World’s Top 32 Earn Spots in WTBC

Darren Appleton

THE top 32 players in the rankings of the World Pool-Billiard Association (WPA) became the first batch of players to be given guaranteed seats in the main draw of the second World Ten Ball Championship (WTBC) slated at the World Trade Center in Pasay City, Metro Manila from November 25-30.

WPA president Ian Anderson has explained that with the new ranking system introduced this year, the world's governing body for pool ushered in a new system of awarding spots in the world championship. Besides the top 32 ranking players, spots are mainly allocated to the continental federations which then award the spots to deserving players.  

The Top 32 are led by current world No. 1 Darren Appleton of Great Britain. He is followed by Ralf Souquet of Germany (2), Mika Immonen of Finland (3), Niels Feijen of the Netherlands (4), and Shane Van Boening of the United States (5).

Two Filipinos, Jeffrey De Luna (8) and Demosthenes Pulpul (9), made it to the top 10. Other notable Asians in the elite list are Pin Yi Ko (13) and Ching-Shun Yang (25) of Chinese Taipei, Ricky Yang of Indonesia (14), and Satoshi Kawabata of Japan (18).

The distribution of the 32 players by continents is: 15 Europeans, 13 Asians, four North Americans.

The other North American players besides Van Boening are Americans Corey Deuel (12) and Charlie Williams (15), and Canadian Tyler Edey (29).

Appleton is the defending World Ten Ball champion. He overtook erstwhile No.1 Ralf Souquet of Germany middle of this year after placing third in the Qatar Open, one of several world-ranking events lined up by the WPA in 2009.   

No. 3 Mika Immonen ruled the Qatar Open after beating two-time World Junior champion Pin Yi Ko in the finals. He is the current money leader among men players in the world circuit.

The complete list of the WPA's Top 32 follows:
 1.    Darren Appleton, GBR
 2.    Ralf Souquet, GER
 3.    Mika Immonen, FIN
 4.    Niels Feijen, NED
 5.    Shane Van Boening, USA
 6.    Marcus Chamat, SWE
 7.    Daryl Peach, GBR
 8.    Jeffrey De Luna, PHI
 9.    Demosthenes Pulpul, PHI
10.   Thorsten Hohmann, GER
11.   Radoslaw Babica, POL
12.   Corey Deuel, USA
13.   Pin-Yi Ko, TPE
14.   Ricky Wang, INA
15.   Charlie Williams, USA
16.   Hui Chan Lu, TPE
17.   Che-wei Fu, TPE
18.   Satoshi Kawabata, JPN
19.   Haitao Liu, CHN
20.   Chris Melling, GBR
21.   Marlon Manalo, PHI
22.   Dimitri Jungo, SUI
23.   Antonio Gabica, PHI
24.   Bruno Muratore, ITA
25.   Ching-Shun Yang, TPE
26.   Hung-Hsiang Wang, TPE
27.   Mark Gray, GBR
28.   Ruslan Chinakhov, RUS
29.   Tyler Edey, CAN
30.   Imran Majid, GBR
31.   Allan Cuartero, PHI
32.   Nick Van Den Berg, NED