Race to the Champion of Champions … plus one

On Monday, Worldsnooker published this article

Monday 22 Aug 2016 05:10PM


The field for this year’s Champion of Champions is shaping up, with 2015 winner Neil Robertson set to defend his crown against a field including the likes of Masters victor Ronnie O’Sullivan and World Champion Mark Selby.

Ali Carter’s recent World Open win saw him join the field for Ricoh Arena, Coventry this November 7-12.

Eleven players already know they are assured a place in the tournament, with the winner of this week’s Paul Hunter Classic set to join them.

The first 16 unique players named on the Qualification List below will earn a spot at the Champion of Champions. With six tournaments to go until snooker’s showpiece event in Coventry, the winners of the Shanghai Masters, European Championship, English Open, International Championship and the Paul Hunter Classic know they will be invited to play the event, should they not be one of the 11 players already qualified.

The winners of three tournaments; Robin Hull (Snooker Shoot-Out), the 6 Reds World Championship winner (to be played in September) and Mark Davis (World Seniors Championship) sit nervously awaiting confirmation of their place in the event.

Should any of those players already have qualified, the spot will be offered to the next player on the list not to have already received an invite. Should the Qualification List of events not throw up 16 unique winners, any remaining spots will be allocated to the highest placed player(s) on the 2016 World Grand Prix Order of Merit.

Promoted by Matchroom Sport, snooker’s new showpiece event, the Champion of Champions, returns to the Ricoh Arena in Coventry, November 7-12 2016, and will bring together many of the best snooker players on the planet and fans can watch it all live thanks to the extensive coverage provided by ITV4.

With a top prize of £100,000 and current champions of snooker’s major tournaments, including the likes of Ronnie O’Sullivan, Judd Trump, Neil Robertson, Mark Selby and Shaun Murphy, all eligible to compete, the Champion of Champions is set to build on its position as one of the biggest event of the snooker season.

The tournament will start with a quartet of four-man groups, with the winner of each group to progress to the semi-finals. The final on Saturday, November 12 will be over 19 frames.

Tickets are on sale now at http://www.championofchampionssnooker.co.uk.

2016 Champion of Champions Qualification List

(Players in bold are assured of an invite to the event)

1 Champion of Champions (Nov 2015) Neil Robertson (1)

2 UK Championship (Dec 2015) Neil Robertson

3 The Masters (Jan 2016) Ronnie O’Sullivan (2)

4 German Masters (Feb 2016) Martin Gould (3)

5 Welsh Open (Feb 2016) Ronnie O’Sullivan

6 Championship League (Mar 2016) Judd Trump (4)

7 World Grand Prix (Mar 2016) Shaun Murphy (5)

8 Players Championship (Mar 2016) Mark Allen (6)

9 China Open (Apr 2016) Judd Trump

10 World Championship (May 2016) Mark Selby (7)

11 Indian Open (July 2016) Anthony McGill (8)

12 World Open (July 2016) Ali Carter (9)

13 Shanghai Masters (Sep 2016)

14 European Championship (Oct 2016)

15 English Open (Oct 2016)

16 International Championship (Oct 2016)

17 World Championship Runner-Up (May 2016) Ding Junhui (10)

18 Gibraltar Open (Dec 2015) Marco Fu (11)

19 Gdynia Open (Feb 2016) Mark Selby

20 Riga Open (June 2016) Neil Robertson

21 Paul Hunter Classic (Aug 2016)

22 Snooker Shoot Out (Feb 2016) Robin Hull

23 6 Reds World Championship (Sep 2016)

24 World Seniors (Jan 2016) Mark Davis

First of all we should remember that this article is about those who qualified for the event, and that some might choose not to enter. So there is no guarantee that Ronnie, or any of the others for that matters, will actually be playing in it come November.

Next, the inclusion of Ding Junhui, assured a spot  for being runner-up at the World Championship is causing some stir amongst the fans and I certainly can see why. It’s obvious that having Ding in the field will boost the event on the Asian market, but it’s not fair towards the other players, and it’s not honest to change the rules whilst the qualifying period is still running. Especially as Ding still has the opportunity to be there by right, there are still four events for him to play in, with two in China.




Today, Ronnie announced the publication of his new book, a crime novel, with this message:

Book launch is 17th November, hope you like it, Ro


Interested? Here is the amazon link .

Frankie James is a young man with a lot on his shoulders. His mother disappeared when he was fifteen; his father’s in jail for armed robbery; and he owes rent on the SoHo snooker club he inherited to one of London’s toughest gangsters. Things, you’d think, can only get better. Actually, they’re about to get a whole lot worse.

