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PQQLK9
03-18-2005, 05:22 AM
Top events cue to polish billiards' image

Moch. N. Kurniawan, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

web page (http://www.thejakartapost.com/detailsports.asp?fileid=20050318.I01&irec=0)

After a long period when it was mainly notable for its lack of activity, the Indonesian Billiards and Snooker Association (Pobsi) has succeeded in getting the sport taken seriously in recent years.

The effort to improve the image of the sport has included holding international caliber events and winning gold medals at both the 2001 and 2003 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games.

Two world class events with leading players are scheduled for next month -- the San Miguel ESPN tour in Jakarta (April 1-April 3), and the A Mild Bali International Open (April 4-April 8).

"We are delighted that this year we could invite former world champions like Efren Reyes of the Philippines, Chao Fong Pang of Chinese Taipei and Mika Immonen of Finland to participate in the Bali International Open, which will offer a total prize of Rp 200 million (about US$22,000)," Pobsi chairman Putera Astaman said on Thursday.

"Besides, for the first time, ESPN has also entrusted us to host one of its billiard tour events this year."

At the national level, a series of 13 events will be held, including A Mild Billiard Cup 2005, A Mild Billiard National Championship, A Mild Billiard Students Competition, A Mild Billiard Clubs Competition and A Mild Billiard Master.

"This means that we have improved the image of billiards from only a recreational sport to a sport with competitions and achievements," Putera said.

The Bali International Open would present a challenge to local players to show they could compete at the highest levels of the game, he said.

"In previous years, Indonesian players could win the tournament but their foreign opponents were not world class players. This year, with top international players coming, I hope a local player could still win the tournament."

Any local player who reached the final of the Bali event would be sent to participate in the World Cup, Putera said.

Tournament director Ishwara Adi confirmed that 64 players from 17 countries, including China, Hong Kong, Brazil, the Philippines and Australia, were confirmed for the Bali event.

Top 10 nationally ranked players, members of the national training program and a player from each of Pobsi's 10 provincial chapters would also be given a chance to play in the tournament.

"The winner will get a prize of Rp 65 million, the runner up Rp 35 million and the third and fourth places Rp 15 million each," he said.

Bali International Open defending champion player Siaw Wieto was undaunted by the prospect of playing top foreign contenders.

"I am practicing normally as I'm used to meeting international players," he said. "The key is that I will try not to miss even once in shooting because then we would definitely lose against them."

A Mild brand manager Ria Renny Christina said billiards was set to move into a new phase in 2005 with top-notch international players competing here.

"Last year, we successfully invited players like Efren Reyes, Alex Pagulayan and Rico Diks to play in exhibitions. Their good impression about billiard at home have influenced other world players to come here this year," she said.

Scott Lee
03-18-2005, 07:13 AM
Nick...Boy, those 10 'top pros' must all be subsidized by the Indonesian government, because they certainly wouldn't be playing for the prize money. The breakdown is as follows:

1st - $7150
2nd - $3850
3rd - $1650
4th - $1650

That totals $14,300 out of a total prize fund of $22,000...
leaving a scant $7700 to spread out among 5th-16th place.
Even being generous, there's no way 9th-16th could pay more than $500. That wouldn't even pay for spending money, let alone expenses. This must suggest that there will be some kind of guaranteed stipend for all of the "invited" international players.

Here's how I speculate the prize fund will be paid out for 5th-16th places:

5th - $1000
6th - $1000
7th - $ 750
8th - $ 750
9th - $ 500
10th - $ 500
11th - $ 500
12th - $ 500
13th - $ 500
14th - $ 500
15th - $ 500
16th - $ 500

Sounds like a fun vacation to go play pool in the South Pacific, if you ask me! Wonder if any Americans were invited? LOL Wish I was going... /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Scott Lee