Hungry and ambitious
Pankaj Advani’s victory in the 2009 World Professional Billiards Championship needs to be applauded, celebrated and romanticised. For it has been a victory which reflects the youngster’s growing confidence, increased knowledge of the game and, most importantly, his by now well-documented and proven strength of mind
By defeating Mike Russell in the final of the 2009 World Professional Billiards Championship, Pankaj Advani has proved to the world, and perhaps more to himself, that he is indeed the best player in the world of billiards today. Following his victory, the Bangalore-based player, who is not yet 25, has the distinction of simultaneously holding the World Professional billiards title, IBSF World billiards title, the Asian Games billiards gold, the Asian billiards title and the Indian National billiards title. Perhaps the only international title he does not hold is the Asian Indoor Games — he lost to Praprut of Thailand in the quarterfinals of the tournament in Macau in 2007.
Mike Russell inarguably has been the greatest cueist the world has seen in the last 60 years. Having appeared in 17 finals of the World Professional Billiards Championship, he has converted nine of them into title victories.