last November on the tour to claim his first major title. The $500-added event drew 35 entrants to Overtime Billiards in Columbia, SC. 

Gabriel’s three-time nemesis at this event was PJ Stabler, who won the opening set of the true double elimination final and brought him to the brink in the second set. Stabler had defeated Larry McGee 5-3 in one of the winners’ side semifinals, as Gabriel was busy sending Michael Thompson to the loss side in the other one 6-5 (Thompson racing to 7). Gabriel claimed the hot seat 6-3 over Stabler.

On the loss side, Thompson picked up Calvin Lee, who’d defeated Adam Springs 6-3 and Rocky Guell 6-2 to reach him. McGee drew a rematch against the player he’d sent to the loss side 6-2 in the third winners’ side round, Thomas Sansone. Sansone moved over to begin a six-match, loss-side streak that would take him as far as the semifinals. Before picking up McGee for the second time, he’d eliminated (loss-side wins #3 & #4) Brandon Powell and Russell Scott, both 6-4.

Sansone chalked up his fifth loss-side win, downing McGee 6-2. Thompson joined him in the quarterfinals after surviving a double hill bout against Lee. 

Sansone took the quarterfinal match 6-3 over Thompson, before locking up in a double hill, semifinal battle for a seat in the finals. Stabler came into the match with a single bead on the wire in a race to 6. He chalked up the five he needed to advance. 

With the same handicap (Stabler racing to 5, Gabriel to 6), Stabler took the opening set of the true double elimination final 5-2. On a bit of a figurative and literal roll, Stabler jumped out in front in the second set and reached the hill, ahead by three at 4-1. Gabriel won the next five racks to snatch victory from the proverbial jaws of defeat and claim the event title.

Tour director Herman Parker thanked the ownership and staff at Overtime Billiards, as well as title sponsor Viking Cues, BarPoolTables.net, Dirty South Grind Apparel Co., Realty One Group Results, Diamond Brat, AZBilliards.com, 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, July 16th, will be the $500-added Princeton Summer Classic, hosted by Sonny’s Billiards in Princeton, WV.

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Gabriel goes undefeated, chalks up first major tour win on Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour

Junior Gabriel

Junior Gabriel has cashed on five occasions on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour over the past five years. He’s been runner-up twice – to Hunter White (2019) and Gary South (2020) – and this past weekend (Oct. 30-31), he broke through to win his first tour event. He went undefeated through a not-insubstantial field of 52 entrants at the $500-added event, hosted by West End Billiards in Gastonia, NC.

Gabriel battled Steve Ellis twice in the event. He and Ellis advanced to face each other in one of the winners’ side semifinal matches, while Graham Swinson and Jonjon Newman (brother to room owner Josh Newman) squared off in the other one. Gabriel moved on to his first (recorded) hot seat match with a 6-4 win over Ellis, as Swinson was sending Newman to the loss side 8-2. Gabriel’s trip to the winner’s circle was almost sidetracked when Swinson battled him to double hill, but Gabriel prevailed to claim the hot seat.

On the loss side, Ellis picked up Josh Heeter, who’d defeated Beth Allen 9-3 and, in the first money round, Clay Davis 9-2. Newman drew Billy Fowler, who also assured himself of a cash finish by eliminating Matt Lucas 10-4 and then, double hill, Dalton Messer 10-5.

Newman and Ellis got back on track with respective victories over Fowler (6-3) and Heeter (6-4). Ellis then defeated Newman in the quarterfinals 6-3. Ellis defeated Swinson by the same 6-3 score in the semifinals.

Swinson had almost sidetracked Gabriel’s first major win in the hot seat match. Ellis almost derailed it in the finals, putting up a double hill fight in the straight-up race to 6. But Gabriel hung on to win it and claim his first (recorded) title.

Tour director Herman Parker thanked Josh Newman and his West End Billiards staff for their hospitality, as well as title sponsor Viking Cues, BarPoolTables.net, Dirty South Grind Apparel Co., Diamond Brat, Federal Savings Bank’s Mortgage Division and AZBilliards. The next stop on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour, scheduled for this weekend (Nov. 5-7), will be a double event. The 9th Annual NC State 9-Ball Championships, which will be hosted by Randolph’s Billiards in Hickory, NC, will feature a $1,500-added Open and a $500-added Ladies tournament. 

Fowler and Duncan win Scotch Double event on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour

Justin Duncan and Billy Fowler

In a final, race-to-six match that took 12 minutes, Billy Fowler and Justin Duncan defeated Kevin Ping and Tony Wall in the second set of a true double elimination final at the May 30-31 stop on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour. The $500-added Scotch Doubles event drew 48 teams of two to Break & Run Billiards in Chesnee, SC.

 

The event finalists met first in the hot seat match. Fowler and Duncan had sent Hayleigh Marion, a junior player, and Janet Atwell to the loss side 6-4. Ping and Wall had defeated Team Abernathy (brothers Jeff and John) 6-3. Two out of three of the matches that Fowler/Duncan and Ping/Wall played went double hill and the hot seat match was the first of them. Fowler/Duncan claimed the hot seat and waited for Ping/Wall to get back from the semifinals.

