2020 Championship League Snooker (2) – Day 10

Thepchaiya Un-nooh and Luo Honghao were our winners yesterday.

Here is the report by WST:

Luo Honghao knocked out Mark Allen while Thepchaiya Un-Nooh won a group-deciding match against fellow Thai player Sunny Akani to advance to Stage Two of BetVictor Championship League.

Both groups came down to deciding head-to-heads, with Luo facing Allen knowing a draw would be enough. The Chinese player took the first frame with a 58 break but Allen replied with a 53 to keep his hopes alive.

However, those hopes were soon dashed as 20-year-old Luo took the third frame to ensure at least a point, before the match did end 2-2 with Allen making a 97 in the last.

On table two, Un-Nooh faced Akani knowing only a win would be enough to advance. Akani entered the match with wins over Peter Lines (3-1) and Lee Walker (3-0), giving him the advantage over Un-Nooh, who had drawn with Lines.

Un-Nooh too the first but Akani hit back with a 76. However, that was his last significant visit, as Un-Nooh took the last two frames to top the group.

“I am happy to progress,” he said. “When it was 1-1 I thought I wasn’t going to qualify but I made a long brown and cleared up for 2-1. In the last frame, I knew if I lost I was finished but I was so happy to win.

“Sunny is a good long potter, good at break building and has good safety. I watched his game against Walker and he made a brilliant break in every frame and I thought it would be trouble for me in the last match.”

BetVictor Championship League Snooker continues on Wednesday with former champion Scott Donaldson among those in action . Coverage of both tables will be available at Matchroom.Live, with UK television coverage on Freesports.



Luo Honghao 3 2 1 0 8 3 5 7
Mark Allen 3 1 2 0 7 4 3 5
Jamie Wilson 3 0 2 1 4 7 -3 2
Billy Castle 3 0 1 2 3 8 -5 1



Thepchaiya Un-Nooh 3 2 1 0 8 4 4 7
Sunny Akani 3 2 0 1 7 4 3 6
Peter Lines 3 0 2 1 5 7 -2 2
Lee Walker 3 0 1 2 3 8 -5 1

And here are some of the things that this report doesn’t tell …

Lee Walker as you never saw him

Screenshot 2020-09-30 at 10.50.08


Mark Allen knows that he can’t qualify and he’s breaking in the last frame of the match …

He went on to make a 97 from that fluke…

And this is how Luo prepared for this match, having found a piano at the venue


2020 English Open Draw and Format

WST published the draw and format for the 2020 English Open this morning

The draw and format for the English Open, which runs from October 12 to 18 in Milton Keynes, is now available.



It’s the first Home Nations event of the 2020/21 season and will be broadcast extensively on Eurosport and a range of other broadcasters worldwide.

Mark Selby will start the defence of his title against China’s Fan Zhengyi on Monday October 12. On the same day, World Champion Ronnie O’Sullivan’s opening opponent will be France’s top player Brian Ochoiski.

On Tuesday October 13, standout matches will include world number one Judd Trump taking on last season’s Rookie of the Year Louis Heathcote, and John Higgins up against giant-killer James Cahill.

Prize money
Winner: £70,000
Runner-up: £30,000
Semi-finals: £20,000
Quarter-finals: £10,000
Last 16: £7,500
Last 32: £4,000
Last 64: £3,000
High break: £5,000
Total: £405,000

Other than the “obvious” here are my first round picks to watch:

  • Kurt Maflin v Peter Devlin
  • Chang Bingyu v Aaron Hill
  • Yan Bingtao v Alan McManus
  • Zhao Xintong v Pang Junxu
  • Gao Yang v Kaçper Fillipiak
  • Michael White x Zhao Jianbo

Now I’ll be lucky if more than one of those is streamed …


2020 Championship League Snooker (2) – Day 9

The 2020 Championship League Snooker is back with the first round second batch of 16 groups.

Here are WST reports on what happened yesterday:

Ken Doherty and Alexander Ursenbacher won their respective groups at BetVictor Championship League Snooker on Monday to advance to Stage Two of the competition, which is broadcast at Matchroom.Live.

Doherty sprung a surprise in the first match of Group 17, defeating Neil Robertson 3-1. The group’s second seed Andrew Higginson then beat Eden Sharav, also 3-1, and when The Darling of Dublin then beat Higginson 3-0, the group was within Doherty’s grasp.

