Viking Cue 9-Ball Tour / Atlanta, GA
The Viking Cue Amateur-Advanced 9-Ball Tour and Mr. Cues II in Atlanta, GA, presented the Marathon Billiard Event in the second week of June, with James Roberts walking away with the lion’s share of the prize fund. The event drew in players from all over the region, including Michigan, Florida, Alabama, South Carolina, North Carolina, Ohio, and Georgia.
By the time play had ended on the first day, the cream of the crop had made its way to the top as the field narrowed down to the final 12 players who would go into the finals. This was definitely not an event for the weak of heart, as it was pure determination and stamina that keep these players battling it out to beat the ghost. By the end of the event over 2,600 games of 9-ball were played.
The final 12 players started back Sunday and played five rounds of 10 games, battling the ghost for over 13 hours to determine who would take home the first-place prize.
By 11 p.m. Sunday night going into Round 5 the final 12 players had played 480 games of 9-ball. Jesse Middlebrook had posted a 84, 59, 84, 83 (a total of 310 points and a 7.75 average); James Roberts had posted a 72, 79, 76, 86 (a total 313 points and a 7.82 average); Stoney Stone had posted a 83, 82, 76, 63 (a total of 304 points with a 7.6 average); and Scott Rabon had posted a 62, 81, 72, 88 (a total of 304 points and a 7.57 average) to take the top four spots as the fifth round began. As the round was under way, it proved to be too close to call as each gave their best effort to claim first.
Once into the final round Roberts started out with a 5 in the first inning but made a quick recovery as he ran out the next six racks to bring his score for the round to 59. But Roberts was unable to run out the remaining three racks and only posted inning scores of 6, 7, and 6 to end with a total of 390 points.
Stoney Stone, who was in second in the points lead at this time, followed suit, starting the round with a 4 in the first inning and following up by running out the next eight racks. Going into the tenth inning of the round it came down to a few ball differences between first place and second. Roberts was the first up, and he was only able to score a 5. Stone proceeded to post a 9 in the last game. Once the points were checked and tallied, it came down to a one-ball difference between first and second place. Roberts had scored 390 and Stone only scored 389.
Throughout the event Stone was the only player to get on a break and run-out streak. Stone ran 18 consecutive racks in the event: six consecutive at the end of round 6 and ten consecutive racks in round 7, which was the final round of Saturday’s play. In Sunday’s first round Stone followed up in the first two innings with two consecutive rack runs. Stone was also the first player to score a 90 in the event, breaking the high record at the time, which was held by Atlanta’s own John Maikke, who had an 87/90.
1st James Roberts $3,500
2nd Stoney Stone $1,550
3rd Jesse Middlebrook $1,000
4th Scott Rabon $600
5th Arlo Walsman $500
7th Benny Conway Jr. $300
9th Jonathon Tedder $200