Ussery goes undefeated to win* his fourth 2020 Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour stop

Alex Rose, Hunter Zayas, BJ Ussery and Josh Williamson

The hot seat and finals of the second-to-last stop on the 2020 Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour featured two competitors adding cash to their respective best earnings year, ever. For 14-year-old Hunter Zayas, it was his first runner-up finish in seven starts on the 2020 tour, which had included a win on the tour’s annual Turkey Bowl last month. It’s his best earnings year ever, because it’s his only earnings year, ever. So far.

For winner, BJ Ussery, it was his fourth win on the 2020 tour and his 14th cash finish, across a variety of tournaments, overall. He’d won the VA State 10-Ball Championships back in February, and was runner-up in the MD State 10-Ball Championships and the 1st Annual Muecci Classic 9-Ball tournament last month. It was not only his best (recorded) earnings year, it was his second straight best earnings year. As he entered this past weekend’s (Dec. 12-13) tournament, he had already exceeded his 2019 ‘best ever at the time’ earnings by $60. 

Next week was to have been the tour’s season finale with its annual Bar Table 9-Ball Championships, but some overlapping schedules led tour directors Herman and Angela Parker to change that schedule. The last stop on the 2020 tour will occur next weekend (Dec. 19-20), but it will not be the invitation-only Tour Championships. It will be an appearance at a new venue for the tour – Peyton’s Place in Knoxville, TN – hosting a $500-added event. The $1,000-added Tour Championships were moved ahead to the weekend of January 9-10, 2021 at their scheduled location, Break & Run Billiards in Chesnee, SC. 

So, BJ and the Kid at the $500-added event that drew 44 entrants to yet another new location for the ever-expanding tour, Overtime Bar & Grill in Columbia, SC. . . .

They worked their way through the field to the two winners’ side semifinals. Ussery faced Benny Walters, as Zayas squared off against Justin Cromer. Ussery got into the hot seat match with an 11-3 win over Walters (racing to 5). Zayas had to survive a double hill challenge by Cromer, but did, eventually advance (6-5) to meet Ussery in the hot seat match. Ussery sent him over, as well, with an 11-2 win that proved to be Ussery’s title match. 

On the loss side, Walters and Cromer got right back to winning again. Walters picked up Corey Morphew, who’d defeated Hank Powell 9-3 and Donnie Stewart 9-4 to reach him. Cromer drew Marty Free, who’d recently eliminated Matt Lucas and Larry David, both 8-3.

Walters sent Morphew home 5-3 and in the quarterfinals, faced Cromer, who’d eliminated Free 6-2. Cromer then ended Walters brief, loss-side trip 6-2 in those quarterfinals. 

Zayas ended Cromer’s one-match-longer, loss-side trip with a 6-3 victory that finished the event. BJ and The Kid agreed to a split, took their photos with the room owners and home everyone went.

Tour directors Herman and Angela Parker thanked room owners Alex Rose and Josh Williamson, as well as their staff for hosting the event. They also thanked title sponsor Viking Cues, Bar Pool Tables, JB Magic Templates, AZBilliards, Tickler Pool Ball Washing Machine, Skyline Construction, Federal Savings Bank Mortgage Division and Dirty South Grind Apparel Co. As noted earlier, Peyton’s Place in Knoxville, TN will host the $500-added, last 2020 tour stop this coming weekend (Dec. 19-20).