Riga Masters 2019 … off to a bad start

Well, well … this is not the best start of the snooker season

It seems that a rather high number of players will not be able to make it to Riga, or anyway not in time for their scheduled matches. Amongst them the defending champion, Neil Robertson, plus Duanes Jones, Joe O’Connor and Louis Heathcote. Neil on twitter was hinting that they were about 15 of them due to fly together …

Here is Duane Jones Facebook account of what happened:

Well I can’t believe what’s happened tonight, I was meant to fly to riga in Latvia at 6:50pm this evening to play in the riga masters tomorrow afternoon, checks in at the airport and puts my bags through then boards the plane. While waiting for take off we got told a plane has burst a tyre while landing in the airport and there is a delay as the airport had to clear all the debris off the runway before anymore planes could takeoff/land, 2 hours later we are still on the runway waiting and after the debris were cleared we then had a further 2 hours delay as a electrical storm as hit the flight path over continental Europe so we had to wait for it to clear before we could leave and all flights were grounded until further notice. So after 4 hours waiting on the plane to take off we then could told to leave the plane until further information. Another two hours waiting and we get told that the flight is cancelled and we need to re-arrange another one 😂😂 no other flights can get me and the other pros on board to our matches in time from Luton or any other airport in the uk. So no riga masters for me this year and too top it off it’s 1:33am and I got a lovely 3 hour drive back to South Wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 I cant write my luck sometimes, shoot me now

That’s very unfortunate on so many accounts!

Of course it’s very unfortunate for the players affected. They will certainly get their points and money from their first match – Jason Ferguson already got in touch with them – but the opportunity to earn more is gone.

But it’s also very bad for the Riga Masters itself, one of the very few mainland Europe based tournaments still confirmed in the calendar. If Neil’s tweet is to be trusted that’s more than 1 in 4 player forced to withdraw from the event due to circumstances beyond their control. It’s not going to do the future’s hopes of the tournament any good.

At the time of writing the matches are still scheduled on WS website. Only the indication of which are on television is gone. But I can’t see how they can solve the issue …

The first ranking event of the season starts tomorrow in Riga


Well, of course it did actually start nearly a month ago with the qualifying round. But it’s the first event proper, on television. It will be on Eurosport tomorrow, and on the player during the week-end. Neil Robertson is the defending champion.

The fitters have been hard at work

Quite a number of big names are missing, notably the reigning World Champion Judd Trump. Judd however was interviewed by Worldsnooker today

Three players who qualified will not be there: Soheil Vahedi from Iran, and two young chinese lads: Bai Langning and Chang Bingyu. Almost certainly visa issues and it’s a shame really.

As for Eurosport they started the new season with this…

Here is to a great season (hopefully!)

Stuart Bingham wins the Pink Ribbon 2019


Stuart Bingham won the Pink Ribbon 2019, beating Mark Allen by 4-3 in the Final.

Congratulations Stuart Bingham

This year marked the 10th anniversary of the event. To make it more special, it was also the year the £100000 landmark was passed. Yes, over the last 10 years the event gathered over £100000 for its charities, supporting medical research aiming at curing breast cancer as well as proximity support for the sufferers and their families. Plus Stuart Bingham & Mark Allen BOTH donated £1000 each from their winnings back to the tournament charity pot.

It also attracted a record number of nearl 400 entries.  It’s a truly inclusive event, played in great spirit: players of all ages and abilities come together to support the cause.

Congratulations to Paul Mount and his team!

With a special mention to Andrew Norman who was everywhere, for everone and even managed to mont a good defence if his title on top of everything else.

And nothing would be possible without the tournament director, Clive Brown, and his team of referees, all working tirelessly and for free. This time with the record number of entries, they worked 18 hours/day throughout. Yes, you read it right: 18 hours/day!

Congratulations to Clive Brown and his team!

I took far too many pictures for me to publish them on this page. So here are the links to the Facebook albums. You don’t need to be on facebook to browse through them:

19 July – the venue is getting ready

20 July – the top half

21 July – the bottom half

22 July – first day of pro stages

23 July – the Finals day

There was also a very special moment on Monday evening, when Paul Mount was honoured for his 10 years commitment and work for his charities of choice. Clive Brown was honoured  as well for 10 years of tireless support to the event.

The award ceremony album 

And finally,

Congratulations and thank you to all players

Because without you, the event wouldn’t exist!

Paul Hunter Classic 2019 Line-up …

Kyren Wilson PHC 2018 Winner

In the middle of a calendar void, Worldsnooker has announced the line-up for the 2019 Paul Hunter Classic, or at least for whatever remains of it, and it’s not much …

Kyren Wilson will be defending his title against top stars including Barry Hawkins and Shaun Murphy at next month’s Paul Hunter Classic.