He thought he’d need just a point in his final match against Sharav, but when the Israeli potter held Robertson to a draw, Doherty was through and the Australian became the highest-ranked player to be eliminated from the event.

“I was delighted to beat Neil Robertson, he is such a class player, a top player in the world, so to beat him was a good start,” said Doherty.

“I won a couple of early frames against Higginson which put me in a good position, and it was important to have won 3-0 because the frame difference can come into it and took the pressure off. Eden Sharav then did me a big favour.

“I’d like to be a little bit sharper. I’m delighted to get through but plenty of room for improvement for sure.”

On table two, Group 11 seed Anthony McGill enjoyed as little success as Robertson had on table one. Ursenbacher opened proceedings with a 3-1 win over Riley Parsons before McGill drew 2-2 with Lukas Kleckers.

Parsons then defeated world number 21 McGill 3-0, leaving the group wide open. Ursenbacher took command with a 3-0 win over Kleckers, meaning just a point against McGill would be enough for the Swiss to advance; and a 2-2 draw meant he got just that.

BetVictor Championship League Snooker continues on Tuesday with Mark Allen and Thepchaiya Un-Nooh among those in action. Coverage of both tables will be available at Matchroom.Live, with UK television coverage on Freesports.



Ken Doherty 3 2 1 0 8 3 5 7
Neil Robertson 3 1 1 1 6 5 1 4
Andrew Higginson 3 1 0 2 3 7 -4 3
Eden Sharav 3 0 2 1 5 7 -2 2



Alexander Ursenbacher 3 2 1 0 8 3 5 7
Riley Parsons 3 1 1 1 6 5 1 4
Lukas Kleckers 3 0 2 1 4 7 -3 2
Anthony McGill 3 0 2 1 4 7 -3 2

I have got confirmation by David Hendon that all players are now being tested and required to self-isolate until they get their result. I’m not sure why referees still wear masks during the matches.

At first glance, it seems surprising that both Neil Robertson and Anthony McGill failed to produce the kind of snooker they are capable of, but then, they both reached the latter stages at the European Masters last week and, with four rounds being played over the Friday and Saturday, they were probably a bit fatigued.

2020 European Masters – Mark Selby is your champion

Congratulations Mark Selby!

pictures shared on social media by WST

Mark Selby beat Martin Gould by 9-8, in an enthralling final to win his 18th ranking title. Here are the reports by WST.

First session:

Martin Gould came from 4-0 down to end the first session of the BetVictor European Masters final locked level with Mark Selby at 4-4.

The pair will return this evening at 7pm, to play this best of 17 encounter to a finish and discover the destination of the £80,000 top prize.

Gould came close to relegation from the circuit at the end of last season, but qualified for the World Championship to cement his professional status. The Pinner Potter would move from his current world ranking of 53rd to 26th if he were to win tonight.

Selby is aiming to keep up his remarkable run of consecutive victories in ranking finals. The three-time World Champion has won all of his last nine title matches. Victory this evening would mean he has won at least one ranking title in all of the last ten seasons.

It was the Jester from Leicester who started quickest this afternoon. Breaks of 130 and 96 helped him to establish his 4-0 cushion at the mid-session.

Selby had a chance to enhance his lead further when they returned. However, he broke down on a break of 59 and allowed Gould to clear to the black with 33 to get his first frame on the board.

Further runs of 70 and a sublime 131 aided Gould in making it four on the bounce and make it 4-4, setting up a showpiece finale this evening.

Second session:

Mark Selby won a pulsating BetVictor European Masters final, beating Martin Gould 9-8 to take home the title.

Victory for three-time World Champion Selby sees him pick up his first ranking silverware since the 2019 Scottish Open. It’s the 18th ranking title of the Leicester cueman’s career and he has now won at least one ranking event in each of the last 10 seasons.

Tonight’s result also extends Selby’s extraordinary run of consecutive ranking final wins. He’s been victorious in his last ten final appearances.

The £80,000 top prize gives Selby an early advantage in the six-event BetVictor European Series. The player who accumulates the most prize money over the series as a whole will pocket a bumper £150,000 bonus.

Gould leaves Milton Keynes with the consolation of £35,000. A fine week’s work, which included wins over John Higgins and Judd Trump, will see him rise from 53rd in the world rankings to 36th.

