Philippine Open Kicks Off in May

SIXTY-FOUR players from around the world will banner the first Philippine Open Pool Championship when it takes place in Metro Manila on May 26-31. This was announced today (Saturday, March 7) by Raya Sports executive director JP Fenix.

Organized by Raya Sports, the Philippine Open is a ten ball event that is open to both male and female players. It is sanctioned by the World Pool-Billiard Association (WPA) and counts as one of seven events in the WPA world-ranking tour. The other tournaments are the three world championships (world 8-ball, world 9-ball and world 10-ball), the China Open, the Qatar Open, and the US Open.

The event offers a prize fund of $80,000. First prize is $20,000. Prizes will be given up to 32nd place.

“Raya intends the Philippine Open to become a regular part of the world pool calendar,” Fenix said in the official announcement. “Pool players and fans around the world henceforth can expect the Open to be staged annually every April or May in a strategic city in the Philippines.”

The event will complement the World Ten Ball Championship, which is now staged annually in the country. It will be staged in October in Cebu City, the second biggest Philippine metropolis after Metro Manila.

As in the WPA world championships, places in the Philippine Open will be awarded through an allocation system set by pool's world governing body. The WPA gives specified allocations or quotas for the continental federations to fill with ranking players in their respective regions. When a player gets a spot via the quota system, he/she will not pay the entry fee and will be entered in the main tournament of 64 players.

At least eight spots have been earmarked for women players in America, Europe and Asia.

As host country, the Philippines will have six spots to distribute among its players. Raya says that this will be distributed in consultation with the Billiards & Snooker Congress of the Philippines, which maintains a ranking system of Filipino players.

A number of spots – eight to start with – will be offered for competition in several qualifiers that will organized by Raya at the Star Billiards Center in Quezon City. Players can register for the qualifiers on the official website: The entry fee is $100 per qualifier.

The tournament will follow a double-elimination format up to the Final Four, when it then becomes a cross-over semifinals to determine the finalists for the top prize and trophy.

Television coverage will be provided by ABS-CBN, the biggest network in the Philippines. A separate deal for ESPN to broadcast the Philippine Open internationally is under discussion.