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Powell and Harrell split top prizes on Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour

Hank Powell

Since Hank Powell began competing regularly on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour in 2019, he has won four times, been runner-up five times, 3rd and 4th once each, 5th four times and 7th twice. This year has proved to be his best earnings year to date and though he split this past weekend’s (Saturday, September 18) stop on the tour with Matt Harrell, as undefeated occupant of the hot seat, Powell claimed his second 2021 tour victory. He opened his 2021 campaign with a January victory at Sonny’s Billiards in Princeton, WV. The $500-added event this past weekend drew 40 entrants to Breaktime Sports Bar & Billiards in Winston-Salem, NC. 

Powell and Harrell allowed their first and only meeting, in a winners’ side semifinal, to stand as the deciding match. As those two squared off, Brian Francis and Jason Rogers met up in the other winners’ side semifinal. 

Powell sent Harrell to the loss side 8-2 and advanced to the hot seat match, where he was joined by Francis, who downed Rogers 6-1. In a double hill battle, Powell claimed the hot seat over Francis.

On the loss side, Harrell picked up Mike Hagood, who, to reach him, had eliminated Jesse Cortner in a shutout and an up-and-coming junior player, Cole Lewis 7-3. Rogers drew Orlando Marcus, who’d recently defeated David Strum, double hill and Travis Guerra 6-3.

Harrell advanced to the quarterfinals 7-5 over Hagood. He was joined by Marcus, who’d defeated Rogers 6-6 (Rogers racing to 8). Harrell gave up only a single rack to Marcus in those quarterfinals and then defeated Francis in the semifinals 7-5.

It was in the early morning hours of Sunday, September 19, when Powell and Harrell negotiated a split of the top two prizes, making Powell the official winner.

Tour director Herman Parker thanked the ownership and staff at Breaktime Billiards and Sports Bar 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 Sept. 25-26, will be a $500-added event, to be hosted by Sonny’s Billiards in Princeton, WV.

Harrell and Hollingsworth split top prizes on 4th of July stop on Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour

Niko Konkel, Matt Harrell & Landon Hollingsworth

The Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour returned to Breaktime Bar & Billiards in Winston-Salem, NC for the 4th of July weekend and attracted a field of 54 entrants to its $500-added event there. They brought back 12 competitors to the venue on Sunday, which normally would have closed for the 4th of July holiday. Those 12 battled down to the two competitors who squared off against each other in the finals, at which point, Matt Harrell and junior competitor Landon Hollingsworth agreed to a split of the top two prizes, so that one and all could proceed to area fireworks. As the occupant of the hot seat at the time of the agreement, Matt Harrell claimed the official event title.

Nearly half of the competitors who signed on for this event were either junior players or women. One of those junior players, Landon Hollingsworth, currently #4 in the Pro Am Rankings of the Junior International Championships being held at multiple venues nationwide, lost a match to the eventual winner in the third round of play and battled back through seven matches on the loss side for the right to face Harrell in the finals, which didn’t happen. 

With Hollingsworth already at work on the loss side, Matt Harrell advanced to a winners’ side semifinal match against a former junior competitor Hunter White. Yet another junior competitor, Niko Konkel (14) squared off against Josh Williams in the other winners’ side semifinal.

Konkel downed Williams 5-4 (Williams racing to 6). Harrell joined Konkel in the hot seat match, following his 7-6 win over White, who was racing to 9. Harrell, in what would prove to be his last match, claimed the hot seat 7-3 over Konkel.

On the loss side, it was White who picked up Hollingsworth, four matches into his seven-match, loss-side winning streak that had recently shut out Dakota Ash in the first money round and then eliminated Josh Shultz 7-4. Williams drew Collin Hall, who had defeated Travis Guerra 6-4 and Jeff Pruitt, double hill.

Williams downed Hall 6-2. Hollingsworth joined him in the quarterfinals, after defeating White 7-1. Hollingsworth then eliminated Williams 7-4 in those quarterfinals. Hollingsworth completed his loss side run with a 7-2 victory over Konkel in the semifinals.

Hollingsworth and Harrell negotiated the split of the top two prizes. Harrell was awarded the official event title and Independence Day celebrations resumed all around.

