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Roberts downs Davis twice to claim NC State 10-Ball Open title

One of the more persistent regrets of the pool industry is the absence of detailed history.  Major League Baseball could probably tell you what Babe Ruth had for breakfast on the day he set the home run record. There is no Major League Pool, of course, and the varied entities which comprise the governing bodies of the sport couldn’t, for example, provide its fan base with a definitive answer as to how many times Johnny Archer and Tommy Kennedy have faced each other over the years, and which of the two has the greater number of victories in those head to head matches.
They had a chance to meet again this past weekend (November 23-24) at the North Carolina State 10-Ball Open, held under the auspices of the Q City 9-Ball Tour and event sponsor Beasley Custom Cues. It didn’t happen. There was a chance that they could have met in the hot seat match, and when that didn’t happen, a second chance developed moving into the event’s quarterfinals. That didn’t happen either.
According to Kennedy, although their most memorable two matchups occurred in the hot seat and finals of the 1992 US Open 9-Ball Championships, when Kennedy claimed the hot seat over Archer and then defeated him a second time in the finals to claim his first, and as it’s turned out, only US Open title. Both matches were broadcast on ESPN.
“I beat him 13-1 in the hot seat match,” Kennedy recalled of that event 27 years ago, “and 9-1 in the finals. I think he’s ahead in overall matches, though, but not by too, too much. Probably 60-40.”
That same absence of detailed history holds, as well, for the winner and runner-up of this year’s NC State 10-Ball Open. Josh Roberts went undefeated at the $2,000-added event ($500 from the room owner and $1,500 from Beasley Custom Cues) that drew 42 entrants to SpeakEazy Billiards in Sanford NC. Roberts had to get by Mike Davis twice – hot seat and finals – to claim the event title and chalk up the two most recent events in the lengthy, though not specifically detailed history of their meetups in any number of events over the years.
Those four were the winners’ side final four at this North Carolina State 10-Ball Open. Roberts advanced to meet Kennedy in one of the winners’ side semifinals, as Davis advanced to pick up Archer in the other one. The possible hot seat match loomed, but Roberts sent Kennedy to the loss side 7-4, while Davis and Archer (another pair with a history) locked up in a double hill fight that eventually sent Archer over and allowed Davis to join Roberts in the hot seat match. Roberts claimed his second hot seat in as many weeks (he claimed it last week – Nov. 15-17 – at the NC State Open One Pocket Championships), downing Davis 7-4 this week and waiting on his return.
Over on the loss side, a number of potential winners of the event continued to lurk, including (among others) Tony Chohan, BJ Ussery, Jonathan (Hennessee from Tennessee) Pinegar and Barry Mashburn. Archer and Kennedy picked up two of them. Chohan downed Wayne Miller 6-1 and shut out Mashburn to meet up with Archer. Pinegar eliminated Michael Yingling and Ussery, both 6-3, to draw Kennedy (Ussery and Pinegar, being yet another matchup with some history).
The possible Archer/Kennedy matchup loomed yet again. Kennedy got off to a bad start and was down 5-1 to Pinegar, before he rallied to tie and then win it 6-5, doing his part. Chohan, though, eliminated Archer 6-2 and then dropped Kennedy 6-3 in the quarterfinals.
Davis put a stop to Chohan’s run 6-2 in the semifinals for a second shot at Roberts in the hot seat. According to tour director Herman Parker, in a single set, race-to-9, employing alternate break, Roberts “missed one ball, the entire set.” He gave up only a single game to Davis and claimed the NC State 10-Ball Open title.
Tour directors Herman and Angela Parker thanked Speakeazy owners, Jimmy and Wendy Bullis, and their staff for hosting the event, as well as Beasley Custom Cues and its owner, Doug Beasley, for his ongoing support of the games. The next stop on the Q City 9-Ball Tour, scheduled for Nov. 30-Dec. 1, will be a $500-added, 9-Ball Scotch Doubles event, to be hosted by Break ‘N Run Billiards in Chesnee, SC.

