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Mike Davis, Jr. wins 5th NC State 9-Ball Championship on PremierBilliards TOP Tour

Mike Davis

After the 1st NC State 9-Ball Championships were won by Larry Nevel in 2013, Mike Davis, Jr. won the next three between 2014 and 2016 He skipped three years in which Shannon Fitch (’17), Reymart Lim (’18) and Keith Bennett (’19) won, before returning to the annual event in 2020, downing Justin Martin in the finals. BJ Ussery claimed the title in 2021 and Jesus Atencio won it last year. Mike Davis, Jr. chalked up his fifth NC State 9-Ball Championship title this past weekend (Feb. 25-26), going undefeated and downing Brian White twice; hot seat and finals. The $1,000-added event, held under the auspices of the PremierBilliards.com TOP (The Open Players) Tour, drew 38 entrants to Breaktime Billiards in Winston-Salem, NC.

A previously-scheduled Ladies event did not occur when it drew only 5 women, including a pair of junior competitors, Hayleigh Marion and Skylar Hess. The women were offered the opportunity at a reduced entry to compete in the Open event and did so, comporting themselves quite well actually.

“Even when they lost,” said tour director, Herman Parker, “the fact that they’d won a few, collectively, against some strong (male) competition was pretty significant.”

Skylar Hess, a regular on the Junior International Championship circuit (JIC), defeated Jason Blackwell before losing to Barry Mashburn and Kirk Overcash. Hayleigh Marion won two on the winners’ side and one on the loss side before being knocked out by Q City 9-Ball veteran and multiple event winner, Reid Vance. Christy Norris, who plays on the tour regularly in mixed-gender events, came within of match of advancing to the first money round, before she forfeited a match against her significant other, Barry Mashburn (who promptly loss in the subsequent round, which led to some gentle ‘ribbing’ after the fact).

“I was super-impressed with the womens’ play this past weekend,” said Parker.

Davis and Brian White met first in the hot seat match after Davis had defeated Clint Clark 7-3 in one of the winners’ side semifinals and White had downed Don Lilly 7-1 in the other one. Davis claimed the hot seat 7-4 and waited on White’s return.

On the loss side, Davis actually had two “White”s to watch, because Hunter White was working his way through the bracket on the loss side as well. Hunter had eliminated Mark Bolton 7-3 and in the first money round, Barry Mashburn 7-4 to draw Lilly. Clark picked up Josh Padron, who’d recently defeated Kelly Farrar 7-3 and to enter that first money round too, survived a double hill battle versus Scott Howard to reach him.

Hunter White defeated Lily 7-3 and in the quarterfinals, met up with Clint Clark, who’d eliminated Padron 7-4. Hunter White then downed Clark 7-2 in those quarterfinals, leaving Davis (waiting in the hot seat) in the position of wondering which “White” to watch as the two of them squared off in the semifinals.

One “White” won as the other went down. Brian defeated Hunter 7-3 for a second crack at Davis in the finals. Davis and Brian White mirrored their hot seat match score, which gave Davis his fifth NC State 9-Ball Championship title.

Tour director Herman Parker thanked the ownership and staff at Breaktime Billiards for their hospitality (and sponsorship of the tour), as well as title sponsor PremierBilliards.com, BarPoolTables.net, Dirty South Grind Apparel Co., Realty One Group Results, Diamond Brat, AZBilliards.com, Federal Savings Bank Mortgage Division and TKO Custom Cues. 

The next stop on the PremierBilliards.com TOP Tour, scheduled for the weekend of March 18-19 will be the 2023 West Virginia State 9-Ball Open, to be hosted by The League Room in Parkersburg, WV. The next stop on the PremierBilliards.com Q City 9-Ball Tour, scheduled for this coming weekend (March 4-5), will be hosted by West End Billiards in Gastonia, NC.

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Overcash Goes Undefeated To Win His First Premierbilliards.Com Q City 9-Ball Tour Stop

Kirk Overcash

He’d cashed in only three Q City 9-Ball Tour events before this past weekend (Jan. 14-15) and finished as runner-up to BJ Ussery in one of them, three years ago. Kirk Overcash, who in addition to competing, helps sponsor the tour through TKO Custom Cues and Realty One Group, ended that drought this past weekend with an undefeated run on a $500-added tour event, which drew 47 entrants to Breaktime Billiards in Winston-Salem, NC.

