Archive Page

Lion Slays T-Rex

Alex Pagulayan

A sweator’s delight! At least that was how more than one described it!

Presented by PoolActionTV.com and hosted by Buffalo’s Billiards in Jefferson, LA, a suburb of New Orleans, this latest iteration of the Champions Challenge featured two of the best one pocket players in the world battling it out for over $200,000!

The match was played over the course of the past four days. It was a race to 36 stopping daily at 9, 18, 27 and 36 for the win. 

Nicknamed “The Lion” or “The Killer Pixie” and sponsored by Lomax Custom Cues, Alex Pagulayan was born in the Philippines but his family emigrated to Canada when he was thirteen. He first started playing pool there – in the pool room managed by his father.

Since winning the Sands Regency 9-Ball Open in 1999, this BCA Hall of Famer has amassed over sixty major titles including the WPA World 9 Ball Championship, the World Pool Masters, the World Summit of Pool, US Open titles in 9 Ball, 8 Ball and One Pocket and the Buffalo’s Pro One Pocket Championship. A three-time gold medalist at the Southeast Asian Games, he is also a two-time Canadian Amateur Snooker champ as well as a two-time Master of the Table at the Derby City Classic. 

Buffalo’s House Pro and the 2007 US Open One Pocket Champion, Tony Chohan is having a banner year. He started off the year with a victory at the Iron City Open 9 Ball Championship, took down the Southeast Triple Crown One Pocket division and followed that with wins at the Midwest Open’s One Pocket and Banks events. He then earned his second US Open One Pocket Championship title and then returned to home base to snap off the Buffalo’s Pro One Pocket for the second year in a row. 

Tagged with the moniker, “T-Rex,” Tony is no stranger to high dollar matches. He’s been in the ring with the likes of Francisco Bustamante, Shane Van Boening, Dennis Orcollo, Scott Frost, Joshua Filler and Chip Compton. He faced off against Alex last September getting the same spot – 9/8. 

Day One saw Alex shoot out to 4-0 and almost won the next one. Tony won that one and got back into the match winning a few from there. However, Alex pulled away again and finished the day with that same four game lead – 9-5.

Tony started out Day Two winning several games but when play was over for the night, Alex had extended his lead to 18-13.

Entering Day Three, Tony was way behind but then it was like someone flipped on his switch! He won game after game and went ahead for the first time 23-21. However, that lead was shortlived. The next thing you knew, Alex went on a tear and claimed the next five out of six games and finished the day with a score of 27-24.

On the final day, there were more than a few games with the balls up table. Alex won most of those battles and finished out the match 36-29.

Congratulations, Alex, for another masterful job! Great effort, Tony! Kudos to both players for providing some of the best one pocket action we’ve ever seen!

PoolActionTV.com would like to James Leone (“Buff”), his manager Steve Tesvich (“Bullseye”) and their staff for taking such good care of the players and fans.

We’d also like to thank Jeremy Jones who was joined in the booth by Billy Incardona, Scott Frost, Joey Aguzin and Ray Hansen for their topnotch commentary.

In addition, we’d also like to thank our fans and sponsors. Our sponsors include JB Cases, Hanshew Jump Cues, Aramith, Simonis, Lomax Custom Cues, Diamond Billiard Products, Durbin Custom Cues, the Fort Worth Billiards Superstore of Fort Worth, TX and the Action Palace of Dayton, OH.

Our next event is the $15,000 added Beasley Open at the Brass Tap & Billiards in Raleigh, NC. Featuring both $10,000 added open 9 ball and $5,000 added one pocket divisions, we hope to see you there!

Go to thread

Wise Guy Snaps Off Senior One Pocket

Ronnie Wiseman, Ray Hansen, Bogies Owner Cody Parish and Nick Varner

Thirty one players came from all over the country to Bogies Billiards & Sports Bar in Houston, TX for the 7th Annual Senior One Pocket Championship.

My favorite tournament of the year, I couldn’t wait to see my longtime friends. “Tall Jeff” Sparks stopped by on the first day as well as Keith Thompson, the 1970 Johnston City All-Around champ. Texas legend, Jerry Prado, was supposed to play in the tournament but had car trouble – he showed up for the last two days to see everyone anyway. 

