With our second IPA Tour event almost upon us, we have a lot to live up to after the undoubted success of the first event at the Hilton Blackpool, which garnered us some of the media attention the sport truly deserves.
On the weekend of the 27th – 29th April we will return to the Hilton NEC, and with everything in place, this truly outstanding venue seems sure to provide the kind of fantastic setting needed to showcase the players and our sport.
There is no doubt that we have raised the bar in terms of quality of events since we started our campaign last month in Blackpool, and we will continue to lead the way through innovation in how we deliver our events, coupled as always with good old fashioned hard work.
Groundbreaking changes to the Tour have already been implemented as many of you will know, but the positive feedback from the players (both new and seasoned professionals), tells us we are heading in the right direction, and that our efforts are already bearing fruit.
The atmosphere at Blackpool was superb with the background music complementing the unrivalled standard of play on the tables, but add in a few shocks in the main event, and we can all see why we had record breaking crowds for the final on Saturday night. It feels good when things go well, but this is only the first step for the IPA as we look to grow and nurture the sport we adore, and proud as we are of our achievements so far, we are more than aware that there is a long way left to go!
Looking forward to Birmingham (and we are!), the big question is – can anyone stop the Giuseppe steam train? Winning both events at Blackpool was history in the making and an amazing achievement that cannot be knocked, though we can be sure the established stars will have noticed his progress, creating a fascinating battle between the “old guard” and the latest talents to emerge on the 8-ball scene. All will slowly be revealed over the coming months as we wait to see who will be crowned by the end of the season?
With our exciting double elimination format continuing (which gives the players more matches and more opportunities), the action will come thick and fast, and with live streaming from Saturday morning onwards, (via Horizonsolutions, who filmed our recent event for Sky next month), and the excellent Dan Rush leading the commentary, it will feel as near to a televised event as it can be for the players on the streamed table in an exclusive area.
After recent successes we are also delighted to welcome several new players to the IPA and wish them all the very best – we hope they enjoy the innovative changes we are introducing, and look forward to their input as much as we do any other player on the tour.
While you are all in Birmingham, we will also be taking pictures of the players and asking you to complete a profile questionnaire (those who are yet to do so), so that we can update the website – do remember to brush your teeth and smile for the camera!
Finally, we welcome On Q Promotions to the world of 8-ball pool, which is an extremely exciting development for the sport, and not to be underestimated. The announcement of the World Championships and World Open events in Gloucester provides an opportunity for all IPA players to participate and pursue the dream of holding a true world title, and at a venue described by the players as one of the very best they have ever attended.
Please remember that the IPA continues to be unrivalled in terms of quality of events – equipment, live streaming, players, conditions, prize money, sponsorship and so on – we are clearly the world leaders in 8 ball pool, and will continue to work hard and push for further progress and more innovation – come with us and help us on what will be an enjoyable and exciting journey for all involved!
Yours in Pool