The pair were locked together at 4-4 after this afternoon’s opening session, where Gould battled to draw level having trailed 4-0.

The evening session saw both players go toe to toe, producing a barrage of breaks. Gould composed a run of 94 to take the lead for the first time at 5-4. Selby restored parity, before Gould edged back in front at 6-5. A superb century run of 113 from Selby took them into the mid-session tied at 6-6.

Selby then made it two on the bounce to lead 7-6. However, Gould refused to wilt and composed a century contribution of 107 to draw level once more at 7-7. The Pinner potter then spurned a golden opportunity to move one from victory. He missed a straightforward blue to the middle and allowed Selby to steal on the black and lead 8-7.

Gould quickly discarded the disappointment of the previous frame by making a steely 96 to force a decider. However, a match winning contribution of 72 saw Selby over the line.

Selby said: “I’m really over the moon. I played well at the start of the match and in the second session I missed a few. You are going to do that in a best of 17 match, you can’t pot everything. I thought Martin played fantastically well from 4-0 down to put me under pressure. I’m really happy how I held up in the last frame when I got a chance.

A few years ago I was getting to finals and getting beat, not converting them. I’ve gone on a run since then. To win the last ten finals I’ve played in is incredible. You are playing the top players in the game every time in a final. To win ten on the trot is an incredible feat and something I need to be proud of.

I always set goals every season. One of my goals is to get back to number one. Judd is miles ahead in front, but in a year he will have to defend six tournaments and if he doesn’t win those six tournaments he will lose a lot. That is my aim to get to number one. It is going to be difficult, but that is what keeps me working every day and practising hard.”

Gould said: “It’s gutting to have come up short but it was a great final. Both of us scored heavily and both of us made mistakes. We will pot balls we shouldn’t and miss some we shouldn’t miss. That is part and parcel of snooker and why sometimes we love to hate it.

“All I want to do is enjoy playing snooker. If I do that I can produce what I have done this week. There are a lot of positives to take.

Speaking to Phil Haigh earlier in the week, Mark reflected on his Crucible semi-final

He reckoned that only Ronnie could have stopped him to reach the final and did.

He also credited his new coach, Chris Henry for giving him back his self-belief, and helping him to be a winner again.

Here are excerpts

The Jester from Leicester is keen to take the positives out of an impressive run to the last four, with significant improvements in his game thanks to new coach Chris Henry, and believes O’Sullivan managed something that no one else would have done against him.


‘A lot of positives from start to finish,’ Selby told WST. ‘I’d started working with Chris Henry, that was the first tournament I was working with him. ‘I’d seen a lot of positives there, because I think the last 18 months I probably wouldn’t have even got myself into that position to try and get to the final.

‘Ronnie played phenomenal the last three frames, he’s probably the only player that could have done that and then obviously went on to win it, so fantastic for him.


Selby won two ranking titles last season after over a year without a trophy and thanks to his work with Henry, he feels he has fully rediscovered his self belief. ‘Most definitely,’ Selby said when asked if his belief is back. ‘Belief only comes from winning and I wasn’t winning, hence why the self belief was being doubted a bit.

‘Working with Chris, he’s instilled that in me again. ‘Sometimes I get involved a bit technically and he’s sort of put that to bed, which is massive for me.


Ronnie tells Hector Nunns that he is anxious about covid-19 after players tested positive last week.

Ronnie spoke to Hector Nunns about his covid-19 related fears after players tested positive earlier this week.


Ronnie O’Sullivan admits feeling ‘vulnerable’ and ‘paranoid’ over failed coronavirus tests

Hector Nunns

RONNIE O’SULLIVAN says snooker’s first failed coronavirus tests last week have left him “paranoid”.

Two players tested positive for Covid-19 at the European Masters, and three others that had come into contact with them were also sent home.

Positive coronavirus tests in snooker have made Ronnie O’Sullivan “paranoid”Credit: Getty Images – Getty

Several high-profile players including Mark Selby and Stuart Bingham reckon events at Milton Keynes have been a real jolt and a wake-up call for the Tour

And as a result of rising infections and recorded cases the Government has moved to reimpose restrictions — including delaying the return of spectators.

Six-time and reigning world champion O’Sullivan, 44, is famously one of the most health-conscious players on the circuit.

