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Lewis stops Clevinger bid for third straight Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour win

Cole Lewis

The last two times that Mike Clevinger competed on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour (June and earlier this month), he went home a winner. He came to this past weekend’s stop on the tour in search of his third straight win, only to have those hopes dashed by one Cole Lewis, who came looking for and found his first win on the tour. The event was the 2nd Annual Brian James Memorial, held at Borderline Billiards in Bristol, TN, which drew 70 entrants.

They met first in a winners’ side semifinal, as Jimmy Bird and Dalton Messer met up in the other one. Lewis took the first of their eventual three 7-3 and in the hot seat, faced Bird, who’d sent Messer to the loss side 7-2. Lewis claimed the hot seat 7-3 over Bird.

On the loss side, Clevinger drew Eric Roberts, who’d defeated Kyle Bailey 9-3 and Doug Schulz 9-4 to reach him. Chris Cowan had most recently gotten by junior player Garytt Elder (14) 5-1 and Ron Frank 5-6 (Frank racing to 8) to pick up Dalton Messer.

Clevinger and Messer downed Cowan and Roberts; Clevinger, 7-6 over Roberts (racing to 9) and Messer, 6-2 over Cowan. Clevinger put the hammer down in the subsequent quarterfinals, allowing Messer only a single rack. Jimmy Bird gave Clevinger a battle in the semifinals that followed. They fought to double hill, before Clevinger prevailed for a second and to win, necessary third shot at Lewis, waiting for him in the hot seat.

In a match that wouldn’t conclude until the early hours of Monday morning, Clevinger took advantage of some momentum to win the opening set 7-4. In the second set, they battled to double hill, before Lewis prevailed to claim his first title on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour.

Tour director Herman Parker thanked Janet Atwell and her Borderline Billiards staff for their hospitality, as well as title sponsor title 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 31-Aug. 1, will be hosted by Still Cluckin’ in Providence, NC. 

Clevinger chalks up his second * win on the Viking Cues’ Q-City 9-Ball Tour

Back in June, Mike Clevinger split the top two prizes at a Viking Cues’ Q-City 9-Ball Tour stop in Janet Atwell’s room, Borderline Billiards in Bristol, TN to claim his first official event title, with the ‘no-final-played’ *. He split the cash with Atwell herself, who’d won three on the loss side for the right to face him in the finals that never were. This past weekend, Saturday, July 10 (spilling over into early AM Sunday), Clevinger claimed his second event title (*) on the tour, this time, splitting the cash with Derek Bonds, who, like Atwell before him, had won three on the loss side for the right to face Clevinger in the finals. The $1,000-added event drew 37 entrants to Sonny’s Bistro & Billiards in Princeton, WV.

As it turned out, Clevinger and Bonds allowed their first and only meeting, in a winners’ side semifinal, to stand as the definitive event winner. Clevinger won that first matchup, double hill (6-4). Cole Lewis, a 17-year-old junior player, joined Clevinger in the hot seat match after sending Wayne Hubbard to the loss side 7-1. Clevinger claimed the hot seat 6-2 over Lewis.

On the loss side, Bonds picked up Daniel Adams, who’d eliminated Reid Vance, double hill, and room owner John Brockman 6-4 to reach him. Hubbard drew Collin Hall, who’d shut out Travis Guerra and downed Jamie Sparks 6-2.

Hall defeated Hubbard 6-2, and in the quarterfinals, met up with Bonds, who’d eliminated Adams 5-2. Bonds then defeated Hall 5-3 in their quarterfinal match.

Bonds completed his loss-side comeback with a 5-3 victory over Lewis in the semifinals. Bonds and Clevinger agreed to the split, leaving Clevinger as the event’s official title holder.

Tour director Herman Parker thanked John Brockman and his Sonny’s Bistro & Billiards staff 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 this weekend, July 17-18, will be a $500-added Scotch Doubles tournament, hosted by West End Billiards in Gastonia, NC.

Clevinger and Atwell split top prizes on Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour

Mike Skeens, Janet Atwell and Mike Clevinger

Tour raises $1,650 for Michael Putnam and family, owners of Papertown Billiards, Asheville

Mike Clevinger and room owner/professional competitor Janet Atwell opted out of a final match at this past weekend’s (June 12-13) stop on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour, hosted by Atwell’s room, Borderline Billiards in Bristol, TN. As the undefeated occupant of the hot seat at the time, Clevinger claimed the official event title. The event drew 39 entrants.

In addition to the event itself, the tour organized a fund raiser to benefit Michael Putnam and his family. Michael, co-owner with his wife, Alicia, of Papertown Billiards in Asheville, NC, is currently on a ventilator, coping with complications related to COVID. The tour was able to raise $1,650 to donate to his family. Members of the pool community wishing to contribute to the ongoing campaign should reach out to Janet Atwell, a personal friend of the Putnams, who competes in a regularly scheduled Papertown Ladies Tour, run by Alicia Putnam. Atwell can be reached via the Borderline Billiards page on Facebook.

