WPA Men’s World 9-Ball Championship Kicks Off

WPA Men’s World 9-Ball Championship Kicks Off


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.

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 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.

This is now the third straight year that Qatar has hosted the World 9-ball Championship. Qatar, which has the world’s third largest natural gas reserves and one of the highest per capita incomes in the world, hosting the prestigious pool world championship is adding yet another milestone in its sporting achievements.

Qatar emerged as the leading centre for sports. The country has been a major hub for big time international sporting events, including the 2006 Asian Games, the 2011 Asian Cup Football Championships, and the MotoGP World Championship.

The small but oil-rich country will also host the 2022 FIFA World Cup of Football and the 2015 World IHF Handball Championship.

The WPA will be providing full up to the minute coverage of the 2012 World 9-ball Championship via its website at www.wpapool.com. There you can follow the action through our live scoring platform, articles with insights and analysis, and updated brackets. Fans can also get updates via the WPA Twitter page, @poolwpa.com.

The prize breakdown is as follows:
Champion – $40,000
Runner-up – $20,000
3- 4 – $12,000
5-8 -$8,000
9-16 -$5,000
17-32 – $3,500
33-64- $2,000
65-96 – $1000 (loser of 2nd round in the loser’s bracket of Stage 2)
Total – $300,000

Sponsored by – Qatar Olympic Committee (QOC)
Co-sponsored by – Simonis (cloth)
Organised by – Qatar Billiards & Snooker Federation (QBSF)
Sanctioned by – World Pool-Billiard Association (WPA) & Asian Pocket
Billiard Union (APBU)
Official Hotel: Wyndham Grand Regency

Diamond Tables
Simonis 860 Cloth, Electric Blue Color.
Aramith Super Pro TV Ball


1 Akagariyama Yukio JPN

2 Chang Jung Lin TPE

3 Chris Melling GBR

4 Fu Che Wei TPE

5 Huidji See NED

6 Dennis Orcollo PHI

7 Darren Appleton GBR

8 Lee Van Corteza PHI

9 Ronnie Alcano PHI

10 Ko Pin Yi TPE

11 Liu Haitao CHN

12 Carlo Biado PHI

13 Thorsten Hohmann GER

14 Ralf Souquet GER

15 Chang Yu Lung TPE

16 Daryl Peach GBR

17 Fu Jianbo CHN

18 Roberto Gomez PHI

19 Shane Van Boening USA

20 Mark Gray GBR

21 Mika Immonen FIN

22 Lo Li Wen TPE

23 Hwang Yong KOR

24 Alok Kumar IND

25 Sundeep Gulati IND

26 Kuribatashi Tohru JPN

27 Hori Ryouji JPN

28 Kuo Yi Che TPE

29 Hsu Kai Lun TPE

30 Ryu Seung Woo KOR

31 Lee Wan Su KOR

32 Toh Lian Han SIN

33 Aloysius Yapp SIN

34 Do The Kien VIE

35 Nguyen Anh Tuan VIE

36 Francisco Bustamante PHI

37 Jundel Mazon PHI

38 Efren Reyes PHI

39 Antonio Gabica PHI-QAT

40 Israel Rota PHI-QAT

41 Kong Andrew HKG

42 Lee Chenman HKG

43 Lee He Wen CHN

44 Han Hao Xiang CHN

45 Dan Jing Hu CHN

46 Edwin Montal CAN

47 Jason Klatt CAN

48 John Morra CAN

49 Harvey Shognosh CAN

50 Hunter Lombardo USA

51 Tony Drago MLT

52 Philipp Stojanovic CRO

53 Ivica Putnik CRO

54 Karlo Dalmatin CRO

55 Bozidar Primic CRO

56 Malaj Nikolaos ALB

57 Roman Hybler CZE

58 Vicent Facquet FRA

59 Francisco Diaz-Pizarro ESP

60 Andrea Klasovic SRB

61 Marus Chamat SWE

62 Aki Heiskanen FIN

63 Mario He AUT

64 Albin Ouschan AUT

65 Manuel Gama POR

66 Henrique Correia POR

67 Dimitri Jungo SUI

68 Nick Van Den Berg NED

69 Niels Feijen NED

70 Jason Shaw GBR

71 Imran Majid GBR

72 Jones Richard GBR

73 Karl Boyes GBR

74 Oliver Ortmann GER

75 Jentsch Dominic GER

76 Thomas Engert GER

77 Serge Das BEL

78 Sniegocki Mateusz POL

79 Konstantin Stepanov RUS

80 Bruno Muratore ITA

81 Denis Grabe EST

82 Luis Lemus GUA

83 Jonny Martinez VEN

84 Jalal Yousef VEN

85 Ceri Worts NZL

86 Matthew Edwards NZL

87 Robby Foldvari AUS

88 Mohammad Ali Berjaoui LIB

89 Mazen Berjaoui LIB

90 Takhti Zarekani IRI

91 Ali Pordel IRI

92 Badr Al Awadi KUW

93 Abdullah Al Yousef KUW

94 Abdulwahed Al Awad KSA

95 Abdul Rahman Al Amar KSA

96 Hanni Alhowri UAE

97 Salaheldeen Alrimawi UAE

98 Ali Saeed Alsuwaidi UAE

99 Nayf Abdel Afou JOR

100 Rajandran Nair RSA

101 David N. Anderson RSA

102 Hamza Alsaeed ERI

103 Mohamed Elassal EGY

104 Al Masskini MAR

105 Bashar Hussain QAT

106 Mohd Al Bin Ali QAT

107 Abdulatif Fawal QAT

108 Mohd Buainain QAT

109 Ali Obaidly QAT

110 Waleed Majeed QAT

111 Mohammad Saeed QAT

112 Hayato Hijikata JPN

113 Yang Ching Shun TPE

114 Joyme Vicente PHI-UAE

115 Nick Ekonomopoulos GRE

116 Naoyuki Ohi JPN

117 Olver Medanilla PHI-UAE

118 Ramil Gallego PHI

119 Joven Alba PHI-UAE

120 Chao Fang Pang TPE

121 Majed Alazmi KUW

122 Marlon Caneda PHI-KSA

123 Omar Al Shahen KUW

124 Takashi Uraoka JPN

125 Elvis Calasang PHI-UAE

126 Khaled Al Mutairi KUW

127 Raymound Faraon PHI-UAE

128 Alaa Bata QAT

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