Paul Hunter Classic 2019 – News

This has been published on Facebook by the Austrian Snooker body, the ÖSBV


What a draw for Florian Nüßle at the Paul Hunter Classic 2019: the 17-year-old Austrian will meet world No. 8 Kyren Wilson in the opening round. Wilson won the event last year.

The PHC was a Main Tour ranking event between 2010 and 2018 but this year will be held as an invitational event in Fürth, Germany, on 24-25 August.

Florian is one of three promising youngsters who have been handed a wild card for the 16-player event.

Full draw for the PHC 2019:

> Saturday 24 August at 11:00 hrs local time:
– Kyren Wilson vs Florian Nüßle
– Luca Brecel vs Mark King
– Matt Selt vs Dominic Dale
– Ken Doherty vs Ryan Davies

> Saturday at 14:00 hrs:
– Barry Hawkins vs Matthew Stevens
– David Gilbert vs Michael Holt
– Joe Perry vs Ben Mertens
– Shaun Murphy vs qualifier *

* the final starting place will be awarded to the winner of a qualifying event, where Andreas Ploner will be among the participants.

The ÖSBV wishes both Florian and Andreas best of luck!

The qualifying event mentioned will be played at the Ballroom in Nürnberg, Germany under supervision of Jürgen Kesseler who published this information on his facebook page

registration for the qualifier for the Paul Hunter Classic in Fuerth only through my website:…/gst-level-pink-90429-n…
If you are not able to register, let me know.


PHC2019 Qual Info

The format isn’t  known yet.

Also I noticed than the Paul Hunter Classic is no more listed in the official Worldsnooker Prize Money Schedule. From memory, the TOTAL money available for the event was £17500 which is really not much at all. I’m not sure what it means status wise that the event is no more on the list. It is still on the calendar though.

Yet another interview with Ronnie

It’s published in “Runners World” and, of course mainly about running:

ronnie-RunningWorld-1An interview with Ronnie O’Sullivan

The world’s greatest snooker player talks to RW about mental health, portion control and ‘proper running’

Ronnie O’Sullivan is not interested in jogging. The man nicknamed ‘The Rocket’ likes to run the way he pots snooker balls: quickly; relentlessly.

‘There’s no feeling like ticking along at 6:30-min/mile, in the forest, up and down the hills,’ he says. ‘It’s just a great way to start the day. That, to me, is proper running.’

To hear O’Sullivan speak about running today, in almost religious terms, it’s hard to imagine a time when he considered it a chore. However, as a kid, O’Sullivan was told by his dad, Ronnie Snr, that he had to run.

‘He used to force me to go out,’ says O’Sullivan. ‘He said, “You can leave school when you’re 15, but you have to keep fit. Healthy body, healthy mind.” I never used to enjoy it, but I noticed it made me play better snooker. And I wanted to be as good as I could at snooker, so I kept it up.’

However, when his dad was imprisoned for murder, O’Sullivan stopped running and by the time he was 20 years old, he weighed 15 stone and his waistline that had swelled to 37 inches. Running came back into his life initially as a way to lose weight – but soon became much more than that.

‘Running has kept the things that are important to me – my family, relationships and snooker – much more stable. I’ve noticed I don’t get so moody, there isn’t the same self-loathing. Running just makes me feel so much better about myself, which is good for everyone around me too.’


In many ways, running became O’Sullivan’s new addiction. In his 2013 autobiography, Running, he called it ‘my religion, my belief system’. It replaced the booze and drugs that had characterised large parts of his life until then – and he was good at it too. Having joined his local running club, Woodford Green, he began to train and race like a man possessed. Four years later, in 2008, he was down to 11 ½ stone and running a 34:54 10K. ‘Proper running’ by anyone’s standards.

A lot on his plate

Ten years and several injuries on, O’Sullivan is not running quite as quickly. ‘I could probably only run a 20-minute 5K at the minute,’ he says, wistfully. He is, otherwise, in a wonderful place – physically, mentally and professionally.

Two days before we met, he had just become world number one again in his second-favourite sport: snooker. At 44, he’s the oldest player to achieve this – and he attributes his longevity to regular running and a fresh approach to nutrition.

His new book, Top of Your Game: Eating for Mind and Body, which he’s co-wrote with nutritionist Rhiannon Lambert, is a collection of healthy recipes and hard-won insights on food, running and life in general.

In many ways, O’Sullivan is an unlikely poster boy for the healthy eating movement. Moderation, self-care and healthy living aren’t things you might readily associate with a man whose all-night binges would reportedly see him consume 15 pints of Guinness (alongside other, stronger substances).

