Archive Page

Hall claims second 2019 Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball title

Collin Hall


Collin Hall’s 2019 year at the tables is playing out the way his 2018 year did. On Saturday, July 20 at the Gate City Billiard Club in Greensboro, NC, Hall chalked up his second victory of the year* on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour. At this point last year, July 21 to be exact, he’d chalked up only his first 2018 victory. He’s already won twice in 2019 and has until October 13-14 to break a two-per-year threshold he’s faced on three separate occasions; 2016, 2018 and now, 2019. He’s defeated six different opponents in those six final matches, including Danny Jones and Jeff Young in 2016, Brent Hensley and Wes Campbell in 2018.
Hall beat Scott Roberts at The Clubhouse in Lynchburg, VA in April of this year. This most recent event drew 35 entrants to the Gate City Billiards Club in Greensboro, NC. Hall took the hot seat match over BJ Ussery, and then watched, as Scott Johnson, in the midst of an eight-match loss-side winning streak, got way out in front against Ussery in the semifinal. Johnson, at the start, was getting five beads on the wire in a race to 12, so at 6-6, Johnson was on the hill. He missed three opportunities shooting at the 9-ball that would have sent him to the finals against Hall. Ussery took advantage and defeated him 12-6 for a second shot at Hall which didn’t happen. A room curfew led Hall and Ussery to negotiate a prize settlement in lieu of a final match and as the undefeated hot seat occupant, Hall claimed the title.
Their first clash in the hot seat match came after two double hill matchups in the winners’ side semifinals. Hall downed Cartelli 6-4. Ussery sent Shaun Apple to the left bracket 12-4. Hall entered the hot seat match with six on the wire in a race to 12 against Ussery and chalked up the six he needed to win 6-9, in what was, in essence, the event’s title match.
On the loss side, it was Shaun Apple who picked up Johnson, six matches into his loss-side streak, who’d just eliminated Bradley Barker and James Blackburn, both 7-5. Cartelli drew Joe Woo, who’d eliminated Gary Campbell 6-2 and Alex Valencia 6-4.
Johnson got into the quarterfinals with a 7-3 win over Apple. He was joined by Cartelli, who’d ended Woo’s day 5-2. Johnson won what would prove to be his last match of the day, defeating Cartelli 7-3 in those quarterfinals.
Johnson, who’s not appeared on a payout list (to our knowledge) since 2016, when he was runner-up to the tour’s most prolific player, JT Ringgold, entered the semifinals looking for a chance to compete in his second final in three years. And almost pulled it off. As noted above, he was in the driver’s seat, on the hill, poised (thanks to the room curfew) to chalk up a second runner-up victory against one of the tour’s best. He stumbled going into what amounted to be the ‘final turn,’ and Ussery closed the gap to win the game, match and what was essentially, the battle for the runner-up slot.
Tour directors Herman and Angela Parker thanked the ownership and staff at Gate City 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 (July 27-28), will be hosted by The Clubhouse in Lynchburg, VA.

Mashburn goes undefeated (*) to take Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball title

