Chinese pool new crowd-puller


Seasoned cueist Mohd Reza Hassan giving an impressive performance at the 2019 World Chinese Pool Masters in Linyi, China.

THE entry of Chinese pool has added some excitement to the local cue sports scene. The Joy Chinese Pool Asian Tour Malaysia Open, which runs from Sept 14 to 19, has attracted players from Kenya, Hong Kong, the Philippines and Singapore, besides our homegrown talents.

Organised by Joy Billiards Malaysia, the competition will be held at its academy, The Hustlers, in Jalan Kuchai Lama, Kuala Lumpur.

The winner will take home a cash prize of RM12,000 and get full sponsorship to take part in the World Chinese Pool Masters Grand Finals in Qinhuangdao, China, in January next year. The champion, who lifts the trophy at the grand finals, will receive RMB1mil (RM587,000) in prize money.

The Joy Chinese Pool Asian Tour Malaysia Open will be live-streamed on the International Chinese Pool Association’s Facebook page, which is closely followed by millions of billiard fans around the world.

Chinese pool, which is also known as Chinese eight-ball, is a hybrid of the three main cue sport disciplines which are snooker, English pool and American pool. With its fast-paced, exciting and aggressive playing style, Chinese eight-ball continues to grow globally, with 32 overseas divisions in 54 countries across six continents. With prizes totalling RMB20mil (RM11.75mil), the game is now the world’s largest, according to the World Pool-Billiard Association.

Luminary snooker players such as Darren Appleton and Gareth Potts have made the transition to Chinese pool, drawn by its huge potential. Seven-time World Snooker Championship winner Stephen Hendry is now Joy Billiards Group’s global ambassador of Chinese pool.

The World Chinese Pool Masters series was started in 2013 by Joy Billiards Group, the world’s largest manufacturer of Chinese pool tables and the largest billiards enterprise in China.

Joy Billiards Malaysia, which brought Chinese pool into Malaysia, is the sole South-East Asian distributor for Joy Billiards Group. Joy Billiards Malaysia is out to promote Chinese pool as a healthy sport for all ages.

“It’s time pool got a fresh, clean image among enthusiasts and grassroots players. We want to encourage all the young talents we have, and we’re looking at getting sponsors for Chinese pool tables for selected universities,” says Joy Billiards Malaysia director William Leong.

Away from the professional circuit, pool is a fun game that requires a great deal of focus and concentration, and enhances critical thinking skills.

It sharpens the mind and slows down ageing too, as the game requires mental mathematical estimates and calculations, such as basic physics and geometry. The mental stimulation of pool is rich and variable due to the virtually infinite layouts that each broken rack presents.

In China, the home base of Chinese pool, the game is played by an estimated 60 million enthusiasts. With its ever-increasing prize money, huge tournaments and huge coverage on live TV, Chinese pool is expected to expand exponentially over the coming years.
   

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