My friends Linda Martin, Samm Rubin, LoreeJon Ogonowski-Brown, Julie Mason-Comitini, Chris Fields, Kelly Isaac were there as well as Phil Windham, Carl Honey, Big Tyme’s Jim Henry, Todd Comitini, Bogie’s House Pro Roberto Gomez and Alex Calderon. The Taiwan contingent including Cheng Yu-hsuan (“Kevin Cheng”) and Chang Jung-lin was also in town making a pit stop before heading to Atlantic City for the US Open Pool Championship. There was even a little ten ball action between Roberto and Alex and a couple of the Taiwanese players after the finals on Sunday night. 

Presented by PoolActionTV, Bogies Billiards, Aramith, Simonis, Diamond Billiard Products and the Fort Worth Billiards Superstore, owner Cody Parish & Manager John Rizzo welcomed players such as BCA and One Pocket Hall of Famer Nick Varner, James Christopher (“The Sniper”), Moises Pouncey (“Gabby”), Scott Kitto, Ronnie Wiseman (“Wise Guy”), “Jumpin’ Sammy Jones, Erman Bullard, “Tyler Bob” Valliere, Joey Aguzin (“Joey A”) and Robert Newkirk (“Newk”) to the fray.

Among several first time players were Perfect Pocketz’ Mark Gregory (“Mags”) and “Colonel Bille” Miller as well as the returning northern California contingent – Bob Beaulieu, Ed Neves, Lee Wallick and Al Markasky. Warren Ruth, Tad Sowa, Larry Landsman, Mark Dimmick, Jim McCary, Ronn Rutan, Gary Urinowski, Kent Berthelot, Bob Hayes, Wayne Catledge, Mike Hoyt, James Christensen and Louis Vickio rounded out the field.

Dealing with health issues and sorely missed were former champs Billy Incardona, Jerry Matchin, John Henderson and James Davis Sr. It just wasn’t the same without you guys! Sure hope to see you next year!

The $3,000 added double elimination event had a $200 entry fee with races to 4/3 and alternate breaks. The player auction was pretty healthy with Wiseman going as the first blind bid and Varner the second. The auction was followed by the players meeting, the draw and one round of play. 

Shaking off the rust and slicing through the top part of the bracket was Perfect Pocketz’ Mark Gregory. “Mags” is better known today for his beautiful restorations of the classic Brunswick Centennial and Anniversary tables as well as perhaps the best table mechanic on the planet. Mark sent both Al Markasky and Ronn Rutan west with identical 4-1 scores and skunked Warren Ruth 4-0. 

Plowing through the other part of the bracket was Iowa native Scott Kitto – also known as “911.” Along with Mark Wilson and Jeff Carter, the trio dominated pool in the Midwest in the eighties. Scott blitzed both Gary Urinoski and Larry Landsman 4-zip and “Joey A” 4-2 before running into Gregory. Gregory made short work of Kitto – score 4-1. Scott headed for the scenic route while Mark locked up his seat in the hot seat match.

On a collision course in the upper part of the bottom bracket was the “Kentucky Colonel,” Nick Varner and Ronnie Wiseman. Player of the Year in 1980, 1982, 1989, 1994 and 1999, Nick is one of the best all-around players of all time with over one hundred career titles beginning with ACUI Collegiate National Championships (representing Purdue University) in 1969 and 1970, as well as back to back US Open Nine Ball titles. Nick has also won world titles in nine ball, eight ball, straight pool, one pocket and bank pool and has represented Team USA eight times at the Mosconi Cup – four times as the team captain. 

Originally from Windsor, ON, Ronnie Wiseman made his debut at this event. Although Ronnie played in tournaments here and there – even winning a few including the 2005 Reno Open, the “Wise Guy” is considered to be one of the smartest – if not THE smartest – action guys in the pool biz.

