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Americans Arrive In India Ahead Of IBSF World Snooker
filed on Sunday, November 27, 2011.   10:01am PT/USA

The reigning United States National Snooker Champion, Ahmed Aly, and this year's runner-up, Ajeya Prabhakar, have both arrived in India to represent the United States at the 2011 International Billiards & Snooker Federation (IBSF) World Snooker Championship which take place in the Billiard Hall of the Karnataka State Billiards Association (KSBA) in Bangalore, from November 28 to December 3.

Eighty-four players from forty nations around the world will compete in this year's Championship, with the players being divided up into sixteen groups. The group matches are played over the best-of-seven frames, a race to win four frames, with the top three placed players from each group advancing through to the knockout phase of the Championship.

The KSBA, founded in 1949, offers a very exclusive facility which plays host to this year's Championship located in downtown Bangalore. Contained in the 40,000 sq. ft. facility includes a Billiards Hall, the Baulk line Bar, the Intermediate Lounge, a multi purpose Hall, card room, swimming pool, family dining, a library and guest rooms.

Players practice in the playing arena prior to the start of the Championship
Photo IBSF

The three times United States National Snooker Champion Aly has been drawn into Group A alongside home player Manan Chandra, Thepchaiya Un-Nooh of Thailand, Misja van Vonderen of The Netherlands, and Belgium's Kevin van Hove Speltincx. Aly's playing schedule is as follows (start times are stated in local time, +13:30hrs PT in the United States):
November 28, 2011 10:00am start - vs. Thepchaiya Un-Nooh
November 28, 2011 4:00pm start - vs. Manan Chandra
November 29, 2011 10:00am start - vs. Misja van Vonderen
November 30, 2011 1:00pm start - vs. Kevin van Hove Speltincx

As for Prabhakar, the 2000 United States National Snooker Champion, it will be an exciting return to the country of his birth and the region where he grew up learning how to play snooker. He topped the 1989-90 KSBA State-ranking tournament, and in the subsequent National Championships reached the semifinals and a year later represented India in the IBSF World Under-21 Snooker Championship where he finished a respectable sixth.

"It's great to be back at the KSBA," said the 40-year-old speaking to the local Deccan Herald. "I know there is going to be a lot of pressure but I am loving every bit of it. I am sure all my friends and well wishers from the KSBA and the Indian fraternity will be rooting for me, although I belong to a different country now."

Prabhakar has represented the United States at snooker around the world on several occasions now, and such is his commitment to the development of the sport in his adopted home he now serves as the President of the United States Snooker Association (USSA).

Prabhakar has been drawn into Group R alongside home player Neeraj Kumar, Karam Fateima of Syria, Peter Bullen of Belgium, and Hong Kong's Au Chi Wai. Prabhakar's playing schedule is as follows (start times are stated in local time, +13:30hrs PT in the United States):
November 28, 2011 4:00pm start - vs. Au Chi Wai
November 29, 2011 10:00am start - vs. Karam Fateima
November 30, 2011 1:00pm start - vs. Peter Bullen
November 30, 2011 7:00pm start - vs. Neeraj Kumar

The full group draws and results are available on the IBSF website:
2011 IBSF World Snooker Championship group draws & results

The second and third placed players from each group will advance to contest the Round of last-48 matches, commencing at 9:30am local time on December 1, with the sixteen winners joining the sixteen group winners in the Round of last-32, commencing at 2:30pm local time on December 1.

The Round Of last-16 matches will get underway on December 1 too at 7:30pm local times, with the winners progressing into the following day's quarterfinal matches which are scheduled to start at 10:00am local times.

The semifinals will also be contested on December 2 and begin at 4pm, with the best-of-19 frames final commencing at 11:00am the next day. The winner will be crowned the 2011 IBSF World Snooker Champion, and gain a coveted place as a professional player on the 2012-13 World Snooker Main Tour.

The SnookerUSA.com website will closely follow the United States representatives and wish them a very successful Championship.

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