Former world champion Alex Pagulayan earned a spot in the 2018 World 8-Ball Masters Grand Final to be held from January 7 to 12 in Qinhuangdao, China.
Pagulayan, a 2004 World 9-Ball titlist, secured a berth during the 2018 World 8-Ball Masters Grand Final qualifying tournament held in Hyogo, Japan.
The 41-year old Pagulayan’s victory over Japanese Marino Yoshihiro was good enough for him to get a slot in the World 8-Ball, which offers $151,000 to the champion, $45,250 to the runner-up and $15,100 to the third-placer.
Joining Pagulayan in the world meet are World Junior Under 17 champion Sanjin Pehlivanovic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Toh Lian Han and Aloysius Yapp of Singapore, and Japanese cue masters Junko Tsuchiya, Fukuda Takeshi, Matsumura Hiroshi and Hijikata Hayato.
Pehlivanovic outclassed Yamakawa Hideki of Japan, Lian Han clobbered Saitou Shintaro of Japan, Yapp ousted Masato Yoshioka of Japan, Tsuchiya toppled Izawa Katuyki of Japan, Takeshi nipped Mori Monabu of Japan, Hiroshi defeated Saitou Kenyo of Japan and Hayato beat Moritani Kuyo of Japan.
Seeing action in the Grand Final are 24 Chinese players and 40 international players for a total of 64 players.
The remaining spots will be distributed in different qualifying tournaments to be held from December 27 to January 2.
So far, Pagulayan has won three major titles this year.
He ruled the US Open 8-Ball Championship in July in Las Vegas, Nevada, the Carom Room Fall Classic 10-Ball Championship in September in Beloit, Wisconsin, and the 2017 Midwest Billiards and Cue Expo Banks in June in Des Moines, Iowa.