He and Tim Nelson, also looking for his first win on the tour, battled twice to claim it. Both won double hill matches in the winners’ side semifinals for advancement to the hot seat match; Overcash defeated tour veteran Hank Powell 5-7 (Powell racing to 8), as Nelson was getting by Joey Palazzolo 6-4 (Palazzolo racing to 5). Overcash claimed his first hot seat with a 5-1 victory over Nelson.

On the loss side, Powell picked up Clint Clark, who was working on a six-match loss side streak that was about to come to an end and had recently eliminated Chris Clary 8-3 and, in the first money round, Jamie Bowen, double hill 8-5 (Bowen racing to 6). Palazollo drew Runal Bhatt, who’d lost his opening match to Clary and was working on an eight-match, loss-side winning streak that would take him as far as the quarterfinals. He’d recently shut out Travis Shelton and downed Jeff Underwood in the first money round 7-2.

Clark’s loss-side run came to an end with a defeat at the hands of Powell 8-6. Bhatt advanced one more step, downing Palazzolo 7-3. Powell then stopped Bhat 8-3 in the quarterfinals.

With Powell racing to 8, Nelson earned his second shot at Overcash with a 6-5 win in the semifinals. Nelson, racing to 6, made their second match a little more competitive, but in the finals, Overcash defeated him a second time, 5-4 to claim his first event title.

Tour director Herman Parker thanked the ownership and staff at Breaktime for their hospitality, as well as title sponsor PremierBilliards.com, along with title sponsor PremierBilliards.com, Breaktime Billiards (Winston-Salem, NC), BarPoolTables.net, Dirty South Grind Apparel Co., Realty One Group Results, Diamond Brat, AZBilliards.com, Federal Savings Bank Mortgage Division and TKO Custom Cues. The next stop on the Q City 9-Ball Tour, scheduled for this weekend (Jan. 20-21), will be hosted by Borderline Billiards in Bristol, TN.

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Davis comes from the loss side, and returns to NC State Open 9-Ball winners’ circle

Mike Davis, Jr.

Mike Davis, Jr. won the first three NC State Open 9-Ball championships from 2014 to 2016. After relinquishing the title for three years, to (in order) Shannon Fitch (‘17), Reymart Lim (’18) and Keith Bennett (’19), Davis returned to compete in the 7th Annual NC State Open 9-Ball tournament and in spite of having his path to victory re-routed through the loss side of the event’s bracket, returned to meet and defeat Justin Martin in the finals and reclaim the title. The $500-added event drew 43 entrants to Randolph’s Billiards in Hickory, NC.

Davis advanced through the field to draw Justin Martin in one of the winners’ side semifinals, as Barry Mashburn faced Brian Capps in the other one. Martin sent Davis to the loss side 7-4 and in the hot seat match, faced Mashburn, who’d defeated Capps 7-5. Martin claimed the hot seat 7-4 over Mashburn and waited on Davis’ return.

On the loss side, in the first money rounds, Davis picked up Josh Heeter, who’d shut out Kirk Overcash and eliminated Jeff Abernathy 7-3 to reach him. Capps drew Mackie Lowery, who’d eliminated Hank Powell, double hill, and Edwin Delacueva 7-3.

Capps sent Mackie Lowery home with some cash in a 7-5 win. He was joined in the quarterfinals by Davis, who’d survived a double hill battle versus Heeter. Davis then denied Capps a second shot at Mashburn by downing Capps in those quarterfinals 7-2.

Davis moved on to deny Mashburn a second shot at Martin with a 7-3 win in the semifinals. In the finals that followed, Davis was looking to regain a title he’d last held in 2016. His opponent, Justin Martin, was looking to break a three-year streak of being the NC State Open 9-Ball tournament’s runner-up.

Davis won his fourth NC State Open 9-Ball title and handEd Martin his 4th runner-up finish. Davis completed his run with a 9-4 win in the finals.

