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White double dips Hammer to win Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Bar Table Championships

Brian White

In what proved to be his first 2018 major tournament win, Brian White returned from a loss in the hot seat match to down Will Hammer twice and capture the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Bar Table Championships, held on the weekend of Sept. 29-30. The $2,000-added event, open to invited members of the tour, drew 90 entrants to Steakhorse Restaurant & Billiards in Spartanburg, SC.
“We were hoping to hit 100 entrants and break our previous tour record of 96,” said tour director Herman Parker. “But in the last hour, we had several players who told us that they couldn’t make it.”
In addition to his two victories over Hammer in the finals, White had to defeat the tour’s most prolific winner, JT Ringgold, twice. Ringgold entered the tournament in search of his 12th win on the tour, and advanced to a winners’ side semifinal against White, as Hammer was facing Edwin Delacueva in the other one. In their first of two, White and Ringgold battled to double hill before White finished it 10-9, advancing to the hot seat match. Hammer joined him, following a 6-5 victory over Delacueva, who was racing to 7.  With White racing to 10, Hammer chalked up what proved to be his last match win of the weekend, 6-6, to claim the hot seat.
On the loss side, Ringgold opened what he hoped was going to be a three-match trip back to the finals against Josh Shultz, who’d defeated Trey Frank 6-2 and Stevie McClinton 6-1 to reach him. Delacueva drew Marty Opyd, who’d eliminated BJ Hucks 6-6 (Hucks racing to 8) and Clay Davis, double hill (also 6-6, Davis racing to 7).
Ringgold downed Shultz 10-3, and in the quarterfinals, faced Delacueva, who’d ended Opyd’s weekend 7-1. Ringgold took what proved to be his final step, defeating Delacueva in those quarterfinals 10-3. The semifinal, second matchup between Ringgold and White shaped up early as a repeat of their double hill, winners’ side semifinal, but White pulled away at the end to win it 10-8 and earn his re-match against Hammer in the finals.
White came out gunning in the opening set of the true double elimination final and allowed Hammer only a single rack. Hammer came back in the second set and chalked up five of the six racks he needed to win, but White got the 10 he needed to claim the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball 2018 Bar Table Championships.
Tour directors Herman and Angela Parker thanked Dayne Miller and his staff at Steakhorse Restaurant & 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 (Oct. 6-7), will be hosted by Shotmakers in Garner, NC.

Bulfin and Pierce split top prizes on Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour

Matt Bulfin

Were it not for the fact that the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour moves around a bit in its distinctly Southern geographic area, and derives at least a part of its ongoing success to that very mobility, tour directors Herman and Angela Parker might opt to hold all of their tour stops at the Steakhorse Restaurant and Billiards facility in Spartanburg, SC. Almost exactly a month ago (June 2-3), the room opened its doors for the first time, playing host to a stop on the tour. The venue, owned by a player with a tour stop victory on his resume (Dayne Miller), added $1,500 to that opening event, and drew 84 entrants. On the weekend of July 28-29, the tour re-visited the venue, which in the interim had opened walls to expand in size and brought in more tables. Once again, $1,500 was added to the event, which, this time, drew 90 entrants. In the end, Matt Bulfin and Derek Pierce opted out of a final match, and split the top two prizes. Bulfin, as the hot seat occupant at the time, was the event’s official winner.
Though he finished as runner-up to Chase Smith last September on the tour, Bulfin, until this weekend, had yet to chalk up a win on the tour, and, in fact, hadn’t won a stop anywhere (that was recorded) since he took home a title on Tommy Kennedy’s Southeast Open 9-Ball Tour, six years ago. His path to the winners’ circle at this most recent stop led him to a winners’ side semifinal match against Steven Ellis, while his eventual hot seat and finals opponent, Derek Pierce squared off against Dalton Messer.
Pierce and Messer battle to double hill before Pierce advanced to the hot seat 5-5 (Messer racing to 6). Bulfin joined him following a 9-4 victory over Ellis. Bulfin then played what proved to be his last match and claimed the hot seat 9-3.
Messer moved to the loss side and picked up the tour’s most successful competitor, JT Ringgold, who’d eliminated Marty Opyd, double hill, and Rob Hart 10-4. Ellis drew Dustin Coe, who’d defeated Donnie Stewart 6-1 and Brian White 6-8 (White racing to 10).
By identical 6-3 scores, Coe and Messer moved to quarterfinals over Ellis and Ringgold. Messer then gave up only a single rack to Coe (6-1) and advanced to the semifinals against Pierce. With Messer racing to 6, Pierce got his second shot against Bulfin by downing Messer 5-4.
Bulfin and Pierce, as noted at the outset, opted out of a final match. Bulfin, in the hot seat, officially recorded his first tour victory.
Tour directors Herman and Angela Parker thanked Steakhorse Restaurant and Billiards’ owner Dayne Miller and his staff (profusely), in addition to title sponsor Viking Cues, Delta 13 Racks, AZBilliards and Professor Q Ball. In addition to the regular payouts for the event’s top 16 competitors, the tour awarded $50 to the event’s top junior Hunter White. The next stop on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour, scheduled for this weekend – August 4-5 – will be hosted by Buck’s Billiards in Raleigh, NC.


