WHERE KINGS ARE CROWNED
2012 WPA WORLD 8-BALL CHAMPIONSHIP BEGINS MONDAY IN THE ONLY PLACE TO EVER HOLD THE EVENT..FUJAIRAH, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES.
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 worlds 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 whole who of great pool players.
The first winner of the World 8-ball Championship back in 2005 was none other than the legend, Efren 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. Englands Karl Boyes won the 2010 title with a nail biting 13-12 win over the Netherlands Niels Feijen.
Leading 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 years 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 worlds 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 Taipeis 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 Twitter page, @poolwpa.
Semi Finalist $7,500
Quarter Finalist $4,500
9th – 16th $3,000
17th – 32nd $2,000
65th -80th $250
Stage 1 Double Elimination Race to 7 – Alternate break
Stage 2 Single Elimination Race to 9 – Alternate break
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
16 February Final 32 2.00pm 4.00pm
Final 16 7.00pm
Quarter Finals 10.00pm
17 February Semi Finals 2.00pm
Closing awards immediately after the final