The World Pool Championship 2023 is set to take place in Kielce, Poland from February 1-5, and the anticipation is palpable. With so many talented players in the mix, it can be difficult to know who to watch for. That’s why we asked some of the game’s key voices to share their predictions for this Nineball year. In this article, you’ll hear from Jeremy Jones, Karl Boyes, Phil Yates, Michael McMullen, and Billiard Digest editor Michael Panozzo on who they think will be the world champion, which players are most likely to win a Matchroom event, and who the breakthrough star might be.
Who will be the World Champion?
All of our experts agree that Joshua Filler is a strong contender for the title, with Phil Yates going so far as to say, “In my opinion, he is the best in the business and can be an inspiration.” Michael McMullen adds, “Having already won the world title, he’ll be itching to win it again in the new era of the championship.”
However, Michael Panozzo thinks that we might see a first-time winner in 2023. He predicts that another Polish player, Wiktor Zielinski, will take the crown. “The ranks from 1-32 are so competitive these days, with razor-thin differences separating the top players,” he says. “Zielinski has too much talent for the door to stay closed much longer. It opens in Kielce, where he will instantly become a national hero!”
Jeremy Jones predicts that Skyler Woodward will be the world champion, while Karl Boyes sticks with Joshua Filler.
Most Likely to Finally Win a Matchroom Event?
When it comes to winning a Matchroom event, our experts have different players in mind. Phil Yates thinks that Fedor Gorst is due for a win, while Michael McMullen is betting on Jayson Shaw. Michael Panozzo believes that Mario will finally succeed despite his past crushing losses. He says that Mario has a strong temperament to use those experiences positively instead of dwelling on them negatively.”
Jeremy Jones thinks that Skyler Woodward will be the one to win a Matchroom event, but if not, he thinks Naoyuki Oi is long overdue for a big win. Karl Boyes, on the other hand, is betting on Jayson Shaw.
When it comes to predicting the breakthrough star of 2023, our experts have different players in mind. Phil Yates thinks that Wiktor Zielinski will have a massive future, while Michael McMullen says that Zielinski is already a star and predicts that this could be the year he becomes a top bracket player.
Michael Panozzo predicts that Oliver Szolnoki will be the breakthrough star of 2023. “Despite travel issues preventing him from participating in several key events, the young Hungarian finished the year ranked 13th,” he says. “A fifth-place finish at the World Pool Championship and ninth at the UK Open served notice that stardom is imminent.”
Karl Boyes predicts that Mickey Krause will be the breakthrough star, while Jeremy Jones does not have a specific player in mind.
With so many talented players and experts weighing in, it’s impossible to know for sure who will come out on top at the World Pool Championship 2023. However, one thing is certain: it’s going to be a thrilling event, and we can’t wait to see who rises to the top.