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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).

Wolford wins two of three events and is runner-up at a third on Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour

It was a busy weekend in Roanoke, VA. The Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball paid a visit to a new venue on their schedule – Wolf’s Den Billiards in Roanoke, owned by the Wolford family. In what brings a new degree of clarity to the phrase ‘home room,’ Shane Wolford won two out of the three events held over the weekend of March 9-10; the 53-entrant, handicapped Amateur event and a 10-entrant Open event. He was runner-up in the 17-entrant One Pocket event, which was held in the same location, but not specifically run by the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour.
 
The venue hadn’t just opened its doors when the tournament got underway. It was still plugging in the lights. According to tour director Herman Parker, when he arrived at the location on Saturday morning to begin registering players, the lights over the tables he was going to be using hadn’t even been hung. The situation was rectified by the time the registration process had been concluded and tournament play commenced.
 
In fact, Shane Wolford actually won only one of the three events, as defined by playing in an event final and winning that final match. He and Derek Leonard ended up splitting the top two payouts in the Amateur event, because when it came time for the finals of that event, Wolford was playing in the hot seat of the Open event, which he went on to win.
 
Former two-time junior champion Zach Hampton (14 and under, 2012/18 and under 2013) won the One Pocket tournament, downing fellow junior player Wolford 3-0 in the finals, both collecting the only cash prizes; $1050 for Hampton and $525 for Wolford. Wolford added $200 more for his actual victory in the Open event, downing James Blackburn 7-5 in the final (Wolford had defeated Blackburn earlier, double hill, in the hot seat match).
 
In the Amateur event, which played out over the two days of the pool room’s opening weekend, Wolford advanced to a winners’ side semifinal against Ron Frank, as Derek Leonard faced Matt Siple. Leonard sent Siple to the loss side 9-3 and turned to face Wolford, who defeated Frank 9-4. Wolford claimed the hot seat 9-6 over Leonard in what proved to be Wolford’s last match of the Amateur event.
 
On the loss side, Siple drew Jason Evans, a recent winner on the tour (Feb.), who’d just eliminated two straight competitors, double hill – Graham Swinson and Trevor Stanley. Frank picked up Jonathan Caldwell, who, like Evans, had eliminated two straight opponents in double hill matches; Frank King and Jonathan Ailstock.
 
Siple and Frank ended Evans’ and Caldwell’s two-match, double hill winning streak and advanced to the quarterfinals; Siple 7-5 over Evans and Frank 9-3 over Caldwell. Siple ended Frank’s run 7-4 in those quarterfinals.
 
Leonard took the last match of the event, the semifinals, 9-5 over Siple and agreed with Wolford to split the top two prizes, while Wolford continued his winning run on the Open event.
 
Tour directors Herman and Angela Parker thanked the Wolford family and their Wolf’s Den 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 16-17), will be hosted by Borderline Billiards in Bristol, TN.

Kidwell double dips Roberts to win Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour stop

Brandon Kidwell

About a month short of two years ago (February 25-26, 2017), pro player Jeffrey DeLuna from the Phillipines signed on to a 65-entrant stop on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour, being held at Janet Atwell’s room, Borderline Billiards in Bristol, TN. As a professional, DeLuna had to win 13 games per match before most of his opponents chalked up eight or nine. Not surprisingly, DeLuna went undefeated through the field, but not before he was challenged twice by Brandon Kidwell, who called then and continues to call Borderline Billiards his home room. The hot seat match was something of a blowout. With Kidwell racing to 8, he managed to chalk up only three against the seasoned pro’s 13. The finals were a different story. Though DeLuna went on to defeat Kidwell a second time, it was not before Kidwell had brought him to the double-hill brink of defeat at 12-7. Had he won the match, in the double elimination format of the final, Kidwell would have had to do it again; a point rendered moot when DeLuna broke the double-hill tie and claimed the event title.
 
On the weekend of January 26-27, Kidwell, with two victories on the tour in his past (both prior to his meetup with DeLuna), returned to the ‘scene of the crime’, as it were, came back from a hot seat loss and defeated Scott Roberts twice to claim his first Q City 9-Ball title in a little over two years. The event drew 50 entrants to Borderline Billiards, which, thanks to Atwell, filled in an empty slot on the tour schedule just four days before it began.
 
Kidwell (still racing to 8, throughout) advanced through the field to arrive at a winners’ side semifinal match against 17-year-old Hunter White. Scott Roberts, in the meantime, squared off against Brandon Stiltner. Kidwell downed White 8-2 and was joined in the hot seat match by Roberts, who’d survived a double hill battle (8-5) against Stiltner. Roberts took possession of the hot seat 8-4 and waited on Kidwell’s return from the semifinals.
 
