South East Asians proving high earners on the tables

South East Asia has produced more than its fair share of professionals in snooker, pool and billiards.

Snooker and billiards featured at the recent 2013 SEA Games, with Thailand topping the medals table, but it is in the professional sector that the real money lies.

Thailand’s most successful snooker player, James Wattana, can lay claim to career earnings that currently stand at US$2.7 million. The 43-year-old has suffered a recent slump in form but is still ranked number 65 in the world.

Wattana has made $29,099 so far in the 2013-2014 season but is unlikely to ever replicate his earnings of the early 1990s when he was ranked number 3 in the world and consistently earned $150,000 to $450,000 every season.

Two up and coming Thai prospects to look out for are Ratchayothin Yotharuck and Noppon Saengkham who will both be looking to follow in the footsteps of Wattana by becoming the next Thai players to break the milliondollar-mark in earnings.

Yotharuck, 18, has made $9,572 so far in his inaugural season on the tour while Saengkham, 21, boasts career earnings of $45,751.

The current snooker season has $13,126,202 in prize money on offer and other notable Thai snooker players involved include Dechawat Poomjaeng. He has earned $78,559 in his career to date but 2013 ended in ignominy for another Thai, the 101st-ranked Passakorn Suwannawat, who was placed under investigation due to irregular betting patterns during a match in Shanghai.

The Philippines can lay claim to the world’s top pair of pool players after Lee Van Corteza and Dennis Orcollo triumphed at the 2013 World Cup of Pool, the international annual single-elimination tournament for doubles teams in nine-ball competition, held in London.

The Filipino pair were awarded $30,000 each for that win which has contributed towards Corteza being the second highest earning pool player in 2013, according to His income for the year was estimated at $111,525.

Orcollo was only marginally behind his doubles team partner after earning an estimated $106,770 in 2013 and the list of top performing pool players features a healthy contingent of Filipinos with notable names including Francisco Bustamante, who came in 8th with $66,442, and Carlo Biado, who was 12th with $49,350.

Leading the way for the region in the ladies game is Rubilen Amit. The 32-year-old became the first Filipina to become a world pool champion in 2009 and last year she won the Women’s World 10-Ball Championship for a second time, earning an estimated $27,300 in 2013.

With 15 Filipinos currently ranked in the top 100 for the men’s game by the World Pool-Billiard Association there is no question which country is the game’s regional powerhouse but there are representatives elsewhere who also deserve a mention.

Vietnam’s Anh Tuan Nguyen claimed a bronze medal in 10 ball pool singles at the recent SEA Games, with the Filipinos Dennis Orcollo and Carlo Biado coming first and second respectively, and he is currently ranked number 47 in the world and earned an estimated $3,570 last year.

Flying the flag for Singapore is 59th-ranked Lian Han Toh who earned an estimated $2,500 in 2013 a total that as bettered by his compatriot Aloysius Yapp who despite being ranked 40 places lower by the World Pool Billiards Association earned $3,570 last year, according to

Indonesia, the world’s fourth most populous country, is represented at elite level pool by Irsal Nasution. His career highlight was a second-place finish at the 2010 Guinness World Series of Pool in Jakarta.

Major international pool and billiards events are not held in South East Asia as commonly as some regions but the 2013 Women’s World 10 Ball Championship was hosted at Resorts World Manila.

The event proved to be an emphatic success from a Filipino perspective as the local favourite Amit defeated America’s Jennifer Barretta in the final to win the tournament and the $21,000 prize money, helping to cement Manila’s status as a viable venue for world class pool.

The best pool players can earn hundreds of thousands of dollars but the prize money on offer pales in comparison to the sort of rewards available to elite snooker players. So while Filipino players like Amit, Van Corteza and Orcollo are undoubtedly at the pinnacle of the sport, they still can’t expect to earn as much as Wattana did during his heyday.

Mobile phone packages comparison

Men's finals

45kg:Duc Le Hoang (VIE) beat Zolfi Amirhossein (IRI) points 29-28. 48kg: Naruephon Chittra (THA) beat Joseph Vanlalhruaia (IND) TKO round 2.

51kg: Sakchai Chamchit (THA) beat Salam Al Suwaid (IRQ) TKO round 1. ​​​​​​​54kg: Veerasak Senanue (THA) beat Huynh Hoang Phi (VIE) 30-25.

57kg: Almaz Sarsembekov (KAZ) beat Tak Chuen Suen (MAC) RSC round 3. 60kg: Yerkanat Ospan (KAZ) beat Ibrahim Bilal (UAE) 30-27.

63.5kg: Abil Galiyev (KAZ) beat Nouredine Samir (UAE) 29-28. 67kg: Narin Wonglakhon (THA) beat Mohammed Mardi (UAE) 29-28.

71kg: Amine El Moatassime (UAE) w/o Shaker Al Tekreeti (IRQ). 75kg:​​​​​​​ Youssef Abboud (LBN) w/o Ayoob Saki (IRI).

81kg: Ilyass Habibali (UAE) beat Khaled Tarraf (LBN) 29-28. 86kg: Ali Takaloo (IRI) beat Emil Umayev (KAZ) 30-27.

91kg: Hamid Reza Kordabadi (IRI) beat Mohamad Osaily (LBN) RSC round 1. 91-plus kg: Mohammadrezapoor Shirmohammad (IRI) beat Abdulla Hasan (IRQ) 30-27.

Women's finals

45kg: Somruethai Siripathum (THA) beat Ha Huu Huynh (VIE) 30-27. 48kg: Thanawan Thongduang (THA) beat Colleen Saddi (PHI) 30-27.

51kg: Wansawang Srila Or (THA) beat Thuy Phuong Trieu (VIE) 29-28. 54kg: Ruchira Wongsriwo (THA) beat Zeinab Khatoun (LBN) 30-26.

57kg: Sara Idriss (LBN) beat Zahra Nasiri Bargh (IRI) 30-27. 60kg: Kaewrudee Kamtakrapoom (THA) beat Sedigheh Hajivand (IRI) TKO round 2.

63.5kg: Nadiya Moghaddam (IRI) w/o Reem Al Issa (JOR).


Company name: Bedu

Started: 2021

Founders: Khaled Al Huraimel, Matti Zinder, Amin Al Zarouni

Based: Dubai, UAE

Industry: AI, metaverse, Web3 and blockchain

Funding: Currently in pre-seed round to raise $5 million to $7 million

Investors: Privately funded

The years Ramadan fell in May






Director: Nikhil Nagesh Bhat

Starring: Lakshya, Tanya Maniktala, Ashish Vidyarthi, Harsh Chhaya, Raghav Juyal

Rating: 4.5/5


Director: S.J. Clarkson

Starring: Dakota Johnson, Tahar Rahim, Sydney Sweeney

Rating: 3.5/5


Co-founders of the company: Vilhelm Hedberg and Ravi Bhusari

Launch year: In 2016 ekar launched and signed an agreement with Etihad Airways in Abu Dhabi. In January 2017 ekar launched in Dubai in a partnership with the RTA.

Number of employees: Over 50

Financing stage: Series B currently being finalised

Investors: Series A - Audacia Capital 

Sector of operation: Transport


Engine: Two-litre four-cylinder turbo
Power: 235hp
Torque: 350Nm
Transmission: Nine-speed automatic
Price: From Dh167,500 ($45,000)
On sale: Now

Bridgerton season three - part one

Directors: Various

Starring: Nicola Coughlan, Luke Newton, Jonathan Bailey

Rating: 3/5

Tips to keep your car cool
  • Place a sun reflector in your windshield when not driving
  • Park in shaded or covered areas
  • Add tint to windows
  • Wrap your car to change the exterior colour
  • Pick light interiors - choose colours such as beige and cream for seats and dashboard furniture
  • Avoid leather interiors as these absorb more heat

Friday Sassuolo v Benevento (Kick-off 11.45pm)

Saturday Crotone v Spezia (6pm), Torino v Udinese (9pm), Lazio v Verona (11.45pm)

Sunday Cagliari v Inter Milan (3.30pm), Atalanta v Fiorentina (6pm), Napoli v Sampdoria (6pm), Bologna v Roma (6pm), Genoa v Juventus (9pm), AC Milan v Parma (11.45pm)