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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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McGee goes undefeated to claim single-day tourney on Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour

Larry McGee and Chris Cricket, according to information available to us, went looking for their first regional tour victory at last weekend’s one-day tournament on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour (Saturday, Jan. 22). McGee found it and Chris Cricket, who won seven matches on the loss side for the ‘finals’ chance to find it, finished as runner-up. The $500-added event drew 41 entrants to Overtime Billiards in Columbia, SC.

They met twice in this event. The first time was in the third round of play, when they battled to double hill before McGee prevailed, eventually advancing to a winners’ side semifinal against Larry David. Robbie Shelley and Eddie Wahdan faced off in the other one.

McGee downed David 6-1 and was joined in the hot seat match by Shelley, who’d sent Wahdan to the loss side 8-4. David, Wahdan and eventually, McGee would all face Cricket before it was over. McGee claimed the hot seat, double hill, over Shelley and waited for Cricket to complete his loss-side run.

Cricket was four matches into that run when he drew David in the first money round. Cricket had most recently eliminated Chris McCutcheon, double hill, and Anthony Rock 7-3. Wahdan picked up Marty Free, who’d defeated Joe Kelly 8-1 and Benny Walters 8-4 to reach him.

Wahdan and Free battled to double hill before Whadan prevailed. Cricket defeated David 7-3 to join Wahdan in the quarterfinals.

Cricket and Wahdan, in a straight-up race to 7 in those quarterfinals, battled to double hill, as well, with Cricket advancing to the semifinals, his seventh loss-side match. He won it over Shelley 7-5 to earn his shot against McGee in the finals. Early on Sunday morning, around 3 a.m., according to tour director Herman Parker, McGee completed the undefeated run to his first regional tour victory with a 6-3 win over Cricket in those finals.

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, and Federal Savings Bank Mortgage Division. The next stop on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour, scheduled for this weekend (Jan. 29-30), will be a $500-added event, hosted by Sonny’s Billiards in Princeton, WV.