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South takes two out of three versus Gabriel to win his first Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour stop

Gary South

When your finalists are battling to win their first event on your tour, you stick around to let them decide it on the table. When you’re either one of the finalists, you battle aches, pains and fatigue  to get it done and claim your first event title. Gary South and Junior Gabriel battled three times during the March 7 (and a few hours into March 8) stop on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour and were chasing dawn when they broke the last rack of the 31 games they played. South won 20 of those games and two of the matches to claim his first (recorded) regional tour win, anywhere.
 
It was Gabriel’s second runner-up finish on the tour, having finished 2nd at a stop last August at the same location – Break & Run Billiards in Chesnee, SC. He’d won seven on the loss side during that event to face Hunter White in the finals. As he did this past weekend, he won the opening set of the true double elimination final, but dropped the second. It happened to be Hunter White’s birthday. This most recent $500-added event, which drew 39 entrants to Break & Run Billiards was the fourth cash finish on the tour for both South and Gabriel and the best finish of all of them for South.
 
They both advanced to winners’ side semifinal matches; South, against junior player Landon Hollingsworth and Gabriel versus Randy Tate. South sent Hollingsworth to the loss side 7-5 and in their first of three, battling for the hot seat, faced Gabriel, who’d sent Tate over 6-3. South gave up only a single rack to Gabriel and claimed his first hot seat.
 
Landon Hollingsworth and Tate got right back to work on the loss side. Hollingsworth picked up Trey Frank, who’d defeated Sydney Cork and Brian Ervin, both 7-1, to reach him. Tate drew Billy Fowler, last year’s Bar Box Tour Champion, who’d eliminated Aaron McClure 9-3 and Ryan Hollingsworth (no relation to Landon) 9-1.
 
Landon Hollingsworth downed Frank 6-3 and in the quarterfinals, faced Tate, who’d eliminated Fowler 6-5 (Fowler racing to 9). The junior player, Hollingsworth defeated Tate 6-2 in those quarterfinals, but couldn’t get past Junior Gabriel, who ended the youngster’s night with a 6-3 victory in the semifinals.
 
With their first major event victory on the line, it was no surprise that the opening set of the true double elimination final went double hill. Gabriel won it to force a second set. South won that 7-4 to claim the event title.
 
Tour directors Herman and Angela Parker thanked the ownership and staff at Break & Run 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 March 14-15, will be a $500-added event, hosted by Mickey Milligan’s in New Bern, NC.

Pinegar wins 2019 SBE Pro Am Bar Box Championship

Jonathan Pinegar (Photo courtesy Super Billiards Expo)

Davis tops largest SBE field of 1,024 to win Amateur Open
 
In its multi-discipline, varied-skill format that, with some overlap among 11 events, drew over 3,000 pool players to the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center at Oaks, PA over the weekend of March 28-31, the Super Billiard Expo’s Pro Am Bar Box Championships has always existed as something of a challenge. In 2018, they used the challenge in promoting the event, asking potential participants a simple question – How good do you really think you are?
 
Open to all levels of competitors, without restriction, its field is capped at 32 players, who play a ‘best of three set’ format with races to 6 in each set (all other Amateur events utilized the same format, although with races to 5 in each set). While encouraging and expecting a wide variety of players from the amateur to the pro, this year’s ProAm Bar Box Championships featured a field that was tipped somewhat toward the amateur end of things. Not completely, because it was won by 20-year veteran Jonathan Pinegar, who’s been winning and cashing in amateur and semi-pro events for nearly 20 years. Known throughout most of his career as “Hennessee from Tennessee,” Pinegar has, in recent years, been signing on to events with his given name. At this year’s SBE, he signed in as John Pinegar. This year’s runner-up was Demetrius Jelatis.
 
The posted brackets on the SBE Web site for all of the amateur events (including the ProAm Bar Box) do not indicate the scores of the individual sets, which masks the give and take of game-by-game scoring. Instead, each player is seen to have won their individual matches by only one of two possible outcomes; 2-0 or 2-1. There is no way of knowing, therefore, a given player’s game-winning percentage, only his or her set-winning percentage.
 
Pinegar won 10 of 12 sets he played over five matches. He opened with a 2-1 win over Alex Olinger, went 2-0 against Kevin West and allowed Scott Haas a single set in the third round, which brought him to a semifinal matchup against Justin Espinosa. Jelatis, in the meantime, won eight of the 12 sets he played over five matches. He opened with two straight 2-0 set victories over Shane Clayton and Alan Rolan, before giving up a set to Ryan McCreesh. This set him (Jelatis) up against Jorge Rodriguez in the other semifinal. Rodriguez is another one of those competitors who’s been competing at the semi-pro and pro-level for years.
 
Pinegar got into the finals with a 2-0 set victory over Espinosa. Jelatis joined him after a 2-1 set victory over Rodriguez. Pinegar completed his undefeated (in sets) run with a 2-0 victory over Jelatis.
 
