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Gabriel comes back from brink of a loss to claim Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball title

Junior Gabriel

One game away from being double-dipped in the finals of the Saturday, July 9 stop on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour, Junior Gabriel rallied from 4-1 down to chalk up five racks in a row and claim his second tour title. It marked his 6th cash finish on the tour since he started showing up on its payout lists in 2018. He went undefeated last November on the tour to claim his first major title. The $500-added event drew 35 entrants to Overtime Billiards in Columbia, SC. 

Gabriel’s three-time nemesis at this event was PJ Stabler, who won the opening set of the true double elimination final and brought him to the brink in the second set. Stabler had defeated Larry McGee 5-3 in one of the winners’ side semifinals, as Gabriel was busy sending Michael Thompson to the loss side in the other one 6-5 (Thompson racing to 7). Gabriel claimed the hot seat 6-3 over Stabler.

On the loss side, Thompson picked up Calvin Lee, who’d defeated Adam Springs 6-3 and Rocky Guell 6-2 to reach him. McGee drew a rematch against the player he’d sent to the loss side 6-2 in the third winners’ side round, Thomas Sansone. Sansone moved over to begin a six-match, loss-side streak that would take him as far as the semifinals. Before picking up McGee for the second time, he’d eliminated (loss-side wins #3 & #4) Brandon Powell and Russell Scott, both 6-4.

Sansone chalked up his fifth loss-side win, downing McGee 6-2. Thompson joined him in the quarterfinals after surviving a double hill bout against Lee. 

Sansone took the quarterfinal match 6-3 over Thompson, before locking up in a double hill, semifinal battle for a seat in the finals. Stabler came into the match with a single bead on the wire in a race to 6. He chalked up the five he needed to advance. 

With the same handicap (Stabler racing to 5, Gabriel to 6), Stabler took the opening set of the true double elimination final 5-2. On a bit of a figurative and literal roll, Stabler jumped out in front in the second set and reached the hill, ahead by three at 4-1. Gabriel won the next five racks to snatch victory from the proverbial jaws of defeat and claim the event title.

Tour director Herman Parker thanked the ownership and staff at Overtime Billiards, as well as title sponsor Viking Cues,, Dirty South Grind Apparel Co., Realty One Group Results, Diamond Brat,, Ridge Back Rails, and Federal Savings Bank Mortgage Division. The next stop on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour, scheduled for this weekend, July 16th, will be the $500-added Princeton Summer Classic, hosted by Sonny’s Billiards in Princeton, WV.

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Holmes goes undefeated on Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour

Challenged in finals by Russell Scott who wins nine on the loss side to challenge him

As many of us know, and a few have experienced first-hand, ‘dark horse’ candidates can emerge in pool tournaments. Their lack of history has a way of making them a bit of a mystery to more experienced players. These more experienced players tend to have tools and strategies to deal with the unknowns in a match against a relative stranger, but it is not unknown for such ‘dark horses’ to come out of virtually nowhere to snatch trophies and cash out of the hands of far more experienced competitors. 

The Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour went to Sumter, SC this past weekend (Nov. 14-15), where they held a tour stop at Strokers Billiards that yielded a winner and runner-up with virtually no history in the sport whatsoever. As far as we know, Mitch Holmes, who went undefeated in a field of 30 entrants that showed up to compete in the $500-added event, has never cashed in a tournament anywhere. Russell Scott, who won nine on the loss side for the right to meet him in the finals, has cashed in only one event (again, as far as we know), finishing 7th at a stop on The Great Southern Billiard Tour, seven years ago. With Holmes racing to 5 and Scott racing to 6 throughout the tournament, they both got by last week’s winner on the tour and a player with a lot of history, Doug Young, who, throughout the tournament was racing to 11.

It was Young, in fact, who initially sent Russell Scott to the loss side. Scott had been awarded an opening round bye and squared off against Young in the second round. They battled to double hill before Young prevailed and eventually advanced to a winners’ side semifinal against Billy Brooks. Holmes, in the meantime, drew Chris Cricket in the other winners’ side semifinal.

Holmes sent Cricket to the loss side 5-4 (Cricket racing to 6), as Young downed Brooks 11-1. Holmes claimed the hot seat over Young 5-9.

On the loss side, in the first money round, it was Cricket who had the misfortune of running into Russell Scott, who was six matches into his nine-match, loss-side winning streak and obviously looking for more. He’d most recently eliminated Ezekiel Gomez, double hill, and Bobby Jamison 6-3. Brooks drew Mikie Bryant, who’d just won two straight double hill battles, versus Chris Weasel and Larry McGee.

Scott, picking up speed, won his next two matches without giving up a rack; 6-0 over Cricket and 6-0 in the quarterfinals against Bryant, who’d previously eliminated Brooks 6-3. This sent Scott to a rematch against Young in the semifinals.

Young slowed him down some, but not nearly enough. Scott took the semifinal match 6-9 (Young racing to 11), and earned himself a shot at Holmes in the hot seat. 

Holmes defeated Scott 5-3 in those finals to claim the event title.

Tour director Herman Parker thanked the owners and staff at Stroker’s Billiards for their hospitality, as well as title sponsor Viking Cues, Bar Pool Tables, JB Magic Templates, AZBilliards, Tickler Pool Ball Washing Machine, Skyline Construction, Federal Savings Bank Mortgage Division and Dirty South Grind Apparel Co. With five stops left in the year, the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour will hold its annual Turkey Bowl event this coming weekend (Nov. 21-22), in lieu of holding it, as it usually does, on Thanksgiving Day weekend. The event will be collecting canned goods donations during the $500-added event, which will be hosted by Break & Run Billiards in Chesnee, SC.

Davis comes back to double dip Cook on the GSBT

Shannon Daulton, Brian Davis, Dave Cook, David Perkins, Kevin Quinn & Del Laquiere

Brian Davis, a B player, downed two straight A players to get into the hot seat match against another A player, Dave Cook, only to be turned aside during the June 22-23 stop on the Great Southern Billiard Tour. Davis, though, came back from the semifinals and double dipped Cook, claiming the $2,500-added event title that had drawn 83 entrants to Players Place Billiards in Charleston, SC.
Davis took the first of his two straight matches against A opponents among the winners' side final eight, defeating Eddie Hudak 7-6 (A players race to 9). setting him up to face Michael Basha. Cook and Bruce Lutrell met in the other winners' side semifinal. Davis sent Basha west with another 7-6 victory, as Cook moved into the hot seat match with a 9-5 victory over Lutrell. Cook took the first (and last) of three versus Davis 9-5 and waited in the hot seat for him to return.
On the loss side, Lutrell picked up Hudak, who, following his defeat at the hands of Davis, took down BJ Hucks 9-7 and Russell Scott 9-6. Basha drew Trent Talbert, who'd gotten by Scooter Hias 7-3 and Russ Padgett double hill. Talbert eliminated Basha 7-4, and in the quarterfinals, met up with Lutrell, who'd shut out Hudak.
In a straight-up, B race to 7, Lutrell advanced to the semifinals over Talbert 7-3. In another straight-up race to 7, Davis ended Lutrell's bid 7-5, earning himself a re-match against Cook.
Davis and Cook fought to double hill in the opening set, before Davis finished it, forcing a second match. He held Cook to six racks in that second match to claim the event title.
Tour directors Shannon and Marge Daulton thanked the ownership and staff at Players Place, as well as sponsor Del Laquiere, who, as proprietor of the Hustlers Pool League, put up all of the added money.