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White and Abernathy split top two prizes on Q City 9-Ball Tour

Hunter White

Hunter White hadn’t won a stop on the Q City 9-Ball Tour since the last weekend in February, 2021. It was the weekend that North Carolina’s governor, Roy Cooper, signed an executive order restoring indoor service to bars and increased seating capacity for indoor sporting events,  after the height of the pandemic had passed. White continued to compete that year, cashing in nine events and in the end, making it his best earnings year since he recorded his first here at AZBilliards in 2014. His reported winnings in 2022, paled in comparison with only five cash finishes.

This past weekend (Sat., Jan. 28), White left little doubt that his head was ‘back in the game’ by opening his 2023 campaign with an undefeated run to the hot seat at a stop on the tour, winning, on average, four out of every five games he played (45-10; 82%). He and Jeff Abernathy, looking for his first victory on the tour since 2019, split the top two prizes when they opted out of playing a final match. The $500-added event drew 39 entrants to Randolph Billiards in Hickory, NC.

After an opening round bye, all 10 of the racks chalked up against White were recorded in his first three matches (3, 5, 2), which brought him to a winners’ side semifinal match against Matt Lumston, who’d just sent Abernathy to the loss side. Ian Watson and Marcus Pendley squared off in the other winners’ side semifinal.

White shut Lumston out. Watson joined him in the hot seat match after dispatching Pendley to the ‘west,’ 5-6 (Pendley racing to 8). White claimed the hot seat with his second shutout in a row.

On the loss side, Abernathy defeated Tim Williams 9-2 and Jason Blackwell 9-4, advancing to the first money round to face Pendley. Lumston drew Thomas Sansone, who’d defeated Joe Frasier 7-2 and Jerry Hilton 7-3, to reach him.

Abernathy and Sansone handed Pendley and Lumston their second straight loss; Abernathy downing Pendley 9-6, as Sansone eliminated Lumston 7-4. Abernathy then defeated Sansone 9-4 in the quarterfinals.

In what proved to be the final match of the event, Abernathy gave up only a single rack to Ian Watson and won their semifinal match. The split-cash accommodation, which had been reached prior to the semifinal match, left White, occupant of the hot seat, as the official winner of the event and Abernathy as its runner-up.

Tour director Herman Parker thanked the ownership and staff at Randolph Billiards for their hospitality, as well as title sponsor, Breaktime Billiards (Winston-Salem, NC),, Dirty South Grind Apparel Co., Realty One Group Results, Diamond Brat,, Federal Savings Bank Mortgage Division and TKO Custom Cues. The next stop on the Q City 9-Ball Tour, scheduled for this weekend (Feb. 4-5), will be a $500-added event, hosted by Action Billiards in Inman, SC. 

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Hennessee is Big Man at Big Boi Classic

Jonathan Pinegar

Bobby Jack Conner welcomed players and fans to his room, Peyton’s Place in Knoxville, TN, for the 4th Annual Big Boi Classic.

The $7,500 added event was nine ball played on seven foot Diamonds. Seventy three players put up their $125 entry fees to compete in this double elimination event. The format was alternate breaks with races to 9/7.

Presented by Peyton’s Place and, additional sponsors were Outsville and Rosner Cue Repair as well as special sponsor Formby Painting and Wallcovering.

The event kicked off on Friday night with the players auction, players meeting and draw.

With most players drawing first round byes, Jon (“Hennessee”) Pinegar and Robbie Langford weren’t so lucky – Hennessee pounded Robbie 9-3. His next match was a little tougher but after a battle, David Givens went down 9-7. He blew through his next three opponents – Ricky Chitwood, Chris Gentile and Ryan Williams – all 9-2.

Young gun, Eric Roberts, had also marched through the bracket. After drawing a first round bye, he defeated Arron Kinnunen 9-3 and notched a forfeit over Kenneth Stewart. Next match proved to be tougher but he prevailed over Germany’s Can Salim 9-4. Eric followed this with a victory over Michael Rudd 9-3. Next match was Hennessee – it was a close match but Eric lost 9-7 and headed over to the one loss side while Pinegar moved on to the hot seat match.

