World’s best pool players on show this weekend at the Magna Centre

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Although each and every event on the IPA Tour is well supported and equally well received by players and fans alike, there can only be one World Championship per year, and this year they have moved north from the Lakeside (home of darts) to Sheffield (home of snooker) and the Magna Centre. One frankly cavernous room soon swallowed up the 21 pool tables set up for the action and it all kicked off on Thursday morning at 9.30am sharp. An amazing 200 players (more than last year) happily forked out their entry fees for a chance to take on the best and hopefully beat them and with a total prize fund of £21,000 for the singles doubles ladies and seniors, there was plenty for everyone to play for.

Players came in from around the World (Morocco, Uganda, Norway, Italy, Malta, Hungary, France, Ireland – the list is endless) for the rule set the players seem to prefer, with none of the deliberate fouling that spoils the so called “World rules”.

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Tor Arne Jostad represetning Norway

With a best of three sets each best to seven frames there were few excuses but some soon found they had travelled for nothing in then singles at least as the games flew by thick and fast which I personally helped with by very kindly losing 4-0 4-0 to Darren Low, next stop the seniors for me! As is often the case with any sport, luck plays a part with the rub of the green needed by everyone, but all in all no excuses were heard (other than from me), as the best players on the day went though to the next round with their dreams intact.

Away from the tables decent food and a bar helped with the camaraderie as players who often only meet once a year discussed cues, tables, rules, and tried to guess who would be the winner but at this stage we needed to waiting for the seeded players to join the draw and work out who is – and who isn’t – playing well at the moment.

Looking ahead Gareth Hibbott would have to be in your list of possible winners if he arrives here in the ridiculous form of 2014 where he was nigh on unbeatable, but we can guarantee he will not have things all his own way with twice World Champion Jason Twist getting back to his best as well as the likes of Craig Marsh and Simon Ward from Wales, Christophe Lambert from France, and Northern Ireland’s Ronan McCarthy, while 2014 runner up Clint I’Anson will be hoping to go one better this year.

All in all, yet another top quality event awaits both players and fans (free spectator entry if anyone is interested?), while the armchair fan is once again well catered for thank to the free HD quality coverage via the IPA website (www.ipapool.com).frpm Thursday evening through to finish on Sunday night when the new Word Champion will be crowned, King (and Queen) of one of the most popular around today that is currently enjoying a well deserved boost in popularity around the Globe.

 

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