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Hollingsworth chalks up sixth win on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour

Landon Hollingsworth

Still just practicing.

As this appears on the page, Junior competitor Landon Hollingsworth is either on his way or at Pat Fleming’s International Open in Norfolk, VA to compete in the 18 & Under Boys’ championship event of the 2022 Junior International Championship (JIC) series. As a warm-up to the event this past weekend (Sat., Oct. 29), he travelled to Columbia, SC to compete in a stop on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour at Overtime Billiards. He went undefeated through the $500-added event that drew 33 entrants and marked his sixth victory on the tour since 2020. It’s his second tour victory of this year (he won the last stop on the tour a month ago), to go along with finishing first in the JIC’s ProAm Division (which earned him a paid entry to Puerto Rico’s 10-Ball Open later this month), the Dynaspheres Cup’s Junior 9-Ball event (20 & Under) and a third place finish in Shane Van Boening’s Junior Open, held in conjunction with Matchroom Sport’s US Open last month.

The clearest sign of his progress since he first came on the scene is not just the visible improvement of his skills. On the Q City 9-Ball Tour (and elsewhere), his ranking, based on the number of games he has to win to complete a match has steadily increased.

“Four years ago,” noted Q City 9-Ball Tour director Herman Parker, “he came into our events as a ‘5.’ He’s a ‘10’ now.”

Hollingsworth and Hunter White (himself, a recently-former junior competitor, also a ‘10’ now) battled twice for this event title; hot seat and finals. Hollingsworth won them both.

They advanced through the field from opposite ends of the bracket with Hollingsworth facing Jason Blackwell in one winners’ side semifinal and White squaring off against Jesse Draper in the other. Hollingsworth fought a double hill battle before advancing to the hot seat match against Jason Blackwell. Hunter gave up only a single rack to Draper. Hollingsworth then gave White a taste of his own ‘winners’ side semifinal’ medicine, allowing him only a single rack to claim the hot seat.

On the loss side, in the first money round, Blackwell picked up Calvin Lee, who’d recently defeated Will Hammer and Josh Miller, both 6-4, which, versus Miller, was double hill. Draper drew Phil Stalls, who’d eliminated Stevie McClinton and Matt Lucas, both 6-3.

Draper advanced with a double hill win over Stalls. Blackwell did not, falling to Lee 6-3. Lee then defeated Draper 6-4 in the quarterfinals.

Lee almost made the semifinals ‘double hill’ interesting, but fell a game short, as Hunter White won 10-4 (Lee racing to 6). The likelihood of White falling to Hollingsworth a second time with only a single rack to show for it was slim. As had happened in the semifinals, the final match came within a game of double hill. Hollingsworth, though, completing what could only be described as good practice for this coming week on his schedule, completed his undefeated run through the field with a 10-8 victory for his sixth Q City 9-Ball Tour win.

Tour director Herman Parker thanked the ownership and staff at Overtime Billiards for their hospitality, as well as title sponsor Viking Cues, Breaktime Billiards (Winston-Salem, NC), BarPoolTables.net, Dirty South Grind Apparel Co., Realty One Group Results, Diamond Brat, AZBilliards.com, 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 (Nov. 5-6) will be hosted by Janet Atwell’s Borderline Billiards in Bristol, TN.

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Atencio goes undefeated to claim storm-affected, 3rd Annual Carolina Cup

Jesus Atencio

It was, according to Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour director, Herman Parker, “just a mess.”

Though Hurricane Ian had passed Gastonia, NC the day before the 3rd Annual Carolina Cup was scheduled to begin on Saturday, Oct. 1, long-distance travelling issues, initiated on Friday, while Ian was still active and wreaking havoc in its path, affected attendance, normally (over its previous two years) fielding numbers in the 70s, but this year drawing only 46 entrants to the $1,000-added, Open event, hosted by The Rock House in Gastonia, the Cup’s first appearance in North Carolina.

As one potential participant was preparing to leave, with six other entrants in a mini-van that was pulling out of the owner’s driveway, a tree fell on top of the driver’s house. It had a way of changing plans for all seven of the van’s occupants at the time.

