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.

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   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,

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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