8 DAYS OF POOL HEAVEN IN STORE AS THE 2012 WPA MEN'S WORLD 9-BALL CHAMPIONSHIP KICKS OFF 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.
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.
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.
Click the image to view the larger photo (courtesy of Thorsten Hohmann)
2012 WPA WORLD 9-BALL CHAMPIONSHIPS
DOHA - QATAR
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 Vincent Facquet FRANCE 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 Richard Jones 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 Oliver Medanilla PHI-UAE 118 Ramil Gallego PHI 119 Joven Alba PHI-UAE 120 Chao Fong 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
2012 WPA WORLD 9-BALL CHAMPIONSHIPS
DOHA - QATAR
GROUP 1 Huidji See Badr Al Awadi Efren Reyes Philipp Stojanovic Hwang Yong John Morra Mohammad Berjawi Joyme Vicente
GROUP 2 Mika Immonen Tony Drago Sundeep Gulati Ramil Gallego Thorsten Hohmann Hsu Kai Lun Ali Pordel Abdulwahed Al Awa
GROUP 3 Chris Melling Jundel Mazon Aloysius Yapp Vincent Faquet Shane Van Boening Matthew Edwards Abdulatif Fawal Malaj Nikolaos
GROUP 4 Lee He Wen Chao Fang Pang Edwin Montal Thomas Engert Carlo Biado Rajandran Nair Roman Hybler Waleed Majeed
GROUP 5 Fu Che Wei Do The Kien Carlo Dalmatin Mohd Buainain Fu Jianbo Marcus Chamat Takashi Uraoka Jayson Shaw
GROUP 6 Neils Feijen Aki Heikanen Khaled Al Mutairi Mohd Al Bin Ali Chang Jung Lin Dimitri Jungo Robby Foldvari Naoyuki Oi
GROUP 7 Chang Yu Lung Jalal Yousef Dang Jinghu Albin Ouschan Karl Boyes Ryu Seung Woo Hanni Alhowri Yang Ching Shun
GROUP 8 Mark Gray Hayato Hijikata Lee Chenman Manuel Gama Ko Pin Yi Luis Lemus Serge Das Omar Al Shahen
GROUP 9 Daryl Peach Mateusz Sniegocki Mazen Berjaoui Bozo Primic Lo Li Wen Francisco Bustamante Abdullah Al Yousef Oliver Medenilla
GROUP 10 Roberto Gomez Takhti Zarekani Mohammad Saeed Alaa Bata Yukio Akagariyama Dominic Jentsch Harvey Shognosh Konstantin Stepanov
GROUP 11 Darren Appleton Hamza Alsaeed Abdul Rahman Al Amar Bruno Muratore Bashas Hussain Kuo Yi Che Elver Casalang Han Hao Xiang
GROUP 12 Jasan Klatt Imran Majid Mohamed Elassal Ali Obaidly Liu Haitao Mario He Alok Kumar Nick Ekonomopoulos
GROUP 13 Ronnie Alcano Toh Lian Han Hunter Lombardo Al Masskini Antonio Gabica Andrea Klasovic Salaheldeen Alrimawi Denis Grabe
GROUP 14 Tohru Kuribayashi Ceri Worts Nguyen Anh Tuan Majed Alazmi Lee Van Corteza Ivica Putnik Francisco Diaz-Pizarro Marlon Caneda
GROUP 15 Dennis Orcollo Ali Saeed Alsuwaidi Hori Ryouji Kong Andrew Oliver Ortmann Richard Jones Jonny Martinez Raymound Faraon
GROUP 16 Nick Van Den Berg Joven Alba David N. Anderson Henrique Correia Ralf Souquet Israel Rota Nayf Abdel Afou Lee Wan Su
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