“It wasn’t a huge turnout,” said Parker, “but it was a strong one.”

Headed up by Jesus Atencio, winner of the first Ron Park Memorial at the same location, who went undefeated through this field to claim the 3rd Annual Carolina Cup title, previously won by Josh Roberts and Brian White, neither of whom were able to attend the 2022 event.

In addition to a normal core of Q City 9-Ball veterans like Billy Fowler, Brian Francis, Stevie McClinton and Thomas Sansone, the event also played host to a pair of brothers, who’ve returned to the tables after a rather long absence and are slowly but surely getting themselves back into high-competitive shape with each of their appearances on the tour. Adam Pendley ended as runner-up to Atencio. His brother, Marcus, making his first appearance in a long time, lost his second match to Mike Bumgarner and won five on the loss side to get into the first money round before Bumgarner defeated him a second time.

Adam Pendley and Atencio advanced through the field to arrive at winners’ side semifinals against Sansone and Eddie Wahdan, respectively. Atencio and Pendley battled through to the hot seat match, defeating Wahdan 7-4 and Sansone 7-5. Atencio claimed the hot seat 7-2 over Pendley and waited on his return, which, after polling the 12 players remaining as to whether they wished to tough it out or return on Sunday, occurred at approximately 3 a.m. on Sunday morning. 

On the loss side, Sansone picked up Bumgarner, who’d defeated Manik Suri, double hill and for the second time, Marcus Pendley to reach him. Wahdan drew Clint Clark, who’d recently eliminated Billy Fowler, double hill and Brian Francis, almost double hill 6-4.

Wahdan downed Clark 6-4 and in the quarterfinals, met up with Bumgarner, who’d sent Sansone home (relatively) early 6-1. Bumgarner and Wahdan locked up in a double hill fight that did eventually send Bumgarner to the semifinals against Adam Pendley.

Pendley got his second shot at Atencio in the hot seat with a 6-2 win over Bumgarner in those semifinals. Needing to win twice to claim the title, Pendley fell to Atencio in the only set necessary, allowing Atencio to become the third different competitor to claim the Carolina Cup title.

Tour director Herman Parker thanked the ownership and staff at The Rock House, along with title sponsor Viking Cues, Breaktime Billiards (Winston-Salem, NC), BarPoolTables.net, Dirty South Grind Apparel Co., Realty One Group Results, Diamond Brat, AZBilliards.com, 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 (Oct. 8-9), will be a $1,000-added event, hosted by Action Billiards in Inman, SC.

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Worth wins eight on the loss-side, double dips McClinton on Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour

Brent Worth

In what will be his last year as a junior competitor, Brent Worth, already 18, is making as much of that final year as he can. He’s competed in six of the seven 18U Boys (best finish, 5th) and ProAm (best finish, 4th) divisions of the Junior International Championships thus far, finished 5th in the Dynaspheres Cup Junior 9-Ball Open in March and just this past weekend, Saturday, Sept. 10, won eight on the loss side and double-dipped hot seat occupant, Stevie McClinton, to win his first regional tour event on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour. The $500-added event drew 44 entrants to The Clubhouse in Lynchburg, VA. 

Worth moved to the loss side in the second round of play, losing 5-3 to Greg Vaughan, whose son, Grayson, competed as well and did better than his father did. In the meantime, McClinton and DJ Brads advanced to their respective winners’ side semifinals; McClinton versus Scott Roberts and Brads against Cameron Lawhorne.

McClinton downed Roberts 7-6 (Roberts racing to 8) and was joined in the hot seat match by Brads, who sent Lawhorne to the loss side 6-3. McClinton claimed the hot seat over Brads 7-2.

On the loss side, playing in the first money round of the tournament, it was Lawhorne who picked up Worth, five matches into his loss-side winning streak, having recently eliminated Thomas Sansone 6-1 and Robert Cuneo, double hill. Roberts drew Collin Hall, who’d recently defeated Jimmy Bird, double hill and Grayson Vaughan by shutout.

