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Gann comes from the loss side, double dips Steve Dye to claim Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball stop

Mike Gann

Mike Gann cashed in an event on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour last month. The last weekend in May at Peyton’s Place in Knoxville, TN, when he was runner-up to Daniel Autry. Before that, you gotta go back two years (to find any events recorded in which he cashed), almost as if 2020 didn’t happen, to the Music City Classic Open Division, in the winter of 2019, when he finished fourth behind Alex Pagulayan, John Gabriel and Jamie Baraks. This past weekend (June 26-27), he reappeared on the tour at a stop, hosted by Jac’s All-American Billiards in Newport, TN, where he came from the loss side to claim his first event title on the tour. The event drew 15 entrants.

Gann was among the last four standing on the winners’ side of the bracket, facing Jimmy Hightower. Steve Dye faced Brian Bagwell.  Dye defeated Bagwell 5-3 and Hightower sent Gann packing 7-7 (Gann racing to 9). With Hightower racing to 7, Dye edged him out in the battle for the hot seat, double hill, 5-6.

On the loss side, Gann ran into Keith Roberts, who’d beaten Rodney Huskey and Sammy Manley, both 5-3. Bagwell picked up Kevin Ping, who’d just concluded a two-match aggregate score of 14-1, downing Ricky Bingham (0) and Billy Fowler (1). Bagwell then defeated Ping 7-5, advancing to the quarterfinals against Gann, who’d eliminated Roberts, double hill (9-4).

On a bit of a literal and figurative roll at this point, Gann shut Bagwell out in the quarterfinals. He defeated Hightower in the semifinals 9-3.

In the true double elimination final, requiring Gann to win twice, Steve Dye started both sets with four beads on the wire in a race to 9. Gann allowed him only one rack in that opening set. In the second, Dye scrapped to double hill, before Gann finally finished it at 9-4 to claim his first (recorded) event title. 

Tour director Herman Parker thanked the ownership and staff at Jac’s All-American Billiards for their hospitality, as well as title sponsor Viking Cues, BarPoolTables.net, Dirty South Grind Apparel Co., Diamond Brat, Federal Savings Bank’s Mortgage Division and AZBilliards. The next stop on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour, scheduled for the July 4th weekend, will be a $500-added event, hosted by a new venue for the tour, Breaktime Billiards in Winston-Salem, NC. 

Frank & Ailstock split top prizes at Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Brian James Benefit

Brian James and TD Herman Parker

The Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour, through its tour directors Herman and Angela Parker turned their recent tour stop on the weekend of January 11-12 into a benefit event for Brian James, a tour competitor battling fatal pancreatic cancer. Through the raffling of cues, balls and an assortment of other products from keychains to clothing, the tour was able to raise $3,300 to help defray some of the costs of his ongoing health care. James was on hand for the tour stop that followed, which drew 63 entrants to Borderline Billiards in Bristol, TN. Trey Frank went undefeated to the hot seat match, where he sent Jonathan Ailstock to the semifinals. The win would stand as the definitive final match between the two, as Ailstock returned from those semifinals to negotiate a split with Frank of the event’s top two prizes.

Their first meeting followed their victories in the winners’ side semifinals. They each gave up only a single rack in advancing to the hot seat match. Frank had defeated Michael Chapman 7-1, as Ailstock was sending Steve Dye to the loss side 6-1. Their hot seat match, appropriately enough, was a double hill affair, eventually won by Frank.

On the loss side, Chapman and Dye walked right into their second straight loss. Chapman picked up Chris Stump, who’d been defeated by Frank in the 4th round, and was in the midst of a six-match, loss-side winning streak that would take him as far as the semifinals. He’d recently eliminated Doug Schulz 5-1 and Charles Hartung 5-2 and then eliminated Chapman 5-3. Dye drew Hershel Rife, who’d defeated Dalton Messer 5-4 (Messer racing to 6) and Anthony Mabe 5-3.

Chapman and Dye fell to Stump and Rife by the same 5-3 score. Stump then downed Rife 5-2 in the quarterfinals that followed.

In what proved to be the last match of the night, Ailstock ended Stump’s loss-side streak 6-2 in the semifinals. Ailstock agreed to the split, and as the undefeated occupant of the hot seat, Frank claimed the event title.

Tour directors Herman and Angela Parker thanked Janet Atwell and her Borderline Billiards staff for their hospitality and all of those who donated to and/or participated in the raffle that was able to donate $3,300 to Brian James and his family. The Parkers also thanked title sponsor Viking Cues, Bar Pool Tables, Delta 13 Racks, AZ Billiards and Professor Q-Ball. The next stop on the tour, scheduled for January 18-19, will be hosted by Mickey Milligans in New Bern, NC.