Barry Mashburn

When things got underway, early on Saturday afternoon, April 6, at Speakeazy Billiards in Sanford, NC, Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour directors Herman and Angela Parker had every expectation that it would be over, no later than the bar was scheduled to close officially at 1 a.m. on Sunday morning. It didn’t turn out that way.
As Saturday night was turning into Sunday morning, with about 10 matches left to play, it was clear that some of the 29 entrants who’d signed on to compete in the $500-added tournament would be coming back later in the day on Sunday to finish it. And they did. When it came down to the finals on Sunday afternoon, Barry Mashburn and Anthony Mabe were set to square off for their second match against each other; the first having played out in the battle for the hot seat on Saturday night. The two are close friends and initially decided that rather than just agreeing to split the top two prizes, they’d play a final match. Before it was over, though, they’d both invited their respective girlfriends in to play and it devolved into a Scotch Doubles match that no one seemed to remember, or care, who won. Mashburn and Mabe did split the final two prizes, and with Mashburn occupying the hot seat at the time, he became the event’s official winner.
Speakeazy Billiards is a seven-table room, built in what looks to be, originally, a warehouse; just one part of a yellow, metal wall facility that stretches for a city block and embraces a separate-building dance studio on one end, a private storage space for Speakeazy’s owner, Jimmy Bullis, the room itself, and just beyond the far end, a cell phone tower which tends to make cell phone reception extraordinarily clear in the room. The whole arrangement sits behind a Burger King off North Horner Boulevard in Sanford.
At present, Speakeazy Billiards consists of the single room, though in a tour of the facility, Bullis showed the ongoing development of an adjacent second room, which will house two additional tables that he’d like to put to use for One Pocket events. Beyond that planned second room, currently with unfinished walls and floors and two under-construction tables, is a set of glass wall segments, with a door at one end, housing and showcasing Bullis’ 1960 black Cadillac that looks long enough to land an airplane on, with a new engine that looks as though it came off a manufacturing line about two months ago. The original vehicle came off its assembly line the year that Bullis was born.
The current playing area features pool memorabilia on every available wall, including, but not limited to a framed poster from 1991, advertising a Legends of One Pocket tournament. Another announcing a Seminole Senior Open tournament in Naples, FL, a variety of early 20th century prints, featuring elegant women in formal clothes in the vicinity of a classic pool table, holding cues. There are also the ‘required’ film posters for both The Hustler and The Color of Money,   as well as one advertising a film called Guns, Sin and Bathtub Gin; from 1979, with, among others, Robert Conrad, Louise Fletcher and Christopher Lloyd, about the 1930s and “an idealistic farm girl becoming the moll of infamous gangster, John Dillinger.” Somewhat incongruous in the mix of wall hangings is a black-and-white charcoal sketch of Al Pacino as Tony Montana in Scarface. The charcoal portrait was drawn by Bullis’ son, Jimmy, when he was a senior in high school.
It’s clear, early on in this tournament, that many of the 29 entrants knew each other, have known each other, in fact, for years. And as they scoot around the state of North Carolina (and other states), showing up at stops on the tour, they’ve developed both a sense of respect for each other, and an equally healthy sense of no-holds-barred rivalry. There’s good-humored trash talk and the occasional gripe about an opponent’s ‘clearly’ under-rated handicap, but overall, the atmosphere was relaxed, congenial and almost deadly serious when action moved to the tables. The event occurred as the NCAA Final Four was playing out on the room’s only flat screen, hung above the bottles in the bar, and virtually no one paid any attention to either of the games.
Full disclosure: I attended this event and entered it, just more or less to see what would happen. What happened at the outset was that I drew BJ Ussery as my first opponent; the competitor that players in the room and spectators chose as the most likely player to win. I’d ‘known’ Ussery for over a decade, covering him through tour reports over the years, but we’d never met. When the meeting part was over, I was granted six ‘beads on the wire’ at the start of a race to 11. I didn’t win a single rack, even though, at one point, Ussery scratched, giving me ball in hand, with three balls left in a simple enough pattern at one end of the table (“I tried,” he said to Herman Parker. “Gave him ball in hand with only three on the table.”). Not my finest hour. Later, on the loss side, I would compete against Hank Powell, who won a stop on the tour a month ago at The Clubhouse in Lynchburg, VA. Powell gave me two ‘beads on the wire’ in a race to 7, and though this time, I’d manage to win two racks, one of them was with a 1-9 combination that Stevie Wonder could have managed, and the other resulted from Powell scratching, after sinking the 9-ball. Just saying. . .
I was done by the time Mashburn and Mabe had advanced to the hot seat. Mashburn had sent Kelly Farrar to the loss side 9-3 in one of the winners’ side semifinals (Farrar had just sent Ussery to the loss side). Mabe had defeated Shaun Apple 7-3. Mashburn grabbed the hot seat with a 9-3 win over Mabe.
On the loss side, Apple picked up Stevie McClinton, who’d defeated Jeff Abernathy 7-5 and Billie Spadafora 7-3. Spadafora had previously eliminated Zac Leonard with whom, earlier in the day, he’d exchanged a few trash talk ‘pleasantries,’ to which Leonard had responded (to me) “You have to kill ‘em with silence.” For all the good it did him. Farrar showed up on the loss side for a second match against Ussery, who’d defeated Dale Lloyd 11-3 and survived a double hill, 11-9 battle against Justin Martin.
Apple and Ussery advanced to the quarterfinals; Apple 5-4 over McClinton (racing to 7) and Ussery, giving up just a single rack in his rematch against Farrar. Already into Sunday afternoon, Ussery gave up only two racks to Apple in the quarterfinals, but then, in a double hill fight (7-10), lost to Mabe. The final match was begun and played until it became the aforementioned Scotch Doubles, just-for-fun match. Mashburn and Mabe split the top two cash prizes and Mashburn went home with the event title.
Tour directors Herman and Angela Parker thanked Jimmy Bullis and his Speakeazy staff for their hospitality, 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 (April 13-14), will be hosted by Steakhorse Restaurant & Billiards in Spartanburg, SC.

Evans wins two final double hill matches to go undefeated on Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour

Jason Evans

If, at first, you don’t succeed. . .
Jason Evans (entrant #172 in our database of nearly 20,000 pool players) had been bringing home cash from pool tournaments for almost 20 years, but according to our records (containing information only on events reported to us), had yet to win a major tournament. Until this past weekend, February 16-17, when he went undefeated through a field of 41 on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour. Evans and David Tickle battled twice in this event, hosted by Gate City Billiards Club in Greensboro, NC. Both matches, for the hot seat and finals, in straight-up races to 9, went double hill.
Their first meetup followed Tickle’s defeat of Shaun Apple 9-2 in one of the winners’ side semifinals and Evans’ 9-1 victory over Brad Smith in the other one. Evans took the first of his two double hill wins over Tickle and claimed (again, according to available records) his first hot seat.
On the loss side, Apple picked up Jerry Stone, who’d defeated Scott Johnson 6-5 (Johnson racing to 7) and Michael Moore 6-4. Smith drew Gate City Billiards Club owner, Don Liebes, who’d recently defeated Harry Florence, double hill, and Geoff Grayson 6-3.
Apple and Smith advanced to the quarterfinals; Apple 5-4 over Stone (racing to 6) and Smith, by shutout, over Liebes. Smith gave up only a single rack to Apple to take the quarterfinal match 6-1.
Tickle gave up only two to Smith in the semifinals to earn his rematch against Evans in the finals. A second double hill match ensued, with the same result. Evans claimed his first major title.
Tour directors Herman and Angela Parker thanked Don Liebes and his Gate City Billiards Club staff for their hospitality, 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 (Feb. 23-24), will be dedicated to the memory of tour veteran Chris Walsh, who passed away recently. The event is expected to be the first Chris Walsh Memorial of many to come. The event will be hosted by Walsh’s home room, Randolph Billiards in Hickory, NC, where he won a stop on the tour in February 2017. Money will be raised at this event in support of Walsh’s family.