Tour director Herman Parker thanked Sundeep “Sunny” Makhni and his Breaktime staff for their hospitality, as well 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, July 10-11, will be hosted by Sonny’s Bistro & Billiards in Princeton, WV. 

Ussery and Bumgarner split top prizes on Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour stop

BJ Ussery

Since he began 2020 with a 5th/6th place finish (tied with John Gabriel) behind Sky Woodward, Dennis Orcollo, Jeffrey DeLuna and Josh Roberts at the Music City Classic’s Open event in January, BJ Ussery has been on a roll, albeit one that’s stumbled a bit thanks to the pandemic. Though he would finish as runner-up in a Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball event in early February, winning the opening set of a true double elimination final to Billy Walker, but dropping the title-winning second set, Ussery went on to win his next three; the VA State 10-Ball Championships, and two stops on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour, including last week’s (June 13-14) 1st Annual Brian James Memorial. He made it four in a row with a second straight ‘asterisk’ victory this past weekend (June 20-21). Ussery and Mike Bumgarner (who’d won the June 6-7 stop on the tour at the same location) opted out of a final match and split the top two prizes. As the undefeated occupant of the hot seat, Ussery claimed the official win. The event drew 39 entrants to Randolph’s Billiards in Hickory, NC.

Their first and only encounter, battling for the hot seat, followed a 7-1 victory for Bumgarner over Sammy Manley and a 12-5 win for Ussery versus Graham Swinson. Ussery took what proved to be the title match 12-2 over Bumgarner and sat in the hot seat.

On the loss side, Manley picked up Matt Harrell, who’d defeated Matt Lucas 7-2 and Stevie McClinton 7-4 to reach him. Swinson drew Hunter Zayas, who’d recently eliminated Cameron Hollingsworth (elder half-brother to junior player Landon Hollingsworth) 5-2.

In the first money round, battling for 5th/6th, Manley and Swinson got right back to work and advanced to the quarterfinals; Manley, with a double hill win (5-6) over Harrell and Swinson 7-3 over Zayas. Swinson then downed Manley 7-2 in those quarterfinals.

In what was the final match of the day on Sunday (an Open event, which was scheduled for Sunday, did not materialize), Bumgarner foiled Swinson’s hope for a  rematch against Ussery with a 7-5 victory in the semifinals. Ussery and Bumgarner negotiated their split of the top two prizes, with Ussery claiming the official event title.

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, AZBilliards, and Tickler Pool Ball Washing Machine, Skyline Construction, Federal Savings Bank Mortgage Division and Dirty South Grind Apparel Co. The next stop on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour, scheduled for this weekend (June 27-28) will be hosted by Pal’s Billiards in Piedmont, SC.

Bumgarner goes undefeated to take 53-entrant Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball stop in Hickory, NC

The numbers came as a bit of surprise to tour directors Herman and Angela Parker, who were expecting a modest but respectable 30-or-so players to show up for the June 6-7 stop on their Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour. Instead, the event, hosted by Randolph Billiards in Hickory, NC played host to 53 entrants. Mike Bumgarner, who, according to our records, entered the tournament looking for his first win on the tour, found it. He went undefeated through the field, downing separate opponents in the hot seat match (Dalton Messer) and final (Hunter White).

Bumgarner and Zac Leonard met in one of the winners’ side semifinals, as Messer and Hunter White met in the other one. Bumgarner sent Leonard to the loss side 7-4, and was joined in the hot seat by Messer, who’d defeated White, double hill (6-8 with White racing to 9). Bumgarner sent Messer to a second meeting against White in the semifinals, claiming the hot set 7-2.

On the loss side, Hunter White began his trip back to the finals against Jose Irizarry, who’d defeated Jeff Abernathy (racing to 9) 6-2 and picked up a forfeit victory over Hunter Zayas to reach him. Zac Leonard drew Matt Harrell, who’d recently eliminated Travis Guerra 7-3 and Bobby McGrath 7-6 (McGrath racing to 10).

