Hitman retains title at InterPool Open in Sweden

Raj ‘Hitman’ Hundal

The Hundal family moved to the UK and introduced Raj to cue sports at an
early
age.  

When he was only 6, he began playing on a 6’ snooker table in his

aunt and uncle’s restaurant where his Mum worked as a chef.  Because he was

too young to be left at home alone, he went to work with his Mum and played

snooker all day every day at the restaurant. 

 

His Dad, an avid player himself noticed he was the KING (the meaning of Raj) on the small table.

When he was only 8 years old his Father took him to a local snooker club to

play on the full size 12’ tables. 

 

Raj could barely reach over the table, let alone make shots, so he would stand on a wooden box and play. 

 

Over the next few years Raj’s passion for the game increased and he began playing in a few snooker tournaments.  At the age of 11 he played in a Pro Am and by  the age of 13 he was making century breaks and winning local tournaments.

 

Raj would finish 3rd two years running in the Pot Black Star of the Future

tournament when he was 14/ 15 years old.  
This tournament regularly
attracts over 250 entrants from all over the UK. 

 

At 16 Raj played in the Morden Classic Pro Am and won, beating leading amateurs and professionals alike. 

 

As a snooker player, Raj discovered pool by accident at 17.  He was

due to play a snooker challenge match at a venue that was hosting a pool

tournament; and his opponent didn’t show. 

 

Raj turned his attention to the pool tournament, a UK ranking event at Shepherd’s Bush, London. 

He quickly paid the entry fee, picked up a cue from the rack and finished 3rd,

eventually losing 11-10 in the semi final.  He had enjoyed the tournament,

the venue and the game immensely… this seemed to be his sport – very

offensive and never over till it’s over, Raj was now turning his sights to

Pool.   9-Ball was now his game! 

 

Raj Hundal never played Snooker again and after meeting up with Steve Knight (aka The Night Rider) he trained as hard as he could to master the game. 

 

At the time, Steve was the best UK pool player; having won multiple tournaments and a World title he shared his knowledge and experience with Raj. 

Although Steve retired a few years ago, his legacy lives on, through Raj and one day through a protégé, and for that Raj is eternally grateful.

 

In 1999 at the tender age of 18 Raj began his pool career playing every UK

tournament he could find, big or small.  Gaining the experience he needed to

turn pro he played in a European ranking tournament where he beat the

Italian champion in a race to 11 coming back from 9-1 behind. 

 

In 2000, Raj Hundal became a professional pool player.  Barry Hearn of Matchroom Sports,  promoted the UK Champion of Champions at Leyton Orient Football Club. 

Raj entered this tournament and won.  On the back of this success, Barry invited him to participate in the World Pool Championships, at the tender age of 18.

 

Through perseverance and tenacity Raj continued competing around the world

though he hadn’t yet made a breakthrough on the UK tour.  Then in 2002, he

won the Cyprus Open, his first UK ranking title and started to break every

record in the UK. 

 

 

He was the youngest player to be ranked #1 at the age of

23 winning five ranking tournaments in a row. 

 

As a result he was awarded Player of the Year 2004/2005 and Most Consistent Player of the Year 2004/2005. 

 

In the 2005 WPC, Raj destroyed Ching Shun-Yang, the tournament favourite 10-4, only to fall to Rodney Morris 10-9 in the last 32 of the

tournament. 

 

After an invite by Barry Hearn, in one of the most prestigious

events, Raj won his debut appearance at the World Pool Masters in 2005,

gaining revenge over Rodney 8-7 win having been 6-0 behind.

 

 

They remain good friends to this day.  Continuing his winning stride, Raj was the youngest UK representative for Europe at age 24 in the 2005 Mosconi Cup in Las Vegas.

 

Additionally he was selected to represent the UK in the inaugural season of

the International Pool Tour also gaining an invitation to compete in the IPT

King of the Hill in Orlando, Florida. 

 

2006 proved to be a prosperous yea for Raj, competing in both the IPT North American Open 8 Ball Championship and the IPT World Open 8 Ball Championship. Raj is committed to the game he loves…representing India (his mother land), touring in Asia with his eye on the ultimate prize…another World title! Where does the story go now?