UPA Sanctions US Open 9-Ball Championship

The United States Professional Poolplayers Association and the U S Open 9-Ball Championship Promoter Barry Behrman have signed an agreement for the sanctioning of the 2005 U S Open 9-Ball Championship event. This year marks the 30th annual of professional pool's longest running and most coveted titles.

UPA Touring Pros will now earn ranking points for competing in the U S Open. This year's champion and runner-up will also receive automatic bids to the 2006 World Pool Championships, for which the UPA rankings are used.

"This is one of our most exciting accomplishments since I've been associated with the UPA Board of Directors," commented Robert Lipson, UPS President. "We believe the sanctioning of this event will be a great value to the players, the U S Open and professional pool. This brings a new spirit of cooperation between the UPA and the top billiards promoters."

As part of the agreement, Promoter Barry Behrman agreed to seed the top 16 UPA ranked players in the event. Other players from the Senior Tour and some past U S Open Champions will also be seeded, per the promoter's discretion.

"It's been along time coming but an important step towards advancement of the event and the sport," said Behrman. "I've enjoyed working out the details with Robert Lipson and Frank Alvarez. The UPA deserves recognition for its effort and the players definitely deserve points for playing in the U S Open 9-Ball Championship."

The U S Open field of 256 players is likely to be filled with an international flavor, because the World Pool-Billiard Association has already agreed to its endorsement and sanctioning of the event. An announcement is forthcoming. WPA rankings will also be recognized to provide additional seeded position for international players participating in this year's U S Open 9-Ball.

Billiard Club Network will once again produce the event for national and international broadcast distribution with production partner Accu-Stats Video. Live online streaming is still to be determined, but expected. BCn secured ESPN distribution for the 2004 event and is presently in negotiation again, along with several other national networks, including Fox Sports Net for the broadcast distribution rights. BCn also expects the U S Open to be the first event in the soon-to-be-announced Billiard Club Championship Series, which will feature a series-ending prize fund and trophies to the top points winners.

The 2005 U S Open 9-Ball Championship is presently sponsored by Diamond Billiard Products as the Official Table and Iwan Simonis as the Official Cloth.

Player registration and information, along with tickets to the event can be found online at www.BilliardHQ.com.

For more information, contact Q-Master Billiards at 1-757-499-8900 or visit the U S Open 9-Ball web site at www.usopen9ballchampionships.com.