Boxing sensation ‚Pacman‘ teams up with the WPA to stage the return of pool’s hardcore title in his hometown of General Santos City.
By Ted Lerner/WPA Press Officer
Photo Courtesy Wendell Rupert Alinea
(Manila, Philippines)–After a four year absence, the World 10-ball championship is back. And the man who made it happen is none other than the Philippines’ boxing sensation, Manny Pacquiao.
The World Pool Billiard Association(WPA) is proud to announce that the World 10-ball Championship will take place from February 15-21, 2015 in Pacquiao’s hometown of General Santos City in the southern Philippines. 128 players from over 40 countries are expected in “Gen San” to compete for what will be one of professional pool’s biggest prizes this year. $200,000 will be up for grabs, with $40,000 going to the winner
This will be just the fourth time the World 10-ball Championship has ever been contested. The event made its debut in Manila in 2008 and was won by England’s Darren Appleton. The following year in Manila, Finland’s Mika Immonen captured the event. After a year’s hiatus, the event again returned to Manila and was captured by surprise winner Huidji See of Holland.
Long thought of as the “players game,” 10-ball has its roots in the smoky, action packed pool halls of Manila. In his early days in the late 1990’ and early 2000’s, before becoming a worldwide celebrity, Pacquiao could often be found playing pool for hours on end against some of the Philippines biggest billiard stars. While not at the pro level, the Pacman’s dedication to the game saw him improve immensely over the years, to the point where now he can often hold his own against even top players, of course with a little “weight.”
Little did anyone know then that the Pacman would one day come to the rescue of a sport that in recent years has been in the doldrums in a country where professional pool had once been as big as boxing and basketball. In the last year, Pacquiao has taken it upon himself to attempt to bring pool back to its former glory in the Philippines, personally bankrolling several large singles and doubles tournaments in his home town that attracted players from around the globe. When Pacquiao recently became aware that the World 10-ball Championship was available, he decided to grab the chance to bring a world championship to his hometown.
The entirety of the 2015 World 10-ball Championship will be held at the SM City Activity Center in General Santos City. While most players will be nominated through their worldwide federations, there will be at least 16 spots available through the qualifiers, which will be held over two days beginning February 15 at SM City. Each qualifier will consist of 128 players and will be played as a race to 7, alternate break, single elimination. The last 8 players standing in both qualifiers will be given spots in the main event.
The main draw of 128 players will begin on February 17 and will be played as a race to 9, alternate break, double elimination through to the final 64. Upon reaching the final 64, the tournament will then become single elimination, race to 11, alternate break.
There’s no word yet whether Pacquiao, an 8-division champion in boxing, will actually play in the event. Organizers of the World 10-ball Championship are entitled to several wild card slots, so it is entirely possible that fans may yet see the Filipino boxing legend do battle with the world’s best pool players on the blue felt, should he choose to accept the invite.
The WPA will be on hand in General Santos for the entirety of the 2015 World 10-ball Championship, bringing you up to the minute scoring, daily articles, and updates on our Facebook page and Twitter feed.
For more information regarding the qualifiers, prospective players are welcome to email the organizers at firstname.lastname@example.org
Please visit the WPA Facebook page here; https://www.facebook.com/wpaworld9ballchampionship
Follow the WPA on Twitter: @poolwpa
Visit the official website of the WPA at www.wpapool.com