WPA Men’s World 9-Ball Championship Kicks Off

8 DAYS OF POOL HEAVEN IN STORE AS THE 2012 WPA MEN’S WORLD 9-BALL CHAMPIONSHIP KICKS OFF IN DOHA, QATAR

By Ted Lerner

(Doha, Qatar)–The Big One is finally here.

The WPA 2012 World 9-ball Championship, considered perhaps the most prestigious title in men’s professional pool, has gotten underway at the beautiful Al Sadd Sports Club in Doha, Qatar.

The action over the next 8 days promises to be as scorching hot as the weather is outside, where searing hot winds sweeping in off the desert combine with the blazing Middle Eastern sun to send temperatures into the mid-40’s celcius.

Indeed the event has attracted 128 of the best pool players from over 50 countries, who are vying for $300,000 in prize money, with $40,000 going to the eventual winner.

The tournament is run in two stages. The first stage has the players divided up into 16 groups of 8. There the players will play a double elimination format, race to 9, alternate break. The top four players in each group, two from the winners side, and two from the losers side, will advance into the final 64, which begins on June 27th.

wpa room WPA Mens World 9 Ball Championship Kicks Off

The WPA 2012 World 9-ball Championship, considered perhaps the most prestigious title in men’s professional pool, has gotten underway at the beautiful Al Sadd Sports Club in Doha, Qatar.

From there, the tournament becomes a straight knockout, with all matches single elimination race to 11, alternate break. The finals, which will be played on June 29th, will be race to 13, alternate break.

The list of names assembled here in Doha is a who’s who of the games top stars, with literally dozens of world championships and major victories among them. In all there are 10 current or former world 9-ball champions in the field, including defending champion Japan’s Yukio Akagariyama who won in this very venue last year.

Other world 9-ball champions include the Philippines Francisco Bustamante(2010), England’s Daryl Peach(2007), the Philippines Ronnie Alcano(2006), Germany’s Thorsten Hohmann(2003), Finland’s Mika Immonen(2001), Taiwan’s Fong Pang Chao(2000, 1993), the Philippines Efren “Bata” Reyes(1999), Germany’s Ralf Souquet(1996), Germany’s Oliver Ortmann(1995).

The list of pool champions in the field doesn’t include just 9-ball. Current World 8-ball champion Chang Jun Lin of Taiwan is here. Also vying for glory will be two time US Open Champion and former World 10-Ball Champion Darren Appleton of England, 2011 World 8-ball Champion Dennis Orcullo of the Philippines, 2010 World 8-ball champion Karl boyes of England, 2010 World 10-ball champion Huidji See of the Netherlands, and former US Open Champion and the USA’s number one player, Shane Van Boening.

But of course as in every World 9-ball Championship, part of the fun is witnessing the rise of new talents from across the globe, as the game of 9-ball has spread far and wide over the last ten years. Fans are guaranteed train loads of nerve jangling drama throughout the event, with plenty of upsets sure to rock the Al Sadd and the pool world.

Once again the Philippines has the most number of entries with 16 players. Last year, more than a quarter of the players in the final 64 were from the Philippines. Considering the numbers entered this year, and with the high standard of all the Filipino players, expect a similar scenario this week. It would even be a fair bet to say a Filipino will probably make it at least to the semi-finals.

In order to stop players from soft breaking, the WPA has instituted the Illegal Break rule this year. On the break shot, a player must get three balls past the head string, or get a combination of 3 balls past the head string and/or pocketed.

The 2012 World 9-ball Championship is being hosted by the Qatar Billiards and Snooker Federation. The official tables are once again Diamond Tables, and the pockets have been set extremely tight as befits a world championship.

Read more ...