International Challenge of Champions Kicks off August 13
Pocket billiards champions from around the world will go head-to-head in the Eighteenth Annual International Challenge of Champions. The winner-takes-all, $50,000 event will be held August 13-14 at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, CT.
The Challenge of Champions is widely considered the toughest tournament to win in professional billiards. Once each year eight international champions are brought together in a sudden-death shootout with a pressure-cooker format of winner-take-all for $50,000. The purse is one of the highest paydays in the world, and the winner claims one of the most coveted titles in pool: Champion of Champions.
The 2008 field includes top stars in the sport. Niels Feijen, 2007 winner of the International Challenge of Champions, will defend his crown. Daryl Peach, 2008 WPA World 9-Ball champion, will represent England. Shane Van Boening, 2007 U.S. Open 9-Ball Championc will represent America. Jain Bo Fu, the 2007 World Cup of Pool champion, will represent China.
Dennis Orcollo, winner of the 2007 Enjoy Pool.com Championship, will represent the Philippines. Jung Lin Chang, the 2008 Asia Tour champion, will represent Chinese Taipei. Satoshi Kawabata, 2007 All Japan Open champion, will represent Japan. Seung Woo Ryu, 2008 Grand Prix champion, will represent Korea.
Mohegan Sun Casino, the host site, will make the 2008 event admission free to pool fans from around the USA and the world. The event drew such large crowds last year at Mohegan Sun that it was standing-room-only attendance. There will be four playing sessions in the two-day international tournament. On Wednesday, August 13, the quarterfinal rounds will be played at 3 p.m. and 6 p.m., with two matches in each session. On Thursday, August 14, the two semifinals will be played at 3 p.m., and the final championship match will be played at 6 p.m. The semifinals and the final match will be taped for airing on ESPN in September.
The International Challenge of Champions is regarded as the supreme test of skill in professional billiards. The eight players are so evenly matched that any one player could beat the other seven on a given day. In addition, the tournament format is the most demanding test of 9-ball skill in the sport. The matches are two sets, race to five games each set, with a one-game sudden-death tie-breaker in the event of tied sets. The 9-ball does not count on the break, and to win a game, the 9-ball is call shot. The caliber of competition is so intense that a single mistake invariably eliminates a player from any chance at the winner-takes-all purse of $50,000.
On the final night, one of the players will claim the Champion of Champions crown and a check for $50,000. The trophy and the check will be presented by Mohegan Sun. The tournament is also sponsored by PoolDawg.com, Aramith Pro Billiards Balls, Simonis Cloth, L.E.A.N.I. Slate, AcCue Shot Training Device, Executive Billiards.com, and Silver Cup Chalk.
The 2008 tournament will be the eighteenth annual event and has been produced by Billiards International, Ltd. for ESPN in each of the last eighteen years. Those attending should arrive early for each tournament session and must be 21 years of age or more. Make plans today to attend the 2008 International Challenge pf Champions. For information call the Mohegan Sun toll free at 1-888-226-7711, ext. 7163.