WORLD POOL CALENDAR BEGINS HOTTING UP IN MAY
For pool fans around the globe, the wait for championship action is almost over.
After a quiet first third of the year, the World Pool and Billiard Association(WPA) can finally announce its schedule of World Championships and other big time ranking events for 2013.
The World 8-ball Championship returns to the United Arab Emirates, but this year for the first time ever, the tournament will be held in the cosmopolitan global city of Dubai from May 6-11. 128 of the best male players from over 50 countries are expected to gather at Dubai’s World Trade Center to fight for the $200,000 prize fund.
The World 8-ball Championship has been contested just seven times in pool history and all seven events were held in the Emirate of Fujairah. The World 8-ball Championship always brings out the best of the best and a look at the roster of champions over the years is testament to that fact. Past winners include the legend Efren Reyes(2004), Wu Chia Ching(2005), Ronnie Alcano(2007), Ralf Souquet(2008), Karl Boyes(2010), Dennis Orcollo(2011). The defending champion is Chinese Taipei’s Chang Jung Lin.
Soon after the 8-ball party in Dubai, the center of the pool universe moves to Shanghai for the always popular China Open to be held May 12-19. 64 men and 48 women will be competing in separate events that, as usual, are sure to provide a stern and nervy test to any player looking to grab a spot on the podium. The prize fund and venue for the China Open have yet to be released but this annual gathering of pool’s best men and women will surely offer one of the biggest paydays of the year in the sport.
The defending China Open champion on the men’s side is the Philippines’ Dennis Orcollo. The defending champion on the women’s side is 2012 WPA Player of the Year Kelly Fisher of Great Britain.
In June, the World 10-ball Championship returns after a one year hiatus, this time to brand new venue, Oslo, Norway. The 10-ball crown was last contested in 2011 in Manila, Philippines and was won by Holland’s Huidji See. This year, from June 8-14, 128 of the best men players from around the globe will do battle at Oslo’s Domus Athletica for a share of the $250,000 prize fund.
In August the world’s best women players will once again travel to the northeastern Chinese city of Shenyang for the 2013 WPA Women’s World 9-ball Championship. The massive popularity of women’s pool in China makes this event one of the most hotly contested events in all of pool. In 2012, Kelly Fisher broke through to claim her first ever World 9-ball crown with a scintillating victory over national hero Fu Xiao Fang in an event seen by millions live on Chinese state television. The Women’s World 9-ball Championship takes place from August 6-12.
Doha, Qatar will once again be the site to determine the very best in men’s 9-ball this coming September as the World 9-ball Championship returns to the desert kingdom for the fourth straight year. Produced by the Qatar Billiards and Snooker Federation, and held from September 2-13, the World 9-ball Championship has grown by leaps and bounds in the last few years. Each year the drama seems to get better and better although one would be hard put to top last year’s final, when Great Britain’s Darren Appleton blew a seemingly insurmountable 12-3 lead over China’s Li Hei Wen, only to barely scrape by at the end,13-12, to claim his first world 9-ball crown.
The WPA will have more information regarding all of our World Championship and ranking events in the coming weeks.
Fans can follow each major event through the WPA website at www.wpapool.com. The WPA offers a live scoring platform, daily articles, photos and updates right from table side in the arena, and Twitter updates.(@poolwpa)
Here is a complete list of WPA sanctioned events for 2013
World 8-Ball Championship – 5 / 11 May, Dubai – UAE
China Open – 13 / 19 May, Shanghai – China
World 10-Ball Championship – 8 / 15 June, Oslo – Norway
Ultimate 10-Ball – 17 / 20 June, Mississippi – USA
World Artistic Championship – 18 / 21 July, USA
World 9-Ball Championship – 2 / 13 September, Doha – Qatar
World Cup of Pool – 17 / 22 September, Venue TBA
Nicaragua Open – 1 / 6 October, Managua – Nicaragua
International Challenge of Champions – 15 / 18 October, Connecticut – USA
World Pool Masters – 25 / 27 October, Venue TBA
All Japan Championship – 18 / 24 November, Tokyo – Japan
Mosconi Cup – 2 / 5 December, Las Vegas – USA
World 9-Ball Championship Wheelchair Athletes, 3 / 7 December, Johannesburg, South Africa
Amway Cup – 11 / 17 March, Taipei – Taiwan
China Open – 13 / 19 May, Shanghai, China
World 9-Ball Championship – 6 / 12 August, Shenyang – China
World 10-Ball Championship 26 Oct / 3 Nov, Manila – Philippines
Juniors (boys and girls divisions) & Wheelchair Athletes
World 9-Ball Championship – 3 / 7 December, Johannesburg – South Africa
*The World Pool And Billiard Association is the governing body of the sport of pocket billiards. For more information please visit the WPA website at www.wpapool.com. For Twitter updates please follow @poolwpa