Four Masters Spots Decided in Malaysia

THERE WAS further World Pool Masters qualifying action last week, as the destination of four spots was decided at the Golden Break Pool Club in Selangor, Malaysia. Organised by XZ Sports of Kuala Lumpur, the four day tournament featured almost 50 players from around the region vying for a trip to Las Vegas and a spot in the starting line-up of the Masters.

The biggest name to win through was Vietnam's Luong Chi Dung who won the final qualifying event beating seasoned Malaysian cue man Tan Tiong Boon 9-5 to seal his spot.

Chi Dung was a quarter-finalist at the 2006 World Pool Championship, a year that saw him also reach the semi-finals of the World Cup of Pool and he will certainly be a threat in Las Vegas.

Joining him will be countryman Do Hong Quan who overcame Singaporean Chan Keng Kwang 9-7. Shy and quiet, Hong Quan is the kind of player who prefers to let his game do the talking. A gold medallist, along with Luong Chi Dung, in the Men's 9 Ball Doubles discipline at the 25th SEA Games in Laos last year, Hong Quan looked comfortable throughout as he took the spot and will be relishing a trip to Las Vegas.

The first qualifying event was won by Ahmad Taufiq of Brunei as he held his nerve and played rack by rack to beat Goh Chin Teck of Singapore by a scoreline of 9-3. He will become the first player from Brunei to compete in the Masters.

On day three, when the semi finals had started, the organisers had already announced the winning country as four Indonesians advanced to the semi final stages. It was Muhammad Zulfikri who eventually prevailed as the day three winner by beating fellow countryman Imran Ibrahim 9-4.

All four will now head to Las Vegas to compete in the World Pool Masters which runs from 12-16 May at the Riviera Hotel on the Strip. Featuring a 64 player line-up, the Masters offers a $100,000 prize-fund and one of the most prestigious titles in the sport.

There are two more qualifying spots available in the all day event at Pool Sharks in Las Vegas on Tuesday 11th May. Further details can be obtained from

Working with an array of respected partners around the world, the qualifying events take in France, England, Scotland, Holland, Belgium, Norway, Poland, Romania, Russia, Spain, Canada, USA, Australia, Malaysia, Taiwan and Japan. This will give every pool player in the world the opportunity to win a trip to Las Vegas and mix it with the world's elite in the Masters.

Each qualifying event will carry an entry fee and have, in most cases a maximum field of 32 players. The winner of each event wins a trip to Vegas, to include flight and accommodation, to compete in the Masters and there are cash prizes for high finishers depending on entries.

After 17 years as a 16-player invitational competition, the Masters, one of the longest established tournaments in pool, has moved to 64 players and will run from Wednesday, May 12 to Sunday, May 16, will take place at the Riviera Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada.

Working in conjunction with Cuesports International, the Masters takes place during the annual BCAPL National 8-Ball Championships, which sees thousands of players and fans flock to the Riviera for a lengthy festival of pool.

The first two days of the main event in May feature double elimination play on a multi-table set-up as the field reduces from 64 down to 32.

The event then goes to single elimination and the last 16 is played out in a single table arena setting in front of the TV cameras, culminating in the final on the evening of Sunday, May 16.

Television is produced by Matchroom Sport and will be seen as 15 x one hour programmes in 14 countries around the world with more to be added to the list.

The prize fund is set at a guaranteed $100,000 with $20,000 going to the eventual champion.