Alex Pagulayan Takes First-Ever Accu-Stats Make It Happen 8-Ball Invitational Title -
In a unique six-man, race to eight, round robin format, Accu-Stats held their first-ever ‘Make it Happen’ 8-Ball Invitational. Six of the world’s best were selected by the fans for this event,** held at the Accu-Stats Arena at Sandcastle Billiards in Edison, NJ.* The player with the highest number of wins would be crowned champion–unless two players tied, which would result in a championship playoff match.
As the final rounds of the the round robin were winding down on Sunday, August 12, England’s Darren Appleton lead the pack with a 4-1 win-loss record. However, the result of the final round robin match between Alex Pagulayan & Johnny Archer at 7pm would determine whether a championship match would be held.* If Pagulayan won, he would tie the record with Appleton at 4-1, but if Archer won, Appleton would reign as champion.
In this fateful match, Archer stepped out to a 2-0 lead, but Pagulayan returned with two more to tie at 2-2.* The score remained closely knotted through the first half of the match… but as they were tied up at 5-5, a series of costly errors from Archer helped turn the tables in favor of Pagulayan, as he capitalized on those opportunities and capped the match off at 8-5.
This win lead to a playoff match for the title between Alex Pagulayan and Darren Appleton at 9pm, which brought in a host of spectators to watch the exciting showdown, both in person and via the pay-per-view stream on Accu-Stats.com.
The final started out slow for both players, who were likely feeling the pressure heighten. While Appleton had a chance to strike first blood, he surprising missed the 8-ball in the first rack, giving Pagulayan opportunity to chalk up the win instead. Alex Pagulayan in the Accu-Stats Arena (Photo by Karl Kantrowitz)
The race continued on in exciting fashion, with much back-and-forth between the two international champions, leading to a 4-4 tie. In the following rack, Pagulayan was unable to drop a ball on the break… but Appleton picked apart a challenging rack to reclaim the lead at 5-4.
However, the tides would soon be turning in the* opposite direction, as that would be the last win of the match earned by Appleton.* Although Pagulayan missed a relatively easy side shot in the following rack, Appleton missed a critical breakout that lead to his demise, giving the table back to Pagulayan to tie again at 5-5.
Pagulayan kept the train running, with a challenging run out in the following rack to take the lead… and after Appleton broke dry in the next rack, Pagulayan ran the table to move on to the hill at 7-5.
With the advantage of the break, Pagulayan stepped up to open up the final rack, but also came up dry, giving Appleton a ray of hope.* But, Appleton was unable to stay on-point on his inning at the table, and got out of line. He was forced to play a carom, and after the ball dropped into the side pocket, the carom ball rolled to the rail, leaving only a bank option.
Appleton missed the bank in the side pocket, and passed the table back to Pagulayan, who ran out the final string of balls to take the title in the first-ever Accu-Stats 8-Ball Invitational.* Congratulations to Alex Pagulayan on his hard-fought victory!