White defeated Irizarry 9-2, as Harrell and Leonard duked it out in a double hill fight that did eventually send Harrell 7-6 to the quarterfinals against White. White then promptly shut Harrell out to earn a second shot against Messer in the semifinals.

White gave up only a single rack to Messer in those semifinals, finishing his three-match, loss-side trip with a 27-3 game record. He gave up a little over twice as many racks to Bumgarner in the final than he’d given up in his three matches on the loss side. With White racing to 9, Bumgarner prevailed 7-7 to claim his first tour title.

The Parkers thanked the ownership and staff at Randolph’s 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 this weekend (June 13-14), will be hosted by Janet Atwell at her room in Bristol, TN, Borderline Billiards.

White takes two of three vs. Harrison to win Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour Championships

Hunter White

With his third victory on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour on the weekend of October 26-27, Hunter White made 2019 his best earnings year, to date. That best year had been 2016, when he also won three events on the tour, to go along with five other appearances in which he cashed that year. He’s exceeded those earnings this year with the three wins and cash finishes in three other events. White picked the tour’s 2019 Tour Championships (on 9-foot tables; a separate Bar Box Tour Championship will be held next month) to chalk up his third win of the year and had to come from the loss side to do it. The $1,000-added event drew 56 entrants to Borderline Billiards in Bristol, TN.
 
White advanced to a winners’ side semifinal against Chad Harrison, as Jason Evans and Jeff Abernathy squared off in the other one. Harrison downed White, double hill (6-7), as Evans was sending Abernathy over 10-7 (Abernathy racing to 9). Harrison claimed the hot seat 6-7 and waited on the return of White.
 
White and Abernathy picked up a pair of “Matts” on the loss side. White drew Matt Lucas, who’d recently defeated Edwin Delacueva, double hill (5-6) and junior player Landon Hollinsworth 5-3. Abernathy picked up Matt Harrell, who’d eliminated Brian Francis 6-2 and Kris Brower 6-3.
 
The “Matts” went down, so to speak. White defeated Lucas 8-3 and was joined in the subsequent quarterfinals by Abernathy, who put the second “Matt” (Harrell) down 9-1. White then defeated Abernathy 8-6 and in the semifinal, Jason Evans 8-5.
 
White didn’t want a repeat of his double hill loss in the winners’ side semifinal and was taking no chances in the true double elimination final rematch. He took the opening set 8-2 and then did it again, winning the second set 8-2 to claim the 2019 Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour Championships.
 
Tour directors Herman and Angela Parker thanked Janet Atwell and her Borderline Billiards staff for their hospitality, 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. 2-3), will be hosted by Shore Thing Billiards in Myrtle Beach, SC.

Ussery wins the 1st Chris Walsh Memorial on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour

BJ Ussery

It’s been a long time since BJ Ussery sported a pool resume that could be contained on a single page. Available records indicate that it’s been 19 years now, and while there have been some lean years (2017, for example, when his only reported cash prize came with a 5th place finish at that year’s NC State 10-Ball Open), there have been some really good ones, like 2005 and 2011, his first and second-best earnings year, to date. His 2005 reported earnings were $5 better than his 2011 earnings. On the weekend of February 23-24, Ussery added an undefeated run on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour to his multi-page resume. It was his first win on the tour since August of last year. The event, the first Chris Walsh Memorial Tournament, held to commemorate the loss of a member of the tour who passed away recently, drew 67 entrants to Walsh’s home room, Randolph’s Billiards in Hickory, NC. The event raised $600 for the Walsh family.
 
Ussery faced separate opponents in the hot seat and finals. After an 11-3 victory over Matt Harrell in a winners’ side semifinal, Ussery squared off against Stevie McClinton, who had just defeated teenager Casey Cork 7-1. Ussery claimed the hot seat 11-4 over McClinton and waited on the return of Filippino competitor Francisco Felicilda.
 
On the loss side, Felicilda worked his way closer to his eventual matchup against Ussery by downing Dalton Messer 11-3 and Matt Lucas, double hill (11-4 with Lucas racing to 5). This set Felicilda up to face Harrell. Cork, in the meantime, met up with Brian Francis, who’d defeated Marcio Smith 6-2 and another Filippino competitor, Raymund Faraon 6-1 (Faraon racing to 12).
 
