It’s been several years since Keith Hulin hosted a major event at his room, Emerald Billiards, in New Iberia, LA. This year, he welcomed players back for the $16,000 added Bayou State Classic.
The star-studded field included two-time Derby City Classic Master of the Table Fedor Gorst, reigning Derby City Classic One Pocket champ Tony Chohan, 2020 Derby City Classic Nine Ball champ Lee Vann Corteza, current Music City Open champ Roberto Gomez, 2021 US Open One Pocket champ Justin Hall, BCA & One Pocket Hall of Famer Alex Pagulayan and the newly minted 2023 Cajun Coast Classic 9 Ball champ Roland Garcia. Others spotted around the room were two-time Derby City Classic One Pocket champ Billy Thorpe, current Space City Open X One Pocket champ John Gabriel, current US Open Bank Pool champ & One Pocket Hall of Famer Scott Frost, BCA Hall of Famer Rodney Morris, former ESPN World champ CJ Wiley, current Iron City Open One Pocket champ Josh Roberts and current Texas Open 9 Ball champ Vitaliy Patsura.
The event kicked off with the $1,000 added One Ball One Pocket Championship – $200 entry, single elimination and races to four. The eighteen player field was whittled down to two players. Fedor Gorst took it down 4-2 leaving Roberto Gomez in second place.
The main event – the $10,000 added One Pocket Championship – had 25 players who paid a $300 entry fee to compete in this double elimination, race to three alternate break format.
Notable first round matches saw Justin Hall defeat Jeff de Luna 3-1 and Roberto Gomez blitz Lee Vann Corteza 3-0 while John Gabriel edged out Mike DeLawder 3-2.
Next round had Alex Pagulayan squeak out a tough one over Scott Frost as did John Gabriel against Hunter White – both matches 3-2 and in a repeat of the one ball one pocket finals, Gorst beat Gomez again 3-1.
In third round action, Gorst got past John Gabriel and Billy Thorpe succumbed to Justin Hall – both 3-1 while Tony Chohan went down to Roland Garcia in a close one 3-2.
Hall just got by Pagulayan 3-2 while the other winners side match saw Gorst smoke Garcia 3-0.
In dead punch, Gorst demolished Hall in hot seat action 3-0 and claimed a seat in the finals. Justin headed west only to be derailed by the Gomez freight train. After losing to Gorst, Roberto started mowing down his opponents – White 3-2 and then Drew Jordan, Thorpe, Garcia, Pagulayan and Hall – all 3-1.
Back in the finals again, the smoking hot Roberto got his revenge against Fedor and took the title down in an extended race to four – score 4-0.
The final event of this tournament was the $5,000 added Open 9 Ball Championship Playing on seven footers, a full field of 128 paid their $100 entries to compete in this double elimination, alternate break with races to 9/7.
Making his way through the bracket, Roland had wins over Jeremy Howard and Rodney Morris – both 9-4, beat back a challenge from Jacob Pennison 9-8 and demolished Tookie Babineaux 9-0 and Hunter White 9-5. Finally arriving to play Gomez to get into the hot seat match, it was a hard fought battle but he survived 9-8 and Gomez headed west.
In the bottom half of the chart, Lee Vann Corteza was making his presence felt as his victims included Oscar Ruiz 9-3, Jason Procell 9-2, Chris Facundus 9-3, Fedor Gorst 9-7 and Sergio Rivas 9-4 making it to the final four on the winners side.
Meanwhile, Zach Marquardt was quietly working his way through the field as he notched victories over Brent Prade 9-5, Zack Louviere 9-4, Dillon Hayes 9-5, Steve Lenz 9-6 and Tony Chohan 9-1 to then face Lee Vann Corteza.
Lee Vann moved on to the hot seat match after handily defeating Zach 9-3. Hungry for a title, Roland dispatched Lee Vann 9-5 west and secured his berth in the finals.
Champions were falling right and left as they all battled for that other seat in the finals. When it was all over, Gomez had survived after eliminating Rivas 7-6, Gorst 7-5 and finally Corteza 7-6 to arrive at the finals battered and bruised.
As this was true double elimination, Roberto had to win two matches to claim the title. However, it was not to be! In a nailbiter of a match, Roland claimed the match and title 9-8 giving him back to back title wins!
Congratulations to the three Gs – Gomez, Garcia & Gorst – as the new Bayou State Classic champions!
Local sponsors for this event included APA Arcadiana, Oubre Memorial & Burial Vaults, LLC, Chops Meats, Arceneaux Ford, Global Vessel & Tank, FLOQUIP, Inc. and Emerald Billiards.
Sponsors for this event included Emerald Billiards and PoolActionTV.com as well as JB Cases, Durbin Custom Cues, Aramith and the Fort Worth Billiards Superstore of Fort Worth, TX.
Thanks go out to Keith Hulin and his staff for rolling out the red carpet for all the players and fans as well as Tournament Director Jimmy Rogers for doing a great job.
We’d also like to thank our fans and sponsors. Our sponsors include JB Cases, Hanshew Jump Cues, Diamond Billiard Products, Lomax Custom Cues, Savage Billiards, Durbin Custom Cues, Simonis, Aramis, the Action Palace of Dayton, OH and the Fort Worth Billiards Superstore in Fort Worth, TX.
Our next event is the Inaugural $14,000 added Skinny Bob’s Nine Ball Classic in Round Rock, TX. Tournaments include a one pocket division, ladies nine ball and open nine ball. Dates are February 14th-20th – hope to see you there!