The legion of Filipino fans in Doha were happy to see the return of veteran Alex Pagulayan, who lost to eventual champion Albin Ouschan in the semifinal.
The Canadian of Filipino origin had won the world title in 2004 before fading away from the pool scene for many years.
Just like many of the insanely-talented and carefree pool players, Pagulayan dabbled in poker.
But the 38-year-old revived his interest in the game in recent times and won the last two Master of the Table titles at the Derby City Classic in Indiana, USA.
“I love playing 9-Ball again. It brings a lot of enthusiasm, inspires me a little bit,” said Pagulayan.
From being brash and wild, Pagulayan has matured with age and comes to the table with a refreshing attitude.
“Pool games have changed completely from what they were in 2004. I feel confident and comfortable. I’m just taking it one game at a time,” he said.