Nick blitzed both Ed Neves and Sammy Jones 4-0 while Ronnie toasted “J-Tom Pilot” 4-1 and skunked “Colonel Bille” 4-0. In a match that was closer than the score indicated, Ronnie sent Nick west 4-2. His next match was Moises Pouncey – the legendary player with a silky stroke. He was tagged “Gabby” early in his career for standing like a statue – never saying a word. Gabby mowed down “Newk” 4-0 and edged out Mark Dimmick 4-3. His next match was Jim McCary – score 4-2. Ronnie then made short work of Gabby 4-1 and met Gregory in the hot seat match.

Mark took the first two games over Ronnie and was on his way to winning game three when he picked out two different shots out of the stack, fired them in and ended up frozen to another ball in both cases with no shot. Ronnie clawed his way back and won four in a row over his frustrated opponent and locked up his seat in the finals. Mark headed to the one loss side to await an opponent.

After losing his second match, Sammy Jones battled his former running mate, James Christopher, and escaped with a 3-2 win. He then ran through both Warren Ruth and Mark Dimmick 3-0 before running into Gabby. That one went down to the wire also and Gabby survived with a 3-2 win. Varner spanked both Ronn Rutan and Jim Tomassoni 3-0 and then outlasted Kitto in an eight hour marathon 3-2. 

Returning the following day at noon, Nick ground out a 3-1 victory over Gabby. He finished in fourth place. Next up was Mark Gregory – he went down with a 3-0 pounding. Mark finished in third place.

Since this tournament was double elimination, Nick had to defeat Ronnie twice to win the event. This title has eluded Varner for the past few years and he wanted it badly but it was not to be. Wiseman moved out quickly winning the first two games. Back to the grind, Nick managed to take the next two and tie it up.  2-2! Bearing down, Ronnie won the next and was on the hill. Methodically making one ball at a time, Nick stayed in the game – keeping it close. It looked like he was going to tie it up and then he scratched! Wiseman, needing one, leaped out of his chair and got down on the spot shot. He stood up and then got back down and rifled it in! Boom! And we had a new champion!

Congratulations to Ronnie for snapping off the title on his first attempt with his beautiful Steve Lomax custom cue! Great effort, Nick!

Once again, PoolActionTV.com would like to thank Bogies owner Cody Parish, Manager John Rizzo and their staff for making all of us feel so welcome.

We’d like to thank our commentators for a fine job. They included One Pocket Hall of Famer Cliff Joyner, Mary Kenniston, Jeff Sparks, Joey Aguzin, Ronn Rutan and Ray Hansen.

We’d also like to thank our great fans and sponsors. Our sponsors include JB Cases, Aramith, Hanshew Jump Cues, Bogies Billiards, Lomax Custom Cues, Simonis, Diveney Cues, Diamond Billiard Products, Durbin Custom Cues, the Action Palace of Dayton, OH and Fort Worth Billiards Superstore of Fort Worth, TX.

Our next event is the One Pocket Champion Challenge featuring Tony Chohan and Alex Pagulayan with $100,000 plus in the middle! Hosted by Buffalo’s Billiards in Jefferson, LA, the dates are October 19th-22nd. Hope to see you there! 

Go to thread

Chohan, Thorpe & Woodward Take Buffalo’s

All year long, one pocket aficionados look forward to the biggest tournament of the year!

Held in Jefferson, LA, a suburb of New Orleans, players and fans streamed into James Leone’s Buffalo’s on Bloomfield for the Seventh Annual Buffalo’s Pro Classic. Local sponsors for this year’s event – Buffalo’s, PoolActionTV, Lomax Custom Cues, Joseph P. Long, Aramith, ART CO, Diamond Billiards and Fort Worth Billiards – added a total of $26,000! $20,000 was added to the Pro One Pocket, $5,000 to the Open Nine Ball and $1,000 to the One Ball One Pocket.

Some of the best one pocket players came to play including Buffalo’s house pro, defending champ and current US Open One Pocket and Midwest Open One Pocket champ Tony Chohan.  He was joined by current Scotty Townsend Memorial One Pocket champ Alex Pagulayan, current Iron City One Pocket champ Josh Roberts, this year’s Derby City One Pocket and Master of the Table Fedor Gorst, last week’s Big Tyme Classic One Pocket Champ Robert Frost and last year’s One Ball One Pocket king John Morra. 

