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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.

Two Whites compete in finals of Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour and split top two prizes

Brian White

Brian White and Hunter White (no relation) battled twice in an annual Christmas event on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour. Brian won the first match and they opted out of playing a second one, leaving Brian as the official winner of the $1,000-added event, which drew 52 entrants to The Steakhorse Restaurant & Billiards in Spartanburg, SC on Christmas weekend (December 22-23). It was for record-keeping and point purposes the first event on the 2019 Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball schedule.
 
They met first in the hot seat match, after Brian White had sent Ricky Baughman to the loss side 10-5 and Hunter White had sent Keith Yates over 8-3. Brian claimed the hot seat over Hunter 10-3.
 
On the loss side, Yates picked up Junior Gabriel, a tour veteran, who, in spite of competing in numerous events on the tour over the past few years, had yet to finish in the money, and was about to. Gabriel had been sent to the loss side by Baughman in a winners’ side quarterfinal, and had defeated James Moore 5-4 (Moore, racing to 7), and, for the first time, into a money round, downed Rob Hart 5-3. Baughman drew Stevie McClinton, who’d eliminated Chuck Cuneo and Billy Fowler, both 7-3.
 
Baughman advanced to the quarterfinals 7-4, as Gabriel fought a double hill fight versus Yates that eventually moved him (Gabriel) another step on the money ladder, into the quarterfinals against Baughman.
 
With Baughman racing to 7 in those quarterfinals, Gabriel took yet another step forward, downing Baughman 5-4. Hunter White, though, playing in what was the final match of the weekend, stopped Gabriel’s run 8-2 in the semifinals, for a second shot against Brian White, which, of course, didn’t happen. The Whites split the top two prizes, with Brian earning the official event title.
 
The tour also awarded the event’s top female finisher a ‘free entry’ prize to an upcoming event. Jordyn Worley, finishing just out of the money in the tie for 9th place, took home that prize.
 
Tour directors Herman and Angela Parker thanked Dayne Miller and his Steakhorse staff for their hospitality (to include money-added to the event), as well as title sponsor Viking Cues, Bar Pool Tables, Delta 13 Racks, AZ Billiards and Professor Q-Ball. With the 2019 tour officially underway, the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour will squeeze one more event into the 2018 calendar; a December 29-30 event, to be hosted by Randolph’s Billiards in Hickory, NC. 

Shabib comes back from first-set loss to win Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour Championships

Raed Shabib

It is, for those keeping score, the exact same headline (with a name changed to reflect the difference) that was used to describe Raed Shabib’s last win on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour in September, 2017. On the weekend of December 15-16 in 2018, Shabib, once again, navigated his way through a field of entrants to get into the hot seat, was defeated in the first set of a double elimination final, and came back to win the second set to claim the event title. The occasion this time was the annual Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Invitational Tour Championships. The $1,000-added event drew 87 entrants to Borderline Billiards in Bristol, TN.
 
This victory took a little longer, given the 3-times-plus-a-little number of entrants that were on hand at Borderline Billiards. In the time it took Shabib to get about halfway through this one, he’d already won the 2017 event. Shabib worked his way through the field to arrive at a winners’ side semifinal match against Brian James. Lee O’Neal, in the meantime, met up with Brandon Stiltner.
 
Shabib downed James 8-3, as O’Neal was sending Stiltner west 5-4 (Stiltner racing to 6). Shabib then claimed the hot seat 8-4 over O’Neal and waited on his return.
 
On the loss side, Stiltner picked up Jason Potts, who’d recently defeated Matt Shaw 7-3 and Stevie Thomas 7-1. James drew Tyler Mayfield, who’d eliminated Stevie McClinton, double hill and Mike Clevinger 6-4. Potts defeated Stiltner 7-4 and in the quarterfinals, faced James, who’d sent Mayfield home 6-4.
 
James advanced another step, defeating Potts 6-4 in those quarterfinals, before O’Neal downed him in the semifinals 5-4 (James racing to 6). With Shabib racing to 8, O’Neal took the opening set of the true double elimination final 5-4. Shabib came back in the second set and allowed O’Neal only a single rack to claim 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 first stop on the 2019 Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour will precede the New Year by nine days. Scheduled for this weekend, December 22-23, the $500-added event ($1,000, with 50 or more entrants) will be hosted by The Steakhorse Restaurant & Billiards in Spartanburg, SC.

