After the successful move to Blackball in 2014, the IPA has received an unprecedented response for the 2015 IPA Tour. Close to 160 applications have been received to date, which represents a significant increase on last year. That is close to the absolute limit that we can accommodate at Tour events, so we expect the remaining few places will be snapped up quickly, and still with two months remaining before the first show.
The number in the Professional ranks has also increased and there are now over 40 players signed up at the highest level. Professional Number One Gareth Hibbott leads the way as we head into the new season, but there will be plenty of competition from familiar names as well as the new Professionals who seem sure to ruffle a few feathers during the season. There is the return of some familiar names to look forward to, including Jimmy Carney and Oly Bale, as well as plenty of new faces who we will undoubtedly get to know during the season.
Players from across the globe will be participating on the Tour, and although the UK will be well represented as always, we need to look out for the new players who will be jetting in from Italy, Malta and Norway to pit their skills against the very best the sport has to offer. It just proves the growth of the IPA in recent years and the esteem in which its events are held within the sport to attract such quality participants while in addition, there are two lady players, including Nicky Correa from Gibraltar, who are also signed up for the new season.
As you would expect, the IPA continues to innovate and develop its live stream, and this year is no different. In partnership with Dave Hutchinson and his team at Niche Television, we will continue to provide the stream in glorious High Definition (HD) but with a few new features – watch out for them during the year, you will not be disappointed.
As usual our Top table team will be headed up by Viv Ruscoe, who I’m sure we all agree does a fantastic job to keep the events running to schedule, while Press Officer Sean Trivass will continue with the superb work he has been doing to ensure all our winners receive the maximum amount of exposure possible, through National and local media sources, which in turn attracts and enthuses player sponsors – please continue to support him whenever you can with photos, interviews, and so on.
The incredible hard work the Committee has put in, particularly over the last 18 months is now beginning to pay off, but we will never sit back, and we will strive to improve in all areas as we continue our journey together. There have been a lot of changes, and no doubt there will be more to come, but they have all been thought through very carefully, and are for the long term benefit of everyone involved – what hasn’t changed is the fact that the IPA contains the Worlds’ best exponents of 8 ball pool – an unrivalled mix of both amateurs and professionals, ahead of what promises to be the most competitive season ever
So all in all, it’s all brewing up nicely for the next instalment of the IPA Tour, 2015 style – we think, no we are convinced – you are going to like it!
See you all in Wales!
Tour 1 – Metropole Hotel, Landidrod Wells, Wales 13th – 15th March 2015