It’s fair to say he’s made some foodie faux pas along the way, too. ‘I’d always eaten well because my mum was Sicilian,’ says O’Sullivan, ‘so I’d been used to eating fresh produce and good food. My biggest problem has always been that I’ve just eaten too much.’

For instance, when someone mentioned to O’Sullivan that olives were really healthy, he took that as his cue to eat 30 of them in one sitting. Another time, when following a high-fat, low-carb diet, he’d regularly eat two avocados in one sitting. ‘Don’t get me wrong, I do like an avocado,’ he says, ‘but you’re only really meant to have half an avocado a day.’

In September 2017, O’Sullivan says he’d’ ‘hit a wall’ with his physical and mental wellbeing. He was overweight again, despite the fact that he was over-exercising, and everything was suffering as a consequence – including his snooker.

‘I was playing badly because I was so knackered all the time,’ he says. ‘I was following a carbohydrate-free diet to try and drop some pounds, without realising that my brain needed good carbohydrates to function during matches.’

That’s when O’Sullivan started working with Lambert. Together, they got a handle on his portion sizes, cut out certain foods and added others. The results, he says, have been startling.

‘I’ve shed two stone in the past two years, purely through changing my diet, and have never felt so energised. Nutrition has made a massive difference to me. When I stopped running as competitively, some bad habits crept back in. I used to equate running with staying slim and thought the eating wasn’t important. I’ve come to realise it’s actually the other way round: I don’t have to run like I used to as long as I eat right.’

Maestro to mid-pack

With a snooker cue in his hand, O’Sullivan is a phenomenon. The trophies – five World Championships, seven Masters title, seven UK Championships – tell only half the story. For it is not how many trophies O’Sullivan has won – 36 ranking titles and counting – but the manner in which he has won them, that sets him apart. To watch ‘The Rocket’ in full flow is, simply, a thing of beauty. He is the Picasso of the baize or, perhaps, the Kipchoge of the cloth.


With a pair of running shoes on his feet, O’Sullivan is good, but not great. He once finished 189th at the Southern Cross-Country Championships and made it into the pages of Athletics Weekly via a win at a small-scale 10K in Essex.

Yet swapping the bright lights of the baize for the ankle-deep anonymity of cross-country was part of the appeal. With a club vest on, O’Sullivan was no longer a once-in-a-generation genius, with all the expectation that comes with it. He was just another exhausted, imperfect runner.

‘I knew I was always going to have to be one of these untalented runners who has to work hard to get whatever he can out of it,’ he says. ‘Don’t get me wrong, no matter what I do, I like to be at the front. But with running I knew I wasn’t expected to win. I’d look at the winners and think, “It would be great to be them.” But I knew I could never be that good, because I’d never done it seriously as a kid.

‘I used to equate it to someone who was 30 years old who decided he wanted to become a top snooker player. How would he fare against me? He’d never get anywhere near me. Even if he played for the next 100 years and I didn’t pick up a cue, I’d wipe the floor with him.’

While running victories may have remained out of reach, moving from maestro to mid-packer taught O’Sullivan some valuable lessons about himself. ‘Running taught me that I’ve got guts, determination and that I’m happy not to take shortcuts,’ he says. ‘If you want to get the most out of yourself as a runner, you don’t have to have masses of ability. I honestly think if you run 50 or 60 miles a week, with a few track sessions thrown in, anyone can run a sub-3 marathon or a sub-35 10K. It’s all about effort.’

The long game

Had you, in 2009, asked O’Sullivan to rank his top sporting priorities, winning another snooker World Championships might have come second to his desire to represent his home county, Essex, in cross-country.

‘Running did take over for a while, I’ll admit,’ he says. ‘But I didn’t mind, because [running] is a good thing. You don’t mind things like that taking over. Anyway, what else are you going to do with your life – sit around and get fat?’

Nowadays, O’Sullivan prioritises his potting. However, he still packs his running shoes when he heads off to a snooker tournament, regularly popping in on local running club sessions, provided he feels fit enough.

‘When I’m fit, I always join up with the local running club and go for a five- or seven-mile run,’ he says. ‘The last three or four years, my running has gone a bit downhill, so I don’t meet so many people now because I don’t want to slow them down. I just go out and do my own little four-miler at 7:30 min/mile. That’s enough for me at the moment.’


Although some of O’Sullivan’s miles are run on the road, he’s happiest on the trails of his local Epping Forest. And although snooker may have made him a millionaire several times over, but when it comes to running, he likes to keep things simple and gadget-free.