Worth, picking up some speed at this point, gave up only a single rack to Lawhorne and advanced to the quarterfinals against Roberts, who eliminated Hall 8-4. Worth and Roberts battled to double hill before Worth advanced to the semifinals against Brads.

By this time, it was fairly clear to tour representatives and spectators alike that Worth could arguably have been rated as a ‘7’ instead of the ‘6’ at which he played the entire tournament. According to tour director Herman Parker, Worth will play as a ‘7’ the next time he competes on the tour.

In a straight-up race to 6 in the semifinals, Worth defeated Brads 6-3, advancing to a double-elimination final in which he’d be awarded a single “bead on the wire” in both races to 7 (if needed) against McClinton. Worth didn’t ‘need the bead’ in either set.

He won the opening set 6-3 and came back to do one better (6-2) in the second set, claiming his first event title in his first appearance on the tour.

Tour director Herman Parker thanked the ownership and staff at the Clubhouse for their hospitality, along with title sponsor Viking Cues, Breaktime Billiards (Winston-Salem, NC), BarPoolTables.net, Dirty South Grind Apparel Co., Realty One Group Results, Diamond Brat, AZBilliards.com, Ridge Back Rails, and Federal Savings Bank Mortgage Division. The next stop on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour, scheduled for this coming weekend, Sept. 17-18, will be a $250-added event, hosted by West End Billiards in Gastonia, NC.

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Messer and Piercy split top prizes on Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour

The two competitors who squared off in the finals of the Saturday, April 23 stop on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour – Dalton Messer and Kelly Piercy – have never (to our knowledge) cashed on any other tour. Messer chalked up his first and until this weekend, only win on the tour in the week between Christmas and New Year’s, 2018. Piercy’s tour efforts came close to a victory in 2020, when he won nine on the loss side and in the finals, challenged junior competitor Landon Hollingsworth, who completed an undefeated run to claim that title. Though Messer downed Piercy in the hot seat on Saturday, the two of them opted out of a final match and split the top two prizes, leaving Messer, in the hot seat, as the official winner. The $500-added event drew 26 entrants to Break & Run Billiards in Chesnee, SC.

Their first and only meetup followed Messer and Piercy’s advance through the field, arriving at winner’s side semifinal matches versus Thomas Sansone (for Messer) and Reid Vance (for Piercy). Messer downed Sanson 6-3, as Piercy sent Vance to the loss side 6-5 (Vance racing to 8). Messer claimed the hot seat 6-4 in what proved to be the title-claiming match.

Vance and Sansone arrived on the loss side of the double-elimination bracket, looking to advance just one match to compete in the event’s first money round. They didn’t make it. Stevie McClinton, who’d recently eliminated Kirk Hixon 7-5 and Billy Fowler 7-6 (Fowler racing to 10), added Sansone to that list, downing him 7-4 to advance to the quarterfinals. Vance drew Runal Bhat, who’d just defeated Jose Irizarry 7-3 and Casey Looper, double hill, and then defeated Vance 7-4 to join McClinton in the quarterfinals.

McClinton and Bhat almost made it to double hill in those quarterfinals, but McClinton edged out in front at the end, winning 7-5 for a shot at Piercy in the semifinals. Piercy put a stop to McClinton 6-2 in those semifinals, before negotiating the financial split with Messer and calling it a night. 

Tour director Herman Parker thanked the ownership and staff at Break & Run Billiards, as well as title sponsor Viking Cues, BarPoolTables.net, Dirty South Grind Apparel Co., Realty One Group Results, Diamond Brat, AZBilliards.com, 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 (April 30-May 1), will be a $500-added event, hosted by Sonny’s Billiards in Princeton, WV.

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McClinton goes undefeated through field of 63 at West End Billiards in Gastonia, NC

Normalcy is bound to mean different things to different people, but for pool players, the participation of 63 entrants at a new venue for the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour is a step in the right direction. Owned by the Newman family, which includes well-known competitor Josh Newman, West End Billiards in Gastonia, NC played host to the tour’s stop last weekend (Sept. 19-20) and added $300 to the event. Long-time competitor on the tour, Stevie McClinton, went undefeated through the field, and downed another regular tour competitor, Zac Leonard, twice to claim the event title.