White double dips Hammer to win Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Bar Table Championships

Brian White

In what proved to be his first 2018 major tournament win, Brian White returned from a loss in the hot seat match to down Will Hammer twice and capture the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Bar Table Championships, held on the weekend of Sept. 29-30. The $2,000-added event, open to invited members of the tour, drew 90 entrants to Steakhorse Restaurant & Billiards in Spartanburg, SC.
 
“We were hoping to hit 100 entrants and break our previous tour record of 96,” said tour director Herman Parker. “But in the last hour, we had several players who told us that they couldn’t make it.”
 
In addition to his two victories over Hammer in the finals, White had to defeat the tour’s most prolific winner, JT Ringgold, twice. Ringgold entered the tournament in search of his 12th win on the tour, and advanced to a winners’ side semifinal against White, as Hammer was facing Edwin Delacueva in the other one. In their first of two, White and Ringgold battled to double hill before White finished it 10-9, advancing to the hot seat match. Hammer joined him, following a 6-5 victory over Delacueva, who was racing to 7.  With White racing to 10, Hammer chalked up what proved to be his last match win of the weekend, 6-6, to claim the hot seat.
 
On the loss side, Ringgold opened what he hoped was going to be a three-match trip back to the finals against Josh Shultz, who’d defeated Trey Frank 6-2 and Stevie McClinton 6-1 to reach him. Delacueva drew Marty Opyd, who’d eliminated BJ Hucks 6-6 (Hucks racing to 8) and Clay Davis, double hill (also 6-6, Davis racing to 7).
 
Ringgold downed Shultz 10-3, and in the quarterfinals, faced Delacueva, who’d ended Opyd’s weekend 7-1. Ringgold took what proved to be his final step, defeating Delacueva in those quarterfinals 10-3. The semifinal, second matchup between Ringgold and White shaped up early as a repeat of their double hill, winners’ side semifinal, but White pulled away at the end to win it 10-8 and earn his re-match against Hammer in the finals.
 
White came out gunning in the opening set of the true double elimination final and allowed Hammer only a single rack. Hammer came back in the second set and chalked up five of the six racks he needed to win, but White got the 10 he needed to claim the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball 2018 Bar Table Championships.
 
Tour directors Herman and Angela Parker thanked Dayne Miller and his staff at Steakhorse Restaurant & 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 (Oct. 6-7), will be hosted by Shotmakers in Garner, NC.

Ringgold chalks up 11th tour victory on Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour

JT Ringgold

 

JT Ringgold continues to solidify his position as the top winner on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour. On the weekend of June 23-24, he added his 11th victory on the tour. His closest competitor in the category is James Blackburn, who, to date, has won five times on the tour. The $500-added weekend event drew 41 entrants to Speakeazy Billiards in Sanford, NC.
 
Ringgold came within a match of going undefeated. Barry Mashburn won five on the loss side for the right to meet him in the true double elimination finals and won the opening set. Ringgold took the second set to claim the title.
 
Mashburn was sent to the loss side in a winners’ side quarterfinal match against Jason Rogers, who advanced to meet David Brown in one of the winners’ side semifinals. Ringgold and Joshua Shultz squared off in the other one. Brown sent Rogers to the loss side 8-4, and in the hot seat match, faced Ringgold, who’d defeated Shultz 10-4. Ringgold claimed the hot seat 10-5 over Brown and waited on the return of Mashburn.
 
Mashburn opened his loss-side run by giving up only a single rack over his first two matches; one to Anthony Mabe and none at all versus Dylan Letchworth. This set Mashburn up to face Shultz. Rogers drew Stevie McClinton, who’d eliminated Don Lilly, 7-6 and Donnie Stewart 7-1 to reach him.
 
Mashburn jumped immediately into the quarterfinals, when Shultz forfeited (citing a prior commitment, Shultz had left on Saturday). Mashburn was joined in the quarterfinals by McClinton, who’d defeated Rogers 7-5.
 
Mashburn took the quarterfinal 9-4, and then, defeated Brown in the semifinals 9-5. Carrying the familiar ‘momentum sword,’ Mashburn took the opening set of the true double elimination final 9-4 (Ringgold racing to 10). Ringgold then demonstrated the skill and experience that had, to that point, earned him 10 Q City 9-Ball titles. He defeated Mashburn 10-5 in the second set to claim his 11th title.
 
Tour directors Herman and Angela Parker thanked Jim Bullis and his Speakeazy staff for their hospitality, 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 this weekend (June 30-July 1) will be a $200-added event, hosted by Pal’s Billiards in Piedmont, SC.