Pagulayan Roars into 1st Place at Swannee

Alex Pagulayan (Photo courtesy Justin Collett -

Hot on the heels of his stellar performance at this year's Derby City Classic, Alex “the Lion” Pagulayan continued his winning streak by taking first place at the 15th Jay Swanson Memorial 9-Ball Tournament.

The event was held at the legendary Hard Times Billiards in Bellflower, California February 12-13th under the tournament direction of Mark Griffin, Sunny Griffin and Bill Stock of CueSports International (CSI). With the move to the Hard Times location, the event was live streamed for the first time by the rock and roll high tech team from TAR (

The largest two day 9' table event in the United States, the $4000 added tournament with 192 players on 28 tables is not for the faint of heart. It is a test of skill, concentration and stamina. The event celebrates the much loved Southern, CA player Jay Swanson, who passed away June 1996. He was known as “the Gentle Giant” who demonstrated all that the Swanee event still stands for today.

The Swannee event has a history of a full field. However with CSI's recently launched online registration function on its CueSports Tournament System (CTS) (, it was sold out for the first time the week before the tournament.

In addition to Pagulayan, the Swannee field was a literal who's who of western U.S. players. Arizona monster Mitch Ellerman took second place. Ellerman won the event in 2009, then after a one year hiatus came back strong to narrowly lose in the finals 7-6 to Pagulayan.

Additional players included “Mad Max” Eberle. Eberle was shuttled to the loser's side by Pagulayan in a nail biter quarter final match. With the score hill-hill Eberle dead hooked Pagulayan on the 5-Ball. It seemed Eberle pretty much had the match in the bag, but you never can count “the Lion” out. Imparting a little right spin, Pagulayan one-rail kicked in the 5 getting perfect on the 6 and calling it game, set and match.