Top Billiards Tournaments in the World

Two games started in the pub scene and have now risen beyond their rank. Darts is the first. What may have begun as a friendly game in local pubs is now an internationally-televised sport. Darts competitions get much coverage from sports media outlets and bookmakers alike. The other game is pool. Whether it be snooker, billiards, or any other game variant, pool is known far and wide. Played by pros and casuals alike, the sport has accrued a massive following. In this article, we will look at the most popular billiard tournaments in the world and give people a little taste of the professional world of pool.

World Pool Championship

The World Pool Championship is, without a doubt, the most prestigious pool competition in the world today. Covered by sportsbooks like Bovada, the event draws in a massive crowd of fans and punters annually. Of course, there are options besides Bovada for betting on this tournament. So, if you are curious to start betting, you know where to start.

As for the championship itself, it is an annual event held since 1990. The main governing body behind the tournament is the World Pool Association, and Matchroom Multi Sport sponsors and organizes the event. The best athletes in the sport compete in this event. So, if you are looking for the best of the best in pool, the World Pool Championship is where you should start.

Mosconi Cup

Another nine-ball pool event, the Mosconi Cup, is one of the biggest international events in billiards. Contested between European and American teams, the event bears the name of Willie Mosconi, one of the biggest legends in the field. Some compare the Mosconi Cup to bowling’s Weber Cup and golf’s Ryder Cup in terms of prestige, popularity, and relevance to their respective sports.

First played in 1994, the Mosconi Cup’s 2023 iteration will be its 30th anniversary. And it seems that it will be the biggest to date. The best players in the sport, on both sides of the pond, fight all year for the chance to represent their country in this event.  Anyone interested in a significant international event should watch the upcoming Mosconi Cup. And if you need a refresher, in the 2022 iteration, held in December, the European team defeated the American team 11 – 7.

The World Cup of Pool

Anyone familiar with football/soccer will know the importance of a “world cup.” So, when you see a tournament bearing the “World Cup” title, you already know it is crucial. The World Cup of Pool has been held annually since 2006. For 17 years, the single-match elimination tournament has continued going strong, primarily dominated by Chinese and Philippine players. The Philippine duo Reyes and Bustamante were the first players to win the World Cup.

The format is simple enough. Two teams represent the host nation, and another 30 come from all over the world, representing 32 teams representing 31 nations. Each team comprises two players who compete in a single-elimination tournament. The tournament follows the World Standard nine-ball pool rules, and the teams compete in scotch doubles matches.

Wales hosted the inaugural game in 2006; the tournament has gone relatively undisturbed (except for the 2020 iteration). England was the most recent host, and the Spanish team won the tournament for the first time. Composed of David Alcaide Bermudez and Francisco Sanchez Ruiz, the group dominated the event.

Honorable Mentions

While the three mentioned events might be the most prestigious and vital games in the pool world, others are worth mentioning. In this section, we would like to review a short list of other prestigious games and tournaments worth checking out. Let’s take a look:

·        The U.S. Open 9-Ball Championship: Perhaps the US’s most prestigious event, the US Open 9-Ball Championship, attracts players and fans worldwide. Held annually in the USA, the event has never failed to entertain.

·        The International Open: While the International Open has only been held for a couple of years now, its organizer Pat Fleming has been a mainstay in the billiards industry. This event usually draws the best players in the game, competing for one of the most prized titles every year. 

·        Derby City Classic: Built as a tribute to the famous Johnston City Hustler Jamborees, the Derby City Classic draws hundreds of players and fans for nine days of tournament and action. The official Derby City events are bank pool, one pocket and 9-ball, but the entire week is filled with other events for fans to enjoy.