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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!

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Rodriguez comes back to down Langford in finals of Sunshine State Pro Am

(l to r): Robbie Langford, Ricardo Rodriguez & Joselito Martinez

Ricardo Joel Rodriguez came back from a hot seat loss against Robbie Langford and downed him in the finals of the next-to-last stop on the Sunshine State Pro Am Tour, the 10-Ball Bar Box Amateur Championships, held on the weekend of November 17-18. It was Rodriguez’ second win of the season, having defeated top-rated Sunshine State Pro Am veteran Dale Stanley in the finals of an event back in March. This most recent, $2,000-added event drew 84 entrants – 67 men and 17 women & juniors –  to Rack’s Sports Bar & Billiards in Sanford, FL.
 
Rodriguez and Langford trod similar, though not identical paths to the winners’ side semifinals, facing challengers who chalked up about five racks against them, on average. Rodriguez drew Moe Fattah in his winners’ side semifinal match. Langford faced Chris Gentile.
 
Rodriguez improved his game winning average by shutting Fattah out, as Langford advanced to face him in the hot seat match with a 9-6 win over Gentile. Langford claimed the hot seat 9-5 and waited for Langford to get back from the semifinals.
 
Gentile ran into Joselito Martinez on the loss side, who’d been sent over by Langford in the fourth round and was in the midst of a six-match, loss-side winning streak that would take him as far as the semifinals. He’d most recently defeated Jason Sheerman 7-2 and Bobby Conner, Jr. 7-1. Fattah picked up Donny Branson, making his own five-match, loss-side mark that included recent wins over Eric Roberts 7-1 and Mike Griffin 7-4.
 
Fattah downed Branson, double hill, and in the quarterfinals, facEd Martinez, who’d eliminated Gentile 7-4. Martinez then defeated Fattah 7-4 and was a single match away from a re-match against Langford. Rodriguez spoiled his bid for that re-match, defeating him 10-6 in the semifinals to earn his own re-match.
 
Happy with his score in the semifinals, Rodriguez opted to repeat it in the finals. He defeated Langford 10-6 to earn his second 2018 Sunshine State Pro Am title and become the 2018 10-Ball Bar Box champion.
 
Eric Roberts took home some cash as the event’s top finishing junior. Nikki Cuellar and Jessica Barnes did, as well, as they shared rewards in a tie for top finishing female.
 
Tour directors Janene Phillips and Bobby Garza thanked Rack’s owners Pedro Botta and Anthony Digiacomo and their staff, as well as Seminole Harley Davidson, Cyclop Balls, Diamond, Kamui, Jacksonville Roofing, Inc., Play the Game Clothing Co., Bill Katchusky Photography, Alvin Nelson and Inside Pool. The next stop on the Sunshine State Pro Am Tour, scheduled for December 1-2, will be the tour’s season finale, hosted by Park Ave. Billiards in Orange Park, FL.