Duncan goes undefeated on Q City 9-Ball Tour, splits top prizes with Burke

As the two presidential candidates banter back and forth about their stamina (or lack, thereof), pool players have to be thinking that if that's a significant qualification, they should be up there trading thoughts with the candidates. The grind of a weekend tournament, or a single-day tournament that ends up racing the dawn are common on the pool circuit, and often, when it comes down to a final that could well be lit by natural daylight, the two opponents figure that the prize differential between the top two cash amounts is not significant enough to warrant playing that final game. So it was, on Saturday, September 24, when Justin Duncan and Greg Burke, after a full day, opted out of their final match on the Viking Cues' Q-City 9-Ball Tour. Having defeated Burke once, and sitting in the hot seat, Duncan claimed the official title, as 3 a.m. loomed on the event horizon. The $500-added event drew 39 entrants to Legends Billiards in Inman, SC.
They met first in a winners' side semifinal, when it was still Saturday. Aaron McClure, in the meantime, squared off against Kirk Hixon. Duncan downed Burke 5-3, and in the hot seat match faced McClure, who'd sent Hixon west 6-3. Duncan claimed the hot seat over McClure in a hard fought double hill battle, which proved to be his last.
On the loss side, Jim Jennings was doing his level best to get a shot against Duncan. An opening round bye was followed by a loss to Thomas Jones, at which point, Jennings went on a six-match, loss-side streak that would take him as far as the quarterfinals. Three matches in to that streak, he downEd Scott Ward 7-3, and then, wreaked his vengeance on Jones, defeating him 7-1, to draw Hixon. Burke drew Boyd Best, who'd won two straight double hill matches, against Steve Ellis and Romeo Malonzo, to reach him.
Jennings advanced to the quarterfinals with a 7-4 victory over Hixon. Burke joined him after allowing Best only a single rack in their matchup. Burke ended Jennings' streak in those quarterfinals, but not before Jennings forced a case game to decide it.
In what would prove to be the final match of the event, Burke downed McClure in the semifinals 7-2. Duncan and Burke opted out of the final, leaving the undefeated Duncan to claim the event title.
Tour director Herman Parker thanked Legends Billiards' co-owners Marty Opyd and April Bradley and their staff, as well as title sponsor Viking Cues, Delta-13 racks and Ruthless Billiards. The next stop on the Viking Cues' Q City 9-Ball Tour, scheduled for the weekend of October 1-2, will be hosted by Randolph's in Hickory, NC.

Second room owner, Marty Opyd, wins stop on GSBT

Shannon Daulton, Marty Opyd and Bruce Luttrell

Two months ago (July 26), Gerry Shepherd, owner of Mickey Milligan's in New Bern, NC, became the first room owner to ever win a stop on the Great Southern Billiard Tour. On the weekend of Sept 26-27, Marty Opyd, owner of Legends Billiards in Inman, SC became the second. He went undefeated in the $1,000-added event that drew 47 to his establishment.
Opyd was challenged by separate opponents in the hot seat match and potential double elimination final. He'd defeated James Moore 6-2 to get into the hot seat match, where he was met by Mike Wood, who'd sent Mike Langley to the loss side 4-2. Opyd claimed the hot seat 6-2 over Wood and waited on what turned out to be the return of Bruce Lutrell
Lutrell was already on the loss side, working on a winning streak that would take him to the finals. Following victories over Dayne Miller 7-2 and Cary Burton 7-3, he drew Moore. Langley picked up Marcus Ovalle, who'd gotten by Matt Collins 4-3 (Collins racing to 6), and Michael Vinesett 4-2.
With Ovalle racing to 4, Mike Langley prevailed 3-2 to advance to the quarterfinals. He was met by Lutrell, who'd defeated Moore 7-3. Lutrell gave up only a single rack in the quarterfinal versus Langley, and gave up only two to chalk up the semifinal against Wood. Opyd stopped Lutrell's streak with a 6-5 win in the opening set of the true double elimination final to claim the event title.