For the second year in a row, a select field of eight elite international pool pros have been invited to join eight top Chinese pros to compete in one of the world’s most popular games: 8-Ball. .
The World Chinese 8-Ball Masters is underway in Qinhuangdao, China (near Beijing), where legends from multiple disciplines of pocket billiards are placing their bids for the event’s second title.
England and the United States are the two challenging forces at the Masters, with the U.K.’s defending champion and three-time World English 8-Ball Champion, Gareth Potts, at the helm alongside snooker legend Stephen Hendry, pictured center in the photo below.
In 2013, Potts made the move to 8-Ball full-time, and on his blog, Potts describes the experience of being treated like a star by the pool fans in China following his 2013 Masters win:
“I felt like David Beckham over there! We had police escorts to the venues, were mobbed by hundreds of fans wanting pictures and autographs, had to give press conferences – it was surreal.” (Visit GarethPotts.com for more, and check out the story on his 2012 win on ChinaDaily.com.cn here.)
The other Western cue sport celebrities joining Potts and Hendry at the 2013 Masters include one of the hottest female players on the planet, Kelly Fisher, dominant American WPBA pro Vivian Villarreal, current and 3-time U.S. Open 9-Ball Champion Shane Van Boening, former China Open 9-Ball Champion Chris Melling, former World 9-Ball & US Open 9-Ball Champion Darren Appleton, and former World 8-Ball Champion Karl Boyes.
Batting for the home team is a lineup of today’s top Chinese talent in 8-Ball: Yong Dai, Xin Lu, Fan-Yu Meng, Han-Qing Shi, Peng Wang, Guang-Yu Yu, Yu-Bo Zheng, and He Wen Li, who has become one of China’s top international names in 9-Ball, finishing runner-up in the 2012 World 9-Ball Championships and winning the World Cup of Pool with teammate Jian-Bo Fu in 2011.
The schedule for the event, which is going into its second day on Friday, January 3, can be found here on Alison-Chang.com: http://alison-chang.com/ai1ec_event/2014-chinese-8-ball-masters-invitational/
This invitational event is being seen live on Chinese television, and streamed live here: http://www.fengyunzhibo.com/tv/837654_1382340348823.htm
Stay tuned for more upcoming news and results…