Over on the loss side, Stiltner ran into Brian James, who’d defeated Richard Kearsey 6-2 and June Bug (aka James Miracle) 6-3 to reach him. White picked up Mike Clevinger, who’d most recently shut out Trevor Stanley and defeated Steve Guy 6-4. James advanced 6-2 over Stiltner. White joined him in the quarterfinals after shutting Clevinger out 9-0.
 
James Took the quarterfinal match over White 6-3 and then locked up in a double hill battle with Kidwell in the semifinals. Kidwell dropped the 9-ball in the deciding match and turned his attention to a rematch against Roberts in a double elimination final.
 
In a straight-up race to 8, the first set ended with the same score as the hot seat match, although it was Kidwell who chalked up the 8 and Roberts with the 4. Roberts came back in the second set, but not by nearly enough. Kidwell claimed the title with a second-set 8-5 win.
 
Tour directors Herman and Angela Parker thanked Janet Atwell and her staff at Borderline Billiards, not only for hosting the event, but for agreeing to do so, four days ahead of the scheduled start. They also thanked 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. 2-3), will be a $500-added event, hosted by Speak Eazy Billiards in Sanford, NC.

GSBT veteran, Roberts, double dips Ailstock to win his first

Shannon Daulton, Scott Roberts, Johnathan Ailstock and room owner Scott

He'd gotten into the finals of a Great Southern Billiard Tour stop once, back in 2012, but until the weekend of November 21-22, Scott Roberts, who's been playing on the tour for all of its 10 years, had yet to chalk up a win. That streak ended  at the conclusion of a $700-added stop that drew 30 entrants to Q Billiards in Roanoke, VA. Roberts came back from a hot seat loss to defeat Jonathan Ailstock twice and claim his first GSBT title.
 
They met in the hot seat match after Roberts had sent Ernie Lyle to the loss side 7-2, and Ailstock had sent Bill Walker over 6-1. Ailstock won his last match 7-4 over Roberts and sat in the hot seat, waiting to play his last match.
 
On the loss side, Lyle picked up Trevor Stanley, who, racing to 9, had just given up only three racks, total, to David Huff (2) and Starr McClure (1). Walker drew Matt Booth, who'd defeated Robert Ash 5-2, and Danny Warner 5-5 (Warner racing to 7). Lyle advanced to the quarterfinals with a 7-6 win over Stanley (racing to 9). Walker was eliminated by Booth 5-3.
 
Booth took the quarterfinal match over Lyle, double hill, but had his loss-side streak ended by Roberts in the semifinals 7-4. Roberts took the opening set of the true double elimination final 7-3, and though Aisltock would battle to within a game of double hill, Roberts prevailed 7-5 to win his first GSBT title.
 
The next stop on the GSBT, scheduled for December 5-6, will be a $1,500-added event, hosted by Zingale's in Tallahassee, FL.

Mastermaker Wins Virginia State Bar Table Championship

The Clubhouse Bar & Billiards in Lynchburg, VA was the site for the Virginia State 9 Ball Bar Table Championships – presented by Liquid Lightning Energy Drinks held April 14th.

Tournament Director Joshua Dickerson drew up a bracket filled with thirty five of the best bar table players in the state for a chance at the first prize of $1600 thanks to the generous sponsorship of Majestic Auto, The Heart of VA – APA pool league and the Great Southern Billiards Tour.  Utilizing a tight schedule that his events are known for, he was able to complete the event in only one day.  “I’m pleased with the turnout.” he stated, “We have players from as far away as Northern Virginia, and Richmond!  You can’t blame them, though.  The Clubhouse is a great venue.”

Danny Mastermaker made his way undefeated through the winner’s side, never dropping more than six games, in the races to nine, to any opponent in the five that he faced.  In the match for the hot seat, Danny faced fellow Richmonder Chris Bruner, leaving him in the dust 9-2.

Bruner, for his part, only lost a total of fourteen games to get to the hot seat match where he ran into the red-hot Mastermaker and received his first loss.  He then waited for an opponent on the left side of the bracket for a shot at redemption.

His opponent there was Alvis Fitch, a man who had fought his way through some tough action on the winner’s side, only to run into Mastermaker in the semi-finals and went down 9-6.  Fitch stormed back with a 7-2 wins over Corey Skyes and Trevor Stanley to make his way back to a chance in the finals.  It wasn’t to be as he ran into a very determined Chris Bruner who prevailed in a very close set, winning 7-5.

Back for a second helping, the two combatants began the finals just after midnight, both determined to take the title.  Mastermaker proved himself up for the challenge by staking to an early 3-0 lead which never relinquished finally cruising to a 9-4 victory and the title.