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Junior National Champion Tate chalks up ‘official’ win on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour

Joey Tate

It is not often that a final tournament match is called off because one of the competitors has to get to school in the morning. Such was the case on Saturday, October 15, when 12-year-old Joey Tate, winner of the Billiard Education Foundation’s Junior National Championships (14 and under division) last month in Las Vegas, and Corey Sykes opted out of a final match on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour. Tate had defeated Sykes in the hot seat match, but Sykes took the first set of a true double elimination final before the decision not to play a second set was made. As the hot seat occupant, Tate became the event’s ‘official’ winner, chalking up his first regional tour win. The event drew 22 entrants to Brass Tap in Raleigh, NC.
Originally from the Chicago area, Tate and his family have relocated to the Raleigh area, making Brass Tap something of a home room for the youngster. It might be a little early to start thinking of him as the ‘house pro’ of the room, but his performance in this most recent event is certainly a qualifying credential. He and Sykes advanced to the winners’ side semifinals, with Tate facing Michael Chapman and Sykes squaring off against another, slightly older junior player, Peter Abatangelo. Tate sent Chapman to the loss side in a double hill battle, while Sykes defeated Abatangelo 10-3. With Tate racing to 6 (a number that will likely rise in the weeks and months ahead) and Sykes racing to 10, the two fought to a deciding game, won by Tate, giving him a 6-9 win and possession of his first hot seat.
On the loss side, Chapman picked up Jason Rogers, who’d defeated Mike Rowe 9-4 and Randall Bowman, double hill, to reach him. Abatangelo drew Ryan Tremblay, who’d eliminated Ben Spivey 6-2 and Greg Pullman 6-3. Rogers downed Chapman double hill and in the quarterfinals, faced Tremblay, who’d ended the junior’s tournament with a 6-4 win.
Rogers won the quarterfinal match over Tremblay, double hill (9-5), and was then eliminated, double hill (10-8), by Sykes in the semifinals. It proved to be the last of six double hill matches among the event’s final 12 competitors. Sykes took the opening set of the true double elimination 10-3 over Tate, at which point, they opted out of a second set. Tate will be travelling to Moscow in about a month to represent the US in the Junior World Championships, and as a result, is working ahead of time (even on Sundays) at making up the three weeks of school he’ll miss while competing in the event. The added workload was a factor in their mutual decision not to pursue a deciding match.
Tour directors Herman and Angela Parker thanked the ownership and staff at Brass Tap, as well as title sponsor Viking Cues, Delta 13 Racks, AZBilliards and Professor Q Ball. The next stop on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour, scheduled for October 21-22, will be hosted by Borderline Billiards in Bristol, TN.  

Carroll and Williams split top prizes on Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball stop in New Bern, NC

Billy Carroll and David Williams allowed their hot seat match to stand as the final result, during an April 1-2 stop on the Viking Cues' Q City 9-Ball tournament. Carroll, as the eventual hot seat occupant, was given the official titleThe $250-added event drew 33 entrants to Mickey Milligan's Billiards & Pub in New Bern, NC.
In addition to its roster of five competitors who cashed in the event, the tournament featured three generations of the Ringgold family; grandfather Vernon, his son Terry, and grandson J.T. Ringgold, who'd split the top two prizes in last week's event with Scott Roberts. All had been eliminated by the time the tournament moved into its money rounds. Terry, representing the middle generation, had defeated his Dad, Vernon, in the matches that determined the four-way tie for 13th place. Moving into the subsequent 9/12 matches, there was a chance looming that father Terry might, at some point, face his son, although the way the brackets were playing out, it wouldn't happen until the quarterfinals. Father Terry lasted one more round than his son, J.T.
Carroll and Williams got into the one and only match they played, for the hot seat, following Carroll's double hill win over Junior Avery, and Williams' 4-6 win over Danny Farren (Farren racing to 8). In a result that may have played into the later decision not to play a second time, Carroll shut Williams out to get into the hot seat.
Avery and Farren moved to the loss side, where they promptly picked up their second loss from two competitors in the midst of lengthy loss-side winning streaks. Avery drew Ron Canterbury, who'd defeated Randy Hodges 6-3 and Roy Musser 6-4 (Musser had eliminated J.T. Ringgold in the previous round). Farren drew Mike Rowe, who'd survived a double hill match against Brent Thomas, and then, ended the Ringgold family's participation with a 4-2 win over Terry. 
Canterbury knocked out Avery 6-1, while Rowe, playing in his seventh loss-side match, eliminated Farren 4-4 (Farren to 8). In his seventh loss-side match, Canterbury ended Rowe's streak in the quarterfinals 6-1, only to have Williams end his streak 4-3 in what proved to be the last match of the weekend, the semifinals. Carroll and Williams opted out of the finals, leaving Carroll as the official winner.
Tour director Herman Parker thanked the ownership and staff of Mickey Milligan's, as well as title sponsor Viking Cues, 13 Delta Racks, AZBilliards and Professor Q Ball. The next stop on the Viking Cues' Q City 9-Ball Tour, a $500-added event, scheduled for this weekend (April 8-9), will be hosted by Legends Billiards in Inman, SC. 