Bingham double dips Vance to win his first Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour stop

Ricky Bingham

Fourteen years ago, Ricky Bingham finished in the tie for 33rd place at the 29th Annual US Open 9-Ball Championships, sharing the spot with (among others) Charlie Bryant, Mike Davis, Keith Bennett and Ryan McCreesh. A year later, he showed up on one payout list (Stop #4 on the Viking Tour; 13th) and then, for all intents and pool purposes, he dropped out of sight for a dozen years. Last year he joined a growing list of veteran players (like Davis, like Bennett, like BJ Ussery) who’ve been stepping back up to the tables and signing on to the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour. He finished 5th at a 2017 Q City 9-Ball Tour stop at Janet Atwell’s place, Borderline Billiards, in Bristol, TN. In July of this year, back again at Borderline Billiards, he chalked up another 5th place finish on the tour. On the weekend of September 8-9, at (you guessed it) Borderline Billiards, Bingham joined the ranks of Q City 9-Ball winners, coming from the loss side and double dipping Reid Vance to capture the event title. The event drew 41 entrants to Borderline Billiards.
 
Bingham and Vance played three matches in this event. The first was a winners’ side semifinal, while Steve Dye and Zac Leonard faced off in the other one. Vance sent Bingham to the loss side 5-2 and in the hot seat match, faced Dye, who’d sent Leonard over in a double hill match. Vance claimed the hot seat 5-1 over Dye and waited for the veteran to get back from a three-match, loss-side run.
 
Bingham’s loss-side trip back began against Dustin Coe, who’d defeated Alex Boles 6-1 and Mike Staubes, double hill (7-8; Staubes to 9) to reach him. Leonard drew Ikey Maynard, who’d eliminated room owner and pool veteran Janet Atwell and (heeeere’s) Johnny Carson, both 7-2.
 
Leonard downed Maynard 7-3, while Bingham was busy eliminating Coe 5-3. Leonard and Bingham battled to double hill in the quarterfinals that followed, before Bingham advanced to down Dye, double hill as well, in the semifinals.
 
In straight-up races to 5, Bingham took the double elimination opening set over Vance 5-3. He got even stingier in the second set, allowing Vance only a single rack to claim the event title; his first on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour.
 
Tour directors Herman and Angela Parker thanked Janet Atwell and her Borderline Billiards staff, 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 (Sept. 15-16), will be hosted by 21 Poolroom in Charleston, WV.  

Moore double dips Hurst to take first Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball title

Daniel Moore

Event Directors note growing field for Beasley Custom Cues 9-Ball Open in June
 
In his first appearance and win on the Viking Cues’ Q-City 9-Ball Tour, Daniel Moore came back from a winners’ side quarterfinal loss against Mark Hurst to meet and defeat him twice in a double elimination final during the May 5-6 stop on the tour. The event drew 53 entrants to Borderline Billiards in Bristol, TN.
 
Once Hurst downed Moore 6-5 in their first of three matches (Moore racing to 7), he advanced to a winners’ side semifinal against Ryan Fossum. Steve Dye, in the meantime, squared off against Brady Brazell. Hurst got into the hot seat match with a 6-3 win over Fossum. Dye joined him after downing Brazell 5-4 (Brazell racing to 7). Hurst claimed the hot seat 6-3 over Dye and waited in it for the return of Moore.
 
Moore opened his loss side trip with a 7-1 victory over Justin Clark, and followed it with a double hill win (7-5) over Brandon Stiltner. This set him up to face Brazell. Fossum drew John Hoge, who’d defeated Shawn Martin, double hill (5-5), and shut out Mike Skeens to reach him.
 
Both matches for advancement to the quarterfinals went double hill; Fossum over Hoge and Moore over Brazell. Moore took the next two, 7-3, downing Fossum in the quarterfinals and Dye in the semifinals.
 
Moore also took the opening set of the true double elimination final against Hurst 7-3. Hurst got an extra rack in during the second set, but Moore claimed his first Q-City 9-Ball title with a 7-4 win in that second set.
 
Tour directors Herman and Angela Parker thanked Janet Atwell and her staff at Borderline Billiards (which will host the Tour Championships later this year), as well as title sponsor Viking Cues, Delta 13 Racks, AZBilliards and Professor Q Ball. The next stop on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour, scheduled for the weekend of May 12-13 will be hosted by Corner Pockets in Fayetteville, NC.
 