The world No 2, who saw his scheduled first-round opponent Daniel Wells test positive, stopped shaking hands with opponents last year — long before the pandemic.

Ronnie is due to play next in the Championship League Snooker on October 5. During the first week of that competition there were no tests. If there are no tests next week either, I would not be surprised if Ronnie withdrew.

Regarding the second part of the 128 men 2020 CLS next week, there were some changes to the fixtures: Click-here-for-the-updated-fixtures

2020 European Masters – Day 6

The final today will be contested between Mark Selby and Martin Gould.

Here is how yesterday’s action got us there:

Quarter-finals (WST report):

World number one Judd Trump beat rival Kyren Wilson 5-2 to book his place in the semi-finals of the BetVictor European Masters in Milton Keynes.

Triple Crown winner Trump, a two-time European Masters champion, has been in imperious form so far this week. In five matches, he has won 25 frames and lost just four.

Trump’s win today means he now trails World Championship runner-up Wilson 8-6 in their head-to-head record.

The Ace in the Pack showcased his break building power this afternoon, composing runs of 55, 105, 76, 81 and 100 on his way to wrapping up the 5-2 win. He’ll face Martin Gould in the semis. The Pinner potter came through a final frame decider to beat China’s Yan Bingtao 5-4.

Mark Selby eased to a 5-1 defeat of Asian number one Ding Junhui to book his place in the last four.

Remarkably, Selby has only won three matches in reaching the semis. He received a bye in the first round after Michael White was required to self-isolate and last 32 opponent Mark Davis had his cue stolen, Davis has since had it returned.

There were no signs of rustiness for the three-time World Champion, who wasn’t troubled in this afternoon’s encounter. He crafted breaks of 60, 70, 70 and 58 on his way to victory. His semi-final opponent will be 2005 Crucible king Shaun Murphy.

Murphy booked his place in the semi-finals with a thrilling 5-4 defeat of Australia’s Neil Robertson. Breaks of 51, 69 and 94 saw nine-time ranking event winner Murphy open up a 4-2 advantage.

However, the momentum appeared to have shifted when Robertson when he took two on the bounce to force a decider. However, it was Murphy who clinched a tense frame to secure victory.

The semi-finals will be played this evening from 7pm, over the best of 11 frames.

Semi-finals (WST report):

World number 53 Martin Gould stunned Judd Trump to win 6-3 and book his place in the BetVictor European Masters final in Milton Keynes.

Gould now faces Mark Selby in tomorrow’s title match, over the best of 17 frames, with a top prize of £80,000 on the line.

The Pinner potter faced potential relegation from the circuit just over a month ago, but qualified for the World Championship to salvage his professional status. During his run at the Crucible he openly discussed his battles with depression and admitted he had considered hanging up his cue.

Gould’s only ranking event win to date came four years ago at the 2016 German Masters, where he beat Luca Brecel to claim the title. He also beat Trump that week en route silverware in Berlin. Tomorrow will be Gould’s first appearance in a ranking final since then.

World number one Trump took the opener this evening and had looked to be in a strong position to double his advantage when he led 56-0 in the second. However, a fine clearance of 65 saw Gould get his first frame on the board. They shared the following two frames to head into the mid-session level at 2-2.

When they returned Gould edged ahead for the first time, but was immediately pinned back by Trump, who fired in a break of 89 to restore parity at 3-3. Gould claimed the following two frames to move one from victory and blitzed over the line in style, with a fine run of 102.

“Considering that six or eight weeks ago I was on the verge of retiring and now I’m in the final of the European Masters, you couldn’t make it up really,” said 39-year-old Gould. “They always say that after a long journey you actually see the light at the end of the tunnel. I’ve started to see that light. Since the Crucible I’ve played two days. Most of the time you found me on the golf course, my happy place. I’m just enjoying myself and I think that is showing with how I’m playing.

“To win a ranking event is what you play snooker for. Whether it be the World Championship or something else, you want to win tournaments. That is what you turn up for. 128 players turn up, 127 go home and there is one winner. I want to be that one winner.

“You are never going to get an easy game in the final. I’m just going to go out there with the same attitude as I had tonight. I’ll enjoy it and see what happens. I’ll just let myself go with the flow.”

