The WPA World Nine-ball Championship is an annual, international, professional nine-ball pool (pocket billiards) tournament, founded in 1990, sanctioned by the World Pool-Billiard Association (WPA), and principally sponsored and organised by Matchroom Sport (who provide the event's official website, under the less specific name World Pool Championship). It is divided into men's, women's and wheelchair Divisions. Since 2010, it is held in Doha, Qatar.
In the summer of 1989, the World Pool-Billiard Association (WPA) began plans for a world championship tournament. The group sent invitations, rules, sports regulations and by-laws. Reception was positive, and a provisional Board was created.
In March 1990, the inaugural WPA World Nine-ball Championship was held in Bergheim, Germany. The playing field included 32 men and 16 women in separate divisions, and has since become an annual event. The event was organised solely by the WPA from this inauguration through 1999.
In July 1999, Matchroom Sport attempted to get involved with the organisation of the event, but their bid failed. The WPA event was played in Alicante, Spain, and won by Nick Varner of the United States. Broadcast on ESPN, it was the first pro nine-ball championship to be televised. Matchroom Sport, meanwhile, instead organised tournament called the "World Professional Pool Championship", a competing and non-WPA-sanctioned event in Cardiff, Wales, which was won by Efren Reyes of the Philippines.
In 2000, the Matchroom and WPA agreed that tournaments would merge into a single official world championship. The WPA also agreed to recognise the results of the 1999 Matchroom event, meaning that official listings show both Varner and Reyes as 1999 world champions. Matchroom changed its promotional name for the event to the "World Pool Championship", dropping the word "professional" from the title. The event remained in Cardiff through 2003.
In 2001, the number of competitors in the men's division was increased to 128 and a men's division first prize raised to $65,000.
The 2004 and 2005 events were held in Taiwan, with a men's division first prize of $75,000 as of 2004.The 2005 tournament saw two rules changes: last 64 and last 32 matches were extended to format, and the on the tables were narrowed, to make the game more difficult.
In the 2006 event, the Philippines became the host country for two years. All matches became alternating-all the way from the group stages to the finals. Men's division first prize escalated to $100,000. In 2007, the event ran from November 3–11, and Daryl Peach of the England was the victor. Because of the global late-2000s recession the championship did not reappear on the calendar in 2008. For some time neither Matchroom nor the WPA released any predictions regarding its reinstatement, and no 2009 event was held, either.
After this two-year hiatus, the tournament returned as the 2010 WPA World Nine-ball Championship in Doha, Qatar. Francisco Bustamante of the Philippines won the 2010 title.Since then, the event has been held annually in Doha.
|1991||Las Vegas, United States||9–7|
|1994||Chicago, United States|
|1997||Chicago, United States|
|1999 (A)||July 18–26||Cardiff, Wales||17–8|
|1999 (B)||December 5–12||Alicante, Spain||13–8|
|2000||July 1–9||Cardiff, Wales||17–6|
|2004||July 10–18||Taipei, Taiwan||17–13|
|2005||July 2–10||Kaohsiung, Taiwan||17–16|
|2006||November 4–12||Pasay, Philippines||17–11|
|2007||November 3–11||Quezon City, Philippines||17–15|
|2010||June 29 – July 5||Doha, Qatar||13–7|
|2011||June 25 – July 1||13–11|