Duong Quoc Hoang has been forced to withdraw from the 2023 World Pool Masters from May 10-13 due to the Vietnamese’s VISA not set to begin until later this month.
Two-time champion David Alcaide will therefore step into the field ahead of an opening-round match against former World Champion Shane Van Boening.
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 whilst defending champion Joshua Filler faces the tricky task of Niels Feijen first up. The winner of Van Boening and Quoc Hoang 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 Match Schedule
Wednesday 10, May – 6 pm
- Joshua Filler (GER) vs Niels Feijen (NED)
- Max Lechner (AUT) vs Mohammad Soufi (SYR)
- Jayson Shaw (GBR) vs Ko Pin Yi (TPE)
Thursday 11th May – 12 pm
- Francisco Sanchez Ruiz (ESP) vs James Aranas (PHI)
- Wiktor Zielinski (POL) vs Zheng Xiao-Huai (CHN)
- Albin Ouschan (AUT) vs Eklent Kaci (ALB)
Thursday 11, May – 6:30 pm
- Mario He (AUT) vs Alexander Kazakis (GRE)
- Shane Van Boening (USA) vs David Alcaide (ESP)
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