The bottom portion of the bracket was filled with killers – Josh Roberts, Shane McMinn, Shannon Murphy, BJ Ussery, Shane Little and another young gun, Kashton Keaton.

BJ started his tear through the bracket with a win over Jason Floore 9-2 and then defeated Shane McMinn, Daniel Autrey, Kelly Green and Adam Pendley – all 9-5.

Josh Roberts was on a similar path – he also drew a first round bye and then spanked Carey Stringfield 9-1. His next victims were Mike Patton 9-5 and Marcus Pendley 9-3 – Kash Keaton went down 9-5.

Josh and BJ then vied for a berth in the hot seat match – BJ took the match 9-7 and Josh headed west.

Meanwhile, after losing his second match to Ussery, McMinn put his head down and barreled through David Head 7-5, Ricky Chitwood 7-6, Robert Wilkerson 7-5, Matt Shaw 7-4, Shannon Murphy 7-5, Michael Rudd 7-0, Ryan Williams 7-0, Josh Roberts 7-4 and Can Salim 7-4. Shane then cooled his heels and awaited the results of the hot seat match.

The hot seat match was a good one but it was Hennessee who took the win 9-5. Ussery then played McMinn to see who would face Jon in the finals. Shane was finally defeated 7-4 and finished with a well-earned third place.

Since this was true double elimination, BJ would have to defeat Hennessee twice to win the tournament but it was not to be. Hennessee won the match 9-5 to claim the title! would like to thank Bobby Jack Conner and his staff for laying out the red carpet for all the players and fans. Tournament Director Jason Hill had a team of volunteers helping him out – they included Steve McDonald, Ricky Chitwood and Aaron Kinnunen.

We’d also like to thank Larry Schwartz, Ray Hansen and Mary Kenniston for their excellent commentary.

In addition, would like to thank our fans and sponsors. Our sponsors include JB Cases, Hanshew Jump Cues, Durbin Custom Cues, Simonis, Aramith, Lomax Custom Cues, Diamond Billiard Products, Formby Painting and Wallcovering, Savage Billiard Apparel, the Action Palace of Dayton, OH and Fort Worth Billiards Superstore of Fort Worth, TX.

Our next event is the $8,000 added Space City Open X at Big Tyme Billiards in Spring, TX! Featuring 9 Ball Banks, One Pocket, Open 9 Ball, Ladies 9 Ball, Junior 9 Ball as well as an All Around Bonus, the place will be hopping! Hope to see you there!

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Elder Pendley brother, Marcus, chalks up first win on Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour

Marcus Pendley

They’ve been away from the tables for a while now, brothers Marcus and Adam Pendley, but they’re back and appearing together at stops on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour with some regularity. Younger brother, Adam (31) split the top two prizes at an event earlier this summer and last month, finished as runner-up to Jesus Atencio at the Rock House in Gastonia, NC. Marcus (33) finished in the tie for 7th at that stop. This past weekend, Saturday, Nov. 5, at Janet Atwell’s room, Borderline Billiards, Adam Pendley finished in the four-way tie for 9th place, while his older brother, Marcus went undefeated though a field of 29 entrants to claim his first title on the Viking Cue’ Q City 9-Ball Tour.

Marcus battled separate opponents in the hot seat and finals of the event. He and Jeff Abernathy, working from opposite ends of the bracket, advanced through the field to meet Brady Brazzell and Thomas Sansone in the two winners’ side semifinals. Marcus had previously faced and defeated Matt Lumston in the second round of play and would meet him again in the finals.

Marcus defeated Brady Brazzell 7-2, as Abernathy was working on a 9-1 victory over Sansone. Marcus claimed the hot seat in a double hill battle versus Abernathy and waited for Lumston to complete the seven-match, loss-side run that would put him into the final match.

On the loss side, Lumston, who had won his opening match versus junior competitor Hayleigh Marion and then lost a double hill match against Marcus Pendley in the second round, advanced through the loss-side and immediately after defeating junior competitor Tristan Jenny 8-1 and Reid Vance 8-4, drew Brazzell. Sansone picked up Ray Beegle, who’d recently eliminated Steve Dye, double hill, and Rudy Hess 5-2. Hess had previously survived a double hill battle against Adam Pendley in the 9th/12th place matches.