He always swore to his mum he’d keep his younger, wilder brother out of trouble, but when Jack turns up at the club early in the morning, covered in someone else’s blood, with no memory of the night before, and with the cops hard on his heels, it seems there’s no way Frankie can make good on his promise. With Jack banged up, awaiting trial for the vicious murder of a bride-to-be – a murder that’s sparked an even more vicious gang war between London’s two foremost crime families – Frankie knows a conviction could quickly turn into a death sentence.

To prevent that from happening, he needs to find out who framed Jack and why, but that means entering the sordid world of bent coppers, ruthless mobsters and twisted killers that he’s tried all his life to avoid getting sucked into. Now, however, he no longer has any choice. But in the dog-eat-dog underworld of 1980s SoHo, is he tough enough, and smart enough to come out on top?

Clearly the plot was inspired by Ronnie’s own live experience …

Goffs feedback

Over the last two days Ronnie gave us a bit of feedback about Goffs and how he feels about the Eleven30 series. Here are his tweets:

Great night at goffs Saturday, amazing crowd, great venue, and loved playing Judd, he’s defo a multiple world champion

I’m loving the challenge matches with Judd, I wanna do more of these. It’s really getting my juices going

Tickets for my Exeter show at railway club on 12th sept are half price this week. Got Jv with me too 01392427445 for tickets

Will be back in Goffs 7/8 Jan for legends cup. Got hell of a team with Jimbo, Selby and kyren. http://Www.ticketmaster.ie 

Next match with Judd is 3rd sept at cresset in Peterborough. Can’t wait

And in the middle of it all, quite randomly, this …

Eating great food is as good as making a 147, that’s how happy food makes me 


Don’t ask!

Anyway, it’s great to read that he enjoys playing!

Ronnie wins in Goffs

Ronnie beat Judd Trump by 6-4 in leg 3 of the Eleven30 series, in Goffs, Ireland. He still trails 2-1 overall though.

It all started with a meet and greet for the VIPs, and a very surprised Judd was presented with a birtday cake. Happy 27 Judd!!!

Goffs is a fantastic venue, and the Irish crowd is always very lively but fair. Last night they were treated to a fantastic match. Just like the two first legs, this was very close and is was high quality: both players made 2 centuries, Ronnie 103 & 110, Judd 110 & 120 and Judd’s 120 was a missed maximum attempt. Having potted all 15 blacks with reds, he potted the yellow … and went in-off!

Jimmy White, who is the sponsor, Dafabet, ambassador played a frame against Philip, a member of the audience and added a fith century to the evening’s tally for good measure.

To add to the rock’n roll , literally, Ronnie Wood from the Rolling Stones popped up, unannouced, with his wife and twin baby daughters, much to the delight of Ronnie and Jimmy who are godfathers to the twins. Ronnie Wood also presented the trophy to Ronnie O’Sullivan

Fergal O’Brien was also on site, probably assessing the opposition ahead of the Irish Legends Cup next January. The tickets for thet one go on sale on Monday, but people present in Goffs had the opportunity to get theirs already!

Telegraph & Argus Interview

Ahead of the third led of the Eleven30 series in Goffs , the “Telegraph & Argus” , from Bradford, have published this article .

Telegtaph&Argus 2016-08-20 .png

WHEN you have won five World Championships, six Masters and five UK Championships, you have probably earned the right to pick and choose your tournaments.

That is where Ronnie O’Sullivan – arguably the greatest snooker player ever – is at the moment.

‘The Rocket’, who plays Judd Trump in the Snooker Legends Eleven30 Series at Bradford’s Richard Dunn Sports Centre next month, has had enough of feeling he has to get on the treadmill that the snooker circuit can be.

O’Sullivan admitted: “I feel like a goldfish swimming backwards and forwards about in a bowl. I want to get to the ocean. Do you know what I mean?

“I want some diversity in my life, such as exhibitions and my TV show, but it is all about controlling your emotions and I have them more under check these days.

“But having said that, I don’t always feel like practising, as I have been doing it for 25 years and I am 40 now.

“It depends how the mood takes me. I could practise for an hour, an hour and a half or anything up to four hours, and it is good in the sense that I can switch my phone off, get away from everything and relax, but I don’t want to feel that I am forced to do it.”

O’Sullivan and former world No 1 Trump are playing a six-match best-of-11 frame series for a winner-takes-all prize of £30,000.

