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Noble takes two out of three against Walker to win his first GSBT stop

Shannon Daulton, Todd Noble, Mike Walker and owner Marty Opyd

For the second week in a row, the Great Southern Billiard Tour featured two players who had never been in a final before battling it out for the event title. It was also the second week in a row that the two finalists had been among the winners' side final four, and had to play both sets of a double elimination final to determine the winner. On the weekend of December 20-21, at a $1,000-added event that drew 74 entrants to Legends Billiards in Inman, SC, it was Todd Noble who took the second set of the true double elimination final against Mike Walker to capture the event title.
They almost met in the hot seat match. Noble faced Matt Malden in one winners' side semifinal, as Walker squared off against Matt Hall in the other. Noble advanced to the hot seat match 6-3 over Malden, but Hall sent Walker west 3-4. Noble and Hall locked up in a double hill hot seat match that left Noble in the hot seat and Hall moving to the semifinals for a fateful meet-up with Walker.
Walker had moved over and picked up Romy Malonzo, who'd defeated John Walker 5-3 and Hunter White 5-4 to reach him. Malden drew Zach Baker, who'd eliminated Marty White 4-4 and in a 'match of Zachs' (Baker and Collins) defeated Collins, double hill. Walker then defeated Malonzo, double hill, and in the quarterfinals, faced Malden, who'd finished Baker 7-2.
Walker took the quarterfinal match over Malden 5-5, to earn his re-match against Hall in the semifinals. Hall put up a double hill fight, but Walker prevailed for a shot at Noble in the hot seat. The two locked up in a first set, double hill fight, eventually won by Walker. Noble came back in the second set to win it 6-3 and claim his first GSBT title.

On last 2011 GSBT stop, Brady wins his first

Defeated only once, by Glenn Russell in the opening set of a true double elimination final, Norris Brady hung on to prevail in the second set and capture his first-ever victory on the Great Southern Billiard Tour. The $1,500-added, Player Appreciation and End of the Year event was held on the weekend of December 17-18, and drew 52 entrants to Speak Eazy Billiards in Sanford, NC.

From among the winners’ side final four, Brady and his hot seat challenger, Chris Vollmar gave up only one rack between them to advance to the final winners’ side finals. It was Vollmar who gave up that single rack, to Mike Walker, as Brady shut out Tommy Cook. The hot seat match was the proverbial ‘horse of a different color,’ as Brady and Vollmar battled to double hill, before Brady sunk the ball that put him into the hot seat to await Russell.

Russell, in the meantime, was in the midst of a 10-match winning streak on the loss-side that began when he was defeated in the event’s opening round by Ray Cheek. With five down and five to go, Russell got by Cotton Trivett 9-5 and Shawn Ray 9-2 to pick up Cook. Walker drew B.J. Hucks, who’d defeated Paul Peters 9-6 and Billy Thorpe 9-4 to reach him. Russell downed Cook 9-5 and was joined in the quarterfinal match by Hucks, who’d defeated Walker 9-4. 

Russell then dropped Hucks into fourth place 9-6 and gave up only three racks in his subsequent semifinal victory over Vollmar. He opened the true double elimination final with a double hill win in the opening set, but fell short in the second. Brady took the second set 9-5 to secure his first-ever win on the GSBT.

Tour directors Shannon and Marge Daulton awarded a Free Entry to the 9th through 12th place finishers Scott Roberts, Cotton Trivett, Paul Peters and Wendell Thompkins. The Daultons took time out to thank not only the owner and staff of Speak Eazy Billiards in Sanford, NC for their support in hosting the tour’s final event of the year, but all of the venue owners who’ve contributed to the success of the tour throughout the year. They also thanked their sponsors: Andy Gilbert Custom Cues, Nick Varner Cues and Cases, Mike Davis Exterminating, Tiger Products and Delta-13 racks.