Ussery wins by the toss of a coin on the Action Pool Tour

BJ Ussery, Tiger Baker and Brandon Shuff

They tossed a coin.

Normally, when two competitors at a pool tournament meet in the early hours of the morning to discuss a deal for opting out of a final match and splitting the top two cash prizes, one of the two has already claimed the hot seat. And more often than not, it’s the occupant of the hot seat who is declared the official winner.

This past weekend (Oct. 16-17), Brandon Shuff and BJ Ussery took a different approach to things on the Action Pool Tour, when it came down to the finals and determining the official winner. Much earlier, Shuff had won the hot seat match over Ussery, but when it came to the final match, they opted to flip a coin to determine the official winner. Ussery won the toss. The event – The 2021 Pineapple Morris Memorial 10-Ball Open – drew 27 entrants to Q Master Billiards in Virginia Beach, VA, where Pineapple Morris was the doorman at Barry Behrman’s annual US Open 9-Ball Championship for many years. 

Ussery’s path to the hot seat match, following a play-in round for his first opponent, went through just two opponents before arriving at a winners’ side semifinal match against Liz Taylor. He gave up only two racks to those first two opponents – Bruce Reed (0) and Chris Pyle (2). From the opposite end of the bracket, Shuff competed in the play-in round, downing Donnie Huett 7-2 and then, meeting and defeating Amory Capers 7-2 and James Blackburn 7-4, to arrive at his winners’ side semifinal versus Dwight Cherry.

Shuff sent Cherry to the loss side 7-4, as Ussery was shutting out Liz Taylor. Shuff claimed the hot seat 7-4.

On the loss side, Taylor picked up Jared Pitts, who’d lost a winners’ side quarterfinal match to Cherry and then, survived both a double hill match against Jimmy Bird and eliminated James Blackburn 7-3. Cherry drew Amory Capers, who’d recently eliminated Chris Pyle, double hill and Kenny Daughtrey 7-4.

Pitts and Capers advanced to the quarterfinals by the same score; Pitts defeating Taylor and Capers downing Pitts, both 7-4. Taylor’s finish in the tie for 5th place earned her an extra $100 as the event’s top-finishing female. Pitts took the quarterfinal match 7-3 over Capers before having his four-match, loss-side winning streak ended by Ussery 7-4 in the semifinals.

Ussery and Shuff flipped the coin that made Ussery the official winner.

Tour directors Kris Wylie and Tiger Baker thanked the ownership and staff at Q Master Billiards for their hospitality, as well as sponsors Haselman and Hunt, D.D.S., P.C. Family Dentistry, George Hammerbacher (Advanced Pool Instructor) and CueSports International. The next event on the Action Pool Tour, scheduled for the weekend of November 13-14, will be the 2021 VA State 8-Ball Championships, featuring Open and Ladies competition. The event will be hosted by Diamond Billiards in Midlothian, VA.