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WHERE KINGS ARE CROWNED

WHERE KINGS ARE CROWNED

BY TED LERNER

The international pool scene finally kicks off this February as the best pool players from all corners of the globe descend upon  the mountainous emirate of Fujairah in the United Arab Emirates to contest the WPA 2012 World 8-ball Championship.

The tournament will begin Monday Feb. 13 and run through the final on Feb. 17 at the Expo Centre in central Fujairah and offers a total of $156,000 in prize money with $20,000 going to the winner.  A stellar cast of 96 pool greats will make up the main field beginning on the 13th.

Fujairah is one of the seven emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates, and the only one on the Gulf of Oman in the country’s east instead of on the Persian Gulf (the other six emirates). Fujairah is the youngest of the seven emirates that make up the country. It is located in the central part of the Al Hajar Mountains. The capital of the emirate is the city of Fujairah.

The American game of 8-ball is arguably the world’s most popular and widely played cue sport, played and enjoyed by millions around the world every day. Interestingly this year marks only the 7th time that the WPA 8-ball World Championship has ever been contested, and all in Fujairah.  The list of champions may be short, but they read like a who’s who of great pool players.

The first winner of the World 8-ball Championship back in 2005 was none other than the legend, Efren “Bata” Reyes of the Philippines.  In 2006, 16 year old Taiwanese sensation Wu Chia Ching won the 8-ball world title just months after miraculously winning the World 9-ball Championship. The Philippines’ Ronnie Alcano captured the crown in 2007 also right after winning the World 9-ball Championship. The following year saw German great Ralf Souquet win his first world 8-ball title.

The tournament was not played in 2009. England’s Karl Boyes won the 2010 title with a nail biting 13-12 win over the Netherlands’ Niels Feijen.

The Philippines Dennis Orcullo is all smiles after winning his first world title last year in FujairahLeading the pack this year will be the defending champion and current world #1 and 2011 WPA Player of the Year, Dennis Orcullo of the Philippines.  Orcullo won his first world title last year in Fujairah when he beat Feijen in the final 10-3. Orcullo used that amazing victory as a springboard for a sensational all around year in 2011.

Orcullo certainly comes into this year’s championship as one of the heavy favorites but he will surely have all he can handle from the expected all star cast on hand.  As of press time most of the world’s top 36 players have confirmed participation and more will surely be added in the coming week. Among those are World 9-ball champion and world number 2 Yukio Akagariyama of Japan, current and back to back US Open Champion Darren Appleton(world #3) of the UK, World 10-ball Champion Huidji See(World # 5) of the Netherlands, back to back runner up Feijen, the Philippine great and World # 6 Lee Van Corteza, Chinese Taipei’s Chang Jung Lin(# 7), China Open winner Chris Melling(# 8) of the UK, German greats Souquet(#11) and Thorsten Hohmann(13), and Finnish star Mika Immonen(19).

Of course, one of the perennial excitements in any world championship are the unknowns who invaribly leap out of obscurity and make a run for the title.  Pay attention especially to the various unknown Filipino players who ply their trade as house pros in pool halls and training centers throughout the UAE, Qatar, Saudi and other places where pool is growing around the Middle East. Not only can these Filipino players play world class pool, they are comfortable in the local surroundings and culture.

A change in the format this year will surely please the players as all matches throughout the championship will be played in the alternate break format.  This change has been implemented in order to stop the blowouts which had been happening with regular frequency over the last few years.

There is no live international television coverage of the 2012 World 8-ball championship. However, the WPA will be providing up to the minute coverage on our website, www.wpa-pool.com.  We will be on hand in Fujairah bringing you all the action with live scoring of all matches, in depth articles on the goings on posted several times a day, as well as blow by blow coverage of big matches via the WPA’s Twitter page, @poolwpa.

 

DATES:

13 – 17 February

PRIZE MONEY:

USD 156,800

Breakdown:

Winner $20,000

Runner-up $15,000

Semi Finalist $7,500

Quarter Finalist $4,500

9th – 16th $3,000

17th – 32nd $2,000

33rd – 64th $900

65th – 80th $250

FORMAT:

96 Players

Stage 1 Double Elimination Race to 7 – Alternate break

Stage 2 Single Elimination Race to 9 – Alternate break

VENUE:

Expo Centre (behind Siji Hotel)

Daily Schedule( All times GMT +4 hours)  

13 & 14 February Group play 12.00pm 2.00pm 4.00pm

6.00pm 8.00pm 10.00pm

15 February Final 64 2.00 pm 4.00pm

6.00pm 8.00pm

16 February Final 32 2.00pm 4.00pm

Final 16 7.00pm

Quarter Finals 10.00pm

17 February Semi Finals 2.00pm

Final 6.00pm

Closing awards immediately after the final

Confirmed Players as of Feb. 6, 2012 

Dennis Orcullo                  PHI
Yukio Akagariyama                      JPN
Darren Appleton                           GBR
Roberto Gomez                            PHI
Huidji See                                      NED
Lee Van Corteza                           PHI
Jung Lin Chang                            TPE
Chris Melling                                 GBR
Antonio Lining                                PHI
Ralf Souquet                                  GER
Niels Feijen                                    NED
Thorsten Hohmann                      GER
Daryl Peach                                    GBR
Yu Lung Chang                              TPE
Carlo Blado                                     PHI
Hewen  Li                                        CHN
Chi Ho Kwok                                   HKG
Sayeem Hossaien                         BAN
Keng Kwang Chan                         SIN
Yong Hwang                                    KOR
Toru Kuribayashi                            JPN
Sundeep Gulati                               IND
Phuc Long Nguyen                         VIE
Allan Cuarteno                                 PHI
Ryoji      Aoki                                     JPN
Pin Yi Ko                                            TPE
Po Cheng Kuo                                  TPE
Chen Man Lee                                  HKG
Dominic Jentsch                              GER
Reiner Wirsbitzki                              GER
Carlos Cabello                                 ESP
Francisco Diaz-Pizzaro                    ESP
Marcus Chamat                                SWE
Bruno Muratore                                  ITA
Tomasz Kaplan                                 POL
Albin Ouschan                                   AUT
Nick Van Den Berg                           NED
Serge Das                                          BEL
Stepanov Konstantin                        RUS
Bahram Lofty                                      DEN
Jason Shaw                                       GBR
Karl Boyes                                          GBR
Mark Gray                                            GBR
Dennis Grabe                                     EST
Brandon Shuff                                     USA
Hunter Lombardo                               USA
Max Eberle                                           USA
Harvey Shognas                                 CAN
Westi Morake                                       RSA
Hamza Ali                                             ERI
Mohamed Elassal                              EGY
Juan Mairena                                       NIC
Jalal Yousef                                         VEN
Stuart Lawler                                        AUS
Mohammed Saed Saed                     QAT
Meshaal Turki Al-Ali                             QAT
Mohmmad Khaled Soufi                     SYR
Omar Abdelhamid Aishaheen           KUW
Takhti Zarekani                                      IRI
Hani Al-Houri                                         UAE
Yousfi Chaouki                                      MAR
Mika Immonen                                       FIN
Haitai Liu                                                CHN
Jianbo Fu                                                CHN
Mario He                                                  AUT
Radoslaw Babica                                  POL
Karol Skowerski                                     POL
Oliver Ortmann                                       GER
Carlo Dalmatin                                       CRO

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