They met first in the hot seat match, once McClinton had survived a double hill fight against Jacob Brooks (7-5) and Leonard had sent Dan Zemper to the loss side 7-3 in the two winners’ side semifinals, which, given the size of the field, occurred on the second day of competition, Sunday. McClinton took the first of his two versus Leonard 7-5 and sat in the hot seat, waiting for his return.

On the loss side, Zemper and Brooks got right back to work. Zemper met up with Clay Davis, who’d defeated Jonathan Ailstock 7-5 and Chris Branigan 7-3 to reach him. Brooks drew Landon Hollingsworth, who was looking for his third tour victory since the tour came back from its extended pandemic break. Hollingsworth had defeated Dan Sherrill 7-3 and shut Travis Shelton out to meet Brooks.

It was Zemper and Brooks who advanced to the quarterfinals; Zemper, 6-3 over Davis and with Hollingsworth racing to 7, Brooks, 6-5 over Hollingsworth. Brooks then eliminated Zemper 6-2 in those quarterfinals.

Leonard put a stop to Brooks’ short, two-match loss-side trip with a 7-4 victory in the semifinals. McClinton completed his undefeated run with a second 7-5 victory over Leonard to claim the event title.

Tour directors Herman and Angela Parker thanked the Newman family and their staff at West End Billiards, as well as title sponsor Viking Cues, Bar Pool Tables, Delta 13 Racks, AZBilliards, Tickler Pool Ball Washing Machine, Skyline Construction, Federal Savings Bank Mortgage Division and Dirty South Grind Apparel Co. The Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour will add another new venue to its growing list as it visits Tara Billiards in Jonesboro, GA this coming weekend (Sept. 26-27) for a $500-added event ($1,000-added with 64-plus).

Ussery and Bumgarner split top prizes on Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour stop

BJ Ussery

Since he began 2020 with a 5th/6th place finish (tied with John Gabriel) behind Sky Woodward, Dennis Orcollo, Jeffrey DeLuna and Josh Roberts at the Music City Classic’s Open event in January, BJ Ussery has been on a roll, albeit one that’s stumbled a bit thanks to the pandemic. Though he would finish as runner-up in a Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball event in early February, winning the opening set of a true double elimination final to Billy Walker, but dropping the title-winning second set, Ussery went on to win his next three; the VA State 10-Ball Championships, and two stops on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour, including last week’s (June 13-14) 1st Annual Brian James Memorial. He made it four in a row with a second straight ‘asterisk’ victory this past weekend (June 20-21). Ussery and Mike Bumgarner (who’d won the June 6-7 stop on the tour at the same location) opted out of a final match and split the top two prizes. As the undefeated occupant of the hot seat, Ussery claimed the official win. The event drew 39 entrants to Randolph’s Billiards in Hickory, NC.

Their first and only encounter, battling for the hot seat, followed a 7-1 victory for Bumgarner over Sammy Manley and a 12-5 win for Ussery versus Graham Swinson. Ussery took what proved to be the title match 12-2 over Bumgarner and sat in the hot seat.

On the loss side, Manley picked up Matt Harrell, who’d defeated Matt Lucas 7-2 and Stevie McClinton 7-4 to reach him. Swinson drew Hunter Zayas, who’d recently eliminated Cameron Hollingsworth (elder half-brother to junior player Landon Hollingsworth) 5-2.

In the first money round, battling for 5th/6th, Manley and Swinson got right back to work and advanced to the quarterfinals; Manley, with a double hill win (5-6) over Harrell and Swinson 7-3 over Zayas. Swinson then downed Manley 7-2 in those quarterfinals.

In what was the final match of the day on Sunday (an Open event, which was scheduled for Sunday, did not materialize), Bumgarner foiled Swinson’s hope for a  rematch against Ussery with a 7-5 victory in the semifinals. Ussery and Bumgarner negotiated their split of the top two prizes, with Ussery claiming the official event title.