Selby held off a Shaun Murphy fightback to win 6-3 and earn his place in tomorrow’s final.

Tomorrow will see 17-time ranking event winner Selby appear in a ranking final for the 27thtime. He has an incredible conversion rate in recent finals, having won his last nine title matches. Selby’s most recent piece of silverware came at the 2019 Scottish Open.

The Jester from Leicester got off to an electric start this evening. Breaks of 84, 65 and 78 helped him on the way to establishing an emphatic 5-1 advantage.

Murphy showed his steel by making a contribution of 60 to come from behind and claim the seventh frame. He then made it 5-3 after clearing the colours to take the eighth. However, it was to no avail, after Selby ended any hopes of a comeback and got over the line to seal the 6-3 victory.

Selby said: “I felt as if I played really well throughout the match. To go 5-1 up, I didn’t really do much wrong. I probably should have won the match 6-1.

“Coming here I was confident from the World Championship, even though it was gutting to lose in the semi-final and get that close. I’ve still taken a lot of positives from it. I think that has shown this week and in the Championship League, I qualified there.

“It would be great to win tomorrow. It is strange times at the moment, with no crowd out there. To be playing in any tournament is fantastic. My motivation is there just as much as if there was a full crowd. I’ll be trying my hardest as always, hopefully I can come out on the right side.”

Mark Selby has been involved in 15 ranking finals since the 2014 World Championship and won 14 of them. His only defeat came at the hands of Ding Junhui at the 2016 Shanghai Masters. He will be the favourite. But when Martin Gould enjoys his snooker and doesn’t put pressure on himself, he’s champagne. Hopefully it’s agood competitive match.

2020 European Masters – Day 5

Two rounds – the last 32 and the last 16 – were played yesterday at the 2020 European Masters in Milton Keynes. This was the outcome:


And here is the report by WST:

World Championship runner-up Kyren Wilson secured a 5-2 win over Scotland’s Anthony McGill to reach the last eight of the BetVictor European Masters in Milton Keynes.

The pair met most recently in the World Championship semi-finals last month and contested an epic encounter. Wilson won a 61-minute final frame decider to reach his first Crucible final, where he fell short against Ronnie O’Sullivan.

Next up this week, Wilson faces the prospect of competing against another player he beat at the World Championship. He’ll meet rival and world number one Judd Trump in the quarter-finals tomorrow at 1pm. Trump whitewashed Jackson Page 5-0 to secure his progression.

This evening’s match saw Wilson enjoy a more comfortable victory than his previous meeting with McGill. The Warrior composed breaks of 120, 56 and 96 on his way to establishing a 4-0 advantage at the mid-session.

McGill took the following two frames with breaks of 52 and 75 to remain in the contest. However, Wilson put the tie beyond doubt when he embarked on a 147 attempt. The Kettering cueman broke down on the 13th black to end his run on 97, but that was enough to emerge a 5-2 victor.

Wilson said: “It is a really hectic schedule, so I hadn’t looked at who I was playing. I got a call from Martin Clark, the tournament director, he told me Anthony had just finished and we were going on at quarter-past seven. I realised I had McGill. It is quite soon since the World Championship. You just have to treat it as another game. It is the last 16 of a big event and I’m really pleased with that performance.

“It was an amazing game at the Crucible. The reaction I’ve had from the World Championship has been more about the semi-finals than anything else. It will be a game and a decider that will be remembered forever. It is nice to have been in a game like that.”

Mark Selby staged a tremendous fightback to beat Stuart Bingham 5-4, having trailed 4-1. The three-time Crucible king’s opponent in tomorrow’s quarter-finals will be Ding Junhui, who beat Mark Allen 5-2 this evening.

Leicester cueman Selby has had an unusual path to the last eight. He’s only played two matches, having received a bye in the first round after Michael White was required to self-isolate and this morning after opponent Mark Davis had his cue stolen.

Bingham started fastest this evening, missing the 15th red in a 147 attempt, ending up with a break of 113. Further runs of 132 and 64 helped Masters champion Bingham to establish his 4-1 lead.

However, from there Selby clicked into top gear and surged to the winning post, making contributions of 114, 72, 64 and 54 to claim four on the bounce and seal the 5-4 win.

Defending champion Neil Robertson came through with a 5-2 defeat of Pang Junxu. He’ll face nine-time ranking event winner Shaun Murphy next, who edged past Tom Ford 5-4.

