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Django Bustamante to play in Winnipeg

WINNIPEG – Top-level international billiards player, Francisco “Django” Bustamante of the Philippines, will be in Winnipeg next month to compete in the inaugural event of a new billiards league.

Billed as the “Super Series of Billiards,” the tournament will also feature six top American pool players: Johnny Archer, Nick Varner, Corey Deuel, Rodney Morris, Shane Van Boening and John Schmidt, as well as former Winnipeg league player, Eric Horleifson. World Champion trick shot artist Mike Massey and Jimmy Wych, the voice of billiards, will also appear at the event, which will take place from May 6 to 9 in

the Hudson Room of the McPhillips Station Casino in Winnipeg.

Bustamante comes to Winnipeg fresh from winning the Japan 9-Ball title in Tokyo on March 22, defeating fellow Pinoy and good friend, Efren “Bata” Reyes, 9-7.

New league, new game

The tournament is the first event for the newly founded World Professional Billiard League (WPBL), founded by Winnipegger Larry Chiborak of the World Wide Sport of Billiards Corporation. The WPBL aims to showcase its players in a league format with an organized structure of matches and statistics that will allow fans to track their favourite players. The league is attracting many of the top billiard players in the world to its exclusive, by-invitation-only roster.

The game of choice for the new league is called Bonus Ball, which WPBL founder and President Larry Chiborak developed over the past 15 years with input from pros such as Mike Massey.

“I always felt it was time for a new game in billiards. Games like 8-Ball, Snooker, you know, they’re over 150-year-old games … people still play them but that’s just because that’s all there is,” said Chiborak.

According to Chiborak, Bonus Ball has all the elements that make other sports exciting. The games are limited to a regulation length of 10 minutes with a possibility of extended or overtime. Instead of scoring by eliminating the balls, each ball has a point value. There is even a digital scoreboard and time clock. Several top players have already expressed approval for the new format.

“Every discipline [of other billiard games] is in this game,” said billiard pro Johnny Archer.

“I think there is way too much luck in pool,” said John Schmidt on the Bonus Ball website, adding, “this format is going to define the best players.”

Django Bustamante is expected to be well suited to the new game. He was won over 30 major events and is known for his well-rounded skills, especially his bank shots. Another factor in his favour in this first WPBL tournament is what has been called a “home-away-from-home” advantage in Winnipeg due to its large Filipino population.

Django Bustamante, Mike Massey and all the other players will be available in the Upper Deck Sports Bar of the McPhillips Station Casino for demonstrations, photos, autographs and even challenge games with members of the public.

Tickets for the tournament are available through Ticketmaster.

For more details, visit the official WPBL website at and the game site at