Masters and World Cup Set For SM City North Mall in Manila

MATCHROOM SPORT can announce that the 2011 World Pool Masters will be taking place at the SM City North EDSA Mall in Metro Manila, Philippines from Saturday 3rd to Monday 5th September. Following three years in Las Vegas, the last as a 64 player event, the Masters heads to Manila for the first time, reverting back to a 16 player invitational field.  The prize-fund is $68,000 with $20,000 going to the winner.

The event will be live from start to finish on Solar Sports, the Philippines' leading sports channel and the line-up for the Masters, now in its 19th year, will be announced in early July.

The defending champion is current World 8 Ball king Dennis Orcollo, who will be one of four Pinoy cuemen in the tournament, as well as a host of international stars.

The list of Masters winners over the years contains some of pool's most illustrious names including five-time winner Ralf Souquet, Earl Strickland, Alex Pagulayan, Tony Drago, Daryl Peach, Darren Appleton, Alex Lely, Raj Hundal and Thomas Engert.

The SM City North EDSA is Manila's original major mall. Opened in 1985, it led the way as it changed the face of shopping and leisure in the Philippines. The Mall also plays host to exhibitions and sports events with nearly 4.5 million people visiting the Mall at weekends.

Following on from the Masters, the World Cup of Pool will take place in the same venue starting on Tuesday 6th September and concluding on Sunday 11th.

This will the third consecutive year that the World Cup has taken place in Manila and the second time at the SM City North EDSA Mall. Once again all the action is live on Solar Sports for the duration.

The defending champions are China, whose dynamic duo of Li Hewen and Fu Jianbo won for the second time last year. Other champions over the five year history of the event are Reyes and Bustamante (2006 and 2009) and America's Rodney Morris and Shane Van Boening in 2007.

Host nation the Philippines have the honour of fielding two sides in the event which is played over six days. The World Cup of Pool sports a $250,000 prize-fund with $60,000 going to the winning pair.

Commented Matchroom Sport Chairman Barry Hearn, 'We are delighted once again to be returning to the Philippines to work with our very good friends at Solar Sport.

"These will be our fifth and sixth pool tournaments in Manila and our third consecutive year with Solar. After the fantastic successes of the past two years, I'm sure that this year's events will be huge!

'There is always a massive amount of interest among fans and media and last year there were literally thousands in the venue to watch the World Cup of Pool.