The tournament will be an invitation event this year featuring professional and amateur players. The line-up is:

Kyren Wilson
Shaun Murphy
Barry Hawkins
David Gilbert
Luca Brecel
Mark King
Joe Perry
Matthew Selt
Ken Doherty
Dominic Dale
Matthew Stevens
Michael Holt
Ryan Davies
Florian Nüssle
Ben Mertens
(Plus one player who comes through a qualifying event)

The tournament runs on the weekend of August 24-25  at the Stadthalle venue in the town of Fürth near Nuremburg in Germany. Tickets are available, for details CLICK HERE

That’s all that remains from what once was the best pro-am in the calendar and a true festival of snooker bringing pros, amateurs and fans together. By making it ranking, Worldsnooker has taken away the spirit and soul of the event, by not funding it properly, they have as good as killed it …

TBH, I would be surprised if it still exists next season. And with the European Masters also in doubt – it’s still unconfirmed, its slot in the calendar has been voided, and rumours amonsts the players is that it will not be held – it’s the whole mainland Europe leg that is in jeopardy. The German Masters still stands, as do the Riga Masters and the Gibraltar Open but for how long? Considering the very low prize money the latter two are doomed as well IMO.

Hats off and thank you to the top players who will play in it.  I hope that the fans will come and support you.

Night of 1000 Centuries – Leicester, 20 July 2019


It was another great night yesterday in Leicester. Ronnie has four centuries, including a maximum attempt that ended with him going in-off the brown. Shame! Ronnie also played an extra frame to raise funds for the club.

It was lovely to see Patricia Murphy in the white gloves again. Also Joy Woollaston did a stirling job in organising everything.

Regarding the shows: it was Jason’s and Ronnie’s intention to put them on snookerTV.net for free, but they were told that this would be a breach of the players contract, even if it’s only after the show and an exhibition. So they had to take the first one down. Jason will try to get Worldsnooker permission for the next ones.

Meanwhile, here are a couple of pictures:

The little boy is Ben Wollaston’s son, Edward.

And the attempted maxi …

Ronnie O’Sullivan – Night of 1,000 centuries (20.07.2019.): Ronnie O’Sullivan 147 attempt

Night of 1000 Centuries – Leicester, 19 July 2019

The first of this series of exhibitions was held yesterday evening in Leicester.


Not much has transpired from what happened exactly at the table, but Jason Francis tweeted mid show that it was centuries galore already…

Reactions on twitter after the show were very positive too, with Ronnie clearly having time for everyone.

Ronnie was happy as well … here he is on twitter:

Thanks Leicester. Great crowd.. first outing for the stick this season… same time tomorrow?

Here are a few pictures shared on twitter:

You will be able to watch the show in a bit on snookerTV.net

You will need to register, but it’s free.


Champion of Champions welcomes the Women Snooker World Champion

This was announced by Worldsnooker earlier today:

The World Women’s Snooker Championship has been added to the qualification list for the 2019 ManBetX Champion of Champions Snooker, which will take place at the Ricoh Arena, Coventry from November 4-10.

See The Full Qualifying List Here

The 2019 Qualifying List comprises 27 spots, which are split into seven sections. Tournaments within each of the seven sections are listed chronologically. The first 16 different players on the list will form the line-up for the 2019 ManBetX Champion of Champions. The World Women’s Snooker Championship is listed 27th on the list.

With ten players having already been assured of their place at the ManBetX Champion of Champions, if the seven remaining events yield three repeat winners then reigning World Women’s Snooker Championship winner Reanne Evans will receive her invite.

Matchroom Sport Chairman Barry Hearn said: “Given the continued development of women’s snooker it is only right that we recognise the achievement of being the World Women’s Snooker Champion by including it on the Qualifying List for the ManBetX Champion of Champions, not just for 2019 but as a permanent addition to the events which form the qualifying criteria for the ManBetX Champion of Champions.”

Tickets for the 2019 ManBetX Champion of Champions are on sale now. Prices start from just £11 per session with Premium and VIP packages also available.

Featuring tournament winners from the previous 12 months, the ManBetX Champion of Champions is broadcast live on ITV4 and has become one of snooker’s biggest tournaments since launching at Ricoh Arena in 2013. The likes of Ronnie O’Sullivan, John Higgins and Shaun Murphy have all lifted the trophy.

The tournament starts with a quartet of four-man groups played over four days from Monday, November 4 until Thursday, November 7. The winner of each group progresses to the semi-finals, with one played on Friday, November 8 and the other on Saturday, November 9. The final on Sunday, November 10 will be over 19 frames.

Clearly this is a step forward for Women Snooker and, no doubts, Reanne Evans record of 12 World Championships has contributed to raise the profile of her sport. She is not guaranteed a spot just yet as you read above, but I really hope she gets the invite.