Lucky 13 – Ringgold double dips Faulk to win 13th Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball title

JT Ringgold

JT Ringgold lost an opening round match on the most recent Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour stop, won seven on the loss side and then, double-dipped hot seat occupant, Larry Faulk to claim his 13th overall title on the tour. Racing to 10 in all of the matches, his loss-side run involved 90 games, and he lost only 16 of them. The next time he competes, said tour director Herman Parker, he’ll be racing to 11. The $250-added event, held on Saturday, Oct. 20, drew 18 entrants to Mickey Milligan’s in New Bern, NC.
With Ringgold at work on the loss side, Faulk advanced to a winners’ side semifinal matchup against Mickey Milligan’s owner, Gerry Shepherd. Robert Perez and Graham Swinson battled in the other winners’ side semifinal. Faulk shut out Shepherd 7-0, as Perez and Swinson locked up in a double hill fight that eventually advanced Perez to the hot seat match against Faulk. Faulk claimed the hot seat, and as it turned out, his final match victory with a 7-4 win over Perez.
Ringgold, in the meantime, was slicing through the loss side field, and after chalking up wins #3 and #4 against Paul Swinson (father to Graham; 10-3) and Scotty Johnson 10-1, he drew Shepherd. The younger Swinson picked up Jack Whitfield, who’d defeated Jeff Matthews 7-4 and Wayne Miller 7-3 to reach him.
Ringgold added win #5 against Shepherd 10-2 and in the quarterfinals, faced Whitfield, who’d eliminated Swinson 7-5. According to TD Parker, Ringgold, in spite of the event’s alternate break format, didn’t miss a ball in his shutout over Whitfield in the quarterfinals. He gave up three racks to Perez in his 10-3 semifinal win.
With Faulk racing to 7, Ringgold had to beat him twice to claim the title, and did so, easily. He gave up only three racks in 23 games (10-2, 10-1) to claim this 13th Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball title.
Tour directors Herman and Angela Parker thanked Gerry Shepherd and his Mickey Milligan’s 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 (Oct. 27-28) will be a $500-added event (with a full field of 48 entrants) hosted by Randolph Billiards in Hickory, NC.

Owens and Leonard split top prizes on Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour

Frank Owens

In terms of attendance, the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour stop on the weekend of April 14-15, was likely affected by the concurrent Super Billiards Expo (SBE) in Philadelphia. Mickey Milligan’s in New Bern, NC is about eight hours away from the SBE site, which drew over a thousand entrants to its Amateur tournament, many of them residing within an eight-hour travel distance. The winner of the SBE’s Pro Player Championships (Mike Dechaine) drove six hours to compete. The $250-added Q City 9-Ball stop drew 21 entrants and came to an end when Frank Owens and Zach Leonard opted out of a final match, which would have been their second, and split the top two prizes.
They met first in the hot seat match. Owens had sent Matt Lucas to the loss side, double hill, in one winners’ side semifinal, while Leonard downed Richard Limo 7-3 in the other one. With Leonard racing to 7, Owens claimed the hot seat 5-4.
On the loss side, Lucas and Limo ran right into their second straight loss. Lucas picked up Jack Whitfield, who’d shutout C.B. Brown, and defeated Cody Jones 7-4 to reach him. Limo had the misfortune of meeting up with the tour’s most prolific winner, J.T. Ringgold, who, after being awarded an opening round bye, had dropped his first match to Bill Duggan, and was in the midst of a six-match, loss-side winning streak that would take him as far as the semifinals. He’d gotten by Chris Gentile 10-5 and shut out Wayne Miller to draw Limo.
Ringgold downed Limo 10-4, and in the quarterfinals, faced Whitfield, who’d defeated Lucas 7-2. Ringgold then ended Whitfield’s run 10-3, before coming up against Leonard in the semifinals. With Ringgold racing to 10, he and Leonard fought back and forth to double hill (6-9), before Leonard dropped the deciding 9-ball to earn a second shot against Owens.
That second shot did not materialize. Owens and Leonard opted out of the final match, with Owens, in the hot seat, claiming the official event title.
Tour directors Herman and Angela Parker thanked the ownership and staff at Mickey Milligan’s, 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 April 21-22, will be hosted by Gate City Billiards Club, in Greensboro, NC.

