Philippine Open Unveils Stellar Field

Ralf Souquet is the #1 seed

The inaugural Philippine Open Pool Championship unveiled at a press conference today (Tuesday, May 26) a stellar field of world champions and national champions, who will contend starting tomorrow, May 27, for the title of Philippine Open champion and the top prize of $20,000.

Raya Sports, organizer of the tournament, presented some of the top foreign and Filipino participants during a press conference held at the press center of SM Megamall, the venue for the tournament.

Ralf Souquet of Germany, currently ranked No. 1 by the World Pool-Billiard Association (WPA), is seeded first in the tournament.

The other top seeds are: Darren Appleton, UK (2), Mika Immonen, Finland (3), Pin-Yi Ko, Chinese Taipei (4), Shane Van Boening, USA (5), Fu Che-Wei, Chinese Taipei (6), Marcus Chamat, Sweden (7), and Jerico Banares, Philippines (8), Corey Deuel, USA (9), and Antonio Gabica, Phil (10).

Karen Corr of Ireland is the highest seeded female player at No. 15.

Raya Chairman Yen Makabenta told the media that the Philippine Open is a key event of the World Ranking Tour of the World Pool-Billiards Association (WPA). “It will be an annual event in international pool calendar,” he said.

The other events in the World Tour are: China Open (June 8-14), Qatar Open (June 29 to July 7), World Ten Ball Championship (October 5-11), and US Open (October 18-24).
Three reigning world champions are competing in the Philippine Open. They are Souquet (2008 world 8-ball champion), Appleton (2008 world 10-ball champion), and Ko Pin-Yi (2007 and 2008 world junior 9-ball champion).

Souquet recently won the German Open in Stuttgard, Germany, the first international 10-ball tournament in Europe. He said that he considers the game as better than 9-ball, and he was pleased that the WPA adopted the call-shot rule for the discipline.

Among the national champions competing in the tournament are:
Ricky Yang of Indonesia, Amir Ibrahim of Malaysia, Jian-Bo Fu of China, Satoshi Kawabata of Japan, Ernesto Dominguez of Mexico, Jeong Young Hwa of Korea, and Marlon Manalo of the Philippines.

The other women players in the tournament are: Jasmin Ouschan  (Austria), Kelly Fischer (UK), Melissa Little (USA), Sarah Rousey (USA) and Julie Kelly (Ireland).

The Philippine Open is double elimination up to the Final Four. All matches are race to 9, winners break, except for the final which will be a race to 11.