$10,000-added Beasley Custom Cues 9-Ball Open, set for June, is filling up
 
With a little over a month to go, the Beasley Custom Cues 9-Ball Open (formerly, the Don Coates Memorial) has already attracted some of the sport’s top names. Scheduled for the weekend of June 13-17 (commencing on a Wednesday) at Brass Tap & Billiards in Raleigh, NC, the $10,000-added (guaranteed) event has already signed up Johnny Archer, Sky Woodward, Rodney Morris, Brandon Shuff, and from the Philippines, Zoren James Aranas (Warren Kiamco is expected to join, but hasn’t done so, as yet). Also competing will be young, Albanian sensation Eklent (“Klenti”) Kaci, who finished as runner-up to Jayson Shaw in last October’s US Open 9-Ball Championships and chalked up two wins on the 2017 Joss Northeast 9-Ball Tour.
 
Event directors Herman and Angela Parker are advising those who want to compete in this event to get in touch as soon as possible, as the event will be capped at 128 entrants. Anyone interested should call them at 336-686-5360.

Musselman goes undefeated to take Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball stop

Jody Musselman survived a double hill opening set of the finals versus Scott Howard, who'd won five on the loss side for the right to meet him, and chalked up an undefeated win on the Viking Cues' Q City 9-Ball Tour on the weekend of October 22-23. The event drew 39 entrants to Borderline Billiards in Bristol, TN.
 
 
With his eventual finals opponent already at work on the loss side, Musselman advanced to a winners' side semifinal against Blade Best (who'd just sent Howard to the loss side). In the other winners' side semifinal, 15-year-old Dakota Harris, one of a few junior players who competed in the event, squared off against Mike Gann. Musselman sent Best to the loss side 6-1, and in the hot seat match, faced the teenager, Harris, who'd defeated Gann 6-6 (Gann racing to 8). Musselman sent Harris to the semifinals 6-4 and sat in the hot seat, waiting on Howard.
 
 
On the loss side, Howard opened his five-match, loss-side run with wins against Matt Shaw 7-1, and Dustin Coe 7-3 to draw Gann. Best drew another of the junior competitors, Eric Roberts (13), who was in the midst of his own six-match, loss-side run that would take him as far as the first money round, battling for advancement to the quarterfinals. He won his fifth and sixth loss- side matches against Steve Dye, double hill, and Rick Roper 5-4 (Roper racing to 7).
 
 
Best ended Roberts' run 5-2 and advanced to the quarterfinals against Howard, who'd eliminated Gann 7-5. Howard then downed both Best in the quarterfinals and Harris in the semifinals by a 7-3 score.
 
 
Howard would need to defeat Musselman twice in the true double elimination finals, and, racing to 7, win an extra rack to claim each set. The two battled to double hill (6-6) in the opening set, before Musselman completed his undefeated run and claimed the event title.
 
 
Tour director Herman Parker thanked Janet Atwell and her Borderline Billiards' staff, 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 October 29-30, will be hosted by Brass Tap in Raleigh, NC. An 8-ball event, the tournament will be a qualifier for the NC State 8-Ball Championships, scheduled for November 5-6 at Breaktime Billiards in Cary, NC.

Hall comes back from the loss side to take Blackburn in GSBT finals

Justin Hall was just in time, so to speak.

Hall came back from a third round loss during the March 24-25 stop on the Great Southern Billiard Tour to meet and defeat hot seat occupant, James Blackburn, and claim the event title. The $1,500-added Clubhouse Amateur drew 44 entrants to The Clubhouse Bar & Billiards in Lynchburg, VA.

Blackburn moved on to meet Albert Otto among the winners’ side final four, and was joined by Jeff Abernathy and Melvin Shelton. Blackburn sent Otto to join Hall 7-4, as Abernathy downed Shelton 10-4. Blackburn got into the hot seat with a double hill, 7-9 win and waited for Hall.

With two loss-side wins already, Hall defeated Chuck Cuneo 10-7 and Brian Bryant 10-2 to pick up Shelton. Otto met up with Brent Hensley who’d defeated Warren Drummond 9-8 and Steve Dye 9-5. Otto moved into the quarterfinals, following a 6-7 win over Hensley, and was met by Hall, who’d defeated Shelton 10-2. Hall then shut out Otto to meet up with the man who’d significantly lengthened his tournament run back in the third round, Jeff Abernathy. He exacted his semifinal revenge 10-7 and moved on to the double set finals.

Hall took the opening set 10-2, and though Blackburn put up more of a fight in the second set, it wasn’t enough. A 10-5 win in that second set gave Justin Hall the ‘just in time’ victory that captured the event title.

Tour directors Shannon and Marge Daulton thanked Clubhouse owner Chris England and his staff for their hospitality, as well as sponsors Andy Gilbert Custom Cues, Nick Varner Cues and Cases, Mike Davis Exterminating, Tiger Products and Delta-13 racks. Next stop for the GSBT is a $1,500-added event, scheduled for March 31-April 2 at Lucky Shot Billiards in Albemarle, NC.