International Challenge Of Champions Winner-Take-All For $50,000 August 9-10

Marlon Manalo is one of the eight invited players

Billiards champions from around the world will go head-to-head in the Sixteenth Annual INTERNATIONAL CHALLENGE OF CHAMPIONS. The winner-take-all $50,000 event will be held August 9 -10 at the Mohegan Sun Casino, Uncasville, CT.

The Challenge of Champions is widely considered the toughest tournament to win in professional billiards. Once each year eight international champions are brought together in a sudden-death shootout with a pressure-cooker format of winner-take-all for $50,000. The purse is one of the highest paydays in the world, and the winner claims one of the most coveted titles in pool - Champion of Champions.

The 2006 field includes top stars in the sport. Fong-Pang Chao, 2005 winner of the INTERNATIONAL CHALLENGE OF CHAMPIONS, travels from Taiwan to defend his crown. Marlon Manalo, winner of the 2005 Texas Hold 'Em Billiards Championship, will represent the Philippines. Ralf Souquet, winner of the 2006 BCA Open Championship, will represent Germany.

Johnny Archer, winner of the 2005 Glass City Open, will represent America. Niels Feijen, winner of the 2005 Big Apple Championship, will represent the Netherlands. Santos Sambajon, winner of the 2005 Skins Billiards Championship, will also represent the Philippines. Thorsten Hohmann, the 2006 World Straight Pool Champion, will also represent Germany. Alex Lely, the 2006 Euro Tour Champion, will also represent the Netherlands.

Mohegan Sun Casino, the host site, will make the 2006 event ADMISSION FREE to pool fans from around the USA and the world. The event drew such large crowds last year at Mohegan Sun that it was standing-room-only attendance. There will be four playing sessions in the two-day international tournament. On Wednesday, August 9, the quarterfinal rounds will be played at 4 PM and 7 PM, with two matches in each session. On Thursday, August 10, the two semifinals will be played at 5 PM and the final Championship match will be played at 8 PM. The semifinals and the final match will be taped for airing on ESPN in September.

The INTERNATIONAL CHALLENGE OF CHAMPIONS is regarded as the supreme test of skill in professional billiards. The eight players are so evenly matched that any one player could beat the other seven on a given day. In addition, the tournament format is the most demanding test of 9-Ball skill in the sport. The matches are two sets, race to five games each set, with a 1-game sudden death tie-breaker in the event of tied sets. The 9-ball does not count on the break, and to win a game, the 9-ball is call shot. The caliber of competition is so intense that a single mistake invariably eliminates a player from any chance at the winner-take-all purse of $50,000.

On the final night, one of the players will claim the Champion of Champions crown and a check for $50,000. The trophy and the check will be presented by the Mohegan Sun and Olhausen Billiards. The tournament is also sponsored by Aramith Pro Billiards Balls, Simonis Cloth, Original Italian Slate, Liguria International, Mueller Recreational Products, Silver Cup Chalk, and Ozone Billiards.

The 2006 tournament will be the Sixteenth Annual event, and has been produced by Billiards International, Ltd. for ESPN in each of the last sixteen years. Those attending should arrive early for each tournament session. Make plans today to attend the 2006 INTERNATIONAL CHALLENGE OF CHAMPIONS. For information call the Mohegan Sun toll free at 1-888-226-7711, Ext. 7163.