Billy Thorpe and Robbie Langford

Wednesday night kicked off with the 32 player One Ball One Pocket tournament. Posting a $200 entry fee, the format was single elimination with races to four. Including the players auction, there was a total purse of $21,430! 

Two-time Derby City Classic One Pocket champion, Billy Thorpe, plowed through the field on his way to the finals leaving Shane Winters, Hunter White, Josh Roberts and John Morra in his wake. The always tough Robbie Langford beat Kenny Nguyen, Mike DeLawder, Ike Runnels and Evan Lunda to get there. The final match was all Billy as he smoked Robbie 4-0 to claim the title. Congratulations, Billy! Good tournament, Robbie! 

The following evening, the $2,000 entry fee double elimination one pocket event began with a rousing player auction and was followed by the players meeting and draw. Twenty eight players racing to five and competing for a record $228,600 total purse! WOW!!!

Play began with Corey Deuel edging out Justin Hall 5-4 while Fedor Gorst skunked Sky Woodward 5-0. Ike Runnels had Danny Smith down 4-0 but ended up losing the match 5-4! Josh Roberts outmoved Roberto Gomez 5-1 and Billy Thorpe escaped with a 5-4 win over Robert Frost as did Scott Frost over Alex Calderon by the same score. Chip Compton got off to a great start as he defeated Warren Kiamco 5-1. 

Gorst won over Deuel 5-4, Evan Lunda spanked Earl Strickland 5-0 and Chohan beat Smith 5-3. Jeremy Seaman skunked Omar Al Shaheen 5-0 and Thorpe dusted Compton 5-2. Frost had Alex Pagulayan 3-0 and watched his opponent win five in a row to claim the match.

Fedor and Evan went down to the wire with Gorst claiming the win while Tony breezed past Jeremy 5-0. Billy started out strong against the Lion but he went down 5-2.

Down to four on the winners side, Chohan battled Gorst to a 5-3 win while Roberts kept Pagulayan off the board with a 5-0 score. Tony and Josh moved to the hot seat match where Chohan sent Roberts west to await an opponent – score 5-1.

After losing to Gorst in the third round, Lunda defeated Mike DeLawder 5-1 and Compton 5-3. Moving into his match with Pagulayan, he hung tough but Alex pulled out the win 5-4. 

Calderon had a tougher road. After losing his first match, he beat Deuel 5-1, Strickland 5-2, Hunter White 5-4 and Thorpe 5-3. He went down to the case game with Gorst but was eliminated 5-4.

This set up the match between Fedor and Alex Pagulayan. A man on a mission, he defeated Gorst 5-1 and then Josh Roberts 5-2. And to the finals he went!!!

Since this was true double elimination, Alex would have to beat Tony Chohan both sets to claim the title. With tens of thousands of dollars on the line, both players put their heads down and played their hearts out. 

Alex won the first two games and then Tony won three in a row. Tied again at 4-4, you could’ve heard a pin drop in the arena. Nerves got them both as they both missed makeable balls but this one is finally in the books! Tony Chohan successfully defended his title!

Alex Pagulayan and Tony Chohan

Congratulations, Tony! Great tournament, Alex! 

While the Pro One Pocket was in progress, 115 players filled the house on Saturday night to play in the Open Nine Ball event. Familiar faces such as defending champ Warren Kiamco, Sky Woodward, Roberto Gomez, Corey Deuel, Omar Al Shaheen, Justin Hall, Chip Compton, Charlie Bryant, Chris Reinhold, James Baraks, Richie Richeson, Robb Saez, Shane Winters, Jeremy Seaman, Sergio Rivas, Mike DeLawder, Justin Espinosa, Joey Aguzin, Derek Fontenet, Robert Frost and Kristina Tkach joined the fray.

Played on seven foot Diamonds, players paid $100 to play in this double elimination portion of the event. The format was rack your own, alternate breaks with races to seven until down to the final sixteen players. At that point, it was single elimination – races to nine. 

