T-Rex Chohan goes undefeated to claim West Coast Challenge One Pocket title
Skip Maloney
Jul. 7, 2018
Tony Chohan (Photo courtesy of Erwin Dionisio)
Tony Chohan (Photo courtesy of Erwin Dionisio)
There are times when the game of One Pocket, played by top professionals, can be riveting to watch. To the point, sometimes, where the end result is less significant than the matches themselves; the journey, more important than the destination. Such was the case in the final match of the West Coast Swing’s (WCS) second tournament, the $5,000-added West Coast Challenge One Pocket, which drew 51 entrants to California Billiards in Fremont, CA. Three days after finishing as runner-up to Jeffrey De Luna in the 6th Annual Cole Dickson Memorial (Stop #1 on the WCS), Tony Chohan (aka T-Rex) stepped up to the tables and went undefeated to grab the One Pocket title of the WCS. He was challenged in the hot seat match by the event’s defending champion, Dennis Orcollo, and, in the finals, by Shane Van Boening, whom he’d sent to the loss side in the event’s third round. Their final match was a grind that, in spite of the game’s tendency to create long periods of relative inactivity as the players jockey for table position, proved to be about as riveting as any One Pocket match can be to watch (available via POVPool’s archives on You Tube).
 
Chohan opened his undefeated bid with victories over Jay Helfert and Ed Neves, both 4-1, before running into Van Boening the first time. He defeated Van Boening 4-2, and then sent Ian Costello (4-1) to the loss side, drawing Warren Kiamco in one of the winners’ side semifinals. Orcollo, in the meantime, having defeated Jeff Sullivan 4-0, Robert Ohashi 4-1. Jeff Gregory 4-2 and arguably one of the planet’s best overall players, Jayson Shaw 4-2, picked up Alex Pagulayan in the other winners’ side semifinal.
 
Chohan advanced to the hot seat match 4-2 over Kiamco, as Orcollo was busy sending Pagulayan to the loss side in a double hill win. Chohan shut Orcollo out to claim the hot seat, sending him off to a semifinal match against Van Boening.  
 
On the loss side, Pagulayan picked up Chris McDaniel, who’d given up just a single game in two matches against Omar Alshaheen (0) and Ian Costello (1) to reach him. Kiamco drew Van Boening, who, following his defeat at the hands of Chohan, had won four matches, including recent victories in which he’d eliminated Shaw and Brandon Shuff, both 3-1.
 
Pagulayan and Van Boening advanced to the quarterfinals; Pagulayan 3-1 over McDaniel, and Van Boening 3-1 over Kiamco. Van Boening and The Lion locked up in a double hill fight in those quarterfinals, eventually won by Van Boening. He then defeated Orcollo 3-1 in the semifinals to earn himself a second shot at Chohan.
 
As one might expect from a battle between a T-Rex and a ‘kid’ from South Dakota, the beast won it. They battled back and forth to a 2-2 tie in their race to 5, after which Chohan took over and won the next and final three to claim the event title.
 
Representatives of POVPool (Daniel Busch) and West State Billiards thanked the ownership and staff at California Billiards, as well as sponsors  Cohen Cues, Big Time Threads, WestStateBilliards.com, KD Cues, Ariel Carmeli (AC) Cues, Tiger Products, and JB Cases. The West Coast Swing is on-going with the $15,000-added, West Coast Challenge 10-Ball event, already underway (as of yesterday, Friday, July 6) and expected to conclude by Sunday night, July 8. Three days later, beginning on July 11th, the same group of players will (presumably) move on to Tempe, AZ for the $3,000-added, Freezer’s Icehouse One Pocket and $10,000-added 10-Ball Challenges.
 
Busch and his POVPool crew will be streaming these events throughout the next week, as well as offering archived matches to those who will, for whatever reason, miss them as they’re happening.