Advani Resigns WPBSA Membership, Tour Card


As had appeared increasingly inevitable for some time, India’s Pankaj Advani has today announced that he is to resign his professional status and with it his place on snooker’s main tour…

Ever since his spell on the tour began at the start of the 2012/13 season, Advani has been torn between snooker and his love of billiards, with the result that he has had to make some tough choices when faced with event clashes.

During his first season in 2012, Pankaj played brilliantly to qualify for the venue stages of the International Championship, but ultimately made the decision not to compete at the venue due to a date clash with that year’s World Billiards Championship, which he would go on to win at the Northern Snooker Centre in Leeds. He stated at the time:

“It was a choice between two events, not between billiards and snooker as such.

“I know how hard I have worked to qualify for the China tournament. I know how tough it’s been coming back from crunch situations against the top players and actually winning four matches in a row to qualify for the event. Obviously, it’s with a lot of pain that I have to let go of it. But again, the world billiards is an event I have thoroughly enjoyed playing.

“Obviously, I am losing out on a chance to make more ranking points but my points for the stage I have reached and the prize money for that stage is secure.”

A year later, having risen up snooker’s rankings and made it to the quarter-finals of the Indian Open, Pankaj was faced with the same dilemma, but on that occasion decided to put snooker first, meaning that he was unable to defend his billiards title in Leeds.

His love for that sport has clearly remained strong however, and earlier this season in June, having opted to sit out the first two ranking events of the season, it became clear that Pankaj was considering his future in snooker.

Two months on, with entry deadlines for particular tournaments approaching, he has taken the decision to quit the snooker tour and in the short to medium term at least, return home to be closer to his family and compete in billiards events.

Pankaj is quoted at

“It was a constant dilemma, having to decide between billiards and snooker, with tournament dates clashing and I finally reached the decision to let go of my pro tour card.

“However, I will be playing the qualifying competition in Pune in a bid to win one of the six wildcards allotted to India for the next month’s Indian Open World ranking snooker tournament.”

“It has always been my goal to attain excellence in both billiards and snooker. To this end, I am happy that my two years on the pro snooker tour has made me a better player.

“Also, when on the pro tour, I was missing billiards. Now that I am out of the pro circuit, it gives me more opportunities to represent my country and win medals. This means a lot to me.

“The other main reason for my quitting pro tour was that I was missing my family and frankly, I was not enjoying spending so much time away from home.

“I discussed with my family and close friends besides my coach Arvind Savury who initially felt I should continue, but later understood when I explained the reasons and supported my decision to quit pro tour.”

From a personal point of view, it is a shame to see Pankaj exit the tour as he had a unique style of play, different to any other player on snooker’s main tour and that in itself made him interesting to watch, the influence of his billiards background obvious as he played some safety shots that no other professional would think of.

That said, the only right decision is the one that makes Pankaj happy and clearly, having spent a few months away from the circuit, he has come to the realisation that right now at least, this is what he wants and therefore nobody can argue with that.

I do hope that we see him back in the future, perhaps as soon as this season’s Indian Open as a wildcard, but for now I am sure that everyone on the snooker circuit wishes him all of the best for the future.

You can read more about Pankaj here in an interview that he did for Snooker Island back in 2012.