Photos courtesy Desi Williams.
When the Smoke Cleared, a New Buffalo’s Champion was Crowned!
Evan Lunda wins his first major One Pocket tournament, going undefeated through a stellar field of 26 players, including wins over Billy Thorpe, Scott Frost, Danny Smith and Shane Wolford. Comeback player Danny Smith had a great showing, but eventually settled for 2nd place. While Lunda was going undefeated, the rebounding ‘Shredder’ lost only to tournament winner Lunda — first in the 4th round and then in the finals. In the money rounds alone Smith knocked out Pagulayan, Frost and newcomer Shane Wolford to earn his shot at the title. Wolford was one of the surprises of the tournament, and he turned out to be the bargain of the calcutta, going for “only” 2K, but notching huge wins against Chohan and Deuel to advance to the hot seat match, where he eventually fell to Lunda, and was finally eliminated by Smith in the semifinals.
There would be no three-peat for defending champion Tony Chohan, who picked up his first loss in the 3th round courtesy of newcomer Shane Wolford, before being eliminated (out of the money) by Alex Pagulayan.
Meanwhile fellow favorite Fedor Gorst faired no better, bowing first to a resurgent Corey Deuel, and then eliminated by Pagulayan, like Chohan, out of the money completely. At least for Gorst he came home with the consolation of winning the $2000 added One Ball One Pocket that took place Tuesday night. That “mini” tournament featured a full 32 player field with a $200 entry fee and an impressive $17,800 calcutta of its own! Jonathan Pinegar finished 2nd, followed by John Morra and Evan Lunda 3/4 in the 1B1P.
Before the 8th edition of Buffalo’s Pro Classic even began, the word got out it was going to be a little different this year — nonsmoking. This courtesy of a $10,000 donation from high-roller Carl Bolm to make it so. But part of Carl’s promise was he would be there with an extra fat bankroll primed for action, and that is like a siren call to hustlers and road players everywhere looking to get a piece of Carl’s substantial bankroll. And not to disappoint, indeed early in the week Carl got a match-up he liked — 9-Ball race to 9 on a bar box, getting 2 games on the wire — for a reported $228,000 in the middle.
With so many high rollers in the house, there was a lot of buzz leading up to Buffalo’s famous calcutta for the main event — would they top last year’s record 150,000? And did they ever! It started right off with a bang as the first blind bid went for 38K, with Alex Pagulayan being that first choice. Next highest Gorst, Chohan and Gomez brought in 40K, 31K and 29K — so with just four favorites counted, well over 100K. When all the bids were in, Buffalo’s had smashed the old total for a whopping $286,900 pool tournament calcutta — nearly double last year’s record!
And what a topsy-turvy tournament it was, with multiple upsets, heavy favorites drawing each other at inopportune times and dramatic story lines galore. At one point the winner’s bracket names looked like they were supposed to be on the one-loss side and the loser’s bracket names vice versa! But if you watched the games, you saw these “underdogs” 100% earned their well earned wins.
Buffalos Pro Classic Tournament Payout:
1st Evan Lunda -$30,000
2nd Danny Smith -$17,000
3rd Shane Wolford -$10,000
4th Scott Frost -$7000
5/6th Corey Deuel and Alex Pagulayan-$4000 each
The Tuesday night One Ball One Pocket tournament:
1st Fedor Gorst -$,3000
2nd Jonathan Pinegar -$2,200
3/4th Morra and Lunda -$1000 each