They’re the kind of matches that are fun to watch, whether they feature top-notch professionals or rank amateurs; the true double elimination final format that yields two, double hill matches between the last two opponents standing in a tournament. Such was the scene at the April 7-8 stop on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour, when Michael Hancock and Josh Padron met up in the true double elimination final. Hancock was in the hot seat, while Padron, who’d lost his first match of the tournament (after a bye), had won nine on the loss side to meet him. Padron took the opening set for his 10th match win in a row, but Hancock battled in the second set to claim the title. The event drew 37 entrants to a new venue for the Viking Cues’ Q City 9- Ball Tour – Carolina Billiards in Garner, NC.
While the 2017 Tour Champion (Padron) was at work on the loss side, Hancock advanced to a winners’ side semifinal against Jonathan Williams. Perennial Q City 9-Ball competitor, J.T. Ringgold, in the meantime, met up with Donnie Stewart in the other winners’ side semifinal. Hancock got into the hot seat match with a 7-2 win over Williams and was joined by Ringgold, who’d sent Stewart west 10-4. Ringgold, racing to 10, had chalked up eight racks to Hancock’s ‘on the hill’ six, before Hancock won his seventh, and sent Ringgold to the semifinals.
On the loss side, Padron, who’d lost his opening match to Ricky Dickson, won his first four, then won two straight double hill matches, against Greg Pulliam and teenager, Peter Abatangelo, to draw Stewart in the first money round. Williams picked up Duane Wade, who’d eliminated Solomon Pope, double hill (5-6) and 12-and-under junior champion Joey Tate 5-3 (Tate racing to 6).
Padron ousted Stewart 7-4 and, in the quarterfinals, faced Wade, who’d defeated Williams 5-3. Padron chalked up his eighth straight win, double hill (7-4) over Wade in those quarterfinals, and then, completed his loss-side run with a double hill (7-9) victory over Ringgold in the semifinals.
Hancock and Padron were playing straight-up races to 7. Padron took the true double elimination opener, for his 10th win in a row, double hill. They fought back and forth to double hill in the second set, before Hancock sunk the deciding ball to claim the event title. In addition to his $600 payday, Hancock won free entry to the Beasley Open in June.
Tour directors Herman and Angela Parker thanked the ownership and staff at Carolina Billiards, 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 14-15, will be a $250-added event, hosted by Mickey Milligan’s in New Bern, NC.