 

Over on the loss side, Team Abernathy picked up Landon Hollingsworth and Junior Gabriel, who’d recently eliminated Justin Clark and Hank Powell 6-1 and Keno Patel and Steve Gerardi 6-3. Hayleigh/Atwell drew Hunter Zayas and Dalton Messer, who’d defeated Clay Davis and Kris Bower 6-2, and Joey Tate and Anthony Mabe 6-4 to reach them.

 

In the first money round, battling to get into the quarterfinals, Zayas and Messer leapfrogged into those quarterfinals when Hayleigh and Atwell could not return to compete on Sunday and forfeited. Team Abernathy, in the meantime, survived a double hill battle against Hollingsworth/Gabriel and joined Zayas/Messer.

 

A double hill fight eventually sent Ping and Wall to the semifinals over Zayas/Messer. Ping and Wall earned their second shot against Fowler/Duncan with a 6-4 win over Zayas/Messer.

 

In their second of three, the opening set of the true double elimination final, the two teams went double hill, before Ping and Wall prevailed to force a second set. Once the second match got underway, tour director Herman Parker chose to take a step outside. When he returned, moments later, the match was half over at 3-0 in favor of Fowler and Duncan.

 

According to Parker, the Fowler/Duncan team had chalked up three 9-ball combinations in a row to win those opening three games. They kept that pace up, and completed the second-set shutout that earned them the event title.

 

Tour directors Herman and Angela Parker thanked the ownership and staff at Break & Run 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 will be held this weekend, June 6-7, and hosted by Randolph Billiards in Hickory, NC.

South takes two out of three versus Gabriel to win his first Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour stop

Gary South

When your finalists are battling to win their first event on your tour, you stick around to let them decide it on the table. When you’re either one of the finalists, you battle aches, pains and fatigue  to get it done and claim your first event title. Gary South and Junior Gabriel battled three times during the March 7 (and a few hours into March 8) stop on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour and were chasing dawn when they broke the last rack of the 31 games they played. South won 20 of those games and two of the matches to claim his first (recorded) regional tour win, anywhere.
 
It was Gabriel’s second runner-up finish on the tour, having finished 2nd at a stop last August at the same location – Break & Run Billiards in Chesnee, SC. He’d won seven on the loss side during that event to face Hunter White in the finals. As he did this past weekend, he won the opening set of the true double elimination final, but dropped the second. It happened to be Hunter White’s birthday. This most recent $500-added event, which drew 39 entrants to Break & Run Billiards was the fourth cash finish on the tour for both South and Gabriel and the best finish of all of them for South.
 
They both advanced to winners’ side semifinal matches; South, against junior player Landon Hollingsworth and Gabriel versus Randy Tate. South sent Hollingsworth to the loss side 7-5 and in their first of three, battling for the hot seat, faced Gabriel, who’d sent Tate over 6-3. South gave up only a single rack to Gabriel and claimed his first hot seat.
 
Landon Hollingsworth and Tate got right back to work on the loss side. Hollingsworth picked up Trey Frank, who’d defeated Sydney Cork and Brian Ervin, both 7-1, to reach him. Tate drew Billy Fowler, last year’s Bar Box Tour Champion, who’d eliminated Aaron McClure 9-3 and Ryan Hollingsworth (no relation to Landon) 9-1.
 
Landon Hollingsworth downed Frank 6-3 and in the quarterfinals, faced Tate, who’d eliminated Fowler 6-5 (Fowler racing to 9). The junior player, Hollingsworth defeated Tate 6-2 in those quarterfinals, but couldn’t get past Junior Gabriel, who ended the youngster’s night with a 6-3 victory in the semifinals.
 
With their first major event victory on the line, it was no surprise that the opening set of the true double elimination final went double hill. Gabriel won it to force a second set. South won that 7-4 to claim the event title.
 
Tour directors Herman and Angela Parker thanked the ownership and staff at Break & Run 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 March 14-15, will be a $500-added event, hosted by Mickey Milligan’s in New Bern, NC.

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.

White is official winner of $2K-added, 114-entrant, stop on Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour

Brian White

There was good news and bad news for tour directors Herman and Angela Parker last weekend. The scheduled stop on their Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour (Feb. 9-10) drew a hefty 114 entrants to Steakhorse Restaurant & Billiards in Spartanburg, SC, due, in part, to an ongoing four-day, $56K, 8-Ball battle between Justin Bergman and Corey Deuel at the same location. It was originally to have been a battle between Bergman and Jayson Shaw, but some (shall we say) differences of opinion emerged regarding the table particulars of that matchup and at the last minute, Deuel stepped in and agreed to play the match against Bergman; a best-of five sets, racing to 30, with Deuel getting three on the wire for each set. It’s not often that the Parkers get to play host to that many players, but when it became known that entrants to his tournament would be granted free admission to watch the challenge match, the numbers swelled. And predictably, with a lot of Pro types racing to 11, 12 and 13 games, their tournament went on a little longer than their normal weekend tournaments; like, 7 a.m. Monday morning longer.
 