Tour directors Herman and Angela Parker thanked the ownership and staff at Randolph Billiards, as well as title sponsor Viking Cues, Bar Pool Tables, Delta 13 Racks, AZBilliards, and Tickler Pool Ball Washing Machine, Skyline Construction, Federal Savings Bank Mortgage Division and Dirty South Grind Apparel Co. The next stop on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour, scheduled for this weekend (June 27-28) will be hosted by Pal’s Billiards in Piedmont, SC.

Brady holds off Heeter in double elimination final to capture Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball title

Norris Brady

When they met in the finals of the Feb. 1-2 stop on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour, they were both looking to capture their second-ever title on the tour. Josh Heeter captured his first title anywhere with a win on the tour, just over a year ago, when he lost his opening match and won 11 on the loss side to meet and double dip Brian White. Heeter was also runner-up to BJ Ussery in a tour event in October, and 4th in an event, also won by Ussery, in June. Norris Brady was making his first appearance on the tour since June of 2018, a year in which he won a stop on the tour and finished in the money two other times; 9th in the earlier NC State 9-Ball Championships (March) and 13th at a stop in June. Brady was also the tour’s first tour champion in 2013. They met twice in this most recent event in both sets of a double elimination final with Brady in the hot seat and Heeter having won three on the loss side to meet him. Heeter took the opening set of that final to force a second set, won by Brady. The event drew 68 entrants to Gate City Billiards Club in Greensboro, NC.
 
They’d both advanced to a winners’ side semifinal. Heeter, facing Clay Davis and Brady, squaring off against Stevie McClinton. Davis sent Heeter to the loss side, as Brady was busy defeating McClinton 9-5. Brady gave up only a single rack, claiming the hot seat 9-1.
 
On the loss side, it was Chuck Ritchie who drew Heeter, just after surviving two straight double hill fights against Jason Potts and Jeff Abernathy. McClinton picked up Brandon Butts, who’d defeated Jeff Little 5-2 and Zac Leonard 5-5 (Leonard racing to 8).
 
Butts prevailed in a double hill fight versus McClinton (5-6) and was joined in the quarterfinals by Heeter, who’d eliminated Ritchie 8-4. Heeter then eliminated Butts 8-2 in those quarterfinals to earn himself a rematch against Davis in the semifinals.
 
Heeter wreaked his vengeance on Davis 8-4, loading himself up on momentum that carried over into the first set of the double elimination final against Brady. Heeter took that opening set 8-1, so they loaded up for a second meet. This one stretched out a bit, as they both looked to claim the title. They battled to double hill before Brady prevailed to claim the event title.
 
Tour directors Herman and Angela Parker thanked the ownership and staff at Gate City Billiards Club, as well as title sponsor Viking Cues, Bar Pool Tables, Delta 13 Racks, AZ Billiards and Professor Q-Ball. The next stop on the tour, scheduled for Feb. 7-8, will be a $1,000-added event, 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.

Abernathy wins seven on the loss side, two in finals to claim Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball title

