Ronnie in Gateshead – 22 November 2018

Ronnie was in Gateshead yesterday for the second night of a three stands tour.

This is what happened, as reported by Jason Francis on twitter:

8 frames made 4 tons on the bounce then 85 and finished with his 5 th ton a brilliant 147 maximum genius. Hartlepool tomorrow

Apparently, those tons were 137, 130, 130, 122 an.d 147

Those images were shared on social media.

and this was Ronnie’s reaction:

Amazing crowd tonight in Gateshead, it was a pleasure to have the opportunity to perform for you all, and such friendly people, big up to the northeast

This is a short video posted by a fan on twitter – probably the last balls of the 147

And another one

As well as this one – an entire frame here – captured in an original way

Also  this video emerged from Ronnie’s performance yesterday in Halifax, thanks to krdlr who found it!



More info about the new Coral Series

More details about those three events are now on WPBSA website

The Coral Series – Everything You Need to Know

22nd November 2018

It was announced yesterday by World Snooker that three key ranking events during the second half of the 2018/19 season will form the new Coral Series – but what are the events and how can players qualify?

The events

The three events that will form the Coral Series are the World Grand Prix, Players Championship and the new Tour Championship. All three events will be broadcast in the UK by ITV4.

World Grand Prix

The first tournament to take place will be the World Grand Prix, to be held at the first time at Cheltenham Racecourse from 4-10 February 2019. First held in its current form as an invitational event in 2015, the event has been won by Judd Trump, Shaun Murphy, Barry Hawkins and most recently Ronnie O’Sullivan earlier this year.

Once again, the top 32 players on the one-year ranking list (more below) will qualify and contest a £100,000 top prize.

Players Championship

Exactly a month later comes the Players Championship, which moves back to Preston’s Guild Hall and will run from 4-10 March 2019. First held in 2011 as the Players Tour Championship Finals, the event has run in its current form since 2017 when Judd Trump defeated Marco Fu 10-8 to capture the title and last year was won by Ronnie O’Sullivan who ran out a 10-4 winner against Shaun Murphy.

As during each of the past two years, the event will comprise 16 players, again taken from the one-year ranking list who will battle to win a first prize of £125,000.

Tour Championship

The final event of the Coral Series will be the Tour Championship, an all-new event to be held at Venue Cymru in Llandudno, Wales from 19-24 March 2019.

Intriguingly, the event will include just eight players who will compete for a bumper £150,000 top prize. The event will be run under an all-new long format, which will see all matches played across at least two sessions as follows:

  • Quarter-finals – best of 17 frames (8/9)
  • Semi-finals – best of 19 frames (8/11)
  • Final – best of 25 frames (8/8/9)

The three-session final will be the first two-day final at a ranking event outside of the World Championship for many years, evoking memories of the extra-long UK Championship finals last seen in the early 1990s.


As in previous seasons, qualification for all three events will be determined not by the official world ranking list, but instead the one-year ranking list meaning that there could be some surprise names missing out if they have earned less prize money during the current campaign than the 2017/18 season.

Qualifiers for each event will be taken from the one-year ranking list following three defined ranking cut-offs as follows:

  • World Grand Prix – top 32 following the German Masters (4/2/2019)
  • Players Championship – top 16 following the Shoot Out (25/2/2019)
  • Tour Championship – top eight following the Gibraltar Open (18/3/2019)

Importantly, as full-ranking events, the prize money from each of these events themselves will count towards the one-year ranking list, making it even more important for players to qualify for the World Grand Prix to give themselves the best opportunity to then make it to the Players Championship and ultimately the Tour Championship.

Coral Cup

As part of yesterday’s announcement by World Snooker, it was also revealed that the player earning the most prize money across the three Coral Series events will become the first recipient of the new Coral Cup, while a player winning all three events would earn a prize money bonus of £125,000 taking their potential total to a staggering £500,000, as much as will be won by this year’s world champion in Sheffield.


Tickets for all three Coral Series events are on sale now, for details CLICK HERE.

