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Brandon Butts wins his first Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour stop

Until this past weekend, Brandon Butts had cashed only twice on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour, finishing 5th at a benefit for Anthony Mabe this past June and 4th at a stop on the tour in February, 2020. Third time, they say, is a charm and it worked for Butts this past weekend, as he went undefeated, earning more in one appearance than he’d made in the other two combined. The Saturday, Oct. 3 event, undoubtedly ‘hurt’ in the attendance department by drawing a number of tour regulars to an event in Aiken, SC (the inaugural Omega Diamond Classic), drew 26 entrants to Still Cluckin’ in Providence, NC.

Butts and Billie Spadafora advanced to the winners’ side semifinal; Butts, facing Mike Powell and Spadafora, going up against Juan Rojas. Butts and Powell fought to a 9th deciding game, which advanced Butts to the hot seat match. Spadafora joined him after sending Rojas to the loss side 5-1. Butts’ tour win was preceded by his first appearance in a hot seat match, which he won 5-3 to claim his first hot seat.

Powell and Rojas got right back to work on the loss side. Powell faced Jason Rogers, who’d recently shut out Chris Knakal and survived a double hill fight versus Paul Johnson. Rojas picked up Daniel Guill, who’d won two straight double hill matches, against Thomas Sansone and Collin Hall, to reach him. Advancing to the first money round, the quarterfinals, Powell downed Rogers 5-6 (Rogers racing to 8), while Rojas eliminated Guill 6-1.

Powell and Rojas fought a double hill battle in those quarterfinals, which eventually sent Powell to the semifinals. Spadafora then spoiled Powell’s hope of a rematch versus Butts in the finals by defeating him 5-2. Butts then spoiled Spadafora’s realized rematch against him with a 5-2 win in the finals to claim his first tour title.

Tour director Herman Parker thanked the ownership and staff at Still Cluckin’, as well as title sponsor Viking Cues,, 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 (Oct. 9-10), will be hosted by Borderline Billiards in Bristol, TN. 

Raden and Ringgold split top prizes on Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour

Last year proved to be a bit of an off-year for JT Ringgold, who, though he cashed in 12 events, failed to chalk up more than a single victory; in June, on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour at Mickey Milligan’s in New Bern, NC. He barely took home one-third of the cash he won in 2018, his best earnings year to date, when he won three stops on the tour (one of them at Mickey Milligan’s) and the Action Pool Tour’s season finale. Ringgold returned to Mickey Milligan’s on Saturday, January 18 and opened his 2020 campaign on a semi-positive note. Though he managed to earn a spot in the finals against Matt Raden, the two of them opted out of a final match, leaving Raden, the undefeated occupant of the hot seat as the winner. It was Raden’s first cash finish on the tour, on which he’s been competing since 2017. The $400-added event drew 24 entrants to Mickey Milligan’s.
They met once in this event, in a winners’ side quarterfinal, which went double hill, before Raden prevailed 7-10 (Ringgold to 11). Ringgold moved to the loss side, as Raden drew a winners’ side semifinal matchup against Montez Lloyd. Ron Ford, in the meantime, squared off against Jorge Ramos in the other winners’ side semifinal.
Two double hill matches sent Raden and Ford to the hot seat match. Raden downed Lloyd 7-5 and Ford defeatEd Ramos 5-6. Raden claimed his first-ever hot seat with a 7-3 victory over Ford in what proved to be Raden’s final match.
Over on the loss side, Ringgold began his five-match trek toward a rematch against Raden with an 11-1 victory over Jeff Matthews and then downed Joshua Shultz 11-4 to draw Ramos. Mike Powell, who’d defeated Mickey Milligan’s owner Gerry Sheperd 5-1 and survived a double hill fight against Ms. Sydney Cork (5-3), leapfrogged over Montez Lloyd, who forfeited his first loss-side match.
Ringgold joined Powell in the quarterfinals after defeating Ramos 11-6. In what proved to be Ringgold’s final match, he defeated Powell 11-3 in those quarterfinals.
Ringgold then did his own leapfrog number. Ford forfeited the semifinal match, which set Ringgold up to face Raden in the finals. The two agreed to the split, leaving Raden with his first regional tour win, albeit with the *, and the evening was done.
Tour directors Herman and Angela Parker thanked Gerry Sheperd and his Mickey Milligan’s staff, as well as title sponsor Viking Cues, Bar Pool Tables, Delta 13 Racks, AZ Billiards and Professor Q-Ball. The next stop on the tour, scheduled for January 25-26, will be a $500-added event ($1,000-added with 64+ players), hosted by Break & Run Billiards in Chesnee, SC.