Jeff Abernathy

Jeff Abernathy’s been chalking up wins at regional tours and nation-wide majors for almost 20 years now. He’s a regular at the annual Derby City Classic, cashed in three US Open 9-Ball Championships and been a thorn in the side of competitors all over the United States map. He won the Super Billiards Expo’s Amateur Championship in 2013, was runner-up in the APA National Amateur Championships in 2014, was runner-up to Mike Davis in the 2017 NC State 9-Ball Championships and 4th in that event last year. But like most pool careers, his bears the stamp of that age-old pool-related question, often asked by potential financial supporters: What have you done for me lately?
On the weekend of March 16-17, at a stop on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour, the answer to that question was: won seven on the loss side and double-dipped the hot seat occupant (Stevie McClinton) to add another title to a growing list. The event drew 51 entrants to Janet Atwell’s Borderline Billiards in Bristol, TN.
Abernathy got sent to the loss side by Keith Young in the event’s third round to embark on his loss-side trip. It was a loss he’d avenge later, on his way to the event title. Young advanced to the winners’ side semifinal against McClinton, as Matt Shaw and Trevor Stanley squared off in the other one. McClinton sent Young to his re-match against Abernathy with a 7-2 win. Shaw joined him in the hot seat match with a 7-3 win over Stanley. McClinton chalked up his last win 7-5 over Shaw to claim the hot seat.
On the loss side, Young walked into his re-match against Abernathy immediately. Abernathy, four matches into his seven-match winning streak, had recently defeated Ron Frank 9-3, and, moving into the money rounds, Dustin Booth 8-3. Stanley drew Hank Powell (winner of a stop on the tour two weeks ago), who’d picked up a forfeit win over Robert Ingold and eliminated Ricky Bingham 7-1.
Abernathy downed Young 9-2 and in the quarterfinals, faced Stanley, who’d defeated Powell, double hill (6-6). Abernathy defeated Stanley in those quarterfinals and earned his shot at McClinton in the hot seat by defeating Shaw, both 9-3.
With McClinton racing to 7, Abernathy took the opening set of the true double elimination final 9-5. He bore down a touch or two harder in the second set, winning that one 9-3 and claiming the event title.
Tour directors Herman and Angela Parker thanked Janet Atwell and her Borderline Billiards 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 (March 23-24) will be another two-event weekend at another new venue for the tour. On Saturday, March 23, Rack ‘N Grill II in Augusta, GA, will host a $500-added handicapped tournament. On Sunday, March 24, they’ll play host as well to a $250-added Open tournament (both 9-ball).

Ussery wins the 1st Chris Walsh Memorial on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour

BJ Ussery

It’s been a long time since BJ Ussery sported a pool resume that could be contained on a single page. Available records indicate that it’s been 19 years now, and while there have been some lean years (2017, for example, when his only reported cash prize came with a 5th place finish at that year’s NC State 10-Ball Open), there have been some really good ones, like 2005 and 2011, his first and second-best earnings year, to date. His 2005 reported earnings were $5 better than his 2011 earnings. On the weekend of February 23-24, Ussery added an undefeated run on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour to his multi-page resume. It was his first win on the tour since August of last year. The event, the first Chris Walsh Memorial Tournament, held to commemorate the loss of a member of the tour who passed away recently, drew 67 entrants to Walsh’s home room, Randolph’s Billiards in Hickory, NC. The event raised $600 for the Walsh family.
 
Ussery faced separate opponents in the hot seat and finals. After an 11-3 victory over Matt Harrell in a winners’ side semifinal, Ussery squared off against Stevie McClinton, who had just defeated teenager Casey Cork 7-1. Ussery claimed the hot seat 11-4 over McClinton and waited on the return of Filippino competitor Francisco Felicilda.
 
On the loss side, Felicilda worked his way closer to his eventual matchup against Ussery by downing Dalton Messer 11-3 and Matt Lucas, double hill (11-4 with Lucas racing to 5). This set Felicilda up to face Harrell. Cork, in the meantime, met up with Brian Francis, who’d defeated Marcio Smith 6-2 and another Filippino competitor, Raymund Faraon 6-1 (Faraon racing to 12).
 
Felicilda eliminated Harrell 11-2 and was joined in the quarterfinals by Francis, who’d downed Cork 6-1. After giving up only four racks over his last three matches, Francis had the tables turned on him by Felicilda, who shut him out to advance to the semifinals.
 
Felicilda completed a fairly impressive run over five loss-side matches with an 11-2 victory over McClinton in the semifinals. He entered the finals against Ussery having won 85% of his games (64-11) over the past six matches. He proved to be no match for Ussery, however, who completed his undefeated run with an 11-5 win; his first of 2019.
 
Tour directors Herman and Angela Parker thanked the ownership and staff at Randolph Billiards for hosting the 1st Chris Walsh Memorial, 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 (March 2-3), will be hosted by The Clubhouse in Lynchburg, VA.