Ex-UK champion Trump took the early lead with June victories in Frimley Green (6-5) and Belfast (6-4) and there are rounds at Goffs, County Kildare tonight and Peterborough (September 3) before the final weekend in Bradford (September 10) and Preston Guild Hall (September 11).

O’Sullivan turned professional in 1992, so has competed against the best players in the world for two-and-a-half decades, and brackets Trump in a small group of the most talented players over that period.

He said: “You are looking at Stephen Hendry, Jimmy White, John Higgins, Paul Hunter and Judd who, like me, can take a frame away from their opponent so quickly that they are like rabbits in the headlights.

“Judd and myself have a 30-second shot clock in the Eleven30 Series but, to be honest, we probably don’t need it as we play so quickly – and that is what the crowd want. They want to be entertained, they want to leave the arena feeling happy.

“John played in a more methodical fashion than the high-tempo snooker of the others but of those five, Hendry was the hardest – he was mentally unbreakable.”

When you are likely to have to play a rival in the latter stages of a tournament, O’Sullivan says there is no point in getting too close to them.

He explained: “You are not going to be best mates with someone and then face them in a final. It just doesn’t work like that as you need to have that edge, like Phil Taylor, Rafael Nadal and Noval Djokovic have in other sports.”

Having said that he does not necessarily want to play in a welter of tournaments in the new season, ironically O’Sullivan has quite a busy schedule.

He said: “I have entered three Chinese tournaments and three European tournaments, as well as playing in the UK and the World Championships, where I might even have to qualify, but that’s okay as Ding Junhui got to the world final as a qualifier.”

A total of 1,200 tickets for the O’Sullivan v Trump clash at the Richard Dunn Sports Centre, which is co-promoted by MJK Sports Events, have already been sold but 200 remain.

Tickets cost £25 and £35 and can be purchased on 07414-960956 to avoid booking fees.

Doors open at 4pm and, in addition to the 11 frames, there will also be an exhibition by six-times world runner-up Jimmy White at 5pm and trick shots and entertainment from former UK champion John Virgo at 6.45pm, with the main event starting at 7.30pm.

Co-promoter Mick Speight, who is a Bingley-based former snooker professional, said: “I can remember playing at the Richard Dunn against Jimmy in 1996, so it is really special for me to be holding it there again with Jimmy, John, Ronnie and Judd.”

I’m not sure about the third Chinese tourbnament though … unless Bucharest is now part of China. Hum … but it’s good to read that Ronnie intends to play in the UK Championship and the World, even if he has to qualify.

Ronnie confirmed for English and Irish Opens

Worldsnooker has today published this article, confirming that Ronnie has entered the English and Irish Opens, as well as the Shanghai Masters, European Championship and International Championship.

Wednesday 17 Aug 2016 10:35AM


O’Sullivan won the Masters and Welsh Open last season

Ronnie O’Sullivan, John Higgins, Neil Robertson and Shaun Murphy are among the top snooker stars to have already entered the new English Open in Manchester in October.

The tournament at Event City, from October 10 to 16, is the first in the new Home Nations series.

O’Sullivan has also entered the second event, the Irish Open in Belfast which runs from November 14 to 20 at the Titanic Exhibition Centre. The deadline for entering the third tournament – the Scottish Open – falls just after the Irish Open.

Any player winning all four Homes Nations tournaments would receive a massive £1 million bonus.

It will be a busy autumn schedule for O’Sullivan as he has also entered the Shanghai Masters, European Championship and International Championship. Last season, he didn’t play competitively until December.

A spokesman for World Snooker said: “The new Home Nations events will be a fantastic chance for fans around the UK to see the very best players in action. Each tournament will feature 128 players starting in the same round and the venues will have multiple tables, so for the price of a single ticket fans can see a host of the big names competing.


Don’t miss the chance to see the top stars this season

“The fields are going to be extremely strong and clearly the chance of a £1 million bonus is an incentive for all players. Once the entry date for the English Open has passed on September 14th we will be announcing the draw and format for Manchester.

“Tickets are selling fast so fans are strongly urged to get their seats booked for all four tournaments.”

Total prize money for each of the Home Nations events will be £366,000, with the winner to receive £70,000. All four tournaments will be televised by Eurosport.

Tickets for all Home Nations events are now on sale and there’s an amazing SPECIAL OFFER running for a limited time only. All day tickets for the Monday to Wednesday for each event are just £15 – remarkable value for the chance to see the world’s best.

For all details CLICK HERE

Home Nations events

English Open – Event City, Manchester, October 10-16

Irish Open – Titanic Exhibition Centre Belfast, November 14-20

Scottish Open – Emirates Arena, December 12-18