Ringgold goes undefeated to win his sixth Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour stop

JT Ringgold

With his sixth win on the tour, this past weekend (July 8-9), J.T. Ringgold stands as the top competitor on the Viking Cues' Q City 9-Ball Tour. He's played in more matches, chalked up more wins and pocketed more money on the tour than any other player. The $250-added event drew 33 entrants to Mickey Milligan's in New Bern, NC.
Ringgold faced separate opponents in the hot seat and finals of this event. He got into the hot seat match after a double hill (10-7) win over Larry Faulk, and faced Jack Whitfield, who'd sent Ringgold's eventual finals opponent, David Williams to the loss side 7-3. Ringgold claimed the hot seat 10-5 over Whitfield and waited on the return of Williams.
Williams opened his loss-side trip to the finals against Ringgold's father, Terry Ringgold, who'd defeated Wayne Miller and Al Boone, both 5-3, to reach him. Faulk drew Greg Smith, who'd eliminated Wayne Sutton 9-5 and Justin Clark 9-4.
It was Williams and Faulk who advanced to the quarterfinal match; Williams 5-3 over the elder Ringgold, and Faulk 8-3 over Greg Smith. Williams, at this point, playing well above his handicap, downed Faulk (racing to 8) 5-3, and then, with Whitfield racing to 7, downed him in the semifinals 5-5.
Ringgold put an exclamation point on his sixth Viking Cues' Q City 9-Ball Tour win. He chalked up his requisite 10 games without giving up a single rack to Williams.
Tour director Herman Parker thanked the ownership and staff at Mickey Milligan's, 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 July 15-16, will be a $500-added event, hosted by Q Master Billiards in Virginia Beach, VA.

Young wins his first Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tournament

Until the weekend of March 11-12, Jeff Young had cashed in only three Viking Cues' Q City 9-Ball events; two in 2016, including a runner-up finish in November, in which he took the opening set of a true double elimination final, only to be defeated in the second set. He finished in the tie for 7th place last month (February) in Hickory, NC. On the March 11-12 weekend, he brought his game to Corner Pockets in Fayetteville, NC and went undefeated through a field of 44 entrants to claim his first major title. 
Young had to get by Ron Canterbury twice to claim that title. They met first in the hot seat match, after Young had sent Stevie McClinton to the loss side 5-2 in one winners' side semifinal, and Canterbury had survived a double hill battle versus Chris Baumann in the other. Young, for the first time, found himself as the proverbial 'last man standing' after defeating Canterbury 5-3 in the hot seat match.
On the loss side, McClinton picked up Andy Bowden, who'd defeated Doug Flynn 5-2, and Kimberly Young (Jeff's wife), double hill, to reach him. Baumann drew Daniel Adams, who'd eliminated Justin Clark and Wayne Miller, both 7-3.
McClinton got right back to winning work with a 7-2 win over Bowden, but Baumann fell to Adams 7-4. Adams and McClinton locked up in a double hill quarterfinal that eventually sent Adams to the semifinals against Canterbury.
In those semifinals, Adams ended up on the wrong side of his second straight double hill match, which sent Canterbury back for a re-match against Young in the hot seat. With Canterbury racing to 6, Young completed his first win, undefeated, at 5-4. 
Tour director Herman Parker thanked the ownership and staff at Corner Pockets, 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 (March 18-19), will be hosted by Breaktime Billiards in Cary, NC. 