‘I love running offroad, through the forest,’ he says. ‘For me, it’s all about getting away from people, cars, fumes. I once wore headphones for about half an hour, but I threw them away in the forest as it was killing it for me; the beauty of being outside is that you’re away from technology.’

Given his impressive times over shorter distances, it is perhaps surprising to learn that O’Sullivan has never run a marathon. At his running peak, his clubmates told him he was in sub-2:45 shape, but injuries and a hectic schedule have always got in the way. Is it something he’d like to do in the future?

‘I’d definitely do a marathon,’ he says. ‘While I’m still competing playing snooker, it’s hard for me to commit to doing the miles in training, because that would become too much of an obsession. I’ve only got another three or four more years playing snooker – I’ve got to prioritise that. But if I get in decent shape, even at 50 I like to think I could still possibly run a sub-3 marathon.’

Whether or not he decides to tackle the full 26.2, O’Sullivan knows he wants to continue to run for as long as his legs allow him. ‘I look at people at the running club in their 60s and 70s, and they’re still doing it. I look at them, and they look so healthy – I want to look like that when I’m their age. I obviously want to run as much as a I can and, if I can’t run, I’d probably take up a coaching badge.’

Ronnie O’Sullivan, running coach? Don’t expect any jogging in his training schedules.

The interview itself may have been done before the World Championship 2019 even if it’s only published now.

Main Tour News – Crucible 2020 dates and China Championship 2019 qualifiers draw

Worldsnooker have decided not to change the dates for the World Championship in May, despite the final Monday being a normal working day, but offer to refund the fans who would be unable to attend. Here is the info:

Next year’s Betfred World Championship will retain the previously announced dates of 18 April to 4 May, 2020, despite the fact that the last day will not be a bank holiday.

Snooker’s biggest event has traditionally finished on the Monday bank holiday. However last month the government announced that in 2020 the bank holiday would move from Monday 4 May to Friday 8 May in order to celebrate the 75th anniversary of VE Day.

Following discussions with host broadcaster the BBC, World Snooker will keep the dates of the tournament at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield the same, and the television coverage will not be affected.

And, following discussion with the Crucible, we have decided to offer any fans who wish to return their tickets for Monday 4 May a full refund.

World Snooker Chairman Barry Hearn said: “It’s a very disappointing decision by the UK government to change the date of the bank holiday at such short notice. To commemorate VE Day is an admirable principal, but why couldn’t this decision have been made years ago to give all affected parties enough time to plan?

“Tickets for the World Championship final are like gold dust, and no doubt we have many fans who have been lucky enough to get hold of them who now may have their plans scuppered because they have work commitments on the Monday. That’s why we will be offering them a full refund if they cannot be in Sheffield on that day. With more notice we could have planned for this change long before the tickets went on sale. It is a decision which will affect many businesses and individuals across the events industry.”

Fans who wish to request a refund should contact the Crucible box office on 0844 65 65 147.

Or if the booking was made with See Tickets call 0871 620 7052 (Calls cost 13ppm plus the network access charge) or click here

To be honest, that final Monday has always been a normal working day for everyone outside Britain. If snooker really wants to be “World” snooker and global, it’s time to revisit the World Championship schedule and finish on a Sunday. The BBC won’t agree probably but it’s another of those “UK centric” things that need to go if they are serious about their global/worldwide ambitions.

Obviously though, for this year it’s too late to envisage a complete overhaul. Tickets have been sold and many will already have booked their hotel and transport.

Worldsnooker also published the China Championship qualifiers draw and format:

The draw for the qualifying round of the China Championship has been made. This will run from August 15-18 at Barnsley Metrodome, with the winners to go through to the final stages in Guangzhou in September.

Click here for the draw

Click here for the format

No Ronnie in sight, which honestly doesn’t surprise me as he has booked exhibitions on 26 and 27 September 2019.

There is an interesting change though: the wilcards are playing each other. This of course minimises the number of  held-over matches and therefore the number of players who get travel fees. Apart from Tom Ford and Ken Doherty who are bound to play a wildcard, only the Defending Champion Mark Selby, the World Champion Judd Trump and the two top China players – Ding Junhui and Yan Bingtao – have their matches held-over, and interestingly, three out of four of them play an Asian opponent.

On weibo, I read that this new wildcard arrangement is because there are 126 pros who entered so, no spot for Q-school players, and minimising the “impact” of wildcards.

Riga Masters 2019 – Yan Bingtao is your Champion!


Congratulations Yan Bingtao!

