ISBF World billiards championship attracts 32 cueists

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Bangalore, Aug 28 (UNI) Reigning World Billiards Champion Pankaj Advani and legendary cueist Geet Sethi will spearhead the Indian challenge in the 10-day IBSF World Billiards Championship beginning here on September one.

Former champion Peter Gilchrist is the only other well known name in the mega event which has seen many top players, including Mike Russel shy off, apparently due to the recent serial blasts in the city.

Briefing newspersons Billiards and Snooker Federation of India (BSFI) vice president and Tournament Organising Committee Chairman S Balasubramaniam said in all there will be 32 players including 24 from abroad would be divided into two groups to play under points and timed formats respectively.

The Qualifying rounds of Points Format would begins from September One and finals was slated for September five. For Timed Format qualifying rounds would be held from September Six and finals on September 10.

He said play off for Indian players ranked from 9 to 16 will be held tomorrow and day after.

Defending Champion in 'Points Format' Rupesh Shah would meet a qualifier in the first encounter, while two times champion Pankaj would begin his voyage for a 'hattric' in Time Format with the first clash against Michael Wright of European Billiards Open Series (EBOS), which is fielding its player for the first time in the IBSF world championship. EBOS was formed with players from European countries including Scotland.

The other noted players who take part in the event include Teik Chong Alan Puan (Singapore), Praput Chaithanasakun (Thailand), Thanh Binh Nguyen (Vietnam) and Darren Taylor (New Zealand).

A total prize money of US Dollar 4000 is offered in the Championship. The city had previously hosted the event in 1990 which Manoj Kothari had emerged champion.

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