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Midwest Billiards & Cue Expo A Roaring Success

Alex Pagulayan and Skyler Woodward

Big Dog Billiards in Des Moines, IA hosted their sixth annual extravaganza and, as usual, it was a huge success. In addition to the Cue Expo, there were four events – One Pocket, Ten Ball, Open Nine Ball and a Banks Ring Game.

For one pocket aficionados, the star-studded lineup couldn’t get much better. A very tough field of sixteen arrived and were ready to rumble. The $3000 added event had a $500 entry fee. Format was races to four, alternate break and double elimination. After the players meeting, auction and draw, play began.

Shane Van Boening drew tough but defeated all in his march to the hot seat match. Billy Thorpe was skunked 4-0, Fedor Gorst was sent packing 4-2 and Warren Kiamco went down 4-0.

In the lower half of the bracket, Roland Garcia also had a tough draw – all fellow Filipinos! One by one, they went down – Carlo Biado was defeated 4-3, Alex Pagulayan also beaten 4-3 and Roberto Gomez was blistered 4-0.

Shane and Roland met in the hot seat match where Shane locked up his seat in the finals 4-2. Roland headed west to await the results of the Tony Chohan-Alex Pagulayan match. Tony emerged the victor 4-2 leaving Alex in fourth place.

Looking for another shot at Shane, Roland handily dispatched Tony 4-0 leaving him with a third place finish and moved on to the finals.

Since this event was true double elimination, Shane would have to be beaten twice. It was a hard fought match but Shane took it down 4-3. Congratulations, Shane! Good tournament, Roland!

Friday night saw the $10,000 added Ten Ball event kick off with a players meeting, a twenty player auction & draw. Like the one pocket event, it was double elimination with a $500 entry fee. Format was races to 11 on 9 foot tables and winner break.

Two players shredded the field in their march to the hot seat match. Fedor Gorst defeated Tyler Styer 11-9, Tom Tan 11-0, Devin Poteet 11-5 and squeaked by Warren Kiamco 11-10. Sky Woodward defeated Tony Chohan 11-7, Danny Olson 11-1, Billy Thorpe 11-7 and Alex Pagulayan 11-5.

The hot seat match was a close one but Sky edged out Fedor to claim his seat in the finals. Fedor headed west to await an opponent.

Alex’s defeat by Sky must’ve gotten his attention as he bore down and defeated Roberto Gomez 11-9, Shane 11-7 and finally Fedor 11-7 for another chance at Sky.

Again, since it was true double elimination, Alex would have to beat Sky twice for the title.

The match started out neck and neck but slowly Alex built a small lead and maintained it until the end – defeating Sky 11-8 and forcing a second set.

The second set was almost all Alex as he seemed to find his groove and took the second set and the title 11-5. Congratulations, Alex! Good shooting, Sky!

Saturday night was for the bank fans. A field of eight competed in the Banks Ring Game. After several hours, defending champ Sky Woodward and Tony Chohan were the last two standing. A repeat was not in the cards as Tony eliminated Sky for the winner take all cash. Congrats, Tony! Good effort, Sky!

There were 160 players in the $2000 added bar table event. The entry fee was $25 and the format was races to seven, alternate breaks and double elimination. When the smoke cleared, it was Kristina Tkach and Nick Hanson in the finals with Kristina winning the event 7-5! Congratulations to Kristina! Well played, Nick!

Congratulations to Shane, Alex, Tony & Kristina for becoming the 2021 Big Dog champions!

In addition, many thanks to Jim Landrum and Randy Hanson, owners of Big Dog Billiards, for hosting such a great event. They and their staff rolled out the red carpet for both players and fans. It wouldn’t have been possible without them or without their sponsors. They are Diveney Custom Cues, Anderson Animal Clinic, Jacoby Custom Cues, Simonis, Aramith, Kamui and, of course, Big Dog Billiards and would like to thank Tournament Directors Dusti Bushbaum (9 ball) and Ray Hansen (pro events) for keeping things going without a hitch. Additional thanks to Jason Hill for keeping the brackets up to date.

We’d also like to thank our commentators Jeremy Jones, Larry Schwartz and Mary Kenniston for a great job.

Last, but not least, thanks to our fans and sponsors. Our sponsors include Lomax Custom Cues, JB Cases, Hanshew Custom Cues, Diamond Billiard Products, Aramith, Simonis, Durbin Custom Cues, Fort Worth Billiards Superstore and the Action Palace of Dayton, OH.

Our next event is the Champions Eight Ball Challenge featuring Scott Frost and Bobby McGrath. To be held at Rocks On The Rocks in West Peoria, IL, it will be played on seven foot Diamonds and is a race to 80 with each paying an entry fee of $20,000! Dates are August 17th-19th! Hope to see you there!