Dragon Silences the Lion: Van Boening & Reyes Fall

Charlie Williams

Las Vegas, Nevada- Alex "The Lion" Pagulayan has had the hot hand all week in Las Vegas. First he won the World Pool Masters and $20,000 1st Place. Then he won another cool $10,000 in The Action Report Challenge against Shane Van Boening. The Filipino sensation continued onto the Predator International 10-Ball Championship as the #5 seed getting a bye and then man handled French Champion Stefan Cohen 10-5. The Lion was looking unstoppable until USA's Charlie Williams got in his way.

The match started with Williams winning the lag and jokingly said, "At least I won the lag". The Korean Dragon then proceeded with a perfect break squatting the cue ball in the center of the table and running out, and then duplicating that feat again the next rack. A dry break in rack 3 gave Alex an opening to run out for a win and then a skid on the 1ball in game 4 by Williams another win for Alex. Williams then pulled away at 3-3 and proceeded to play near perfect pool and coming with several great jump shots recovering from Pagulayan's crafty safeties. Pagulayan eventually succumbed to Williams barrage of offense and escapes 10-4. In the final game Alex in joking manner tried to shark Williams and give him the last remaining 2 balls, but Williams continued to shoot them in ignoring Alex. Afterwards Charlie explained that if he allowed Alex to concede Alex would have to start his next match minus 1 game as a penalty under the rules of the International 10-Ball Championship. "Alex is a friend and I know he missed the players meeting because he was playing Shane, so I didn't want him to be penalized" said Williams.

This is the fourth encounter Williams and Pagulayan have had professionally, with Williams winning all four times.

"G$! damn he shot good against me! He always plays good when I play him. He's got my number because I've never beaten him. Him and Souquet! Oh well, I'm still happy cause I've won alot already this week!" said the good natured Pagulayan.

" I joked to Alex after he beat Shane in the race to 100 that now he was in trouble because he had to play me again. For some reason I always play great when I play him. Perhaps because I know I have to in order to win." said Williams, who is also Co-Owner of Dragon Promotions which is producing the event. "I controlled the cueball well and didn't miss any easy shots, and the Predator Air Jump Cue saved my butt alot. But honestly Alex is the definite better player. He has impressed me so much over the years and he really lives up to his namesake, heart of a "lion". And he is just a fun and good person as well as sportsman. But I wouldn't want to play him a race to 100!"

#1 seed Shane Van Boening, the hottest cuesman in North America, looked on his way to defend his title as he was shooting the winning 10-Ball as he was up 9-7 against Mexico's Ernesto Dominguez. Unbelievably Shane missed! Dominguez then won that game and ran out the remaining two racks to seal Van Boening's doom.

"I was stunned when I saw the kid miss!" said Robin Bell, Hall of Famer and 2x Women's World Champion. She had come to support Ernesto who resides near her home in Los Angeles. "He (Van Boening) had a routine shot on the 10-ball and no one expected a miss. I don't know much about him, but someone told me he's a great player. It was an amazing match."

"I think that loss to Alex the other night has rattled Shane's cage a little. Losing when your up 23 games is pretty hard to handle for anyone I think. He's human." said one top pro.

In another anticipated match up, #22 seed John "Mr.400" Schmidt of the USA had to find a way to out mystify Filipino King of Pool, Efren "The Magician" Reyes, who was seeded #11. Previously they had only played once before with Reyes coming out on top.

Reyes took the early lead at 4-1 before giving Schmidt an opening. Schmidt then ran out and broke and ran 4 consecutive racks to lead 6-4. The games then went back and forth but Schmidt came with superb offensive shots and clever safety duels with Reyes to maintain the lead. The Kozoom.com team was filming the match and the Predator TV arena was packed, with the crowds gasping and cheering with Schmidt's gutsy shots. John eventually won the match at 10-7.

"I played really well, but man did Efren come with some ridiculous outs! I just happen to get a chance to get rolling early on and I put together those break and runs, and that's what gave me the edge till the end. It was just solid pool and a good match." said Schmidt, who earlier had dodged a bullet against Germany's young gun Nico Otterman 10-8.

Other notable matches included Mosconi Cup Brothers Marcus Chamat SWE and Mika Immonen FIN paired up. Mika drove 5-2 ahead and then saw Marcus comeback with 5 break and runs and at 8-5 Chamat's favor, Mika could not re-group.

"I'm up 5-2, next thing I know I'm at the table losing 8-5 with a tough shot. How do you deal with that?" a bewildered Immonen commented after the match.

Raj Hundal also went down in history as the first Indian poolplayer to topple a World Champion and US Open Champion as he dismantled #3 seed Johnny Archer 10-7.

Bar table legend Stan Tourangeau of Canada also stayed alive on the losers side defeating Spain's Diego Simon 10-9. USA's Gabe Owen took down #4 seed Ralf Souquet 10-7, and Niels Feijen NED won his match against Karl Boyes ENG.

Players are fighting to stay alive to the last 16 players where players will be re-seeded according to their records and then a new draw will set the final single elimination brackets on Friday night.

Complete brackets and live streaming at www.predator10ball.com