Further information about the Coral Cup and who is in line to qualify for the World Grand Prix will be published here at over the coming weeks…

I ask Matt Huart – who is probably the author of this article – if the bonus would count towards ranking points. He wasn’t sure but thought it would probably not count. However, Django Fung, the Grove manager was of the opposite opinion …

About Luke Simmonds, Ronnie first round opponent in York

Worldsnooker has published this piece about Luke Simmonds, Ronnie’s first round opponent in York

Part-time factory worker Luke Simmonds is looking forward to the challenge of taking on defending champion Ronnie O’Sullivan in the first round of the Betway UK Championship in York next week.

Amateur cueman Simmonds has been drawn against six-time UK Championship king O’Sullivan in the tournament which runs from November 27 to December 9 at the York Barbican.

Simmonds has never been ranked higher than 94th in the world but won enough matches at Q School this year to earn a place in certain ranking events.

The 38-year-old from the Isle of Wight has worked in a factory for the past eight years, building carbon fibre body parts for cars. He practises snooker whenever he can, to prepare for tournaments.

“Hopefully I’ll have a couple of days practice next week before I head up to York,” said former World Amateur Champion Simmonds. “The financial side is difficult because if you are not winning matches then you can’t cover your expenses.

“It’s exciting to be drawn against Ronnie because I have never played him before and it will be my biggest match in terms of the profile of the occasion.

“I admire Ronnie because, along with John Higgins and Mark Williams, they are able to play snooker in an optimum state of mind. They are totally at ease with themselves, enjoying the game with no concerns about prize money or expenses.

“I would love to be able to do the same but the hardest thing is to get to that point. I don’t feel good about my game at the moment because I am very self-critical of my own performances.

“Snooker is a unique game in that when you are at the table, if you can clear the balls then there’s nothing your opponent can do about it. And if you don’t give your opponent chances then he can’t score.”

That match will take place on Thursday November 29th at 2.30pm. The event starts with 128 players in the line-up, and the whole first round takes place over the first three days.

Other top stars battling for the £170,000 top prize include Mark Selby, Judd Trump, John Higgins, Neil Robertson, Mark Williams and Mark Allen.

Tickets for the first three days start at just £8, and with eight tables in play in every session, it’s an incredible chance for fans to see many of the world’s top stars with superb value for money. For details CLICK HERE

Televised by BBC and Eurosport, the Betway UK Championship has been staged every year since 1977 and is one of snooker’s Triple Crown events, alongside the World Championship and the Masters.

Ronnie did read this article, and tweeted:

hope my opponent can get the time off work for our game in the uk champs, it’s very interesting in what he has to say about being on the tour

Quite baffling in my eyes, but some read this tweed as patronising. How come? For me, this is just Ronnie expressing sympathy for a player who finds himself in a situation that Ronnie never had to face. Also, I’m sure that he reads this as a confirmation that the bottom ranked players can’t make a living out of the game.

Meanwhile, Ronnie is with Jason Francis for three nights of “Sporting life Story”, the first one happening yesterday in Halifax. Feedback was very positive as always.

More about the three ITV events

This was yesterday announced by Worldsnooker:

This season’s World Grand Prix, Players Championship and Tour Championship will now be sponsored by leading betting operator Coral, with snooker’s top players also set to battle for the newly created Coral Cup.

These tournaments were previously sponsored by Ladbrokes but the Ladbrokes Coral Group has taken a strategic decision to change the three title sponsorships to the Coral brand.

The Coral World Grand Prix will run from February 4-10 at Cheltenham Racecourse, with the top 32 players from the one-year ranking list to earn a place.

The top 16 on the one-year list will go on to the Coral Players Championship at the Guild Hall in Preston from March 4-10.

And only the top eight will make it to the Coral Tour Championship at Venue Cymru in Llandudno from March 19 to 24.

The top prizes at the three Coral Series events will be £100,000, £125,000 and £150,000 respectively, and any player taking all three titles will have his total rounded up from £375,000 to £500,000.

The player earning the most overall prize money across the three events will receive the inaugural Coral Cup.

