Four More Players Earn World Pool Masters Spots

THERE WAS more World Pool Masters qualification action last week as four more players won their way through to the main event which takes place from 12th to 16th May at the Riviera Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.

With the event taking on a new format this year, there will be 64 in the starting line-up with a good number of them being qualifiers competing in events around the world.

The biggest name to win through was Poland's Radoslaw Babica who put on a stellar display to win the event at the King's Club in Bucharest, Romania.

Babica, who is consistently ranked in the upper echelons of the Euro Tour, played very well throughout the whole event, recording 15 run-outs in total. In the final match he beat Romanian Ioan Ladany 9 – 4 to book his flight to Vegas.

Players from Serbia, Armenia, Romania and Poland took part to indicate the growth of the sport through Eastern Europe.

‘It was the time of my life. I felt perfect on the day and my opponents didn't get many opportunities,' said Babica.

The tournament was organised by the Mak Marketing Company from Poland, who also promoted the qualifier in Lodz in February.

On the same weekend in Glasgow, up and coming talent Jayson Shaw (Scotland) won through, beating countryman Michael Valentine 15 – 6 at Reardon's Snooker and Pool Club. Shaw, 20, will relish the opportunity to pit his skills against the best in Las Vegas. The tournament was organised by SAPPA, the Scottish pool organisation,

Also in the UK, seasoned English pro Kevin Uzzell beat Klaus Zobrekis in London to secure his trip to Vegas. Midland-based Uzzell has represented England in five World Pool Championships so will be bringing plenty of experience to Las Vegas.

The first spot to be determined last week went to Australia's Ben Nunan who beat compatriot Alec Evreniadis at the Empire Pool Lounge in Adelaide.

Nunan is a top English 8 Ball player in Australia but won through a strong field to secure a dream trip to the Riviera.

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.