Two big international pool events will be staged in Manila in April and May this year under the auspices of the World Pool Billiards Association.
The WPA world ranking events are the 2011 World 10-Ball Championships which will be held at the World Trade Center from May 9-15 while the Philippine Open Pool Championships for both men and women will be staged on April 16-20 also at the same venue.
The two major events are expected to attract an array of the finest pool players in the world and will be organized and promoted by Prism-Raya Sports which launched the tremendously successful World Pool Championships at the Philippine International Convention Center in 2006 and earned for the Philippines recognition as the epicenter of pool. The outfit also staged the World Pool Championships in 2007 and the World 10-Ball Championships in 2009.
Although there was a snafu over the payment of prize money in the World 10-Ball Championships due to the failure of major government sponsors to deliver on their commitments, all the players eventually received full payment including champion Mika Immonen who won $60,000.
WPA president Ian Anderson said the two events have
been scheduled within a month of each other so players can join the two events on one trip to the Philippines.
He said “The WTBC and the Philippine Open are world-ranking events in the WPA calendar.Players earn points from placing in these tournaments and can advance and secure their places in the WPA rankings.”
The WTBC will feature 128 players from all over the world in the main draw. Some 50 countries usually take part in the tournament.
The Philippine Open will feature 64 players in the main draw of the men’s championship, and 32 players in the women’s championship.
The Inquirer has been told that top players in the world rankings are expected to come to Manila in full force with all continental federations will be sending entries to the tournaments.
The World 10-Ball Championships will offer $262,000 in total prize money with $60,000 going to the champion. For its part the Philippine Open offers a total prize fund of $161,000 — with $25,000 going to the men’s champion, and $15,000 to the women’s champion.
Indonesia’s promising Ricky Yang won the men’s title in the first staging of the Philippine Open in May 2009. It will be the first WPA-ranking event that will follow the World 8-Ball Championship in Fujairah, UAE.
Anderson noted that “It will be a benefit to players that the Manila> tournaments stand close to the world 8-ball championship in Fujairah, the China Open in June and the World 9ball championship in Qatar. All these events in the WPA calendar are being played in Asia.”
JP Fenix, Prism-Raya managing director, announced that Prism-Raya will start processing entries to the Philippine Open and the WTBC this January. Players interested in joining the tournaments are advised to check with their continental federations to find out whether they can get automatic spots in the main draw of the tournaments.
Players can also gain entry to the main tournaments by joining the qualifiers. Qualifiers for the Philippine Open are set on April 10-14, 2011 at the Star Billiards Center in Quezon City, Metro Manila where the qualifiers for the World Ten Ball Championship are also set on May 3-7, 2011.