Omar Al Shaheen and Jeremy Seaman tied for third place. James Baraks moved into the finals to face Sky Woodward. 

The finals were neck and neck until the very end! Sky won the match 9-8!!! Congratulations, Sky!! Good tournament, James!

It was a helluva week! Great pool everywhere you looked! Once again, PoolActionTV would like to thank James Leone and his staff for going the extra mile as they took care of all the players and fans. 

We’d like to thank Tournament Director Jason Hill for doing a great job running the show – always with a smile on his face!

We’d also like to thank our expert commentators – Larry Schwartz, Jeremy Jones, Billy Incardona, John Henderson, Josh Roberts and Ray Hansen! Can’t get any better than this crew!

Last but not least, we’d like to thank our fans and sponsors. They include ART CO, JB Cases, CR’s Sports Bar, Hanshew Jump Cues, EnviroAssessments, Lomax Custom Cues, StraightPoolEye, Durbin Custom Cues, Aramith, Simonis, Diamond Billiard Products and the Fort Worth Billiards Superstore.

Our next stop is Leisure Time Billiards & Sports Bar in East Moline, IL for the $16,000 added Bar Box Classic featuring three divisions – Ten Ball, Eight Ball and One Pocket. Dates are June 1st-5th – hope to see you there!

Go to thread

Tokoph Takes White Diamonds

Jason Evans and Tommy Tokoph (Photo courtesy of Poolaction.tv)

Tournament action in the southeast this weekend was in Lafayette, LA – Chris Miller’s 9 Ball Extravaganza – held at White Diamond Billiards.
 
The action kicked off with on Friday night with a 9 ball mini – $20 entry, race to 3. Fifty seven players threw in their double sawbucks and several hours later it was down to the final four. Bubba Brock was fourth, Billy Pinion got third while finalists Josh Roberts & Danny Smith battled it out for top honors. Josh prevailed with Danny settling for second spot.
 
Showing up bright and early Saturday morning, 103 players paid a $40 entry for the race to seven, alternate break, double elimination bar box event. After the draw, a players meeting was held. Always a well-attended feature of this event, The Chris Miller Show, saw Danny Smith emerge as blind bid in the Calcutta.
 
Well-known names included John Morra, Danny Smith, Josh Roberts, Alex Calderon, Tony Chohan, Tommy Tokoph, Cliff Joyner and Robb Saez. Regional favorites included Daniel McKinney, Tommy Sanders, Joey Aguzin, Jason Evans, Zack Sanderson and Denis Strickland.
 
First round action saw Saez send Morra west for the long trek back to the winner’s circle. Second round saw Chris Miller do the same to Roberts and little by little, the field narrowed.
 
Hot seat action saw Chohan duke it out with Tokoph. Tommy’s been playing very steady the last few events and this time it finally paid off as he sent Tony to wait for an opponent on the one loss side.
 
Jason Evans defeated Jason LaFleur leaving him in fourth place while Chohan had to settle for third place as Jason Evans moved on to face Tommy in the finals.
 
The final match was close but when the smoke cleared, it was Tokoph in the winners circle. Congratulations, Tommy!!! Great event, Jason!!!
 
Many thanks to owner Chris Miller and his staff for pulling out all the stops to make everyone feel at home while Tournament Director Ashley Klein kept things running smoothly. Tournament sponsors included Gem Cues, Enviroassessments.com and Richard (“Pelican”) Lowell of Rick’s Gun & Pawn of Foley and Loxley, AL. Thank you to all for another great event.
 
PoolActionTV.com would like to thank our sponsors and fans for another fantastic event! Our sponsors include Lomax Custom Cues, Kamui, John Barton of JB Cases, GoPlayPool.com, Durbin Custom Cues, Aramith, Hanshew Custom Cues, Simonis and Club Billiards of Wichita, KS. Thanks for your support!
 
Our next stop is Arena Billiards in West Monroe, LA for the Scotty Townsend Memorial Tournament. The event is this coming up soon – March16th-23rd. Hope to see you there!!!