The Derby City Classic has once again become a fertile hunting ground for Filipino shooters.
Alex Pagulayan defeated American veteran Shawn Putnam 9-6 in last Saturday's final to grab the US$16,000 first prize.
Meanwhile Francisco Bustamante amassed the most points over the multi-discipline Pool jamboree and took the Master of The Table award and the US$20,000 bonus money that goes with it.
Pagulayan finished third in the Master of the Table Race, good for an additional US$2,000.
The Derby City Classic is traditionally held in Louisville, Kentucky but this year moved to the Horsehoe Casino in southern Indiana. The event is several different tournaments in one. Apart from the 9 Ball and 9 Ball Banks event, there is a One-Pocket tournament, and a 14.1 Continuous (Straight Pool) division as well as smaller events.
It is also no secret that players use the event to match up in challenge matches with each other.
Earlier in the week Bustamante had defeated Justin Hall to claim the 9 Ball Banks title with a 3-1 score in the final. Bustamante also finished second to Corey Deuel in the One-Pocket tournament to give him an unassailable Master Of The Table points lead.
To add to the Pinoy dominance, Dennis Orcollo finished runner-up to American Max Eberle in Straight Pool and won the 10 Ball Bigfoot challenge mini-tournament.
This is the second time Pagulayan has won a Derby City crown. In 2011 he came out on top of the Banks division.
Pagulayan is one of the select group of players who has won both a WPA world title and the U.S. Open 9 Ball as well as numerous other tournaments all over the world.
The man known as “The Killer Pixie” eliminated Dutchman Niels Feijen 9-6 to reach the last five in the event, which, like all the DCC tournaments, allows one buyback per player. In the 9 Ball event the entry fee was US$160 and the buyback US$100.
Pagulayan drew a bye in the next round then took on American veteran Mike Dechaine. The Rhode Island pro started hot, winning the first four racks. But Pagulayan battled back to force a hill-hill decider. He coolly solved rack seventeen to reach the final.
In the final Pagulayan took the first two racks but Putnam showed character, leveling at 2-2. Pagulayan took advantage of a dry break to double up at 4-2.
Putnam won a safety exchange in the next game then took rack eight to make it four-all. A break and run out from Putnam meant he got his nose in front at 5-4 before Pagulayan evened things out at 5-5 then went ahead 6-5.
Putnam scratched shooting from behind the back in rack twelve and the Filipino Canadian cleaned up to go 7-5 ahead.
The American pulled to within one but in rack fourteen jumped the cue ball off the table. Pagulayan cleaned up for the hill, 8-6.
In the fifteenth rack Pagulayan locked up Putnam in a safety off the break. The American was unable to get a hit and Alex ran out for the victory.
Filipinos have an excellent record in the Derby City Classic. Efren Reyes has won the 9 Ball division on two occasions while owning the One-Pocket event four years running from 2004 to 2007.
Jose Parica has triumphed in the One Pocket and Banks divisions as well as winning one Master of the Table.
Orcollo was the 9 Ball champ in 2011.
In this year's Classic several Filipinos participated, including Warren Kiamco and rising star Carlo Biado.
SPORTS PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: