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Bangkok Post
Bangkok Post

Stellar field for 'historic' 6-red event

Wattana Pu-Ob-Orm will lead the Thai challenge at the 6-red World Championship in Pathum Thani.

The star-studded Pathum Thani 6-red World Championship begins today as organisers hail it as a 'historic' event.

The group stage of the 11-million-baht tournament gets underway this morning at the 3,600-seat Convention Centre of Thammasat University's Rangsit campus in Pathum Thani.

The 32-player event features world No.1 and reigning world snooker champion Ronnie O'Sullivan, defending 6-red world champion Stephen Maguire and Thai ace Wattana Pu-Ob-Orm (James Wattana).

The March 6-11 tournament is sanctioned by the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association.

The champion will receive 4.2 million baht in prize money and the trophy graciously donated by His Majesty the King.

"We are ready to stage this historic tournament," said Pathum Thani Provincial Administrative Organisation chairman Kamronwit Toopkrajang.

The tournament will be shown live in some 200 countries, according to the organisers, and Kamronwit is confident that people around the world will know more about Thailand in general and Pathum Thani in particular.

Seven-time world champion O'Sullivan is scheduled to arrive in Thailand tomorrow and begin his campaign on the same day.

He is in the same group as Wattana and fellow English stars Jimmy Robertson and Stan Moody.

"I am ready for the tournament, having played actively in both 15-red and 6-red events," said former world No.3 Wattana, who won the SEA Games gold medal last year.

"We are friends but we both want to win," the 53-year-old star said of O'Sullivan.

Also in the tournament are former world champions Judd Trump and Mark Williams.

Thai star Noppon Saengkham is expecting a tough battle in his opening match against Jordon Brown of Northern Ireland today.

Brown, who was ranked No.22 in the world last year but has gradually slipped to No.43, has been drafted in as a last-minute replacement for former world champion Shaun Murphy of England who has pulled out of the tournament.

Noppon will start his quest at 1.30pm against Brown who made headlines when he edged O'Sullivan 9-8 in the 2021 Welsh Open final to become the lowest ranked player at No.81 to ever win a world ranking event.

Noppon, who at No.37 is the highest ranked Thai professional, said Brown "won't be an easy opponent. There are no easy games at this level.

"My job is to prepare myself to the best of my ability for every event and I am ready for this tournament as well. I am hoping to do well in front of the Thai fans."

On an adjacent table in the same session, experienced Thai player Dechawat Poomjaeng will lock horns with Chris Wakelin of England, who is ranked No.43 in the world.

No.52 Thepchaiya Un-nooh, who emerged as the first -- and so far only -- Thai winner of the 6-red world title in 2015, will face English snooker legend Jimmy White in the final session of the day starting 6.30pm.

Thai player Kritsanut Lertsattayathorn will meet China's Ma Hailong in the same session as well.

'Mink' not scared of men

The day will start with defending champion and top seed Maguire of Scotland taking on Chinese star Ding Junhui who has now slumped to 32nd spot on the world ranking ladder.

Also in the first session, which starts at 11am, Thailand's Nutcharat Wongharuethai, the 2022 world women's snooker champion, will play China's world No.70 Zhang Anda and another local cueist Poramin Danjirakul will go up against 17th-ranked Hossein Vafaei of Iran.

Nutcharat, better known to the local snooker fans as 'Mink Saraburi', will play her second match of the first round against Ding at 4pm when Poramin will face former world champion Ken Doherty of Ireland.

"My skill and experience may be behind the men's but I am not scared of them," said Nutcharat.

"The 6-red version is fast and anything can happen."

Tickets are available at Thai Ticket Major outlets or

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