Tour directors Herman and Angela Parker thanked the ownership and staff at Randolph Billiards, as well as title sponsor Viking Cues, Bar Pool Tables, Delta 13 Racks, AZ Billiards and Tickler Pool Ball Washing Machine. The next stop on the tour, scheduled for March 7-8, will be a $500-added event ($1,000-added with 64+ entrants), hosted by Break & Run Billiards in Chesnee, SC.

Ussery chalks up his second 2019 Q City 9-Ball title

BJ Ussery

In six appearances on the 2019 Q City 9-Ball Tour (in which he has cashed), BJ Ussery has only been outside of the top three finishers once. On Saturday, April 20, he added a second victory to that list, going undefeated through a field of 21 entrants, on hand to compete at Randolph’s Billiards in Hickory, NC. It was a wild-weather Easter weekend in the foothills of the mountains on the western border of North Carolina, with a combination of cold rain and snow. That, combined with an APA event in Charlotte, about an hour south of Hickory, had an impact on entrant numbers, but it didn’t dampen Ussery’s march to the finish line, in which, over six matches, he gave up a total of only nine racks and recorded three shutouts.
 
Ussery advanced to a winners’ side semifinal versus Kirk Overcash, as Terry Easter (appropriately enough) squared off against Tim Gill. Ussery gave up one of his nine racks in that match, downing Overcash 11-1. Easter, in the meantime, sent Gill to the loss side, double hill (5-5). Ussery went on to record one of his shutouts, against Easter, to claim the hot seat.
 
On the loss side, Overcash picked up Jeff Abernathy, who’d defeated Gary South 9-4 and Brian Overman 9-5 to reach him. Gill drew Hank Powell, who’d recently shutout Daniel Adams and eliminated Clint Clark 7-2 to reach him.
 
Overcash downed Abernathy 5-6 (Abernathy racing to 9), and in the quarterfinals, faced Gill, who’d defeated Powell 6-3. Overcash then sent Gill home, double hill (5-5).
 
Overcash earned himself a re-match against Ussery in the finals with a 5-3 victory over Easter in the semifinals. Unfortunately, for Overcash, second verse was the same as the first. Ussery shut him out a second time to claim the event title.
 
Tour directors Herman and Angela Parker thanked the ownership and staff at Randolph’s 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 (April 27-28), will be hosted by The Clubhouse in Lynchburg, VA.
 

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.

Lowery and Francis split top prizes on Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour

Mackie Lowery

As far as we can determine, Mackie Lowery’s been at the tables for about 15 years. He’s cashed, according to our records, in a total of nine events, including a Viking Cue 9-Ball Tour, runner-up payday almost exactly 10 years ago at Randolph’s Billiards in Hickory, NC. On Saturday, Oct. 27, leaking into the early hours of Sunday, Lowery went undefeated to claim his first title, on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour, at Randolph’s Billiards in NC; a clear application of the ‘location, location, location’ answer to the question of where a player does his best work. The $250-added event drew 33 entrants to Randolph’s and while Lowery was declared the official winner, he split the top two prizes with runner-up Brian Francis, who’d won five on the loss side to face him in the finals.
 
When Justin Clark sent Francis to the loss side, he advanced to a winners’ side semifinal against Kirk Overcash. Lowery, in the meantime, squared off against Zac Leonard. Lowery moved on to the hot seat match with a 7-4 win over Leonard, and was joined by Overcash, who’d sent Clark to the loss side 5-3. Lowery claimed the hot seat and, in effect, the event title with a 7-2 victory over Overcash.
 
On the loss side, Francis opened his trek to the finals with a 6-8 victory over JT Ringgold (Ringgold racing to 10) and a 6-1 defeat of Clint Clark (no relation to Justin). This set him up to face Leonard coming over from his winners’ side semifinal defeat. Justin Clark picked up Mike Bumgarner, who’d survived two straight double hill matches, against Clay Davis and Josh Heeter, to reach him.
 
Francis downed Leonard 6-4, as Bumgarner was eliminating Justin Clark 7-4. Francis and Bumgarner locked up in a double hill quarterfinal fight, won eventually by Francis, who moved on to what turned out to be the last match of the event, the semifinals against Overcash. It was a second straight double hill fight for Francis and his last win of the night. He and Lowery agreed on the split and the event was over.
 
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, scheduled for this weekend (Nov. 3-4), will be hosted by Corner Pockets in Fayetteville, NC.