Over the course of the first seven days completed at the 2nd Annual Southern Classic, three different divisions of events have come to a close. The event to finish at the end of Day 7 (Thursday, June 28) was the One Pocket division, which took place over four days, starting on Sunday, June 23 with a field of 121 players.
In the final rounds, there was only one player to remain yet undefeated. St. Louis-based Justin Bergman, one of the top young players to come out of the Midwest in recent years, had a breakthrough event and went undefeated all the way to the finals.
To get to the final, Bergman made it past Daniel McKenney, Lou Figueroa, Jason Chance, Robb Saez, a round five bye, Mark Dimick, David Parker, Francisco Bustamante, and Johnathan Pinegar.
In the semifinal, Bergman was up against 2013 Derby City Classic One Pocket Champion Corey Deuel, who he defeated 3-1. After winning the semi, Bergman was up against Francisco Bustamante, who had a bye in prior round.
Francisco Bustamante would be the only player to defeat Justin Bergman in event, as he won the first set of the finals by a score of 3-1. However, Bergman made a turnaround in the second set of the final, putting on a very strong performance. In the opening rack, Bustamante came back from a five point deficit to win it, but Bergman ran nine and out to take the next rack and tie 1-1.
At this time, the players took a break…but the rest of the final match from that point was controlled by Bergman, who kept the momentum in his favor to lead to a 3-1 final win to earn the title. In speaking with NYC Grind’s Jerry Tarantola following the final match, Bergman described this win as his first big breakthrough achievement in his pro pool career, as this became his first major title since his win in the Junior National Championships.
One Pocket Final Results & Payouts:
1st: Justin Bergman – $7,000
2nd: Francisco Bustamante – $3,500
3rd: Corey Deuel – $2,375
4th-6th: Mike Dechaine, Niels Feijen, Johnathan Pinegar – $1,700
7th-10th: David Parker, Alex Pagulayan, Dennis Orcollo, Justin Hall – $1,200
11th-15th: Huidji See, Ike Runnels, efren Reyes, Cliff Joyner, Lee Vann Corteza – $750
16th-21st: Shane Van Boening, Ronnie Wiseman, Jason Sheerman, Richie Richeson, Mark Haddad, Mark Dimick – $400
22nd-27th: Joey Gray, Sammy Jones, Warren Kiamco, Josh O’Neal, Robb Saez, Danny Smith – $200
9-Ball Banks, the first division to get underway, started with a total of 123 on Friday, June 21. A wide range of top players and champions in different disciplines were in the running to take this title, but none would be able to stop Alex “The Lion” Pagulayan from going undefeated to take his second major title in the field of bank pool.
Pagulayan’s run to victory was marked by wins against Chip Compton, Robb Saez, Lee Van Corteza, Nikos Ekonomopoulos, Jonathan DeMet, Chris Melling, and John Brumback to make it to the semifinal.
The event’s defending champion, Justin Hall, made it deep into the field, but was eliminated in Round 8 by one of the game’s top veteran players & two-time DCC Banks champion John Brumback. Another longtime top all-around player, Richie Richeson, made it all the way to the semifinal, where he made his exit after losing to Alex Pagulayan, who whitewashed the match at 3-0.
While Pagulayan may have ruled the day, the big story of the event may have been the performance 20-year-old up-and-comer Skyler Woodward. After three rounds of wins, Woodward had a close match against Efren Reyes before losing 3-2 in Round 4. Following that loss, Woodward went on to have an impressive streak of wins against John Brumback, Niels Feijen, Lee Van Corteza, Danny Harriman, and Troy Jones before receiving a bye in the semifinal round. This sent Woodward into the final match, where he would take on Pagulayan.
The final match was dominated by Pagulayan, who won by a score of 3-1…while Woodward settled for a very-strong finish in second place.
9-Ball Banks Final Results & Payouts:
1st: Alex Pagulayan – $8,000
2nd: Skyler Woodward – $4,000
3rd: Richie Richeson – $2,250
4th-5th: John Brumback, Troy Jones – $1,414
6th-9th: Chris Melling, Danny Harriman, Justin Hall, Francisco Bustamante – $800
10th-15th: Danny Smith, Jason Sheerman, Ike Runnels, Jonathan Demet, Lee Vann Corteza, Phil Burford – $500
16th-25th: Jayson Shaw, Ed Scott, James Roberts, Cliff Joyner, Joey Gray, Huidji See, Niels Feijen, Nikos Ekonomopoulos, Jason Chance, Jerry Calderon – $300
Bigfoot 10-Ball Challenge
The Bigfoot 10-Ball Challenge was the second event at the Southern Classic to come to a close…with the semifinals and finals taking place in the Accu-Stats Arena on Tuesday, June 25.
This single-elimination $18,000-added event featured an all-star international cast of names, playing on Diamond’s Bigfoot 10-foot table. The two semifinals featured two pairings of the U.K. vs U.S., and were played out consecutively, live on Accu-Stats.com.
In the first semi, former World 8-Ball Champion and Mosconi Cup team member Karl Boyes represented the U.K., while one of the Southeast’s strongest pros, Johnathan “Hennessee” Pinegar was on the U.S. side. Both players had a lead at different points in the match, but when the score stood tied 7-7, Boyes pulled away and won the next four games to take it 11-7.
U.S. fan favorite Shane Van Boening, who has been having a strong year in 2013 thus far, was matched against another strong force to emerge from England in recent years, Phil Burford. Both players struggled in this match, but after Van Boening had a solid lead, Burford returned to tie 7-7, and take the lead 8-7. But, the momentum shifted back in Van Boening’s favor, and he took the hill 10-8. Burford would win one more game, but Van Boening put the match to rest at 11-9.
The final match put Van Boening and Boyes in the limelight for the title and a $16,000 first prize…while the runner-up would receive a $8,000 payday. Both players exhibited strong play in this final, but the match came down to a few key errors by Van Boening…and big opportunities that were capitalized on by Boyes. Boyes got to the hill at 10-8, and in the following game, Van Boening let his chance to stay in the match slip by with a missed five ball. Boyes ran out the rest of the rack to take the title with a final score of 11-8.
Bigfoot 10-Ball Payout:
1st: Karl Boyes – $16,000
2nd: Shane Van Boening – $8,000
3rd-4th: Phil Burford, Johnathan Pinegar – $4,000