Story by Alison M. Fischer


February 1, 2017 (Denver, CO): On January 14-17, the World Pool Series (WPS) held its inaugural event at Steinway Billiards in Astoria, NY. The 8-ball event, known as the Molinari Players Championship, brought in a field of pool’s top international stars.

Among the 119 total players, thirty-five countries were represented in the battle for over $100,000 in prize funds. At the end of the four-day championship, Russia’s Ruslan Chinahov earned the title and the $20,000 first prize after a 16-6 win over Lee Van Cortez of the Philippines.

Along with presenting some of the toughest competition in professional pool today, WPS founder Darren Appleton also made a fundraising initiative for the Billiard Education Foundation (BEF) through a series of raffles at the event. 20% of the raffle proceeds will go toward supporting the BEF’s junior programs and events, and a total of $1,000 was raised.

The WPS plans to continue its support of the BEF at each of its forthcoming events in 2017. The next event is scheduled for April 4-7, and will also be held at Steinway Billiards. For more information, visit

About the World Pool Series

8-Ball is the most recognized and most participated discipline of pool around the world. The World Pool Series: 8-Ball is designed for players and fans worldwide. My hopes for these events is that it will elevate the profession of pool to the level it should be and I will personally put forth all my efforts to do so!

About the Billiard Education Foundation (BEF)

The BEF was formed in 1993 as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charity committed to promoting a lifelong love of pool and building the next generation of players through youth programs and academic scholarships. Visit or call(303) 926-1039 to learn more about junior billiard programs in your area.


Samm Diep-Vidal

Executive Director
Billiard Education Foundation


PO Box 5012

Denver, CO 80217

Building the Next Generation, One Billiard Student-Athlete at a Time…