• World Nineball Tour to provide a minimum of $3-million prize money this year
• Over 40 World Nineball Tour events
• 1,000 hours of live pool in 2023, from the Matchroom Majors
Matchroom Pool is proud to unveil the formulation of the World Nineball Tour marking the benchmark for the game of professional pool globally with events reaching all four corners of the world boasting a minimum prize fund of $3 million: minimum of 40 ranking events and a minimum of 1,000 live TV hours for Matchroom events globally in an ever-growing list of broadcasters creating opportunities for all players.
Following in the footsteps of Matchroom’s highly successful model that has seen the Professional Darts Corporation and the World Snooker Tour both with over £15 million in prize money for the forthcoming season. The World Nineball Tour will accelerate at pace to provide a commercial platform for professional pool and change players lives.
The Nineball ranking structure has expanded to new territories to help players turn fully professional worldwide; the Tour will build a fair, transparent, and commercial constitution where players will see a profitable future, break new ground, and inspire stars of the future globally.
2023 will see 10 major events forming the backbone of the calendar promoted by Matchroom with a new signature 256-player field Spanish Open Pool Championship recently announced as part of a wider partnership in Spain. Similarly, the Southeast Asia territory will shortly announce a host of new events aligned to the World Nineball Tour.
We believe a collaborative effort between Matchroom and the rest of the world of pool will be the best way to ensure players have endless opportunities to earn World Nineball Ranking points that provide a gateway to the most-valuable tournaments on the calendar.
This year’s schedule is ever-expanding with the World Nineball Tour keen to work with organisers and federations all over the world as underlined with the launch of numerous new Ranking events across continents including the Americas, Asia, Oceania, and Europe.
It offers a platform for not only the players to earn a fair living but also for local organisers to grow their events with both Matchroom and the third parties set to benefit from unrivalled insight into the game. The direct goal is to also open further ranking event opportunities in the USA, South America, and central Europe.
As part of Matchroom’s ongoing investment and expansion, the World Nineball Tour will launch an independent integrity unit with a remit to focus on anti-corruption, drug testing and more to ensure the continued professionalisation of the players competing in all World Nineball Ranking events.
The World Nineball Tour can also announce the appointment of a full-time Tournament Director with one of the world’s best cue-sports referees Brendan Moore taking lead as a main point of contact for players as well as ensuring a consistency across World Nineball Tour events. Players will also have two player ambassadors appointed, who they can relate to and brainstorm any creative ideas.
President and Founder of Matchroom Sport Barry Hearn OBE said: “This is a time of opportunity for all players around the world irrespective of gender, nationality, age, and faith. It’s also a time when anyone who truly cares about creating opportunity for players to join in this historic journey. This is Pool’s big chance and with the support of all the top players and the dream of all aspiring amateurs, I believe we can create a huge global sport.”
World Nineball No.1 Francisco Sanchez Ruiz said: “The World Nineball Tour gives us all more motivation to succeed. Nineball is the future with the rankings, previously we only had three tournaments now we have so many. Now you can be a professional by playing this game, it’s perfect. The World Nineball Tour means you can qualify for the biggest events and that includes the Mosconi Cup.”
Five-time US Open winner and 2022 world champion Shane Van Boening is delighted to see the sport heading in the right direction: “Nineball is the future because we have a lot of events around the world coming thick and fast. It’s a great opportunity to travel the world. More Nineball events means we have the opportunity to make a real career out of this sport. It lets people aspire to become something. It’s important to play in World Nineball Ranking events because there are so many lucrative opportunities now to be a part of the most exclusive invitationals and of course the Mosconi Cup. It’s the most important one on the calendar for me and if you want a shot of playing in that, you need to play the World Nineball Tour calendar.
Two-time Mosconi Cup MVP Jayson Shaw believes the World Nineball Tour launch is just the tip of the iceberg: “Nineball is the future because of the history of the game. The global ranking gives us all a chance in a transparent system that provides a pathway to the biggest events. For us all it means more prize money, more travelling and more opportunities.
Whilst rising Saudi Arabian star Khalid Alghamdi says the chance to earn vital World Nineball Ranking points closer to home makes all the difference: “This gives me a path to succeed. It’s a huge opportunity. It means I can play tournaments closer to my home to help me achieve my dream of one day becoming the World Nineball No.1 but first I need to finish school!
World Nineball No.10 and former world champion Ko Pin Yi said: “We’re absolutely thrilled to hear the news about the World Nineball Tour. We can’t wait to join these events both in Asia and other continents now with more opportunities for those in this area of the world to get in the biggest events like the World Pool Masters coming up.”
Current UK Open and World Pool Masters champion Joshua Filler is excited to see where the Tour will take him: “It is amazing to see the Tour growing and expanding, especially having in mind what Matchroom have done with other sports, we are for sure looking into a great and bright future of 9-ball. I want to win every big major on the calendar, so I’ll always be super motivated and hungry to put my name on every trophy!”