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2023 National Pool Open to shoot out with regional qualifiers

by Micheal Mawanda
3 minutes read

Arguably Africa’s biggest National Pool Tournament; Nile Special National Open Pool Championship has returned after a 4-year absence.

The championship will be played in 320 venues across 3 districts with the grand finale slated for November 11th at the Lugogo Indoor Stadium in Kampala.

Two brand-new cars await the winners of both the male and female categories in the championship where the runners-up will receive New Pool Tables.

In addition, millions of Uganda Shillings in cash will be spilled to over 100 players during the competition exclusively sponsored by Nile Special.

Format of Play

The country is divided into 40 regions; each of which will have 7/8 qualifying centers called minis.

Each mini outlet shall qualify at least four players to the next round; the regional final.

Each of the 40 regional finals will then qualify three players to the grand finale to make 120 players who will then be joined by the top eight seeded men.

The 128 male players will shoot out for a new car and millions in cash and other prizes.

Ladies’ category

In the ladies’ category, there will be straight regional qualification from seven regions; each of which qualifies four players and one will qualify three.

This will make 27 players who will be joined by the Top four seeded ladies and the defending champion to make a 32-player Grand finale.

Also, the shoot-out for a Brand New car, a pool table, and millions of cash plus a rare opportunity to be crowned National champion will be up for grabs for the ladies.

The games begin this week; and here is a summary of the action you can expect and where to catch it from.


2013 Semi-finalist Emmanuel Ocitti will be the biggest name in the qualifiers; expected to register at Cue Bar.

He will be surprised by the arrival of Moses Omara, one of the best players from Kitgum; choosing to play from Gulu in the boldest decision of his career so far.

2018 Last 16 finalist Ivan Opwonya (nicknamed RabaDaba) will also register at the same venue.

A random draw is likely to stop the chance of having all three qualifying for the Regionals in two months at the same venue.


The Regional Center Supplex Bar shall be the center of attraction as Emmanuel Choul has confirmed his participation at the venue.

Fresh from eliminating Tanzanian Kingpin Mussa Mkwega in the Grand Open to reach the last 16, the 2011 National Open quarter-finalist is avoiding Arua to qualify from neighboring Nebbi.

A district which for the last two episodes has been won by Denis Ongom who is missing in Action.


Two members of the 2016 League-winning Ronz team will be under scrutiny after crossing the line of Fire to play on the first weekend of Action.

Mugabo Eric will register at Friends’ Corner in Mbikko while Arafat “The Assassinator” Galuganda will register at The Vybez in Jinja.

Akwi Eric is also expected to qualify at the Vybez with a good track record at the mentioned venue.


Dr James Epodoi, fresh from Presidential recognition as Best Surgeon in the country after successfully separating Siamese twins will return to his favorite sport.

He last qualified for the grand finale in 2010, and he is expected to qualify from Nature Gardens in Soroti.

Veteran kingpin Samuel Oiko is also expected to play at Garden Guest House, just like his Soroti Pool club Team-mate Sam Ecumu.


2013 Winner Silva Anyim has been the first to confirm his participation at his favorite Spot- Secret Lounge this Friday.

Also in action will be veteran Deo Olanya, the guy who beat Caesar Chandiga during 2017 regional final and will be trying to qualify at Airport Guest House.

New dominant players in the district Ocen O.C and Dr. James shall be qualifying from the Hive and Airport Guest House respectively on Friday and Saturday.

Dr. James is expected to clash with his training partner Gerald. O in a nail-biting encounter.


With an ongoing struggle for Acholi bragging rights between Kitgum and Gulu, Kitgum has sent one of its better players Moses Omara to cause havoc by qualifying from Gulu.

This hasn’t left any breathing space in Kitgum as 2014 Grand Finale quarter-finalist Okello Jimmy and Orach Wilfred are clashing at Club Icon.

Samuel Ogenrwot has also confirmed participation at the same venue.

And in a tactical move, Ivan Anywar has kept his cards close to his chest; choosing to keep his preferred venue secret.

Fresh from defeating Tanzania’s Innocent Sammy in the PAU Grand Open. His twin brother is yet to confirm his venue on return from work in Kenya.


Fresh from a respectable contribution towards Mbale Pool club’s League-winning performance, the district’s best player Abdul Mafabi has confirmed participation at his training venue.

At the Oak Bar and Restaurant this weekend Bashir Nakaloke will also be playing at Thatch Gardens, while other players choose to keep their cards close to their chest.


Star Player Bruce “Kakiga” Abahairwe shall register to compete at Da Place Bar and Restaurant.

Vincent Okello and rising star Dr Stephen have responded to Kakiga by running away to Winkers in Malaba; hoping to clash again at the Regionals.

There will be more qualifiers in Arua, Iganga, and parts of Kampala Central as well as Natete-Busega.

Courtesy photos

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