Deuel won the challenge match 3-1, and it spilled over into Monday evening. A couple of the sets were close; close enough to question whether giving Deuel three on the wire in those circumstances was such a good idea for Bergman.
 
Brian White, who is the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour’s current Bar Box Champion (from an event held last September) and winner of another stop on the tour, two days before Christmas, was declared the official winner of the tour stop when, at 7 a.m. Monday morning, he and Steakhorse Restaurant and Billiards house pro, Roberto Gomez agreed to a split of the top two prizes. White was the hot seat occupant at the time. Gomez had spent a lot of time on the loss side, winning nine matches to get to the finals that didn’t happen.
 
There were several players of some renown who didn’t make it to the money rounds of the handicapped tournament. Francisco Bustamante and Tony Chohan were among them. White advanced through the field to arrive at a winners’ side semifinal match against Keith Yates. Francisco Felicilda, in the meantime, squared off against teenager Landon Hollinsworth.
 
White got into the hot seat match with an 11-3 win over Yates. Felicilda, also racing to 11, gave up only a single rack to Hollinsworth and joined White. White claimed the hot seat 11-9, in what proved to be his last match.
 
Gomez, in the meantime, after an early-round loss to Josh Miller was at work on the loss side, racing to 13 through it all. He got into the money rounds with a 13-3 victory over Kevin Ping (racing to 6), chalked up his sixth loss-side win against Junior Gabriel 13-1 and picked up the youngster, Hollinsworth, coming over from the winners’ side semifinal. Yates drew Raymund Faraon, who’d eliminated two members of the Frank family, back to back; Trey Frank, double hill (12-5) in the first money round and then, Trey’s father Ron, double hill (12-7) to meet Yates.
 
Faraon went on to win his third straight double hill match (12-4) over Yates. He was joined in the quarterfinals by Gomez, who’d eliminated Hollinsworth 13-2. Playing with one on the wire at the start in a race to 13 in those quarterfinals, Faraon had chalked up only five, when Gomez won his 13th and advanced to the semifinals.
 
Felicilda started the semifinal match against Gomez with two on the wire in a race to 13. He managed to get to 8, before Gomez finished it, about 10 minutes after daylight started painting the Spartanburg sky and 15 minutes ahead of the official sunrise at 7:16 a.m.
 
The decision to split the top two prizes was made, everyone settled up and tour directors Herman and Angela Parker went back to their hotel to catch a few hours sleep before they had to check out shortly after noon.
 
The Parkers thanked Steakhorse Restaurant and Billiards’ owner, Dayne Miller for his hospitality (to include added money) and his entire staff for what had to have been a hectic weekend. They also thanked 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 (Feb. 16-17), will be hosted by Gate City Billiards in Greensboro, NC.

Two Whites compete in finals of Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour and split top two prizes

Brian White

Brian White and Hunter White (no relation) battled twice in an annual Christmas event on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour. Brian won the first match and they opted out of playing a second one, leaving Brian as the official winner of the $1,000-added event, which drew 52 entrants to The Steakhorse Restaurant & Billiards in Spartanburg, SC on Christmas weekend (December 22-23). It was for record-keeping and point purposes the first event on the 2019 Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball schedule.
 
They met first in the hot seat match, after Brian White had sent Ricky Baughman to the loss side 10-5 and Hunter White had sent Keith Yates over 8-3. Brian claimed the hot seat over Hunter 10-3.
 
On the loss side, Yates picked up Junior Gabriel, a tour veteran, who, in spite of competing in numerous events on the tour over the past few years, had yet to finish in the money, and was about to. Gabriel had been sent to the loss side by Baughman in a winners’ side quarterfinal, and had defeated James Moore 5-4 (Moore, racing to 7), and, for the first time, into a money round, downed Rob Hart 5-3. Baughman drew Stevie McClinton, who’d eliminated Chuck Cuneo and Billy Fowler, both 7-3.
 
Baughman advanced to the quarterfinals 7-4, as Gabriel fought a double hill fight versus Yates that eventually moved him (Gabriel) another step on the money ladder, into the quarterfinals against Baughman.
 
With Baughman racing to 7 in those quarterfinals, Gabriel took yet another step forward, downing Baughman 5-4. Hunter White, though, playing in what was the final match of the weekend, stopped Gabriel’s run 8-2 in the semifinals, for a second shot against Brian White, which, of course, didn’t happen. The Whites split the top two prizes, with Brian earning the official event title.
 
The tour also awarded the event’s top female finisher a ‘free entry’ prize to an upcoming event. Jordyn Worley, finishing just out of the money in the tie for 9th place, took home that prize.
 
Tour directors Herman and Angela Parker thanked Dayne Miller and his Steakhorse staff for their hospitality (to include money-added to the event), as well as title sponsor Viking Cues, Bar Pool Tables, Delta 13 Racks, AZ Billiards and Professor Q-Ball. With the 2019 tour officially underway, the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour will squeeze one more event into the 2018 calendar; a December 29-30 event, to be hosted by Randolph’s Billiards in Hickory, NC.