Daniel Sanchez (49, Spain), who is called one of the ‘four kings’ of billiards 3-cushion, Choi Seong-won (46), a Korean star, and Han Ji-eun (22), the No. 1 female amateur, will enter professional billiards.
The Professional Billiards Association announced on the 19th that Sanchez, Choi Seong-won, and Han Ji-eun will participate in the PBA 메이저놀이터(men’s division) and LPBA (women’s division) in the 2023-2024 season, respectively.
Sanchez is currently ranked #2 in the World Carom Federation (UMB) rankings. He is a three-cushioned world star, having won 16 UMB World Cups and four world championship titles. He once competed with Frederick Kudron (Welcome Savings Bank), a star representing the PBA, in a competition organized by UMB in the past and was called the ‘Four Kings’.
Sanchez said, “The PBA performances of Spanish players such as David Zapata (Blue One Resort) and David Martinez (Crown Haitai) were impressive. I am both excited and nervous as I have a new career ahead through entering the PBA. I will prepare hard until the start of the season and show a good appearance.”
Seongwon Choi is the first Korean player to achieve world championships, world team championships, and UMB ranking No. 1. Starting with winning the 3-Cushion World Cup in 2012, he won the World Championship in 2014, Kim Jae-geun (currently Crown Haitai) in 2017, and Kang Dong-gung (currently SK Rent-a-car) in 2018 to achieve two consecutive victories in the World Team Championship. “I’m really happy to finally be able to enter the professional arena,” he said. He has been active as a billiards player for over 20 years, and he wants to show his brightest appearance on the professional stage.”
Han Ji-eun is famous for an anecdote about dropping out of high school in the past and focusing on billiards. At the Verhoeven Open in 2019, he distinguished himself by beating “World No. 1” Teresa Krompenhauer (Netherlands). He won three domestic championships last year alone. He promised, “I will grow into a great player worthy of the professional stage and show a good image.”
The PBA is implementing a priority registration system for 3-cushion players around the world to recruit excellent players every season. The priority registration system is a system in which the PBA Game Steering Committee comprehensively evaluates applicants for winning domestic and international competitions and performance, and grants successful players the qualification to register as PBA-LPBA 1st Division Tour players for the corresponding season. Priority registration for the next season is until the 20th, and applications can be made through the PBA website.