By Mary Kenniston

Photo credits to PoolActionTv

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

Presented by 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! 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!