Felicilda eliminated Harrell 11-2 and was joined in the quarterfinals by Francis, who’d downed Cork 6-1. After giving up only four racks over his last three matches, Francis had the tables turned on him by Felicilda, who shut him out to advance to the semifinals.
 
Felicilda completed a fairly impressive run over five loss-side matches with an 11-2 victory over McClinton in the semifinals. He entered the finals against Ussery having won 85% of his games (64-11) over the past six matches. He proved to be no match for Ussery, however, who completed his undefeated run with an 11-5 win; his first of 2019.
 
Tour directors Herman and Angela Parker thanked the ownership and staff at Randolph Billiards for hosting the 1st Chris Walsh Memorial, 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 (March 2-3), will be hosted by The Clubhouse in Lynchburg, VA.

Heeter wins 11 on the loss side and double dips White on Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour

Josh Heeter

Tournaments won by players who’ve lost a single match and have returned from the loss side of a double elimination bracket to defeat the undefeated occupant of the hot seat are fairly common; most common when the loser of the hot seat match plays one match on the loss side (in the semifinals) and earns a rematch against the undefeated occupant of the hot seat. Less common is the player who loses his first match early and has to win a significant number of matches, say 10 or more, before even getting the chance to meet the hot seat occupant. Even less common is the player who loses his opening match, wins 10 or more loss-side matches, and then defeats the hot seat occupant to capture his first-ever event title.
 
Meet Josh Heeter. According to our records, he has cashed in only two events on the Viking Cues’ Q-City 9-Ball Tour, finishing third in 2016, and runner-up to Scott Roberts in 2017. On the weekend of January 12-13, he signed on to a $1,000-added Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball event, which drew 60 entrants to Steakhorse Restaurant & Billiards in Spartanburg, SC. Heeter was awarded an opening round bye and lost his first match to Mark Duncan. He proceeded to embark on an 11-match, loss-side trip that propelled him into a final match against the tour’s reigning Bar Box Champion, Brian White, and defeated him twice (the second time, in a double hill fight), to earn his first-ever regional tour title anywhere by winning a total of 13 straight matches. We’ll catch up with him on the loss side in a minute.
 
In the meantime, while Heeter was busy on the loss side, chalking up his 11, White advanced to a winners’ side semifinal against June Bug. Mike Bumgarner and Blade Best squared off in the other one. Each had won, at this point, four matches. White downed Bug 11-1 and in the hot seat match faced Bumgarner, who’d defeated Best 7-2 (five matches each). White won his sixth by defeating Bumgarner 11-1 and claiming the hot seat.
 
Over on the loss side, Best was the competitor who drew Heeter, eight matches into his loss-side run. He’d most recently eliminated veteran competitor Keith Bennett 8-6 (Bennett racing to 11) and Chris Tuten 8-4. Bug picked up Matt Harrell, who’d most recently shut out Jacob Brooks and then downed the tour’s most prolific event champion, JT Ringgold 6-6 (Ringgold racing to 11).
 
Heeter chalked up win #9, 8-2 over Best, as Harrell got by Bug 6-5. In the ensuing quarterfinals, Heeter sent Harrell home 8-2, as well. Heeter earned his spot in the finals and loss-side win #11 with an 8-5 win over Bumgarner.
 
With White racing to 11, Heeter (racing to 8) took the first set of the true double elimination final 8-3. Heeter jumped out to an early, commanding lead in the second set and reached the hill first at 7-2. White put up a furious charge and won eight straight games to knot the match at 7-10. Heeter, though, stayed calm (apparently) and chalked up the deciding game to claim his first regional tour title.
 
Tour directors Herman and Angela Parker thanked Dayne Miller and his Steakhorse staff for their hospitality, 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 (Jan. 19-20), will be a $250-added event, hosted by Mickey Milligan’s in New Bern, NC.

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.

