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Not to be confused with Tenball, a British TV show featuring a game played on a snooker table.
A valid ten-ball rack; the 1 is at the apex on the foot spot, and the 10 (the money ball) is in the center.

Ten-ball is a modern pool game. It is a rotation game very similar to nine-ball, but more difficult, using ten balls instead of nine, and with the 10 ball instead of the 9 as the "money ball".

Ten-ball is preferred over nine-ball by some professionals[1] as a more challenging discipline than nine-ball,[2] because it is slightly harder to pocket any balls on the break shot with the more crowded rack, the initial shooter cannot instantly win the game by pocketing the 10 on the break, all shots must be called, and performing a string of break-and-runs on successive racks is statistically more difficult to achieve.

Although the game has existed for a long time, its popularity has risen in recent years as a result of concerns that nine-ball has suffered as a result of flaws in its fundamental structure (particularly the ease with which players can often make balls from the break). The World Pool-billiard Association (WPA) World Standardized Rules for ten-ball are very similar to those for nine-ball, but with key changes to ensure the difficulty of the game and its marketability as an alternative to nine-ball.


The ten balls are racked as a triangle[3] as in the game of eight-ball (but with 10 instead of 15 object balls), with the 1 ball positioned at the apex of the rack, the 10 ball positioned in the middle of the rack, and the other balls placed randomly, with the apex ball on the foot spot.


Most of the same rules apply as in nine-ball. This means that in order to establish a legal hit, the cue ball must contact the lowest numbered ball first, and subsequently at least one ball must hit any rail, without the cue ball being pocketed. In ten-ball, shots have to be called, which means that the player must call a ball and the pocket in which to make the ball, usually by pointing to a pocket with his finger or cue, and stating the number of the ball he/she intends to make in that pocket (not necessarily the lowest-numbered ball on the table, e.g. if a combination or carom shot is being attempted). If the 10 ball is pocketed on the break, it will be spotted and the player will continue his inning (previously a 10 ball made on the break resulted in a win).

If a player pockets only the wrong ball, or pockets the nominated ball in the wrong pocket, the ball stays down. The opponent then has the choice of taking the shot, or handing it back.[4] The exception is the 10 ball, which gets respotted on the foot spot.

Under WPA World Standardized Rules, it is a call-shot game, in which flukes, or shots that go in an unintended pocket (usually by simple random chance) do not count; that is, unlike in nine-ball, the ball to be pocketed and the pocket must be specified. This format is considered controversial among some of the game's elite as many pros are experts at playing multi-way shots where they may be attempting to pocket more than one ball on a given shot. Nonetheless, the rule has been adopted for professional competitions.[3]

A normal game of ten-ball would be completed as follows: Two players begin by lagging to determine who breaks. The player winning the lag then breaks. If a ball drops on the break the player continues play by attempting to pocket the lowest numbered ball i.e. if the one ball was still on the table the player would attempt to pocket the one ball. Players continue to pocket balls, in order from lowest to highest, until the last ball is the ten ball. The player who pockets the ten ball wins.

UPA International Ten-ball Championships[edit]

The nominal first international International Ten-ball Championship (previously, for six years, the event has existed but been known as the Florida Open Ten-ball Championship) was held in 2007. The sanctioning organization is the United States Professional Poolplayers Association (UPA), using WPA/BCA rules. The World Pool-Billiard Association itself separately started its own inaugural WPA World Ten-Ball Championship (WTBC) in 2008, in Manila, Philippines. The events are essentially competitors, but many players compete in both. The UPA event is known for sponsorship purposes as the Predator International.[when?]

The 2009 UPA event, the Ninth Annual International Ten-Ball Championship, and numerically acknowledging the original Florida Opens), was held at the Riviera Hotel and Casino May 11–16, 2009. Ozone Billiards co-sponsored the event, which featured a field of 112 male and female competitors (including a record number of women), and was held during the BCAPL's National Eight-ball Championships.[2] Mika Immonen of Finland won the tournament, which was played on 4.5 ft by 9 ft standard, professional tables

The 2008 edition of the event was hosted by Bankshot Billiards and like the WPA event that year was played on 4.5 × 9 ft tables provided by manufacturer Olhausen Billiards.