As it turned out, Brazzell and Sansone walked right into their second straight loss. Lumston and Beegle advanced to the first money round with Lumston shutting Brazell out and Beegle winning a double hill match versus Sansone.

Lumston then eliminated both Beegle in the quarterfinals and Jeff Abernathy in the semifinals by the same 8-3 score. He would also come within a game of making the final a double hill match, but Pendley, on the brink of his first tour win, got out in front near the end and claimed the event title 7-5.

Tour director Herman Parker thanked Janet Atwell and her Borderline Billiards staff for their hospitality, as well as title sponsor Viking Cues, Breaktime Billiards (Winston-Salem, NC),, Dirty South Grind Apparel Co., Realty One Group Results, Diamond Brat,, 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 (Nov. 12-13) will be a $500-added event, hosted The Clubhouse in Lynchburg, VA.

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Atencio goes undefeated to claim storm-affected, 3rd Annual Carolina Cup

Jesus Atencio

It was, according to Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour director, Herman Parker, “just a mess.”

Though Hurricane Ian had passed Gastonia, NC the day before the 3rd Annual Carolina Cup was scheduled to begin on Saturday, Oct. 1, long-distance travelling issues, initiated on Friday, while Ian was still active and wreaking havoc in its path, affected attendance, normally (over its previous two years) fielding numbers in the 70s, but this year drawing only 46 entrants to the $1,000-added, Open event, hosted by The Rock House in Gastonia, the Cup’s first appearance in North Carolina.

As one potential participant was preparing to leave, with six other entrants in a mini-van that was pulling out of the owner’s driveway, a tree fell on top of the driver’s house. It had a way of changing plans for all seven of the van’s occupants at the time.

“It wasn’t a huge turnout,” said Parker, “but it was a strong one.”

Headed up by Jesus Atencio, winner of the first Ron Park Memorial at the same location, who went undefeated through this field to claim the 3rd Annual Carolina Cup title, previously won by Josh Roberts and Brian White, neither of whom were able to attend the 2022 event.

In addition to a normal core of Q City 9-Ball veterans like Billy Fowler, Brian Francis, Stevie McClinton and Thomas Sansone, the event also played host to a pair of brothers, who’ve returned to the tables after a rather long absence and are slowly but surely getting themselves back into high-competitive shape with each of their appearances on the tour. Adam Pendley ended as runner-up to Atencio. His brother, Marcus, making his first appearance in a long time, lost his second match to Mike Bumgarner and won five on the loss side to get into the first money round before Bumgarner defeated him a second time.

Adam Pendley and Atencio advanced through the field to arrive at winners’ side semifinals against Sansone and Eddie Wahdan, respectively. Atencio and Pendley battled through to the hot seat match, defeating Wahdan 7-4 and Sansone 7-5. Atencio claimed the hot seat 7-2 over Pendley and waited on his return, which, after polling the 12 players remaining as to whether they wished to tough it out or return on Sunday, occurred at approximately 3 a.m. on Sunday morning. 

On the loss side, Sansone picked up Bumgarner, who’d defeated Manik Suri, double hill and for the second time, Marcus Pendley to reach him. Wahdan drew Clint Clark, who’d recently eliminated Billy Fowler, double hill and Brian Francis, almost double hill 6-4.

Wahdan downed Clark 6-4 and in the quarterfinals, met up with Bumgarner, who’d sent Sansone home (relatively) early 6-1. Bumgarner and Wahdan locked up in a double hill fight that did eventually send Bumgarner to the semifinals against Adam Pendley.

Pendley got his second shot at Atencio in the hot seat with a 6-2 win over Bumgarner in those semifinals. Needing to win twice to claim the title, Pendley fell to Atencio in the only set necessary, allowing Atencio to become the third different competitor to claim the Carolina Cup title.

Tour director Herman Parker thanked the ownership and staff at The Rock House, along with title sponsor Viking Cues, Breaktime Billiards (Winston-Salem, NC),, Dirty South Grind Apparel Co., Realty One Group Results, Diamond Brat,, 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 (Oct. 8-9), will be a $1,000-added event, hosted by Action Billiards in Inman, SC.

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