Vikings Invade Ohio

Danny Basavich

The Viking Cue 9-Ball Tour returns to its home state of Ohio with over $30,000 of added money to lure players of all levels to multiple events being held across the state in the month of November. Kicking off this big month of Viking action in Ohio is a $2,000 added one-pocket event at Cornfed Red's in Columbus, OH this Thursday and Friday. Last year about 30 players entered the event that saw Shawn Putnam defeated by Corey Deuel in the finals with Ralph Goodside of Pittsburgh, PA finishing third. This will be followed by a $5,000 added 9-ball event beginning at noon on Saturday and continuing through Sunday evening. Last year's version had 73 players including Ohio pros Putnam, Deuel, Dee Adkins, Howard Vickery and Chris Szuter along with out of state pros Ronnie Wiseman and Danny Basavich mixed together with the top regional talent. Basavich cruised through the event undefeated including a final round victory over Howard Vickery to claim the winner's share of the $12,380 total purse.

The following Wednesday thru Sunday will bring a large influx of professional players to the state to compete in Toledo's Glass City Open for its $40,000 guaranteed purse. The early round losers will likely shift their attention east to Mentor, Oh, a suburb of Cleveland, where Q's 21 will host a $1,000 added Viking 9-Ball Tour event on the 15th and 16th. This will provide a chance for players to become tour members and qualify to play without paying an entry fee in the Viking National Championship the following week in Northfield, OH, another Cleveland suburb.

All the action moves to Northfield beginning with one final opportunity to become a tour member and qualify to play for the $25,000 in added money that is the "pot of gold" at the end of the Viking Tour rainbow. On Tuesday the 18th the final $1,000 added event will be contested. When the opening bell sounds for the national championship event on Wednesday expect a very strong field to be fighting for their share of the $25,000 prize fund. Last year 135 players came to Northfield to try for the cash. While the Viking Tour is populated for the most part by amateur players that stood little chance to win the event, many of the participants would be thrilled at the opportunity to play a top pro player (Earl Strickland and many other pro players are expected to play) for no entry fee. Tour promoter Mike Janis must have been thrilled when last years' national tournament was won by Viking Cue player/rep Larry Nevel of Wisconsin in a two-set finals over young pro Mike Davis of Hagerstown, MD with Johnny Archer finishing third.

Article and photo courtesy of Mark Whiteside