UPA champions[edit]

Date Winner Nationality
2001 Buddy Hall  United States
2002 Mika Immonen  Finland
2003 Johnny Archer  United States
2004 Johnny Archer  United States
2005 Johnny Archer  United States
2006 Thomas Engert  Germany
2007 Shane Van Boening  United States
2008 Tony Drago  Malta
2009 Dennis Orcollo  Philippines
2010 Efren Reyes  Philippines
2011 Dennis Orcollo  Philippines

WPA World Ten-ball Championships[edit]

The inaugural WPA event, with prizes totaling US$400,000 (18,860,000), was held at the Philippine International Convention Center, Manila, September 29 through October 5. There were 128 players competing, representing 44 countries. Vice-President of the Philippines Noli de Castro made the ceremonial opening break shot, witnessed by officials of the WPA, International Olympic Committee, Philippine Sports Commission, Philippine Olympic Committee, Billiards and Snooker Congress of the Philippines, and tournament organizer Raya Sports.[3]

Nineteen-year-old Wu Chia-ching defeated Filipino Demosthenes Pulpul (11–8) in the semi-finals, October 4. Using a borrowed cue stick, Wu reached the title match of the event. Pulpul, meanwhile, would go on to compete against Niels "the Terminator" Feijen of the Netherlands for 3rd place (see below for details). Earlier, Pulpul had defeated Liu Haitao (11–8) of China in the quarter-finals, while Feijen lost to Darren Appleton of England, 9–11.

Appleton squared off with Wu for the $100,000 (₱4,715,000 or UK₤56,000) 1st prize on October 5, [5][6] and claimed an upset victory over Wu, 13–11. He said of his win: "I've waited 16 years for this and have to enjoy the moment. I had mixed feelings and I was looking back at my disappointments in the past. I was ranked first in the world [earlier in the decade] but I have never won a world championship. I saved my best game for the finals. I really wanted to dictate the tempo of the game, but the breaks just didn’t go my way. It was a good game. I played well this time. He was a tough player but I made fewer mistakes than him. It was a dream come true for me and I'm happy to win the title here in the Philippines. I would love to be back here."[7] He was also quoted as saying: "Pool is an easy choice for me as a sport as I have to choose among boxing, football and pool among others. But this victory is sweeter for me and I have to dedicate this to my parents, whose relationship is in the rocks. With the $100,000 grand prize, first, I have to give some to my parents, because we had a difficult way of living."[8][9]

Wu, nicknamed Taisun ("Little Genius") settled for the runner-up prize of $40,000, and remarked, "I didn't have a good break in the last game and that was crucial to me."[10] In the third-place battle, Feijen defeated Pulpul, 11–8, and received $25,000 (₱1,178,000) to Pulpul's $15,000.[11][12]

Other results: 5th through 8th: Nick Van Den Berg, Charlie Williams, Liu Haitao, Mika Immonen; 9th through 16th: Shane Van Boening, Mark Gray, Ralf Souquet, Yang Ching-Shun, Jerico Banares, Marlon Manalo, Fu Che-Wei, and Satoshi Kawabata.[13]

WPA president Ian Anderson announced: "This early, there's a strong clamor for the WTBC and it will definitely be back next year in Manila. It will be staged October of next year and there's also the Philippine Open to be held June 2009. I think Manila is the best place to go in hosting pool and it is living up to its billing as the pool Mecca in Asia."[14]

WPA champions[edit]

The following is a list of WPA World Ten-Ball Champions and sanctioned by the World Pool-Billiard Association.

Year Host Final Semifinalists
Winner Score Runner-up
2008  Philippines United Kingdom
Darren Appleton
13–11 Chinese Taipei
Wu Chia-ching
Demosthenes Pulpul
Niels Feijen
2009  Philippines Finland
Mika Immonen
11–6 Philippines
Lee Van Corteza
Antonio Lining
David Alcaide
2010 Not held
2011  Philippines Netherlands
Huidji See
11–8 China
Jian-Bo Fu
Carlo Biado
Yukio Akagariyama
2015  Philippines Chinese Taipei
Ko Pin-yi
11–9 Philippines
Carlo Biado
Chinese Taipei
Ko Ping-chung
David Alcaide


The first UPA World Ten-ball Championship, building on the original Florida Open, was held on May 23, 2007, in Jacksonville, Florida. The genesis of the event was said to be "demand for more skill in competitive games as requested from the top pro players around the world" by event sponsor Dragon Promotions's president, Cindy Lee.[1] The winner of this inaugural event was Shane Van Boening of the United States. Rather unusually for professional pool, the matches at this event were played on home billiard room, mid-size 8 ft by 4 ft tables instead of the professional, pool hall 9 ft by 4.5 ft standard size.

U.S. Open Ten-ball Championship[edit]

The U.S. Open Ten-ball Championship is an international, professional ten-ball tournament held annually in the United States. It is sanctioned by the Billiard Congress of America and sponsored by CueSports International. The 2011 event was May 16–21 at The Riviera Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.[15] Unlike the U.S. Open Nine-ball Championship, the competition is by invitation only, though it is open to spectators.[15]


External links[edit]