Sunday, September 03, 2006

The IPT World Open 8-ball Championship has started

Play has commenced in the IPT World Open 8-ball Championship.

Two major announcements were made at the players meeting; The London event is cancelled and the IPT has been sold to Ho Interactive.

This is the second event of the International Pool Tour's inaugural season. It runs from September 3-9 at the Grand Sierra Resort and Casino in Reno, Nevada. The winner receives $500,000 from the $3 million purse.

Germany's Thorsten Hohmann and Marlon Manalo from the Philippines came first and second in the North American Open. They're back and have to play very well to fend off the brilliant cast of contenders.

There are many top names among the IPT cardholders, e.g. Efren Reyes (Philippines), Ralf Souquet (Germany), Earl Strickland (USA), Mika Immonen (Finland), Oliver Ortmann (Germany) and Allison Fisher (England).

Also there's a lot of quality coming through the qualifiers. The biggest name may be Taiwan's double world champion Chia-Ching Wu. There's also a number of qualifiers from the Philippines; Ronnie Alcano, Antonio Lining, Santos Sambajon and Ramil Gallego.

Jasmin Ouschan from Austria is possibly the strongest female player at the moment. She qualified from the Norwegian event. Others coming through were Thomas Engert (Germany), Tony Drago (Malta), Hui-Kai Hsia (Taiwan) and Imran Majid (England).

The two American legends Buddy Hall and Jim Rempe have withdrawn. They have been replaced by Rico Diks from Netherlands and David Matlock (USA). Ronnie O'Sullivan had to stay home because of an ear infection. He was replaced by Michael Schmidt from Germany. George SanSouci had to pull out for personal reasons. His spot went to Rodolfo Luat (Philippines).

Billiards Digest has a superb 2006 Season Preview (PDF) that provides you with all the information you need.

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