Bata-Led Team Begins Money Rich IPT Event Vegas Campaign

Efren Reyes

MANILA, PHILIPPINES - FILIPINO billiards masters Efren 'Bata' Reyes, Francisco 'Django' Bustamante and Marlon 'Marvelous' Manalo lead the assault of a strong Philippine contingent as the 2006 International Pool Tour (IPT) grand finale fires off on July 23-30, 2006 at the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Dubbed as the 2006 North American 8-Ball Championship, offers a total prize of US $2-million, the biggest prize money in an Open pool tournament where the champion pocketing US$ 350,000.

Reyes, the 2006 SMB Asian 9-ball tour Vietnam leg winner, is hoping to become the first player to reach the finals of the rich event for the second straight year.

"For flag and country, I will do my very best in this prestigious IPT event." said Reyes in Filipino.

It shall be recalled, that Reyes, protege of RP billiards patron Aristeo 'Putch' Puyat and Billiards and Snooker Congress of the Philippines (BSCP) president Ernesto 'Ernie' Fajardo, blanked former IPT tour champ American Mike Sigel in the finals to received his biggest ever pay checked of US$ 200,000 last December was held at the Orlando Convention Center in Orlando, Florida.

The other Filipinos guaranteed of playing in the IPT grand finale were seeded players Bustamante, Manalo and Filipino pool legend US based Jose 'Amang' Parica and qualifiers Alex "The Lion" Pagulayan, former AZ Billiards Rookie of the Year Ronato 'Ronnie Calamba' Alcano,Dennis "Surigao" Orcollo, Warren "Warrior" Kiamco, Rodolfo "Boy Samson" Luat, Gandy "Sapsal" Valle, Antonio 'Nickoy' Lining and Santos Sambajon.

The tournament format is 200 Players start the tournament playing in 40 groups of five players each. The top three players from each group advance to the next level. The 80 players who do not advance earn US $2,000 each.

Here's the Prize Money Breakdown/ All prize money is regardless of number of players.

1st Place - $350,000
2nd Place - $99,000
3rd Place - $80,000
4th Place - $65,000
5th Place - $50,000
6th Place - $40,000
7th - 18th Place - $30,000 each
19th - 36th Place - $17,000 each
37th - 60th Place - $10,000 each
61st - 120th Place - $5,000 each
121st - 200th Place - $2,000 each

File photo courtesy of Diana Hoppe - Pool Pics by Hoppe