World Cup of Pool

32 national teams representing 31 countries are gathering in Newport, South Wales in preparation for the inaugural World Cup of Pool which gets underway at the Newport Centre on Tuesday afternoon, 22 August.

From the Far East to North America, from Europe to Africa, some of the world's greatest cuemen will do battle over six days for the $250,000 prize fund, with $60,000 going to the winning two-man team.

The format is 9 ball, straight knock-out, "scotch" doubles whereby players take alternate shots and the opening round matches are race to 9 with alternate break.

The tournament, which is produced by England-based company Matchroom Sport, will be seen in a highlights package to be broadcast around the world later this year.

There will be four former 9-Ball World Champions in the field - Earl Strickland (USA), Mika Immonen (Finland), Efren Reyes (Philippines) and Oliver Ortmann (Germany) - while snooker stars Ronnie O'Sullivan and Steve Davis are also taking part.

The World Cup of Pool is the biggest pool event to be held in Britain since the 2003 World Pool Championships were held in Cardiff.

Betting favourites are Team Philippines represented by the pairing of Efren Reyes and Francisco Bustamante whilst many like the chances of the American pairing of Rodney Morris and Earl Strickland.

Other notables in the field include Holland (Nick van den Berg and Niels Feijen), the German duo of Engert and Ortmann and Team Taiwan represented by Yang Ching-shun and Wang Hung-hsiang.

All the action, including rack by rack scoring, will be covered by