Nineball Bonanza: How Much Cash Did Pool Stars Bank in Saudi Arabia?

The June 3-8 World Pool Championship 2024 was held in the Green Halls, Jeddah, in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The event brought together 128 of the world’s best to battle it out and determine the new World Pool Champion.

The 2024 World Pool Championship boasted a record-breaking $1 million prize pool, making it a true “VIP” event for the sport’s top players. Sports bettors, fans, and analysts were keen on keeping a close eye on the live results.

Everyone was eager to see who would claim the coveted $250,000 winner’s purse, a sum that rivals payouts at some Casino Guru high-roller tables. Additionally, since Saudi Arabia was hosting the competition, the prize money was increased significantly, and everyone in the 128 got to pocket some cash; at least $1000, to be specific.

The $1 million purse was the biggest ever in the history of the World Pool Championship tournaments. The tournament was anything but easy and Fedor Gorst turned out to be the lucky winner of the 2024 title and the huge $250,000 jackpot.

Past Winners

The Spanish superstar, Francisco Sanchez Ruiz won the title in 2023 and got to walk away with approximately $60,000 for lifting the trophy. Ruiz started the tournament on a high note. He had pretty good chances to defend his title even pulling off a 9-4 win over the Filipino Kyle Amoroto and proceeding to the last 64. The champ was however eliminated by Mickey Krause in round 1 of Stage 2.

Notable competitors who made it to the last half were former World Pool Champions Joshua Filler and Shane Van Boening. 

Shane Van Boening won the title in 2022 when he beat none other than Albin Ouschan in the World Pool Championship final at the Marshall Arena, Milton Keynes, to collect £60,000 in prize money.

2022 was historical for America after Shane Boening was crowned the World Pool Champion. The South Dakota kid became the first American to take the trophy home since Earl Strickland in the 2002 championship.

Interestingly enough, Albin Ouschan was the world pool champion at the time after winning the title in 2021. Ouschan had earned himself title number 2 after defeating Omar Al Shaheen from Kuwait in a nail-biting, 13-9 fashion at the Marshall Arena.

The Austrian was happy to take home $50,000 and the world championship trophy which had his name engraved from his 2016 title win. 

Where Things Heat Up

The race to the last 8, where the prizes tend to be more attractive yet elusive, usually gets tougher as the tournament progresses. In the early stages of the 2024 tournament, some notable champions and fan favorites to win it all got knocked out.

Two-time champion Ouschan was in fact eliminated as the players headed to the last 64. The Austrian suffered a 9-3 loss to Johan Chua, ending what could have been a potential third title for him. 

The world championship sees players from all over the world bring out their A-games and try to claim the crown, the bragging rights, and, most importantly, the money. This year’s winner’s prize was well over four times more than last year’s amount.

The closest we’ve seen such a huge prize being awarded to the winner is almost two decades ago when Darryl Peach and Ronnie Alcano took home $100, 000 for claiming the 2006 and 2007 titles in the Philippines.

The 2024 Pot

$100,000 was up for grabs for the 1st runners-up in the 2024 Nineball Championship. Semi-finalists were awarded $ 50,000, while quarter-finalists received $27,000. Next up were the last 16, who got $15,000 each.

The last 32 and 64 earned themselves $7,000 and $3,500 respectively. A $2,000 bonus was set aside for the players who compiled the most breaks and runs. The same amount was also awarded to the losers’ qualification. The last 128 each pocketed $1,000.

The world championship in Saudi Arabia was hailed by many as one of the best and biggest ever and it wasn’t just because of the huge prize fund.

Pia Filler, the tournament’s sole female WNT player, said that it was the best set-up she had ever seen and the best venue she had ever played in. “It’s an honor to be here in Saudi Arabia and playing on such a stage. It’s an incredible experience for us as players. The country is amazing; the people are super nice, the food is great, and the tournament organization has been excellent,” she added.

Former champion Ruiz also expressed his joy, saying it was fantastic to play and defend the world championship in the biggest event seen in the sport. He added that having a new destination for the pool championships was great for fans and players and a great move that propelled the sport to global heights.

Another cueist who praised the Green Halls was Singaporean Aloysius Yapp, who said it was by far the most outstanding venue he had played in throughout the Nineball tour.

A New Beginning for Saudi Arabia and the World Nineball Tour

2024 marks the beginning of a 10-year partnership between the World Nineball Tour and the Saudi Ministry of Sport. 

The association was evident with the 2024 World Championship with the Nineball Championship scheduled to take place in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia until at least 2033.