Masters Invites Announced

Darren Appleton

MATCHROOM Sport can announce the players who have been invited to compete in the 2010 World Pool Masters.

After 17 years as a 16-player invitational competition, the Masters, one of the longest established tournaments in pool, will now feature 64 players and take place over five days instead of three.

Once again, the Masters, which will be held 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 BCA National 8-Ball Championships, which sees thousands of players and fans flock to the Riviera for a lengthy festival of pool.

The 64-player line-up will comprise 32 international stars of the game from around the world and they will be joined 32 qualifiers who will have won through events across the globe in the run up to the main event in May.

Seven previous winners - Ralf Souquet, Daryl Peach, Francisco Bustamante, Tony Drago, Raj Hundal, Alex Pagulayan and defending champion Darren Appleton - are among the players invited.

There will be more female players in the Masters than ever before with England's Allison Fisher, Korea's Yu Ram Cha and Austria's Jasmin Ouschan set to make the trip to Vegas.

No American player has won the Masters since Earl Strickland triumphed in 1997 but a large contingent from the USA - Johnny Archer, Corey Deuel, Oscar Dominguez, Dennis Hatch, Rodney Morris, John Schmidt, Shane Van Boening and Charlie Williams - will be hoping to change that statistic.

The qualifying events, collectively known as ‘The Race to Vegas', will be getting underway soon with the first qualifier in Paris on Sunday, February 14.

After that, the events come thick and fast with tournaments scheduled from as far afield as Australia, Japan, USA, Canada as well as most of the major European countries.

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.
32 invited players for the 2010 World Pool Masters

Austria (1) - Jasmin Ouschan
Canada (1) - Tyler Edey
China (1) - Jianbo Fu
Chinese Taipei (Taiwan) (1) - Pin-Yi Ko
England (5) - Darren Appleton, Allison Fisher, Mark Gray, Imran Majid, Daryl Peach
Finland (1) - Mika Immonen
Germany (2) - Thorsten Hohmann, Ralf Souquet
Holland (1) - Niels Feijen
India (1) - Raj Hundal
Korea (1) - Yu Ram Cha
Malta (1) - Tony Drago
Philippines (5) - Francisco Bustamante, Dennis Orcollo, Alex Pagulayan, Efren Reyes, Lee Van Corteza
Poland (1) - Mateusz Sniegocki
Spain (1) - David Alcaide
Sweden (1) - Marcus Chamat
USA (8) - Johnny Archer, Corey Deuel, Oscar Dominguez, Dennis Hatch, Rodney Morris, John Schmidt, Shane Van Boening and Charlie Williams

(All players appear subject to contract)