Billiards Champion Pankaj Advani is all geared up as the IBSF World Billiards Championship is scheduled to kickoff today in his hometown city Bengaluru. The venue for the tournament will be KSBA(Karnataka Snooker and Billiards Association) where Advani has started playing the sport and he told that it is here where he has polished his game skills all over these years and it is like a second home for him. The 8-day tournament will witness world champions from around the world including Peter Gilchrist, Robert Hall and many more.
Pankaj Advani has recently bagged a bronze at the IBSF World Snooker Championship at Doha, where another Indian Cueist Dharminder Lilly has won the Gold in the Masters category. On switching from snooker to billiards Advani said that now switching from one game to another has become comparatively easy for and he played few billiards tournament this year so it will be refreshing for him, also he has snooker tournaments lined up after this. He is excited to get the opportunity to play the tournament at his hometown again as he last played in 2008 and stood first. So this time expectations are doubled but 15 time World Champion is feeling positive about the tournament and believes that no one is invincible and he will try to play his natural game and give his best.
The 31-year-old cueist from Bangalore also has several prestigious national awards under his name. He received Arjuna Award, Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award and Padma Shri, in 2004, 2006 and 2009, respectively. Along with the international players many National champions are also going to be the part of the tournament, like Sourav Kothari(National Billiards Champion 2016), Dhruv Sitwala, Devendra Joshi. Advani said that the competition will be tough and his last year opponent from the finals, Peter Gilchrist will also be in the tournament.Prize money for the tournament is set at $20,000 and Advani sounds all optimistic about winning the title. If Advani finishes at first place, it will be his 16th World Title.
In October 2013, Advani debuted at international level in IBSF World Snooker Championship and won the title at the age of 18, also received the sportsperson of the year award in the same year. Advani has been a key player from India for both Snooker and Billiards at International Level since many years. He said that it isn’t easy to switch between the two sports , the mental approach and the required technique is different from each other and not everyone can understand how tough it is to juggle between the two.The Golden Boy is expected to be the favorite at the beginning of the tournament and he expressed his joy of playing and winning at his home place.