Pankaj Advani

Pankaj Arjan Advani (born 24 July 1985) is an Indian billiards and snooker player. He is a 23 time world champion. He has won the IBSF World Billiards Championship 15 – times, the World Team Billiards Championship 1 – time, the IBSF World Snooker Championship (15 Reds) 3 – times, (6 Reds) 2 – times, the IBSF World Team Cup 1 – time and the IBSF World Team Championship – 1 time.

Pankaj Advani is the only cueist to have won the Asian and World Championships in all formats of Billiards and Snooker. He has the maximum IBSF world championships in billiards and snooker.

He became a snooker professional in 2012, and his first season on the main tour was the 2012/2013 season. Advani won the 2014 IBSF World 6-Red Snooker Championship, on his debut in that discipline. Advani is also India’s first world champion in 6-red snooker.

In recognition of his achievements, the Government of India has bestowed several awards upon Advani: the Arjuna Award in 2004, Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna in 2006, Padma Shri in 2009 and Padma Bhushan in 2018.

Early life

Pankaj Advani was born on 24 July 1985 to a Sindhi family in Pune, India. Advani spent his initial years in Kuwait before moving to Bangalore, India. He received his education at the Frank Anthony Public School, Bangalore and completed his bachelor’s degree in Commerce from Sri Bhagawan Mahaveer Jain College. He received training in snooker from former national Snooker champion Arvind Savur.

At the age of 10 his acumen for snooker came to the notice of Arvind Savur after being introduced to the sport by his elder brother Dr. Shree Advani, a noted Sport & Performance Psychologist. He won his first ever title at the age of 11 and went on to set several records at the state and national levels. In the year 2000 he won his first Indian Junior Billiards Championship title and then went on to win it again in 2001 and 2003. In 2003 he not only won the Indian Junior Snooker and Billiards Championship, he also won the senior snooker champions which made him the youngest National Snooker champion at age 17.

Titles

World Titles – 23

Billiards

IBSF World Billiards Championship (Point Format) – 7 (2005, 2008, 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019)

IBSF World Billiards Championship (Long Format) – 8 (2005,2007, 2008, 2009, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2018)

World Team Billiards Championship – 1 (2014)

Snooker

IBSF World Snooker Championship (15 Reds) – 3 (2003, 2015, 2017)

IBSF World Snooker Championship (6 Reds) – 2 (2014, 2015)

IBSF World Team Cup – 1 (2018)

IBSF World Team Championship – 1 (2019)

Asian Games

2006 Asian Games, Doha – Gold Medal (English Billiards – Singles)

2010 Asian Games, Guangzhou – Gold Medal (English Billiards – Singles)

Asian Titles – 10

Billiards – 7 (2005, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2017, 2018)

Snooker – 3

Asian Snooker Title (6 Reds) – 2016

Asian Snooker Title (15 Reds) – 2019

Asian Team Snooker Title (2017)

National Championships – 34

Junior National Billiards – 7

Junior National Snooker – 4

Senior National Billiards – 10

Senior National Snooker (15 Reds) – 9

Senior National Snooker (6 Reds) – 4                            

Awards and honours

  • Padma Bhushan, India’s third highest civilian honour, 2018
  • Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, India’s highest sporting honour, 2005–06
  • Rajyotsava Prashasti, Karnataka’s second highest civilian honour, 2007.s
  • Karnataka’s “Kempegowda Award“, 2007.
  • Ekalavya Award, Karnataka’s highest sporting honour, 2007
  • Vision of India’s “International Indian” Award, 2005.
  • Senior Sportsperson of the Year, 2005
  • The Sports Writers’ Association of Bangalore Award, 2005
  • The Bangalore University Sportsperson of the Year, 2005
  • The Hero India Sports Award, 2004
  • The Rajeev Gandhi Award, 2004
  • The Arjuna Award, 2004
  • The Indo-American Young Achiever’s Award, 2003
  • The Sports Star Sportsperson of the Year, 2003