Harrell goes almost-undefeated and wins Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour stop in Spartanburg

Brown goes undefeated to win following week’s stop in Garner, NC
 
Viking Cues’ Q-City 9-Ball Tour director Herman Parker had nothing but the highest praise for his newest venue – The Steakhorse Restaurant and Billiards in Spartanburg, SC – which hosted a recent stop on the tour. Parker spent a good deal of time in the restaurant over the weekend and described it as the best pool room’s restaurant he’s ever eaten in. Owner Dayne Miller, a player in his own right, who won a stop on the tour this past January, added $1,500 to the event that drew 84 entrants (70 men/14 women & junior players) to the site on the weekend of June 2-3. According to Parker, arrangements are already in progress to have the site host his annual Tour Championships in the fall.
 
Jonathan “Hennessee from Tennessee” Pinegar, who’d won seven on the loss side took the opening set of the true double elimination final over hot seat occupant, Matt Harrell. Harrell, though, rallied to take the second set and claim the first-ever event title at The Steakhorse.
 
With Pinegar already at work on the loss side, following a defeat (by Derek Pierce) in the fourth winners’ side round, Harrell advanced to a winners’ side semifinal against Mackie Lowery. Brian Bagwell squared off against Mike Bumgarner in the other winners’ side semifinal. Harrell downed Lowery 6-5 (Lowery racing to 7) and in the hot seat match, faced Bagwell, who sent Bumgarner west 7-5. Harrell claimed the hot seat with a double hill win (6-6) over Bagwell.
 
On the loss side, with two notches on his loss-side belt, Pinegar ran into Don Lilly, winner of three straight Q-City 9-Ball stops earlier this year (one in late January and two in February). Pinegar eliminated him 12-5, and then defeated Rob Hart 12-3 to pick up Bumgarner. Lowery drew Derek Pierce, who’d defeated Collin Hall double hill (5-5) and Daniel Adams 5-2 to reach him. A re-match between Pinegar and Pierce was two matches away.
 
Pinegar did his part, defeating Bumgarner 12-6 to advance to the quarterfinals. Pierce, though was defeated by Lowery 7-4. Pinegar leapfrogged over the quarterfinal match when Lowery forfeited due to a work commitment.
 
The semifinal match wasn’t as easy. Bagwell came to the table with five games on the wire, racing to 12. Pinegar was on the hill at 11, but Bagwell had chalked up six to force a deciding match. Pinegar closed it out and turned to face Harrell in the hot seat.
 
Harrell entered the double elimination final with six on the wire, racing to 12. Both sets went double hill with Pinegar defeating Harrell in the first, 12-5, and Harrell, in the second, defeating him 6-11.
 
Tour directors Herman and Angela Parker thanked Dayne Miller and his Steakhorse staff for their hospitality and added money, as well as title sponsor Viking Cues, Delta 13 Racks, AZBilliards and Professor Q Ball.
 
The following week, on Saturday, June 9, the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour made a stop in Garner, NC and held an event which drew 20 entrants to Shotmaker’s Billiards. David Brown went undefeated in this event, downing Collin Hall 8-4 in the hot seat match, and Scott Roberts, double hill, in the only set necessary in the finals. The Parkers thanked their hosts and the same sponsors of this event.
 
The Parkers also noted that beginning this Wednesday (June 13-19), they will be directing a tournament not affiliated with (though sponsored in part by) their Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour. They have been asked to run the Doug Beasley Custom Cues Open (Formerly the Don Coates Memorial), a $10,000-added event that has already drawn a number of the country’s top-notch players, with more expected to come over the next couple of days. Among those already scheduled to compete are Johnny Archer, Rodney Morris, Neils Feijen, Ronnie Alcano, Charlie Bryant, Justin Bergman, Sky Woodward, and Tony Chohan, to name just a few. Also competing in the event will be the two finalists in this past Memorial Day weekend’s George “Ginky” Sansouci Memorial Tournament in New York – winner Klenti Kaci and runner-up Dennis Orcollo – as well as the competitor who downed Klaci shortly afterwards to win the recent Maryland State 9-Ball Championship, Zoren James Aranas. The event will feature a number of mini-tournaments, and a live stream by LiveActionMedia and AZBTv, with perennial host UpstateAl. The stream will offer daily ‘chat room’ prize giveaways. The event is being hosted by Brass Tap Billiards in Raleigh, NC.