Davis goes undefeated in his individual bracket, advances to win Amateur Open
 
In the largest field of the SBE, the Amateur Open, 1,024 entrants initially split up into 16 brackets of 64 players each. Each of those brackets delivered a single player to a Final 16 bracket. Phil Davis didn’t lose a single set (best of three sets in races to 5) in his initial bracket, going 2-0 against Chris Garrett, Matt Clatterbuck, Mark Alicea, Paul Swinson, Richard Anderson and in his bracket’s finals, Jason Balas. He gave up his first set in the opening round of the single-elimination final 16 bracket, going 2-1 against Joe Wright. He went back to his 2-0 pattern against Mark Nanashee in the second round, which moved him into the semifinals against Julio Burgos.
 
Raed Shabib, in the meantime, gave up his first set, in the opening round of his 64-player bracket, to Christopher Balderson. He didn’t give up another one until his bracket finals, having gone 2-0 against Abel Rosario, John Hoge, Bill Mason and Randy Tate. He took the bracket final 2-1 over James Adams. He opened the Final 16 portion of his run with a 2-1 victory over George Crawford and then downed Brett Stottlemeyer 2-0, to arrive at a semifinal against Chris Bruner.
 
Davis and Shabib advanced to the finals with identical 2-1 set victories over Burgos and Bruner, respectively. Davis completed his undefeated run with a 2-1 victory over Shabib in the finals.
 
Amateur highlights
 
The next highest attended Amateur tournament was the Open Seniors event (for 50+), which drew 384 entrants. Originally split into eight preliminary brackets, yielding a single winner, the event was won by Bobby Connor. He advanced through the Final 8 field with set wins over Oscar Bonilla and Dennis Spears, both 2-1. He was met in the finals by Efrain Morales, who’d defeated Joe Armeni 2-1 and Chuck Ross 2-0. Connor didn’t give up a set in claiming the Open Seniors title.
 
Next up, with 192 entrants, was the Super Seniors (65+), who started in four initial brackets, yielding a very short final field of four. Ed Matushoneck downed Tom Acciavatti 2-1 to claim his spot in the finals, and was joined by Ronny Park, who’d defeated Nelson Rivera 2-1. Matushoneck claimed the Super Seniors title with a 2-0 win over Park.
 
The Amateur Ladies drew 188, just four less than the Super Seniors. Combined, those two events would have yielded an enormously entertaining field with just four less than the Open Seniors event. As it was, the 188 ladies, like the Super Seniors, started with four initial 64-player brackets (with a number of opening round byes) and ended with a final field of 4. Rachel Lang and Michelle Jiang advanced to the finals without giving up a set to either Marie-France Blanchette and Stacey Tonkin. Lang downed Jiang in the finals two sets to one.
 
In the 12 and under Juniors event, which drew 56 entrants, Parker Jakubczak downed 2018 11 & under Junior National Champion Kyle Yi in the finals 2-1. In the 17 & under category, which drew 76 entrants, two-time 14 & under National Junior Champion Nathan Childress defeated Ivo Linkin in two straight sets.

Mabe, Swinson and Sykes split top three prizes on Viking Cues Q City 9-Ball Tour stop

Anthony Mabe

The Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour ran into another tournament during their visit to Brown’s Billiards in Raleigh, NC on Saturday, January 5. Table assignments for the two events in a single room messed with the timing of both, and at the conclusion of the Q City 9-Ball quarterfinal match, it was 5 a.m. on Sunday morning. The three remaining competitors – Anthony Mabe, Graham Swinson and Corey Sykes – opted out of playing the two remaining matches and split the top three cash prizes. As the undefeated occupant of the hot seat, Anthony Mabe claimed the official event title. The event drew 37 entrants to Brown’s Billiards.
 
The hot seat match proved to be the title match. Anthony Mabe had survived a double hill match against Brian Bryant in one of the winners’ side semifinals, as Graham Swinson was working on his 6-6 victory over Barry Mashburn (Mashburn racing to 9). Mabe defeated Swinson 7-4 to claim the hot seat and presumably went looking for a cup of coffee.
 
On the loss side, Bryant and Mashburn ran right into their second straight loss. Bryant fell 10-3 to Corey Sykes, who’d defeated co-tour director Angela Parker and David Smooth, both 10-2, to reach him. Mashburn was eliminated by Randy Tate (father of Junior Champion and Atlantic Cup team member, Joey Tate) 6-5, who’d previously eliminated Josh Padron 6-5 (Padron racing to 7) and Billie Spatafora 6-3.
 
Sykes and Tate played the night’s, or more accurately, the morning’s last match, the quarterfinals. Sykes won it 10-2 to take his place in the how-to-split-up-the-last-three-cash-payouts discussion. He took third, Swinson was runner-up, and as the undefeated hot seat occupant, Mabe claimed the title.
 
Tour directors Herman and Angela Parked thanked the ownership and staff of Brown’s Billiards, 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. 12-13), will be a $1,000-added event ($1,500-added, if entrants exceed 80), hosted by Steakhorse Billiards in Spartanburg, SC.