Of particular note at this most recent event was the performance of junior competitor, Hayleigh Marion, 14, who is the #7-ranked player in the 18-and-under Girls division of the ongoing series of Junior International Championships being held regularly under the auspices of On the Wire Creative Media. Marion, who is mentored and taught by Janet Atwell, signed on to compete in this event, won two matches on the winners’ side and then, five on the loss side, advancing to the quarterfinals, when she met and was defeated by Atwell. A familiar face on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour, Marion and Yoshiaki Kanamura competed as a doubles team on the tour last March and claimed the event title. In June 2020, Marion and Atwell played as a doubles team on the tour and finished in the tie for 5th place. 

Eventual, official winner this past weekend, Mike Clevinger advanced to a winners’ side semifinal against Chris Cowan, while Mike Skeens squared off against Janet Atwell. Clevinger sent Cowan to the loss side 6-3, while Skeens downed Atwell 5-4 (Atwell racing to 7). Clevinger claimed the hot seat in what proved to be his last match with a 6-1 victory over Skeens.

On the loss side, Cowan was the one who drew Hayleigh Marion, four matches into her loss-side streak, having most recently eliminated David Hopkins 5-3 and Reid Vance (racing to 7), 4-2. Prior to being defeated by Marion, Vance had defeated her former doubles partner, Yoshiaki Kanamura. Atwell picked up Ricky Chitwood, who’d shut out Joe Blackburn (responsible for sending Marion to the loss side) and downed Amanda Mann 6-1.

Atwell ended Chitwood’s run 7-2, as her pupil was busy eliminating Chris Cowan 4-2. Atwell then defeated her student 7-0 in the quarterfinals.

In what proved to be the last match of the event, Atwell downed Mike Skeens in the semifinals. She and Clevinger agreed to the split and Clevinger claimed the official title.

Tour director Herman Parker thanked Atwell and her Borderline Billiards staff for their hospitality, as well as title sponsor Viking Cues, BarPoolTables.net, Dirty South Grind Apparel Co., AZBilliards, Federal Savings Bank mortgage division and Diamond Brat.

The next stop on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour, scheduled for this weekend, June 19-20, will feature two events, a 9-ball tournament and a limited-entry (16; $100 entry fee) One Pocket tournament. The events will be hosted by Railbird Billiards in Hickory, NC.

Vance double dips Coe to win his first Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour event

Reid Vance

Until this past weekend, Reid Vance had only cashed in three Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball events over the past two years. He finished as runner-up in two of those three events, 4th in the other. Two years ago (Sept. 2018), Vance made it to the hot seat, only to get double-dipped by Ricky Bingham in the finals. Earlier this year (January), he and BJ Ussery opted out of a final match, allowing Ussery, as the undefeated occupant of the hot seat to claim that event title. Vance broke through this weekend (Sat. Oct. 24) when he took the double-dip route; winning five on the loss side and then double dipping Dustin Coe in the finals to claim his first title. The $300-added event drew a short field of 17 entrants to a new venue for the tour, Kickshot Billiards in Phelps, KY. 

Vance and Coe met three times in this event; first, in a winners’ side quarterfinal in which Coe launched Vance onto his loss-side trip. Coe advanced to a winners’ side semifinal against Bobby Gartin, as Chris Stump faced Bill Collins in the other one. Coe got into the hot seat match with a 6-3 win over Gartin. Stump joined him after sending Collins west 6-2. Coe claimed the hot seat 6-3 and waited on Vance’s return.

Gartin and Collins came into the loss bracket and walked right into their second straight loss. Collins drew Vance, who’d defeated Jacob Marcum 6-2 and then, chalked up the first of three straight double hill wins, against Tony Williams. Gartin picked up Mike Clevinger, who’d recently shut out Kickshot Billiards’ owner, Hershel Rife and eliminated Danny Clay 6-3.

Vance won his second double hill match, sending Collins home, as Clevinger downed Gartin 6-1. Vance made it three-in-a-row with a double hill win over Clevinger in the subsequent quarterfinals.

The double hill pattern ended in the semifinals, though not well for Chris Stump. Vance defeated him 6-2 to earn his rematch against Coe. In the true double elimination final, Vance took the first set 6-2 and in the second, allowed Coe only a single rack, before claiming his first event title.

Tour directors Herman and Angela Parker thanked Hershel Rife and his staff for their hospitality, as well as title sponsor Viking Cues, Bar Pool Tables, JB Magic Templates, AZBilliards, 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, Oct. 31-Nov. 1, will be a $500-added event that will be hosted by Borderline Billiards in Bristol, TN.