Pike goes undefeated to take Q City stop at Mickey Milligan’s in New Bern, NC

Chad Pike, owner of City Cues in Elizabeth City, NC, has been a regular competitor on the Q City 9-Ball for a few years now. He's been a competitor at the game for a lot longer than that, dating back to our (AZBilliards') first recognition of him for finishing 17th on a Falcon Cue 9-Ball Tour stop 12 years ago. He went on to make appearances on the Great Southern Billiard Tour, the Viking Tour, the Action Pool Tour, and a couple of noteworthy appearances at the annual US Open 9-Ball Championships. On the weekend of January 30-31, 2016, he added another victory on the Q City 9-Ball Tour to his resume, going undefeated through a field of 38, on-hand for the $500-added event, hosted by Mickey Milligan's in New Bern, NC  
Pike's path to the winners' circle went through Jorge Ramos twice; once in the hot seat match and later, in the finals. He'd sent J.T. Ringgold to the loss side 7-3 in a winners' side semifinal, as Ramos was busy sending Greg Smith over 6-7 (Smith racing to 8). Pike claimed the hot seat 7-4 over Ramos.
On the loss side, Ringgold picked up William Roberts, who'd shut out Shane Hardie and defeated Jack Whitfield 6-2 to reach him. Smith drew Wayne Miller, who'd gotten by Danny Farren 4-2, and Christy Norris (the previous week's winner), double hill. 
With Smith racing to 8, Miller advanced to the quarterfinals 4-4. Ringgold defeated Roberts 9-3 to join him. With Ringgold racing to 9, Miller took the quarterfinal match 4-3.
The 6-4 race in the semifinals led to a final game showdown against Miller that advancEd Ramos to a second shot against Pike in the hot seat. A second double hill game led to the completion of Pike's undefeated run, and another title feather to his cap.

Shepherd becomes first room owner to win a stop on the Great Southern Billiard Tour

Shannon Daulton, Gerry Shepherd and Brian Pate

It's been said (reportedly, by Albert Einstein, but nobody seems to know for sure) that doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result is the definition of insanity. In addition to it being, reportedly, the most overused cliche of all time (Salon, August 6, 2013), it's obvious that Einstein didn't play a lot of pool.
After somewhere between 30 and 40 attempts to win a Great Southern Billiard Tour stop in his own room, Mickey Milligan's in New Bern, NC, Gerry Shepherd became the first owner, ever, to win a stop on that tour. He went undefeated through a field of 40 to win the $1,000-added event that drew 40 to his place on the weekend of July 25-26.
"That was awesome," said Shepherd, moments after collecting the trophy and dough. "Surprised a lot of people. Surprised me, too."
In fairness to the insanity definition, Shepherd wasn't exactly doing the same thing over and over. In fact, he was doing things quite differently. He'd had some health issues arise in his family, and was looking ahead to some back surgery. He'd come to the realization, in the face of those issues, that "pool isn't all there is about life."
"And that," he said, "is when I started shooting better."
With players racing to their rating, Shepherd played as a "3" in this event, against a field with a few "7"s and "8"s. He faced one of those "8"s – J.T. Ringold – in a winners' side semifinal, while Robert Ash (a "4") got into it with Russell Sasser (a "7"). Shepherd defeated Ringold 3-6, and in the hot seat match, faced Ash, who'd sent Sasser to the loss side 4-5. Shepherd claimed the hot seat 3-2 and waited on what turned out to be the return of Brian Pate.
Pate had advanced through to a winners' side quarterfinal before chalking up his first loss; to Sasser. He moved to the loss side, defeating Wayne Miller and Al Booner, both 6-2, to meet up with Ringold. Sasser had drawn Scott Crain, 5-1 winner over Mike Gaskins, and double hill survivor versus Greg Smith.
Crain spoiled any re-match hopes that Pate may have been entertaining, by defeating Sasser 5-3. Pate joined Crain in the quarterfinals with a double hill win over Ringold. Pate took the quarterfinal 6-2 over Crain, and then fought tooth and nail to a double hill win over Ash in the semifinals.
Pate needed six games to claim the title. Shepherd needed three. They both got three, and Shepherd became the GSBT's first tour stop winning owner.
The next stop on the Great Southern Billiard Tour, scheduled for the weekend of August 1-2, will be hosted by Shore Thing Billiards in Myrtle Beach, SC.