Aaron Hill’s fairytale run came to an end. The Irish 18-year-old, who beat Ronnie O’Sullivan yesterday and Matthew Stevens earlier today, was beaten 5-1 by Yan Bingtao.

Yan’s quarter-final opponent will be Martin Gould, who saw off tour rookie Peter Devlin 5-3.

The last 32 round made the news even before it even started … with this:

Mark Davis faces a future without the cue he had used for 20 years as it was stolen shortly before he was due to play in the BetVictor European Masters on Friday morning.

Davis was set for a third round clash with Mark Selby in Milton Keynes but had to pull out when he realised the cue had gone missing.

He had leant it against his car while putting his suitcase into the boot in his hotel car park. He went briefly to reception to check out, then returned to his car and drove to the venue, assuming that his cue was in the boot. It was only when he reached the venue he realised that the vital tool of his trade was not there.

“I rushed back to the hotel, asked in reception and even went to check my room, but I knew what had happened, the cue was gone,” said the 48-year-old from Sussex. “Someone must have seen it leaning against the car and nicked it. I was ridiculously stupid. I must have been on auto pilot and not paying attention to where I had put it. I realised I was going to have to pull out.

“My head is spinning and I am absolutely gutted, firstly because my cue is gone and secondly because I’ve had to withdraw from a tournament, which has hardly ever happened to me in nearly 30 years as a pro, and never for such a daft reason.”

The only silver lining for world number 39 Davis is that he has a replica cue at home, which was made for him by master craftsman John Parris.

“I had it made at a time when I was struggling and thinking of changing,” added the two-time Six Red World Champion. “I decided not to take the plunge and stuck with the same cue. But now it looks like I have no choice. Mentally, switching cues is a very tough thing to do and I don’t know how I will deal with it. I’ll have to start practising with it straight away and hope I can get used to it before the Championship League next week.”

Davis’s cue is a John Parris ash with a light brown butt. It is in a black three-quarter length case which has the names of his children, Millie and Jack, written on the side. Davis is offering a reward of £1,000 for the safe return of the cue. Anyone with relevant information can email him at markdavis2108@gmail.com 

Several fellow snooker players shared the information on social media, in an attempt to help finding the cue, most notably Mark Williams.

There is no report on the last 32 round by the governing body, so here are a few thoughts on that round.

Stephen Maguire was beaten heavily by Tom Ford; the final score was 5-1 and, in the 5 frames he lost, the Scot only scored 38 points. Of course, Tom Ford is a very good player but it’s really bizarre. Maguire won the Tour Championship in the summer but since then has been blowing hot and cold and more cold than hot actually.

Ding Junhui beat Lyu Haotian by 5-4, having trailed 4-1. During those last four frames, Ding had just one break over 50 but Lyu scored only 39 points in total. Now, I really rate Ding as a break builder, however he is not a player in the Selby mould, and he has been guilty of lacking fight when behind in the past. I did not see this match, so I can’t be certain, but again, I can only wonder how much of a psychological barieer there is for younger Chinese players to beat him.

All three rookies who reached the last 32, won their  match. Aaron Hill beat Matthew Stevens, Peter Devlin beat Joe O’Connor in a match that over-ran, and Pang Junxu beat Barry Hawkins. Now, whilst there was good coverage on Aaron Hill’s matches, fair coverage on Peter Devlin’s matches, there was nothing much about Pang at all. Pang is only 20, a rookie, he beat one of the hardest match players on the tour in Hawkins, with breaks of 76, 57, 52 and 88. He had beaten the dangerous Robbie Williams in the previous round. Why is there nothing about him in WST reports? I know that the language barrier is a factor, and the Chinese assistant media officer is stuck in Beijing and not traveling to the UK any time soon, but still?

Mark Allen had 4 succesive centuries the day before yesterday. He scored five 50+ breaks  – 101, 55, 73, 58, 88 – in his last 32 win over Ashley Carty. In the last 16, he was all square with Ding at the MSI, with a 104 and a 77, and then went missing completely, scoring just three points in the last three frames. Again, without seeing the match, it’s hard to make an informed opinion but, for some time now, Mark Allen seems to regularly run out of energy when reaching the latter stages of events and this was his second match on the day…

All detailed results are on snooker.org