Kidwell double dips Roberts to win Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour stop

Brandon Kidwell

About a month short of two years ago (February 25-26, 2017), pro player Jeffrey DeLuna from the Phillipines signed on to a 65-entrant stop on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour, being held at Janet Atwell’s room, Borderline Billiards in Bristol, TN. As a professional, DeLuna had to win 13 games per match before most of his opponents chalked up eight or nine. Not surprisingly, DeLuna went undefeated through the field, but not before he was challenged twice by Brandon Kidwell, who called then and continues to call Borderline Billiards his home room. The hot seat match was something of a blowout. With Kidwell racing to 8, he managed to chalk up only three against the seasoned pro’s 13. The finals were a different story. Though DeLuna went on to defeat Kidwell a second time, it was not before Kidwell had brought him to the double-hill brink of defeat at 12-7. Had he won the match, in the double elimination format of the final, Kidwell would have had to do it again; a point rendered moot when DeLuna broke the double-hill tie and claimed the event title.
 
On the weekend of January 26-27, Kidwell, with two victories on the tour in his past (both prior to his meetup with DeLuna), returned to the ‘scene of the crime’, as it were, came back from a hot seat loss and defeated Scott Roberts twice to claim his first Q City 9-Ball title in a little over two years. The event drew 50 entrants to Borderline Billiards, which, thanks to Atwell, filled in an empty slot on the tour schedule just four days before it began.
 
Kidwell (still racing to 8, throughout) advanced through the field to arrive at a winners’ side semifinal match against 17-year-old Hunter White. Scott Roberts, in the meantime, squared off against Brandon Stiltner. Kidwell downed White 8-2 and was joined in the hot seat match by Roberts, who’d survived a double hill battle (8-5) against Stiltner. Roberts took possession of the hot seat 8-4 and waited on Kidwell’s return from the semifinals.
 
Over on the loss side, Stiltner ran into Brian James, who’d defeated Richard Kearsey 6-2 and June Bug (aka James Miracle) 6-3 to reach him. White picked up Mike Clevinger, who’d most recently shut out Trevor Stanley and defeated Steve Guy 6-4. James advanced 6-2 over Stiltner. White joined him in the quarterfinals after shutting Clevinger out 9-0.
 
James Took the quarterfinal match over White 6-3 and then locked up in a double hill battle with Kidwell in the semifinals. Kidwell dropped the 9-ball in the deciding match and turned his attention to a rematch against Roberts in a double elimination final.
 
In a straight-up race to 8, the first set ended with the same score as the hot seat match, although it was Kidwell who chalked up the 8 and Roberts with the 4. Roberts came back in the second set, but not by nearly enough. Kidwell claimed the title with a second-set 8-5 win.
 
Tour directors Herman and Angela Parker thanked Janet Atwell and her staff at Borderline Billiards, not only for hosting the event, but for agreeing to do so, four days ahead of the scheduled start. They also thanked 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 (Feb. 2-3), will be a $500-added event, hosted by Speak Eazy Billiards in Sanford, NC.

Shabib comes back from first-set loss to win Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour Championships

Raed Shabib

It is, for those keeping score, the exact same headline (with a name changed to reflect the difference) that was used to describe Raed Shabib’s last win on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour in September, 2017. On the weekend of December 15-16 in 2018, Shabib, once again, navigated his way through a field of entrants to get into the hot seat, was defeated in the first set of a double elimination final, and came back to win the second set to claim the event title. The occasion this time was the annual Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Invitational Tour Championships. The $1,000-added event drew 87 entrants to Borderline Billiards in Bristol, TN.
 
This victory took a little longer, given the 3-times-plus-a-little number of entrants that were on hand at Borderline Billiards. In the time it took Shabib to get about halfway through this one, he’d already won the 2017 event. Shabib worked his way through the field to arrive at a winners’ side semifinal match against Brian James. Lee O’Neal, in the meantime, met up with Brandon Stiltner.
 
Shabib downed James 8-3, as O’Neal was sending Stiltner west 5-4 (Stiltner racing to 6). Shabib then claimed the hot seat 8-4 over O’Neal and waited on his return.
 
On the loss side, Stiltner picked up Jason Potts, who’d recently defeated Matt Shaw 7-3 and Stevie Thomas 7-1. James drew Tyler Mayfield, who’d eliminated Stevie McClinton, double hill and Mike Clevinger 6-4. Potts defeated Stiltner 7-4 and in the quarterfinals, faced James, who’d sent Mayfield home 6-4.
 
James advanced another step, defeating Potts 6-4 in those quarterfinals, before O’Neal downed him in the semifinals 5-4 (James racing to 6). With Shabib racing to 8, O’Neal took the opening set of the true double elimination final 5-4. Shabib came back in the second set and allowed O’Neal only a single rack to claim the event title.
 
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 first stop on the 2019 Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour will precede the New Year by nine days. Scheduled for this weekend, December 22-23, the $500-added event ($1,000, with 50 or more entrants) will be hosted by The Steakhorse Restaurant & Billiards in Spartanburg, SC.