All three events will receive extensive television coverage from ITV4.

World Snooker Chairman Barry Hearn said: “The race is on to qualify for the Coral World Grand Prix with only three counting events to go, the UK Championship, Scottish Open and German Masters, before the cut off point falls. Only the best 32 players of the season will make it to Cheltenham, and then the field becomes more and more elite for the events in Preston and Llandudno.

“Every pound counts over the coming weeks and it is a huge incentive for players to qualify for the Coral Series events because they have a high level of prestige and a fantastic level of prize money. Those who make it have the chance to push further ahead in the world rankings.

“We are thrilled to be working with the Coral team on what will be an outstanding trip of tournaments which will be watched by many millions of fans across the world.”

Simon Clare, Ladbrokes Coral PR Director said: “We are delighted to be partnering with World Snooker to launch such an exciting, new snooker series. Coral has a long history of sponsorship in snooker, but this decision to sponsor three such prestigious events and the inaugural Coral Cup is the biggest commitment we have ever made to the sport and one we are very proud to make. We can’t wait to get started.”

Tickets for all three Coral Series events are on sale now, for details CLICK HERE

Currently among the top 32 of the one-year list are the likes of Mark Allen, Mark Selby, Judd Trump, Mark Williams, Ronnie O’Sullivan, Neil Robertson and John Higgins.

So basically we are going from one bookie to another…

Simply the Best – Clive Everton


I just finished reading “Simply the Best” by Clive Everton, so here is my review for what it’s worth. Before I do this though, I want to point at Clive’s introduction and his acknowledgement that Ronnie – politely – declined to co-operate to this book. Ronnie indeed hasn’t particularly friendly feelings towards Clive mainly because he feels that Clive’s reading of and writing about some of his own comments and behaviours aren’t a correct reflection of what he actually felt and meant. This is something I have heard from Ronnie himself.

Clive goes through Ronnie’s life and career, nearly year by year, and every significant match Ronnie played is documented by comments made at the time, either by Ronnie himself, or his opponent, and sometimes by others involved like officials or witnesses. As such this book is an invaluable source of documentation as Clive certainly unearthed excerpts of the interviews and press conferences recorded “live” after matches, be it wins and defeats. It doesn’t always make for a very easy read such is the wealth of information offered to the reader. But it does take us to the rollercoaster of emotions and mood swings that paved Ronnie’s career, and it highlights how much working with Steve Peters has changed his outlook on his career and on himself.

Clive is firmly convinced that Ronnie Senior’s imprisonment had a profound and durable impact both on Ronnie’s career, psyche and on his life away from snooker. There is certainly a lot of truth in this and, if anything, this was confirmed by Ronnie himself in his “Sporting Live Story”. However, I believe that there is more than just that. I have known Ronnie for more than ten years now, and during the 2010 to 2013 period in particular he opened up to me about how much his “divorce” from Jo Langley had affected him, how lonely and lost he felt, and how he was prepared to do anything to make sure that he would not be estranged from his two youngest children as he had been from his first daughter. Also, when his father was finally released Ronnie had high expectations. Of course he didn’t think that all would be like it was 18 years earlier. He was an adult with children himself, not a teenager. But he thought that they somehow would be a family again. When his parents split, shortly after they were reunited, it hurt him despite his understanding that in 18 years they had inevitably become different persons and grown apart. To me, Clive doesn’t give those events enough importance in his analysis of Ronnie’s mindset at the time.

