The draw for the 2023 World Pool Masters has been made with defending champion Joshua Filler set to meet two-time champion Niels Feijen in the opening match of the tournament from May 10-13 at the Brentwood Centre, Essex, England live on Sky Sports in the UK and networks worldwide.
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For the first time since 2017, the World Pool Masters returns to 16 players with a new grueling format fitting of a prize fund that now totals $125,000 with the winner set to take home $40,000. Opening round ties will be Race to 9 for the first time with the Matchroom break box, hand-racking, and winner breaks in action with the tournament stretching going to Race to 11 for the semi-finals and 13 for the final.
The top 14 players from the World Nineball Tour Rankings after the World Pool Championship were invited plus two wild cards with those 1-8 on the rankings seeded and drawn against the remaining players with the draw conducted one week ahead of the opening matches.
Newly-crowned World Champion and WNT No.1 Francisco Sanchez Ruiz will meet wild card James Aranas of the Philippines in the opening round while the only player to ever win the title back-to-back Shane Van Boening faces the tricky test of former Mosconi Cup champion and current WNT No.14 Fedor Gorst. The winner of that tie will have to then take on either Jayson Shaw and Ko Pin Yi who will meet for the first time in a Matchroom event since the 2022 World Pool Championship.
Elsewhere, Albin Ouschan will meet former Mosconi Cup teammate Eklent Kaci whilst the two further Austrians in the tournament Max Lechner and Mario He will take on Mohammad Soufi and Alexander Kazakis respectively. China will make their long-awaited return to the Nineball arena with Zheng Xiao-Huai set to make his debut against Wiktor Zielinski to complete the opening round match-ups.
Round 1 Draw (in alphabetic order)
- Albin Ouschan v Eklent Kaci
- Francisco Sanchez Ruiz v James Aranas
- Jayson Shaw v Ko Pin Yi
- Joshua Filler v Niels Feijen
- Max Lechner v Mohammad Soufi
- Mario He v Alex Kazakis
- Shane Van Boening v Fedor Gorst
- Wiktor Zielinski v Zheng Xiao-Huai
|ROUND||Session Time||No. Matches||Race To||UK Channel|
|Round 1||18:00 – 23:00||3||9||Sky Sports Arena / Mix|
|Round 1||12:00 – 17:00||3||9||Sky Sports Mix|
|Round 1||18:30 – 22:30||2||9||Sky Sports Mix|
|Quarter-Finals||12:00 – 16:30||2||11||Sky Sports Mix|
|Quarter-Finals||18:30 – 23:00||2||11||Sky Sports Mix|
|Semi-Finals||12:30 – 17:00||2||11||Sky Sports Mix|
|Final||19:00 – 22:00||1||13||Sky Sports Arena / Mix|
The 2023 World Pool Masters is live globally wherever fans are in the world including Sky Sports in the UK and Ireland, DAZN in the USA, Brazil, Spain and Italy as well as on Viaplay in Scandinavia, the Baltics, Netherlands, Poland, and Matchroom.Live in selected territories.
- AMC Network – Hungary
- Dazn – USA, Brazil, Spain, Italy
- Foxtel – Australia
- Nova – Czech Republic & Slovakia
- Sky Network – New Zealand
- Sportklub – Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, and Slovenia
- Sportscast – Indonesia & Chinese Taipei
- Supersport – South Africa & Africa
- Tap – Philippines
- Viaplay – Baltics, Scandinavia, Netherlands, Poland, and Iceland
- VTM – Belgium
- VCT – Vietnam