JEDDAH, SAUDI ARABIA –  1 May, 2024: World Nineball Tour No.1 Francisco Sanchez Ruiz has heralded a grand, new era for the sport as he looks forward to defending his world title at this year’s World Pool Championship – which marks the beginning of a major 10-year partnership for the premier tournament in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The crown jewel of the WNT, the World Pool Championship, will be held at the Green Halls, Jeddah in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia between 3-8 June, in partnership with the Saudi Arabian Billiard & Snooker Federation (SABSF) and the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Sport. 128 of the world’s elite cueists will battle it out in a double-elimination format for the record-breaking prize fund of $1,000,000, and a top prize of $250,000 – both the highest ever on the World Nineball Tour.

Along with reigning and defending world champion Francisco Sanchez Ruiz, five-time US Open champion and 2022 world champion Shane Van Boening and 2018 world champion Joshua Filler will be among the high-profile names competing for the game’s greatest individual prize this summer.

Sanchez Ruiz said: “This is an incredibly exciting time for the World Nineball Tour and a sign of the future direction of our sport. The World Championship in Saudi Arabia marks a historic moment for pool and I am really looking forward to defending my title amongst the world’s best in Jeddah.”

The field will feature the top 100 from the World Nineball Tour Rankings, with the remaining 28 players made up of wildcard entries, 10 of whom will be given to the host nation, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia – these include Saad Aldress, Ahmed Al jabar, Khalid Alotaibi, Ahmed Fairaq, Khalid Al Ghamdi, Hussain Mustafa, Ahmed Al Ahmadi, Fahad Alharbi, Nawaf Shamardal and Othman Alzahrani.The cutoff for the top 100 WNT players will be determined at the conclusion of the UK Open 7-12 May.

In this exciting new partnership, the move will help establish the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as a new home of the World Pool Championship for the next decade, with the country becoming one of the fastest growing countries in world sport. Since 2015 and the introduction of Vision 2030, Saudi Arabia has hosted over 100 international sports events and welcomed more than 2.6 million sports fans as it looks to inspire its people to live happier and healthier lifestyles through sports participation.

It is an approach that has been working especially within its young population, of which there is over 20 million people under the age of 30 years old. Since 2015, Saudi Arabia has tripled the number of official sports federations from 32 to 97 federations. Everything from Kite surfing, to boxing, from Beach Volleyball to Padel. Whilst during the same time, participation rates in sports have also tripled with more boys and girls, men and women playing more sports than ever before, including an 150% increase in female sport.

The landmark event, which starts on June 3, will feature 223 matches over six days of competition, with 50 televised hours of pool and 100 streaming hours broadcast to every territory around the globe.

Defending world champion Francisco Sanchez Ruiz will head to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia seeking to retain the crown that he won last February in Kielce, Poland against Syria’s Mohammad Soufi.

The decade-long deal will deliver a sharp focus and commitment to growing the game in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which includes encouraging grassroots awareness and playing pathways for local talent over the next 10 years.

Saudi Arabia Billiard & Snooker Federation President, Dr. Nasser Saab Al-Shammari added: “In June this year, new sporting history will be written in Saudi Arabia, and we couldn’t be more excited. We’ve literally never had the opportunity to welcome world class talents like Francisco Sanchez Ruiz, Shane Van Boening and Joshua Filler to play live for fans here. So that will be extremely special for us. But to go beyond hosting the top stars by also having the best ten local Saudi players take part, will open-up an entire new world and will give our players the experience of a lifetime.

“Saudi’s sporting future and ambitions will see us becoming far more than just welcoming hosts. We want to connect, share and compete at the highest possible level in the years ahead. That journey starts this summer.”

Matchroom Multi-Sport CEO, Emily Frazer said: “We are incredibly grateful to the Ministry of Sport for Saudi Arabia for this unique opportunity. We believe this landmark 10-year deal will provide the catalyst to developing the stars for tomorrow from this region, supported in conjunction with a leading junior event alongside the World Pool Championship, as well as training top-level officials who will further enhance the sport here in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. It underlines the great strides that are being taken by the World Nineball Tour as we continue to provide unrivalled, life-changing opportunities and competition for our professional players.”

For the latest news, schedules and ticket details, please visit

Sponsors and Partners