Also, it’s clear than Clive is a big fan of Barry Hearn. There is no doubt that Barry Hearn has done a lot of good and that snooker is now in better shape than it was, although, to rely mainly on one line of business for sponsoring – the gambling industry – is a dangerous thing to do and probably will backfire at a point. However some of the criticisms Ronnie expressed over the years were/are not unfounded. Players are the game’s biggest asset, and it’s the top players who attract the audience. They deserve to feel valued and respected. In his book “On the Road and Off the Table With Snooker’s Greatest”, Jason Francis tells us what the reaction was when Ronnie had a breakdown at the Crucible in 2016: “He will be fined”. Would it have been too much to ask if he was alright? And, in the October issue of Snooker Scene, Clive covers the spat Ronnie had about the Crawley venue at lengths, essentially taking side with WS. But, David Hendon, who, contrary to  Clive, was on the site, is giving a very different account, basically backing Ronnie’s claims. Ronnie isn’t the most stable person, he’s bipolar to start with, and many things he says should be taken with a pinch of salt even if he genuinely means them on the moment. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t truth in what he says – in fact beyond the exaggerations and sometimes insults, there usually is truth in it – and I feel that Clive’s perception is biased at times.

It certainly is an interesting reading, and one every snooker fan should have in their library.




How things stand before the UK Championship 2018

This article was published by Wordsnooker yesterday

Ronnie O’Sullivan has jumped 27 places up the one-year ranking list thanks to his run to the final of the BetVictor Northern Ireland Open.

And that boosts O’Sullivan’s chances of qualifying for the Ladbrokes Series of tournaments in February and March.

The Rocket previously stood 49th on the list, but the £30,000 he won in Belfast shoots him up to 22nd and leaves him well placed to be among the top 32 for the first event of the series, the Ladbrokes World Grand Prix in Cheltenham in February.

Judd Trump beat O’Sullivan 9-7 in the final in Northern Ireland to land his ninth ranking title, and his £70,000 prize moves him up from 12th place to fifth.

Eden Sharav reached the semi-finals of a ranking event for the first time in his career, earning £20,000 to move from 53rd to 29th. Mark Selby was the other losing semi-finalist and he goes ahead of Mark Allen to the top of the list with £213,000.

Only the top 32 will qualify automatically for the Ladbrokes World Grand Prix in Cheltenham (February 4-10), then the top 16 go on to the Ladbrokes Players Championship in Preston (March 4-10), and only the top eight will make it to the new Ladbrokes Tour Championship in Llandudno (March 19-24).

As is stands there are:
Ten players in the top 32 of the one-year list who are outside the top 32 of the official world rankings.
Six players in the top 16 of the one-year list who are outside the top 16 of the official world rankings.
Four players in the top eight of the one-year list who are outside the top eight of the official world rankings.

In the official two year world rankings, Trump remains fifth while O’Sullivan stays in third. Sharav jumps from 77 to 70.

The Race to the Dafabet Masters is coming into the home straight, with the Betway UK Championship (November 27 to December 9) the only remaining counting event before the field is set for Alexandra Palace in January, with only the top 16 to qualify.

Marco Fu’s first round defeat against Chen Feilong in Belfast dented his hopes as he remains in 17th place and now trails 16th-placed Jack Lisowski by £6,100, which means he’ll need to win at least two matches in York to have a chance of earning a spot at Ally Pally.

Just £71,000 separates Lisowski from Xiao Guodong in 25th place. And with £170,000 to the winner and £75,000 to the runner-up in York, there are plenty of players in with a chance of making a late dash for a Masters berth.


Scottish Open 2018 Draw and Format

Worldsnooker just published the draw and format for the Scottish Open 2018

The draw and format for the 2018 BetVictor Scottish Open is now available.

Click here for the draw

Click here for the format

The tournament at the Glasgow Emirates runs from December 10 to 16 with 128 players battling for the Stephen Hendry Trophy.

Among the star names in the draw are Ronnie O’Sullivan, Judd Trump, Shaun Murphy, Mark Allen, Ding Junhui, home favourite John Higgins and defending champion Neil Robertson.

Tickets are available now and start at just £10 – for details click here.  Take advantage of our Black Friday offer with selected tickets at just £5!

Now we have a few surprises here with Mark Selby and Mark Williams giving it a miss whilst Ding Junhui, who had stated that he was not going to compete in the home nations, did enter.

Ronnie is seeded n°2 but doesn’t have a particularly easy draw, with Daniel Wells first and, possibly, David Gilbert next. He will play his first match on December 11, not before 1 pm UK time.