Justin Hall Wins Exciting Banks Final Over Alex Pagulayan in Tunica, MS

Late on Monday evening in the Accu-Stats Simonis Arena in Harrah's Casino and Hotel in Tunica. Ms, over 300 pool fans witnessed one of the greatest come backs ever seen at a 9 Ball Banks final!

The two finalists were Alex Pagulayan and Justin Hall who were battling for the coveted title of “9 Ball Banks Champion of the 1st Annual Southern Classic”

It was not long into the match when it looked as though it was going to be all Alex Pagulayan, as he made bank after bank, and was in total charge of proceedings as his strong shot making came to the fore and the score got to 2-0 in a race to 3 format in no time at all.

Well, we were to get to see a complete turnaround from Justin's nervous start and a display of a body language that spoke volumes. It must also be said that Alex showed some nerves in his first game, surprisingly missing some relatively easy banks

In the third game Justin, who had shown us that he was worthy of making the final with some previous displays of great shot making, told me after the final that he got to a point where he said to himself that now was the time to just let it out and as we say “go for it”.

"Go for it" he did, and at 4-4 in the third game he made a winning 3 rail bank, that not only won that game, but brought the house down. This great shot alone was all Mr. Hall needed to get things going, as he broke and ran the 5 balls needed to secure the fourth game. His confidence stayed on high alert as he broke and made three balls in game five. (This brought his run of balls to nine, which had also left Alex in his seat for quite a while going off the boil)

Both players entered into a little safety battle at this point, until Justin left a long bank on the 7 ball for Alex to win the match. Unfortunately Alex was just a hair off line and wobbled the ball in the top right hand pocket. Justin played another safe, which was then followed by a loose safe from Alex.

Justin was still in attack mode and immediately jumped on Mr. Pagulayan's error and made the two gift banks to win the first ever Southern Classic 9 Ball Banks event.

This match was a clear example of positive thinking paying off, as Justin drilled in shot after shot and clawed his way back into a match that looked to be out of his grasp from the outset.

The knowledgeable crowd that packed the arena gave both players the ovation that they deserved, and every one went home happy. Well, maybe Alex will lay awake tonight thinking about that missed 7 ball.

This really was a great final that had everything - two great players, a comeback, which is always nice, and great shots from both players. What more could you ask for? This match has set the bar very high for the next two finals, the One Pocket and the 9 Ball event.

Third place was taken by John Brumback, and fourth place was taken by Richie Richeson (Justin Hall's mentor).