Here is WPBSA report on Yan’s win

Yan Beats Joyce In Riga Final

28th July 2019



Yan Bingtao became the first teenager to win a ranking title for 13 years by beating Mark Joyce 5-2 in the final of the Kaspersky Riga Masters.

China’s 19-year-old Yan always looked in control of the final against Joyce in Latvia as he took the £50,000 top prize at the first ranking event of the season.

He becomes the third Chinese player to win a ranking title, joining Ding Junhui and Liang Wenbo. Not since Ding won the Northern Ireland Open in 2006 has a player aged under 20 won a ranking event, and Yan is also the first Chinese winner of a ranking title since Ding landed the Yushan World Open in 2017.

The comparisons with Ding, now aged 32, do not stop there. Both were was tipped for the top from their early teens; Yan won the world amateur title at the age of 14, and a year later partnered Zhou Yuelong to victory for China at the World Cup.

In 2017, age 17, Yan came within a frame of eclipsing Ronnie O’Sullivan’s long-standing record as the youngest ever winner of a ranking title, but lost 9-8 to Mark Williams in the Northern Ireland Open final.

Last season, Yan seemed to take a step backwards as he failed to reach a ranking event quarter-final. But having now landed his first piece of individual silverware he has taken a huge leap forwards. It will surely be the first of many.

Yan earns a place at the ManBetX Champion of Champions in November and goes to the top of the 2019-20 one-year ranking list, and may already have earned enough to qualify for the Coral World Grand Prix in February. He climbs three places up the official world ranking list to 18th.

Walsall’s Joyce, who had never previously been beyond the quarter-finals of a ranking event, earns £25,000 and moves up from 54th to 47th.

Yan took the opening frame of the final by clearing from brown to black, then dominated the second with breaks of 48 and 38. Joyce pulled one back with a 103, before Yan made a 53 in taking the fourth to lead 3-1 at the interval.

A tight fifth frame went Joyce’s way, but Yan made a 65 in the sixth as he went 4-2 up. And a superb 66 clearance, from 45-5 behind, saw Yan seal the title.

“I’m excited because it’s the first time I have won a ranking final,” said Yan, via a translator. “I’m so happy to win the title. I was a little bit lucky. Ding is still the best Chinese player, I have to improve.

“There are a lot of teenage Chinese players getting better and better, especially those who come to play in the UK. Hopefully more of them can win titles, and of course I hope I can win a lot of ranking events. I will keep practising.

“After I lost the Northern Ireland Open final two years ago I was upset because I thought it might be my only chance to win a title. I have improved a lot since then. Tonight I thought I had an advantage because Mark had never played in a final before. I played shots one by one without hurrying, and I think that’s why I won.”

Joyce said: “The first frame was massive, I should have won it and that set me back. He was more solid on the night. The clearance he made in the last frame to win the tournament was fantastic.

“I won a pro-am tournament in Vienna over the summer and had a 147, which gave me some belief because I have made some changes to my game. I was confident coming here and I’m pleased to have reached my first final.”

Earlier in the semi-finals, Joyce edged out Kurt Maflin 5-4 with a break of 126 in the deciding frame while Yan scored a 5-3 win over Matthew Selt.

The next tournament is the International Championship in Daqing, China, which starts on August 4th.

I’m very happy for Yan. After he lost to Mark Williams, Yan seemed to have lost confidence indeed and his game suffered. Last season wasn’t great for him. It may sound ridiculous that he thought that he might never have another opportunity to win when he was only 17. It’s easy to forget that he is still only a teenager, a time in life where everything looks extreme and definitive 😉

Here are a few snippets from yesterday’s action:

MissingClip 2019 Riga Masters: Yan Bingtao – Mark Joyce (end of frame 1)

This was early in the match but a very important moment: it completely changed the minset of both players

MissingClip 2019 Riga Masters: Yan Bingtao 66 – Mark Joyce

Yan 66 dish to win the title and showing what it meant to him. He looked so calm up to the pink that his reaction took me by surprise.

MissingClip 2019 Riga Masters: Yan Bingtao – Mark Joyce (trophy ceremony)

I was surprised to see Barry Hearn in person in Riga. Miles Pearce and Jason Ferguson were both there too so I can only suppose that some commercial negotiations must have been on the agenda.

Riga Masters 2019 – Last 32 and last 16.

There isn’t a single top 16 player left in the draw as we enter the QF stage in Riga. This is the line-up for this morning:


What happened to the top players yesterday then?

