The Lion Outruns T-Rex

Alex Pagulayan

This was the rematch that everyone has talked about for a long time! The wait was over – arrangements were made and the venue was set!

The Rack & Grill III in Aiken, SC was the destination for every one pocket aficionado in the southeast to watch legends Tony Chohan and Alex Pagulayan duke it out for the past few days in the $150,000 Champions Challenge. Alex spotted Tony 9/8 – it was a race to 36 played over four days – races to 9, 18, 27 and 36 for the win. Mark Gregory of Perfect Pocketz readied the Diamond table with 4” pockets specifically for the match.

Room owner Michael Newsome and his staff rolled out the red carpet to make everyone feel at home.

Day One began with Tony taking the first game and staying in the lead as the players battled back and forth. The Lion finally tied the match at six games apiece and then went ahead 7-6, then 8-6 and finished out the day 9-7. 

Day Two saw Alex ease ahead 11-8 and he kept the pressure on slowly extended his lead by five games.  Final score for the session 18-13. 

Day Three saw Tony making a charge as he closed the gap to three games – 22-19. However, his charge was shortlived as Alex surged ahead to close out the day 27-20.

On Day Four, Tony dug deep to win four out of the first six games to make it 29-24. Each player won on their break making it 30-25, then 30-26 and Tony drew within three games – 31-28. Only allowing him one more game, Alex bore down and closed out the match 36-29.

It was a hard fought match with both players having their ups and downs as well as some spectacular play. We were witness to an exceptional display of their knowledge and moves in addition to Alex’s precision cue ball control and Tony’s shot-making ability. What a match!!! Congratulations to Alex!!! Good shooting, Tony!

Thanks again to Michael Newsome and his hard working staff for taking such good care of the players and fans!! would also like to thank Jeremy Jones for his excellent commentary as well as his guest commentators Scott Rabon, Mike Beehler and John Hennigan (“Flakes”). We’d also like to thank our fans and our sponsors – you make this all possible. Our sponsors include Hanshew Jump Cues, Lomax Custom Cues, StraightPoolEye, Durbin Custom Cues, Diamond Billiard Products, Simonis, Aramith, The Action Palace of Dayton, OH and Fort Worth Billiards Superstore of Fort Worth, TX.

Our next stop is Rack On The Rocks in West Peoria, IL for the Aramith/Simonis Pro Classic featuring three events – $7500 added 10 Ball, $7500 added One Pocket and $2000 added Bar Table 8 Ball!!! The dates are October 6th-10th – we hope to see you there!!!