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By default, Best, with dawn approaching, wins warm-up to NC State 8-Ball Championships

It was probably one of those things that looked good in the window, but terrible when you got it home. The Viking Cues' Q City 9-Ball Tour made a stop at the Brass Tap in Raleigh on the weekend of October 29-30 and 39 entrants showed up to participate in a rare 8-ball event that proceeded the NC State 8-Ball Championships the following week in Cary, NC. They made a decision to finish it in one day, instead of asking people (some of whom traveled a good distance) to return on Sunday. Somewhere in the vicinity of around 3 a.m., the players left were probably wondering whether the one-day idea was such a good one. As it turned out, when it got down to three players, the semifinalists (J.T. Ringgold and Travis Guerra) opted out of their match, and left the hot seat occupant, Blade Best, to claim the event title, unopposed in a final match.
Ringgold may have been the most affected by the shortened event. He lost his first match on Saturday to Peter Abatangelo and then won eight on the loss side to advance to the semifinals, at which point he and Travis Guerra opted out of the match. Assuming a 50-50 split, Ringgold went home with $300 (half the 2nd – $400 – and 3rd – $200 – payouts), instead of a potential $600, which might have come his way had he a) defeated Guerra, and b) went on to face and defeat Best in the hot seat. We and they will never know if they made a "good deal."
It was Guerra and Best who battled for the hot seat in this one. Guerra had sent Justin Clark to the loss side, double hill, in one winners' side semifinal, while Best sent Mike Mullins west 5-3. Best claimed the hot seat 5-1 over Guerra and for all intents and purposes, his night was over.
On the loss side, Ringgold was halfway through his eight-match, loss-side run, when he downed Glenn Smith 9-4 and Al Boone, double hill (9-3) to pick up Clark. Mullins drew Rich Anderson, who'd recently shut out Matt Lucas, and downed Clay Davis 7-3. Ringgold advanced to the quarterfinals 9-3 over Clark, and was joined by Mullins, who, in a straight-up race to 7, had defeated Anderson, double hill.
Ringgold ended the tournament with a 9-3 win over Mullins. He and Guerra opted out of their semifinal match, and Best went into the books as the event winner.
Tour director Herman Parker thanked the ownership and staff at the Brass Tap, as well as title sponsor Viking Cues, Delta-13 racks and Ruthless Billiards. The next stop on the Viking Cues' Q City 9-Ball Tour, scheduled for the weekend of November 5-6 will be the North Carolina State 8-Ball Championships, to be hosted by Breaktime Billiards in Cary, NC. In attendance will be defending champion, Mike Davis

Stone, about to become a Marine, takes two out of three vs. Norris to win his first GSBT stop

Shannon Daulton, Brad Stone, Christi Norris and owner Brent Hudgins

It was the first time that either Brad Stone or Christy Norris had appeared in a Great Southern Billiard Tour final. They'd met earlier in a winners' side semifinal, with Stone advancing to the hot seat, and Norris coming back from a three-match sojourn to the losers' bracket. Stone took two out of three against Norris to claim his first GSBT title, approximately three weeks ahead of reporting for duty with the United States Marine Corps. The $800-added event, drew 39 entrants to Shore Thing Billiards in Myrtle Beach, SC on the weekend of December 13-14.
The first of the three meetings between Stone and Norris was a double hill affair that moved Stone into the hot seat match and sent Norris to the losers' bracket. Stone was joined in the winners' side final by Rich Anderson, who'd defeated Zach Courtwright 8-2. Stone defeated the higher-ranked Anderson 4-6 to gain the hot seat and wait on Ms. Norris.
On the loss side, Norris picked up Matt Collins, who'd defeated Brittany Burnett 7-2 and Matt Hall 7-1 to reach her. Courtwright drew Luis Tovar, who'd eliminated Tanya Parsley 5-1, and Tony DeGuzman 5-2.
It was Norris and Courtwright who advanced to the quarterfinals; Norris with a 5-4 victory over Collins, as Courtwright was busy ending Tovar's day 4-2. Norris downed Courtwright in that quarterfinal match 5-2 and went on to defeat Anderson 5-7 in the semifinals.
She defeated Stone 5-2 in the opening set of the true double elimination final. The two battled to double hill in the second set, before Stone prevailed to earn his first GSBT title.