Mark Selby had reached the last 32 without potting a ball. He faced Graeme Dott and promptly found himself 3-0 down. Graeme was positive, playing really well and he was first in the next frame too. From what we had seen before a whitewash was definitely a possibility. But Graeme missed a couple, and it turned the match on its head. Mark Selby made 71, 53, 63 and 55 en route to victory. Having said that, it’s not as if Mark was playing great despite the godd break building. Graeme had opportunities to win, especially when he made a 58 in frame six; he should never have lost this match. Mark Selby though was found out in the next round. He won the first two frames but after that scored only 51 point in the next four against Suart Carrington, a solid player who, in many ways, has a very similar game to his own. No return to form – and confidence – in sight just yet for Mark then.

Mark Williams was outplayed by Luo Honghao. The boy (he’s only 19) was the better player in all departments and he clearly didn’t come in Riga unprepared. It was a bit of a question mark how he would react after being whitewashed at the Crucible. Here’s your ansewer: by working hard and coming back fighting. Luo played very positively, and his breakbuilding was impressive, as was his temperament. He went on to beat Gary Wilson – the Crucible semi finalist – by 4-0 to book his place in the QFs. Willo isn’t too dispirited if his twitter feed is anything to go by.

Jack Lisowski was blowing hot and cold all day. He first beat Daniel Wells by 4-2, then lost by 4-1 to Mark Joyce. He had a 145 against Wells and a 140 against Joyce. There were basically two types of frames in his matches: the ones were he took control early and won with a big break, and the ones where he had to battle, get involved in safety exchanges, which he lost. His safety game was poor and that’s an understatement. That said Jack looked extremely tired at the end of the day and, not for the first time, watching him I couldn’t help to wonder how much his long battle against cancer as a teenager has taken out of him, physically and mentally.

2019 Riga Masters: Jack Lisowski 145 – Daniel Wells

* Jack’s 145 ended up being the tournament HB

Yan Bingtao wasn’t on the main televion table but going by the scores he’s playing well, scoring heavily. I’d love to see him or Luo win this tournament. One reason for that is because I’m sick and tired of some British fans snearing at the young Chinese because they haven’t quite met the expectations piled on them. Neil Robertson reapeatedly told the media how hard it has been for him being in the UK as an expat young player. However, the Aussie culture is certainly closer to the UK one than is the Chinese culture, and Neil didn’t have the additional huge hurdle of having to learn a different language – different in its structure, grammar and using a different alphabet too – just to communicate in every day’s life. Plus, the way the tour is organised is hugely biased in favour of UK/Irish players. The Chinese lads don’t have it easy, and they are under a lot of pressure from back home too.

Riga Masters 2019 – Last 64

Very strange day this was in Riga…

There were no less than 12 players who didn’t show up: two Chinese and the two Iranians, likely because of visa issues, and eight others – including the defending champion, Neil Robertson, and Kyren Wilson probably because of  having their flights delayed / canceled.

To add to that there were some unexpected results as well, most notably Ali Carter going out to Jak Jones and Luca Brecel going out to Lyu Haotian, both bu 4-1.  Clearly some top players came there very rusty (but with a nice tan).

This all means that there are only three top 16 players left in the draw. Mark Selby is in the last 32 without even potting a ball: he got a bye in both the last 128 (held over) and last 64. Jack Lisowski played very well in patches but struggled to maintain his focus against Rodion Judin, an opponent who wasn’t really giving him much opposition: it should have been 4-0 easily. Mark Williams had a much sterner test against James Cahill who looks very determined to make the most of his second “run” as a pro. It was an excellent match that deserverdly went to a decider where Williams was on a century, didn’t realise, and chose not to pot the black…

Which triggered this reaction from Mark Williams on twitter

Willo doesn't know when he is on a ton...

Yuan Sijun played really well in beating Ricky Walden 4-1. I expect him to climb the rankings significantly this season.

Finally Jackson Page – who has a lot of expectations on his young shoulders – lost by 4-3 to Gary Wilson. No shame in that, especially as he came back from 3-0 down to 3-3…



Night of 1000 Centuries – Shantallow, 25/26 July 2019


Ronnie was playing in Shantallow,  Derry (Ireland), yesterday. Not much transpired from the evening, just this: Ronnie made 4 centuries, but was beaten by one amateur from Belfast, an Anthony Heaney … only to play and beat him twice at the end of the exhibition. No, no … he doesn’t care lol!

From what was shared on twitter, it was very high standard and a fantastic athmosphere. “Epic” was how Jason Francis described it.

And Jason Francis shared this image – very retro “série noire” – taken in Derry


Today he played there again. It was a “routine” night, playing nine frames, winning nine frames and scoring a HB of 135.

Ronnie loved Derry and promised to come back.