Pagulayan and Eberle close out Derby City Classic with wins; Bustamante Wins Master of the Table

Alex Pagulayan (Photo courtesy of David Thomson


By two PM on Saturday, the 9-Ball event at the Derby City Classic was down to only 7 men. The redraw found Niels Feijen playing Alex Pagulayan, Shawn Putnam faced John Brumback and Shane Van Boening against Francisco Bustamante. Mike Dechaine caught the bye. By now the Master of the Table honors had alread been won by Franciso Bustamante; with his victory in the Banks division and his runner-up finish in the One Pocket. But the Nine Ball division is a BCA points event and so there is a lot on the line for those competitors.

First to finish was Shane Van Boening as he defeated Bustamante 9-4 with a quick pace. Then John Brumback defeated Putnam 9-6, but Putnam was the only player in the field to still have his buyback intact so he was able to continue on.

The last match was on the Accu-Stats feature table and it was a great one. Alex Pagulayan was leading this match 7-5 when he fouled with a shot clock violation, giving up ball in hand to Feijen. With that Feijen then took that rack and the match narrowed to 7-6 with Feijen breaking. His break came up dry and Pagulayan fired a 1-6 bank combination into the corner pocket and was off to the races. He cleared the table to stand on the hill.  On the next break he sent the 9 ball into the corner pocket to claim the win and his pace in the cadre of the final five players.

The redraw found Alex Pagulayan catching the bye. Mike Dechaine had to face Shane Van Boening and, as luck would have it, Putnam and Brumback drew one another again and would have to have a rematch of the previous round.

In this round Mike Dechaine defeated Shane Van Boening 9-2 when Van Boenings break shot never showed up for the match. When he did not scratch on the break, his break came up dry and that is all the ammunition that a player of Dechaine's caliber needs to win.

The match between John Brumback and Shawn Putnam was much closer. It went all the way to double-hill with Putnam owning the snapping rights. The 7 ball went down on the break and Shawn had an easy opener on the one ball. The rest of the rack lay at his mercy and he showed none as he cruised through the rack to take the win 9-8.

The next round had Shawn Putnam with the bye so Alex Pagulayan and Mike Dechaine squared off for the rights to the final berth. At first this match appeared that it was going to go the way of Mike Dechaine. He won the first four racks, but Alex Pagulayan took some very risky shots and they all paid off as he kept narrowing the score until we finally stood at double hill with a one rack decider to determine our winner. Pagulayan shot one of the most skillful racks we have ever seen to take the game and the rack.

This set up our grand finale  between Pagulayan and Shawn Putnam. Pagulayan won the lag and proceeded to break and run the first rack. And the next. But on the next break, Pagulayan was hooked after the break and had to push out. After a brief exchange of safeties Putnam found a shot on the two ball and ran out from there to bring the score to 2-1.

Putnam then broke and ran a rack of his own to tie us at two apiece and send a message to his opponent that he was in no mood to spend time in the chair.  His next break came up dry and Pagulayan was able to capitalize on that and control the table to claim that rack. When he also broke and ran the next rack he led the match 4-2.

The next rack featured a tremendous safety exchange that found Putnam putting Pagulayan in grave danger as he went to the two-foul point and then faced a daunting task to just contact the two ball. He did make a good hit on it and forced Putnam to run out to get close at 4-3. When the next 9 ball fell we were tied at 4 games apiece. Putnam broke and ran the next one to take his first lead of the evening at 5-4.

Pagulayan won the next rack to tie us at five and now the championship would be decided by what amounted to a race to four games. At this point the announcement was made that Max Eberle had defeated Dennis Orcullo upstairs and had won the 14.1 division. Max had a great week at Straight Pool. Before taking down Orcullo he defeated Niels Feijen 100-97 (after trailing 97-66 in the match) to get to the finals.

Pagulayan then broke and ran the next rack. On his next break he made three balls but scratched. Putnam looked good to get out but he fell funny on the four ball and had to shoot it with the cue behind his back. He made the shot but the cue ball refused to stop rolling as commanded and he scratched in the side pocket. Game to Pagulayan and now he had a two game margin in the match at 7-5.

Putnam won the next rack to come within a single game at 7-6 and with the break he was in control. His break had him snookered on the one ball and when he attempted a jump shot the cue ball left the table to give ball in hand to Pagulayan. Pagulayan ran out to gain the hill.

Pagulayan made two balls on the break and had no shot on the first ball. He played a fine safe with both distance and a blocking ball. Putnam missed the ball and Alex had ball in hand to begin his work at the table. The balls were all out in the open, the run was easy, and Alex Pagulayan cleared the table to claim the Derby City Nine Ball Championship for 2013.

Pagulayan earned $16,000 for the win, while Putnam took home $8000 for second. Bustamante's "Master of the Table" title was good for an extra $20,000 in prize money. Justin Hall and Pagulayan were 2nd and 3rd in the "Master of the Table" competition.