Pope, Young and Nielsen split top three prizes on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour

As is often the case, tournaments that end up chasing dawn, lead to an agreed-upon split in the event's top prizes. The last matches, scheduled long after everybody but the players and tour administrators have gone home, are generally only of interest to the players involved, who are more often than not, bone tired and unlikely to be at a performance level commensurate with their skills. Splits among an event's finalists are common. Three-way splits, avoiding both the semifinals and finals (sometimes double elimination finals) are rare, but, as in the case of the Viking Cues' Q City 9-Ball Tour stop on Saturday, March 18 (moving into Sunday morning), they happen.
In this case, it allowed one veteran member of the tour, Solomon Pope, to become the official winner and take home some cash for the first time since joining the tour a few years ago. By the same token, the decision to split the top three prizes denied Jeff Young the opportunity to chalk up his second win on the tour in a little over a week (he won the March 11-12 stop). When the decision was made, Young, having been defeated by Pope in the hot seat match, was scheduled for a re-match against Denmark's Peter Nielsen, whom he'd defeated in a double hill winners' side semifinal (4-8, with Nielsen racing to 9). It's anyone's guess how the next two, potentially three matches (double elimination final) would have turned out, but as with all prize splits at the end of a tournament, the players were content with not finding out. The event drew 38 entrants to Breaktime Billiards in Cary, NC.
As Young was locked up in the double hill fight that sent Nielsen to the loss side, Pope was working against Christy Norris in the other winners' side semifinal. He defeated her 7-5, and then downed Young in the hot seat match 7-1.
Lurking on the loss side as all this was going on, was pro-player Mike Davis, Jr., who was racing to 13 against all of his opponents. He got by Bryan Pate 13-4 in the 9/12 matches, but was denied entrance to the money rounds by Alan Shaw, who, like Pope, was a veteran member of the tour looking to cash for the first time.  Shaw, who'd defeated Jason Rogers previously 5-2, made it to the money rounds with a 5-7 win over Davis, and drew Nielsen. Norris picked up Chris Gentile, who'd defeated Mike Mullins 8-4 and Mike Rowe 8-1 to reach her.
Gentile downed Norris 8-2, as Nielsen sent Shaw home 9-2 (with his first cash winnings of $50). For those who were still around, the final match of the evening – the quarterfinals – saw Nielsen and Gentile lock up in a double hill fight, eventually won by Nielsen 9-7. And it was over, with Pope, sitting in the hot seat, as the official undefeated winner and Young and Nielsen in a single-loss tie.
Tour director Herman Parker thanked the ownership and staff at Breaktime Billiards, as well as title sponsor Viking Cues, Delta 13 Racks, AZBilliards and Professor Q Ball. The next stop on the Viking Cues' Q City 9-Ball Tour, scheduled for this weekend (March 25-26), will be hosted by a new venue for the tour, Peninsula Billiards featuring bar box tables in Newport News, VA.