Search For New Billiards Idol Begins in January

Mike Takayama

Banking on the inaugural season of the highly successful “Search for the New Billiards Idol” the calendar for 2009 has already been set in place with the opening leg breaking on January 18 at the Superman Sports Bar in Libis, Quezon City .
Regarded as the premier grassroots development program the the year-round series of tournaments has attracted some 300 aspiring players from all over the country who aim to join the ranks of the top Filipino pool players many of whom are considered among the best in the world.
The co-founder of the Billiards Managers and Players Association of the Philippines , passionate pool enthusiast Perry Mariano says the nationwide search  “is part of the BMPAP commitment to keep Philippine billiards at its world-class status by discovering new talents.” It was Mariano who conceptualized the event early last year.
Mariano who heads the star-studded Bugsy Promotions added “We're doing it in the absence of a program from those who are supposed to do it.”
In its inaugural season ‘Billiards Idol' staged 15 preliminary legs, including provincial stops in Davao and Bacolod  and a Grand Finals featuring 27 top players who emerged  from the preliminaries.
Mike “the Lightning Kid” Takayama, a 19-year-old Fil-Japanese, bested the strong field of promising stars to emerge as the New Billiards Idol. He also pocketed the cash prize of P40,000 sponsored by the Association of Clubs Karaoke and Disco Operators.
With his win Takayama will be seeded in all Villar Cup tournaments in 2009 which is  a reward courtesy of Senator Manny Villar's VILLARDS: Tulong sa Pagsulong ng Philippine Sports.
Other Billiards Idol legs will be on February 22, March 15, April 19, May 17, June 21, July 19, August 16, September 18, October 20, November 22 and December 13.
Each tournament will have a total pot of P20,000, including a lion's share of P10,000 to the champion. The entry fee will still be at a token amount of P200.